Monday, April 30, 2007
If you are looking for a book to justify your "if it feels good do it" lifestyle, then you can have my copy. If you are looking for a book to tell you that if you just "imagine checks coming in the mail" then they will or that its okay to be overweight as long as you learn to love yourself then go for the hardcover.
This isn't just a book, its a religion, and a dangerous one at that.
"Follow your bliss" and "if someone is overweight, it came from thinking 'fat thoughts'...food cannot cause you to put on weight unless you think it can" and other random wishes and out of context quotes dominate its pages.
I understand and believe in goal setting, visualization, self talk, positive thinking and the law of attraction but "God can't steer a parked car" as the saying goes.
You lose weight by ditching bad habits and replacing them with good habits. You improve yourself by thinking, planning and acting. The harder you work the luckier you get.
"Ultimately we are the source of the Universe, and when we understand that power directly by experience, we can start to exercise our authority and begin to achieve more and more."
Huh? Say again?
"This is really fun. It's like having the Universe as your catalogue. You flip through it and say "I'd like to have this experience and I'd like to have that product and I'd like to have a person like that." It is you placing you order with the Universe. Its really that easy."
I'd just like to be able to order a pizza with my thoughts.
It's not that the book is without merit in fact there is a lot of good practical or motivational information but its not the start of a revolutionary new movement sweeping the Earth like its promoters would have you believe. There is no new ground uncovered here.
"The Secret" lists Plato, Galileo, Beethoven, Edison, Carnegie, Aristotle, Isaac Newton, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford and Albert Einstein as unwitting subscribers on the dust cover and in the DVD but neglects to mention how the author attributes their success to "The Secret".
"The Secret" however will apparently remain such because the book leaves you where you started, but feeling better about it for a minute or two.
Stick with The Power of Positive Thinking, Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People and What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. You can't go wrong with the classics.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
There are brief appearances by Alec Baldwid and Robert De Niro who also directed.
A fascinating picture apparently based somewhat on fact, it depicts the beginnings of the modern CIA during World War II. Ultimately Damon's character sacrifices everything in his personal life in service of his county which is escalated at the end, which I won't spoil.
This is a well made and engrossing film with a powerful cast. If you liked A Beautiful Mind, Thirteen Days and JFK you will like this movie.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Insomnia has a great storyline, and is almost never slow. It was particularly captivating to see Al Pacino and Robin Williams in their respective roles playing off of each other.
I put this in my Netflix cue a long time ago, and when we watched it we didn't realize it was released in 2002 until we read the sleeve. If you liked Al Pacino in The Recruit, you'll like this one.
“I think it is wrong, and I don’t think it is doing anything other than
giving great comfort and encouragement to Al-Qaeda and the insurgency in Iraq,”
“They are looking at all this, they read newspapers, they
see it on television and they say, ‘The American domestic resolve is weakening,
therefore we should maintain our resolve.’
“If there is a perception of
an America defeat in Iraq, that will leave the whole of the Middle East in
great turmoil and will be an enormous victory for terrorism.”
Read the whole post here
HT Doug Miller @ Truth vs. The Machine
I have been doing more and more biking these days which of course means spending more and more money but this purchase was well worth the money.
To my friends popping over from Smithers MINNEAPOLIS this is a no-brainer but it hadn't occurred to me to buy clip-in shoes and peddles until my brother D. Roosh suggested them the other day.
Last night on my ride I was able to cover probably twice the distance with the same amount of energy.
These are a few major attacks on the US and don't include Madrid for example or any of the foiled attempts that have been thwarted.
"I believe -- and this goes to the question you asked earlier, just a few
minutes ago -- global war on terror. I think there are dangerous people and
dangerous leaders in the world that America must deal with and deal with
strongly, but we have more tools available to us than bombs. And America needs
to use the tools that are available to them so that these people who are sitting
on the fence, who terrorists are trying to recruit, the next generation, get
pushed to our side, not to the other side. We've had no long-term strategy, and
we need one, and I will provide one."
What would Edwards do? Negotiate? Send counselors overseas to visit with these "on-the-fencers"?
How long will the US tolerate Iran's involvement in the deaths of our soldiers?
