Monday, June 27, 2016

Centrexion's Pain Killers That Don't Trigger Opiod's Pleasure Receptors. Chile Peppers Promising "The Great Chile Poster (fresh)" Framed Art Print by Elliot Miller
Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers Could Free Us From Opioids

A startup zeroes in on nonaddictive pain treatments.

Cynthia Koons
Bloomberg BusinessWeek

A painting of bright red chilies hangs in the boss’s office at Centrexion Therapeutics. A wreath of the spicy peppers sits on the desk of the company’s chief scientist. Chilies in one form or another seem to be everywhere at the company’s Baltimore headquarters. Led by former Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Kindler, Centrexion is developing a new generation of nonaddictive painkillers, and hot peppers could play a role.
About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain—more than those living with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined, according to the Institute of Medicine. “People for the last 100,000 years have been chewing or smearing or smoking or trying agents in their environment to relieve pain,” says Daniel Carr, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
Many people in pain turn to opioid-based drugs such as OxyContin, which are a leading cause of drug addiction and overdose deaths in the U.S. Narcotics, including heroin, were responsible for more than 28,000 deaths in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which figures at least half involved a prescription drug. The resulting burden on the American economy is $635 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity, according to the Institute of Medicine. “When we talk about chronic pain, like chronic low-back pain, physicians feel like they only have one bullet in their toolbox that works for many, many patients,” says Michael Oshinsky, program director for pain and migraine at the National Institutes of Health, about opioids.

Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg

The pharma industry has struggled to come up with alternatives. No fewer than 33 experimental medicines for chronic pain went into clinical trials from 2009 to 2015, and all failed, Oshinsky says.
The problem with narcotics is that in treating pain they affect an area of the brain that registers intense pleasure. Centrexion’s drugs are designed to target pain directly, without triggering the brain’s reward system. The company is developing an injectable drug to treat arthritis and foot pain that contains a synthetic version of capsaicin, a substance in chili plants. It’s the furthest along of five drugs Centrexion has in development and could hit the market by 2020. “Truthfully, there aren’t many, if any, really safe, effective chronic-pain treatments that have good duration, good safety, and nonaddictive properties,” Kindler says.
Other companies working on non-opioid pain relief include Hydra Biosciences of Cambridge, Mass., and Heron Therapeutics of Redwood City, Calif., which are targeting diabetic and postoperative pain, respectively. Pfizer and Eli Lilly last year resumed late-stage trials of a non-opioid medicine for arthritic pain, which they halted after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised concerns that the entire class of drugs might have side effects on the nervous system.
Kindler has kept a relatively low profile since abruptly retiring from the top job at Pfizer in 2010, at the age of 55. At the time, he said he needed to “recharge” after a “period extremely demanding on me personally.” His more than four years as the head of America’s biggest pharma company were difficult ones: Pfizer’s top-selling drug, Lipitor, was on the eve of losing patent protection, while promising treatments for cholesterol and Alzheimer’s failed in trials. In one of the higher-profile moves of his tenure, Kindler bought rival drugmaker Wyeth for $68 billion in 2009.

Since moving into the CEO suite at Centrexion in 2013, Kindler has taken up development of a topical lidocaine gel for muscle pain and painful skin conditions. The benefits of working with ingredients like lidocaine, used in dental work, and capsaicin, available as an over-the-counter topical pain relief cream, is that their side effects are well understood, says Kerrie Brady, the company’s chief business officer.

Centrexion has also acquired three drugs from Boehringer Ingelheim that target different forms of chronic pain. One works on the same receptor that a cannabinoid targets but without the mind-altering effects that marijuana-derived medications sometimes exhibit. “There hasn’t been a lot going on in the pain space,” says Brady. “There really hasn’t been a lot of innovation out there.”
The bottom line: Some 33 experimental therapies for pain failed in trials from 2009 to 2015. Centrexion thinks it can beat the odds.

Stephen King Interview: I Am Very Disappointed In Trump And The Country

Stephen King has been pretty vocal in his opinions of the Republican field of candidates this year. Rolling Stone magazine just released an interview that Andy Greene did with the author. The interview covers a variety of topics, everything from writing to his hit-and-run accident in Maine many years ago. And then there’s this:
I am very disappointed in the country. I think that he's sort of last stand of a sort of American male who feels like women have gotten out of their place and they're letting in all these people that have the wrong skin colors. He speaks to those people. Trump is extremely popular because people would like to have a world where you just didn't question that the white American was at the top of the pecking order.

Advice From Adlai Stevenson Concerning "The Party Of The Reckless And The Embittered"


George McGovern: "The Case For Liberalism, A Defense Of The Future Against The Past"

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Monument
The National Mall
Washington D.C.

