clinical improvement

If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.
—  Stephen Fry

hi! i’m starting university next year and i’m really worried because i have to commute by train and bus more than an hour a day :’( my school is only like a 10 min walk from my house so i’m worried about getting tired or not having enough time to study, what should i do?

Hey there! There are like heaps of things that you can do on a long commute in order to be more productive, and they don’t even have to be things related to studying! I’m making this post a generalised one about what to do in different time blocks. 

Short Sessions (<30 minutes)

  • Read ahead on your lecture slides. It takes 20-30 minutes to read through the slides for a lecture, but this way you’re able to circle areas that you might find confusing ahead of time. When you get to the lecture, write down explanations in your own words so that when you revise this in two months’ time, you won’t have any missing info.
  • Catch up on sleep! It doesn’t have to all be uni work. Sleep and taking care of yourself is important so that you can concentrate in class. Twenty minutes is all you need for a power nap to refresh your mind. Just remember to set an alarm so that you don’t miss your stop!
  • For health science students, go through your clinic routine. Time management, flow, and better flow; trying to improve your clinical performance can be difficult if you don’t think about what order you’ll be tackling things like entrance testing. Short bus rides can be a great time for you to reflect on the order of testing; try and imagine yourself actually doing the testing
  • Preview additional readings by reading the abstract. If you’re strapped for time, reading through the abstract of any journal articles in science usually summarises all the main points you need, particularly for those where original research has been done. Reviews or papers which create definitions for different conditions are often also summarised - not through the abstract, but through the tables spread throughout the paper. Usually all the text is devoted to explaining how they got to making those tables, so you can skip them if need be. 
  • Reply to emails and send any questions you might have. It actually can take around 10 minutes to send an email to your professor because of wording and introductions and explanations. So I find that short bus trips are a great time for doing any sort of communication.
  • Along those lines, catch up with your friends as well! I’m often so busy that I can’t meet up with my high school friends in person, so we all have a group chat that we still keep in touch in.
  • Make a study plan - you only need around 10-15 minutes to plan out your whole week. Having a plan written down and allocating a set time to do each task will make you a lot more productive than just saying that you’ll ‘study’ on Friday night. 
  • If you’re at home and have a short break you can also clean up your desk/house or do chores - at least have organised chaos so that you have a clear mind.

Medium Sessions (30 minutes to 2 hours)

  • Type up your study notes. Granted, this takes a bit longer, but you’ll still be able to get a good chunk of it done, meaning that you’ll be able to relax a bit more when you get home. On that note, get your tutorial questions done as well!
  • Complete additional readings. If you skim the abstract and have a bit more time on your hands, it’s also good to read the results and discussion as they talk about other authors’ findings as well as the benefits and limitations of the present study, which are important in your learning. 
  • Doing tutorial questions. Often math tutorial problem sets will take you around 2-3 hours to complete all the questions because of the difficulty, so if you do them on the trip to and from uni, you can usually get it done in one day. 

Long Sessions (>2 hours)

Might as well talk about long study sessions too at your study place of choice!

  • Get essays and assignment done! You can’t really get stuck into writing essays unless you have at least a good chunk of time. It’s a good idea to get the outline ready in one of the shorter breaks you have though!
  • Study for exams! Long periods are the best time to cover the most difficult subjects or concepts, or just to churn through a lot of different topics. 


Please see my #optomstudies tag or my study tips directory (web only) for the full list of study tips + see my kpop vocab lists + stationery + bujo spreads! ^_^

0 Choosing a Degree , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10-1 , 10-2 , 11 Adapting to Uni Study , 12 Using Textbooks in Uni , 13 Dealing with Lazy Group Members , 14 Staying Productive (No Matter How Much Time You Have!)

Basics for the Wards: Suggestions for improving your SOAP notes

When I was a first year we had basically no guidance on our notes, and as a result I was lazy with mine and developed bad habits. When I got to clinical rotations during third year my notes were horrible and it took a lot of feedback and effort to improve them. 

In my experience helping med students improve their notes, as well as feedback on my own notes, here are some suggestions. This is mostly oriented towards an outpatient-type SOAP note, but also relevant to inpatient SOAP notes.

1. Note writing is different from anything else you’ve written before.
And it does not come intuitively, it is a skill that you work on. While a SOAP note or H&P may be a page or more, it is not an essay. You do not need to write “The patient says the cough causes pain in her left side,” when “Painful cough, left side” will do. You do not have to have perfect grammar and sentence structure. Why?