"Iran's nuclear program can be thrown back by years in a ten day attack using thousands of Tomahawk cruise missiles," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying in an interview published online by the German magazine Focus on Saturday.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
- Smoking is a proven health risk to those who smoke
- Smoking is a likely health risk to those nearby
- There is no effective way that I know of to prevent smoke from someone across the room reaching me and my children in the non-smoking section
I for one would not frequent bars and restaurants that were smoky. In fact, on a family road trip last year, we stopped for breakfast in Ohio and realized how good we have it in Minnesota when someone in the smoking section on the other side of the restaurant lit up after their meal and we could smell it as our food was just arriving.
It was annoying and we almost got up and left.
Is the argument that I have no right to tell someone they can't smoke? Even in a public place?
...is it a "slippery slope" argument?
But I don't think it's too much to ask that I not be subjected to their smoke in an enclosed public place.
Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas of concern in most plans to curb climate change, appear to have little effect on global climate, he said.
"...CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential plant food."
"Billions of taxpayers' dollars are spent to control the emissions of this benign gas, in the mistaken belief that they can stop climate change"
"All the money wasted on Kyoto in a year could provide clean drinking water for Africa"
"They continually say we only have 10 years left, and they've been saying it for 20 years, and it's ridiculous"
Where were these guys? Is there a more important vote right now? Obviously the outcome would not have changed, and President Bush will no doubt veto the bill.
It sends a signal however, especially for McCain, that it wasn't a priority, and in McCain's case, that his personal political aspirations supersede his responsibilities as a Senator.
A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.
Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway."
Read it here.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The e-mail cites an episode of ABC's "The View" last week, in which comedian Bill Maher said, "I love Al Franken. I hope he wins."
Bill Maher: well, there's a guy who can really help Al Franken. Don't worry about him too much Senator.
"Me too," said co-host Rosie O'Donnell. "I'm maxing out to him. I'm maxing out my contribution."
(I am pretty sure Rosie maxes out everything everywhere she goes, but I digress.)
Wow, watch out Senator. He's got Rosie! Her opinion carries a lot of weight with Minnesotans. Yesterday we saw her holding up her hands mimicking her rear end making light of Sheryl Crowe's contention that we should all wipe with one square to save Mother Earth.
Buh Bye Al. Norm, where do I send my check?
Monday, April 23, 2007
This weekend however, our company sponsored a table at the annual Gala for the Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and Mrs. Roosh and I were able to attend as guests. It was a great time but we also learned a great deal about a disease that affects many more people than I realized and in some cases at a much younger age than you'd imagine.
Currently more than 5 Million Americans suffer from Alzheimers, 4.9 Million of which are over the age of 65. A key speaker at the event was 46 years old and suffers from Alzheimers. He spoke candidly of his fears of leaving his young family behind and ultimately dying alone as his consciousness fades.
But there is hope also for a cure and we learned of exciting trials and treatments on the horizon for sufferers of what will no doubt become a significant issue facing retiring baby boomers and our healthcare system.
Learn more here.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The florist is pleased and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open there is a thank you card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The cop is happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a thank you card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.
Later a Republican comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The Republican is very happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open, there is a thank you card and a dozen different books such as "How to Improve Your Business" and "Becoming More Successful."
Then a Democrat comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The Democrat is very happy and leaves the shop. The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Democrats lined up waiting for a free haircut.
H/T Heavy-Handed Politics
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Tough isn't a word necessarily associated with Miss America, but three thieves arrested after their truck tires were shot out by 82-year-old Venus Ramey might beg to differ.
...thieves for some time have been breaking into a building on her property
"They've been stealing from me for years. Those good-for-nothing slobs,"
Ramey performed in vaudeville, and her picture adorned a B-17 bomber that flew 68 missions over Germany in World War II.
Ramey, who won the elite beauty crown in 1944, confronted one of the three robbers on her farm in Waynesburg, Ky., about 140 miles south of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
"He was probably wetting his pants," said Ramey, who balanced on her walking stick as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.
"I'm trying to live a quiet, peaceful life and stay out of trouble, and all it is, is one thing after another," she said.
H/T John H.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Imus: Bad Hair...career over.
Howard Stern: Bad hair...time will tell...
Tom Barnard?...forget about his hair! How's the See Food diet working?
Whew! There must a zillion babies that just went to heaven!
"A church decision to abolish limbo has long been expected. Benedict and his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II, expressed misgivings about the concept. Never part of formal doctrine because it does not appear in Scripture, limbo was removed from the Catholic Catechism 15 years ago.
"By the Middle Ages, the idea was softened to suggest a less severe fate, limbo."
