docSamSBH Blog

Cholesterol controversy

With the knowledge of the role that cholesterol plays in the biosynthesis of the sex hormones precursors (pregnenolone and DHEA), the integrity of the myelin sheath of nerve fibres and possible role in multiple sclerosis, as well as a natural nutrient antioxidant and/or free radical scavenger it was gratifying to hear and to see on TV that the dietary restriction of cholesterol has been waved.
In my previous blogs I have for years advised against the use of cholesterol lowering drugs,not only for these functions but also for the studies which found a relationship of cardiomyopathy associated with certain statin drugs, especially in women.
I wonder how soon and if doctors will stop prescribing statin and other cholesterol lowering drugs-

Concussion film to air Dec 25/2015

On Dec 23/2015 while enjoying my supper with the family, I happened to look up at the TV screen to discover that the channel was commenting on the film Concussion to be aired on Christmas Day. I searched for their comments on this “biographical sports thriller” about the condition of CTE: chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Wikipedia’s evaluation of this film under its 9 sections was exceptionally well documented with special praises for the very talented actors-especially the role of the forensic pathologist.

As a medical doctor, a scientist and a gerontologist I was somewhat disappointed to find very little discussion on the preventative aspect of this disease. I guess their emphasis on the denial by the NFL of the problem of CTE was what made it a thriller.

Somehow it reminded me of the status of the polio epidemic of the 1940-50’s. The doctors and scientists of the day had a very important decision to make. They could have invested their resources in perfecting better iron lung machines. If that had been their decision we would now have the best designed iron lung machines inhabited by thousands of patients. Indeed an archival photo from one of the wards of a Winnipeg Hospital showed that this was already happening. Instead of iron lungs the decision was made to find a cure.

We all know the story: vaccines spearheaded by Sabin and Jonas Salk were soon developed. Now except for the occasional outbreak due mainly to the failure of vaccination of children, polio has all but been eliminated from the globe. A similar fate has happened to smallpox infections. The only difference was that in the case of smallpox , the vaccine was first developed in the 19th century by Dr. Edward Jenner long before it was known that smallpox like polio was caused by a virus.

In my view our knowledge of concussions and CTE is currently at the same level that smallpox was in the 1880’s when Dr. Jenner was practicing medicine. Even though we must confess that we really don’t seem to know the cause of concussions, maybe we can still find a cure without that knowledge.

I refer the reader to the small textbook entitled “The Physicians guide to Life extension Drugs” published by the Life Extension Foundation. I currently have the 1998 edition-It is a small volume of only 268 pages. Pages 141-150 discuss the pharmacologic properties of hydergine. Reading this chapter especially the “cat experiment ” suggested to me that this drug might have protective properties in the early phases of a head injury assuming hypoxia and free radical pathology are at play and that this damage occurs before features of a concussion are diagnosed clinically.

Elsewhere I have suggested that players engaged in contact sport might first- take a tablet of this drug before they begin playing. Much like we take our Vitamin C pills to prevent those winter flus. Or like the surgeons who give hydergine intravenously to their patients in some European countries before they begin their cardiac or other major surgeries on their patients as a preventative measure should the patients experience cardiac arrest on the operating table.

Now wouldn’t that make a fascinating medical thriller? I am sure that if Berton Roueche, author of “Eleven Blue Men”, ¬†knew about this epidemic of concussions he might have changed the title of his book to “Twelve Blue Men”.

Can slowing the aging process reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s

See my previous blog posts for statistics about the incidence of Alzheimer’s in Canada and Nursing homes as possible research labs for dementia.

Briefly here are the relevant statistics:
– by age 65, 8% of the population have some degree of dementia
– this increases to 35 % for those over age 85

My question:

If we can slow the aging process so that those at the chronological age of 85 could have the biological markers of a person age 65, would the incidence of Alzheimer’s also be slowed or dropped to 8% from 35%?

It seems to me that it would not be difficult to design such an experiment, especially since at present we do not have a specific medical treatment for dementia.

Gerontologists could see some positive results within a decade.

Just think if one could slow the aging process significantly, the elderly would die of other chronic diseases which are the major contributors to death, such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer and diabetes. It could certainly reduce the number of Alzheimer’s residents in our nursing homes if positive results are obtained.