2. Condense condense condense.
Because nobody has time to read or write a novel. Be as brief as possible while still communicating the relevant info (what is the complaint? when did it start? inciting event? exacerbating/relieving factors? if their is paint what is the quality/radiation/level on a scale of 10, etc). This may mean you scribble notes in the patient encounter and then distill them in your SOAP note.

3. Organize the complaints.
Do not give me three separate sentences about the cough with an interjection in the middle that the patient stopped taking their headache medicine. Group your complaints together, with the chief complaint (AKA why they are there) at the top.

4. The subjective.
ALWAYS start your subjective with “Patient Q is a xyz year old M/F who presents with blah blah blah”. EVERY. NOTE. EVERY. TIME.

The subjective is where you write what people tell you. Everything in your subjective will be coming from the patient unless otherwise specified. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WRITE ‘PATIENT SAYS’ or ‘HE/SHE STATES’ EVERY SENTENCE. We know the patient is saying those things, putting that in there makes your subjective wordy to read and time consuming to write. Remember, sentence structure doesn’t have to be perfect.

Every subjective should have a brief review of systems of things not included in the chief complaint. It does not take very much time and ensures that you are being thorough. Ones I always hit on are: headaches, fevers, fatigue, vision changes, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, trouble peeing, muscle/joint pain, rashes, swelling.

Your do not need to put past medical/surgical/family history in your SOAP note unless something has changed or it is relevant to the visit (Ex: “Bobby is a previously healthy 5 year old boy with a history of asthma who presents today complaining of wheezing and shortness of breath” OR “MaryAnn is a 77 year old lady with a past history of multiple abdominal surgeries for diverticulitis who presents with a left sided abdominal bulge”). Otherwise, that info is in the H&P that was done when the patient was first admitted to the hospital or began coming to clinic. Your SOAP note is not a history and physical.

5. Objective
This is where data goes, things you see with your eyeballs or feel or hear. Most objectives are organized like this:
Labs (CMP, CBC, etc)
Physical exam (that you do!)
Imaging (ultrasound, chest x-ray, etc)

6.Objective: Vitals
If you are hand-writing your note vitals go on one line like this:
O2 (L/RA)

6. Objective: Physical exam
The biggest thing I have noticed is the first years either aren’t doing a physical exam or they write ‘normal’ or ‘no significant physical exam findings’. DO NOT EVER EVER EVER EVER DO THIS. Why? Well, for starters, your normal and my normal may be two very different things. ‘Normal’ does not tell me what you looked at, what it looked like/felt like, or help me see how you used your physical exam to arrive at your diagnosis. Finally, IT IS LAZY AND ARROGANT. As students we have not had the necessary clinical experience to say what normal is.

7. Assessment
OK, time to regroup. There has been a lot of information. Summarize all your findings and what you think is going on, along with a differential. Example: Patient is an ### yo M/F with a chief complaint of XYZ, relevant objective findings such as vitals, labs, physical exam, imaging. Suspect patient has blah blah blah due to evidence, but differential includes yakkety yak and whatever.

8. Plan
I suggest grouping plan under each problem. So, if a patient is here with cough and sore throat but also has hypertension and needs a med refill, those would be two separate problems each with their own plan. Be sure to list dose of med and directions for taking it, as well as a return to clinic if (such as, return to clinic if no improvement in 3 weeks, consider antibiotics and imaging). This will help if someone sees the patient for followup after you. For clarity sake, I suggest formatting like this:

Problem 1 (chief complaint)
- plan
- plan

Problem 2 (second most important problem)
- plan
- plan

And so on.

Good luck!

anonymous asked:

Just read flutefantasy below and she doesn't take asks. It's all so sad, and that MPC isn't taking a real stance and ridding itself of the toxic, considering it's supposed to be a safe environment for ALL WHO SIGN UP. Really disappointing this negativity is touching something sam worked his ass off to create, and to help others. And that in itself is sad. A program meant to help others is hurting people within. Pathetic.

