CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Monday, 31 March 2014

Crowdsourcing raises vital funds for ME research into 'leaky gut syndrome'

Patients living with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) have raised finds to allow new research in to the misunderstood condition to take place at the University of East Anglia and The Institute of Food Research. The money will fund three years of ground breaking research into 'leaky gut syndrome' - where the immune system is thought to react to germs and toxins which enter the bloodstream because of a porous or 'leaky' bowel - believed to be a possible cause of a number of conditions.

Crowdsourcing raises vital funds for ME research into 'leaky gut syndrome' Via: Life as we know it

Where's the Benefit?: Care.Data: In Their Own Words

So if hackers can regularly breach NASA and the Pentagon, who holds out much hope for the good old NHS? Particularly with all the attention Care.Data has been getting, which has to add to the kudos of the first person to hack the system and make the hack public with a massive release of medical records somewhere on the darknet.

And what has the government done since the Care.Data story broke? They've voted down an attempt to make misuse of Care.Data a criminal offence and Jeremy Hunt has promised they won't be caught selling it to insurers again. 

Where's the Benefit?: Care.Data: In Their Own Words

Early brain development implicated in Restless Legs Syndrome

A common genetic variant associated with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) alters the expression of a critical gene during fetal development of the brain, researchers have discovered. This leads to alterations of the developing forebrain indicating an anatomical region involved in RLS. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and the urge to move them, is not caused by a single genetic defect, but rather is a complex disorder influenced by many genetic and environmental components.

Early brain development implicated in Restless Legs Syndrome

Think Welfare Spending Is Spiralling Out Of Control? You’re Wrong

With Labour voting for the government’s bill to cap welfare spending, the debate on the welfare state has taken a decisively wrong turn. The issue is not the cap itself, its level, or even its design. The problem lies in the very way in which the welfare state is understood.

Think Welfare Spending Is Spiralling Out Of Control? You’re Wrong

Yes, Some Sick And Disabled People Really ARE Too Ill To Work

The government would probably suggest the increase in the number of people found eligible for ESA is due to improvements made to the assessment process – and to an extent that may be true – but the simple truth we must all accept is that some people are too ill or disabled to work. In a civilised society those people should be given the full support they need and not constantly subjected to an inhumane and demoralising testing regime.

Yes, Some Sick And Disabled People Really ARE Too Ill To Work

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Magnetic Effect: New Brain Technology Reduces Pain in Fibromyalgia

Numerous studies have found that altered activity in several parts of the brain correlates with pain and fatigue in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. rTMS, which uses a magnetic coil to alter brain activity levels, has  been found to improve the symptoms of a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders in including migraine, stroke, tinnitus, Parkinson’s and depression.  It can reduce or increase the excitability of the corticospinal tract depending on the configuration of the coils.

Magnetic Effect: New Brain Technology Reduces Pain in Fibromyalgia

What We Learned This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, 28 March 2014

From International Traveller to 43 Square Meters: An ME/CFS Story From Sweden

Read all of this story and tell me if you think there is even the slightest chance that this illness is not real, or that anyone would somehow choose this (given the life Anne had before becoming ill), as has been suggested by many ignorant (and self-interested) people, including those in the medical profession.

Oh and this sums the exercise / orthostatic intolerance conundrum up so well. 
With ME/CFS, the body seems to function in a sort of reverse pattern. Exercise, instead of building it up, breaks it down. With training, my muscles do not become stronger, but rather they become weaker, stiffer and even shakier. If I am up and about more, my dizziness gets worse, not better. And these are not one-off reactions that improve if I persevere through them. Though sounding backwards compared to normal, perhaps this is logical if we think of ME/CFS as an ongoing immunological reaction, as biomedical researchers view it today.
From International Traveller to 43 Square Meters: An ME/CFS Story From Sweden

Gulf war illness not in veterans' heads but in their mitochondria

Veterans of the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War who suffer from “Gulf War illness” have impaired function of mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of cells, researchers have demonstrated for the first time. The findings could help lead to new treatments benefitting affected individuals -- and to new ways of protecting servicepersons (and civilians) from similar problems in the future.

