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Spinal fluid test a ‘real weapon’ against Alzheimer’s

A test which can spot Alzheimer’s years before full-blown symptoms arise has been hailed as potentially a “real weapon” against the disease.

Experts say that developing a reliable early-warning test for Alzheimer's is crucial if drugs are to be developed which stops it developing

Experts say that developing a reliable early-warning test for Alzheimer’s is crucial if drugs are to be developed which stops it developing Photo: GETTY
Stephen Adams

It involves examining levels of two particular proteins in spinal fluid, that tend to be higher in people who go on to develop the brain disorder.

Alzheimer’s is often preceded by a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which involves memory and thinking problems.

About 15 per cent of people with MCI go on to be diagnosed with clinical Alzheimer’s every year.

However, some regain their full brainpower, but doctors do not know who will go down which route or why.

Now scientists have found that by looking at concentrations of two proteins in spinal fluid together, they are able to tell in four out of five cases who will go on to develop Alzheimer’s and who will not.

Researchers at the Technical University Munich analysed a number of spinal fluid proteins in 58 people with MCI, 21 of whom went on to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over three years.

They found that two proteins – one called tau and another called soluable amyloid precursor protein beta (sAPPβ) – were particular powerful predictors when combined with a person’s age.

Tau, which causes cell death when it builds up in the brain, is already well established as a biomarker. The other, sAPPβ, is a new finding.

In a paper published last night (TUES) in the journal Neurology, the authors wrote that the new protein was of great value because levels became raised very early during disease development.

Alzheimer’s Research UK, a charity, commented that spinal fluid protein tests “might be real weapons” in tackling the disease.

Rebecca Wood, its chief executive, added: “This small study provides a potential new lead to follow up.”

Prof Simon Lovestone, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said: “If this finding is replicated in larger studies it would be a significant step forward.”

Adding the new protein made predictions more accurate, which was “really important,” said Prof Lovestone, one of Britain’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s biomarkers.

He said that perfecting a predictive test for Alzheimer’s was essential to develop drugs to combat the disease.

The was because changes began in the brain up to a decade before clinical symptoms emerged, he explained.

Secondly, if people knew they were very likely to get Alzheimer’s they could plan for the future.

“You might go ahead with that world cruise and think about what care you want, if you know,” he said.

But he cautioned that all spinal fluid tests had an Achilles’ heel – they required an “uncomfortable” lumbar puncture to obtain the sample.

“That’s particularly problematic if you want to give the test lots of times, for example at three or six month intervals.”

Prof Lovestone is currently working on a blood test to detect the early signs of Alzheimer’s, a disease which currently affects more than 800,000 people in Britain.

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


What You Need to Know About Eleuthero, Often Called Siberian ginseng

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a medicinal herb said to offer a wide range of health benefits. Although it is also referred to as “Siberian ginseng,” eleuthero does not belong to the same family as “true” ginseng, which includes Korean or Asian ginseng and American ginseng. Eleuthero is available as a dietary supplement and sometimes used in skincare products.

Uses For Eleuthero

Eleuthero is thought to act as an adaptogen, a class of herbs that supposedly boost the body’s resistance to stress. Proponents claim that eleuthero can also help with these health conditions:

In addition, eleuthero is sometimes used to improve athletic performance, boost the immune system, and ease the side effects ofchemotherapy.

Benefits of Eleuthero

To date, research on the health effects of Siberian ginseng is fairly limited. However, some studies suggest that eleuthero shows promise in the treatment of certain conditions, including:

1) Colds

Eleuthero is possibly effective for cold relief when taken in combination with the herbandrographis, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Indeed, a 2004 study of 130 children (published in Phytotherapy Research) found that an herbal formula containing eleuthero and andrographis helped reduce cold duration and severity when treatment was started at the early stages of the cold. In general, it takes four to five days of treatment with the andrographis/Siberian ginseng combination in order to experience maximum cold relief, the NIH states.

2) Fatigue

Eleuthero may help improve mental performance in people with mild, stress-induced fatigue, according to a 2009 research review published in Current Clinical Pharmacology. Additionally, a 2004 study from Psychological Medicine found that eleuthero might benefit people with “moderate fatigue.” However, the study also found that eleuthero was not effective for people with severe fatigue. The study involved 96 people with fatigue, each of whom received either eleuthero or a placebo for two months.

3) Osteoarthritis

For a 2009 study published in The Korean Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, researchers assigned 57 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee to six weeks of daily treatment with either a placebo or an herbal formula containing eleuthero, Panax ginseng, and Chinese foxglove. By the study’s end, those had received the herbal formula showed greater improvement in pain and physical functioning (compared to those who had taken the placebo). However, it’s not known whether eleuthero on its own can help manage osteoarthritis.