Frankly, I don’t want to say anything publicly on this topic about MPC and how they’ve handled the situation of their members bullying, stalking, and harassing other members at their events using information from the private group. I know I will be screencapped and targeted if I do as well as jeopardize my access to MPC as well. It’s an unhappy situation and now the victim is being further attacked all over twitter with MPC and Sam Heughan tagged. It looks really bad for MPC.
Sam started a fundraising organization and in the first year fully funded the Camellia study for ALL.
MPC changed gears a bit from a fundraising organization to a fitness and nutrition business with a product for sale which generates 50% of its revenue from membership sales to be donated to Bloodwise. It’s a business that functions with the benefit of raising money for blood cancer research. Bloodwise even hired a person to oversee and manage the MPC contributions. The next study that MPC is funding is this one for treating children with leukemia.
But now a misogynistic troll with millions of twitter bots and followers is smearing the name of MPC all over twitter by sharing the story of one of his victims targeted through her participation in MPC. It’s unconscionable.

Fever: Part One

Rating: T
Fandom: The 100
Relationship: Bellamy Blake/Clarke Griffin
Chapters: ½

Summary: When Bellamy gets sick with a mysterious illness, Clarke refuses to leave his side as she tends to his fever. However, she might just end up getting more than she bargained for.

Read on AO3

Author’s Note: After a million years, I finally post it. To be perfectly honest, I was intending to write something a bit lighter than my last fic but this ended up being angstier than I originally intended… . *sigh* Such is life. And, yes, I’m still a hoe for the sharing-a-bed trope, why you ask? ;) Enjoy!

Bellamy knew that something wasn’t right when he missed his shot in target practise.

Even though he was aiming for the wooden post, his bullet only skimmed it, ripping up the side of the post and ricocheting off of the metal gate behind it. For a dazed, confused moment, he wasn’t quite sure what happened. Bellamy never missed – it was a fact he prided himself on, one of the reasons he had been granted such an esteemed position on the Guard in the first place. But, now that he thought of it, his arms felt weak, and he just could not maintain a steady grip on the gun.

Yep, something was seriously wrong.

“Still a lousy shot, I see,” Raven quipped, sitting on one of Arkadia’s benches nearby.

Her left leg was still perfectly useless, but she seemed to enjoy making a point of following him around, just to make cheeky remarks any time he messed up. The girl seemed convinced that she was a God, especially since ALIE gifted her with her “super brain”. If Bellamy were a bigger person, he might have even thrown a compliment her way every now and then, but – how he saw it – her ego was already overfed.

Generally speaking, Bellamy would have fired back a sarcastic retort to level the playing field, but he just couldn’t dig up the energy to fight back this time. His legs felt like they were going to collapse at any moment and his vision started to blur at the edges so that all he could see of Raven was a distorted image in his periphery.

“What, you’re not even going to deny it?” Raven. Her voice was growing fainter, just a dim annoyance at the back of his mind now. “Bellamy?” she asked again. Bellamy thought that there might even be a tinge of concern laced in her voice, but it was hard to tell when his ears didn’t seem to be functioning properly.

The different shades of green from the trees blended with the grey hues of the asphalt below his feet as Bellamy’s vision blurred even more intensely. His stomach dropped with a lurch and a wave of nausea washed over him as the world tilted around him. Vaguely, he thought he heard voices and someone, probably Raven, saying his name. A shiver rushed through him, chilling his bones to his core, and he let out a shaky breath. He didn’t know how much longer he would be able to stay on two feet. The Earth below him was moving. It rippled across his vision like waves, an ocean of grass and asphalt – soon it would consume him.

A hand closed around his bicep and the world stilled. His skin tingled where he was being touched and Bellamy slowly turned his head to see who it was. At first all he saw was a hazy silhouette, but his sight started to clear, revealing blonde hair and blue eyes, features that continued to sharpen as his senses returned slowly to him.

Clarke. It had to be.

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10 Things I've Learned Since Starting To Study Clinical Psychology

My very smart and helpful anon who suggested the last list sent in another suggestion- a list about what I’ve learned since starting my clinical psychology PhD program. I really liked the idea, and decided to run with it- this list thing may be a great way for me to rein in my rambling tendencies :). As with the last list, I could have gone on much longer, so there may be another list, but here’s some things I’ve learned since starting to study psychology.

