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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: July 29, 2021
Posted: July 29, 2021 at 9:15 pm
Special thanks to all my libertarian friends who read this before I published it and still continue to be my friend.
The Gadsden Flag
Wouldnt you like to live in a world where the government didnt interfere in your private life, where you paid minimal taxes, and were free to do whatever you wanted as long as it didnt infringe on others freedoms?
Well then, you might be a libertarian Or you might not.
Libertarianism is a sexy concept right now. You might have heard about it because of third party candidate Gary Johnson, or from the Republican Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul. Or you turned into one overnight after completing Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged. But what do libertarians believe in?
The core value of libertarianism is small government, which is a vague concept meaning pretty much whatever any individual Libertarian wants it to mean. So, anything from keeping the government out of your bedroom to the privatization of almost every function of government from education to the police force can fall under the libertarian agenda.
So it shouldnt be a surprise that fiscally conservative Republicans are more likely to vote libertarian than Democrats. However, on social issues some of the libertarian policy positions are actually more progressive than a Occupy Wall Street drum circle. The Libertarian stance on social issues include making prostitution legal and legalizing all drugs even the good ones. Libertarians also believe that no military action should be taken against foreign nations unless the U.S. is attacked first. All of which sounds great to me.
What doesnt sound as great are the libertarian ideals on the economic front.
Libertarianism comes down to belief that the principles that drive a free market economy can be applied to how humans govern themselves. Its this idea that an invisible hand that guides the free market will also drive human interaction with social order. This foundation is one that I disagree with, when unchecked man motivated by self-gain will not ultimately do the right thing. This is why there are criminals, those who commit crimes even when there is a system that actively tries to prevent it.
The whole purpose of civilization should be to ensure that everyone is fed, clothed, housed and NOT to create the conditions so that the few can secure a substantially greater portion of resources while others are left with virtually none. In a libertarian society, who protects the unprotected, who defends the rights of the defenseless? Even libertarians acknowledge that a free market will drive a larger wealth disparity which some believe will be offset by the trickling down of wealth and technology. But wealth inequality paired with deregulation creates an opportunity for haves to rule the have-nots. This is one of the many reasons for regulation to ensure that the rich few do not impose their will unjustly or destructively on the poor multitudes.
Another libertarian belief is the idea that the government should not be allowed to impose its will on the citizenry. However, in a truly free market that promotes freedom of contract and de-regulation employers have a right to force rules that would never be permitted in our current Democratic systems. Libertarianism is a rich mans ideal. It ostensibly gives ultimate freedoms and choice to everyone at the cost of helping the helpless. It completely ignores the reality of economic forces, which compel the poor to take jobs they dont want and live where they dont want to just because they have to.
While individual freedoms extending to property rights are in the forefront of the core principles of libertarianism deregulation and a free market economy that will lead to an even bigger wealth gap sounds like the prologue to the movie Elysium starring Matt Damon. Or Snowpiercer. Or any other dystopian future pic where classism runs rampant and the massive lower income classes rise against their small but incredibly wealthy oppressors.
If you want to understand what would happen in a libertarian society, watch the movie Elysium. Thats a libertarian utopia. Where the wealth disparity is abysmal and the eroding middle class has fully shifted well below the poverty line. Yes, we will likely continue to make technological advancements, but increasingly in service to a narrower and narrower segment of the population.
You may see the poor or underclass as weak the losers in the giant meritocratic experiment that is the libertarian ideal, but weak as they are, there are going to be a hell of a lot more of them than there are of you. So in the hopes of avoiding the fate of the monarchy during the French Revolution, maybe its best to retain welfare and at least a modest social safety net if for no other reason than to keep them from grabbing their pitchforks and turning on you. Think of it as a Riot Tax.
Lamartine in front of the Town Hall of Paris rejects the red flag on 25 February 1848 by Henri Felix Emmanuel PhilippoteauxThis is what happens when the poor majority revolts against the wealthy minory
In the end, libertarianism is similar to communism. On the face theyre both noble, but impossibly ambitious theories one has individual freedom as its core principle and the other, equality. However, in practice, both concepts lead to outcomes that arent as pure. Unlike communism, we have yet to see libertarianism crumble after application, but, given the current state of the Republican party, we may see its influence soon enough.