Gulf war illness not in veterans' heads but in their mitochondria

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Evidence of Brainstem Dysfunction and Altered Homeostasis

A strong correlation in CFS between brainstem grey matter volume and pulse pressure suggested impaired cerebrovascular autoregulation. It can be argued that at least some of these changes could arise from astrocyte dysfunction. These results are consistent with an insult to the midbrain at fatigue onset that affects multiple feedback control loops to suppress cerebral motor and cognitive activity and disrupt local CNS homeostasis, including resetting of some elements of the autonomic nervous system.

Evidence of Brainstem Dysfunction and Altered Homeostasis

Revealed: Big Pharma's hidden links to NHS policy, with senior MPs saying medical industry uses ‘wealth to influence government’



NHS bosses allowed a lobbying company working for some of the world’s biggest drugs and medical equipment firms to write a draft report which could help shape future health policy. NHS England commissioned a group called the Specialised Healthcare Alliance (SHCA) to consult with patients’ groups, charities and health organisations and produce a report feeding into its future five-year strategy for commissioning £12bn of services. But the SHCA has confirmed to The Independent that it is entirely funded by commercial “members”. Its director, John Murray, is also a lobbyist whose company lists some of the world’s biggest drug and medical device firms as clients.

Revealed: Big Pharma's hidden links to NHS policy, with senior MPs saying medical industry uses ‘wealth to influence government’




Can you sign the petition and demand that NHS England register any links to big business?
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/NHS-lobbying-transparency


Atos declared not fit for work

One of the non-existent threats against ATOS
Hummmm ... far be for me to be cynical (she says sarcastically), but I just don't feel like jumping up and down for joy over the "sacking" of ATOS. Yes, we know they were a load of Atossers and anyone who has gone through any of their unfair and terrorising assessments (myself included) will be overjoyed to see the back of them.


I'll even concede that it would be bloody hard to find anyone worse, but what if the DWP have found someone or something worse?


It could be one of the other, mostly corrupt, rogues listed by DavidG in #Atos Axed, But Will Their Replacement be Any Better?


But I wonder if there's a clue in this quote from the BBC article "Fit-to-work tests: Atos quits contract":

 "We will be transferring our infrastructure and employees to ensure consistency of service to those going through the process."
Remember a couple of weeks or so ago when ATOS tried to distance themselves from their own toxic brand? ATOS denies being ATOS (not satire!)

As an example of how toxic the name ATOS has become even to itself – ATOS recently changed its name in the UK to OH Assist as an attempt to distance itself from the scandal.
See The Atos name is toxic – Atos spins off OH Assist

Now who would you transfer infrastructure and employees to if not a newly created company that was really you, but with a different name? Put it another way, you probably wouldn't transfer your infrastructure and employees to a totally unconnected company, now would you?

Is IDS stupid enough to think we're stupid enough to fall for this? I reckon so and I'm not the first:

"Is this an attempt to bamboozle stupid old ESA and PIP claimants into
thinking a new company is taking over where Atos left off, when in fact
it is the same old mob, still raking in the profits from that lucrative,
£100 million-per-year government contract?", Asks Mike Sivier at Vox Political
Keep an eye out for the name(s) of the new contractors to see if OH Assist is amongst them. If so, the news is very, very bad. If it's one of the other known entities, it could be even worse.


And, as DavidG points out after asking, "So what does all this mean for those of us who have to live with the damage WCAs do?", "The first thing to note is that they're only changing the monkey, not the organ-grinder." There has been no attempt to change the fundamentally flawed WCA.


Not to mention that Atos quits ESA assessments but will continue to c*** up PIP


Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

Anger over ‘libellous’ Atos ‘death threat’ claims

The government’s “fitness for work” contractor has failed to produce a
single piece of evidence to back up its claim that it is withdrawing
from the contract because of “death threats” against its staff.