  1. There may not be an answer. We do research to find things out, to make things better. Education is often for the same reason- to know things, to have certainty. There is certainly more information in grad school, but the more I know and understand, the more I realize that in many cases there is no certainty. No matter how good the research is, there is error and bias, and some things are not objectively measurable. There may not be a definitive answer, and being comfortable with that is an important skill.
  2. If there is an answer, it’s probably not just the one answer. Research, and clinical work, and probably everything else, is multifaceted. There are rarely effects with just one cause. Life is too dynamic and complicated for something like that. Often, there are many factors, which are might independently impact the thing we’re studying, but are probably impacting each other, along with random effects. This is actually one of the things I like best about research and clinical work.
  3. There are many paths up the mountain. It’s amazing how many different kinds of people, with different backgrounds and skills sets and outlooks are in this field. They have had and will make different decisions as they navigate their ways into and through grad school, and afterwards, as professionals. This is a good thing- there are infinite ways to become a psychologist and be a successful one. If you think you are on the only path up the mountain, you haven’t seen the mountain yet, as the saying goes.
  4. Saying “no” is an essential skill. There are so many opportunities in grad school. It can be overwhelming to figure out what you want to do, because everything is amazing and exciting and could totally add to your CV and maybe get you a presentation or a publication or some clinical hours. But- you cannot do everything. And if you try, you’ll end up doing a shitty job and hurt your reputation and be really stressed out and unhappy. So it’s so important to prioritize, pick what you really want to do and are able to do, and nicely say no to everything else.
  5. Criticism is a good thing. If you go to grad school, you want to learn a lot about something and get really good at it. You need feedback from people who know more than you in order for this to happen- you need criticism. Usually I don’t go looking for people to tell me the areas I suck in, but in grad school I want my supervisors to tell me where I need to improve and how to do it.
  6. No one’s going to tell you what to think. Grad school- specifically doctoral programs, which are so much are developing scholarly identity –is not about teaching a set of curricula in the traditional sense. It’s about creating an environment where students can develop their understanding of the field and learn how to think, how to explore, and how to test ideas. This is probably my other favorite thing- the program teaches about tools and methodology so that each student can think critically about the ideas and come to their own understanding.
  7. Doing research improves clinical work, and vice versa. I can’t imagine just doing one or the other- research and clinical work are so innately tied up for me. My master’s thesis taught me how to develop and evaluate assessments. Learning how to norm assessments by hand have made it infinitely easier to read journal articles. I constantly consider what I have read and learned- in articles, manuals, supervision, and so on –in clinical interactions and in my research. They are not nearly as separate as sometimes described.
  8. Methods are actually super awesome. I thought they might be boring in college- I didn’t do clinical research then –but my opinion has vastly changed. Methods- the assessments, the techniques, the measures, the procedures, etc. –can be the greatest, most interesting part of research. It can make or break a study, and it sets up the purpose of the study- what are you interested in? How do you want to apply it? It’s all in the methods. And sometimes the simplest things can get you the furthest. (Doing an IRB is still boring).  
  9. You get just enough rope in grad school. We’re given a lot of responsibilities, usually spread across multiple areas (classes, research, clinical work, administration, advocacy). We get lots of independence, and we’re expected to be able to handle everything with minimal supervision. But- there is supervision. This is great, because if we’re having an issue or need help with something, there’s usually a supervisor or another student who can help. However, sometimes students decide to take advantage and do as little as possible because they believe no one will notice. This is not true.
  10. You don’t need to walk out with all the answers. (If “all the answers” were a thing that existed). Grad school is so much more about discovering possibilities, developing a skill set, and translating that into a program a research and other work you want to continue to develop. It is not the end- it is the beginning. So you don’t have to leave knowing everything about psychology, or knowing exactly what you want to do with the rest of your career. You just need to know what excites you, what your strengths are, what you still want and need to work on, and what the first step is. 
Marcophillia Idea: The Body Improvement Clinic

Author’s Note: Sorry for taking so long you guys. Work’s been cracking down hard on me :(

This Idea ties in with Taller and some of the other ideas I release here if you look closely enough.


In the woods beyond the outskirts of a city exists a clinic run by an eccentric millionaire. Doctor Henry is a miracle worker and a mad scientist who specialises in ‘fixing’ the bodies and minds of people with his various inventions. Nobody knows why he does it but he’ll usually be happy to help for a very large sum of money. Certain celebrities and the Elite flock to this place for their surgeries and treatments but not the kind that you’d be expecting.  There are several rooms in the clinic but none for proper surgeries, each has different gadgets and items right out of science fiction ranging from exotic oils, lotions and unknown chemicals, syringes, hot tubs and massage tables and a heatbox. It’s no a spa but it might as well be one. One of the rooms even has a gigantic laser in it for god knows why.

Despite all his miracles however, he oddly enough doesn’t have a lot of customers and very few people know of his existence. Those that are lucky enough tend to know him by touching a weird blue stone and then passing it onto another for you see, Henry exists in many different universes, bending the laws of space time to alter humans both consensually and non-consensually. It’s all very complex.

