Concussions do not cause CTE

I’m going to watch the Will Smith movie tonight. The gist of it would be this: a bunch of NFL veterans have serious neurological complications to their time in the league. And apparently they can link that directly to the concussions they experienced on the field. There was a billion dollar settlement, with 20,000 former players. 

I call bullshit.

What else do we know about people in the NFL? They are massive, and bigger than ever. Here’s some size information.  What does every player do when they get out of the league? They start looking at life in a new way and decide that they need to get healthier so they can live longer. Here are fifteen examples.  So if we can correlate exiting the NFL to massive weight loss, can they prove that the new symptoms in the former players is because of their head trauma and not because of their massive weight loss.

Because I can tell you from experience that massive weight loss can lead to depression. And assuming that the majority of these players were happy whenever they entered the league, and while they were playing, how can we attribute their sudden change to their concussive blows?

I had to do some research on CTE, and there were some pretty interesting findings. Worth noting: Previously, CTE had been associated with boxing and was called dementia pugilistica or “punch-drunk syndrome”. The risk of CTE in boxers seems most closely tied to the number of rounds boxed, not to the number of times a boxer was knocked out, suggesting that even repeated blows to the head that don’t cause unconsciousness may increase CTE risk. [Source: alz.org]

In general, there is no treatment, and no cure. And we really don’t know all that much about it. But we seem to think that it’s somehow tied to blows to the head. Here’s a great read about the NFL Hall of Famer Mike Webster and how he changed we look at concussions and injury protocol in the NFL and other contact sports.

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I can’t find his exact weight, but “Iron Mike” was 255 pounds when he played and a shell of that in the years following. I want to be very clear here: I am not saying that repeating head injury does not cause trauma, but I do not think it’s the whole story. One of the most relatable portions of his story was his drive. The guy would not stop. He was training on vacation. He was the first to practice and the last to leave. Everyone was impressed with his will and his drive. I can relate to that. I played tennis around the clock for the past two or three years. I know what the fire is like to be a man on a mission. What if that is one of the qualities that breaks us? When you remove all of what we know? What do we become?

Here are the people that get CTE:

Source of head impacts
Boxers Punches to the head
Tackle football players Hits to the helmet
Soccer players Headers and collisions
Ice hockey players Fighting, checking
Military veterans Blast injuries, combat
Victims of domestic abuse Repeated violence

I think of the brain as a very resilient machine, and I have a hard time believing that these disorders would remain dormant for so long. These football players sometimes played 20 years [if you count high school and college] before retiring. And they just seem to show symptoms later in life.

So if we are completely missing the point and the new helmets and protocols don’t work? At some point, we’ll realize that the problem is not with the hits. The problem is the lifestyle, body, and mind transformation that the players go through after they exit the league.

In this NY Times article, they analyzed over 200 former NFL players, and 111 had CTE. Most noteworthy was that 44 were linemen. The number is twice as much as the other positions. And you think about it, lineman really don’t get hit in the head more often, do they? If CTE was impact related, wouldn’t the running backs or linebackers have a higher percentage?

If you’re still reading, here’s your conclusion. We’re missing the point. The brain is a resilient machine. It’s when you try to reprogram it that things start to go haywire. Concussive blows are not the only variable at play here. New helmets will not eliminate CTE, because concussive blows are not the underlying cause.

Edit: I watched the movie. It’s definitely worth a watch. Also, I came across Ryan Freel, the first Major League Baseball player diagnosed with CTE. He committed suicide on December 22nd, 2012. Read the article, and make your own judgments. They tallied up his concussions after his death: 10. What they don’t emphasize is that he was ADHD, bipolar, depressed, and on a host of brain altering drugs. 

 

My doctor looks old

Here’s something to consider: if doctors have mastered their form and know everything there is to know about the human body, why do they look like crap? Respectfully, I’d rather Lebron James tell me not to eat meat than a 5’7″ overweight white guy who looks 20 years older than he is. How many years did you go to school to learn about how the human body works? Did you learn a lot? If so, why are you aging so quickly?

Just because your mom or your doctor think that’s what you need to do, doesn’t mean that’s what you have to do. Think critically and listen to your body. You only get one go at this, and medicine is completely reactive. We truly have no idea what’s going on.

