Walmarts Insulin & Magic Mushrooms Regrow Brain Tissue

Walmart created an insulin brand to undercut the market.  

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) released in 2018 estimating the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $327 billion in 2017 from $245 billion in 2012 when the cost was last examined. This represents a 26% increase over a Five-year period.

So, Walmart just launched a more affordable analog insulin branded ReliOn. The Brand is designed to overcome common impediments, like the affordability of and access to diabetes care, especially for those without health insurance. There are three different kinds of ReliOn Novolin insulins available. There is regular, or short-acting, intermediate (N), and a mixed 70/30 available in the ReliOn line of insulins.

ReliOn/NovoLIN N is an intermediate-acting insulin that starts to work within 2 to 4 hours after injection, peaks in 4 to 12 hours, and keeps working for 12 to 18 hours.

The analog insulin vials and will save customers between 58% to 75% off the cash price of branded insulin products, or up to $101 per vial or $251 per package of “FlexPens,” the retailer said. The medication will be available in Walmart pharmacies and Sam’s Club pharmacies in July. 

More than 34 million people in the country (11%) suffer from diabetes, with an additional 1.5 million diagnosed within the United States every year, according to the American Diabetes Association. 

According to data from the Health Care Cost Institute, people with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S. had to dish out $5,700 per year in 2016, up from $2,600 in 2012.

“The price point, we hope, will improve and hopefully revolutionize the accessibility and affordability of insulin,” said Walmart’s Executive Vice President Cheryl Pegus of the company’s health and wellness department, according to the report.

Seems purely philanthropic but this is the largest grocer and employer in the U.S and now, just like Amazon, will take a cut in the healthcare brand market. 

Walmart so far has opened 20 clinics adjacent to its stores with budget-level medical care, including $25 dental cleanings, and $30 annual checkups. They even bought a telehealth company called MeMD in May to offer virtual care and has exerted pressure on the entire pharmaceuticals industry before sending its prescription program to market, which provides monthly supplies of ubiquitous generic drugs for wildly low prices of $4.

https://www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/cost-diabetes

https://healthcostinstitute.org/

https://corporate.walmart.com/newsroom/2021/05/06/walmart-health-to-acquire-telehealth-provider-memd

https://www.walmart.com/cp/4-prescriptions/1078664

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/prices-insulin-skyrocket-walmart-launches-affordable-brand/story?id=78577787

Psychedelic Mushrooms Can Regrow Brain Tissue Lost in Depression

According to a new study in the journal of Neuron, psilocybin, which shows up naturally in some mushrooms, has shown signs of increasing durable connections between neurons in mouse brains. 

In this study, they used two-photon microscopy to image longitudinally the apical dendritic spines of layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the mouse medial frontal cortex.

What are pyramidal neurons?

Pyramidal neurons are the most populous members of the excitatory family in the brain areas they inhabit. They comprise about two-thirds of all neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex, which places them center-stage for many important cognitive processes.

What do pyramidal neurons do? 

Like many other types of neuron, their main job is to transform synaptic inputs into a patterned output of action potentials. What makes them special is their numerical dominance, as well as the fact that they are ‘projection neurons’ — they often send their axons for long distances, sometimes out of the brain altogether. For example, pyramidal neurons in layer 5 of the motor cortex send their axons down the spinal cord to drive muscles. Pyramidal neurons might thus be thought of as the ‘movers and shakers of the brain.

Study highlights

  • Psilocybin improves stress-related behavioral deficit in mice
  • Psilocybin increased spine density and spine size in frontal cortical pyramidal cells
  • Psilocybin-evoked structural remodeling is persistent for at least 1 month
  • The dendritic rewiring is accompanied by elevated excitatory neurotransmission

The researchers observed rising numbers and girth of dendritic spines on the first day following exposure to psilocybin. The girth increase happens to create small protrusions on nerve cells capable of enhancing the way information transmits from one neuron to the next. 

These changes persisted for at least a month, and the mice previously placed in stressful situations exhibited improved behavior, with increased neurotransmitter activity, following the administration of psilocybin.

How Depression Affects the Brain

No one knows for sure what causes depression, but researchers have determined that it is definitely a disorder that has biological underpinnings and that the chemistry of the brain plays a big role. 

  • Cortisol and memory
      • The hippocampus releases the hormone cortisol when you’re stressed, which includes episodes of depression. When your brain gets flooded with cortisol for long periods of time, it can slow or stop the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus. This results in the hippocampus actually shrinking in size, which in turn leads to memory problems.
  • Cortisol and the amygdala 
      • The influx of cortisol triggered by depression also causes the amygdala to enlarge. This is a part of the brain associated with emotional responses. When it becomes larger and more active, it causes sleep disturbances, changes in activity levels, and changes in other hormones.
  • Brain inflammation 
    • Inflammation shuts down energy production in the neurons, so brain endurance drops, making it harder to read, work, or concentrate for any length of time. This also leads to depression. In the long run, chronic neuroinflammation results in neuron death and brain degenerative disorders.

https://interestingengineering.com/psychedelic-mushrooms-regrow-brain-tissue-depression

https://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(21)00423-2?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0896627321004232%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(11)01198-5.pdf

https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/how-major-depression-affects-the-brain-and-body-why-residential-treatment-can-help/

 

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