/** * Disable Admin Notification of User Password Change * * @see pluggable.php */ if ( ! function_exists( 'wp_password_change_notification' ) ) { function wp_password_change_notification( $user ) { return; } }

Thinking Outside the Box : the Corona Virus

 

As I watched the news this morning leading researchers covered the spread and recent findings from the Coronavirus.  They mentioned how this virus causes a mild to moderate flu-like symptoms for those who are middle-aged and younger.  However, for the elderly or immune-compromised cases, there was a more often worse prognosis with the Coronavirus, as the progression of infection would result in consolidation bilaterally in the lower lobe of the lungs.  

COVID-19 pneumonia in Korea primarily manifested as pure to mixed ground-glass opacities with a patchy to confluent or nodular shape in the bilateral peripheral posterior lungs. A considerable proportion of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia had normal chest radiographs.1

The peripheral and posterior lung fields were involved in 78% and 67% of the lesions, respectively. The lesions were typically ill-defined and were composed of mixed ground-glass opacities and consolidation or pure ground-glass opacities. Patchy to confluent lesions were primarily distributed in the lower lobes2

 

This seemingly consistent manifestation made me recall from my earlier studies, how after having an infection with the bacteria of tuberculosis, any reactivation of tuberculosis seems to reoccur with nodules developing in the upper lobes of the lungs.  This reactivation of tuberculosis seems to occur in the upper regions because there’s a 20% higher oxygen level in the upper lobes compared to the more vascular lower regions. Tuberculosis favors oxygen to evolve.

Coronavirus Consolidation

 

Reactivation of Tuberculosis

 

It is noteworthy that the elderly and disabled patients tend to be most at risk of death from this infection with the Coronavirus.  Outside of a depressed immune response to infection, there may be another relationship when considering the available air space with age.  

Most of the people with severe illness are older or have preexisting conditions, according to the WHO. Overall, cases in children have been rare, researchers report February 5 in JAMA.3

As we get older, our lung capacity and airway exchange tend to decrease.  This would, in theory, make for a more viable source of selection and prevalence for the elderly as well.  Further, younger patients having a more optimal expansion of the lungs could restrict the environment for infection.   Without a compromise of the airway, or preexisting pulmonary problems a healthy and capable expansion of the lungs may help in resistance from the Coronavirus

 

Given that the lower oxygen capacity from age-related lung conditions, this may allow the Coronavirus to more effectively take foot and embed itself in lower lung areas that have around 20% less oxygen levels.   I decided to explore this possibility through a cross-study to find what conditions could potentially deactivate the outer membrane of the Coronavirus. One study I found reported that the metal, Copper does seem effective in compromising the outer membrane of this virus.  

Inactivation of coronavirus on copper and copper alloy surfaces results in fragmentation of the viral genome, ensuring that inactivation is irreversible.4

 

Here, Copper seems to promote an increase of the superoxide reactivity, just like one would see in the host defense of our white cells.   It would seem to follow that an increase in airway capacity may provide less footing for the Coronavirus as well as hinder the growth and extension of spread by interfering with the outer membrane. It does seem reasonable that the use of some sort of common oxygen radical or superoxide promoter may prove beneficial in defense against this infection.  In absence of any other element recommended for prevention, Zinc, a metal used in lozenges, teas and medicinal drinks has been shown to limit the spread of infectious particles and limit the length of viral common colds. This is one of the main ingredients of over the counter medicines like Emergen-C and Air-borne. It makes me wonder if the liberal use of such supplements may prove helpful in limited the effects of the Coronavirus as well.  

 

Airborne OTC Supplements

 

I hope this may prove useful to my readers.  Stay healthy and please be mindful of thorough hand-washing. 

Greg

Reference


1,2. Chest Radiographic and CT Findings of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Analysis of Nine Patients Treated in Korea

  1. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/new-coronavirus-outbreak-your-most-pressing-questions-answered
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4659470/

——————————————————————————————————

UPDATE: March 22, 2020

Recent research seems to align with the theoretical proposal offered in my recent blog on “Thinking outside the box”. As I have stated, Zinc may be an effective strategy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Further reports have also indicated that an anti-malaria drug, Chloroquine, could be a possible treatment for the coronavirus pandemic. The mechanism of action for this medicine suggests that Chloroquine acts as a ‘carrier’ for zinc as transport shuttle through the host cell membranes. In other words, the drug acts to increase the efficacy of zinc by making it available to the cell. The increasing presence of intracellular zinc has been shown to disrupt the virus effort in separating blood hemoglobin components from the ‘toxic iron’ (heme) and the proteins (globulin) in the cell, which it requires. The zinc-iron milieu renders the transcription and replication of viral RNA ineffective, eliminating the opportunity for the virus to survive. See the reference provided below

Since Chloroquine has been used for the treatment of Malaria, it has a well-known track record and safety guideline, with a well-known side effect profile. It may be the right candidate to become a front line defense on the war against coronavirus.

