U.S. Journalist James Foley Beheaded By Islamic State
Home | Index of articles
Tongkat ali may increase muscle mass and strength due to its purported effects on testosterone levels.
The drugs do work: my life on brain enhancers
At a dinner party in the winter of 2011, a famous novelist, who's in his mid-50s and whom I'll call Paul, told me he'd used the neuroenhancer modafinil to help him get through a long, gruelling book tour. He also told me it was another novelist, of equal fame, intelligence and reputation, who had given him his first sample of the drug.
Paul and I had met many times before, and he was among the few people who knew that, in 2008, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. And so, when Paul had finished his bowl of soup, I mentioned Margaret Talbot's New Yorker article about neuroenhancers, and asked what he thought about them.
That's when Paul told me he'd used the drug, and changed my life.
Talbot's article, like many published since the mid-1990s, turned, in part, on the fuzzy ethics of the use of neuroenhancers. These controversial drugs, strictly licensed for the treatment of narcolepsy, sleep apnoea and ADHD, have become immensely popular among users without prescription because they promote a keen sense of wakefulness and sharper cognitive focus.
As is the case for many people with multiple sclerosis, the effects of weakened limbs, spasticity and fatigue had cut my working life in half. Yet not a single GP, neurologist or nurse, and none of the MS websites, had mentioned the use of neuroenhancers for the treatment of neurological fatigue. Although I knew that surgeons regularly use modafinil as a substitute for the ratty and short-lived perks of caffeine, and so, too, do hundreds of sleep-deprived domestic airline pilots, Ivy League students (both average and brilliant), many of the brightest minds in academe and hundreds of women and men in the US military, until that night, I'd never met anybody who'd used the drug – and I wanted to know as much as Paul was willing to tell me.
As we drank our coffee, I asked if the drugs worked. "Sure," he said. "They worked beautifully."
"Did they alter your mood," I asked, "or just pep you up? Like coffee or nicotine?"
"The effect was much more than purely physical."
"Did you feel euphoric?" I'd read that some users get a high from the drugs.
"Not quite. But it's hard to explain." Paul smiled as though remembering something nice. "It was a long road trip and I was damned exhausted."
The waiter had come to our table with the bill, and many of the guests were glum, counting out their notes and coins. Most, except two drunk writers arguing about Iraq, had stopped talking, and that awful end-of-night mood seemed, as it so often does, to wreck all that had been good about the earlier laughter.
But Paul wasn't in a hurry to leave. Maybe he sensed the importance of our chat. Maybe he sensed that I needed to know more.
"How much did you take?" I asked.
"Only half a pill at first." He'd snapped a 200mg tablet in half, on the advice of the other writer.
"So, did you feel any major difference, besides wakefulness?"
"Yes, the change was major. Not to my psyche or personality, but it was dramatic. I went from utter fatigue to feeling like me on my best day."
"You on your best day?" I said.
He smiled again. "I was like a younger me after a very good night's sleep."
"Did you take any more?" I asked. "After the book tour?"
"A few. Now and then. When I really need them."
"Do you have any with you?"
He laughed. "Now?"
He didn't have any, but as we took the lift together and walked outside to catch our separate taxis to our separate hotels, he told me how easily I could find modafinil, and that he'd found his on a Canadian website.
We stood for a while in the bitter cold, the howling wind pushing paper and plastic coffee lids through the gutters.
"What about side-effects?" I asked. "Like insomnia?"
"None," he said. "But Maria, don't take them after midday."
When Paul's taxi came, we hugged and said goodbye, and I went on waving and smiling at him while he sat in the back seat of his taxi, because I was sure that what he'd told me was about to change my life, for good and for better.
The next morning, in my hotel bed, I went online and did some research. The short-term side-effects seemed to include headaches and possible nausea, but the only real long term side-effect reported in medical journals was a vague complaint made by users that they'd become monomaniacal; too fixated on work and study, at the expense of spending time with friends and family. A few users complained of insomnia and some reported that they'd given up using the drugs, even though they'd suffered no ill side-effects, because of a superstitious dread that they were "too good to be true" and that there "might be unknown side-effects in the future".