Anger over ‘libellous’ Atos ‘death threat’ claims

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

MSPs Suggest Five “Effective And Humane” Work Capability Assessment Improvements

MSPs have written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP, on behalf of Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee, suggesting five improvements to the controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA). The move comes after it was revealed earlier this year that private contractors Atos Healthcare wish to withdraw from the ‘fit for work’ tests contract with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) early, which is due to expire in August 2015.

MSPs Suggest Five “Effective And Humane” Work Capability Assessment Improvements

Neuroinflammation in CFS

Neuroinflammation is present in widespread brain areas in CFS/ME patients and was associated with the severity of neuropsychologic symptoms. Evaluation of neuroinflammation in CFS/ME patients may be essential for understanding the core pathophysiology and for developing objective diagnostic criteria and effective medical treatments.

Neuroinflammation in CFS

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Disabled Benefit Claimants Live In Fear Of The Sound Of The Letterbox

... if you are disabled or an ill benefit claimant, living under the
constant threat of an ATOS assessment or benefit sanction, [the sound of
the letterbox] immediately causes the blood pressure to rise, and panic
to kick in.
This is EXACTLY how it feels - psychological torture.


I remember going through these same feelings of panic last December, yet, once I got the courage to open it, found that the brown envelope only contained a (impersonalised / dehumanised) letter telling me about my (frankly, insulting and paultry) £10 "Christmas Bonus".

But as Helen Sims points out, the DWP shifts dates and throws in unexpected assessments at whim - I've already been subjected to one for DLA (likewise my only source of income and independence), despite previous correspondence having "confirmed" my award for a year past the assessment's date - that we are constantly kept in a state of being totally unsure of our future.

For those of us who are chronically ill, all this does is make us more ill. And I cannot for the life of me see how that is good for anyone, nor how it could possibly be of benefit to the country or economy.

Disabled Benefit Claimants Live In Fear Of The Sound Of The Letterbox

What We Learned This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Rejected Twice, Potential Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Drug Still Moving Forward

Rejected Twice, Potential Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Drug Still Moving Forward: This week, Hemispherx Biopharma Inc. is taking part in a presentation at the 11th Biennial International Research and Clinical Conference called "Differential Exercise Responses to Ritnatolimod [Ampligen] Exhibited by Patients with Severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." It'll detail a Phase III prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial looking at fatigue and post-exertional malaise.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress and Immune-inflammatory Pathways in Patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic fatigue syndrom
Chronic fatigue syndrome (Photo credit: MyBestTreat)
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has been classified as a disease of the central nervous system by the WHO since 1969. Many patients carrying this diagnosis do demonstrate an almost bewildering array of biological abnormalities particularly the presence of oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS) and a chronically activated innate immune system. The proposal made herein is that once generated chronically activated O&NS and immune-inflammatory pathways conspire to generate a multitude of self-sustaining and self-amplifying pathological processes which are associated with the onset of ME/CFS. Sources of continuous activation of O&NS and immuneinflammatory pathways in ME/CFS are chronic, intermittent and opportunistic infections, bacterial translocation, autoimmune responses, mitochondrial dysfunctions, activation of the Toll-Like Receptor Radical Cycle, and decreased antioxidant levels. Consequences of chronically activated O&NS and immune-inflammatory pathways in ME/CFS are brain disorders, including neuroinflammation and brain hypometabolism / hypoperfusion, toxic effects of nitric oxide and peroxynitrite, lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage to DNA, secondary autoimmune responses directed against disrupted lipid membrane components and proteins, mitochondrial dysfunctions with a disruption of energy metabolism (e.g. compromised ATP production) and dysfunctional intracellular signaling pathways. The interplay between all of these factors leads to self-amplifying feed forward loops causing a chronic state of activated O&NS, immune-inflammatory and autoimmune pathways which may sustain the disease.

Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress and Immune-inflammatory Pathways in Patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

CFS or depression? Dr. Jason's differentiation

Leonard Jason, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at DePaul University and
a respected ME/CFS researcher, offers perhaps the simplest approach to
the task: He asks patients what plans they would make if their condition
improved. A patient experiencing a depressive disorder, he explained,
would likely have a hard time answering. "But someone with ME/CFS would
probably begin making lists of all the things that they wanted to do,"
he said in a recent interview with BuzzFeed about the issue.
CFS or depression? Dr. Jason's differentiation

In Brief: Muscles and the ‘myalgia’ in ME/CFS

As patients, what we experience as muscle-related symptoms are actually
not all that unique to our condition. For the vast majority of chronic
conditions, muscle fatigue, muscle aches and feelings of, or even
actual, muscle weakness etc., are frequently reported associations.

It is perhaps because of this that the importance of muscle function, or
dysfunction, in ME/CFS has been overlooked.

In Brief: Muscles and the ‘myalgia’ in ME/CFS

Where's the Benefit?: Care.Data. Why Disabled People Should be Worried

Care.Data one of the worst fiascos of the current government,
but that it represents a very real threat to disabled people and
particularly
to the confidentiality of their medical records, so here is a briefing
on Care.Data that hopefully will allow you to decide for yourself
whether Care.Data is something you need to opt-out of.

Where's the Benefit?: Care.Data. Why Disabled People Should be Worried

Generic Fibromyalgia Drug & Serotonin Syndrome Risk

People taking the high-priced fibromyalgia drug Cymbalta (duloxetine) could soon have a less expensive option - the U.S. FDA in December approved a generic version which is expected to cost a lot less once it hits the market. However, a possible risk has emerged in Australia, where generic duloxetine is already on the market. Doctors there are reporting 21 confirmed cases of serotonin syndrome, which is a potentially deadly condition that doctors often miss.

Generic Fibromyalgia Drug & Serotonin Syndrome Risk

Nine Mistakes People with Fibromyalgia Make

Dealing with the
effects of fibromyalgia (FMS) can be hard enough as it is but there are
certain things that patients can do that will enhance their symptoms. It
is important to learn what not to do in order to prevent un-needed
fibromyalgia flare-ups. Avoiding common mistakes can help you better
control your FMS pain and other symptoms.

After all, treatment for fibromyalgia is not just in medicines. It’s
a lifestyle

Read more: Nine Mistakes People with Fibromyalgia Make http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/03/11/nine-mistakes-people-fibromyalgia-make/
Dealing with the
effects of fibromyalgia (FMS) can be hard enough as it is but there are
certain things that patients can do that will enhance their symptoms. It
is important to learn what not to do in order to prevent un-needed
fibromyalgia flare-ups. Avoiding common mistakes can help you better
control your FMS pain and other symptoms.

After all, treatment for fibromyalgia is not just in medicines. It’s
a lifestyle

Read more: Nine Mistakes People with Fibromyalgia Make http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/03/11/nine-mistakes-people-fibromyalgia-make/
Dealing with the effects of fibromyalgia (FMS) can be hard enough as it is but there are certain things that patients can do that will enhance their symptoms. It is important to learn what not to do in order to prevent un-needed fibromyalgia flare-ups. Avoiding common mistakes can help you better control your FMS pain and other symptoms.
After all, treatment for fibromyalgia is not just in medicines. It’s a lifestyle
Dealing with the
effects of fibromyalgia (FMS) can be hard enough as it is but there are
certain things that patients can do that will enhance their symptoms. It
is important to learn what not to do in order to prevent un-needed
fibromyalgia flare-ups. Avoiding common mistakes can help you better
control your FMS pain and other symptoms.

After all, treatment for fibromyalgia is not just in medicines. It’s
a lifestyle

Read more: Nine Mistakes People with Fibromyalgia Make http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/03/11/nine-mistakes-people-fibromyalgia-make/
Dealing with the
effects of fibromyalgia (FMS) can be hard enough as it is but there are
certain things that patients can do that will enhance their symptoms. It
is important to learn what not to do in order to prevent un-needed
fibromyalgia flare-ups. Avoiding common mistakes can help you better
control your FMS pain and other symptoms.