 

How to age like white people

If you don’t like sarcasm, go read anything else I’ve written.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here. We’re really on to something. For those on the outside looking in, here’s what you need to do to catch up.

Starve Yourself. Just eat less. Or don’t eat at all. Who care’s if you were born to be 250 pounds? Humans have survived worse. Just as long as you can stand on the scale and feel good about yourself.

Drink Coffee. This is super helpful when you’re trying to starve yourself. It really kills the appetite and gives you that burst of energy that you used to have all the time when you were whole.

Get glasses. In the stress of starving yourself, you’re going to start to feel different. Your vision may start to blur. Glasses can help alleviate this annoyance and get you back to what’s important: getting as thin as humanly possible.

Workout when you don’t feel like it. Earn your gold stars. Outwork your friends. That’s what it’s all about. Looking good naked. Win the race to the grave.

Ignore your body. Don’t worry about how sore you are, or how much your stomach is growling after that big salad you just ate. Just keep plugging away. Maybe your headache will go away. You can always just go get coffee in a couple hours.

Get depressed. As you starve yourself with the aid of glasses and exercise, this should be easy. Just go with it. You’ll hate every minute of every day.

Take Meds. Since you can’t figure out what went wrong, and you can’t go five minutes without flipping someone off, go talk to someone. Get them to give you pills. That’s what you need: one more variable to sort out.

That should be enough to get you started. If you don’t start seeing results in 30 days, you’re doing something wrong.

 

Genetics doesn’t explain everything

Nature vs. Nurture. The age old debate. In the past couple centuries,  geneticists came around and proved that our DNA has a lot to do with how we end up. Here’s my theory, we need to take it back a little bit. We control a lot more about our lives than you ever thought possible.

If we control our brains, and our brains control our vision, and our body, and how fast we age. Then we we play a huge role in our own development. I think it goes much deeper than that too. Think about all the mental disorders that aren’t genetic. They don’t just fall out of the sky. We need to stop forcing the genetic model on diseases when it doesn’t fit. “Potentially recessive genetic predisposition” or “partial genetic component” should cue you in. Perhaps if they aren’t pre-programmed into your being, then they are learned. Just because we don’t know how they are learned, doesn’t mean that they aren’t.

Nurture.

I’m not saying that if you top out at 150 pounds you could be an NFL running back, but I’m not ruling it out. Don’t let science get in the way of what you want to do. We have no clue how the brain works, so don’t base your life around it.

Proving Intelligent Design

I’m sure this has been done before, but it’s my turn.

So…you’ve accepted the fact that William Bates, Jake Steiner, or whoever else was on to something. You believe me that your vision is fine, or maybe you’ve looked into it and already started working on your own vision. Regardless, if you don’t accept that premise, stop here. [Start with Don’t Read this Post First or How to see better today]

If you can accept it for a moment, even hypothetically, please continue. So if everyone’s vision is fine, but everyone’s eyes are really just holes in their face, what does that mean? It means that all of our brains are fine. More than fine. They are perfect.

When you notice that your mind at rest sees, and feel it for yourself, you will start to understand what I’m talking about. So if your mind is perfect, and it sees best when you are relaxed and happy, you were designed to be happy. It is your ground state. This is not a huge leap of logic. We know in physics that nature loves the path of least resistance. Well the path of least resistance for you is happiness and peace. Sight is really just a symptom, but I harp on it because it is the key to it all. It unravels the secrets of the universe.

Next: If you were designed to see and to be at peace and happy, there must have been a Designer. We were all given the same chance. The same hardware. It’s our choice what to do with it.

We create all of our own misery. You were perfectly programmed to be perfectly happy. Just think about your childhood. What’s happened to you in between then and now is your doing. You’re the only one that can set the clock back. You’re the only one to blame. Not the circumstances. Not the environment. Take your life back. Take back your mind. Use what was given to you and do what you were designed to do: be happy.

 

 

There is only one [brain] disease

I don’t know what to call it yet. But give me a chance to explain.

