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Of Two Minds…and Longer, Too February 21, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in death, gummint, New Mexico, science, weird news, Wild West, writing.

Bipolar has been treated with lithium for some time (I call it schizophrenia, but I’m old school–in the old West they called it bug f**k crazy) But now research has shown that lithium might give some longevity.

The Fountain of Youth? Not exactly but it’s a step in that direction. Life in the old West was rugged, violent and often ended abruptly. “Till death do you part” meant about 12 years back in the 1880s. Women died in childbirth. Men died in farming accidents. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th Century that doctors saved more than they killed (I’ve always thought getting sick back in the Wild West that the best course of action was to go to the vet, not the doctor)

Ponce de Leon hunted for the Fountain. Flocks of rich people (and sometimes not so rich) went to “take the waters” at places like Manitou Springs for the sulfur content. As late as the 1950s people went to Radium Springs in southern NM for the therapeutic benefits. They might still do so, but I don’t hear about. My grandfather went there but I always thought it was only a chance to get away from my grandmother for a few days.

All that might be needed to live longer is take lithium, but the linked article is mighty short on numbers. Is it in the government’s interest to mandate addition of Li to the water as it does fluoride? (Which is now being suggested that too much has been added and we are OD’ing on it, not to mention the possibility it might drop IQs by 5 points or so. Unintended consequences, you know) Or is it in the government’s interest that we die sooner? Could Li be banned as a longevity Rx to lighten the burden on Social Security?

Back in the snake oil days, all it took was a healthy dose of alcohol in a medicine for it to be a Magic Cure. Might be another reason I like the Good Ole Days.

[mosey on over to Larry Sweazy’s blog for a Q&A session you might like.]



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