After all, treatment for fibromyalgia is not just in medicines. It’s
a lifestyle

Read more: Nine Mistakes People with Fibromyalgia Make http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/03/11/nine-mistakes-people-fibromyalgia-make/
Nine Mistakes People with Fibromyalgia Make

The Ravages of Nightingale's Disease

Have you ever heard of
Nightingale’s Disease? It is a disease described in the late 1800s by Florence
Nightingale, who herself suffered from it. It is a potentially-fatal,
multi-systemic disease that involves almost every organ system in the body,
including the central and peripheral nervous system, the autonomic nervous
system that controls things like blood pressure and heart rate, the musculoskeletal
system, the skin, the immune system, the heart and blood vessels, multiple
endocrine glands, the gastrointestinal system, and bladder. Patients with
Nightingale’s disease are two to three times as likely as others their own age to
die of heart disease, as well as four times as likely to die of liver disease,
and ten times as likely to die of suicide. It affects both sexes at any age. In
fact, 10-20% of cases start in childhood, potentially leading to a life-time of
suffering and early death.


Breaking Thru the Fibro Fog: THE RAVAGES OF NIGHTINGALE’S DISEASE

Chronic pain research delves into brain: New insight into how brain responds to pain

New insights into how the human brain responds to chronic pain could
eventually lead to improved treatments for patients, researchers say.
Chronic pain is common throughout the world. More than 100 million
Americans are believed to be affected by chronic pain. "People living
with chronic headache and other forms of chronic pain may experience
reduced quality of life, as the pain often prevents them from working,
amongst other things. It is therefore imperative that we understand the
causes of chronic pain, not just attempt to treat the symptoms with
medication," the lead author said.



Chronic pain research delves into brain: New insight into how brain responds to pain

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Cognitive testing causes mental exhaustion lasting days

Simon McGrath takes a brief look at a recent paper that reveals some of the most powerful evidence of cognitive problems in people with ME/CFS to date…

It might not come as a huge surprise to patients, but a new study has found that mental fatigue can persist long after mental exertion is over.

Specifically, after a 3-hour session of cognitive testing of memory and attention, healthy controls took an average of 7 hours to recover, compared with 57 hours – more than two days – for CFS patients.

Cognitive testing causes mental exhaustion lasting days

Where's the Benefit?: Fit for Work?

Citizen's Advice's campaign is called Fit for Work because they hope that if implemented the changes they're calling for will help make ESA fit for work (i.e. fit for purpose).

The campaign is calling for:

  • The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) should listen to evidence from the health and social care professionals who know you best.
  • The medical evidence required to make your case should be provided free of charge.
  • The companies running the work capability assessments should be held accountable for poor quality assessments or bad customer service.
  • The DWP should continue to pay people ESA while a second opinion is given on their application.

Fit for Work?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Sign the Petition for a #PeoplesBudget

The Government should reverse damaging austerity, and replace it with a new set of policies providing us with a fair, sustainable and secure future. We will no longer tolerate politicians looking out for themselves and for the rich and powerful. Our political representatives must start governing in the interests of the majority. We, the undersigned, demand:
  • Re-nationalise our services & remove private profit from health, education and social services
  • A statutory living wage, abolish zero hour contracts, end the wage freeze
  • Invest in building social housing, abolish the bedroom tax & place a cap on private rents
  • A higher tax on the rich & a clamp down on tax avoidance
  • Reverse all spending cuts
  • Invest in creating green jobs
  • Increases to welfare and pensions should be tied to inflation
  • A stop to scapegoating of immigrants or those on welfare
  • A publically owned, democratic banking system
  • End the cost of war in blood and money: no military interventions, no Trident replacement

Click here to add your name to the petition

Sunday, 16 March 2014

What We Learned This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lie Detectors, Weird Phone Calls And Shoving Claimants To The Back Of NHS Queues

Disturbing phone calls of a different kind have been reported by blogger and support group claimant Lisa Egan.  She was called by her local Jobcentre to ask what her ‘aims’ were and quizzed about her former employment as a stand-up comedian.  We’d like to know if other support group members have been contacted by their Jobcentre and asked about their employment prospects.