It's not known how many people are using neuroenhancers: the drug remains strictly off-licence in the UK and the US. But on 9 November 2011, the BBC's Newsnight tried to get closer to an answer by running an anonymous online questionnaire. There were 761 replies, from New Scientist readers and Newsnight viewers: 38% said they'd taken cognitive-enhancing drugs, 40% said they'd bought the drugs online, and 92% said they'd use them again.
These numbers are crude and anecdotal, and that's because, as Newsnight discovered, it's nigh on impossible to find hard data.
There would be no point calling my neurologist or going to my GP; the NHS position in the UK is fixed: no prescriptions of modafinil except for conditions such as narcolepsy or sleep apnoea, not even for MS patients with fatigue. And so I stayed in that warm hotel bed, paid for another hour's worth of Wi-Fi and ordered a batch of modafinil online.
If monomania was the worst side-effect, then so be it: the drugs might put me back to where I was before I became ill. I might even return to being a souped-up and tireless worker, tapping out words for six or seven hours a day, reading until the wee hours, and rarely sleepy. I wasn't in the least bit nervous, and my expectations were realistic. These drugs don't turn dullards into super-achievers, and there's scant evidence that any IQ points are gained.
Along with incontinence (of both kinds), poor motor skills, spasticity, heat-intolerance and weakness in both my right leg, right arm and hand, MS means I suffer from the pest of fatigue. But before the onset of neuronal damage and the loss of axonal potential, I was fully alive, and liked to call myself an improbable survivor. At my most narcissistic, I even bragged that I was bionic.
I grew up in a bookless house with a father and brother who have spent most of their lives in prison, psychiatric hospitals or living rough, and a mother who has spent her life slaving and scrimping to pay the bills, living a nervous and troubled life. I was the first and only person in my family to go to university and I spent two decades redesigning myself: even my voice is the product of elocution lessons.
Before MS moved in on me, I'd worked for seven years as a city lawyer, as the editor of a literary magazine and, before the age of 20, I'd also worked as a cadet journalist and as an assistant director in both film and TV. And then, after the lesions of MS, both on my spine and in my brain, I was the opposite of bionic. I needed a nap after a two-hour lecture, couldn't stand in a post office line for more than five minutes, couldn't walk more than a few hundred metres without resting and had to sneak down alleyways when my bladder opened. Worse than any of these curses, when I tried to write for more than an hour or so, my right hand curled up like a prawn cracker. I was sure my life as a novelist was dead.
In 2011, on the night of that dinner party, the idea of ever feeling like "me on my best day" seemed as unlikely as swimming the Channel or converting to Scientology. And so there was no question: I'd try modafinil and, if it worked, I'd take my anecdotal evidence of the drug's effects to both my neurologist and GP.
In the hotel room that morning, it took less than half an hour to find more than a dozen websites selling modafinil, and I chose a site that called itself a pharmacy and that looked a little less fishy than the others. The one I chose had fewer spelling mistakes, and no photo of a fake doctor with shiny hair. I ordered two boxes of modafinil: 30 x 200mg and 30 x 100mg.
The precise mechanisms of neuroenhancers remain unknown and unclear, and most of what I'd read was cautious and circumspect, dominated by concerns about possible long-term side-effects. In newspapers and magazines, neuroenhancers are typically called "Viagra for the brain" or "mind steroids", and their use is often regarded with disdain and suspicion.
The notion shared by most journalists and commentators seems to be that the drugs work, but because they're rarely used for legitimate medical reasons, they are stained, disreputable. The fact that they are frequently used by people commonly characterised as cheaters – students who want better grades, A-type personalities and overachievers who want to get brain-hyped so that they might gain an unfair advantage – appears to be the only real reason medical professionals who treat MS patients are so silent on the subject.
I didn't care at all about the morality, or otherwise, of taking brain enhancers. If the drugs worked, I'd be able to finish my fourth novel, and I'd be able go on teaching and editing.
My supply of modafinil arrived at about 10am on a Monday morning: a small box within a larger box, both covered in thick brown masking tape, postmarked Hong Kong. A handwritten label described the contents as "Book". I put Schubert on the stereo, ate a banana and, with half a glass of milk, swallowed 100mg straight away. An hour later I was vacuuming my car and scrubbing black gunk from my oven. In the afternoon, I went to a cafe and wrote until closing time, taking just a few short breaks, every half-hour or so, to rest and massage my stiffened hand. I didn't eat all day and when I'd finished at the cafe, I went home, cleaned the toilet, then read until 2am, my brain alive and sure again.
