Does the Pill make women settle?
According to new research it could make you more apathetic about your mate.
By Sally Wadyka Fri 7:59 PM

When birth control pills first hit the market in the 1960’s, they were credited with helping launch the sexual revolution. Suddenly, women were able to take charge of preventing pregnancy, which gave them the freedom to have unfettered sex with whomever they chose. And while the Pill is still many women’s favorite form of birth control, now comes the news that being on oral contraceptives could affect your choice of mate -- as well as your ongoing feelings about him if the relationship continues long term. 
According to a study conducted at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, researchers had 28 women ages 20 to 31 fill out questionnaires measuring what the study called the “scale of intrasexual competition.” Study participants completed the survey at three different times: Once while taking hormonal contraceptives, once while not taking them during a fertile time in their cycles, and once while not taking them but during a non-fertile time in their cycles. The surveys were designed to measure how competitive the women felt with other women -- and whether they saw them as friends or foes. What they found is that the women who were in relationships and on the Pill scored the lowest on the scale of intrasexual competition, compared to those not on the Pill (during the fertile or non-fertile times in their cycles). That means they were least likely to feel competitive toward other women or fight for their man if it came to that.
 One possible explanation: The Pill works by tweaking your hormones, including testosterone. Being on the Pill suppresses your natural production of testosterone, the hormone responsible for rivalry and aggressive behavior.
 And while being a pacifist may a good thing in some situations, the lead researcher on this study fears it could mean trouble for women who become romantically apathetic thanks to their choice of contraceptive.
 “Women who use hormonal contraceptives may settle and start families with partners who they otherwise would not,” said Kelly Cobey, the lead author of the study.
 But before you race to the bathroom to flush your pills down the toilet, remember that this study involved only 28 women -- a very small number when it comes to this type of research. So stay tuned for more news on the topic (and maybe pick up a pack of condoms to have on hand just in case).

Teenage thug sentenced to receive electro-acupuncture following crime spree
Jun 13 2013 by Jamie Bowman, Crosby Herald
A TEENAGE thug who subjected a Litherland family to a series of assaults and intimidation has been ordered to take part in a course of electro-acupuncture.
The 17-year-old boy, also from Litherland, carried out two attacks on the family on October 7, 2012, before damaging a window and door on their property.
The teenager also circled the family’s house on a bike, stared at the family and ‘then approached with weapons’ in behaviour that was designed to intimidate a witness.
But despite the seriousness of the offences the teenager avoided detention and was instead made the subject of a youth rehabilitation order.
Magistrates imposed a two-month curfew on the boy, under which he cannot leave his home between 9pm and 7am.
In addition to the curfew, the teenager will also be required to attend six sessions of electro-acupuncture – a form of therapy where an acupuncture needle delivers a painless small electrical charge.
Although more commonly used for pain management, the treatment is thought by some scientists to be effective in relaxing the patient by reducing levels of a protein linked to chronic stress.
Research carried out on rats has shown that acupuncture can relieve the response to acute stress, resulting in constriction of blood flow to all parts of the body except to the heart, lungs and brain (the organs most needed to react to danger).
The unusual measures are part of a multi-million pound nationwide scheme designed to give young offenders ‘self-esteem and confidence’.
As part of the project, thousands of children aged between ten and 19 have been treated with massages, acupuncture and healing techniques to reduce crime and drug abuse.
A spokesman for Sefton Council said: "Electro-acupuncture is a non intrusive service often available to young people to help manage stress and/or anger issues.
"The service is usually delivered by our accredited substance misuse workers and it is commonly identified as a requirement as part of a Youth Rehabilitation Order issued through the courts.
"Before it is used, the simple procedure is clearly explained to young people and their families and it has a high success rate along with other aspects of the Youth Offending Team service delivery."

These Body Drugs Can Affect the Mind
Bad mood? Sleep loss? Memory trouble? Check your prescriptions

By Luciana Gravotta  | July 1, 2013 | 1
Many drugs that treat bodily ills can alter mood, memory and other mental functions. Often the trials required to approve new drugs miss these uncommon side effects, but when the medications go on the market and are doled out to millions, thousands of people can be at risk. The drugs listed below are some of the most commonly prescribed in America; each one (including its generic versions) likely causes at least 10,000 patients—some, more than 100,000—to experience mental side effects every year.