4) High Cholesterol

Eleuthero may help cut cholesterol, according to a small study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications in 2008. For the study, 40 postmenopausal women were assigned to receive either calcium or calcium plus eleuthero for six months. Study results revealed that those who were given calcium plus eleuthero experienced significant decreases in LDL cholesterol and certain markers of oxidative stress (a destructive biological process linked to many major health problems, including heart disease and cancer).

What You Need to Know Before Using Eleuthero

The NIH warns that eleuthero products often contain “adulterants” (other ingredients that do not contribute to the benefit of the product). Silk vine is a common adulterant of eleuthero, according to the NIH. To avoid adulterants, read product labels carefully or ask your health-care provider to recommend an eleuthero product to you.

It’s also important not to confuse eleuthero with other types of ginseng commonly used in herbal medicine, such as Panax ginseng and American ginseng.

Is Eleuthero Safe?

Although eleuthero is likely safe when used in the short term, it may trigger a number of side effects (including insomnia, headache, nervousness, drowsiness, and hypoglycemia). It’s also important to take caution when using Siberian ginseng if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, diabetes, a hormone-sensitive condition (such as breast canceror uterine fibroids), or a mental condition (such as mania or schizophrenia). In these cases, the NIH recommends avoiding the use of eleuthero or using eleuthero only under your doctor’s supervision.

Pregnant and breast-feeding women and children should also avoid the use of eleuthero.

Should You Use Eleuthero for Health Purposes?

While taking eleuthero in combination with andrographis may help treat the common cold, it’s too soon to recommend eleuthero for any other health problem. If you’re considering the use of Siberian ginseng in treatment of a chronic condition, make sure to consult your doctor before starting your supplement regimen.


Hartz AJ, Bentler S, Noyes R, Hoehns J, Logemann C, Sinift S, Butani Y, Wang W, Brake K, Ernst M, Kautzman H. “Randomized controlled trial of Siberian ginseng for chronic fatigue.” Psychol Med. 2004 Jan;34(1):51-61.

Lee YJ, Chung HY, Kwak HK, Yoon S. “The effects of A. senticosus supplementation on serum lipid profiles, biomarkers of oxidative stress, and lymphocyte DNA damage in postmenopausal women.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Oct 10;375(1):44-8.

National Insitutes of Health. “Ginseng, Siberian: MedlinePlus Supplements“. November 2010.

Panossian A, Wikman G. “Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity.” Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Sep;4(3):198-219.

Park SH, Kim SK, Shin IH, Kim HG, Choe JY. “Effects of AIF on Knee Osteoarthritis Patients: Double-blind, Randomized Placebo-controlled Study.” Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2009 Feb;13(1):33-7.

Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, Chernikov MV, Wikman G. “Comparative controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination, Kan Jang and an Echinacea preparation as adjuvant, in the treatment of uncomplicated respiratory disease in children.” Phytother Res. 2004 Jan;18(1):47-53.

June 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Reduce Belly Fat, Naturally

How to Reduce Belly Fat

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns that women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches may have an increased risk for obesity-related diseases. While overall weight loss is the only known way to fight abdominal obesity and protect against obesity-related diseases, some research suggests that certain natural solutions may help reduce belly fat. Here’s a look at several study findings:

1) Soy and Belly Fat

Taking soy supplements may reduce belly fat in obese postmenopausal women, according to a small study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2010. For the study, researchers assigned 39 postmenopausal women to three months of treatment with either soy supplements or a placebo. Results revealed that soy helped reduce belly fat and interleukin-6 (a marker of inflammation), but failed to improve blood-sugar metabolism and increase levels of leptin (a hormone involved in fat metabolism).

2) Probiotics and Belly Fat

A 2010 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition) shows that probiotics may help reduce belly fat. Every day for 12 weeks, 87 study participants drank either seven ounces of a fermented milk enriched with a probiotic strain called Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 (LG2055) or the same amount of fermented milk made without LG2055. Compared to the control group, those who consumed the LG2055-enriched fermented milk showed a greater reduction in belly fat and body weight.

3) Green Tea and Belly Fat

Green tea, which has been shown to speed up metabolism in preliminary studies, is sometimes touted as a natural remedy for abdominal obesity. However, in a 2007 study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found no difference in belly fat between overweight women treated with green tea extract for 12 weeks and study participants given a placebo for the same time period.

Should You Use Natural Remedies to Fight Belly Fat?

Although preliminary findings are promising, it’s too soon to recommend any type of natural remedy in treatment of abdominal obesity. If you’re looking to lose belly fat, it’s important to combine a healthy diet (low in saturated fats and simple carbohydrates) with an exercise program that includes both aerobic exercise and strength training. There’s also some evidence that managing your stress may help fight belly fight as well.


