Weight training can help shape the body and also the mind, studies show

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Could lifting weights take a weight off the mind? Yes, said a newly published analysis of dozens of studies that looked at mood disorders.

Exercise can help improve symptoms of depression, the analysis found -- and not just aerobic exercises like running, jazzercise or cardio machines.

Whether it's the weight room or the mat, the authors of the study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said resistance training can also help people suffering with depression.

More than 300 million people worldwide are affected by depression, according to the World Health Organization, which can be a debilitating and costly problem. First-line treatments are usually medications and psychotherapy, which work for many, but can also be expensive and time-consuming.

Plus, the authors found that almost 70 percent of patients in the studies still reported feeling down for up to 14 weeks after starting therapy -- and close to a third of patients had to try four different medications to get relief.

Researchers from Ireland and Sweden pooled the data from 1,877 patients and 33 randomized clinical trials measuring how resistance training affects mood. The patients worked out, 3 sessions per week, for an average of 16 weeks. The intensity of the exercise was mixed, but it wasn't an Olympic effort -- most were putting in low to moderate effort, and ranged in age from their 20s to their 80s.

Resistance training -- everything from arm raises and leg lifts to weight training -- alleviated depression symptoms, study participants said. The largest gains were made by patients who reported mild to moderate depression.

The analysis was limited in some ways. These were a mix of studies and not every study had the same forms of resistance training or the same amount of information about the specific exercises. Only a few studies compared aerobic to resistance exercises -- and found there was no difference.

Improvements in mood did not depend on how much exercise was done, baseline health or the amount of strength gained from the exercise program, the authors found. The important thing was to just do it.

This article was written by Sunny Intwala, M.D., a third-year Cardiology fellow affiliated with Boston University School of Medicine and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist who works in the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Massive pollen cloud released from tree caught on video

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Video of an impressive cloud of pollen dust in New Jersey is sure to spark fear among allergy sufferers everywhere.

Eric Henderson of Cumberland County shot video of the massive pollen release after he drove up to the tree with a heavy machine and tapped it a couple of times, releasing a massive storm of bright green pollen into the air.

The video was posted to Facebook by Henderson's wife, Jennifer Henderson, where it's been shared more than 100,000 times.

"When my husband said the pollen’s bad, I probably should’ve taken his word for it. Crazy!" she captioned the video.

Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. As the seasons change between spring, summer and fall, plant reproduction causes the pollen grains to be released into the air. Pollens that are known to cause allergic reactions include some varieties of trees, grasses and weeds.

Those who suffer from pollen allergies, often called "hay fever" are encouraged to limit outdoor activities, keep windows closed, shampoo hair daily and clean air conditioner filters, bedding and clothes often, the AAFA said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Couple lied about cancer child in GoFundMe scam, police says

Cayuga County Sheriff's Office/Facebook(NEW YORK) -- An upstate New York couple was arrested after a four-month police investigation revealed they allegedly duped kindhearted people out of thousands of dollars by creating a GoFundMe page asking for donations to help pay medical bills for a child they falsely claimed had cancer, officials said.

Martin and Jolene LaFrance, both 35, of Port Byron, New York, were arrested on felony fraud charges and endangering the welfare of a child, according to Cayuga County Sheriff David Gould.

Gould said the couple created a GoFundMe page late last year, allegedly claiming their child had cancer.

"As a result of this online solicitation, they did receive several thousand dollars in donations," Gould said in a statement. "The investigation revealed conclusively that the child was never diagnosed with cancer or any other medical condition that was alleged in the GoFundMe solicitation."

Police launched a four-month investigation after getting complaints, Gould said.

The couple has been banned from the platform for violating "GoFundMe's terms of service, and all donors will receive a refund," GoFundMe said in a statement released Tuesday.

"It's important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back. Additionally, we are working with law enforcement on their investigation."

Martin and Jolene LaFrance are scheduled to be arraigned on May 16 in Montezuma. Efforts by ABC News to reach their attorney were not successful.

The investigation is ongoing, Gould said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


New recommendations for prostate cancer screening

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK CITY) -- What should men do about prostate cancer screening?

For years, men were urged to get a blood test looking for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which can be elevated by prostate cancer. Then, in 2012, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), a government-sponsored but independent network of national experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine, said that PSA testing produced more harm than good. They stopped recommending it at all.