Parkinson's Drugs Can Be A Gateway To Sin
October 20, 2014 4:16 PM ET

Drugs that are commonly prescribed to help people cope with Parkinson's disease have been linked to bizarre changes in behavior that patients and doctors should be on guard against, researchers say.
The disturbing side effects include compulsive gambling, uncontrollable shopping and a sudden obsession with sex.
The problems with the drugs, called dopamine agonists, are serious enough that the researchers say the Food and Drug Administration should require the medicines to carry what's called a black-box warning, one of the most prominent and serious cautions used for prescriptions drugs.
Some of the drugs are also prescribed for restless leg syndrome and
hyperprolactinemia, a hormonal condition that can trigger milk production.
While the problems with the dopamine agonists have been noted in the past, the recommendation for a more prominent warning comes come after researchers sifted through 2.7 million reports of drug reactions submitted to an FDA database between 2003 and 2012.
The researchers from the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices, Harvard and the University of Ottawa found 1,580 adverse drug events involving impulse control disorders. A little less than half, or 710 reports, were associated with dopamine receptor agonist drugs.
The link was strongest for pramipexole, brand name Mirapex, and ropinirole, brand name Requip. The
instructions for doctors who are thinking about prescribing Mirapex already carry a warning that says patients taking the medicine "may experience compulsive behaviors and other intense urges." Requip, a treatment for restless
results were published online Monday by JAMA Internal Medicine.
Back in 2005, doctors from the Mayo Clinic
reported 11 cases of patients who became compulsive gamblers after taking dopamine agonists. A 52-year-old man lost $100,000 in casinos after previously gambling only once in his life. He also became fixated on pornography and obsessed with sex, carrying on extramarital affairs. A month after stopping the drug, he was his old self.
Doctors and patients may have overlooked the problems. In a
commentary accompanying the latest findings, two Johns Hopkins doctors wrote that nausea, dizziness and other physical side effects are more typical parts of the conversations between doctors and patients about drugs. "During an office visit, a patient is unlikely to spontaneously mention, 'By the way, doctor I lost $250,000 in casinos last week' or 'I spend all night on Internet pornography sites and am soliciting prostitutes,' " they wrote.
Howard Weiss, a co-author of the commentary, tells Shots that these drug-related compulsive behaviors haven't gotten the attention in the medical community that they deserve. A heightened warning in the drugs' instructions could help make the risk clearer, Weiss says. The behavioral problems, he says, "are more important than 99 percent of the other side effects that are being listed."
Weiss says he's had at least three patients who have lost their homes because of bankruptcy after taking the drugs.
When he asked an elderly patients taking one of the drugs if she ever gambled, she replied, "Gambling is the work of the devil." But it turned out she had been buying hundreds of dollars' worth of lottery tickets a week, a habit she didn't consider to be gambling.
Weiss says the behavioral problems usually go away after patients stop taking the medicines. He also says the drug combination carbidopa-levodopa, another Parkinson's treatment, works better and doesn't increase the risk for impulsive behavior.

A ‘Stupidity’ Virus Has Been Discovered

A virus known to attack green algae in lakes and rivers can also infect human brains -- and it’s making dummies out of us. The virus, called ATCV-1, can impair cognitive activity, learning and memory, essentially making a person who has the virus less intelligent, researchers in the U.S. have found. Scientists said this is the first time the virus has been observed in people.  
“This is a striking example showing that the ‘innocuous’ microorganisms we carry can affect behavior and cognition,” Robert Yolken, a virologist at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Maryland, who led the original study, told
the Independent. All people have physiological differences “encoded in the set of genes each inherits from parents, yet some of these differences are fueled by the various microorganisms we harbor and the way they interact with our genes,” Yolken said.
Scientists discovered the virus accidentally while working on an unrelated study into microbes in the human throat. Throat swabs drawn from study volunteers showed unexpected traces of ATCV-1 in their DNA. Out of the 92 healthy adults screened in the study, nearly 44 percent of them had the virus, the authors said.
Study participants who had the virus performed around 10 percent worse on cognitive tests. Additionally, researchers noted the presence of the virus was correlated with lower attention spans and a “statistically significant decrease in … visual processing and visual motor speed.” While the virus is found in freshwater, there was no indication the only people who had it were swimmers and boaters. “These are agents that we carry around for a long time and that may have subtle effects on our cognition and behavior,” Yolken told
Healthline. "We're really just starting to find out what some of these agents that we're carrying around might actually do.”
Subsequent tests involving mice produced similar results,
Newsweek reported. Researchers inserted infected green algae into the mouths of mice and had them perform a series of lab tests. It took animals that had been injected with the virus 10 percent longer to find their way out of mazes. They also spent 20 percent less time exploring new objects than uninfected mice, researchers found.