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The Problems With Libertarianism | HuffPost
Posted: at 9:15 pm
Social Libertarianism"Free market good, Starvation bad."AliasesLibertarian Social Democracy
Human-Centered CapitalismCentrist LibertarianismNeo-YangismYangism SocBert
Social Libertarianism, clipped to SocBert, is a LibUnity ideology that leans culturally left. He advocates for a robust decentralized government, free markets, and social welfare. SocBert believes that both negative liberty (ie freedom to do stuff) and positive liberty (ie freedom from forces (such as poverty, bad health, pollution)) are equally important and therefore libertarian ideology should be reformed to view liberty & justice as being free from all forms of domination instead of only freedom from the state. Socbert tends to agree with libertarianism on most issues, but disagrees on economics and welfare, believing that a welfare state (ideally a UBI or NIT) and some forms of regulation are needed to guarantee positive liberties.
The SocBert ball is a very altruistic, happy, energetic, and pro-freedom ball. Although he likes a lot of people, not that many people like him back. He's too much of a "Socialist" for libertarians, so he's called a "fake libertarian" by LibRights. On the other hand, he's also called a "Libertarian Trojan Horse" by socialists. Usually, he hangs out with his mom Social Democracy, his half-sister Social Georgism and his dad Libertarianism every other weekend.
Flag of Social Libertarianism
Wacky ideologies 37 Social Libertarianism by Knights of the alternate histories
Posted: at 9:15 pm
The comedian and podcaster Dave Smith, a rising presence in Libertarian Party (L.P.) circles, says he's considering running for the party's presidential nomination in 2024.
Smith says a major reason he expects to run is that even though the 2020 nominee, Jo Jorgensen, got the second-highest vote total in L.P. history, he thinks she didn't push back hard enough on government lockdowns and overreach in its fight against COVID, which he sees as a missed opportunity to build a bigger libertarian movement.
A vocal opponent of wokeness and political correctness, Smith is quick to attack fellow libertarians whom he thinks are naive about how the state maintains its power. He's said that he'd "take a red-pilled leftie over a blue-pilled libertarian any day."
After the Biden administration revealed it was pushing Facebook to restrict accounts it says are spreading misinformation about COVID-19, Smith tweeted, "This administration has exposed the useful idiots who call themselves libertarians. Saying 'it's a private company' for the last few years, ignoring what is obviously the biggest threat to liberty. They unwittingly support the largest government in human history."
After that take was discussed on a recent Reason Roundtable podcast, Smith tweeted that my fellow panelists and I had misrepresented his views. So I reached out to him so he could clarify his views on the intersection of big government and Big Tech, and discuss the future of the L.P., why he has no plans to vaccinate himself or his young daughter, and why he believes libertarians should be more engaged in the culture war.
Libertarian group sues government over information on $143 billion in improper Medicaid payments – Washington Examiner
Posted: at 9:15 pm
The libertarian organization Americans for Prosperity Foundation is suing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to find out what it is doing about $143 billion in improper payments made by Medicaid.
The complaint asks for records on CMS's efforts to recover improper Medicaid payments and for data showing improper payment rates by states. According to CMS, improper Medicaid payments totaled $143 billion in 2019 and 2020, rising from 14.9% of all payments in 2019 to 21.4% in 2020. Medicaid is a joint federal-state healthcare program for the poor.
Failing to recover $143 billion in improper Medicaid payments is an affront to hardworking American taxpayers and a threat to Medicaids long-term fiscal stability, said Dean Clancy, a senior health fellow at Americans for Prosperity Foundation. More transparency and accountability is needed to ensure that CMS manages Medicaid responsibly.
The $143 billion in improper payments is about 11% of the roughly $1.3 trillion spent by Medicaid from 2019 to 2020. By contrast, Medicare, the federal healthcare program for seniors and the disabled, had about $55 billion in improper payments in 2019 and 2020. Additionally, Medicare's improper payments declined from almost $29 billion in 2019 to just under $26 billion in 2020.