You are introduced to his clinic from a dear friend and walk into clinic’s the iron doors to see the Doctor himself sitting at the counter. There are no staff or any other patients in the building save for him and yet you hear things moving about and voices in the corridors.

Dr Henry is a handsome and charming man in his late 30s with black hair that frames a perfectly chiselled face. He looks more like an athlete than a scientist and there’s an air that there’s something not quite human about this doctor. As you enter, he speaks and his voice is smooth like butter and nearly hypnotic. He asks what you desire? You’re almost tempted to say you want him. You aren’t sure how tall he is but even when sitting down, you can tell that he looks unnaturally large for a human being but is aesthetically beautiful all around. He grins, a megawatt smile beaming at you, his next patient, and hands you a paper with different options, different choices as to how you want your body to be altered. The list goes like this:

1.  Full and Proportional Body Modification (height/muscle/other)
2.  Partial body modification (Biceps, Legs, Chest) (Others/Please Specify):_________
3.  Removal of Diseases (Please Specify):_________
4.  Psychotherapy/Hypnosis sessions to induce change within mind.
5.  Facial reconstruction

He tells you that you can mix or match some of the options and that the changes are usually painless and few involve the use of needles or surgical procedures and also gives you a warning: Once the surgery/treatment is done, there’s a chance that your life will literally change. People will always remember things differently and information about you might be replaced. Basically, whatever changes he makes to you will result in a change in the universe.

So now, he asks you again, What are you here for? What do you wish to change about yourself?

Laboratory in a Needle Promises Rapid Diagnosis

by Peter Gwynne, Inside Science

Researchers in the U.S. and Singapore have designed a miniature chemistry laboratory inside a needle that could yield almost instantaneous results from routine laboratory tests, potentially accelerating the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.

The prototype device, created by miniaturizing existing “lab on a chip” technology, has shown its capability in studies of mice with liver toxicity, a common side effect of cancer chemotherapy in humans.

“It really integrates the whole laboratory process in one testing without any human in between,” said Stephen Wong of Houston Methodist Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medical Center, who created the idea for the new technology.

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Test could predict whether breast cancer will spread to the brain

Women with particularly aggressive forms of breast cancer could be identified by a test that predicts whether the disease is likely to spread to the brain.

An analysis of almost 4,000 patients with breast cancer found that testing for high activity in a particular gene called alpha beta (αB)-crystallin could pick out women who were at greater risk of developing secondary brain tumours compared to women who tested negative.

A team including scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found that women whose breast cancer had begun to spread and who tested positive in the αB-crystallin test were three times more likely to have disease that spread to the brain than those who tested negative.

The international research effort also included researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the BC Cancer Agency, Canada.

The study was published in the journal npj Breast Cancer and funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the US National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Women can live for years with breast cancer that has begun to spread around the body – but the exception is spread to the brain, which usually indicates a woman is in her last few months of life.

In the study, the researchers analysed 969 breast cancer tumours which ultimately spread, or metastasised, to new sites in the body, from a database of almost 4,000 breast cancers from the BC Cancer Agency. 141 had spread first to the brain.

Some 127 scored positive for αB-crystallin, and 842 negative – with those testing positive three times more likely to have spread first to the brain.

In a further analysis of all 4,000 cases, αB-crystallin was also linked with a significantly higher risk of death – with 36 per cent of women with αB-crystallin positive cancer, compared to 25 per cent with αB-crystallin negative, dying within ten years of diagnosis.

Study co-leader Dr Maggie Cheang, Senior Staff Scientist at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:

“Spread of breast cancer to the brain is unfortunately very dangerous, and usually leads to death within months. It’s important to find new ways to identify women who are most at risk of their cancer spreading to the brain, so that doctors can work out which women might need more intensive or new treatments to try to keep their cancer at bay for longer.

“Our study linked a positive score in this test with quicker spread to the brain, and importantly showed the factor we were measuring is providing information on patient outcome independently of other biomarkers already measured in the clinic.

“The test needs further development before it will be ready for routine clinical use, but ultimately the first use of this type of test could be to identify opportunities for women with advanced specific types of breast cancer – such as triple negative – to enter clinical trials of new treatments.”

Canada study leader Professor Torsten Nielsen, Pathologist at the BC Cancer Agency, said:

“It has taken us years to assemble the clinical outcome database and tissue samples, generate the immunohistochemical biomarkers, gene expression profiles and analyse the data for this study – and we were delighted to find a definite link between alpha beta crystallin and breast cancer progression, which we hope will ultimately improve clinical outcomes.