Now, that same group has finalized a tweak on those 2012 screening guidelines. Instead of bypassing PSA entirely, men ages 55 to 69 should have a conversation with their doctor about the risks and benefits before making their own decision on whether or not to get screened.

The task force says the change was largely driven by a 2014 study in Europe (European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer), according to a new statement and evidence review published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The European trial showed that a screening saved one prostate cancer deaths for every 1,000 men screened between ages 55 and 69. In four out of the seven countries in the European trial, screening also stopped three cases of prostate cancer from spreading for every 1,000 men screened.

Dr. Alex Krist, vice chairman of the USPSTF and a professor of family medicine and population health at Virginia Commonwealth University, says the “extended follow up of 10 plus years in these studies, which was not available in 2012, contributed heavily” to the decision to modify the recommendations.

The extended follow up showed some men’s lives would be saved if they chose to be screened between the ages of 55 to 69. Of note, the committee still finds screening for men over the age of 70 to be inappropriate -- the evidence still suggests more harm than benefit in this age group.

The committee pointed to research on some populations which may be at higher risk for prostate cancer and death from it. The incidence is 74 percent greater in African American men compared to white men. Having a family history of prostate cancer is also a known risk factor for developing the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 2018, an estimated 165,000 men will be diagnosed and 29,000 will die from prostate cancer.

The controversy over prostate cancer screening is because of the blood test developed in the late 1980s, looking for PSA.

PSA can be elevated when prostate cancer is present, but can also be elevated for a number of other reasons -- inflammation or infection -- generating a lot of false positives.

The men screened in the European trial, which drove the guideline changes, had a false positive rate of 17.8 percent. The problem with false positives is that in order to confirm prostate cancer, a patient has to undergo a biopsy.

Biopsies have side effects, such as pain, infection, and bleeding. Even when cancer is present, 20-50 percent of prostate cancers never grow, spread, or cause any harm to the patient, but doctors cannot tell which ones are harmful and which ones are harmless. Treatment also has side effects, and evidence shows that one in five men who undergo prostate surgery will have long-term urinary incontinence, and two out of three men will have long-term erectile dysfunction.

The overall message from the USPSTF, according to Krist, is that they recognize this is a complex decision.

There is no “right answer," he said.

We know a few men will benefit from screening. We know many men will have harm from screening. It depends on what these men value, and having a conversation with their doctor is an important process of whether screening is right for them. The USPSTF recognizes these recommendations are likely to be confusing for both patients and medical providers. Therefore, they have set up a user-friendly website for those interested in educating themselves about prostate cancer and the new recommendations.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Why kids should stay away from sports drinks

ABC News(NEW YORK CITY) -- Sweaty athletes are often seen in commercials reaching for a sports drink for rehydration or electrolyte replacement.

Yet many public health organizations are warning that sports drinks are a source of empty calories, excess sugar and increased sodium in growing children. Are kids getting the message?

A new study presents a mixed picture. A joint research group from Hofstra University and The Ohio State University studied national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2010 to 2015. The results show almost 58 percent of high school teenagers report drinking a sports drink “in the past week,” which is a small increase from 56 percent in 2010.

However, teenagers who reported consuming a sports drink “every day” decreased from 16 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2015. While more teenagers are drinking sports drinks overall, those that do are drinking them less frequently.

“Given that there was modest increase in weekly consumption, it is possible teens may be drinking sports drinks as a perceived healthier alternative [over soda] on weekends or occasionally after school,” according to Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York and senior author on the study.

A 2011 analysis by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found approximately that 27-40 percent of parents believe sports drinks are healthy for their children.

However, the data tells a different picture. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that sugar-sweetened beverages account for 173 calories per day in 2 to 18 year olds, more than any other single category. A label from a popular sports drink shows it may contain high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, brown rice syrup, cane juice and maltodextrin – all of which has been shown to be associated with weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, non-alcoholic liver disease and tooth decay.

At the same time, the CDC reports obesity among children ages 2 to 19 has been rising from 14 percent in 1999 to 17 percent in 2014.

The new study also shows more clearly which teens are drinking less: the largest reduction in daily consumption was in African-Americans, from 26 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2015; however, African-Americans and Hispanics were still significantly more likely to consume sports drinks daily than any other group, consistent with previous research.

“The racial disparities with respect to sports drink consumption are also cause for concern,” the authors said. “The higher prevalence of daily sports drink consumption in 2015 among Hispanics and non-Hispanic African Americans, when compared with non-Hispanic whites and even after accounting for other confounding variables, mirrors the heightened obesity rates among non-Hispanic African American and Hispanic populations.”

