Medical developments from around the world
Use of Stents Linked to Injuries and Fatalities
According to a Bloomberg News article titled “Deaths Linked to Cardiac Stents Rise as Overuse Seen”, authored by Peter Waldman et al, reported on ‘US medicine’s binge on cardiac stents’. In some cases, “overuse, death, injury and fraud have accompanied the devices’ use as a go-to treatment, according to thousands of pages of court documents and regulatory filings, interviews with 37 cardiologists and 33 heart patients or their survivors, and more than a dozen medical studies.”
The article drives home the point I have been making from day one with regard to this business of stents. Andreas Gruentzig showed how plastic balloons could be dilated with pressure across a block in a coronary vessel. He was in Zurich and was unknown. The stents business has become a multi-billion dollar business in the US where there are still some checks & balances. India has no such regulations; audits and deaths are swept under the carpet. Greedy doctors do angioplasty on anyone (that is around 75% of the normal healthy population even among children) who has healthy coronary blocks which pre-condition the myocardium to survive in the unlikely event of a heart attack. No one takes note of my several articles in this area. Now, the theerth, the holy water, comes from the conch.
Mercury Shown To Affect the Endocrine System in Birds
Environmental mercury poisoning is not rare. A study, very carefully planned at the University of Florida in Gainesville, has shown that ibises, birds resembling seagulls, have been affected by small doses of environmental mercury. This study was published in the Journal of the Royal Society. Birds lose their sexual instinct and refuse to mate with females to procreate but prefer mating with males, a behaviour totally absent in these birds hitherto. Mercury could alter their endocrine orchestra.
Obese Patients More Likely To Survive TAVI
Research published online in the American Journal of Cardiology indicated that “overweight and obese elderly patients survived trans catheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) better than their slimmer peers.” Researchers also found that “overweight was associated with a 26% lower likelihood of dying within one year of the procedure compared with normal-weight patients”. I was looking for some advantage for the obese people while the world condemns them for life. Other studies now show that overweight by itself is not a risk for precocious death, if the person is very active all his life. It is laziness and sedentary lifestyle that bode danger.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil, has been marketed as a preventive measure for cervical cancer. The inventor of the vaccine now thinks that it might not protect girls from cancers. To cap it, according to NaturalNews article, genetically modified DNA strands in this vaccine get tagged on to the aluminium preservative that is added and lasts for years in the blood of the vaccinated victims. Therefore, it is not safe to get blood for transfusion from those who are vaccinated with HPV vaccines!
Former coal secretary PC Parakh, who is called as an upright, competent and honest officer by several former bureaucrats and activists, said the PM holds highest responsibility as he took final decision to allocate the blocks
In a twist to the coalgate scam, Prakash Chandra (PC) Parakh, former secretary for coal has raised questions over the probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the role played by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in allocation of coal blocks.
Asking the CBI to scrap the probe, the former secretary in an interview to CNN-IBN, said, "In my view, there is no scam. But, if there is a conspiracy, then there are different members in this conspiracy. There is Kumar Mangalam Birla who made the representation, he is one conspirator. I, who examined the case and made a recommendation, I can be another conspirator and the Prime Minister, who as the Coal Minister, took the final decision, is the third conspirator.”
"Dasari Narayan Rao (the then minister of state for coal) must also be questioned in this case as the file had gone through him as well. Since the final decision (to allocate the coal block) was taken by the Prime Minister, his responsibility is the highest (in this case)," Parakh said.
On Tuesday, the CBI registered a first information report (FIR) against Parakh as well as the chairman of Aditya Birla group and Hindalco Industries Ltd.
Several prominent bureaucrats as well activists have called Parakh as an upright, competent and honest officer. Even the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its report in August 2012 considered the former secretary as whistleblower. CAG had lauded Parakh for opposing the present system of allocating coal blocks by the screening committee comprising officers of concerned ministries.
EAS Sarma, former secretary to the government of India (GoI) said, "I feel distressed that his motives should be questioned in the allotment of coal blocks. I understand he was the first Coal Secretary to have formally opposed the non-transparent system of first-come-first-served scheme of allotment of coal blocks and recommended a more transparent system of auctioning. Despite his best efforts, he was overruled!"
"It is ironic that honest officers like Parakh should face investigations whereas dishonest politicians, corporates and officials should be let off. This will certainly erode the credibility of the government which has been on the decline anyway," Sarma said.
Even Greenpeace India has lauded the efforts of Parakh. In a statement, it said, "The investigation needs to go well beyond Parakh, to the ministers in charge of the decisions. The repeated delays in the introduction of the auction policy were a result of decisions taken by several ministers of the coal ministry, including the PM who intermittently held charge of the ministry. In fact, Parakh called for the creation of a transparent coal block auction policy, but was apparently over-ruled by other ministers."
VK Srinivasan, former additional secretary, Andhra Pradesh called Parakh as 'a diligent and straight-forward person', who has taken several decisions using his discretion and technical knowledge in relation to industry proposals. "In this case, while we have not had access to the material on record, one must remember that Prakash Parakh is a geologist and he was dealing with a proposal pending for a long time before he took charge as a coal secretary. The real issues are: whether there can be a techno-economic reason for Aditya Birla Group to get a share in the coal block," Srinivasan said.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help everyone improve communication as well as own performance in any activity. Shekhar Naware, well known theatre personality explained this with a delightful presentation
Moneylife Foundation’s seminar on NLP by well-known Marathi actor Shekhar Naware captivated the audience with a talk on how human communication techniques can be improved to remove the mismatch between personality-types that lead to miscommunication. Techniques to harness the power of your mind to improve own performance in any field was shared by Mr Naware with numerous real life examples
Improving concentration, communicating better, dealing with your fears and giving your best performance any time can be achieved with NLP. It techniques are targeted to produce results.
Proven NLP techniques can be applied to achieve extraordinary results. Simple visualisation of successful outcomes or talking to oneself to bring about positive results are some ways to improving performance in any field and the confidence generated can be repeated in future situations. According to Mr Naware the visual and audio instructions activate the mental resources to take a target and work towards it. NLP is also useful to remove phobias and fear.
Mr Naware has worked with athletes, sports person and actors to dramatically enhance their mental resources to be able to change the outcome of their efforts. Mr Naware gave examples of how a few sessions of NLP training of several Ranji Trophy players in Mumbai made a huge difference to their game. Mr Naware says, “NLP is easy to learn and requires a little application and practice, but remember, this talk is just an introduction to the vast power of your own mind.”
This programme received an enormous response from the audience and we had to close the attendance the day after registration opened. The audience participated wholeheartedly by asking questions relating to meditation, intuition, subconscious mind, hypnosis, etc. Eagerness to learn more about NLP was evident with the enthusiasm of those who attended an enlightening seminar. Moneylife and Mr Naware will conduct a full-day NLP session soon. Watch out for the announcement.