In the first weeks of using modafinil, I felt a bout of happiness, a steadily upward-moving mood; a strange and sustained euphoric effect. I doubt this heightened state was caused by the drug's pharmacological workings. It's more likely to have been brought on by pure relief, perhaps even the power of placebo. After more than two years of being made sluggish and clumsy by MS, my mind muddied and muted, I was wide awake. In the stuffy, darkened house of my head, all the windows and doors seemed to have been flung open and the air was crisp and cool.
The euphoric effect faded after a month or so (no more cleaning frenzies), but the wakefulness remains both robust and reliable. I take 400mg just about every day (with no side-effects) and I'm twice as productive and considerably happier. I'm not smarter, but I have the hours I need, and loads of them.
I'm not cured of MS, of course – my right hand (and leg) still flags, still stiffens, still weakens – but the effects of modafinil have a way of sacking off the urge to quit. The mysterious workings of the drug seem, somehow, to trump or override physical weakness, and the effects allow me – compel me – to push through the pangs and the pains, and the pesky failings of my right hand.
In this hard-to-describe way, modafinil has revealed something more complicated. By swarming my brain, the drug seems to compel me to use my hand even when it hurts or twists or trembles; even when spasms and pains unnerve me, or would ordinarily make me want to take a sleeping pill, or hide in bed and turn off all the lights. I use the word "compel" when I talk about the effect of neuroenhancers, because this seems the most useful way to describe the irresistible urge to work provoked by the drug: the very state of being that I'd known all my life, before the frightening onset of MS.
My hand is still retarded by the disease, but modafinil continues to mask the worst of the emotional and psychological pains – the sulks and sadnesses – and lets me do at least twice as much as I'd done before.
In my case, modafinil has shown what the science of neuroplasticity promises. If a weak or damaged limb is used in spite of its limitations, and used often, then different or new neurological pathways might be found, and the lame or weak limb has greater hope of working.
When I'd been using modafinil for a few months, I asked my GP for a prescription. He vehemently refused, and refused again a week later, even when I told him my neurologist endorsed the use of the drug to treat fatigue. And so, for six months or more, I went on ordering those expensive double-taped boxes from the Hong Kong "Book" pharmacy. Finally, my neurologist, after facing infuriating resistance from the NHS, found a way to get me a legal prescription.
In the US, modafinil has been trialled for MS patients (albeit on a small scale) and the results have been positive. Yet the drug remains off-licence, and in the UK there's still no sign of any major randomised controlled clinical trials.
In August 2012, I wrote for the first time about my MS and, soon after, hundreds of emails poured in from fellow sufferers. These emails came from academics, GPs, scientists, teachers, athletes, writers, nurses and PhD students, many of whom have been so stunted by fatigue that they've quit work (and play) altogether.
There's no credible argument against the use of modafinil for fatigue in MS. The problem isn't the drug, but the curse of its image: the stigma of its "recreational" use; the idea that the benefit of cognitive endurance is inherently greedy and frivolous, in the same dirty class as steroids, Botox and Viagra. And there's the cost, perhaps the most powerful reason for the failure (or refusal) to run long-term clinical trials, and the NHS's dogged refusal to relax its position. If both efficacy and safety were proven, there would be a long line of people with MS asking their GPs for a taste of this brain pill.
As for me, I won't bother hounding doctors and neurologists, or writing agitated campaign letters to NHS bureaucrats. I'm too selfish, too preoccupied by my work. But if the status quo doesn't shift, and shift soon, let there be words, and let some of them be furious. And if Paul reads this, I hope he hears me say what I tried to say to him in the taxi on that cold night, and have been too afraid to say since: "Thank you."
If you run a site, and you change it, Google treats this as suspicious and will downgrade you. For Bing, it's a sign of vitality, and your site will go up.
Forget designer bags, check out this new trend. **Warning Explicit Content**
I’ve heard it all.
This woman said her vagina looks like a Big Mac and she needs to make a change..
Introducing ‘Designer Vaginas’
Would you ever try this rising trend?
Ageism is pest of rich countries. If you are old you have no value. In poor countries, value depends on wealth. That is much better than value depending on youth because wealth can become more with advancing years. This is why rich men have every reason to invest in destruction. Plain math.