Oddly, teens who were active and teenagers who watched more than two hours of television a day were significantly more likely to drink sports drinks daily. Dr. Sarah Keim, an epidemiologist and co-investigator on the study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio, explained why.

“Athletes may believe they need sports drinks to replenish their body after physical activity, even though for most people water is adequate for this purpose,” she said. “Teens who have less active lifestyles may simply be exposed to more of this advertising by watching more TV, and so are more inclined to consume sports drinks as a result. They are also more likely to have poor quality diets in general, and sports drinks fit into that dietary pattern.”

Sports drinks generated $8.5 billion in annual sales in 2015, a billion dollar increase from three years ago. This rapid growth is no secret to manufacturers. The Rudd Center notes Gatorade TV advertising to children increased by 26 percent between 2010 and 2013. The fact that the majority of teens are consuming one or more sports drinks each week is likely a testament in part to those marketing campaigns, Adesman said.

Last month, BodyArmor began a multi-million advertising campaign for its sports drink featuring NBA superstar James Harden. Keim noted that advertising often links these beverages with athletics, and teens may be susceptible to these messages.

She said the authors hope this study is an opportunity to reiterate that water provides enough rehydration for most teen athletes, and that sports drinks containing sugar are not a good daily beverage choice as they can contribute to overweight and tooth decay.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


What parents should know about inappropriate content on YouTube

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After multiple reports of inappropriate content on YouTube over the past year, “Good Morning America” wanted to take a closer look at the site. How often do kids end up seeing inappropriate content on the video platform? We talked with a group of Philadelphia-area tweens and their parents, who say their children often watch YouTube.

Here's what parents said when asked if they've ever tried to take YouTube away from their kids.

“It’s like the end of the world," said Eve Ehrich, a mother of three kids.

“You’re ending their life for a day," another parent, Jaime Meltzer, said.

Almost all the parents said they have to use some form of parental controls on their computers and mobile devices to try to limit their children's exposure to inappropriate content.

The kids we talked to were all ages 10 to 13 and said they know who's “kid-friendly“ on YouTube.

Sam, 11, said SuperMarioLogan is “one of my favorite channels. It was a suggested video. And I watched it and it kept reeling me in to watch more videos.”

The other two boys in the group said they know “Jeffy,” a puppet on the popular SuperMarioLogan YouTube channel.

“It attracts kids because you wouldn’t think of him as inappropriate because of the way he looks," said 13-year-old David.

Family watchdog group Common Sense Media called SuperMarioLogan “Your basic online nightmare for parents of young kids." The group, who started rating YouTubers this year due to overwhelming requests from parents, noted SuperMarioLogan is intended for ages 17 and older.

“YouTube is the biggest pain point for parents,” Jill Murphy, editor-in-chief of Common Sense Media, told "Good Morning America." “Part of it is parents feeling like they are in the dark and have no idea of what their kids are up to online.”

Even the kids "GMA" spoke with agreed that YouTube doesn’t do enough to block inappropriate content and that it’s not a matter of trust.

“I think that sometimes kids get drawn in. It’s not their fault“ said 13-year-old Aubrey. “It looks kid-friendly. But then you watch it, and you don’t really know that it’s not.”

"GMA" showed some of the kids’ interviews to Murphy.

“Developmentally kids aren’t even primed at that age to have the wherewithal to shut off YouTube, the autoplay. They don’t even have the self-control to manage that,” Murphy said.

The creator of SuperMarioLogan told "GMA" he has lost revenue since YouTube started age-restricting and demonetizing his videos.

"Common Sense Media only viewed our old content, and their review was accurate solely regarding those old videos," he said in a statement. "We invite Common Sense Media to conduct a review of our newer videos, which are much cleaner in content. It’s important to note when we began creating these videos back in 2008, we were kids ourselves. We were just a few teenagers goofing around. Given we were just kids, we did not understand many things about YouTube or the audience we would subsequently attract. Today is much different. We have adjusted our content to appeal to a wider audience."

"While it's in everyone’s interest to ensure children are not exposed to inappropriate content online, it's ultimately the responsibility of the parents, guardians, and/or supervising adults. These are the only people that have control over what their children have access to.”

