UC San Diego played host to the 2018 UC Global Health Day earlier this year, attracting faculty, staff and students from all UC campuses who came to hear and share the latest research and best practices for global health. After a compassionate keynote from Vikram Patel of Harvard on the need for universal mental health coverage https://www.uctv.tv/wellbeing/search-details.aspx?showID=32915, an inspiring group of UC students presented the UC Global Health Institute’s Advocacy Initiative, https://www.uctv.tv/wellbeing/search-details.aspx?showID=33666 a systemwide effort to coordinate events and outreach to members of Congress and other elected officials who support their agenda. These students and their faculty mentors reflect the UCGHI’s commitment to harness the power of the University of California to improve health around the world.
In the mid-19th century, the bicycle was becoming a popular form of transportation and recreation; by 2017, there were 66 million cyclists in the US. Cycling is a sport that is enjoyed by people of many ages, fitness and ability levels who share the joy of adventure, speed, and travel. All cyclists also share the pain of falling off the bike, overuse injuries, and other medical consequences. This series, led by a multidisciplinary team of medical experts and cyclists in a wide range of fields, has something for everyone — from bike seats to enduring Ironman.
To browse all the programs in this current series and the 2013 edition click here: https://uctv.tv/Cycling-UCSF/
Endocrinologist Robert Lustig, Dentist Cristen Kearns and Health Policy Expert Laura Schmidt team up to explore how the US food system has led to higher rates in obesity and related metabolic diseases in the last 50 years.
Preventable disease rates keep going up, even while behaviors have improved: smoking rates are down, cholesterol and blood pressure are down, and physical activity is up. We should be reaping a health benefit, but we’re not. The primary reason: we’re eating too many refined carbohydrates and too much sugar.
How did the food system come to encourage this? Pharmaceutical companies benefit from long-term drug treatment of metabolic diseases. Organizations such as the Sugar Association and the Beverage Association fund questionable scientific studies to convince the public that obesity and sugar are not related. These efforts include funding aggressive marketing campaigns to influence public policy. According to Schmidt, they spent 31 million dollars in a single election to convince voters in San Francisco and Oakland not to support a soda tax.
But there is hope. Research into the effects of too much sugar is getting attention, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Lustig and others. There are many parallels between this issue and smoking. According to Schmidt, we’re about where we were in 1970. The tide is slowly shifting, but we have a long way to go. Policy-makers are just now beginning to recognize the negative consequences of an unhealthy populace on healthcare costs and future social security benefits. Lustig advises, “You want social security? Stop drinking soda and tell all your friends to do so, too.”
Highlights of this conference feature medical doctors and other Western researchers trained in allopathic medicine – as in treating diseases with drugs or surgery – who now include healing, whole-systems therapies that have been practiced in Tibet for centuries. Speakers from Harvard, the University of California and other respected institutions engage with Tibetan practitioners to map the benefits of traditional therapies and explore research collaborations that will lead to evidence-based conclusions on the value of Tibetan medicine.
Watch the Series: Tibetan Medicine Conference on Mind-Body Health 2017
Michael Green, neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, has been fascinated with the human brain, behavior and mental illness since his undergraduate days. In particular, his research focuses on schizophrenia, a chronic brain disorder that affects about 1 percent of the population.
In this UCLA Faculty Research Lecture, he describes how his lab uses discoveries in psychology and social neuroscience about normal brain functioning to inform his schizophrenia research. And now, Green and his colleagues are moving into new territory, studying the causes of social isolation among people who do not have schizophrenia.
You’ll learn about the tools they use such as functional MRI, that measures and maps brain activity, and EEG, that detects electrical activity in the brain, and how they do research to answer questions about social isolation in the general public.