Lie Detectors, Weird Phone Calls And Shoving Claimants To The Back Of NHS Queues

Monday, 10 March 2014

Three things you should know about benefit fraud 'lie detector' tests

During the study, Jobcentre staff also concluded that VRA was “not suitable for claimants who may be vulnerable because of age, learning disabilities or mental health problems”. Worryingly however, staff found during the study that they could “not always guarantee that vulnerable claimants avoided the VRA process”.

Three things you should know about benefit fraud ‘lie detector’ tests

Councils using controversial lie detector tests to catch benefit fraudsters

 

Social Hangover

I'm sure most of us with fibromyalgia / ME/CFS can identify with this!
Via: Bits and Pieces

Chronic pain researchers first to link regulatory protein to opioid receptor signaling

Initial confirmation has been found that a novel scaffold protein previously unassociated with the mu opioid receptor (MOR) regulates MOR-induced signaling activation. The MOR is the target of opioid drugs like morphine and is an important mechanism for pain regulation in the body. The research approach was designed to open new avenues to the treatment of chronic pain, a serious public health problem with major economic and societal costs.

Chronic pain researchers first to link regulatory protein to opioid receptor signaling

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Posts Roundup (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, 7 March 2014

CAM Therapies for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

So far, Western medicine hasn't done a whole lot for most of us with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. A lot of us turn to CAM, which stands for complementary and alternative medicine. The tough thing about CAM is that we don't have a lot of reliable evidence for what works, which makes it hard to know what may be worth your time and money. Just like everything else, one CAM treatment may be effective for one person and not for another.

CAM Therapies for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Is ME fatal? A different perspective. | Documenting M.E.

... anyone who spends any significant amount of time studying the true nature of this illness will see the tremendous amount of damage it does to multiple body systems. It makes sense that this damage would have a shortening effect on most ME patients' lives. For example, Dr. Elizabeth Dowsett says of ME patients, "20% have progressive and frequently undiagnosed degeneration of cardiac muscle which has led to sudden death following exercise."

Is ME fatal? A different perspective. | Documenting M.E.

Want the Tories out next year? Only one way to do it…

I can understand people not wanting to vote Labour – while Ed’s in charge I don’t want to, but I will – but the sheer wrong-headed stupidity of those who think not voting, or spoiling their ballot paper, will, in some magical way, punish the Tories (or possibly Labour – I’m not entirely sure what the logic is, if there’s any logic at all), displays a terrifying lack of political acumen. Voting for parties who have no chance of winning the election is no different to not voting/spoiling the ballot paper.

A general election is not the time for a protest vote to teach Labour a lesson, though god knows they need one, but the time to vote the straight Labour ticket.

Want the Tories out next year? Only one way to do it…

Stress By Any Other Name: Inflammation, 'Stress' and Chronic Fatigue and Fibromalygia: An Inquiry

One of the most puzzling aspects of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyaglia has been my body’s unusual sensitivity to stress. Oddly, it’s not the big stressful events,  it’s the smaller, day to day stuff that’s been so confronting. It’s that roller coaster ride of symptoms that can sometimes flare up with the slightest nudge.  It’s those fluey symptoms that show up particularly when I’m exhausted and feeling down.

This review article could provide some  answers. It suggests that infection, physical or psychological stress: it’s all the same.

Stress By Any Other Name: Inflammation, ‘Stress’ and Chronic Fatigue and Fibromalygia: An Inquiry

Immoral or incompetent? With the DWP, it’s no longer a choice

What do they think happens when you cut off someone’s source of food, rent and heating for three months?