YouTube in a statement to "GMA" noted that the site offers YouTube Kids, which it dubs as the safe alternative for kids and families.

“Our main YouTube site is for those age 13+... Protecting families is our priority and we created the YouTube Kids app to offer parents a safer alternative for their children," according to the statement. "Beyond that, we’ve ramped up our efforts to age-gate flagged videos on the main app that are better suited for older audiences and increased resources to remove content that doesn’t adhere to our policies. We know there’s more work to be done so we’ve enlisted third-party experts to help us assess this evolving landscape, and we’re launching new tools in YouTube Kids for parents to choose a personalized experience for their child.”

YouTube does state in its terms of service that it is not intended for children under age 13.

However, the parents who spoke with "GMA" were not aware of that aspect of the terms of service.

Additionally, YouTube has tools it says can help parents filter out inappropriate content. “GMA” will take a closer look at those filters Wednesday.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


One mother and her daughters have lost more than 150 pounds

Keila Anavisca(NEW YORK) -- A mother and her two daughters collectively lost more than 150 pounds over the past year.

The trio started their weight loss journeys without knowing the others were losing weight too.

“My sister texted me out of the blue asking what I thought of Weight Watchers, because I had done it years before,” Keila Anavisca, 34, told “GMA.” “I gave her my opinion … and she said, 'OK, actually I'm on it and I've lost 15 pounds.'”

“And I said, 'Oh my gosh, so have I,'” Anavisca recalled, “and then our mom came in and said, 'Me too.'”

“We all joined the club,” said Nancy Maldonado, Anavisca’s mother.

Maldonado, 57, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, said she has since lost a total of 35 pounds.

Anavisca, of Hope Mills, North Carolina, has lost more than 50 pounds and counting.

Her sister, Marleika Butler, 28, has lost more than 65 pounds.

“We kept each other motivated, definitely,” said Anavisca, a mother of two who kicked off a healthier lifestyle in January 2017 as a New Year’s resolution.

Though Maldonado and her daughters all lost weight at the same time, they each took a different approach.

Butler followed Weight Watchers, while Anavisca did it on her own, starting by cutting out soda and sweets.

“Then I just started making healthier choices and trying to eat as clean as possible,” she said. “And just not eating cake. It comes down to that, honestly.”

Maldonado cut down on starches and soda and started cooking more at home after receiving a warning from her doctor that her diabetes was, as she said, “out of control.”

“When you have health issues, it's not about losing the weight to look good, it's because of your health,” she said. “You have to take care of yourself.”

Maldonado said she maintained an active lifestyle during her weight loss, but did not go to the gym on a daily basis.

Her daughter, Anavisca, on the other hand, credits running with being a key to her weight loss. She completed her first half-marathon earlier this year and plans to run a full marathon before the end of 2018.

They key to her running, she said, was fueling herself properly.

“Before I would eat breakfast out almost every day, for lunch I would either eat out or I'd make like four grilled cheese sandwiches at home, just overeating a lot,” she said. “Now I have oatmeal almost every morning, a zoodle bowl for lunch and, in between, I’m having green smoothies.”

The trio’s weight loss advice to others is simple: Anyone can do it and you have to start small.

“I'm 57. If I did it, anybody can do it,” Maldonado said. “If you put it on yourself to do it, you can do it.”

“A lot of times when we're feeling motivated we make these big goals and then once we don't reach them after a week or so we give up,” added Anavisca, who structured her weight loss into 100-day challenges. “Start small, cut something out like soda for a month and then once you're successful with that, cut something else out.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


The lowdown on how to keep eggs in your diet while watching your cholesterol levels

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- High cholesterol means a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Eggs have lots of cholesterol -- between 141 to 234 milligrams per egg. It's likely why many people who want to maintain a healthy diet try to avoid eggs -- to lower their risk of high cholesterol.

Researchers from the University of Sydney decided to take a crack at this notion to see the real impact eggs have on a person's health.

The researchers put 128 people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes -- a major risk factor for heart disease -- onto a couple of different diets to see if it would affect their cholesterol. One group ate 12 or more eggs per week, while the other ate fewer than two eggs per week. It was all part of a three-month weight loss attempt, as weight loss is one of the first treatments for pre-diabetics or those with type 2 diabetes.

After the weight loss period, which worked as well in each group -- people lost about 9 pounds -- they were encouraged to maintain their high egg or low egg diet for a year. Patients came back for a medical assessment at three, six and 12 months.

But here's the part that may be most surprising: Patients in both groups had no significant difference in their cholesterol, sugar or blood pressure from the beginning of the study to the end of the study -- no matter how many eggs they ate.

Does it matter how I cook my eggs?

Yes. In general, eggs have a lot going for them nutritionally. Eggs contain 6 grams of protein, 72 calories, contain nutrients that are good for your eyes, brain, and nerves, and they have 270 international units of vitamin A and 41 IU of vitamin D. But in this study, the researchers recommended eggs be boiled or poached. If fried, a polyunsaturated cooking oil, such as olive oil, was recommended.

Does this mean I can eat as many eggs as I want?

Push "replay" on the old adage: Everything in moderation.

It matters a lot what you eat with your eggs. Butter, bacon, sausage, cheese and muffins all contain saturated fats, and those can raise your blood cholesterol.

Research over the past 25 years has shown that most of the cholesterol in our body is made inside us by our liver. It gets the signal to make cholesterol when we each too much trans and saturated fats -- not dietary cholesterol. One large egg has a low saturated fat content -- 1.6 grams -- with 5 grams of fat in all, and additionally, it still has protein vitamins, iron, minerals and carotenoids.

What if I already have high cholesterol?

There's no "number of eggs you can eat" from an authority like the American Heart Association. However, the AHA does have recommendations for prevention and treatment of high cholesterol.

The AHA recommends the following: Limit saturated fat to 5 to 6 percent of your daily calories and minimizing the amount of trans fat you eat. This includes limiting your intake of red meat and dairy products with whole milks (since they have more of the unhealthy fats), choosing skim milk, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, limiting fried foods and cooking with healthy oils such as vegetable oil.

So, does eating eggs really increase your risk of a heart attack?

No. From over 25 years of research, the bottom line is that for most people, including eggs in your diet does not increase your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or any other type of cardiovascular disease.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


A form of 'ecstasy' could be a new treatment for post-traumatic stress

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A form of ecstasy, the illegal club drug known for its a euphoric high, may be able to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The pure chemical form of the drug, known as MDMA, is showing potential for therapy.

Approximately 7 percent of people in the United States will suffer from PTSD during their lifetimes, according to the National Co-Morbidity Survey published by Harvard Medical School.

Most patients improve with therapy, anti-depressant medications and time -- but some will be unable to shake it, continually having nightmares or flashbacks, persistently reliving a horrible traumatic event. These patients often suffer symptoms so severe, triggering anxiety or depression, interfering with sleep or concentration, that they live with dramatic changes in mood or behavior.

Can MDMA help?

The results of a Phase 2 FDA trial, published Tuesday in The Lancet Psychiatry, looked at patients with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder who were dosed with MDMA for therapy. Phase 2 means it is still in the research phase and more studies will need to be done before it would be available for widespread use. But here is what the researchinger were they’re trying to do.

What is MDMA? How does it work with therapy?

The active ingredient in the recreational drug also known as "ecstasy" or "molly" is MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Initially described in 1912, it became popular as a recreational drug in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1985, MDMA was labeled "Schedule 1," meaning no accepted medical use and high potential for abuse by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

MDMA alters mood and perception by working on the brain cells that secrete the chemical serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep and sensitivity to pain. MDMA is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens and is illegal in most countries.

But mental health researchers wondered if MDMA could help treat a number of mental health conditions; there’s research dating back into the 1970s testing its therapeutic potential.

Dr. Michael Mithoefer, M.D., a psychiatrist in Charleston, South Carolina who researches MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, describes MDMA as "unique among drugs that decrease anxiety in that it isn’t sedating and doesn’t impair memory."

"People have clear recall of trauma without being overwhelmed by emotions or dissociating and being emotionally numb," he said. "Our model is that MDMA is acting as a catalyst to the psychotherapeutic process, not as a stand-along drug."

MAPS, a private non-profit research group that is helping organize many of the FDA trials, argues MDMA should be considered separately from ecstasy or molly, the often impure street formulations.

What could MDMA treat?

There is certainly interest, but the FDA has approved clinical trials only for limited conditions: Chronic PTSD, severe anxiety related to autism and terminal illness among them. Most of the studies are surrounding PTSD.

MDMA is an optimal choice for use in PTSD treatment, Mithoefer notes, because of “PTSD involves prominent fear responses and the fact that MDMA decreases fear by decreasing activity in the amygdala and increasing activity in prefrontal cortex."