Blood culture model for Alzheimer’s

If one goes to the Longevity newsletter and the link :, they can reviewed one of the research articles on Alzheimer’s entitled “Cord blood cells clear Alzheimer’s plaques”.Details of their research procedure, reminded me of the research I did at the Kildonan Institute of Gerontology- a private research lab in Winnipeg which I set up and directed. For 15 years our research involved the study of the behaviour of lymphocytes in blood culture using the hanging drop procedure and recording the cellular behaviour with the Sage Time Lapse cinephotomicrographic apparatus.We recorded over 8000 feet of 16 mm coloured movie film. If the reader goes to my website < > they can view a short video clip of the equipment and and the cellular behaviour. Seems to me that my research might enable to use blood from patients suffering from Alzheimers rather than the mouse experiments used by the researchers.

Cord blood cells clear Alzheimer’s plaques

I encourage you to visit the Longevity newsletter and review one of the research articles on Alzheimer’s entitled Cord blood cells clear Alzheimer’s plaques.

Details of their research procedure reminded me of the research I did at the Kildonan Institute of Gerontology – a private research lab in Winnipeg which I set up and directed. For 15 years, our research involved the study of the behaviour of lymphocytes in blood culture using the hanging drop procedure and recording the cellular behaviour with the Sage Time Lapse cinephotomicrographic apparatus.

We recorded over 8,000 feet of 16mm coloured movie film. On a previous website, I posted a short video clip of the cellular behaviour captured by this apparatus.

Seems to me that my research might enable scientists to use blood from patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, rather than from mice as in the researchers’ experiments.

VHS tapes for my Memoirs

It has now been over a year since I stopped digitalizing my VHS tapes. Most of these videotapes took over 2 hours to digitalize with each taking over 7-10GB of memory space.. For this reason I made backups onto several external hard drives as well as on my time machine backups (Passport ).I also backed up my photos (all 50,000 of them ) They occupied over 130GB of storage
A few days ago- after I had completed a routine time machine back up on my iMac- I entered my time machine selecting the July 14/2014 date. Under the finder I went to movies/easy VHS to DVD capture. where I found all the digitalized VHSs. I began viewing the series( estimating about 20 ) I had taken. Some were from my program with Shaw cable entitled Health and Longevity. as well as one of the 3 videos I had recorded of the mini or “hybrid ” symposium on Orthopaedic Medicine which I had organized at the WCB (workers Compensation Board) and which was presented by Don Fraser and John Evans from St. Catherine (Ontario)- I think the year was 1986 ?.
I was impressed not only with the contents of these DVD’s but also with the quality of the video- of those taken by myself and using my own video equipment. I realize now that I don’t think I gave Dr.Don Fraser a copy of his 3 day seminar delivered at the WCB. Maybe in the future when hopefully someone decides to record my memoirs that-in order to avoid copyright issues-that they acknowledge him and his therapist John Evans as well as Dr. Bill Guy- medical director at the WCB.- much like the acknowledgement I recently received from the editors of Medical Post when I was planning to use the full page article by Gene Telpner in the December 1966 issue of this medical publication. (I received an email giving me permission to use this pager for publication if I insert the statement that it was a publication by the author and it appeared in the Medical Post journal.
I must get back to continue converting my VHA as well as the Sony videotapes to DVD- my estimate is that they together total over 200 videotapes With having recently celebrating my 88th birthday.- who knows how many more years I have left to gather information for my memoirs-

Carotid massage: a possible new cardiac resuscitation procedure

In our current resuscitation procedure for unconscious patients, we rationalize that by compressing the chest wall, we also compress the heart and the major arteries in the chest cavity, resulting in some arterial blood flow to vital organs like the brain. In the past, this procedure was called “cardio-pulmonary resuscitation”, but I believe we now feel the pulmonary component is unnecessary and omit it from the acronym.

On one of the TV channels this morning, which just happens to be Christmas Day 2014, it showed how apes were able to successfully resuscitate one of their own after the ape had been electrocuted on railway tracks rendering him unconscious on a railway platform below. As the startled passengers at the station looked on, with no one willing to come forward to offer first aid, one of the apes on the railway platform decided to take over.

The video showed how this non-human first aid worker first tried dipping their relative in puddle of water found between the tracks. When that was unsuccessful, he began what seemed to be a biting-like manoeuvre on the side of the neck. He continued this for 20 minutes.

As I looked more closely at this Youtube video which was shown on repeated broadcasts, it appeared to me that the ape may actually be applying pressure to the carotid artery or massaging it to move blood forward.

Could this is a more effective way of getting arterial perfusion passively to the brain than with the method we now use, namely compression of the chest wall?

Could our distant cousins the apes be giving us, their more advanced cousins, a special Christmas gift? A better CPR technique than the one we currently are using?

This approach may be worth further study. I vaguely seem to recall a lecture from my undergraduate medical study days (over 55 years ago) that there may be a collection of nerves in the carotid artery (a node) which if massaged can restart the heart beat. I must look this up on the internet. If I do find it I will post another blog with an update.