“Our study also definitely demonstrates the importance of team science to deliver a study involving international collaborations”.

Robotics gloves develop to give stroke patients therapy at home.

A team of European researchers have been developing robotic gloves aimed at helping stroke victims to receive advanced therapy at home. The SCRIPT project (Supervised Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics) has led to two prototypes that help develop hand and wrist movement while recording monitoring and recording the patient’s ability to perform a variety of tasks.
The system is designed to allow patients to continue receiving therapy at home once in-clinic rehab sessions are over. The hope is that well targeted therapy in the comfort of the home will lead to meaningful improvements in patients that may otherwise plateau in their motor ability.
Dr Farshid Amirabdollahian, a senior lecturer in adaptive systems at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Computer Science who co-ordinated the project, said: “This project focused on therapies for stroke patients at home. Our goal was to make motivating therapies available to people to practise at home using this system, hoping that they have a vested interest to practise and will do so. We tried this system with 30 patients and found that patients indeed practised at home, on average around 100 minutes each week, and some showed clinical improvements in their hand and arm function.”

SCP Constructive Criticism Stuff

Now, I love SCP, don’t get me wrong, but the more I’ve grown and the more I’ve read the site the more i’ve noticed some downright nasty stuff, namely a masked but huge amount of misogyny, cissexism, and ableism. It’s true that a lot of the stuff like usage of colloquial slurs in tales or dialogue for “character” or pathologizing slurs for “clinical tone” in articles are from several years ago in the heyday of 4chan and somethingawful forums and the blissful ignorance of practically any semblance of sj, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are very much unnecessary in the here and now and could be easily edited out or changed with negligible impact to the articles and tales. In fact, it would definitely improve the clinical tone (as all of these pathologizing slurs are both obsolete and frequently officially discontinued as well), and the character (as the colloquial slurs serve to do nothing more than feed into a faux-macho complex inundating a huge amount of the tales/interviews/etc that goes from edgy to tiresome very quickly)

What gets a lot harder to address is the fact that there are quite a few SCPs who’s very premises are based in misogyny (like 50% of the female humanoid scps), cissexism (all of the SCPs that depend to a ludicrous degree on a pseudoscientific and inaccurate rigid binary of gendered “biological sex”, which is also often used in a misogynistic fashion), ableism (too many disability/mental illness creepypasta to count), and even straight up misogynistic pedophilic fetish fantasy bullshit (i.e. the Teenage Succubus, which just….yikes)

A lot of it is just moreso disappointing, cuz like…i’ve interacted with some of the admins and staff on here, i’ve seen the stuff that they say and reblog and they are definitely not bad people. And I am fully aware that it’s a collaborative project that anyone can write for, but that doesn’t mean that quality controls (which do exist and are quite good from what i can see) should not extend to putting a leash on the more insensitive and gross elements of the otherwise fantastic SCP site.

Experimental Drug That May Repair Nerve Damage in MS Moves Forward

A new study suggests that an investigational drug for multiple sclerosis (MS) may repair myelin, the fatty material that protects nerves and is damaged in MS, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, April 18 to 25, 2015.

“This study, for the first time, provides biological evidence of repair of damaged myelin in the human brain, and advances the field of neuro-reparative therapies,” said study lead author Diego Cadavid, MD, with Biogen in Cambridge, Mass., and a fellow with the American Academy of Neurology.

The Phase 2 study involved 82 people who had their first incident of acute optic neuritis, a disease that typically affects one eye and is characterized by inflammation, damage to the nerve fibers and loss of myelin within the optic nerve. It is estimated that about half of people with optic neuritis will later develop multiple sclerosis.

All participants were treated with high dose steroids and then randomly selected with equal probability to receive either the experimental antibody, called anti-LINGO-1, or a placebo once every four weeks, for a total of six doses. Participants were then assessed every four weeks for six months and a final visit at eight months. The drug’s effectiveness in repairing myelin was evaluated by comparing the recovery of the optic nerve latency in the damaged eye at six and eight months to the normal unaffected eye at the start of the study.  

The main finding of the study focused on the latency of the visual evoked potential (VEP), a test that measures the visual system’s ability to conduct electrical signals between the retina and the brain. The results showed that people treated with the experimental drug and who did not miss more than one dose (per protocol population) had significantly improved conduction as measured by latency recovery compared to people who received the placebo. At six months, those who received the drug improved on average by 7.55 milliseconds, or 34 percent, compared to placebo. The effect continued to eight months with an average improvement of 9.13 milliseconds or 41 percent over placebo.