Let us hope that this will be the beginning of the end for this pandemic. Best health to you, my readers. (Please keep washing your hands).

Greg

Reference

(12 Mar. 2020). Topic: Chloroquine & Zinc Combo Are Being Studied as Possible Treatment @ AskWoody. Retrieved from https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/chloroquine-zinc-treatment-combo/

Youtube Video: “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIymfznD7YA

Hits: 112

Senior Moments: A strange Familiarity

Abstract

We have all experienced it. Jokes are often made about it. It is both humorous and embarrassing when it occurs. It is called “Senior Moments”. It is the focus of concern of us all, especially when we see the typical signs of aging.

In this brief article, I will share the about mechanism which operates behind the scenes 0f our “senior moments” and its role in our daily life. I will also share some typical causes for our “forgetfulness” and the more concerning situations which may require some investigation through clinical evaluations.

What are “Senior Moments”

Senior moments occur when we initiate a routine task but at some point from where we begin, we lose the objective of our effort. We will find ourselves standing at our intended location with the all too common question, “Now what was I about to do? Frustrated, we journey back to where we started when we recall the very reason we why we had first moved.

I remember a comedy routine given by Bill Cosby when he shared how when we get older our memory sinks down to our behind. So after we forget why we got up from our chair, we would remember when we return to the chair and our bottom hits the seat.

Many of us who are in our midlife stage are taking care of a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia. We see the turmoil they go through and We see them occasionally get up and wander as if ‘for no reason’. Then when we experience a similar situation, we tend to wonder if we are going to develop dementia as well.

But having lapses of memory is not by itself a prognostic indicator of developing dementia. Often, it really is just forgetfulness. It may be a concerning issue only if it is a frequent occurrence. More often than not, there are other contributors to our memory lapses at play.

Is it a problem?

The first step in addressing any issue of concern is to first ask, “is this a problem?”. What we need to do is clarify how it impacts our life. What is the normal routine and habit of your loved one’s life? What have they been able to perform in the past three months? How has it changed? The real focus of our question is, “does this new development interfere with their baseline functioning quality of life? If they normally ate and no longer eat, it would be defined as a problem. If they typically took strolls around the yard to check the lawn, then we find them wandering around the lawn that would not be considered a problem.

So, let us look at the episode of forgetfulness under the same lense. When you consider their baseline function, If the forgetful episodes are frequent enough to disrupt their life routine, then forgetfulness for them would be considered a problem.

Common players in Forgetfulness

In his article,  “7 Common Causes of Forgetfulness “, Daniel Pendick provides some common factors that may be the culprit for forgetfulness.

Lack of Sleep

The lack of sleep is one of the less regarded but important cause of forgetfulness.

Medications often impair our memory

Tranquilizers, antidepressants, some blood pressure drugs, and other medications can impair our memory skills.

Thyroid problems

The thyroid is like the idle engine of the whole body. When it is set too low, the mind is sluggish and can not process information effectively. An idle set to high produces anxiety, which can also impair clear thinking.

Substance use

Alcohol or recreational drugs have a dramatic effect on the brain and memory retrieval.

Emotional Tone

Anxiety, Depression and feeling stressed impair memory function.

 

Brain Imbalance

When other issues have been ruled out, let us consider what may go awry with the running dialogue of the brain. When this gets disrupted, we “lose our train of thought” or even in worst cases, there is a lack of communication between both sides of the brain.  This is what is typically seen when a loved one with dementia seems goal-directed and wanders off, but they are unable to provide any reason for their actions.

Not many people consider how the brain is made up of two separate halves, known as hemispheres. The right and left hemispheres communicate with each other through a narrow bridge of nerve fibers, known as the corpus callosum.