Federal law requires CMS to recover any improper payments over the amount of 3%.
SENATE DEMOCRATS PLAN END RUN AROUND STATE THAT HAVEN'T EXPANDED MEDICAID UNDER OBAMACARE
Americans for Prosperity Foundation requested CMS supply the information on improper payments under a Freedom of Information Act request it filed on May 5, 2021. Under federal law, an agency has 20 days to respond to a FOIA request or 30 days under unusual circumstances. When CMS did not comply, Americans for Prosperity Foundation filed suit in federal court.
An improper payment occurs when a recipient receives an incorrect amount of funds or uses the funds in an improper way or when the recipient is ineligible to receive the funds in the first place. Medicaid enrollees cannot receive benefits when they earn more income than is allowed under the program or when they fail to meet residency requirements. The Americans for Prosperity Foundation complaint notes that state governments often do not ensure compliance with federal Medicaid requirements.
CMS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Democrats in Congress are trying to expand Medicaid. Georgia Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin are trying to establish a Medicaid-like coverage plan run by the federal government. It would cover people who live in the 12 states that have not yet expanded Medicaid under Obamacare. The federal government would fully fund the plan. States would not have to provide matching funds.
Posted: at 9:15 pm
Ron Pauls final campaign for president ended nine years ago, but the political movement he ignited is far from over. After he passed the torch to his libertarian legion of mostly young and die-hard supporters, many wondered if the movement would fade without the iconoclastic Texas congressman lambasting the Federal Reserve and the Washington war machine on the presidential debate stage.
Since then, Pauls supporters have won hundreds of elections in state legislatures across the country, reshaping the debate on issues ranging from gun rights to school choice. Young Americans for Liberty (formerly Students for Ron Paul) counts 178 state legislators in 37 states as members. However, it is Live Free or Die, New Hampshire, where Paul-inspired Liberty Republicans have become the dominant force in state politics.
Nine years ago, Paul took second place in the states first-in-the-nation Republican primary. Since then, a gradually growing coalition in the state Legislature has led successful efforts, including the passage of constitutional carry.
In November 2020, the coalition achieved critical mass, sweeping the New Hampshire House of Representatives by winning 86 seats (nearly a quarter of the entire body). Liberty Republicans became the majority of the majority and elected a former Ron Paul supporter, state Rep. Jason Osborne, to House majority leader.
Gov. Chris Sununu was recently caught on tape declaring, Libertarians arent Republicans! and suggesting this new energy should leave the party. His frustration is understandable.
While most governors have enjoyed free passes from their own party over constitutionally dubious exercises of COVID-19 emergency powers, Granite State Liberty Republicans have fought Sununu for emergency power reform, with some even filing impeachment orders against him.
Yet, even Sununu must recognize his recent successes are due to this new coalition. Until last November, Democrats controlled the state Legislature, and Sununu could only veto their worst proposals. Pundits predicted this would continue. Thanks to an influx of new voters with the Free State Project and grassroots organizing by state and nation organizations alike, New Hampshire became the only state in 2020 to flip its Legislature from blue to red.
Tough bargaining by the Liberty GOP put the most libertarian state budget in modern America on Sununus desk. The budget abolishes everything that resembles an income tax and is paid for with real spending cuts past Republican leaders never delivered (even in the Tea Party era).
It also includes major education reform. In a year when public schools and teachers unions have denied students vital learning opportunities, education savings accounts have become the gold standard of the school choice movement.
Funding students, not systems, ESAs allow parents to access state education funds and save their own income tax-free for their students educational expenses, including private tuition and homeschooling costs. Over the loud objections of teachers unions, New Hampshire has become the third state this year to pass ESAs into law.
It even enacts new anti-abortion measures, including a ban on abortion after six months (except for circumstances that endanger the life of the mother). Restrictions on third-trimester abortions are common in America generally, but not in New England, where prominent Republican officials, such as Maine Sen. Susan Collins, tend to be outspoken proponents of unrestricted abortion.