In addition, the percentage of subjects whose VEP latency in the affected eye recovered to normal or nearly normal (within 10 percent of the normal eye) more than doubled, from 26 percent on placebo to 53 percent on the drug.

A substudy using an exploratory method of measuring latency called multifocal VEP revealed similar treatment effects.  

“More studies are needed to evaluate whether these changes lead to clinical improvement,” said Cadavid.

A second study of anti-LINGO-1 in people with multiple sclerosis is ongoing.

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Anders groans, covering his eyes and leaning back in his chair. The furniture in the Hawke Estate is infinitely more comfortable than the wobbly stool and desk Anders is used to from his Clinic, an improvement that is, currently, actively working against him, the soft plush of the armchair tempting him into closing his eyes. Just for a few moments… but no, he shouldn’t.

He can hear Hawke snoring in the corner. Anders feels a little bad about that - he’d told his lover, repeatedly, to turn in without him, but Hawke had insisted they weren’t tired, at least up until the point when they’d slumped over entirely, book in hand.

The whole thing, really, is utterly surreal. Not even a month ago, Anders had been writing in a cluttered, dingy Clinic, jumping at the slightest noise and working until he finally passed out on one of the nearby cots or, more frequently, his desk itself. And now, his biggest concern is that his space is too nice for him to work himself to exhaustion, that the chair is too soft, the fire too warm, the light snoring of his lover too loud.

It’s a good problem to have. More mages should have a chance at problems like this.

Oh, that’s a good thought, he should - he should do something with that, he thinks, work it into the newest draft. The unalienable right of every man to - something about falling asleep in a lover’s arms, maybe? Maybe he’ll just… rest his eyes… and think on that.

He wakes up with a blanket draped over his shoulders, ink smudged across his face, and a plate of cold toast and jam waiting on the table next to him. Yes, he thinks blearily, these are very, very good problems to have.

~The Handers Fairy

oh my makeR THANK YOU So much for this ficlet friend<3<3<3<3 it’s so sweet and lovely<3 what a perfect way to start my day! thank you again you made me happy!<3<3<3

Art goals 2016

I had a good harsh crit today and it really helped me identify the core issues in my art. I think that posting them here will help me overcome them. It’s going to take me a while but at least I have a sort of action plan!

1) Improve my work process - I jump into work too quickly. I’ll do a painting straight away instead of starting with developmental sketches and thumbnails.Then I’ll go back and try and fill in the gaps. This is illogical and ineffective.

2) Work on my knowledge of values - My black and white work sucks. My knowledge of lighting, particularly in black and white is really bad, so I need to spend a lot of time doing still life’s, value studies and master studies. This will help inform my paintings and make my colour work seem less flat and jumbled up.

3) Improve painting style - Although messy painting can look all arty and grand it can distract from key elements of the composition and make shapes look messy and muddled. I typically use it as an excuse to make paintings look fancier whilst distracting from the fact that they have little substance. I want to neaten up my style, but not get clinical.

4) Improve weak character design skills - I can life draw fairly well but when I design characters my limited knowledge of anatomy and skeletal structure flies out of the window. I fake a lot of my character designs with flashy painting but the substance isn’t there. I am taking a character design workshop tomorrow so hopefully this will help me start!

Placebo effects - more than meets the eye?

In 2010, researchers carried out a study in which a group of patients with Parkinson’s disease were given a pill and told that they had a 75% chance of receiving levodopa, a drug that increases dopamine levels in the brain, and a 25% chance of receiving placebo. Brain imaging revealed that dopamine release occurred and tests showed motor function improved. But the researchers did not give the patients levodopa. In fact, they all received a placebo. Extraordinarily, simply telling the patients that they were likely to receive the drug led to dopamine release[1].

Ted Kaptchuk, a placebo researcher at Harvard Medical School and director of the world’s first interdisciplinary research centre for placebo studies, the Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, Boston, Massachusetts, likens healthcare to a ‘drama’, with the placebo effect a central player. “That drama involves cues and environmental and contextual factors such as [medical] paraphernalia, pills, symbols and the interaction with the doctor, which involves a lot of emotional support, attention, empathy and compassion,” he explains. “All those things merge, triggering brain mechanisms of expectation and potentially contribut[ing] to a placebo effect.”