Here are the symptoms:

  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive behavior
  • fear
  • loss of eyesight
  • tiredness [poor sleep]
  • aging
  • anxiety
Mood
  • apathy
  • general discontent
  • guilt
  • hopelessness
  • loss of interest
  • mood swings
  • sadness
Sleep
  • early awakening
  • excess sleepiness
  • insomnia
  • restless sleep
Whole body
  • excessive hunger
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • restlessness
Behavioral
  •  agitation
  • excessive crying
  • irritability
  • social isolation
Cognitive
  • lack of concentration
  • slowness in activity
  • thoughts of suicide
Weight
  • weight gain
  • weight loss

 

Treatment:

  • Caffeine
  • Glasses
  • SSRIS
  • Stimulants
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Alcohol

Each of these loses their effect over time in the same manner. As the mind develops resistances or weaknesses, depending on how you look at it, it becomes dependent on these drugs [and devices] as their strengths need to gradually increase as the patient’s mind weakens.

Cure:

No known cures at this point. The disease typically progresses as the subject ages. The mind and the body begin to break down. The subject eventually dies of “natural causes.”

So how can I possibly lump all this together? We were all given the most perfect and complex machines to run our bodies, and some of us need to re-calibrate, or even need to relearn how to use them. Our computers catch these loops, and latch on to our treatments, and we can start downward spirals that end up killing us, sooner or later.

Your eyes are the way in. They can change your mind. They are your treatment. You brain is perfectly capable of doing everything that you need it to on its own. Your fears are slowing it down. Fears about the present, the past, or the future. Maybe your dysfunction has the same name as mine, or maybe not.

You were made for happiness. Your mind is a perfect tool that you need to relearn how to use. Fix your vision and fix your mind.

 

Dyslexia and ADHD

So if you’ve bought in to my only real assumption, which I’ve proven to myself and done my best to prove to you, you accept the fact that vision is in the mind, and we can reprogram the mind to operate completely differently.

If we can retrain our minds to process the visual signals properly, so we can see, what does that mean about dyslexia? Can we retrain their minds to learn properly? I think the answer is yes. I’m not saying that there is not a tangible thing that makes or made them this way, but what I’m saying is, I think it’s curable. And the fact that I can see proves that.

I plan on working with some dyslexic students with no background and seeing if I can help them at all. My thought is that their suffering is similar to mine, and I think the solution may be simple.

Some beginning hypotheses:

The material that reading bores them. As we’ve talked about before [if not we should have], boredom is another quality that causes eye and mind strain. I’d guess that if reading is boring or the topic that they’re reading about is boring then they won’t be able to focus on it.

The act of reading or writing stresses them out. They’ve had little or no success reading or writing in the past, so they associate it with a negative past experience. Maybe they got a bad grade or embarrassed, and started to draw a mental block, and basically lock up at the thought of their native language.

But that can’t possibly be the whole story.

Here’s a fun correlation: my mom said that most of the kids at the dyslexia school where she teaches have ADHD. So I started looking into what medicines we give kids with ADHD. Here’s what I found. 

Since you probably aren’t going to click that, read this:

Drug Name
Generic
Duration
Dextroamphetamine Sulf-Saccharate
4-6 hours
Dextroamphetamine Sulfate
4-6 hours
Dexmethylphenidate HCL
4-6 hours
Methylphenidate HCL
3-4 hours
Methylphenidate HCL
3-4 hours

Intermediate and Long-Acting Stimulants

Side effects of these medications include loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, and tics. Long-acting medicines may have greater effects on appetite and sleep.The FDA has issued a warning about the risk of drug abuse with amphetamine stimulants. FDA safety advisors are also concerned about the possibility that all amphetamine and methylphenidate stimulants used for ADHD may increase the risk of heart and psychiatric problems.

In short, we have a litany of different drugs we can give you to screw up your kids mind before they even have a chance. So we are trapping kids in a new way to the same path of destruction, depression, and crazy.

So here’s what I’m saying, what if our treatment for ADHD alters the minds of our kids just enough to make it hard for them to learn. Call it what you want. But give it some thought. Your kid’s well being depends on it.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

I know that these are very serious conditions, and I mean no disrespect to anyone who’s either battling these or other neurological diseases, or their families or friends. What’s important here though is to look at these diseases from a broader perspective, and perhaps see things from a different point of view.  I only want to help.

Yeah. I lumped them together. Why? Keep reading.