Some may be surprised an influx of libertarian legislators would result in New Hampshire passing major anti-abortion legislation. Unlike the Libertarian Party, which declares support for legalized abortion in its party platform, the Liberty Republican tradition is built upon Ron Pauls brand of anti-abortion libertarianism. Many Liberty Republicans have a principled belief the inalienable rights of the unborn are just as important to protect as those who are born.
Additionally, the budget contained other conservative priorities, including a ban on critical race theory teachings in public schools and limited progress toward emergency power reform.
New Hampshire is experiencing the rise of the Liberty Republican. Whether the critical mass of liberty legislators elected in New Hampshire can be duplicated in other states remains to be seen, but New Hampshire is not unique. If this bottom-up movement continues to gain control of state legislatures in 2022 and beyond, expect Liberty Republicans to play an increasingly prominent role in charting the course of the GOP in the years ahead.
Eric Brakey is the senior spokesman for Young Americans for Liberty. He served two terms in the Maine state Senate and as the Maine state director for the Ron Paul 2012 campaign.
July 29, 2021, Letters to the Editor | Serving Minden-Gardnerville and Carson Valley – The Record-Courier
Posted: at 9:15 pm
Check your registration
Im a volunteer who works to get more Douglas County residents to register to vote. There have been some important changes in the registration process, and I hope to put some little known public information out there to assist all potential voters. Weve had many new folks moving into our county. A majority are coming from California with voting processes and laws different there than here. I believe this information can be useful to new residents.
One of my monthly functions is to track the voter registration data by political party. Heres the registration data from this past June: 8,485 Democrat (+14 from May); 1,865 Independent American (+5); 457 Libertarian (+2); 7,776 (+108); 544 Other (+36); and 20,659 Republican (+18). That totals 39,772 voters.
It may surprise you to know that now when you visit the DMV to get your license or register vehicles you will be asked to choose your political party preference in order to register to vote: Republican, Democrat, etc. If you dont state, you will then be put in the nonpartisan category. As you can see from the data, there is a fast-rising number of nonpartisan folks out there, and this is mostly why.
You may also opt out using another form that allows you to not register at all, but many folks dont go through this step as there is already frustration in just being at the DMV.
Another important code under Nevadas voting laws states that unless you have a candidate running in the party in which you are registered, you will not have the opportunity to vote on a candidate for that office in the upcoming 2022 primary. Typically, the two parties in our County with candidates are Republican and Democrat. Primaries are important as they narrow the playing field and further refine the ultimate candidates you vote on in November.
Your voting power is cut in half if you cant vote in the primary. Wouldnt most folks want the maximum bang for their buck? Additionally, County Commissioner elections are most often held and decided during the primary elections. This is a very important regulatory position in our community, so you may have to re-adjust your political priorities for the primary. This will help your vote have its strongest power.
I want to encourage our community members to be involved in their constitutional right to vote. Many countries dont have these same rights. Our Armed Services have fought globally for this right and sacrificed much for it.My intention is for this letter to answer questions that may elude new residents to our lovely valley and also those who havent been aware of the recent changes in Nevada law regarding voting registration. Please stop by Republican Headquarters during its open hours or our booth in downtown Minden on Tuesday at the Farmers Market if you need any assistance. Were here for you.
Douglas County Republican Central Committee
Voter Registration Lead
Volunteering for the Tamarack Fire
The last weekend in July was very eye opening for me, as I volunteered to answer calls to the Public Info Line at the Incident Command Post for the Tamarack fire at Douglas High School. The amount of coordination and resources that go into managing a fire event of this magnitude is pretty incredible. Fire personnel have come to our aid from Carson, South Lake Tahoe, North Lake Tahoe, Colorado, Alaska and several other states.
It should be noted that for the last two months there have been multiple fires in the west. Currently, there are 22,000 fire personnel on wildfire events with 1.5 million acres that have burned. Several resources are being allocated to the Tamarack Fire despite that.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to help out with this response by answering questions, letting people vent their frustrations with road closures and not being able to access their properties, and provide general fire updates to callers. This situation is scary and misinformation can quickly be spread, so it was a great experience for me to be able to provide an empathic ear to my fellow community members for a small portion of this event.