Christie DR, Grant J, Darnell BE, Chapman VR, Gastaldelli A, Sites CK. “Metabolic effects of soy supplementation in postmenopausal Caucasian and African American women: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.” Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Aug;203(2):153.e1-9.

Elissa S. Epel, PhD, Bruce McEwen, PhD, Teresa Seeman, PhD, Karen Matthews, PhD, Grace Castellazzo, RN, BSN, Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, Jennifer Bell, BA and Jeannette R. Ickovics, PhD. “Stress and Body Shape: Stress-Induced Cortisol Secretion Is Consistently Greater Among Women With Central Fat.” Psychosomatic Medicine 62:623-632 (2000).

Hill AM, Coates AM, Buckley JD, Ross R, Thielecke F, Howe PR. “Can EGCG reduce abdominal fat in obese subjects?” J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Aug;26(4):396S-402S.

Kadooka Y, Sato M, Imaizumi K, Ogawa A, Ikuyama K, Akai Y, Okano M, Kagoshima M, Tsuchida T. “Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64(6):636-43.

June 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“Born in the USA” Album Review

 Columbia Records

The Bottom Line

An argument can easily be made that this is one of the best rock and roll albums of all time. In fact, maybe a viable argument could not even be made against that claim. Springsteen’s versatility allows him to take on the plight of Vietnam veterans within a driving rock anthem on one tune and then tap into the glowing warmth of bittersweet nostalgia on another. In short, he exhibits some kind of otherworldly Midas touch in all the different things he dares to try on a rock and roll album.


  • All 14 tracks are quality tunes, and almost all of those are classics.

  • A magical blend of often despairing themes with exuberant rock and roll.

  • Rarely has accessibility been so perfectly married with literate songwriting.


  • The bar is set so high that a couple of songs could have been cut to make an even stronger album.


  • This is a 20th century masterpiece that rivals some modern fiction in its narrative intensity.

  • At the same time it’s grand entertainment, displaying the sheer joy of musicians at their peak.

  • Springsteen may have never been particularly of the ’80s, but he undeniably crafted an ’80s classic.

Guide Review – “Born in the USA” Album Review

Starting with the title track, Springsteen announces that he has clearly entered a new decade with full grasp of the latest prevailing sounds and styles. At the same time, he remains true to a straight-ahead rock and roll approach that had already served him well for a decade of superstardom. “Born in the USA” is fueled by Roy Bittan’s infectious synth, but its true strength lies in Springsteen’s fierce lyrical narrative depicting the plight of the forgotten man, a theme he’s often plumbed.

After that, the highlights are too numerous to mention, but it’s rewarding to try. “Downbound Train” is a masterfully forlorn tale of romantic loss perfectly seeped in an atmosphere of longing. “No Surrender” and “Bobby Jean” are both sterling fist-pumpers, full of time-worn determination for a better tomorrow and wistful appreciation of the past. “Glory Days” is one of the best songs about nostalgia ever written, and “My Hometown” closes out the album with proper gravity for a nation’s lost innocence.

Aside from Springsteen’s dead-on command of his themes, the E Street band supplies stunningly effective layers of musical accompaniment. As always, Clarence Clemons offers tasteful and appropriate saxophone parts, but the haunting use of keyboards by Bittan and Danny Federici contributes heavily to the album’s constantly rich sound. From songwriting to instrumentation to thematic heft to joyous evocation, this classic album is fortified with everything that makes music beloved and important.

June 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clarence Clemons, “The Big Man,” R.I.P.

Clarence ClemonsSaxophonist Clarence Clemons, known around the world to millions of Bruce Springsteen fans as “The Big Man” of E Street Band fame, passed away on Saturday, June 18, 2011 from complications of a stroke he had suffered earlier in the week. Clemons was 69 years old.

While not a blues artist, per se, Clemons’ influence on sax players in the blues and R&B worlds is undeniable. As a member of the E Street Band behind Springsteen, Clemons’ horn was an integral part of Springsteen’s music, adding a bit of soul and the grit of urban blues to the singer’s street-smart lyrics. The saxophone, a mainstay of 1950s-era rock ‘n’ roll, had been largely ignored by the genre until Clemons came along in the mid-1970s, adapting his King Curtis-influenced R&B sound to a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack and radically changing the role of the instrument in rock, blues, and R&B music.

It was a testament to his talents that Clemons was equally capable of enhancing just about any style of music with his brilliant instrumentation. Aside from the better than a dozen albums he recorded over 40 years with Springsteen, Clemons also played on recordings by artists as diverse as R&B legends Aretha Franklin and Gary “U.S.” Bonds; Italian blues-rock guitarist Zucchero (with whom he made five albums); rockers Ian Hunter and Little Steven; and such seemingly odd pairings as Twisted Sister and, most recently, Lady Gaga.

Clemons also enjoyed a lengthy solo career, issuing four albums and scoring a 1985 hit in his duet with Jackson Browne, “You’re A Friend Of Mine.” During the last decade, Clemons teamed up with longtime friends Narada Michael Walden and T.M. Stevens as Temple of Soul, the band releasing its Brothers In Arms album in 2008.

Issuing a statement on his website, Bruce Springsteen said, “we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 years. He was my great friend, my partner and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.”

Clarence Clemons photo by Andrew H. Walker, courtesy Getty Images


June 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, and Jason Segel Discuss ‘Bad Teacher



Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake in 'Bad Teacher'Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake in ‘Bad Teacher’

© Columbia Pictures

Cameron Diaz’s teacher in Bad Teacher is a school student’s parents’ worst nightmare. She’s crude, rude, hates her job, and she getsdrunkat work. All Diaz’ character, Elizabeth Halsey, wants out of life is to quit her job which she’s doing only for a paycheck, not because she feels any special calling to shape the minds of young people. Her plan for being able to leave her job behind involves landing a rich husband, which means she needs larger breasts – and she’s not above lying and stealing in order to raise funds for the breast enhancement surgery.

Justin Timberlake (The Social Network) plays a wealthy – and geeky – new teacher Elizabeth tries to seduce. Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) co-stars as a gym teacher who has a thing for Elizabeth. Together for the press conference to support the R-rated comedy directed by Jake Kasdan, Diaz, Segel and Timberlake talked about getting raunchy in Bad Teacher, their own memorable teachers, and women behaving badly in comedies.

Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel Press Conference

Your character was motivated to get a boob job. Was it fun to play a character with the wrong self-image values?

Cameron Diaz: “Completely. Because obviously if I thought that I could get somewhere with having bigger boobies, I would have done it by now. But for her, it’s everything. It’s called hard economic times. Have you ever heard of this? You can’t find a millionaire the way you could three, four years ago before the crash. So it’s like a lot of work for her now. So it’s an investment. Suze Orman would have been like, ‘Girl, five year plan.’ You know what I mean? So yeah. She’s working hard for those. She knows that to get what you want you have to have a goal, and her goal is to invest in her business and get a pair of tits.”

“But I’m not judging, clearly. I’m not judging. But the thing about it is if we really believed this was the right thing to do we wouldn’t be making fun of it, right? So it was really fun to make fun of it because clearly, especially living in this town, we all know what it’s like to sort of come up against people who have their priorities a little screwed up and focus on the wrong things.”

“It was really fun to be able to sort of go to work every day and have a gang, a team of people all on the same wagon going towards complete and utter distaste, and throwing everything out the window. It was fantastic. We had a lot of fun doing that.”

Do you have any memorable teachers, not necessarily a bad one but somebody who really stands out?

Jason Segel: “I would like to give a shout out to a teacher called Ted Walsh, who was my high school drama coach. […]He really changed my life. Right before I left and started working with Jake [Kasdan] on Freaks and Geeks, wow, 13 or 14 years ago now – that’s crazy. He said, ‘Don’t ever forget the best actor in the world is out there stuck doing dinner theater somewhere, so don’t ever get arrogant about thinking you’re entitled to this.’ It stayed with me for this whole time.”

Justin Timberlake: “I had a teacher in seventh grade who told me I should have more realistic goals than being a songwriter and an entertainer because my schoolwork was suffering. And you can quote me on this directly to her: suck it.”

Cameron Diaz: “I had Mr. Fujikawa in sixth grade. He used to come in after the weekends and tell us about his three-year-old son that he would spend the weekends with and how wonderful it was to have a child to pass on knowledge to and how you want to encourage them, and how to also teach them life’s lessons as he sat with his feet, literally, kicked up on the desk talking about how wonderful it was this weekend that his son was starting to walk. And how gratifying it was that when he took the four steps up the porch to get to the top to the front door, as he got to the very top last step he would pull on the string that he had tied around his leg to bring him back down to the beginning. To help him get back up the next four or five steps. And I just thought that was the most amazing, like I laughed so hard when he told that story. Everybody else was like, ‘Ah’, and I was like, ‘That’s awesome’. Of course I can relate very well to it. But, yeah, it was very…that, to me, was somebody who helped form and shape me, really. Honestly.”

Justin Timberlake: “I feel like these three stories really explained who we are as adults.”

Cameron Diaz: “Exactly.”

Justin and Cameron, you’ve achieved the most iconic dry humping scene in cinema history.

[They high five each other]

Can you talk about creating that and putting that together?

Justin Timberlake: “He said putting that together. Well, I think we created the only dry humping scene ever seen in a movie.”

Cameron Diaz: “It was absurd.”

Justin Timberlake: “I would like to say that Jake had… He wasn’t literally between us but figuratively he was there.”

Cameron Diaz: “He was our humping coach.”

Justin Timberlake: “He was my humping coach. I’ve got to say there’s nothing wrong with a good jean jam.”
Cameron Diaz: “I kind of feel mostly proud of [it].”

Justin Timberlake: “I’m serious. I don’t know why that’s funny to you guys. But also we felt collectively, the both of us, that we had a responsibility. And that was to the young people who are going to buy tickets to, I don’t know, Transformers the second week and go see this movie because they’re underage. It really is a public service announcement for safe sex.”

Cameron Diaz: “You can’t, you know, when you’ve got the denim on denim.”

Justin Timberlake: “Nobody ever got pregnant with their jeans on.”

Cameron Diaz: “So, totally promoting that. That’s pretty much the only message that’s in the movie that we’re proud of. Other than that it’s completely – there’s nothing else. It’s just, we thought, ‘Well, you guys look. We shouldn’t just be making a movie about nothing that is of any importance or is like, you know, if we’re going to try to be role models in any way, we should offer up least a jean jam.’ At the very least.”

Justin Timberlake: “And it is jamming.”

Justin, how hard was it to sing that crazy song without cracking up? Did you contribute to the lyrics at all?

Justin Timberlake: “‘Simpatico’, the original composition by Scott Delacorte? Yeah, it’s a special song. That was an idea that Gene and Lee and Jake kind of came to me about. And in the script, there was a loose idea about the teacher band show and Scott doing kind of a singer/songwriter thing. And I remember Jake coming to me and saying, ‘If we’re going to do this, we have to create something that’s going to be terrible.’ And so it’s pretty obvious that I put my body on the line for comedy. Why not put my voice on the line for comedy? But honestly, yeah, the lyrics were Gene and Lee and then they brought it to me and then I just tried to create the most terrible melody that I could to it. The mission was to make it so bad that they would not be able to market it in the trailer. So, yeah. It’s really just an extension of the character. I mean it was totally a collaboration between the writers and Jake, the director?”

Was there anything in the script that didn’t make it?

Cameron Diaz: “The puke and the blood? The urine and the blood? Oh, yeah. I mean that better be in the DVD – the vomit scene. That was pretty amazing. Also, the puking scene that I volunteered for didn’t make it.”

You threw up all over Lucy Punch?

Cameron Diaz: “Several times, and it’s not there. All of that work.”

Justin Timberlake: “You guys know what it’s like. You’ve got to kill babies when you make movies. Sometimes those gems just end up on the DVD.”

Cameron Diaz: “What are you talking about?”

What’s your opinion of public education and are you a product of public education?

Cameron Diaz: “Oh, I am as public as education gets.”

Justin Timberlake: “Man, we’ve got to figure out a way to pay teachers more. That’s my opinion of it. They actually are like surrogate parents away from home and in doing the junket for the last couple of days, I’ve kind of come across the realization that, in hearing everyone talk about, because we’ve constantly gotten the question, ‘Have you had a bad teacher when you were younger?’ And I get why you guys ask us that because it’s a little hook with Bad Teacher. Yeah, I get it. But you keep coming across this idea about how we started talking about it and we found that the teachers that we actually learned more from were the ones that were kind of like taught us life lessons more than trigonometry. And, so yeah, I mean they have such a huge responsibility and they’re under-appreciated and underpaid. So that’s my opinion of teachers.”

It looks like right now is the time for women behaving badly in comedies. Can you talk about how that’s changed over the years and what your commitment is to doing that?

Cameron Diaz: “My commitment to it is pretty obvious. You know, women have always behaved badly. I think probably worse than men. Maybe men just don’t have the stomach for it. They don’t want to see it on film because they just can’t take it. I mean any of my guy friends when I start to tell them what women really talk about and what really goes down they’re like, ‘La, la, la, la, la, la, la.’ They don’t want to hear it. It’s like [they] plug their ears. They can’t take it. So maybe it’s just at this moment is the time for women. There’s a lot of those films now. I think that people are willing to sort of laugh at those things altogether now. And to know this script, this movie would have been just as hilarious with a man, a male role, you know? It being a male role. As a female, which I think is kind of great because it just goes to show that humor – that you can make something funny for everyone. And so, yeah, I think that we can find a lot of similarities in what we laugh at.”

“I haven’t seen Bridesmaids yet so I can’t wait to see it. I’ve been out of the country and it’s not open in England at the moment. So I actually don’t know the humor of theBridesmaids, so I can’t really speak to that. But I think that people are just willing to take a chance, and I think the studios nowadays are willing to. Formulaically, we’re tired of kind of seeing the same old thing, the same old thing. And after a while it just doesn’t work anymore. And this is a business and we want to make some money, and we want to make things that work. And I think they’re taking a chance at different things. So that was like, you know, the worst answer in the world. But that’s cool. You’ll do something with it.”