The Islamic State (IS) terror group is in possession of deadly mustard gas stockpiles and could smuggle it out of Syria to target Europe, according to a media report.
The IS is behind a spate of mustard gas attacks in Syria and may have enough of the killer substance to slaughter tens of thousands, The Daily Mirror reported.
The network may have access to 20 tonnes of the evil weapon and could smuggle it out of Syria and into Europe, a leading expert in chemical warfare has warned.
“Evidence points to the IS behind the attacks and there could be more. There is evidence they used mustard gas, either stolen by IS from [Syrian President Bashar] Assad or — and this is a real game-changer — IS made it themselves,” Col (retd.) Hamish de Bretton-Gordon said.
“This is horrific and the West must act to stop IS now because the threat from them just became much greater and they could take huge areas they have not conquered before,” he told the daily.
Recipe on the ‘dark web’
He warned that ISIS could smuggle mustard gas to attack Europe after finding a recipe on the ‘dark web’ — the murky and secretive area of the Internet used by crooks.
“It is not easy to make mustard gas but it is possible and a lone wolf could get the information off the Internet and dark web. If you tried to buy the precursors in the U.K. or U.S. you would most likely be picked up,” Col. Bretton-Gordon said.
‘It is imminent’
“Could IS move mustard gas out of the Syria/Iraq theatre of war? That is the real issue I expect,” he said.
Scores have died from chemical attacks in both Syria and Iraq in recent weeks and at the weekend IS launched another suspected mustard gas attack.
Col de Bretton-Gordon, who advises NGOs throughout Syria and elsewhere in the world, said, “The West is running out of time to do something about IS. We must act now.”
Why is sex so important? Because everything else is just irrelevant.
RADIO personality Jimmy Gil is re-learning the ropes of fatherhood as he welcomed another child at the age of 70.
In a recent interview with the veteran dzBB anchor, he recalled that he and his wife, a lawyer by profession, have been used to a daily routine for the past decade. That's why when they learned of her pregnancy, he was thrown off guard.
"I already have five kids and all of them are married. I have grandchildren. My wife and I have been living quite a normal life. So, when I heard she was pregnant, I didn't really expect it," he said.
Gil added that having a child at his age worried him at first but he eventually became excited for the baby.
"Fear came first with my age, but eventually, I started thinking and my wife and I started discussing, we started coming up with plans for the baby and dahan dahan nawala. Now I feel that I'm a good father all over again," he said.
He said that having a 10-month-old baby now taught him fatherhood all over again.
"I had to make a lot of adjustments but eventually, we had to prepare for the baby. Iba na ang panahon ngayon, mas madali na ang paglalagay ng diaper kasi before, kailangan pa ng perdible."
"I feel knowledgeable now when it comes to the baby. I'd know why she's crying, whether it's because she's hungry or she needs a diaper change."
Gil attributed having a child again to his better health. He said Enduranz Capsule for Men helped him become physically stronger and feel younger.
On his own words, he regards his sixth child to "half of it to divine intervention, the other half is Enduranz Capsule for Men".
The radio announcer recalled that a good friend recommended the food supplement as he easily gets tired and feels sluggish and lethargic. He took the food supplement for a healthier lifestyle, not particularly along the line of baby production.
"The outcome was great. Nanumbalik ang aking sigla at lakas. Ang side effect pa ay nabawasan ang aking katabaan at nagkaroon ako ng mas maraming lean muscle mass."
According to Dr. Emil Aligui, herbs and medicinal plants expert, stress is the most common cause of male infertility only next to high temperatures leading to shortened sperm lifestyle.
By getting good nutrition, rest, and stress management, it improves the male health and sperm production.
"It works because the multi-herb combination of natural food in a supplement was designed to help restore male energies lost over the years," Aligui said.
Jerome Filler, a pharmacist at the Natural Quality Corporation, added that Enduranz's four active ingredients, such as Tongkat Ali, malunggay, banaba and gotu kola, help improve health.
Tongkat Ali, in particular, helps improve male infertility problems and erectile dysfunction.
"It has proven to produce arousal and sexual motivation. It acts by converting biologically inactive male hormone testosterone to a biologically active one. It does not add testosterone; it acts to activate the body's own male hormone. Long term use of Tongkat Ali will build muscle because that is one of the functions of testosterone,” explained Filler.