Incidentally, if carotid artery massage and/or whatever you want to call this procedure is found to be more effective, there would be no need to change the acronym – just substitute carotid for cardiac.

Cardiac Research at St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation

Recently in the Winnipeg Free Press (December 13, 2014), two half page ads highlighted the research of principal investigators at the St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation to “…lessen the impact of heart attacks…”. For more details on the research and goals of these scientists at this research centre, readers were directed to a website.

My comments:

1. It is a very opportune time for the foundation to place these ads during the festive season when people are in the mood of buying gifts. I hope their drive for funds is very successful.

My other 2 comments are maybe not so complimentary.

2. The reader will notice that the upper half of one of these pages contains an ad for purchasing liquor. Probably not the wisest decision made by the newspaper editors.

3. My third comment relates to an international symposium entitled “Free Radicals in Health and Disease ” which was held on October 1985 at the A. Cohen auditorium of the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.

The three main organizers for this symposium included the University of Manitoba, the St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation and the Kildonan Institute of Gerontology – the latter a private not-for-profit research foundation that I founded in 1987. As the medical director of this foundation, I was pleased that we were able to successfully invite and sponsor for this symposium Dr. Denham Harman, a professor at the University of Nebraska and the “father of Free Radical Pathology”.*

About a decade later in the mid 1990’s our private foundation dissolved basically for lack of funds. Our equipment was donated to the St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation in the 1990’s, but my knowledge and expertise in the field of cellular gerontology did not accompany this donation, although I personally made the request at the time of the donation as well as on several subsequent occasions.

It is however somewhat gratifying to at least see that some of the research at St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation is being directed to free radical pathology. However now at the age of 87 I often reflect on “what if” I had the opportunity to work at this research centre, which I was willing to do gratis.

* Dr. Denham died on November 25, 2014 at the age of 98 without receiving the Nobel prize, even though he was nominated some 6 times.

Life extension and anti-aging

The Life Extension Foundation ( was organized in Hollywood, Florida in the 1980’s by Saul Kent and William Faloon – its original founders. In my view, the foundation owes its success to Saul Kent’s publication in March 1983 of The Life Extension Revolution.

I was fortunate to have purchased this excellent book directly from the foundation – long before the Internet and Amazon. We had just purchased our winter home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in February 1982. One afternoon on our second winter visit, I decided to drop by the Life Extension Foundation – then a 5-story warehouse building in downtown Hollywood, Florida just north of Ft. Lauderdale. I immediately became a member of the foundation and have retained my membership to this day, even though we discontinued our winter vacations to the sunshine state in 2007 after 32 years.

These days, I especially enjoy reading the weekly newsletters from the foundation and the monthly Life Extension Magazine. I also continue to buy several of their textbooks, the latest being Disease Prevention and Treatment – currently in its 5th edition.

As outlined on my docSamSBH homepage, my goal with this website is to help you to “add years to your life and life to your years.”

I will also continue to search, review and evaluate published research, ideas and publications in the field of anti-aging that I feel are scientifically sound.

You may also wish to join the Life Extension Foundation to receive “news you can use” to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What is Cheating

Educators are not only concerned about the frequency and sophistication of cheating by our high school and university students, but also about the fact that many of these students do not seem to have any guilt about being involved.

Two questions present themselves. One is: Should the students feel guilty? The other: Should the educators, or indeed the public, be surprised by this behaviour?

Let us first look closely at the higher institutions of learning namely our universities. When we analyze the faculty’s tactics for obtaining grants for research, we find that some of them may be involved in plagiarism, besides other activities which may be considered a form of cheating. Let me explain: Novice researchers who apply for research grants often get assistance from their supervisors, i.e. the faculty, especially on how to formulate their grant applications so they are successful in receiving funds.

Because they received professional help, some might view this support as a form of cheating. If such applicants for research grants use a senior scientist to help them prepare their grant proposal, could the research team submitting such a grant proposal or the senior scientist who helped be considered as cheating? Are they in the same category as those high school and/or university students who get professional help for their essays or other school projects? Are their tactics any different from the beggars asking for handouts on our streets?

It seems logical to extend this line of reasoning to the mechanisms used by some of our charitable organizations. It is my understanding that for some charitable organizations, the budget for their fundraising campaigns may exceed a third or even half of the total monies they collect. If such organizations were to make more transparent or more public the fraction of the monies that they collect that actually go towards research and/or the aims of their charity, this might exclude them from the cheating category.