In studies where a patient required a surgical disconnection of this bridgework, it is evident that each hemisphere operates separately and individually when on their own. However together they work toward a cooperative effort to have both reason and purpose in our tasks. Some studies report that one of the earliest signs of pending dementia is compromised communication between both hemispheres through degeneration of the bridgework. The balance of dialogue is then disrupted and signals early pathology. There is even a published article on how to determine early signs of dementia from using peanut butter.

The Peanut Butter Study – Imbalanced Communication

In the Article, “Peanut-butter-test-predicts-Alzheimer’s” , peanut butter was used to test the communication between both hemispheres. When the subject could identify the smell of peanut butter from one nostril and not the other, it was considered an indication that there was a problem in the hemisphere communications.

 

Of those participants, only those with a confirmed diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer’s had trouble smelling the peanut butter. Additionally, those patients also had a harder time smelling the peanut butter with their left nostril. Generally, the right nostril was able to smell the peanut butter 10 centimeters farther away than the left nostril. The difference in smell between left and right nostril in unique to the disease. Sense of smell is often the first sense to go in cognitive decline, even before memory loss, which is why this could be an effective tool in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota found that seniors who had the worst test scores on a smell test were 2.2 times more likely to show signs of mild cognitive decline. Additionally, if participants were already exhibiting memory problems and obtained low smell test scores, they were more likely to progress to Alzheimer’s.

 

Sperry elaborates on how the sense of smell (olfaction) is unique to other senses and why it can help uncover the right brain to left brain dialog.

Sperry delivered visual stimuli to a single visual field of the subject. He discovered that, with the exception of olfactory stimuli, the hemispheres of the brain receive sensory stimuli and exercise motor control contralaterally. Thus, when a word or picture of an object was flashed to the right eye, the patient was able to name the object or read the word. However, when a picture of an object was flashed to the left eye, the patient could not name it and in fact would deny seeing the object. Simultaneously, the left hand could point to the object or pick it out of a group of concealed objects . Thus, if a strong smell such as garlic or ammonia were presented to the right nostril, whose olfactory receptors connect directly to the right hemisphere, the patient would grimace with disgust while verbally denying that she smelled anything. However, her left hand could point to the object the right nostril had smelled, as the patient continued to say she smelled nothing .

 

Each Olfactory path feeds separately in each hemisphere


The Partner Unspoken

Take a look at this video from House, MD. 


Did you notice when Dr. House gave the information on the left visual field to “stand up” and the patient rose to his feet?  When asked “why he stood?”, he hesitated and mentioned that he was going to retrieve a sweater because he was feeling cold. In other words, his right hemisphere told him to stand and his left hemisphere had to find a reason to explain why he was standing, so he created an explanation that would fit the situation.

 

Now let us consider the degeneration of communication between the brain that happens in dementia.  If their brain is unable to share communication for purposeful movement, doesn’t it make sense why they may be wandering around the house without being able to explain why they are doing it?

This may even explain why your loved one feels frustrated when you ask them why they are wandering around when they cannot even explain the reason to themselves.

I hope you find this writing helpful.


Hear this post in audio format 

“Senior Moments Audio”


References

Pendick, Daniel. “7 Common Causes of Forgetfulness – Harvard Health Blog.” www.health.harvard.edu, 22 Feb. 2013, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/7-common-causes-of-forgetfulness-201302225923. Accessed 16 Sept. 2019.

“Can’t Smell Peanut Butter? Alzheimer’s May Be the Culprit.” www.alzheimers.net, 20 Jan. 2016, https://www.alzheimers.net/2014-09-19/peanut-butter-test-predicts-alzheimers/. Accessed 16 Sept. 2019.

Serendip. “Of a Divided Mind: Human Responses to the Human Split Brain.” serendipstudio.org, Oct. 1993, https://serendipstudio.org/bb/neuro/neuro02/web2/hhochman.html. Accessed 16 Sept. 2019.

House MD TV, Split Brain
https://youtu.be/MUDcX3NCcmY

Hits: 43

Do we really have free Will?

Do we really have free Will?


Greg E. Williams, MD

 

There has been a debate in religious circles about Christian salvation; whether it is by choice or whether our salvation was predetermined.  There are a number of scriptures which seem to support both positions.  For example, we are free to choose salvation as suggested by the following verses.