Gil recommends the use of Enduranz to men like him not for baby production, but to improve one’s health.
"I feel better. I'm walking faster, I felt the renewed energy, and my physical standing improved. I'm more alert than before. If only for those reasons, I believe that taking care of oneself with Enduranz is the right way to go," he ended.
It’s official. The world has gone mad. According to a recent media report Australian men are flocking to get a new wrinkle-reducing procedure. Scrotox. Like Botox, the idea is to reduce wrinkles. But not in the face, in your balls. The place where everyone looks.
Because we all know that’s something men have always needed. ‘Trevor’s a nice bloke but his sack is a mess. It really ages him.’ Yep, what man doesn’t desire a date with his own big smooth balls? His very own shiny billiards nestling under the pool cue.
I don’t get it. I understand penis pumpers, penis enlargers and, in some rare cases, penis reductions, but wrinkle-free nuggets? I guess it would make them easier to shave or rest in egg cups if that’s the kind of thing you’re into, but I frankly can’t see the point of having the family jewels all perfect and smooth. Whom are you showing anyway? When have gorgeous gonads ever been a prerequisite for anything? For a start, it’s a ballsack. Swamp nuts. Cojones. Bollocks. They live in the underpants and lurk behind a piece of anatomy that very naturally attracts a lot more publicity. When it comes to PR it’s all about the penis. Come showtime, the ballsack sits backstage, watches the front pocket showpony from the wings. Doesn’t matter how much Botox you shoot into your balls, it’s never gonna rival the cock.
The penis is a simple structure, but impressive enough to feature on Grand Designs. There’s a reason that buildings have been modelled after the phallus instead of the nutsack. Nutsacks aren’t sexy. Nor are they architecturally sound. It’s like highrise versus a hairy yurt after a hail storm. Like Botox in the face, all expression will be removed. I mean how will we know how the poor ballsack is feeling? Happy Sack? Sad Sack?
It may come as a shock to most men, but women (I can’t speak for gay men, but I’m assuming they’re not in the ball park either) just aren’t that interested in your nuts. In fact in all my years, in my most sexually explicit conversations with girlfriends about the prowess of their new lover, I’ve never heard a single woman say, ‘My god, you should see his ballsack! It’s amazing. Not a wrinkle! He has the scrotum of a 10-year-old!’
The poor old nads have never rated a mention. I don’t mean to be cruel, but we don’t really care about your sack. I’ve never looked at my partner’s ballsack (actually I think I try not to look) and thought, if only I could iron out those wrinkles. ‘Darling get some Anusol on those things!’ And, I’ve never fantasised about a partner with a giant jewel bag.
That’s the other effect of Scrotox: it makes your balls bigger. I’m not actually sure what purpose Big Balls actually serve other than inspiring the lyrics of an AC/DC song for the amusement of adolescents in the 70s. It didn’t take a genius to work out that this wasn’t a song about a cocktail ball.
On the upside, Scrotox is purported to reduce sweating. No more sweaty ballsacks. That’s not just a selling point, that’s an ad campaign. I guess if you have a profusely sweating scrotum that somehow impedes your enjoyment of life, like you slip off bike seats or had some sort of debilitating jock-rotting condition that destroyed furniture, then maybe you might consider Scrotox.
So why Scrotox? And why now? Because Botox is big business and big business relies on expanding the market. There’s a finite supply of women’s faces to store cosmetic Botox. That’s a market that’s been very comfortably exploited.
But testicles. That’s a dark and hidden place of shame for men. Scrotox is just more market exploitation of human inadequacies and self-loathing. What man when faced with his sagging prunes wouldn’t jump at the chance of a couple of Xmas plums?
Please, blokes. Let the balls swing free. Imagine a world where nutsacks were perfect. Pert and swollen like boiled eggs in a body stocking. Where they didn’t slip out on a hot summer’s day down the left leg of Uncle Barry’s King Gees and emerge like a slowly escaping marsupial? That’s a world I just don’t want to live in. Buck the system and free-ball.
The future of the world will be that it is ruled by China, and Western men will be the sex slaves of Chinese women. Because Chinese men have big brains and small penises, but Chinese women want big ones.
