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Mind Over Health

A recent study revealed in Neurology that patients given a Parkinson’s drug can improve much more when they believe that the drug costs more. The study also revealed that the “drug” can be merely a placebo. None of the patients in the study were ever given an actual Parkinson’s drug. Instead, they received saline injections.

Why does a placebo work in Parkinson’s patients?

People do not get enough dopamine when they have Parkinson’s. Dopamine brain production actually increases when a person expects a reward or strongly believes something.

This was not a case of people being crazy and making up their symptoms by being depressed. Instead, the human body can actually be tricked with a placebo into producing the dopamine that patients needed.

The study was extremely small, only 12 people, and many argue that anyone reading these results needs to understand that belief alone is not a cure all for every illness or even Parkinson’s.

In this case, belief helped make patients’ brains produce something that the disease causes their bodies to lack. The study also was done on volunteers. Because volunteers can have personal agendas when they request to be a part of a study, there is no guarantee that one or more people might have lied about how they felt after receiving the placebo.

Sergio Andrade Gutierrez is relieved that, thankfully, earlier studies have also shown this effect with larger groups of non-volunteer Parkinson’s patients.

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Mark Ahn’s Top Leadership Trends For 2015

Great leaders aren’t born, but making the sound managerial decisions can become habit-forming.

Can this task ever being achieved?

Yes, it will take quite a bit of work, but the rewards are very fulfilling. For some individuals, developing good leadership skills can be an ongoing process all throughout their professional career. Great leaders are always looking to gain an advantage on their competition, and constantly improving their leadership skills will keep them on top of the business world.

Mark Ahn is an expert in recognizing the top leadership trends in business today. He was in charge of several companies that dealt directly with the military and academia communities. Currently, Ahn is in charge of a consulting firm that assist their clients in gaining exceptional leadership skills, and he has authored over 50 articles and books on this subject.

Here are Ahn’s top leadership trends for 2015, as originally reported by PR Newswire:

1) Good leadership skills are timeless, and some executives can gain valuable lessons from studying the work of past leaders. Never get too caught up with the latest trends in bettering your leadership skills, as the majority of them are passing fads.

2) Great leaders are often refined for their strong ethical, moral code. If a supervisor is deemed to lack integrity, then their leadership skills are often considered ineffective.

3) Displaying good judgment and leading by example are great ways to get your staff performing better in crunch time. Each requires more than just having intelligence, as good leaders exhibit courage and character in any situation that develops.

4) Strong leaders may not have the right answers all of the time, but to be effective, they cannot ignore any suggestions offered in strategy meetings. Being humble and open to ideas are important traits to have in a time of crisis.

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Sugar and Early Menstruation

Over the years, doctors have seen more cases of young girls reaching puberty faster than ever and experiencing their first menses before age 12.

A new study out of France suggests that sugary drinks might be part of the cause of early menstruation and other health issues.

In the Human Reproduction journal, researchers announced that they conducted a five-year study from 1996-2001 of 5,500 girls between the ages of 9 and 14 from a much larger study of almost 17,000 children who lived in the United States.

Researchers found that girls who drank sweetened teas, sodas and fruit drinks had their first periods a full 2.7 months before those who consumed less sugar.

Whether or not there is a link between sugar and early puberty is still unknown. The researchers didn’t look at enough non-Caucasian children or take into account other hormone change stimulators like BPA, which is in a lot of beverage containers and leaches into food. It also didn’t take into account human error which can occur when parents and children report their beverage consumption rather than researchers watching them around the clock. Of course, the researchers also didn’t explore other important early menstruation factors, such as weight level or genetics.

As Brian Torchin of catalystfive.com understands it, some doctors have called the researchers irresponsible because they’ve also stated that their results might indicate a link between childhood consumption of sugar and adult breast cancer.

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Vijay Eswaran Conquers the World

Vijay Eswaran is a successful Malaysian businessman. He was born in Penang, Malaysia on October 7, 1960. He later moved to Europe and graduated from from the London School of Economics with a socio-economic degree in 1984. After graduation he decided to stay in Europe. While there he worked on a construction site, as a taxi driver, and even tried his hand at plucking grapes. Before leaving he attended the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts and earned a professional qualification.