The initial results from Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials are promising –- these are the stages of research which provide the FDA with basic safety data and information about dosing.

In the next stage that begins this summer in 16 sites, Phase 3, researchers can learn more about whether MDMA is effective. European trials are expected in the next year, as well. They expect that positive results in Phase 3 could lead to MDMA being approved for doctors to prescribe.

Researchers warn against self-treatment with street drugs

For most patients, standard treatments for PTSD will work. The patients enrolled in these clinical trials are the most severe cases, often having failed standard therapy or anti-depressant medications. Also, these researchers are studying MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, not MDMA alone.

The therapy couples the medicine with close supervision by medical providers. Mithoefer, who has conducted many studies on MDMA-assisted therapy, notes patients “should know that like any other drug, MDMA has risks as well as benefits, and our participants were carefully screened for medical problems and had considerable psychological support, including preparation and follow-up.”

The DEA still considers MDMA a Schedule I drug, meaning it is against the law to possess or distribute it.

MDMA has stimulant properties and has prominent side effects: sweating, muscle cramping, tremors, increased muscle tension, hyperthermia, an increase in heart rate, and increase in blood pressure. It may result in severe dehydration resulting in damage to the kidneys.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse warns that street formulations confiscated by police initially reported as “pure” MDMA have been mixed with other agents such as cocaine, methamphetamine or bath salts, which can have extremely dangerous side effects and symptoms.

What about Ketamine treating PTSD or depression?

Ketamine and MDMA are different drugs. Both agents have been used as recreational agents, though Ketamine is a “Schedule III” agent, according to the DEA, meaning it is a drug with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Separate research efforts are exploring ketamine for several mental health disorders, including depression and PTSD. While some providers have adopted ketamine in treating mental health disorders, it is an “off-label” use, as the FDA has only approved Ketamine for anesthesia purposes.

This article was written by David J. Kim, MD, a final year Emergency Medicine resident at the University of California, Los Angeles, who works with the ABC News Medical Unit in New York.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Every bride-to-be's must-have skincare guide

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many brides -- future-royal Meghan Markle, included -- begin wedding planning months in advance to make sure their big day is picture perfect.

But what should they do to make sure their skin looks flawless, too?

"Good Morning America" spoke to dermatologist Whitney Bowe and celebrity facialists Joanna Vargas and Sonya Dakar to get tips and tricks to nailing the perfect complexion.

1. Begin prepping at least months out: Bowe, Vargas and Dakar all advise brides-to-be (or anybody who's looking forward to a big event!) to begin their skin prep well in advance.

"In the months prior to your wedding day, I recommend introducing a retinol product into your skincare routine in order to even out tone and texture and to keep breakouts at bay," Bowe said. "The key is to begin slowly. You want to start using this type of product just twice a week, building up to every other night, and then ultimately every night, IF your skin can tolerate it. One of my favorite products is dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair."

A skin-brightening serum with Vitamin C is also a good addition to one's skincare routine, she added. Vargas said a month out, some brides-to-be may want to consider a deep pore cleansing to make sure the skin is smooth for the wedding.

"Having one four weeks out will give the skin time to heal. I would follow with an LED light bed session so the pores start to shrink and you can get the skin even toned and perfect for the big day," she said. "Three weeks out, the bride should have the first of three [de-puffing] micro-current facials. Two weeks before the wedding, I would do a LED Light treatment plus oxygen. LED works in a series. The more you do, the more the pores shrink and the better your skin looks. The oxygen is awesome for bringing a great glow to the skin, which is so important with all the stress and pollution we subject it to."

Vargas added that a few days before the wedding is a good time to do another micro-current facial, like her Triple Crown Facial.

"As much as you should avoid it, many brides end up trying to manage stress with wine this last week, which leads to puffiness," Vargas explained. "Microcurrent will make you look de-puffed. It will make your cheekbones high and your jaw and neck really perfect for pictures. This is my favorite facial to give to anyone before a big day like a wedding or red carpet."

The day of, Vargas and Dakar both suggest using exfoliating products like their exfoliating mask and Flash Facial.

"Once the top layer of dead skin is sloughed off, the new skin revealed is so smooth and soft that makeup will easily glide on and sit perfectly all night," Dakar said. "It really creates the perfect canvas for your makeup."