Displaying IMG_5096.JPG
Displaying IMG_5096.JPG

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "I Welcome Their Hatred"

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Unapologetic Liberalism

"Is There A Psychology Of Hatred?": Social Media And Fox News Provide Validation Of Hatred

Is there a psychology of hate we need to understand better?

The Orlando mass murderer was "full of hate," President Obama says. But lots of Americans are consumed by hate, so what makes one hater unleash violence on hundreds of innocent people in a gay nightclub?
The science of hate is complicated, and there's not a single definitive answer.
But psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists think American culture is more permeated than ever by hate and hateful expression, and hate-inspired violence is more prevalent.
"We're seeing more of these kinds of mass attacks than in the past and it's usually not for just one reason, it's multi-dimensional," says Abby Ferber, a professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, who studies hate groups and has written about hate crime in America. "Psychological factors might be one factor but there are other cultural and sociological factors."
"Anger is always there because it’s a human emotion," says Liza Gold, a psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University's medical school inWashington, D.C. "The issue is acting on it."
In fact, she says, most people filled with hate do not act on it. "They just quietly stew," she says. "There is interest in the psychology of people who commit violence but we have not yet identified the brain chemical that makes (science) say, 'This person has too much of neurochemical A.'"
We're talking about this, again, because of the deaths  of 49 people enjoying Latino Night at Orlando's Pulse nightclub early Sunday, who were killed by a man using an assault-style weapon before he died in a shootout with police.
The inevitable debate that followed has devolved  into a search for blame, stirring up a poisonous goulash of arguments over partisan politics, mental illness, gun control, Islamic bigotry and terrorism.  But at the core of it all? Hate.
"Our culture is much angrier, much more hate-filled than ever before, and our politics this year exemplifies that,"  says Ferber. "It's much more acceptable to express anger and act on it, and with access to the Internet, (haters) can find support and applause for their feelings."
Hate usually comes from "a deeply insecure place" in the human personality, says Harold Koplewicz, a leading child and adolescent psychiatrist and president of the Child Mind Institute in New York.
Hate, he says, can be a symptom of personality disorder most often found among young men in their 20s, an age when the brain's prefrontal cortex may not be completely developed. Such young men have higher suicide rates, he says. They tend to take risks rather than assess costs. They may be cut off from their families, unsuccessful at work or in school, and angry about it all.
"There is a certain percentage of young adults who feel alienated, who grab hold of a group of haters and say 'I am part of that group,' " Koplewicz says. "Haters like company — it makes them feel better, it justifies their hate. Haters rarely hate alone; they encourage others to hate along with them, they want peer validation."
Haters usually are people who feel victimized in some way, says Ferber. They feel their culture, religion or lifestyle are threatened. They feel anxious about their masculinity (most recent mass shootings were committed by males).  They feel threatened by visible cultural change, such as growing acceptance of gay people. They feel victimized by economic insecurity.
What's different now, says Gold, is haters' ability to connect with others who share their views.
"Before social media, people had to work harder to find each other, now they don't," Gold says. "It's much easier to hold a bizarre idea if you see all these other people believe it, too.  There is a mob psychology to this: Social media provides the crowd or the mob, and also validates your belief."
Can hate-turned-to-violence be predicted through brain science and thus prevented? Not yet. The human brain is not entirely known territory to neuroscientists.
Science has mapped anger and aggression and emotion to specific anatomic areas of the brain and biological processes, "but the way we identify these pathways is not sufficient (to indicate) who is going to be criminally violent as opposed to someone who is (merely) emotionally angry or passionate," says Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, who has studied mass murderers.
Neuroscientists have made progress in understanding more about brain function through brain imagery but there's still a ways to go in understanding hate and violent anger, says Cameron Craddock, an engineer and director of imaging for the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute.
"We have not yet figured out what parts or structures of the brain are different in people who have a psychiatric disorder," says Craddock. Moreover, "hate is a brain function, so you can’t see it in the brain when the brain is not functioning" due to death.
In one brain-scan experiment, people were asked to look at pictures of people they hate and pictures of people they don't hate, to see which areas of the brain were engaged. But looking at pictures and acting on hatred are not the same thing, nor is the response in the brain consistent for all people, he says.
"The problem is there are subtle differences between looking at an image and having hateful feelings at the moment," he says. "There's a lot of research going into being able to 'fingerprint' somebody based on brain activity, to come up with important factors such as do they have a disease or a susceptibility to a certain disease, or even personality traits." But it's not possible yet, he says.
What is possible? Ferber thinks better and more affordable mental-health care would help, but she says the culture has to change dramatically, especially in traditional notions of masculinity and attitudes toward seeking help for mental-health issues.
"There has to be a public campaign to try to change the image of therapy for men," she says. " 'Real' men sometimes need therapy... We have to broaden what it means to be men, of what it means to be more inclusive."
It may be the Orlando killer was motivated by hatred of gay people. Or rage about the state of his life. He might have been inspired by ISIS terrorism. He might have been mentally ill. More likely, it's a mix of all of the above.
"It's very hard to disentangle people’s motives — it's a strange, extremely mixed picture" of what we know so far, says Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been monitoring American hate groups for decades.
Simply writing off the shooting and the shooter as insane or "evil," which is already happening in Orlando, is not enough, Potok says. "It's an abandonment of any attempt to explain motivations."
Besides, he says, not every hate-filled mass murderer is or was mentally ill — domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh, for instance, was not. He blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people in an act he methodically planned and executed, because he hated the government and thought bombing it would bring it down.
"McVeigh never showed any signs of mental illness, but he was mistaken in thinking he could start a war against government."

