Ancient Aztec Medicine Could Be A Gamechanger For Mental Health

(MENAFN – Baystreet.ca) Thousands of years ago, ancient Aztecs may have held the https://www.ncmh.info/2020/03/30/mental-health-and-magic-mushrooms/ key to the next biotech breakthrough.

During ceremonial rituals, they used a special compound they called “the flesh of the gods”…

And today, researchers are discovering that this same compound could transform how we approach mental health moving forward…

Sparking an explosion of interest in what some experts project could be a https://www.openpr.com/news/2068844/psychedelic-drugs-market-2020-to-grow-at-16-3-cagr-by-2027 $6.9 billion market by 2027

It’s already being studied in some of the top medical facilities in the United States, including Johns Hopkins University…

Where it was found that this chemical was up to https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/11/04/931377532/rigorous-study-backs-a-psychedelic-treatment-for-major-depression 4x more effective in treating depression than typical antidepressants.

Source: https://www.beckleyfoundation.org/2016/05/17/magic-mushrooms-psilocybin-a-breakthrough-treatment-for-depression-from-the-beckleyimperial-research-programme/ BeckleyFoundation.org

Now, the media is taking the story mainstream as it continues to gain steam by the day.

CNN reported “One use of [this compound] https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/28/health/magic-mushrooms-psilocybin-cancer-patients-study-wellness/index.html reduces anxiety and depression in cancer patients.”

Fortune Magazine reported “Psychedelic drugs may https://fortune.com/longform/psychedelic-drugs-business-mental-health/ revolutionize mental health care.”

And https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/04/oregon-becomes-first-state-to-legalize-magic-mushrooms-as-more-states-ease-drug-laws.html CNBC is reporting “Oregon becomes first state to legalize [the special compound] as more states ease drug laws in https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/04/oregon-becomes-first-state-to-legalize-magic-mushrooms-as-more-states-ease-drug-laws.html ‘psychedelic renaissance'”

This could become one of the greatest transformations in mental health care we’ve seen in decades, with the potential to treat chronic conditions much faster than typical treatments.

And one company plowing ahead at the forefront of this breakthrough is Lobe Sciences Ltd. ( https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/LOBE.CN?p=LOBE.CN & .tsrc=fin-srch CSE:LOBE ; https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/GTSIF?p=GTSIF & .tsrc=fin-srch OTC:GTSIF ).

Earlier this year, they acquired Eleusian Biosciences Corp., another growing biotech company with several provisional patents to their name.

Between the treatments they’ve identified and devices they’re in the process of developing, they have the potential to own a significant share of this booming market.

And at a market cap of just https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/LOBE.CN?p=LOBE.CN & .tsrc=fin-srch C$8 million, this could be a major boom for early investors as news continues to break in this fascinating field.

Here are 5 reasons why you should be paying attention to Lobe Sciences ( https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/LOBE.CN?p=LOBE.CN & .tsrc=fin-srch CSE:LOBE ; https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/GTSIF?p=GTSIF & .tsrc=fin-srch OTC:GTSIF ).

#1 – The Massive Mental Health Market

In 2019, it was estimated that https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml#:~:text=Mental%20illnesses%20are%20common%20in,mild%20to%20moderate%20to%20severe. 1 in every 5 Americans lives with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

And that was before the stress and uncertainty of living through a global pandemic.

That’s why the market for treating mental health and neurodegenerative disorders is projected to reach a whopping https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/07/26/1892319/0/en/Behavioural-Health-Market-Size-to-Hit-US-240-Bn-by-2026.html $240 billion by 2026.

But the transformative medicine movement could be poised to grab a huge share of that market based on early results.

These chemical compounds work in a completely different way than standard medications used today.

While most treatment approaches for mental health tend to focus on treating the symptoms, these compounds take a different approach.

They work by addressing the root cause of the issue by giving you a transformational experience that can help “reset” the brain…

Interrupting the thought patterns and habit loops in the brain that can get people stuck for months or years in many cases.