Placebo responses appear to arise from several brain mechanisms and neurochemical pathways. Conscious and subconscious psychological mechanisms, such as expectation and conditioning, both play a crucial role. And it is now becoming evident that a network of genes may influence whether and how people respond to a placebo — a finding that could potentially transform patient care and clinical trial design.

Damien Finniss, a researcher at the University of Sydney’s Pain Management Research Institute, acknowledges the complexity of the placebo effect, and suggests that we should think about it in terms of many different phenomena, rather than one. He adds that you do not have to give a placebo to obtain a placebo effect; it is part and parcel of routine clinical care.

The term ‘placebo’ is traditionally used to describe inert agents such as sugar pills or saline injections (pure placebos). But it is also employed for agents that contain an active ingredient that is not recommended for the condition being treated, for example, giving antibiotics for a viral infection (impure placebos).

The placebo effect, while powerful, does have limitations. Yes, it can produce clinical benefits in conditions in which the central nervous system is involved, such as pain or anxiety, but it cannot stop disease processes, such as tumour growth.

Neurobiological mechanisms

The best understood example of the placebo effect is in the reduction of pain. Research suggests that this effect results from distinct neurobiological changes in pain pathways, rather than ‘report bias’ — wholesale alterations in the subjective perception of pain2. For example, blood flow measurements with positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have revealed that placebo analgesic responses are accompanied by reduced neural activity in specific pain-processing areas of the brain and spinal cord[2].

In 1978, Jon Levine and colleagues from the University of California at San Francisco reported a study in which patients were given either a placebo or naloxone, which has no pain relief effect but blocks opioid receptors, after dental surgery. Those who were given naloxone reported significantly more pain than those on placebo, suggesting that endogenously released opioids play a part in pain reduction from the placebo effect[3]. Subsequent studies confirmed that placebo analgesia is, at least partly, mediated by the endogenous opioidergic system through the activation of the μ-subtype of opioid receptors[2].

Placebo responses may also be able to tap into dopamine-mediated reward pathways. In a landmark American study using a special type of PET scanning that enables researchers to look specifically at dopamine in the brain, University of Michigan researchers demonstrated that when pain is anticipated, placebo administration is accompanied by dopamine release in a ‘reward area’: the nucleus accumbens[4]. The more participants expected a benefit from the placebo, the more they experienced pain relief.

In the same study, analyses of fMRI data showed that dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens also occurred during anticipation of a monetary reward, and that this was proportional to placebo-induced dopamine release[4]. It is possible that the more excitable your reward pathways are, the more you are likely to enjoy a placebo effect.

More recently, a team at the University of Turin, Italy, investigated whether cannabinoids can be involved in placebo analgesic effects. They gave participants a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), before a pain challenge on consecutive days. Once the participants were pharmacologically conditioned to expect pain relief, they replaced the drug with a placebo. The resultant placebo response could be reversed by the cannabinoid 1 receptor antagonist, rimonabant, suggesting that endogenous release of cannabinoids may contribute to some instances of placebo analgesia[5].

Expectation and conditioning

The placebo effect is not limited to pain relief. Research on motor control disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease, has shown that it can work there, too. Significant improvements in Parkinson’s disease symptoms, and concomitant increases in dopaminergic neurotransmission in the area of the brain affected by the disorder, the striatum, have been observed after patients were given a placebo they thought was an anti-Parkinsonian agent[6].

Furthermore, as shown by the 2010 study in which Parkinson’s disease sufferers were told what their likelihood was of getting levodopa, patients’ expectation of a reward — a clinical improvement in this case — affects dopamine release in the striatum. In the PET study, led by Jon Stoessl, who directs the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre in Vancouver, Canada, patients were told that they had either a 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% chance of receiving the active drug. Although they were all given a placebo, only those who believed they had a 75% probability of getting levodopa showed significant dopamine release and symptom improvement[1]. This is in keeping with studies on conditioned learning, which show dopamine release when reward is likely but not certain. Whether a patient had previously had a good response to levodopa treatment was also a major contributor to dopamine release, which is consistent with pre-conditioning[1].

Repeated association between a real drug and a response can lead to a conditioning, or learning, process, whereby the act of taking a drug, even a placebo, can lead to a biological response

Many cues can feed into the placebo effect, both conscious and subconscious. Even the size, colour and branding of a placebo pill can affect whether or not a person will experience a response. But not all contributing factors have been identified. Similarly, it is not clear what can influence the magnitude of the placebo response.

Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal