UCSF Researchers Create Brain Registry Hoping to Find Cures for Neurological Diseases

Categories: Health, Tech

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Flickr/grapefruitmoon
Technology is being used to find everything from threesomes to voting. So why not use it to help understand our brains better?

Researchers at UC San Francisco have set about to do just that. Launched this week, the Brain Health Registry is an online database that streamlines the process of recruiting subjects for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, and making that research from clinical trials available to the public. Rosenberg Alzheimer's Project as well as The Ray and the Dagmar Dolby Family Fund are funding the project.

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Spring Break Is Over, Now Check Your Head for Lice

Categories: FYI, Health

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Flickr/purpletwinkie
Solve all your Spring Break problems on this aisle
Apparently, Spring Break will leave you with a lot more than alcohol poisoning and sunburns.

A Northern California head bug professional (?) is advising anyone who had fun over Spring Break to start checking your head for lice. The logic being that time off leads to vacations and play dates, which in turn leads to head lice infestations.

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Measles Alert: Another UC Berkeley Student Falls Ill

Categories: Health

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The measles
UC Berkeley has issued an alert, warning the community that a student infected with the measles had attended classes as well as rode public transit at the beginning of April.

According to the alert, which was posted on the University's website, s UC Berkeley student who attended classes during the week of March 31 has been diagnosed with measles. Campus officials have been working with the city to alert anyone who may have been exposed to this student during that time.

The patient is currently in isolation.

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UCSF Recommends New Security Features for San Francisco General Hospital Following Patient's Death

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Lynne Spalding
Still reeling from the death of Lynne Spalding, the 57 year-old mother of two who vanished from her hospital room in September and was found dead in a stairwell weeks later, San Francisco General Hospital now has a list of security features it can implement to preempt any more fiascos.

Today, Mayor Ed Lee presented the results of a comprehensive review by UCSF Medical Center, conducted over the six months following Spalding's death.

The inspectors recommend that SF General hire a security program manager, install new surveillance cameras around its acute care building, and improve its communication lines with the Sheriff's Department, among other things. They also touted various improvements the hospital has already made.

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California Cops Want to Ban Hash, Dabs, all Marijuana Concentrates

Categories: Health, Marijuana

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Stanimir G.Stoev/Shutterstock

It was seen as a measure of progress when the California Police Chiefs -- long one of the major roadblocks in the way of marijuana reform in the state -- decided to introduce their own medical marijuana regulations this year, after years of opposing other efforts.

At first glance, the bill introduced by state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) isn't terrible: after all, the cops are allowing people to legally access cannabis, and even want to let children get their hands on the CBD-rich pot that can stop seizures. That's nice of them.

Less nice is a provision, first noticed by LA Weekly, that the cops are also proposing what appears to be an outright ban on "butane hash oil." In other words: no hash, no concentrates, and an end to dabbing, if California cops have their way.

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CNN's Sanjay Gupta: Allow Doctors To Research Marijuana

Categories: Health, Marijuana

To hear medical professionals and television addicts tell it, Sanjay Gupta is the most important doctor in America.

And, for another day at least, the CNN medical correspondent might be: He's the man who will tell President Barack Obama on national television to get it right and allow doctors to research marijuana. He's also the guy -- and this is the key bit -- to whom people are listening.

Not only that, Gupta is putting prohibitionists on notice: for children's epileptic seizures to be calmed, for tumors of cancer patients to shrink and for sufferers of AIDS to be able to eat and sleep, it's not enough to remove one active ingredient from the plant and put it in a pill -- you need the whole plant.

And that means the law in America needs to change. Because right now, there's a choice between advancing the science and being and outlaw, or just plain doing nothing while people die.

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E-Cigarettes Promote Nicotine Addiction Among Youth, Study Says

Categories: Health

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This is not battery-powered
It seems that everywhere you turn now, someone has an e-cigarette dangling from their mouth -- whether you're at the bar or on your lunch break at work. While manufacturers claim these electronic stogies help people kick the habit of smoking cigarettes, a UC San Francisco study released today finds just the opposite. In fact, the study says, e-cigarettes might actually be a gateway for youths who get hooked on real cigarettes.

Released by Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine and postdoctoral fellow Lauren M. Dutra, the study interpreted data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by 40,000 middle and high school students in 2011 and 2012.

The research found that during that time, youth use of e-cigarettes doubled from 3.1 to 6.5 percent. On top of that, researchers found that some kids were introduced to nicotine through e-cigarettes, which Dutra says opens up a "whole new market for tobacco."

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Will San Francisco's E-Cigarette Ban Extend To Marijuana Vaporizers?

Categories: Health, Marijuana

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Free Big Body's Vape Pen
With strict rules on cigarette smoking at ATMs and in front of bars, San Francisco is not a tobacco town -- but marijuana is getting special treatment at City Hall.

San Francisco lawmakers are taking care to protect the rights of cannabis consumers, so much so that new regulations cracking down on the use of e-cigarettes -- the portable vaporizers that provide a smokeless nicotine fix on the go -- are written as to specifically not crack down on the use of vapor pens, the virtually-identical mechanisms used for smokeless marijuana consumption.

Or will they? Marijuana advocates say that Supervisor Eric Mar's proposed rules on popular e-cigarettes would be applied to also-popular cannabis vaporizers. Add to that questions about why San Francisco would want to regulate and restrict harm reduction, and you have an unlikely union of weedheads and folks trying to kick a smoking habit ready to descend upon City Hall.

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German Doctors Say Marijuana Can Kill You

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It's back
About a month ago, the ever-cautious and beyond-reproach British press ran a sensational story about a drug-induced death. Something called "cannabis poisoning," they reported, killed a 31-year-old mother.

This would be new. Though abundant amounts of high-grade marijuana food have killed off pets, as far as science and even the prohibitionist federal government in the United States know, there is no such thing as "cannabis poisoning" in humans, at least in feasible reality.

Or is there? Researchers in Germany say they have discovered the world's first "cannabis-related deaths," a pair of healthy men in their 20s who succumbed to cardiac arrythmia.

Has the magic plant finally claimed its first victim, several thousand years into its history with humans?

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Measles Case Reported on the Peninsula

Categories: FYI, Health

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This is what the measles looks like
A few weeks back, health officials got commuters riled up after breaking the news that a UC Berkeley student infected with measles rode BART to-and-from class for several days. Perhaps unreleated, it appears that a rare case of the measles has made its way down to San Mateo County where one person was diagnosed with the disease.

No word on whether this person was also a BART passenger, however, according to news reports, the patient had indeed recently traveled internationally. Health officials are now following up on "any potential exposure" to others in the area, KTVU reports.

As of Feb. 21, there were 15 confirmed cases of measles in California so far this year, an increase from the two that were reported this same time last year, according to state officials.

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