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This Ancient Aztec Medicine Could Be A Gamechanger For Mental Health

LONDON, Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Thousands of years ago, ancient Aztecs may have held the key to the next biotech breakthrough. During ceremonial rituals, they used a special compound they called “the flesh of the gods”…And today, researchers are discovering that this same compound could transform mental healthcare moving forward, sparking an explosion of interest in what some experts project could be a $6.9 billion market by 2027.  Mentioned in today’s commentary includes:  Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: TEVA), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) Subsdiary Allergan, PLC., Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK).

It’s already being studied in some of the top medical facilities in the United States, including Johns Hopkins University, where it was found that this chemical was up to 4x more effective in treating depression than typical antidepressants.

This could become one of the greatest transformations in mental health care we’ve seen in decades, with the potential to treat chronic conditions much faster than typical treatments. And one company plowing ahead at the forefront of this breakthrough is Lobe Sciences Ltd. (LOBE; GTSIF).

The Massive Mental Health Market

In 2019, it was estimated that 1 in every 5 Americans lives with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And that was before the stress and uncertainty of living through a global pandemic

That’s why the market for treating mental health and neurodegenerative disorders is projected to reach a whopping $240 billion by 2026. But the transformative medicine movement could be poised to grab a huge share of that market based on early results.

A study from Johns Hopkins showed that when treating terminal cancer patients with psychedelics to reduce anxiety and depression, showing an incredible 80% success rate upon administering large doses of Psylocibin. And the FDA has even granted “Breakthrough Therapy” status to various psychedelic clinical trials looking to address treatment-resistant depression. But successfully treating trauma has been a longstanding issue in psychiatry.

Each year, an estimated 8 million Americans suffer from PTSD. That’s more than the population of the entire state of Washington. And with about 1 in every 13 people experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point throughout their lifetime, this is a major priority in the mental health field.

Clearly this all leads to a massive market opportunity, with the alternatives on the market leaving many people continuing to struggle. But Lobe Sciences Ltd. (LOBE; GTSIF) has already assembled ingredients to address the trauma and concussion issues head on. And as they look to play a major role in treating these issues with their solutions, they could stand to grab a huge part of this multi-billion dollar market.

Building A Giant Moat in This Booming Industry

As this industry continues to grow, Lobe Sciences Ltd. (LOBE; GTSIF) is planting its flag and staking its corner of the market. With its recent acquisition of the biotech company Eleusian Biosciences in

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Your Teachers May Have Been Key to Your Adult Mental Health | Health News

By Cara Murez, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2020 (Health Day News) — Great teachers can make a big difference in their students’ long-term health, research shows.

Teenagers who had good, supportive relationships with their teachers became healthier adults, according to a new report.

“This research suggests that improving students’ relationships with teachers could have important, positive and long-lasting effects beyond just academic success,” said study author Jinho Kim. He is an assistant professor of health policy and management at Korea University in Seoul.

“It could also have important health implications in the long run,” Kim said in a news release from the American Psychological Association.

For the study, Kim analyzed data from nearly 20,000 participants in a U.S. health study, including 3,400 pairs of siblings. That study followed participants from seventh grade into early adulthood. The teens answered a variety of questions about whether they had experienced trouble getting along with other students or teachers, and whether their friends or teachers cared about them.

In adulthood, the participants were asked about physical and mental health. The study recorded measures of physical health, including blood pressure and body mass index, an estimate of body fat based on height and weight.

The analysis found that participants who had better relationships with teachers and peers also had better physical and mental health in their mid-20s. When Kim looked at pairs of siblings (as a way to control for family background), only the link between student-teacher relationships and adult health remained significant.

Past research had suggested that teens’ peer relationships could be connected to adult health outcomes, possibly because poor relationships can lead to chronic stress, which raises the risk of future health problems, Kim said. It might be that other factors, including different family backgrounds, contributed both to relationship problems in teens and to poor health in adulthood.

Kim recommended that schools invest in training teachers on how to build warm, supportive relationships with students.

“This is not something that most teachers receive much training in,” he said, “but it should be.”

The findings were published online Oct. 29 in the journal School Psychology.