Fabiano Antoniani expressed frustration with his homeland shortly before triggering the lethal substance
A paralysed DJ ended his own life with the press of a button in Switzerland after a fruitless campaign for euthanasia in his native Italy.
Fabiano Antoniani died at a euthanasia facility in Forch after reportedly triggering the lethal substance.
The 40-year-old had campaigned for a change in the assisted suicide law in his homeland, but Italy's parliament had shelved the debate 11 times.
Former MEP and activist Marco Cappato, who travelled with Mr Antoniani to Switzerland, could face criminal charges after helping escort the musician to the facility.
Police have questioned him over the death, he said on Twitter.
Mr Antoniani was left blind and tetraplegic by car crash in 2014. The DJ dropped his phone while driving and smashed into the car in front of him as he tried to pick it up.
Also known as quadriplegia, Tetraplegia is paralysis caused by illness or injury that results in the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso.
He appealed to Italy President Sergio Mattarella for the right to die, and shortly before his death, criticised the country for failing to pass laws allowing him to do so.
“Finally I am in Switzerland and, unfortunately, I got here on my own and not with the help of my country,” he said, in a message posted on social media shortly before his death.
“Fabo died at 11.40am. He decided to pass away, respecting the rules of a country which is not his own,” Mr Cappato wrote on Twitter, shortly after he died.
Roberto Saviano, an Italian journalist, who was a friend of DJ Fabo, also wrote: “We distinctly heard you ask for a dignified death. There is no possible justification for the silence that you’ve achieved in response.
“There is no possible justification for the lack of empathy, of attention, and humanity, from the European Parliament, and from the country, which by fate, you were born in.”
Euthanasia is illegal in Italy, a traditionally Catholic country, but the law upholds a patient’s right to refuse care.
A bill to clarify assisted suicide law has been postponed in Italy three times, but according to La Stampa, will be debated by the Chamber of Deputies this week.
Hundreds have travelled to Zurich to end their lives since the Dignitas organisation was set up in 1998.
The number of assisted suicides in Switzerland, according to statistics from Dignitas and Exit, stood at 416 in 2011 but 1,004 in 2015.
In the UK, a woman suffering from Crohn's disease last month said she will pay £10,000 to end her life in Switzerland because of social care cuts
There is no such thing as fake news. Some news are just borrowed from different strings of the multiverse.
Why are orgasms so intensely pleasurable? How come women can experience multiple orgasms? And does the fabled G-spot even exist?
[T]here do seem to be physical differences between women who claim to experience vaginal orgasm and those who don’t. In 2008, [Emmanuele Jannini at the University of Rome Tor Vergata ] published a study involving nine such responders, and 11 who said they’d never climaxed during penetrative sex alone. Ultrasound scans revealed a thicker area of tissue in the space between the vagina and the urethra in those that could.
“The word spot suggests a button; something that you can push to obtain an orgasm or pleasure,” [Jannini] says. “It implies a concrete structure that’s either there or it’s not. No-one has been able to clearly describe such a structure as a spot.”
Although to most people, the clitoris is just a pea-shaped bobble under the surface of the skin, recent MRI studies suggest that the clitoris is far from diminutive.
[The vagina’s] complexity may explain why it has been so difficult to prove – or disprove – the existence of the G-spot; it’s not easy to stimulate the frontal wall of the vagina in isolation. You’re also likely rubbing up against the internal portions of the clitoris and the urethra as well.
The world is full of multimillionaires who can't handle money. Because, if you have money, if you don't ditch your Western wife, you will never have a harem.
Khmer Rouge terror in Cambodia
Things are looking up for guys in the market for a penis enlargement. It appears some researchers from Korea University have found a method that is actually effective—and you don't even have to reply to some sketchy spam email to get it. The results of their research were recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, and it turns out they used the same thing some ladies use for their faces, Restylane. After injecting Restylane into 50 men's penises, they found that there was average increase in circumference (or girth) of 4 cm. That increase still held 18 months later.
The procedure was definitely not without its drawbacks. It required them to use a "hefty" needle to inject an average of 20.5 cc of the Restylane, which is a little under an ounce, using "a back-and-forth technique" into the deep soft tissue layers of the penis. Ouch! But it didn't end there, "the product was then ‘homogenized with a roller.'" That sounds deeply unpleasant—though it's definitely better than surgery and certainly faster than using a penis extender.