Donald Trump's Love Affair With Brexit Buff, Boris Johnson

Donald Trump's Love Affair With Brexit Buff, Boris Johnson

Compendium Of Pax Posts About Donald Trump, Updated June 3, 2016

Borowitz Report: Trump's Bid To Become Born-Again Fails As Jesus Turns Down Friend Request

If Sociopaths Could Be Incarcerated For "Arrested Development," Trump Would Be "In" For Life | made w/ Imgflip meme maker


NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—The billionaire Donald J. Trump’s bid to become a born-again Christian failed over the weekend after Jesus Christ turned down his friend request, campaign officials have acknowledged.
Jesus, who has not generally been active on Facebook, made a rare appearance on the social network on Monday to announce his decision to ignore the presumptive Republican nominee’s request for a personal relationship with him.
In a brief post, Jesus offered the following explanation: “Just everything.”
The turndown from Jesus Christ, the inspiration behind one of the world’s most prominent religions, caps what has been a tough month for the Trump campaign.
Privately, campaign staffers fretted that the candidate would pen a disparaging tweet about Jesus, which might alienate evangelical voters in key battleground states.
But, at a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump made no reference to Jesus, and instead touted endorsements he had received from Gary Busey, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Joe (the Plumber) Wurzelbacher.

Trump Struggling To Find High-Ranking Republicans To Speak At The Cleveland Convention


Even Ohio Republicans, who are supposedly hosting the event, aren’t making plans.
The Republican Party may reluctantly be backing Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, but as time goes on, it’s clear that their rank and file would prefer not to. The latest sign of G.O.P. mutiny? Virtually no major party figure wants to speak at the Republican National Convention on the billionaire’s behalf.
The elves at Politico called more than 50 high-profile Republicans—governors, senators, congressmen, even up-and-comers with not much of a national profile yet—and found that virtually none of them had plans to speak at the convention.
Among the high-profile people in the “no” camp: Trey Gowdy, Mark Sanford, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley, Several young up-and-comers, whose political careers would ordinarily get a huge boost by speaking at the convention, also said they wouldn’t be attending. Even Representative Sean Duffy,__ who also got his start in public life on reality TV, said he “[hadn’t] thought about it.”

Prominent Ohio Republicans, who are hosting the convention in Cleveland, have stayed uncomfortably quiet about their convention plans at a time when they should be playing up the G.O.P.’s presence in their state. Senator Rob Portman currently has no plans to speak, and Governor [John Kasich,](] who has not endorsed his former presidential rival, has not announced plans, either.

To turn down a prime speaking slot at a presidential convention, an opportunity that transformed an unknown Senate candidate into President Barack Obama in four short years, highlights the party’sbroken marriage with their own candidate. To not attend the convention is an even worse omen for that relationship, which has not been helped over the past several weeks by Trump’s racially tinged remarks about the Hispanic judge overseeing the Trump University lawsuit and his not-so-subtle suggestion that Obama is a secret ISIS sympathizer, among other disqualifying comments. (His recent reaction to the Brexit vote and the subsequent collapse of the British pound—“When the pound goes down more people come to Turnberry,” he said—will do little to assuage the concerns of party leaders who are not even fund-raising for him.)

Trump, however, has suggested he has no problem ditching the usual string of boring politicians for more TV-friendly entertainment, like sports stars or his own children (Ivanka Trump chief among them) at the convention. Presumably, his political surrogates, like Newt Gingrich, Ben Carson, and Chris Christieare open to speaking at the convention. And in the worst-case scenario, he could invite Clint Eastwood to pull up a chair.