SOURCE: American Psychological Association, news release, Oct. 29, 2020

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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The mental health toll of COVID-19

When it comes to wearing a mask, Seattle writer Wendy Sparrow was way ahead of the curve: “I’ve been wearing a mask during flu season and allergy season for, like, years,” she said. “And people would look at me when I would walk into a store and they would stare at me.”

Masks and hand sanitizer are both part of Sparrow’s lifelong mental health battle with OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder. “I plan for all of the worst things that could happen,” she said. “I have first aid kits everywhere. I have, like, multiple ones in my house.”

“First aid kits?” asked correspondent Susan Spencer.

“Yes, first aid kits! I mean, somebody could get their head lopped off and I could just probably get it back on with the first aid kits I have around.”

“You described yourself as suffering from something called contamination phobia. Can you explain what exactly that is?”

“As far as like germs go, up until I can see somebody, like, sneeze or something, I’m usually okay with it,” Sparrow said. “I don’t go to hazmat levels of cleaning, unless somebody is sick. And then I kind of lose my mind.”

She’s been accused of over-reacting for as long as she can remember, until COVID-19 came along: “One of my friends online commented to me the other day, she goes, ‘How does it feel to have mask-wearing normalized finally?’ And I was just like, I’m not gonna get stared at anymore!

But, as gratifying as you might think that would be, she says the pandemic actually has made her OCD worse. “It’s much harder to control symptoms and habits and stuff like that when you are genuinely, you know, at risk for these things,” Sparrow said. “I mean, how do you tell yourself, No, that’s too much hand sanitizer, when at this point, there’s no such thing as too much hand sanitizer?”

“We’re in the midst of a mental health epidemic right now, and I think it’s only gonna get worse,” said Dr. Vivian Pender, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association.

Spencer asked, “You don’t think the worst is over?”

“No, not at all. No, I think in a way the worst is yet to come, in terms of mental health. There’s gonna be tremendous grief and mourning for all the lost people, and the lost opportunities, and the lost dreams and hopes that people had.”

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More than half of American adults say their mental health has suffered because of the pandemic.

CBS News


She said the pandemic is aggravating mental illness among those already battling it – and taking a toll on the rest of us, too. “Anxiety always rises in the face of uncertainty, and we’re living in very uncertain times,” she said.

More than half (53%) of American adults say their mental health has suffered because of the pandemic. Prescriptions for antidepressants shot up 14% after the initial outbreak.

Spencer asked Atlanta psychiatrist Dr. Sarah Vinson, “You could argue that,

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Mental Health Advocates Say These Things Need To Change No Matter Who Wins The Election

Looking beyond Tuesday’s elections, mental health advocates are gearing up to become a more potent political lobby, as the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a surge in people seeking services and flooded an already understaffed system. They are urging political leaders to increase funding and extend protections for mental healthcare regardless of who wins the presidency and the down-ballot races that will decide the makeup of Congress and statehouses around the country.

“We’re going to be seeing a tidal wave of people seeking out mental health support,” said Matthew Shapiro, associate director for public affairs at the National Alliance on Mental Illness in New York State, at a virtual policy panel in October. Many of the callers to a state-run support line during the pandemic have been “seeking out mental health services for the first time in their lives,” he said.

“That’s a very encouraging thing to hear the people are seeking help,” Shapiro said, adding that it’s “scary and really concerning” that there might not be enough help to go around.

Shapiro and other advocates are becoming more vocal about funding for mental health and issues that affect it, reflecting a desire to follow the example of activists who fought taboos against HIV and other conditions to win support in the halls of power.

The movement has a long way to go. Mental health and substance use have been virtually absent from the presidential debates. That lack of attention reflects mental health advocates’ lack of power, said Bill Smith, who this year founded Inseparable Action, a political group advocating for greater access to mental healthcare. “There are a lot of really, really smart people who know what we need to do and understand the policy solutions. They just don’t have the power to get it done,” said Smith, the former political director for a marriage equality group.

