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Doubts on suicide-anti-smoking drug Chantix link

Doubts on suicide-anti-smoking drug Chantix link

Despite earlier health agency warnings, there is no strong evidence that the anti-smoking drug Chantix raises the risk of suicidal thoughts or depression compared to other stop-smoking products, researchers reported Thursday in the British Medical Journal.

Back in July of this year, U.S. health officials ordered strong “black box” warnings be added to Chantix (also called varenicline) as well as anti-smoking drug Zyban, following more than five thousand reports of depression, hostility and other behavioral changes possibly associated with use of these drugs.

“There have been recent concerns that varenicline, a relatively new smoking cessation product, may increase the risk of suicidal behavior and suicide,” study co-author Dr. David Gunnell of the University of Bristol, UK, explained in an email to Reuters Health.

“We found no clear evidence of an increased risk of self-harm or depression associated with varenicline,” he said.

The findings stem from data on more than 80,660 would-be quitters in the UK who used different smoking cessation products between September 2006 and May 2008.

A total of 63,265 of these individuals used nicotine replacement products, 10,973 used Chantix, and 6,422 used Zyban, an antidepressant also called bupropion, which has been found to help smokers quit.

When researchers looked at medical records, they didn’t find any evidence of an increased risk of serious mental health problems (i.e., self-harm, suicidal thoughts or depression) while they were using these products and during the three months after the last prescription was filled.

Gunnell cautioned, however, that based on the size of the study, it’s still possible that Chantix does increase the risk of suicide – or even decrease it.

“Other studies should be undertaken to provide further evidence on this issue,” he concluded.

Beyond the Brain

Beyond the Brain

The ancient Egyptians thought so little of brain matter they made a practice of scooping it out through the nose of a dead leader before packing the skull with cloth before burial.

They believed consciousness resided in the heart, a view shared by Aristotle and a legacy of medieval thinkers.

Even when consensus for the locus of thought moved northward into the head, it was not the brain that was believed to be the sine qua non, but the empty spaces within it, called ventricles, where ephemeral spirits swirled about.

As late as 1662, philosopher Henry More scoffed that the brain showed “no more capacity for thought than a cake of suet, or a bowl of curds.”

Around the same time, French philosopher René Descartes codified the separation of conscious thought from the physical flesh of the brain.

Cartesian “dualism” exerted a powerful influence over Western science for centuries, and while dismissed by most neuroscientists today, still feeds the popular belief in mind as a magical, transcendent quality.

A contemporary of Descartes named Thomas Willis—often referred to as the father of neurology—was the first to suggest that not only was the brain itself the locus of the mind, but that different parts of the brain give rise to specific cognitive functions.

Early 19th-century phrenologists pushed this notion in a quaint direction, proposing that personality proclivities could be deduced by feeling the bumps on a person’s skull, which were caused by the brain “pushing out” in places where it was particularly well developed.

Plaster casts of the heads of executed criminals were examined and compared to a reference head to determine whether any particular protuberances could be reliably associated with criminal behavior.

Though absurdly unscientific even for its time, phrenology was remarkably prescient—up to a point. In the past decade especially, advanced technologies for capturing a snapshot of the brain in action have confirmed that discrete functions occur in specific locations.

The neural “address” where you remember a phone number, for instance, is different from the one where you remember a face, and recalling a famous face involves different circuits than remembering your best friend’s.

Yet it is increasingly clear that cognitive functions cannot be pinned to spots on the brain like towns on a map.

A given mental task may involve a complicated web of circuits, which interact in varying degrees with others throughout the brain—not like the parts in a machine, but like the instruments in a symphony orchestra combining their tenor, volume, and resonance to create a particular musical effect.

Slimming Contest – Body Slimming | 减肥瘦身 | Kurus Badan

Slimming Contest 2007 At Malaysia By BF1

We measure the right arm before using our Super Xlim Gel. The contestants using Super Xlim Gel to gently massage their arms.

The highest differences is reduce 6cm, 2nd 4.5cm and 3rd is 3.8cm slim down their arms.

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