"Especially in Africa and other parts of the world where Catholicism is growing but has competition from other faiths such as Islam, high infant mortality rates mean many families live with a church teaching them that their babies could not go to heaven."
"Catholic conservatives criticized any effort to relegate limbo to oblivion."
...and when asked to reference scripture on this issue?
"We'll get back to you on that one."
Thanks for clearing up the whole "Limbo" thing your holiness. It was never in the bible in the first place, so we appreciate the retraction.
Any other Catholic constructs not found in scripture you care to comment on your royal papalness?
"Campaign finance records show that Edwards’ campaign paid a Beverly Hills stylist $400 for his haircuts. Those pricey snips have undercut Edwards’ image as a populist crusading for the little guy.“It’s a ridiculous amount of money for a haircut,” Edwards told reporters after a campaign stop on Adel’s town square. “I’m actually embarrassed by it.""
...and...his campaign paid for it.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Every time it happens, the commentators tell you why they aren't showing you what's going on down on the field.
...so as to not encourage people from getting naked and streaking across the field at sporting events.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, everywhere you look you see excerpts from a video sicko psycho mass murder Cho Seung-Hui sent in to NBC on the cover of every major newspaper.
NBC gives murderer just what he wanted
The media shows discretion in the case of a streaker but not a murderer who knew fully well that he would soon be infamous. He knew that if he mailed his package in a few hours the media would distribute his fecal monologue worldwide.
So, if there is catharsis in placing blame in a tragedy of this magnitude, blame the media.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Anti-Strib: Further Proof that we just don’t know!
Maybe I'm being closed minded or even insensitive but it just seems to me that common sense dictates there are many "illnesses" for which a pill is the treatment or cure that aren't illnesses at all, just a reason to sell the pill.
"Do you get nervous in group settings?" goes a commercial I saw recently which showed business people preparing for public speaking engagements and presentations.
"Yes, I do. Can I have a pill please?"
Who doesn't get nervous before speaking! Guess what: normal.
- Eat less
- Talk to your kids
- Teach discipline to your children
- Watch less TV
- Stop smoking
- Read a book
- Go for a walk
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
You can't make sense of something like this. You can't ban guns. You can't promote guns. We'll hear both sides the second it's politically acceptable - probably sooner.
In the context of an isolated tragedy like this neither side will be right.
You can't lock down public educational institutions. You can't arm the teachers and students, even if they wanted to be, and a gun law won't stop a person that had two with the serial numbers removed.
You can't prevent everything.
We want to try to make sense of it. We want to try to mitigate the pain by somehow surmising that there is an upside. Something to be learned. An opportunity to capitalize. A way to prevent someone intent on harming others.
But there won't be.
Hug our kids. That's what we can do.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
He: "Oh, well now that I see the depth of your convictions manifested in the convincing way you shake your finger out of concern for my ignorance on this issue...you know...maybe I should give Global Warming some more thought.
Thank you for "pointing" this out to me. You've enlightened me. I am now informed. I appreciate your concern for my welfare. May I help you hand out some of your "End of the World" brochures? Have a wonderful day and enjoy the rally."
PS did you notice the headline? The conservative attendees were "haters" and the liberals were "lovers"
Planet lovers and tax haters mix it up at State Capitol
Saturday, April 14, 2007
When I first became aware of Fred Thomspson, it was as a favorite supporting actor. It was some time later that I learned he was also a Senator, which made sense given the strong authoritarian roles he has played in Days of Thunder, The Hunt for Red October and In the Line of Fire .
I thought of him as a presidential candidate back then. Recent press on his potential candidacy is starting to manifest what was for me just a gut feeling. Thanks to the guys at Powerline for posting the article from The Weekly Standard. Here are excerpts I found interesting:
A strange thing happened a few weeks back when I went to the Café Promenade at the Mayflower Hotel for an off-the-record interview with an unpaid adviser to the non-campaign of unannounced presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Fred Thompson showed up.
One well-dressed man with thick white hair approached him for an autograph. The same man returned to the table twice more. Each time Thompson put his conversation on hold and graciously tolerated the interruption.
There is some discontent among Republicans with the current choices for the party's nominee in 2008. The complaints are well known: Senator John McCain, the maverick Republican, is too much maverick and not enough Republican. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is thought to be too willful and too liberal: He recently suggested he would allow his new wife to attend cabinet meetings and reaffirmed his support for federal funding of abortion. Mitt Romney seems pleasant and competent, but pleasant and competent doesn't beat Hillary Clinton. Senator Sam Brownback is unknown and uncharismatic. And former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is from Arkansas.