Justin Timberlake: “As a male who actually enjoys hearing those dirty things that women say, I think funny women have been around forever. Like Carol Burnett, Madeline Kahn. I mean there’s always been genius, genius female actors in comedy. I also think that we live in an age where technology has afforded a generation a lot more of a crass look at the world. The internet is a really strange place to be. And I think the level of what we can kind of understand about brash humor mixed with all these different elements, I think with all types of movies like The Hangover and things like that, I think people like Jake and directors who step up and say, ‘We want to push the envelope but in a way that we know can get laughs,’ that always fuels the engine. But also it is great that, like Cameron said, that’s the coolest thing about this movie is that this lead role, it’s a great thing to see a female that can do it and do it as well as Cameron does it.”

Jason Segel: “I feel like the boob job storyline would have been weird.”

Cameron Diaz: “This is true. Yeah, we could have worked around it somehow. But he’s right. It could have been like calf implants or something. Isn’t calf implants like a big thing for guys? That’s funny.”

How difficult was it to get together and find the chemistry to make this movie work?

Justin Timberlake: “Well, after the first week of rehearsal and the first orgy it all kind of just flowed together.”

Cameron Diaz: “It’s like comedy marksman, you know what I mean? Everybody’s precision. Pull back the arrow, they take their breath, they slow down the heartbeat and then they just kind of let go and it’s like bulls eye. It’s easy. You have to do that, you know, with this kind of fast-paced comedy where you just kind of have to get – we’re shooting like this and we never stop. It’s like a constant. It’s not leisure time for us. We have a schedule. So it’s kind of like you have to kind of come in and just hit it. Jake would come up to me and give me notes and then he wouldn’t say anything to Jason [Segel]. And Jason would say, ‘So just be as awesome as I was last time?’ And he was like, ‘ Yeah.'”

Jason Segel: “Well, I’m like, I’m super good at this.”

Cameron Diaz: “That cuts down time because you don’t have to give people like Jason notes because he hits the mark, the bulls eye every time. So it’s precision comedy.”

Jason Segel: “For me, when you’re involved in a cast like this there’s kind of a mutual admiration society element to it, especially when you’re doing your off-camera. You’re sitting back in awe watching great comedians do their thing. That’s always when I feel the luckiest and when I feel like I’ve totally tricked everyone. You are sitting around with everyone who are actually amazing at the thing you’ve professed to do. It’s very humbling.”

Jason, you’re actually kind of the voice of reason in this.

Jason Segel: “Yeah, it was really fun. To some extent I’m the straight man. And I think in a small way I’m sort of the eyes of the audience a little bit. I’m the one who pops in and call her on her bs, which I think is what the audience kind of wants to do at points. ‘What are you doing?’ And I’m the character who gets to voice that opinion, so that was really fun. I got to come in and just kind of observe and try to get a couple of zingers in there. That was kind of my goal and just be natural. It was easy to act against Cameron and the entire cast.”

Cameron, what was your approach to the car wash scene? Was it a nightmare or did you embrace it?

Justin Timberlake: “Yeah, I’ve been waiting to be asked that question. I feel like I nailed it. No, this is – I mean a lot of people don’t know this but I’m just going to tell them about what we did.”

Cameron Diaz: “Okay.”

Justin Timberlake: “I choreographed the car wash scene. That will also be on the DVD extras. There’s a behind the scenes look at it.”

With you demonstrating how to wash that car?

Cameron Diaz: “Yeah, in his shorts. In his Daisy Dukes, as well.”

Justin Timberlake: “The shot of the black and white hitting the car, that was Jake just… There was a police car that came by and Jake just literally saw what was about to happen and had the DP pan the camera over and we just caught some reality. So, perfect.”

Justin, will you be joining the five-timers club on Saturday Night Live? What makes a host a good fit for that show?

Justin Timberlake: “I’ve hosted four times. The season finale was just my fourth time, although it does seem like more because when I’m in New York City they can’t keep me out of 30 Rock, which is probably annoying to them on some level. I grew up with SNL, it is an institution. It is part of the humor and chemistry between me and my father. I come from a divorced family and didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my father when I was young, and it’s something that we share that is really special to me. And growing up with that show, it was just an institution. I mean I remember staying up late. I mean it was really bad parenting because I was too young to be watching some of the jokes that were on SNLbut, hey, I turned out okay. But I’m just such a huge fan of the show. And to be honest, I’m here at this press conference because of SNL. I have no doubt in my mind about that. I owe getting a shot to be in Bad Teacher with these genius comedians and comediennes directly to SNL and Lorne Michaels for letting me be there and rock out with…”

Cameron Diaz: “Your ‘Dick in a Box’?”