“For all have have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. … For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(1john3:16)”

 

But at the same time where our free decision seems to be the gateway of accepting salvation, we read also another passage that hints at our Will as a back seat driver, like this verse suggests.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29–30)

There are a number of other verses which seem to bring us back to the table on this particular debate.  However, there may be a way to embrace both predestination and free Will without contradiction.  What I would like to offer through a graphic representation is a possible answer to this matter.

Introduction

There are many places in scripture that at face-value, appear to bear contradiction.  If we wish to explore more difficult passages, it is important that we understand how we approach our reading and how our presuppositions impact what we are to cover.  Since I believe that the scriptures are sacred, I begin this article acknowledging that the scriptures were divinely inspired and allow us as finite beings to look upon the infinite in some fashion.  Therefore, I approach scriptures from the Bible as truth which must be esteemed above me; a rank above all knowledge. Such an effort is certain to be imperfect, like viewing our round earth presented on a flat map.  We are not able to fully grasp the depth and width of application within our limited frame, which is why we are encouraged to accept God’s Word by faith. I realize that from our human seat, the best we can expect is a curved glass view on the infinite.  Yet, I do not believe we should consider this a no-cross barrier to what we can unravel. However, it necessitates that we align our perspective differently to examine truths that are beyond our common conversations.  The message of the gospel, if illustrated well would stir us to discover more about the character of our loving and merciful God.

Approach

Even though this is not a theological paper, my perspective starts from the position of faith, since the scripture is a faith-based message.   From this posture I begin by embracing the scripture as true , while attempting to untangle a philosophical knot that can be a point of contention to those who strive to understand how two competing ideas can coexist; that of free Will and determinism.  I have always held that all truth is God’s truth no matter where it is found.  We do not need to avoid matters we do not understand.  In fact all truth, if really true will lead us to the author of truth, which is God himself.  When we consider truths which are evident we must accept that the more accurate our interpretation of scripture, the more agreement we will have in  common to the truths revealed across multiple disciplines; a fingerprint of the author of our world.

Necessary Principles

 

To begin with our approach, there are four points which must be established as foundational.

  • We are absolutely free to choose to accept salvation or deny it.

We are told that God is love.  He desires us to love him. To love is a choice.  If we are not free to choose to love, then it would contradict the very nature of our relationship with God.  Also if we are preprogrammed to behave and act like we serve God, then we would be living like robots without any range of decision-making, it would remove us from any responsibility.  The greatest point of arguing for Free Will, is the level of sacrifice required, that God sent his only son to die for us in order to be saved.  It would be completely a vain act of God, to sacrifice his only son, where he could just as easily determined us to just worship him.  But that was not the case.  His son, Jesus had to die for us in order to offer the way to be forgiven and restored in a relationship with our God.

 

  • God is not only a God of love, but also a God of immeasurable grace.

When you consider how frail we are in our walk of faith, there is no way we can expect any salvation based on our efforts.  Consider those that modeled lives of righteousness in scriptures, with prophets, priests and kings.  There was no perfect follower, no perfect person that would be worthy of following God, except for the love and mercy God, who so readily poured out his grace on those who followed after him.

 

  • God is timeless.

God has always existed.  There was no beginning or ending for our creator.  Since he does not operate within the boundaries of time, he is able to transcend time.  If God can transcend time, everything is known to him from beginning to end.  In fact we read in Psalms 139:

 

Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether

and further..

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them

 

 

  • God is intimate and knows us completely.

I remember a quote from a science class I attended long ago.  The quote goes something like this:

“If we knew everything about one square inch of earth, we would know all answers of the universe”.  If you knew how pressure, temperature, the nature of soil, its potential to promote life in plants, the way light is converted to the air we breathe, the organization of cellular matter, how molecules can organize and communicate to each other in order to scaffold life, etc. If we knew all things about that small region of matter, we would unlock all secrets to the very universe”.

 

More simply, if I could just know how any flipped coin could land on heads, no matter the height, the force of flip, the way the arm moves and the posture of the person flipping the coin, I would have to be thoroughly familiar with all aspects of physics and anatomy and physical sciences in order to have this confidence.  Even our creator has this level of familiarity about his creation.

Now if we hold these principles to be true and foundational, we can move to the next section without any reservation.