The world is full of multimillionaires who can't handle money. Because, if you have money, you want to go somewhere where it counts. Not stay in North America or Western Europe.
In a surprising, and seemingly counterintuitive application of a wildly popular wrinkle relaxer, two Canadian urologists are testing Botox for impotence.
If it does for men what it has so far done in aged male rats, Botox may offer a persistent, long-acting (months at a time) way to restore erectile function in men, they believe.
Their preliminary data suggests Botox, or botulinum toxin injections, can increase blood flow to the penis by paralyzing the nerves that cause smooth muscles within the penis to contract.
Erections depend mainly on a good blood flow.
“The advantage of this would be that you inject it once, it lasts for six months potentially, and the pump would be primed every time you wanted to have sex,” said Dr. Sidney Radomski, a professor of surgery and urology at the University of Toronto.
Other forms of penile injection therapy have existed for years, but men have to self-inject every time they want to have sex. Meanwhile, Viagra and other pills that belong to a class known as PDE-5 inhibitors — drugs that act on the chemical signals that open up the blood vessels in the penis — have to be taken before sex, or daily. They can also cause side effects such as headache and heartburn. As well, Viagra doesn’t work for a third or more of men who try it, said Dr. Gerald Brock, professor of surgery at Western University in London.
“It’s probably 50 per cent of men who’ve had prostate cancer surgery; maybe 40 per cent of men with diabetes,” he said. “There are subgroups (of men) where the response rate is almost a 50-50 shot.”
Botox, he said, may help “salvage” those non-responders. Writing in the current issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Brock and co-author, French urologist Francois Giuliano, go further, saying Botox could be a “potential game changer” for ED.
Others worry ED drugs are already perpetuating narrow social norms of masculinity and male sexuality — the idea, says University of Iowa medical anthropologist Emily Wentzell, that “in some way, to be a real man, you have to be this penetrative force.”
She worries categories of sexual dysfunction are proliferating and expanding, and that normal, age-related changes are being framed as “pathological.”
Writing in the Journal of Sex Research, Wentzell argues the medicalization of impotence “and the emphasis on casting phallocentric sex as the natural and healthy sexual ideal have been promoted worldwide through ED drug marketing.”
It’s very much a Euro-North American phenomenon, she said, noting Chinese men, for example, have had a “lukewarm” response to Viagra.
“Obviously medical solutions can help men who feel really bad they can’t live up to their own desires, and maybe their partner’s desires, and certainly cultural scripts about how a man should be,” Wentzell said in an interview.
“But we don’t think about variation in bodily function as natural anymore,” she said. “Instead, we’re narrowing our idea of what counts as ‘normal.’ ”
Men often don’t talk to their partners before seeking out ED drugs she said, or keep their use secret. “Yet research shows that when men talk to their partners, their partners are fine with the change, or they would be fine if they explored other sexual activities.”
Radomski has been using Botox to treat overactive bladders by paralyzing the smooth muscles in the bladder. The injections last six to nine months. He wondered whether it might work in a similar way for penises by allowing the smooth muscles to relax, dilate and allow more blood flow to rapidly fill the penis.
In a rat study, “we saw exactly what he had predicted,” Brock said. “Improved erections were actually seen.”
The animal model isn’t the same as humans. For one thing, the researchers used an electrical current to stimulate the nerves to induce an erection.
While much more research is needed in animals, they hope to start clinical trials in men within six to 12 months. For now there’s little real data, except for one small published pilot study from Egypt. There, a dozen men who received a single injection of Botox showed increased arterial flow and improved scores on a “sexual health inventory” two weeks post-injection.
Still, Botox isn’t innocuous. Made from the bacteria that cause botulism, it can spread to other body areas beyond where it’s injected. In too high doses, “If it goes into the bloodstream, it can kill you, basically, because it can paralyze everything,” Radomski said.
The plan is to use an exceptionally small dose. However, there’s also the potential risk of causing a permanent change like priapism — prolonged erections without sexual stimulation.
“I think that would be a very small risk,” Brock said, “but certainly that would be one of the things that we would be looking for and trying to titrate the dose so it would not occur.”
Terrorists are developing a new tactics. Instead of killing victims, they just castrate them, and let them live on. Planned for Swedish and Norwegian men. Perpetrators will just get 6 months in jail.
Home | Index of articles