Justin Timberlake: “All I got. And I mean can we just say that that is a thoughtful Christmas gift?”

Cameron Diaz: “It is. I think it’s amazing.”

Justin Timberlake: “I don’t know, I feel like…”

Cameron Diaz: “The smaller the bow, the bigger the package.”

Justin Timberlake: “That’s true. That’s true. Yeah. Trim your bow, gentleman. Yeah, so I directly owe any opportunity that I ever get on film to be in a comedy to ‘SNL. So I’m so thankful for that show as a kid and as an adult.”

Jason Segel: “I’ll join the five-timers club if I host five more times.”

Cameron, your character does and says horrible thing but we still like her. Is that your sunny personality coming through or did you work really hard on trying to get us to like her?

Cameron Diaz: “That was the great thing about this movie; there was not one ounce of energy spent trying to make anything about this character likable. It was genius. I went 30 pages into the script, I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m playing this character. How could I ever redeem her? There’s no redemption for her. This is a horrible person.’ Then 10 pages later I was like, ‘God, I think I like her’. By the end I was like, ‘This is amazing because I don’t have to apologize.'”

“There’s no apologizing for this person and that’s the beauty of this script. I think what is such a breath of fresh air of why you watch it because usually you spend the last 20 minutes of the movie trying to apologize for the first hour and a half of it because people are afraid of just owning what it is. And in life we don’t just have an epiphany and change our entire lives. It happens, but it’s not the norm. You have the sense that this person is just sort of slowing down the train to jump off so she can get cross the platform to get back on the train going the other direction. You know what I mean? And I really appreciated that and I didn’t want to mess with that. I didn’t want to try to make her happy. She has one moment where she says to the kid, she’s got her priorities all screwed up. And there’s like, you see this sort of flash for her going, ‘Huh? Okay.’ Like, ‘Nah. Oh, okay.’ But there’s no commitment.”

“I think the reason people like her is because, if they do at all, is because she’s honest. And people wish that they could be as honest as she is. And that they don’t have to suffer the consequences or repercussions of their actions. She doesn’t and therefore it’s kind of like she’s kind of like a hero even though she should be the anti-hero.”

The MPAA gave this an R-rating, but what’s the harm in 15, 16 seeing this movie anyway?

Cameron Diaz: “It’s arbitrary, honestly, the rating system. Who is to judge what is R-rated or not? It’s all relative, right? I mean it’s just to whom is watching it if it’s something that is inappropriate or not. So I say get rid of the ratings, man. Our youth are suffering. Suffering. That they are kept out of movies like this, we should give this to our children. They need it. Take off the R rating.”

“This content against like the video games where they all get to slash each other up and cut each other’s hair off. Or just even Viagra commercials in the middle of the Super Bowl. I mean that, to me, I take more offense to.”

Justin Timberlake: “Also, one can argue that if you take away the R rating, it’s going to take all the fun out of being a teenager and sneaking in.”

Cameron Diaz: “This is true.”

Justin Timberlake: “Let’s be honest. They’re going to do it.”

Cameron, would you rather see adults give kids realistic advice or protect them and say, “Yes, you can,” when you know they really can’t?

Cameron Diaz: “No, I believe that you should always be honest with kids. You’re doing a disservice to not only the child but to society if you’re breeding a child that doesn’t have the tools to cope in the real world. And so I’m a very direct, you know, I told the kids when they all showed up to set, I was like, ‘Yeah, so your parents let you do this, right? You know what’s going to happen? You think you do, but you don’t. But just be ready. Be aware. We’re not holding back. We’re not sugar-coating any of this. I’m not watching my language. If you don’t like it, if you guys have a problem you can leave. It’s fine.'”

Jason Segel: And then she said, ‘There’s no Santa.’ That was really totally unnecessary because they’re like 12.”

Cameron Diaz: “But I let them keep the Easter Bunny.”

Justin Timberlake: “But after that, everything was uphill. ‘Don’t move your face. Take this dodgeball.'”

June 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Olive Oil May Prevent Strokes, Study Says

Olive Oil

We’ve been hearing about the benefits of olive oil for years, but now it looks like it could help prevent strokes in elderly people, according to a new French study.

Researchers at the University of Bordeaux studied medical records from nearly 8,000 people aged 65 and older.

Olive oil consumption was labeled in participants as “no use,” “moderate use” and “intensive use.”

Over the five-year study period, 148 people had strokes.

Results from the study show that people who used olive in both cooking and as a dressing or with bread had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those people who never used olive oil in their diet.

As a result, researchers said people over age 65 may need a new set of dietary guidelines.