Our freedom to choose

 

 

In order to understand how predestination and Free Will can coexist without out contradiction, let us consider the following example.  Let us say, we enter a room that has a large table and we are handed a jump rope like the one above.  Let us imagine that we only have one instruction given to us.  We are told to stretch that rope from one end of the table to the other and we were told to make any design or pattern with that rope that we would like.  You are free to arrange that rope as you wish, as you wanted without any other instruction.  Let us say that I completed the task requested and you see the result below.

 

As you can see, the handles are over each end and I was free to arrange the rope to my liking.

If I am asked, “Were you free to choose the design you made?” My answer would be, “Yes, I was free to arrange it without any other influence, according to my liking”.

Now, I step back to the doorway of the room, and the Master steps up to the table.  Let’s say he wants to add some of his own items to the table. Without disturbing my pattern, which was a product of my choice, he adds a couple of shakers and a candle, where he chooses in order to accent my chosen pattern.

 

So now, after the Master has placed his items, which accents my pattern he returns to my side. What the Master has done is to use my decisions of my display in order to accent the items he has contributed.

The rope here is representative of my life, from beginning to end.  I had the freedom to choose any pattern or points of decision during life’s course.  Christ gave me freedom to choose and only after I made the decision, did he choose to add items to the table.  All the items the Master added only result to  give glory to the Father.  There will be days of salt, of healing and preservation.  There will be days of pepper, when pain and trials come my way.  There will be days where I will find a candle, when insights, repentance and re-dedication will restore my footing.  The things the Master adds, despite my choices in life, serve to glorify our Father in heaven.  Even for the sinner, or the wickedness and wrongful acts of evil people, our God will use such situations to bring glory to the Father serve as a witness for knowing our Master.

 

Sometimes, the master will see the choices of others and understands how his glory can be magnified by our relationships with these of common faith.  I do not believe the many souls we touch in our lifetime is by accident.  The fellowship of believers is a very special addition to the table of our lives.  In great wisdom, the Master has a way to bring glory to our Father by the people we encounter on life’s journey.  It may be a church member, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a neighbor, a pastor.  Only an intimate Savior can know how to negotiate our life in such a way that would not disrupt the free Will of others we encounter in life.

The Start of the journey

Now, as the Master has returned to our side, he prepares to take the lifelong journey with us.

 

Knowing that our Master is aware of our free choice, knowing the Father will be glorified, knowing that there are no surprises for Christ, our companion and guide; we can walk in confidence that, not only does he walk with us in the journey, he will also perfect us in all things, no matter what we encounter, until the journey is complete.

Hardened Hearts

This model can also help to explain another difficult area of scripture, like when God “hardens” Pharaoh’s heart or where Judas was ‘assigned’ a role of betrayal which lead to Christ’s death for our salvation.  When we have made our FREE WILL choices and the Master contributes to our choices, to the glorify the Father.  Such contributions of the Master would not infringe upon our free Will, but contribute to how the Master can use our choices to provide good to those who are His without interference of free will choice to reject the gospel.  The underlying message here is that our clear decision to reject Christ’s salvation will, by circumstance and life events, promote hardening of our hearts; where yielding to God after receiving salvation will impact our life much differently.

 

I hope you, the reader may be able to step back and reflect with me about how we could compress together all steps of Free Will, the Master’s involvement and the intimate journey we have with Christ when you incorporate the “timeless, merciful and intimate “character of God.  For God, all of these steps can be wrapped into each moment of our daily walk.  Our decision of accepting salvation, Christ’s interventions and his intimate involvement in our lives, though introduced by teased out steps, do not have to present incompatible ideas.  When you allow them to fold upon itself it is possible to combine these two different views of predestination and free will into a compatible and logical feasibility.  Our lifetime is a series of moments that are already set in motion by the spin of our life-changing decision in accepting or rejecting salvation.  All steps I have outlined, can therefore allow predetermination and Free Will to  coexists when we consider our God who is merciful, timeless, and intimate.

 

Do I have Free Will?  Was I predestined before I began?

I hope this helps to bring some clarity to what I imagine is the best way to answer the debate.

I hope it also brings both assurance and confidence in your journey.

 

Greg

 

 

Recognition

Many thanks to my Pastor, Tim Brubaker and my cousin, Pastor Brent Hardesty for their insightful review and recommendations for this article.

 

 

Hits: 10

Pages:1234567...22»
Translate »
[bestwebsoft_contact_form]