In recent Republican presidential preference polls, Thompson tends to run third, behind Giuliani and McCain but ahead of Romney and the rest of the field. In a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll released last week, Thompson came in second, just ahead of McCain, with support from 15 percent of those surveyed. In late March, Thompson won a straw poll of Republicans in conservative Gwinnett County, Georgia, earning more votes than all of the other candidates combined. And Iowa Republican party executive director Chuck Laudner told the Washington Times, "He's the biggest buzz in the state."
All of this, for a candidate who has not yet announced for anything.
If he joins the race for the Republican nomination, and if he campaigns the same way he spoke to me last week, Fred Thompson, a mild-mannered, slow-talking southern gentleman, will run as the politically aggressive conservative that George W. Bush hasn't been for four years. And the actor in the race could well be the most authentic personality in the field.
Thompson seems to recognize that he wins the guy-I'd-want-to-get-a-beer-with primary the moment he announces. He comes across as a regular guy--"folksy" will be the political cliché that attaches to his candidacy--and punctuates explanations of his positions with the kind of off-the-cuff homespun witticisms that Dan Rather spent a career trying to come up with.
Thompson was born in Alabama and lived for most of his young life in Middle Tennessee. His father sold used cars and his mother took care of the house. Neither one graduated from high school, although Thompson's father earned his high school equivalency certificate later in life. His family ate dinner every night at 6:00 P.M. "It was like clockwork," he says. Thompson was not a great student in high school. At one point, he says, several of his teachers worked together to strip him of the title given to him by a vote of his peers--Most Athletic--because his grades were substandard. His father was something of a jokester, but also when necessary a disciplinarian.
"I grew up not having anything to live up to from an economic or professional standpoint, but having a lot to live up to from a growing-up and becoming-a-man standpoint," says Thompson.
That example would be important at a young age. Thompson married his high school sweetheart at 17, and together they enrolled at Memphis State University, where he studied philosophy and political science. Thompson worked several jobs to put himself through college and support a growing family.
"I sold clothing," he says. "I sold shoes. I sold baby shoes. I sold ladies shoes. I worked in a factory."
His wife's uncle and grandfather were both lawyers, and Thompson says he wanted to live up to the professional standards of her family. The law school at Vanderbilt University had seemed an unattainable goal for an underachieving high school student from a family without means. But it was a goal nonetheless. Thompson got serious academically as an undergraduate, and won admission.
Thompson would appear in dozens of films and television shows as a character actor, often one who personifies government strength. It is a role that seems to fit. "Literally, I don't think Fred ever acts," says Tom Ingram, a longtime friend from Tennessee who now serves as chief of staff to Senator Lamar Alexander. "He played himself in Marie, and he's been playing himself ever since."
In eight years in the Senate, Thompson developed a reputation for an independent streak, yet he compiled a voting record more conservative than one might expect of one who had described himself as a moderate in his first campaign. Over the course of his time in Congress he earned a lifetime rating by the American Conservative Union of 86 percent.
His voting record suggests a strong belief in federalism. Thompson was frequently a lonely voice opposing the federalization of what in his view were state issues. His unwillingness to compromise on that principle even put him on the losing end of a 99-to-1 vote on the so-called Good Samaritan law, legislation that protected individuals from being sued if their good faith efforts to help someone in distress were unsuccessful. He thought it should have been left to the states.
As we spoke, I was struck by the fact that Thompson didn't seem to be calibrating his answers for a presidential run. On issue after contentious issue, I got the sense from both his manner and the answers he gave me that he was just speaking extemporaneously. Many of his answers would drive a poll-watching political consultant nuts.
My suspicions were confirmed when Thompson asked at one point if he could have a transcript of our interview. "I found myself talking on some subjects that I haven't really thought that much about," he explained. "Oh, so this is what I think, huh?"
In the days since Thompson allowed that he was thinking about running for president, his views on abortion have come under scrutiny. Thompson finds the news reports from his first run for Senate perplexing.
"I have read these accounts and tried to think back 13 years ago as to what may have given rise to them. Although I don't remember it, I must have said something to someone as I was getting my campaign started that led to a story. Apparently, another story was based upon that story, and then another was based upon that, concluding I was pro-choice."
But, he adds: "I was interviewed and rated pro-life by the National Right to Life folks in 1994, and I had a 100 percent voting record on abortion issues while in the Senate."