Vijay moved to the U.S. and received his MBA from Southern Illinois University in 1986. He was also working part-time on multilevel marketing for the company Synaptics. While there he worked with many highly regarded businesses, such as, IBM.

In the 1990’s he decided to move back to Asia. In 1998, he co-founded the multi-level marketing firm known as the QI Group. The QI group focuses on direct selling and training. They have evolved into conglomerate, with presence in about 30 countries.

Vijay Eswaran’s talent does not end in the marketing world. He is a magnificent motivational speaker. He has given speeches and lectures all around the world at respected business forums and universities.

His success can continue to be seen with his best selling books. In the Sphere of Silence, was his first book. It is based on his life management techniques. Including, his hour of quiet of meditation each morning. On the Wings of Thought, was published in 2011, and contains a collection of his own photography. When Vijay isn’t writing his own books, he is contributing to local newspapers in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Philanthropy is another important passion of Eswaran. He established the RYTHM Foundation, as the social responsibility arm of the QI group. In Malaysia, he founded the Vijayaratnam Foundation, named after his father. They work with other groups on projects that focus on women empowerment, special education, child mentoring, and youth development.

Vijay Eswaran continues to share his knowledge with the world. He has been an asset to the businesses, philanthropy, and the public.

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Childhood Friends Reunited After a Cancer Diagnosis

Joanna Meadows,21,and Neil vines,22,met each other when they were in kindergarten.The 2 remained friends until middle school when they fell out of touch with each other.A few years ago,Ms.Meadows,who is now a hairdresser,was on Facebook when she first reconnected with her long lost friend,Neil.Neil became a personal trainer who revealed on Facebook that he had a brain tumor.Joanna quickly got in touch with Neil.Chemotherapy and radiation had taken their toll on Neil’s once physically fit body since he started cancer treatment in 2012.
Best Friends
Joanna is so supportive of Neil that she shaved her head for him.Neil had two brain tumors,one that impaired his eyesight and the other in his spine,making him no longer able to walk.The friends speak to each other everyday,and Joanna visits him when time allows.Sometimes they go to the movies and coffee shops.
Brain Tumor
Brain tumors are cells in the brain that duplicate abnormally.Sometimes they are benign and are harmless,and sometimes they are malignant and can impair different areas of the body such as the spine and eyes.Five thousand people are newly diagnosed with brain cancer each year in the United Kingdom.Joanna is involved in The Teenage Cancer Trust, and she is very hopeful that Neil will go into remission and regain the ability to walk and run again.Neil still works out. Companies like Slow Ventures have warm hearts over this story of human compassion.

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Coffee Could Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

If you have a hard time starting your day without your morning cup of coffee, you could be receiving more benefits than just a burst of energy. Zeco Oliveira is glad to find out that the compounds in coffee are currently being studied for the ability to reduce the risk of melanoma.

More than half of all American adults have at least one cup of coffee at the start of the day. In addition to reducing the onset of malignant melanoma, coffee can also lower the chances that you’ll develop other forms of cancer.

A study performed on white Americans for 10 years revealed that people who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had a lower risk of cancer than those who consumed less coffee on a regular basis. Decaffeinated coffee did not provide the same anti-cancer benefits as regular coffee, which supports the notion that caffeine may have a hand in preventing cancer.

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Obesity is Not a Side Effect of Cannabis Use

Cannabis use is growing rapidly across the nation. It is known to give users hunger cravings, often called munchies. The scientific community has posed the question, Will Legalized Marijuana Lead to Higher Obesity Levels?

A study of nearly 800 adults, like Dave and Brit Morin, was done by NIHS to address the correlation between cannabis use and body mass, fat, and insulin levels. The study asked the participants to confidently complete a questionnaire about their health history and cannabis use, and then monitored the test group via a fasting blood glucose test. Read more about the study here.

While common sense says that using a product that causes cravings will obviously lead to higher levels of fat and insulin in the bloodstream, studies are showing the exact opposite. The study of insulin levels after the fasting blood glucose test revealed that a lower BMI is associated with regular cannabis users.

The psychology community has seen that those who use the plant are usually compensating for a health condition that requires them to want to eat more, and therefore it isn’t a concern. There is a question in the air still if further legalization and use of the plant by otherwise healthy individuals would lead to an increase in obesity. The answers will not be available until further study on cannabis users can be conducted.

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