Whose lives matter?
Do Black Lives really Matter and if so by whom? Lets look at the facts. The No. 1 cause of black deaths in America is abortion to the tune of 259 deaths each and every day. In 1921 liberal, progressive, socialist Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, the forerunner of Planned Parenthood, to limit the impact of birth rates in the negro community. Ms. Sanger considered blacks to be weeds and reckless breeders, she divided the American populace into fit and unfit categories and obviously blacks were unfit in her view. For those readers who do not consider a fetus to be a viable being then it is important to add the fact that the greatest threat to blacks ages 18-44 in America is homicide (murder). Roughly 85 percent of these are black-on-black in inner city neighborhoods which is identical to the percentage for white-on-white murders. Only 3 percent of black fatalities are at the hands of law enforcement and the vast majority of these are justifiable as officers try to protect their communities from criminals and thugs who threaten the general population. If black lives truly mattered then Planned Parenthood should be defunded and more resources should be funneled into black neighborhoods in Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Detroit. Part of the solution is increased police presence in these cities rather than less. Law enforcement programs such as D.A.R.E. and others that allow interaction with American youth without the perception of cops as bad guys is critical to this issue. Of course, black lives matter as do all lives, especially in America where our Constitution expressly states that all have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Virus fear the real danger
Count me among the many, yes, multitudes, who agree with - and thank -Daniel J. Casentini for telling the truth, yes, the truth. (letter to RC Editor July 22. What is really subtly happening in our once free nation? What indeed! The virus is bad. Yes. Happy most recover. Fact. The sick and poor will always be with us. True.
But we need to be fearing the right fear. The real fear. The bigger threat that will make us a lot more than just sick and poor - and last a lot longer - if we continue following like lemmings to the cliff. A few are controlling the masses, with mere virus fear. Now. Notice how the goal posts keep moving? And the rules keep changing?
Americans, stand up. I know I will. Am.
Paypal Plans to Study Transactions That Fund Extremism, Anti-Government Groups Bitcoin News – Bitcoin News
Posted: at 9:15 pm
The payment processing giant Paypal has revealed it has partnered with the nonprofit organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). According to the announcement, Paypal is researching transactions settled on the payment network that allegedly fund hate groups and extremism.
A report from Reuters notes that Paypal is studying transactions that involve extremists and that fund hate movements. The company will investigate and disrupt the financial flows that support specific hate groups and alleged anti-government organizations. The announcement notes that the initiative will be completed via ADLs Center on Extremism.
According to Paypals chief risk officer and executive vice president of risk and platforms, Aaron Karczmer said the company has been working on sophisticated systems that help curb illegal activities.
Karczmer hopes this previous knowledge and the current systems can help create a positive social impact. The centralized payment processor has been known to censor transactions for quite some time. In 2010, Paypal froze the account tethered to the whistleblowing web portal Wikileaks and caused an uproar.
The combination of Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and others using a financial blockade against Wikileaks was controversial and the actions drove the website to accept bitcoin donations. In 2016, male escorts in the UK leveraged bitcoin to bypass Paypal censorship. In 2019, Paypal stopped servicing Pornhub models and by January 2020, Paypal suspended all Pornhub accounts. In September 2020, Paypals sophisticated infrastructure censored merchants selling tardigrade merchandise.
The ADLs definitions of extremism and hate are also quite debatable. For instance, five years ago the ADL classified the famous Internet frog meme Rare Pepe as a hate symbol. This caused the meme to get blockchained and turned into an immutable collection of non-fungible tokens.
Moreover, the ADLs definitions of anti-government organizations being dubbed extremists are also considered extreme by those who believe in libertarianism and think that governments are currently corrupt. The latest move by Paypal and ADL has already been criticized by activists, libertarians, and even bitcoiners.
Bitcoin derives its value from censorship resistance, a Redditor on the subreddit r/bitcoin said on July 26. Paypal, your days of forced-relevance are over, the individual added.
The former American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) director, Ira Glasser, explains how banning hate speech is a never-ending slippery slope. When people say they want to ban hate speech, what they mean is they want to ban speech that they hate, Glasser stressed in an interview. But if you allowed something called hate speech to be banned, then the only important question would be who decides?
The report concerning the ADL and Paypal partnership explains that the payment processor has already been taking action against extremism over the last several years. The announcement also notes that Paypal and the ADL will be working with select civil rights organizations. Jonathan Greenblatt, ADLs CEO, sees the partnership as a window of opportunity.
We have a unique opportunity to further understand how hate spreads and develop key insights that will inform the efforts of the financial industry, law enforcement, and our communities in mitigating extremist threats, Greenblatt said in a statement.
What do you think about Paypal joining up with the Anti-Defamation League in order to research transactions that fund extremism? Do you think theres a slippery slope when it comes to classifying extremists? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Posted: at 9:15 pm
RAPID CITY, S.D. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem likes to present herself as a normal everyday person who enjoys life.
Appearing at FreedomFest 21, a gathering of 2,700 conservatives and libertarians, Noem said, nobody knew who I was until liberals began attacking me every night on the national news. Shes referring to her conservative views on economic and social issues.
Noem benefits from a roaring economy. She says there are fewer than 2,500 South Dakotans on public assistance and 28,000 job openings. The state has no state income tax. Property taxes average 1.22%. Annual economic growth is 9.9%, among the nations best. Houses are inexpensive relative to many other places. With such figures its no surprise theres been a population growth of 8.9% since 2010.
We talked shortly after recent shootings in Northwest Washington, D.C., and an outraged Robert J. Contee III, the police chief in Washington, blamed judges for releasing criminals back onto the streets where they often engage in more violent criminal behavior.
Noem believes Republicans can and should re-take the law-and-order issue in 2022 and 2024. In an interview, she told me, What we are seeing . . . on our streets (are) the consequences of . . . whats happening in the Democratic leadership and their lack of support for police officers and those who step up and serve. (Its) being played out in the violence citizens are having to live with. Its going to continue if something doesnt change.
She says the street violence and looting in major cities is not only the fault of judges and district attorneys, but also overcrowding in our prison system. Theres less funding for the judicial system so they release individuals instead of putting them through the process of prosecution and sentencing, or through rehab. Its a problem that hasnt been addressed for many, many years (and) has gotten worse as the violence has escalated. When theres no consequence for it, law and order goes away.
Asked about the state of the Republican Party, she responds, Its the party that is bringing hope. If you look at what Democrats are embracing socialism, communism, lack of personal responsibility. Every problem that presents itself they think some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., would handle it better than a Mom or a Dad, or a cousin or grandparent . . .
The Republican Party has a unique opportunity to talk about what we stand for and have always stood for and have proven to be the policies and the values that create opportunities for families and states and businesses. . . . When you look at some states that have done what we believe in you can see overwhelming prosperity and families healthier and in school getting educated, and thats what the American dream is and what the Republican Party needs to be talking about.
Noem believes Donald Trump will run for president again in 2024. I think (former) President Trump did a great job. . . . I believe that is something we all (can) and should welcome back. The policies of seven or eight months ago were contributing to a booming America. We were creating jobs and addressing challenges confronting us together. I think hell run and if he does, Ill certainly support him.
She is open about her Christian faith and says it influences many of her policy positions: What the government has done in the last (several months) is to continue to push secularism. She thinks that will continue and is something we will have to fight. We will drive people to us by our optimism. You turn on the news and its discouraging. You see the violence played out on the streets. Christians have a unique opportunity to bring hope and light . . .
Noem turns 50 later this year and is a first-time grandmother. She also displays qualities for national office Republicans claim to want. Trump and others (including her opponents) should keep an eye on her.
Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist and author. Readers may email him at: [emailprotected]
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Brain Mapping Method Illuminates Targets for Treating Depression and Parkinsons Disease – SciTechDaily
Posted: at 9:14 pm
Novel approach finds targets for future clinical trials in depression and Parkinsons disease.
