Children of a lesser God: When guardians shatter the Futures!

“I loved music, until my music teacher got upset at one of my classmates, aggressively grabbed him by the neck, kicked him out of the class and swore at him” Sebastian in grade 5.

 Still I cannot believe what Sebastian told me and happened in his school, in “Beverly Acres Public School” in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, about a maltreatment, physical and verbal abuse of a 10 years old child in front of the whole class! When I told Sebastian that I am going to write up the incident in my website and the world will know about it, he was excited to hear what others might think of the situation and condemn the abuse by their teacher!

 “Children of a lesser God” is originally a play by Medoff that in 1986 was adapted to a feature film, about a school for the deafs, their sufferings and struggles to learn. While any physical defect of a child could be considered by some or the child himself or herself as being of a lesser attention by the God to him or her, the mental defects of a child and more importantly so, the trauma, maltreatment and abuse that befall on a normal and healthy child could be taken as such.

A search in “pubmed” of the NIH (National Institute of Health) of the United States, reveals the following number of research papers: on child abuse in total:40331; child abuse by teachers:412; by clergy:115; by preiests:123! The child welfare of the US government reports that relatives, babysitters, and foster parents are the common perpetrators. The American humane association reports the following rate of common child abuse and maltreatments: neglect 62.8% as the highest type of abuse; physical abuse 16.6%; sexual abuse 7.1%; emotional and psychological abuse 7.1%; medical neglect 2% and “others” at 14.3%. Canadian child welfare agency, reports that in 2007, there were an estimated 67,000 children in out-of-home care across Canada. The Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect reports an increase of abuse reports from 135,261 in 1998 to 235,315 in 2003 and 235,842 in 2008. Neglect and exposure to intimate partner abuse and violence has been reported at 34% to be the highest, followed by physical abuse at 20%, emotional maltreatment at 9% and sexual abuse at 3%, different than the statistics in US, though both are similar in being western, mainly English speaking societies with multi-cultural striatum. Child issues that perhaps triggered more abuse by the perpetrators have been reported to be Academic difficulties: 23%; depression, anxiety, withdrawal: 19%; Aggression: 15%; Attachment issues: 14%;Intellectual & developmental disabilities: 11%; and ADD/ADHD: 11%. Care-givers risk factors have been reported to be the highest among the victims of domestic violence and abuse at 46%. Schools have been the most common source of abuse reports at 24%.

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Children of a lesser God: When guardians shatter the Futures

A Tribute to the Mastermind, Stephen Hawking: Neuromuscular Disorders

Introduction:

One wonders how many people know “Stephen Hawking”! Is he well known as “Oprah Winfrey”, the late “Prince”, or “Michael Jordan. The last year movie of “The theory of everything” casted by the brilliant actor, Eddie Redmayne and earned him an Oscar, has perhaps introduced more people to the mastermind “Stephen Hawking” whom this article is dedicated.      

 Stephen Hawking, one of a few living genius of our time, is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, and the director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. His scientific works include collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, so called “The theory of everything”. Hawking has a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as motor neurone disease, that has gradually paralysed him over the decades. He now communicates using a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device. Hawking has not limited his knowledge to the scientific arena for the experts, but has popularized it by writing easy read books such as “The brief history of time” for the public. (1-8)

 Neuromuscular Disorders:

Neuromuscular disorders encompass a large group of disorders, including ALS, that befell on Stephen Hawking slowly from his final year at Oxford until his formal diagnosis at age 21. These disorders that lead one way or another, to the impairment of the function of different muscles of the body, are caused by either the pathology in the neurons controlling such muscles, or the pathology at the junction of the neurons to the muscles. If just the neurons in the central nervous system are involved, such as in stroke or CVA (cerebrovascular accident), or Parkinson’s disease, they are classified as “upper motor neuron” disorders. If only the neuromuscular junctions are involved, such as spinal muscular atrophies, they are classified as “lower motor neuron” disorders. Some of these disorders such as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) are mixed of upper and lower motor neuron disorders. (9-10)

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A Tribute to the Mastermind, Stephen Hawking: Neuromuscular Disorders

The Killer Cancer of the West: The Colorectal

Introduction:

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, is a cancer that starts in the colon or large bowel and could extend to the rectum, the end of the large intestine. Blood in stool, change in the bowel movements, weight loss, feeling weak and tired are the common signs and symptoms. Although genetic or family history of colon cancer and colon polyps, is currently considered the principal risk factor, only a small fraction of the population, 5-25% only have such a history. But constipation specially in old ages when the large bowel like many other parts of the body is more vulnerable and weak, and mostly occurs as a result of diet high in meat and low in fiber increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Other diseases of the small and large bowels such as inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis, and also polyps of the large bowel could increase the risk of colorectal cancer. In fact the cancer often typically starts as a polyp and a benign tumor that over time grows and spreads and becomes a killer cancer. Globally, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer making up about 10% of all cases, with about 1.5 million new cases and 700,000 deaths per year, and the second leading cause of death from cancer in the the developed or Western societies. Colorectal cancer is one of the few diseases that is more common in developed countries than the developing or under-developed lands that carry most of the human’s diseases due to infections, poor hygiene, poverty and insufficient medical care. (1-3)

 The Normal & healthy Colon:

The normal function of the colon is fermentation of undigested food remnants such as starch and protein in order to extract energy from otherwise indigestible carbohydrates, production of vitamins, to absorb water and electrolytes and to transport waste products (feces) to the rectum for excretion/defecation. Food remnants, intestinal secretions, digestive juices and exfolated intestinal cells are metabolised by the bacteria (microbiome) in the colon. (4) In the bottom of each colonic crypt, 4-6 stem cells give rise to the enormous amount of colonocytes and host the potential of accumulating genetic and epigenetic changes. (5) As a result of the ongoing and rapid proliferation, the colonocytes move from the lower parts of the crypts up towards the colonic lumen at a speed of approximately 1 cell position per hour. When colonocytes reach the luminal surface they are exfoliated. Thus, a crypt is fully renewed in 2-8 d. The total proliferation rate is 3-10 billion colonocytes per day. This makes the colonic mucosa the organ with the highest proliferation rate of all organs in mammals. The rapid replication of cells require a readily available supply of nutrients for tissue synthesis and the process is very responsive to dietary changes. (6)

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The Killer Cancer of the West: The Colorectal