Vargas also recommends using something like her daily Serum under makeup to oxygenate the skin and providing "a rosy glow." Bowe added that some women may want to try using a sheet mask as "a rapid-fire way of trapping moisture into the skin."

But be careful not to overdo it: "They can lead to breakouts in acne-prone skin," Bowe said.

2. Stop experimenting at the two-week mark: Two weeks before the event, Bowe said women should be in "maintenance mode," and the focus should be on hydration. This not the time to start experimenting with new products, she added.

"It can also take up to 14 days to show signs of an allergy to a fragrance or preservative," she said. "I’ve received panicked calls from brides-to-be who started a brand new product two weeks prior to their wedding, only to wake up to itchy red bumps all over their skin on the day of the event because they are allergic to one of the ingredients in that new product but the rash took close to two weeks to come out!"

3. Nourish your skin from the inside out: Bowe recommends a diet rich in antioxidants to keep skin looking healthy and fresh. Vitamin C (found in oranges, red peppers, kale, and broccoli), lycopene (found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit), polyphenols (found in green tea, dark chocolate, and blackberries), zinc (found in meat, beans, nuts and whole grains) and vitamin E (found in spinach, almonds, sweet potato and avocado) are among the most important ones to have. She also warns to stay away from foods that are processed or high in sugar.

4. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate: "Exfoliation is my secret weapon to having great skin. It's the most often skipped step in people's home routine but it really makes a huge difference in the way your skin looks and feels," Vargas said. "Think of exfoliation as your way of creating a perfect canvas for your products and your makeup. You could be investing in the most expensive amazing skin care products at home, but if you don't exfoliate, those ingredients won't ever penetrate to make any difference at all."

One way to incorporate exfoliation into one's routine is to begin dry brushing right before showering, she added.

"It's actually incredible as a cellulite treatment and increases elasticity," she gushed.

“You can exfoliate your skin twice a week, but the way you exfoliate your face, neck and chest should be much gentler than the way you exfoliate your body, especially those rough spots such as the elbows, knees, and soles of your feet," Bowe added in her new book: "The Beauty of Dirty Skin: The Surprising Science of Looking and Feeling Radiant from the Inside Out." "While a DIY sugar scrub is too harsh for most people’s faces, I love this kind of scrub for the extra-thick areas of skin on your body. My favorite recipe is made with two ingredients: brown sugar and almond oil. Simply mix ½ cup of brown sugar with ½ cup of almond oil and apply it to those rough spots with your hands. Rub gently in a circular motion for a minute or two. Then rinse and pat dry before moisturizing!”

5. Try an at-home facial massage: Markle relies on facialist Nichola Joss's facial massage to keep her skin looking its best, and Vargas said there's a reason why.

"Lymphatic drainage massage is a lost art and certainly a tool that anyone can use to make the face look rejuvenated and glowing," she said. "For dry skin, massage the skin in circular motions upward. Start at the base of the neck on the sides where your arteries are. Massage in gentle circles upwards, towards the jaw, up the sides of the face and around the eyes. This will help coax nutrients into the tissue. You want to do the opposite motion and start on the top of the face by the eyes if you are prone to breakouts -– this will draw the waste away."

6. Don't pick at blemishes: If a breakout hits in the days or weeks before, resist the urge to pick, Bowe said.

"Instead, visit your dermatologist for a quick injection of cortisone! Your zit will go down within hours. I have saved many a bride’s flawless glow with this technique!" she said.

Vargas added that an exfoliating mask the day before can work wonders.

"It will bring down the inflammation so you can cover the red mark with a bit of makeup," she said. "Another quick fix for a pimple is to dab a bit of yogurt onto it. The lactic acid along with the probiotics will calm and heal it fast!"

7. Slather on the sunscreen
: Bowe wrote in her new book that in addition to being bad for one's health, skipping sunscreen can lead to skin damage that can make overall tone uneven.

And even then, "sunscreen alone isn’t enough," she continued. "I always pack a floppy sun hat and stay out of the sun between the hours of 12 and 2 and I am a big fan of UPF swimwear and cover-ups!"

Dakar, who makes her own brand of sunscreen, advises against wearing sports bras or swimsuits that might lead to tan lines.

For those brides-to-be who do want a tan for her wedding, all three experts suggested going for a spray tan. Bowe added that it's important to stick with tried and true products or to leave it to a professional.

"The tan will often look more even and polished," Dakar explained.

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