Researchers have made significant advancements in correlating aberrations in specific brain circuits with neuropsychiatric conditions like depression. However, it remains difficult to prove that damage to these circuits causes the symptoms themselves and that targeting them with therapeutics could help patients. By integrating brain lesion datasets with data on how two treatments deep brain stimulation (DBS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) influence neuropsychiatric disorders, researchers fromBrigham and Womens Hospitaland collaborators developed a new brain mapping approach that may help clarify the cause of a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions and identify promising stimulation sites to target therapeutically. Findings are published inNature Human Behavior.
This is a new technique that uses existing data on patients with brain damage to develop new treatment targets for real-world patients with similar symptoms, said the papers corresponding author,Shan Siddiqi, MD,of theCenter for Brain Circuit Therapeuticsat the Brigham. In principle, this should open the floodgates for researchers to study any stroke- or brain-injury-associated symptom to find a new treatment target for people who developed the same symptom without brain damage.
The researchers developed their approach using data on depression and Parkinsons disease, both of which are already associated with well-defined brain lesions and are commonly treated with DBS and TMS. They combined the location and connectivity of 461 brain lesions, 101 DBS sites, and 151 TMS sites, and compared patients who developed depression, patients who had improvement in depression, and patients who had no change in mood. Using this approach, they identified a brain circuit that is an effective therapeutic target for both invasive and noninvasive brain stimulation treatments. The study also indicates that brain stimulation outcomes vary not according to the technique used DBS versus TMS but according to the circuit that is targeted.
The researchers subsequently used their approach with Parkinsons disease data. Combining data on 29 lesions and 95 stimulation sites for tremors and rigidity, they showed that lesions associated with the motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease are connected to the same circuits as the stimulation sites that that relieve those symptoms.
The researchers are now working to refine circuit maps for other neuropsychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, mania, hallucinations, and movement disorders. Clinical trials are still necessary to determine whether physicians can relieve patient symptoms by targeting the brain circuits identified through the new approach. The authors of the study are currently conducting a trial to confirm the distinct TMS targets that they recently identified for depression and anxiety.
Now that we have concrete evidence that lesions map to treatment targets, we can design more clinical trials to generate new treatments, Siddiqi said. This approach gives us highly rigorous hypotheses about treatment targets. When we dont know much about the brain circuitry of a particular disorder, our study shows how to find the answer to that question and turn it into new treatment targets.
Reference: Brain stimulation and brain lesions converge on common causal circuits in neuropsychiatric disease by Shan H. Siddiqi, Frederic L. W. V. J. Schaper, Andreas Horn, Joey Hsu, Jaya L. Padmanabhan, Amy Brodtmann, Robin F. H. Cash, Maurizio Corbetta, Ki Sueng Choi, Darin D. Dougherty, Natalia Egorova, Paul B. Fitzgerald, Mark S. George, Sophia A. Gozzi, Frederike Irmen, Andrea A. Kuhn, Kevin A. Johnson, Andrew M. Naidech, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Thanh G. Phan, Rob P. W. Rouhl, Stephan F. Taylor, Joel L. Voss, Andrew Zalesky, Jordan H. Grafman, Helen S. Mayberg and Michael D. Fox, 8 July 2021, Nature Human Behavior.DOI: 10.1038/s41562-021-01161-1
This work was supported by the Sidney R. Baer Foundation, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and the National Institute of Mental Health (K23MH121657, R01MH113929 and R01MH115949). Siddiqi serves as a scientific consultant for SigNeuro LLC and as a clinical consultant for Kaizen Brain Center. He and co-author Michael Fox, MD, PhD, have jointly received investigator-initiated research support from Neuronetics. None of these organizations were involved in the present work. Siddiqi and Fox each own independent intellectual property on the use of brain network mapping to target neuromodulation. The present work did not utilize any of this intellectual property.
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Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Will Showing Petition Growth in Near Future 2021-2027: Recent Trends and Competitive Analysis By Top…
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