Here’s what we know:

  • Old people get it
  • There are no cures
  • They seem to lose their minds
  • They do not sleep well
  • Diet and Exercise may help
  • Early life Depression has a strong correlation
  • A bunch of fun medical terms I choose to ignore.
  • They are not genetic.

Hypothesis, it’s either us prolonging the life of someone who is essentially brain dead, or they have fried their brain on a system that we’ve discussed previously. They have so many brain problems treated by medications with so many side effects, vision problems, that this one is going to be hard to parse through. What I’m starting to think now is that we have a fancy name for a lot of different diseases, but what sets this apart from dementia?

In reading about both of these diseases, they have several progressive stages of each disease. Worth noting, is that medicine and research have no absolute timeline in either disease. “Some cases progress from stage one to two in months, and some take years.” “Each person experiences these stages differently. ” What this means to me is that we have no idea about either one of these diseases, we only treat symptoms.

The premise is easy though: our minds are perfect, because our eyes are perfect. We create our own misery.

So if this is true, and we know what causes aging and how to prevent it, what does it matter what different flavors we have of losing your mind. We so many different neurological diseases, perhaps a broader view grouping symptoms and diseases together will help us gain some ground. I read somewhere that some of these diseases are practically indistinguishable. Maybe it’s a mixture of meds on a mind weaker with age and refractive error. If we can reverse refractive error, we can save the mind from itself and help it find its preferred resting place: peace.

So guess what: we’re never going to find a “cure” for these illnesses. The only true solution lies within.

Source: http://theconversation.com/what-causes-alzheimers-disease-what-we-know-dont-know-and-suspect-75847

Eye Twitches

I’m sure you’ve seen one of your friend or coworkers struggle with a twitchy eye. I’m sure you’ve struggled with one at least once or twice before. Actually, if you’re reading this, chances are great that you have some refraction errors, some I’m guessing you’ve had more than just a little eye twitching over the years.

Here are some reasons that we say that your eyes twitch:

Wow. Those all seem like negative things. They all seem like things that we’ve either discussed before or will in the future. All of these things effect your vision and your brain. Whatever is causing your your eye twitch, stop it. It’s not good for your brain.

Consider this for a moment. When were you your happiest? Have you ever seen a kid stressed out, smoking, or with alcohol or caffeine problems? Of course not. If you’re like me, you had a happy childhood. You were pretty carefree and never had to deal with much stress, fatigue, medication and definitely not glasses. So what changed? What would you have to change to find your true self, the past you that was perfect?

If all of these items affect your vision and your brain, how deep does our cycle go. If my sleep and caffeine intake and Zoloft affect my vision, but my vision gradually gets worse, and my SSRIs lose their effect over time, what is happening? This is what they call in the medical profession as aging, but really you’re stuck in a cycle of misery. There is a way out: the entry point is the eyes.

The Nerd

Enter the nerd. Five foot eight, rail thin, with braces, and coke-bottle lenses. He’s as awkward as they come. He looks as smart as he is unathletic. He talks nasally and seems to constantly struggle with the sniffles. He looks at home behind his laptop, but may never carry on a conversation with a real woman. His hand has a callous from his grip on his inhaler. He wouldn’t be caught dead on a dance floor.

I get to say these things, because I’ve been there. Look at this guy [insert picture eventually]. I know what every bit of that feels like. My only saving grace is that I always had a knack for sports. You name it, I could play it, and well for the most part. And I never had an inhaler.

What if this is all preventable? What if nerdom is a choice? I say choice. The guy was doomed from the moment he sat in with the optometrist. adult-beard-boy-220453.jpg

He’s probably underweight, and battling with anxiety, not caused by, but certainly not helped by his corrective lenses. The level of anxiety is essentially trapped from that moment onward, because if he relaxes from that point onward, he will not be able to focus in his lenses. You can go ahead and call these “quirks” of his personality. He wasn’t born like this. He wasn’t meant to be like this. He was meant to be calm. He was mean to be happy. 

Don’t mistake this as me saying that I think every skinny white kid could play in the NBA. Because I’m not. What I am saying though, is that there is an optimal self, some sort of athlete, in there somewhere.

If you haven’t found it yet, it’s not too late.