Benefit cuts and unemployment are seeing people become “overwhelmed by life circumstances” at the same time as cuts in care budgets mean there’s often nowhere for them to go. Almost three-quarters of those affected are people needing help for the first time, the survey found. It can happen to anyone and nowadays it is.

Immoral or incompetent? With the DWP, it’s no longer a choice

Two thirds turned down for new disability benefit

While over 99% of claims made for people with terminal illnesses were successful, figures reveal only 37% of standard PIP claims were granted a cash contribution towards the extra costs associated with a long-term health condition or disability.

Whist I can understand that, as most, if not all, of these are currently new claims (as opposed to renewal claims, where, unless there is a change in condition / disability, the percentage should remain at ~100%), there will be a certain amount that do not qualify. Nevertheless, refusals on almost 2/3rds does seem impossible, improbable and VERY worrying.

Two thirds turned down for new disability benefit

Via: Diary of a Benefit Scrounger

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Chávez still inspires us to change the world

As a misinformation war intensifies against Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution we must never stop defending – and celebrating – the real legacy of the late Hugo Chávez.



The control of Venezuela’s huge natural
resources was placed back in the hands of the people and the wealth used
to improve the lives of millions, meaning that for the first time
Venezuela’s poor majority received medical attention when they needed
it, alongside free education, housing and social security.



Chávez still inspires us to change the world

Debrett’s Scroungers: UK’s richest aristocrats on Housing Benefit

Some of the UK’s wealthiest aristocrats trousered nearly a million pounds in Housing Benefit last year. The news comes after the Mirror exposed the hypocrisy of the country’s richest Tory MP, Richard Benyon, for receiving £119,000 in direct housing benefit payments for tenants on his £110m estate – while attacking the “something for nothing” welfare system.

‘Benefits Street’? More like ‘Benefits Manor’.

Psychological abuse 'should be a made crime'

Psychological abuse should be made a crime in England and Wales in order to save more victims of domestic violence, campaigners have said.

The groups, including Women's Aid, say current legislation focuses too much on specific incidents, such as an assault.

They say the law fails to take into account power and control, which are the essence of domestic abuse.

Psychological abuse 'should be a made crime'

One rule for benefit claimants, another for the tax avoiders

The latest figures collected by Oxfam indicate nearly a million persons have been ‘sanctioned’ (i.e. deprived of all benefits for a month for the first infringement, often trivial, for 3 months for the second, and 3 years for the third) in the last 15 months and that the numbers using foodbanks are now well over half a million.



One rule for benefit claimants, another for the tax avoiders

Disabled people 'feel terrorised'

Disabled people feel terrorised by the Government's welfare policies and want the truth on how their lives have been affected, MPs have heard.

Excess deaths of welfare claimants, Universal Credit's IT roll out, the use of Atos to conduct work capability assessments and the Remploy factory closures are among the issues in need of investigation, according to a motion from Labour's John McDonnell.

Disabled people 'feel terrorised'

The Government's War on Welfare Sickens Me

The attacks on the poor, working poor and disabled under the guise of “Welfare Reform” by the Tory-led Government has caused untold damage to households and families up and down the country. It would appear that the Government believes that welfare claimants should pay the most for the mistakes of the financial sector.

Let’s be clear, those who are being hardest hit by the Government’s cuts to welfare are not the people who caused the economic crisis that the UK is in.

The Government’s War on Welfare Sickens Me

Poor sleep quality linked to reduced brain gray matter in Gulf War vets

A new study of Gulf War veterans found an association between poor sleep quality and reduced gray matter volume in the brain's frontal lobe, which helps control important processes such as working memory and executive function. "This study emphasizes the importance of seeking medical help if you are troubled by the poor quality of your sleep," said American Academy of Sleep Medicine President.