There is considerable talk among the other Republican campaigns that the Thompson boomlet is driven by little more than celebrity. Maybe. But history suggests that Thompson may actually be underpolling right now. As was the case when he ran for office in Tennessee, he has a very recognizable face but his national name identity is actually quite low.
Gallup conducted a survey in late March asking respondents an open-ended question: "What comes to your mind when you think about former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson?" Sixty-seven percent of Republicans responded that they had no opinion of Thompson or were not familiar with him. And yet he shows up in the top three choices of potential Republican nominees in most of the polling that includes his name. As voters come to associate that name with a familiar and well-liked face, and if they get to see the personable Thompson on TV, Thompson strategists assume those polling numbers can only go up.
Friday, April 13, 2007
“A few days ago one of our patients celebrated her sixth year of insulin independence after a single-donor islet transplantation.”
“we have 50 percent of our patients, if not more, enjoying long-term success. That is more than two years, and the longest now is six years with fairly stable function.”
“Dr. Hering is looking to specially bred pigs as a source of cross-species transplants. In recent ground-breaking research, he cultured islets from pigs and transplanted them into 12 diabetic monkeys. Armed with immuno-suppressants, the monkeys began producing their own insulin, and some of them regained blood glucose control for more than 100 days.”
Diabetes Health April 11, 2007
Back then the buzz was the "Happy Music" and the prediction all year that the Twins would win the World Series, which of course they did.
Since then the show has become so crude that I can't listen to it myself.
Are shock jocks out of fashion now?
Is Tom Barnard and his crew next?
A brief lesson in economics: Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do.
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until on day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 wind-fall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.
So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics University of Georgia
For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
H/T Lynn S.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
But don’t misunderstand me…we are all still going to die from the Global Warming/Cooling. You first though, because I will be able to evacuate in my private jet. Sorry.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Some excerpts from Salon.com
“I have been highly suspicious for years about the political agenda that has slowly accrued around this issue.”
“Too many of my fellow Democrats seem peculiarly credulous at the moment, as if, having ground down organized religion into nonjudgmental, feel-good therapy, they are hungry for visions of apocalypse. From my perspective, virtually all of the major claims about global warming and its causes still remain to be proved.”
“Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.”
“Man is too weak to permanently affect nature”
“when I tried to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" on cable TV recently, I wasn't able to get past the first 10 minutes. I was snorting with disgust at its manipulations and distortions and laughing at Gore's lugubrious sentimentality, which was painfully revelatory of his indecisive, self-thwarting character. When Gore told a congressional hearing last month that there is a universal consensus among scientists about global warming -- which is blatantly untrue -- he forfeited his own credibility.”
“Environmentalism is a noble cause. It is damaged by propaganda and half-truths. Every industrialized society needs heightened consciousness about its past, present and future effects on the biosphere.”
“But there must be a balance with the equally vital need for economic development, especially in the Third World.”
What about the Roof? The Roof? Look outside. It has to have a Roof.
Apr 10, 2007 — NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a small study, a treatment that included stem cell transplantation induced prolonged insulin independence in patients with newly diagnosed type 1, or insulin-dependent, diabetes.
In a statement, lead author Dr. Julio C. Voltarelli, from the Regional Blood Center in Ribeiro Preto, Brazil, called the results "very encouraging."
While the same approach has been used in other autoimmune disorders, the current study, to the author's knowledge, represents the first time the approach has been used in human type 1 diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, a person's immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Preserving beta cells is a key concept in the management of type 1 diabetes and in the prevention of its related complications.
Voltarelli's team tested the ability of high-dose immune suppression and stem cell transplantation to preserve beta cell function in 15 patients who were diagnosed with type I diabetes in the previous 6 weeks. All of them required insulin.
Stem cell transplantation involves the harvesting and treatment of a patient's own stem cells and then returning them to the patient via intravenous injection.
During follow up, 14 patients became insulin-free — 1 for 35 months, 4 for at least 12 months, and 7 patients for at least 6 months. Two "late responders" were insulin-free for 1 and 5 months, respectively.
The therapy was well tolerated; the only severe side effects were pneumonia in one patient and endocrine dysfunction in two others.
While further study is needed, Dr. Jay S. Skyler, from the University of Miami, comments in a related editorial, "the time may indeed be coming for starting to reverse and prevent type I diabetes."
SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, April 11, 2007.