Inseparable Action aims to help build that political power. It helped pass California’s new law making it harder for insurers to deny mental healthcare and is at work on an agenda of reforms Congress can pass and ones the president can make without its approval. Those include more strongly enforcing the equality of mental and medical benefits and rolling out the new 9-8-8 emergency number for mental health crises. While Smith personally supports Joe Biden’s campaign and has raised money for it, a second Trump administration could also act on any of those proposals. “There are things that need to happen no matter who the president is,” Smith said.

Groups that support people with mental illness are raising their voices as well. Fountain House, a community center in New York for people with serious mental illness, helps its members build social, vocational, and educational skills by teaching them to run the center itself. It can also help members advocate for their political

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In A Small Pennsylvania City, A Mental Crisis Call To 911 Turns Tragic : Shots

Rulennis Munoz (center right) outside Lancaster Courthouse Oct. 14, after learning that the police officer who fatally shot her brother had been cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Lancaster County District Attorney. Her mother, Miguelina Peña, and her attorney Michael Perna (far right) stood by.

Brett Sholtis/WITF


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Brett Sholtis/WITF

Rulennis Muñoz remembers the phone ringing on Sept. 13. Her mother was calling from the car, frustrated. Rulennis could also hear her brother Ricardo shouting in the background. Her mom told her that Ricardo, who was 27, wouldn’t take his medication. He had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia five years earlier.

Ricardo lived with his mother in Lancaster, Pa., but earlier that day he had been over at Rulennis’ house across town. Rulennis remembers that her brother had been having what she calls “an episode” that morning. Ricardo had become agitated because his phone charger was missing. When she found it for him, he insisted it wasn’t the same one.

Rulennis knew that her brother was in crisis and that he needed psychiatric care. But she also knew from experience that there were few emergency resources available for Ricardo unless a judge deemed him a threat to himself or others.

After talking with her mom, Rulennis called a county crisis intervention line to see if Ricardo could be committed for inpatient care. It was Sunday afternoon. The crisis worker told her to call the police to see if the officers could petition a judge to force Ricardo to go to the hospital for psychiatric treatment, in what’s called an involuntary commitment. Reluctant to call 911, and wanting more information, Rulennis dialed the non-emergency police number.

Meanwhile, her mother, Miguelina Peña, was back in her own neighborhood. Her other daughter, Deborah, lived only a few doors down. Peña started telling Deborah what was going on. Ricardo was becoming aggressive; he had punched the inside of the car. Back on their block, he was still yelling and upset, and couldn’t be calmed. Deborah called 911 to get help for Ricardo. She didn’t know that her sister was trying the non-emergency line.

The problems and perils of calling 911 for help with mental health

A recording and transcript of the 911 call show that the dispatcher gave Deborah three options: police, fire or ambulance. Deborah wasn’t sure, so she said “police.” Then she went on to explain that Ricardo was being aggressive, had a mental illness and needed to go to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Ricardo had moved on, walking up the street to where he and his mother lived. When the dispatcher questioned Deborah further, she also mentioned that Ricardo was trying “to break into” his mom’s house. She didn’t mention that Ricardo also lived in that house. She did mention that her mother “was afraid” to go back home with him.

The Muñoz family has since emphasized that Ricardo was never a threat to them. However, by the time police got the message, they believed they were responding to

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Researchers link severe COVID-19 cases to mental decline equal to aging a decade

People that have suffered severe cases of COVID-19 may experience mental decline equal to the brain aging by a decade, according to a new study released this month.  

Researchers from the U.K. analyzed the test data of over 84,000 participants who took the Great British Intelligence Test and were suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. 

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that people who had recovered from severe cases of the disease exhibited “significant cognitive deficit” after controlling for other factors such as age, gender and pre-existing medical conditions. 

Some deficits were of “substantial effect size,” the researchers found, specifically among those who had been hospitalized and those who had mild cases and reported no difficulty breathing. However, among those who ended up on a ventilator, the deficits were “equivalent to the average 10-year decline in global performance between the ages of 20 to 70.” 

The cognitive decline could be the result of other health events that are thought to be associated with COVID-19 such as stoke, inflammatory syndrome and micro bleeds, according to the study.

