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A Neuroscientist Explains How Trump and His Media Allies Are Targeting the Mentally Ill

While it has been severe since Trump began campaigning for president, recently mainstream news has picked up on the scope of the problem of rampant belief in bogus conspiracy theories that involve politicians with nefarious plots. Ironically, the politicians with the truly nefarious plots are the ones who support and encourage the spread of these heinous stories, which are precisely and intentionally designed to target mentally-vulnerable people. While the conspiracy theory crowd—who predominantly support Donald Trump and crackpot allies like Alex Jones and the shadowy Q—may appear to just be an odd quirk of modern society, the truth is that many of them suffer from psychological illnesses that involve paranoia and delusions, such as schizophrenia, or are prone to them, like those with schizotypy personalities.

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How Meditation Can Help People Struggling with Schizophrenia

“I felt a sense of dissolving, disappearing completely.” “My body and mind melted and merged with the universe.” “I ceased to exist.” These are excerpts of what I occasionally hear from the students who come to my yoga and meditation classes.

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On Schizophrenia: Father and Son Discuss Battling Mental Illness

My son Henry was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was a 20-year-old art student in Brighton in 2002. He had tried to swim across the estuary at Newhaven that February and was rescued from the freezing water by fishermen and taken to hospital, unconscious and suffering from hypothermia.

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CBD Science: How Cannabinoids Work at the Cellular Level to Keep You Healthy

In 2012, French scientists reported the presence of cannabinoid receptors on the membranes of mitochondria, the energy-generating organelle within cells. This discovery laid the groundwork for subsequent investigations into the role of the endocannabinoid system in regulating mitochondrial activity, which is critical to how cells function. Defects in mitochondria have been linked a wide range of neurodegenerative, autoimmune and metabolic disorders -- Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, cardiovascular and neuromuscular disease, and more.

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Astrology Is Bunk - But Here Are 6 Ways Your Date of Birth Can Affect Who You Are

A search for the amount of money Americans spend annually on astrology turns up estimates ranging from several million to a couple hundred million dollars, depending on the source. Astrology is definitely popular, a deduction you could make just by looking at the number of newspapers and magazines with astrology columns. Back in the 1980s, Ronald and Nancy Reagan admitted they’d consulted an astrologer for advice on when to schedule certain events; more recently, a National Science Foundation study found that the number of Americans who say they believe astrology is “not at all” scientific is actually dwindling.

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Leading American Psychiatrist Conducted Disturbing Experiments -- and Now He's Smearing Journo Who Uncovered It

On April 26, 2015, Jeffrey Lieberman, former president of the American Psychiatric Association, stirred up controversy by calling investigative journalist Robert Whitaker a “menace to society” on CBC radio because Whitaker, in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, had challenged the long-term effectiveness of psychiatric medication.

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How Psychedelics You've Never Heard of Could Help Treat Mental Illness

Ibogaine isn't the only strange psychedelic drug with healing powers coming out of West Africa these days. Scientists at Northwestern University looking into treatments used by traditional healers in Nigeria have synthesized four new chemical compounds that could eventually lead to better treatments for people suffering psychiatric disorders.

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5 Things the Media and Government Are Not Telling You About Marijuana

Previously, I penned an essay for Alternet titled "Five Things the Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis." In it I proposed, “[N]ews outlets continue to, at best, underreport the publication of scientific studies that undermine the federal government's longstanding pot propaganda and, at worst, ignore them all together.” Little has changed since that piece was published.

Here are five additional stories the mainstream media doesn't want you to know about cannabis.

1. Long-term marijuana use is associated with lower risks of certain cancers, including head and neck cancer.

The moderate long-term use of marijuana is associated with a reduced risk of head and neck cancers, according to the results of a population-based case-control study conducted by investigators at Rhode Island's Brown University and published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Authors of the study reported, "After adjusting for potential confounders (including smoking and alcohol drinking), 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma” compared to subjects who never used pot.

Researchers further reported that subjects who smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol and tobacco (two conclusive high risk factors for head and neck cancers) also experienced a reduced cancer risk compared to non-cannabis users. “[W]e observed that marijuana use modified the interaction between alcohol and cigarette smoking, resulting in a decreased (cancer) risk among moderate smokers and light drinkers, and attenuated risk among the heaviest smokers and drinkers.

"Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma,” investigators concluded.

Similarly, a 2006 UCLA study of more than 2,200 subjects reported that marijuana smoking was not positively associated with cancers of the lung or upper aerodigestive tract – even among individuals who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints during their lifetime. Researchers further noted that among some users of the drug, cannabis smoking appeared to have a cancer preventive effect.

Nevertheless, mainstream U.S. media outlets exhibited little-to-no interest in reporting on the Brown University findings, which failed to even garner a mention locally in the Providence Journal. One month following the study’s publication, international media wire service Reuters did devote some half-hearted coverage, which it published under the overtly skeptical headline “Could smoking pot cut risk of head, neck cancer?”

2. Most Americans acknowledge that pot is safer than booze.

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Why Does the Myth of Marijuana and Schizophrenia Persist Despite Numerous Debunkings?

José Antonio Alzate y Ramírez, an eminent Mexican scientist, studied the effects of marijuana on human subjects and became quite alarmed at what he saw. “There is no doubt that the health of the population is a central concern here,” he wrote. “The violent effect of the narcotics proves this sufficiently; it has not been but a few months since a person to whom they administered the drug, I do not know for what purpose, in perhaps too great a dose, lost his mind.” The year was 1772.*

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23-Year-Old Died in Solitary Confinement Jail Cell While Awaiting Misdemeanor Trial

(CN) - The 7th Circuit denied immunity to a doctor and nurse over the death of a schizophrenic prisoner whose diabetes went untreated after he was arrested for a misdemeanor.     

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