Poor sleep quality linked to reduced brain gray matter in Gulf War vets

Brain differences linked to insomnia identified by researchers

Researchers report that people with chronic insomnia show more plasticity and activity than good sleepers in the part of the brain that controls movement. "Insomnia is not a nighttime disorder," says study leader. "It's a 24-hour brain condition, like a light switch that is always on. Our research adds information about differences in the brain associated with it." The researchers say they hope their study opens the door to better diagnosis and treatment of the most common and often intractable sleep disorder that affects an estimated 15 percent of the United States population.

Brain differences linked to insomnia identified by researchers

Mitochondrial dysfunctions in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome explained

Mitochondrial dysfunctions have been found in ME/cfs, e.g. lowered ATP production, impaired oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial damage. This paper reviews the pathways that may explain mitochondrial dysfunctions in ME/cfs.

It is argued that mitochondrial dysfunctions, e.g. lowered ATP production, may play a role in the onset of ME/cfs symptoms, e.g. fatigue and post exertional malaise, and may explain in part the central metabolic abnormalities observed in ME/cfs, e.g. glucose hypometabolism and cerebral hypoperfusion.

Mitochondrial dysfunctions in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome explained

Psychological Abuse Just As Damaging As Physical Abuse

Psychological abuse can be just as damaging to a child’s physical, mental and emotional health as physical abuse, according to experts. And it may be the most prevalent form of child abuse, according to a position statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Psychological abuse may be difficult to pinpoint, but it includes belittling, denigrating, exploiting or neglecting a child, said Harriet MacMillan, M.D., a professor in the departments of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences and pediatrics at McMaster University.

Psychological Abuse Just As Damaging As Physical Abuse

Monday, 3 March 2014

ATOS denies being ATOS (not satire!)

Government statistics reveal that between January 2011 and November of the same year, 10,600 sick and disabled people people died within six weeks of their benefits having been ended after being wrongly assessed as fit for work by ATOS.

As an example of how toxic the name ATOS has become even to itself – ATOS recently changed its name in the UK to OH Assist as an attempt to distance itself from the scandal.

ATOS denies being ATOS (not satire!)

Food Poverty Now Bigger Public Health Concern Than Diet – Expert Claims

Panorama explores claims many turn to food banks due to being penalised when judged to have broken benefit conditions

The prevalence of poverty–stricken families who cannot afford to buy sufficient food is overtaking unhealthy eating as the most pressing public health concern, a public health specialist has claimed.

The claim is made in a BBC Panorama documentary to be broadcast on Monday evening which found that over a third of local authorities in England and Wales were now providing funding for food banks, despite government claims that charity food is not a part of the social security system.

Food Poverty Now Bigger Public Health Concern Than Diet – Expert Claims

The Strange Case of NIH and an Elusive Disease

Physicians who treat ME/CFS have told me that they would rather have cancer than this disease. One epidemiologist said, "With cancer, you are cured or you die. ME/CFS just goes on and on. You live the life of a zombie."

The Strange Case of NIH and an Elusive Disease By Llewellyn King

Sunday, 2 March 2014

ME, FM recognised as chronic conditions

In Malta, at least:

ME often referred to also as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is a progressive, degenerative and debilitating disease. It is primarily neurological but symptoms also include cardiovascular, immunological, endocrinological, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal dysfunctions and damage.

ME, FM recognised as chronic conditions

Posts Roundup (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Government refusal is due to ‘fear of revolt’

The disabled Labour MP Dame Anne Begg, who chairs the work and pensions select committee, said that disabled people had been hardest hit by social care cuts, the bedroom tax, and changes to council tax relief and housing benefit, as well as the reforms to the disability benefits employment and support allowance (ESA) and personal independence payment (PIP).

WOW petition debate: Government refusal is due to ‘fear of revolt’

Elderly and disabled 'could lose bus services'

Elderly and disabled passengers could lose vital bus services because of cuts in government funding, councils in England warn. The Local Government Association (LGA) says support for the concessionary fares scheme has been reduced by over a third since 2010. Under the scheme, councils have to provide free off-peak travel for those aged over 62 or disabled.

Elderly and disabled 'could lose bus services'

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
^ Top