COVID-19 is a disease that can have critical impacts on the upper respiratory system, leading patients with severe cases to require supplemental oxygen. As a result, researchers in the study have also hypothesized that hypoxia in the brain could also lead to cognitive decline. 

However, they write, “it is yet to be established whether COVID-19 infection is associated with cognitive impairment at the population level; and if so, how this differs with respiratory symptom severity and relatedly, hospitalisation status. Measuring such associations is challenging.”

In all, the scientists said that their findings “align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having COVID-19. Individuals who recovered from suspected or confirmed COVID-19 perform worse on cognitive tests in multiple domains than would be expected given their detailed age and demographic profiles.” 

The researchers said their study should be a “clarion call” for more research into the basis cognitive deficits in recovered COVID-19 patients. 

Some scientists say that the study’s results should be viewed cautiously. 

Derek Hill, a professor of medical imaging science at University College London, told Reuters that the study did not compare before and after scores of participants, and that a large number of them only self-reported having the virus without a positive test. 

“Overall (this is) an intriguing but inconclusive piece of research into the effect of COVID on the brain,” Hill told Reuters. “As researchers seek to better understand the long term impact of COVID, it will be important to further investigate the extent to which cognition is impacted in the weeks and months after the infection, and whether permanent damage to brain function results in some people.”

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Sheriff’s Unit To Tackle Mental Health Repercussions Of Pandemic

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — The coronavirus didn’t simply introduce a new pathogen into society. It brought along a host of new problems and exacerbated existing ones that the country will be left to deal with long after the coronavirus symptoms have passed.

They might not be visible under a microscope, but accompanying the pandemic are a host of mental health issues. Isolation, job loss, financial hardships, learning difficulties, drug abuse and domestic violence go hand in hand with an increase in anxiety, fear, panic attacks, physical outbursts, depression, anger and hopelessness caused by the pandemic.

For the deputies at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, these problems aren’t new. Deputies have long been dealing with drug abusers committing crimes of desperation, jobless families members taking out their frustrations on their spouses, and lonely, unstable people threatening to kill themselves or others.

But with the coronavirus pandemic, deputies trained to keep order and investigate crimes have also taken on the roles of social worker, family mediator and peacekeeper, said Master Deputy Tobias Smith, who’s spent 24 years dealing with mental health calls for the sheriff’s office.

In a typical year, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office receives 1.6 million calls from the public and other agencies. Of those, 540,000 calls come through the sheriff’s 911 emergency lines.

Deputies have no way of knowing which 911 call will lead to a volatile situation that could turn deadly.

But now the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will fight fire with sympathy and understanding thanks to the newly formed Behavioral Resources Unit.

Sheriff Chad Chronister announced the formation of the new Behavioral Resources Unit at a news conference Monday.

The unit, made up of deputies, licensed mental health counselors and licensed clinical social workers, will focus on identifying people who repeatedly come into contact with law enforcement due to mental health issues or homelessness.

The Behavioral Resources Unit will work one on one with these people, connect them with the services they need before crisis in the hopes of keeping them out of the criminal justice system.

Smith said it’s not unusual for deputies to get a call about a person acting strangely due to a mental health problem. But, until now, the sheriff’s office’s only resource was to use the Baker Act to involuntarily hold the person in a psychiatric facility. A few days later, the deputy would see the person back on the streets.

The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971 (Florida Statute 394), commonly known as the “Baker Act,” allows the involuntary institutionalization and examination of a mentally ill person who is behaving erratically or presenting a danger to themselves or others.

Oftentimes, the behavior is caused by their refusal to take or refill prescribed medication, or follow up with mandatory counseling sessions. Since many are homeless or transient, there’s no way for social services to follow up with the person.

“Some have been Baker Acted 20 to 30 times,” Smith said. “If we can get them into some more effective treatment,

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Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought ‘9/11 attack was 7/11 attack’

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenObama slams Trump in Miami: ‘Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff’ Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Brad Pitt narrates Biden ad airing during World Series MORE (D) defended his mental acuity and took shots at President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: ‘Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff’ Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence’s chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE during an interview airing Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

Anchor Norah O’Donnell asked Biden about claims from the Trump campaign that he suffers from dementia, a general catch-all medical term for symptoms ranging from memory loss to impairment of problem-solving abilities.

“[You are] 78 years old. [You’ll be] 82 after four years. Donald Trump says you have dementia and it’s getting worse,” O’Donnell told Biden.

“Hey, the same guy who thought that the 911 attack was a 7-Eleven attack,” Biden responded, jokingly. “He’s talking about dementia?”

“All I can say to the American people is watch me, is see what I’ve done, is see what I’m going to do. Look at me,” Biden continued. “Compare our physical and mental acuity. I’m happy to have that comparison.”

The Trump campaign has sought to suggest in recent months that videos showing Biden speaking unclearly at times are evidence of the former vice president’s mental decline. Biden’s campaign has accused the Trump campaign in response of making light of the stutter from which the former vice president has suffered since he was a child.

“Did something happen to Joe Biden?” the text of an ad questioning his mental faculties produced by the Trump campaign asked in August.

Biden, who would be the oldest president ever elected, at 77, has frequently dismissed criticism on the manner from the Trump campaign. Trump himself was the oldest president ever elected upon his victory in 2016, when he was 70 years old.

“I’ve been tested and I’m constantly tested,” Biden said in June. “Look, all you gotta do is watch me, and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”

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Both Biden and Trump have questioned the other’s physical and mental fitness. Here’s what we know about their health.

President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden have both battled life-threatening illnesses at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a facility they entered 32 years apart with uncertainty over whether they would return alive.



a person riding a motorcycle on a city street: Trump supporters gather outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 5 in Bethesda, Md., where the president was being treated for the coronavirus.


© Matt McClain/The Washington Post
Trump supporters gather outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 5 in Bethesda, Md., where the president was being treated for the coronavirus.

For Trump, his diagnosis with the novel coronavirus earlier this month was his most serious known brush with a fatal disease, and his rapidly dropping oxygen levels sparked grave concern among his top aides and doctors. For Biden, emergency surgery for two brain aneurysms in 1988 posed the risk of impaired cognitive capabilities, or worse. While he ultimately fully recovered, the situation was so dire at the time that a priest was brought in to deliver last rites.

Both episodes have become political fodder for opposing sides less than two weeks ahead of a presidential election in which the two septuagenarian candidates are competing for a chance to be the oldest sitting president in American history. More broadly, the health of each man has become a central component of an increasingly negative race in which questioning an opponent’s fitness for office has taken a personal turn.

Trump and his allies have regularly sought to raise doubts about Biden’s mental acuity, with the president telling Fox News in recent days that his rival could not complete his sentences.

“They said if you let him talk, he’ll lose his chain of thought because he’s gonzo,” Trump said during a 50-minute interview with the network in the lead-up to Thursday’s presidential debate. “There were a lot of people that say let him talk because he loses his train . . . He loses his mind, frankly.”

Trump’s opponents have openly questioned his mental wellness, with Biden campaign officials mocking him for musing about the medical efficacy of injecting disinfectant and for celebrating his ability to recite five simple words in order during a cognitive test.

Trump’s battle with the coronavirus highlighted his preexisting physical challenges. The Biden campaign has run ads showing Trump struggling to walk down a ramp.

Both candidates have not been fully transparent about their health status, even as they claim to be in excellent shape. They have released information from doctors declaring them strong and energetic, while downplaying or concealing information that may undercut those descriptions. Neither has allowed access to their complete medical records.

Trump has been especially secretive, concealing information about his coronavirus infection and treatment, and providing contradictory answers about why he made a separate unplanned visit to Walter Reed last November.

For Trump, an overweight 74-year-old and recent survivor of covid-19, and Biden, a 77-year-old who today has a few minor medical conditions, proving to voters that they are fit for the job of president is a particularly critical task in the frantic final days of the race.

The challenge has been made more difficult as the two sides

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