“Olive oil is a big part of the Mediterranean Diet, which is a healthy diet that includes olive oil as their primary fat source, so as a result it’s not surprising to see that this is beneficial,” Carolyn Snyder, a registered dietician at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a news release.

And the good news is that olive oil is easy to add to any diet.

“It’s a very simple salad dressing, mixing that with a little balsamic vinaigrette,” Snyder said. “You can use it to dip whole grain breads in with a little bit of seasoning like basil.”

Complete findings of the study are published in the journal Neurology.

June 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

General Information about Multiple Sclerosis

Facts about Multiple Sclerosis


  •  First Diagnosed in 1849

  • The earliest known description of a person with possible Multiple Sclerosis dates from 14th century Holland

  • Multiple Sclerosis is the most common progressive and disabling neurological condition in young adults

  • Approx 2.5 million people worldwide, have Multiple Sclerosis

  • Around 400,000 people in the United States have Multiple Sclerosis

  • In the UK, approx 70,000 people have the disease

  • Approx 50,000 people in Canada have Multiple Sclerosis

  • Scotland has the highest incidence of Multiple Sclerosis per head of population in the world

  • In Scotland, over 10,500 people have Multiple Sclerosis

  • No virus has ever been isolated as the cause of Multiple Sclerosis

  • Average age of clinical onset is 30 – 33 years of age

  • The average age of diagnosis is 37 years of age

  • The average time between clinical onset of MS and diagnosis by physicians is 4 – 5 years

  • 10% of cases are diagnosed after the age of fifty

  • In 1936, only 8% of patients were reported to survive beyond 20 years after onset of illness

  • In 1961, over 80% of Multiple Sclerosis patients were reported surviving to 20 years after onset of illness

  • 2002 – A patient with Multiple Sclerosis can expect to live to average population life-expectancy minus seven years (mean life expectancy – 7 years)

  • Multiple Sclerosis is five times more prevalent in temperate climates than in tropical climates

  • Multiple Sclerosis affects women much more frequently than men. Approx. 1.7 – 2:1 in the US and approx 3:2 in the UK

  • The ratio of white to non-white is approx 2:1

  • Gypsies and Inuit’s do get Multiple Sclerosis although the incidence rate is much lower than other populations at approx 19 per 100,000

  • Native Indians of North and South America, the Japanese and other Asian peoples have a very low incidence rate of Multiple Sclerosis

  • In identical twins where one twin develops the disease, the likelihood of the second twin developing Multiple Sclerosis is approx 30%

  • The incidence rate for non-identical twins, where one contracts Multiple Sclerosis, is approx 4%

  • The risk of contracting Multiple Sclerosis if a first-degree relative (father, mother, sibling) has the disease, is approx 1% – 3% overall

  • The risk of contracting Multiple Sclerosis if your father has the disease is approx 1 in 100

  • The risk of contracting Multiple Sclerosis if your mother has the disease is approx 1 in 50

  • The risk among the general population of contracting Multiple Sclerosis is approx 1 in 800

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June 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Exercise May Protect the Brain From ‘Silent Strokes’

Moderate to intense physical activity cuts seniors’ risk by 40 percent, study finds

WEDNESDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) — Jogging, swimming, biking or other moderate to intense physical activity may protect the brain from “silent strokes,” or small brain lesions that can lead to mental decline and increase the chances of a future stroke, a new study suggests.

“These silent strokes are more significant than the name implies because they have been associated with an increased risk of falls and impaired mobility, memory problems and even dementia, as well as stroke,” study author Dr. Joshua Z. Willey of Columbia University said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

“Encouraging older people to take part in moderate to intense exercise may be an important strategy for keeping their brains healthy,” he said.

For the study, Willey and his fellow researchers compiled information on the exercise habits of 1,238 people who had never had a stroke. About 43 percent said they did no regular exercise; 36 percent did light physical activity, such as golf or walking; and 21 percent said they did moderate to intense exercise, such as tennis, swimming, racquetball, hiking or jogging on a regular basis.

About six years later, researchers scanned the brains of the participants, who by then averaged 70 years old. The scans revealed that 16 percent had experienced silent strokes.

Those who reported engaging in moderate to intense activity were 40 percent less likely to have developed these small brain lesions than those who got no regular exercise, the study found. There was no difference in the likelihood of brain lesions between those who engaged in light exercise and those who got no regular physical activity.

“Of course, light exercise has many other beneficial effects, and these results should not discourage people from doing light exercise,” Willey noted.

The findings were reported online June 8 in Neurology.

The study also found that the benefits of regular exercise on brain health did not apply to those who did not have health insurance or were on Medicaid. “It may be that the overall life difficulties for people with no insurance or on Medicaid lessens the protective effect of regular exercise,” Willey said.

June 12, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment