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How to Make Physical Therapy Work for You – Cerebral Palsy News Today

Posted: August 18, 2017 at 9:50 pm

If youve been reading this column awhile, you know Ive been talking about physical therapy for a long time. Weve talked about how powerful and beneficial it can be once you commit and check into the program. Weve discussed building meaningful relationships with physical therapists, and weve talked about how the therapists who have been most hard on us have been the ones who made us grow.

But one thing I havent talked about yet is how to own your physical therapy and make your program really work for you.

Admittedly, I have grown up with the phrase you have a say in your treatment options and plans for so long that by the time I was an adult and actually thought I could make decisions about the way my treatment plan was going, the words were like background noise. Since I started physical therapy at age 3, the routine of equipment and stretches has been predetermined and laid out. The only noticeable change in routine is, when you become an adult, the games you play to engage you in your stretches fall by the wayside, and its on you to motivate yourself. I struggled with internal motivation deeply when it came to my therapy, even though I was able to motivate myself in all other areas of life. During physical therapy, I took shortcut after shortcut and cheated myself.

I also felt forced into physical therapy; it wasnt my choice as a child and I wouldnt choose it now. I was bitter. I knew I needed the therapy and the discipline of a one-on-one therapist, but it was boring. I knew I liked yoga, however, and found some great wheelchair-friendly stuff that I knew I could try on my own. Once I tried this for a while and knew it was sticking as a positive outlet in my life, I told my therapist about some stretches I had been doing at home that gave me similar results to the things I was doing in my program there. She asked me for a few demonstrations, then we discussed if this was a safe alternative and what my limitations could be.

To my surprise, by doing yoga,I was reaping the same benefits without feeling miserable about the work! I found that pool therapy, as opposed to or in addition to my regular therapy, was way more exciting and positive for me, and it made me far more willing and engaged in all of the work I need to do to keep my body moving.

Thats it! Thats the journey. That is how you make your physical therapy work for you. Physical therapy is our exercise and were surrounded by a society that seems to be anti-movement, all of our pain and struggles make moving that much harder, no matter how badly we want to do it.

Most people take their bodies for granted and they dont know it until its too late. Find any type of movement that you love, plug into your program and take care of your body now. It can be so much fun and it will be so worth it.


Note:Cerebral Palsy News Todayis strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician orother qualified health providerwith any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those ofCerebral Palsy News Todayor its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.

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What Adopting My Daughter with Cerebral Palsy Taught Me About Being Strong – Shape Magazine

Posted: at 9:50 pm

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United Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country to get $124840 for ‘exceeding quality standards and patient … – North Country Now

Posted: at 9:50 pm

CANTON — The United Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country, Inc. is getting $124,840 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), according to a joint statement from senators Charles Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand.

The funds are rewards for health care centers who have exceeded or met quality standards and patient care goals, the release says.

The funds will support increased access to comprehensive primary health care services and further invest in care, the senators said.

These critical federal investments will enable 61 community health centers throughout New York State, including 26 centers in Upstate New York alone, to improve healthcare access for the local community, Schumer said in a prepared statement. Specifically, this investment will enable high-quality health centers to increase access to primary care services for New Yorkers and build upon their already successful work to improve patient care-quality and reduce health disparities across New York State. Not only will this funding further enhance New York State residents ability to access high-quality health care services, it will also support jobs for local area residents and health professionals, enriching regional economies across the state. This is great news for New York State and I will continue to fight for this kind of funding so that New Yorkers may continue to benefit from increased access to high-quality care.

This is a major investment for New York, Gillibrand said in a prepared statement. High quality health care must be accessible throughout our communities. This grant will help local health care centers in our state meet demand and expand to provide new services. By hiring more trained staff members, these centers will work more efficiently and New Yorkers will get the quality care they need.

United Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country to get $124840 for ‘exceeding quality standards and patient … – North Country Now

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Gia Gunn Gets New Birth Certificate: I Am So Proud Of Myself For Getting This Done! – NewNowNext

Posted: at 9:48 pm

by Christopher Rudolph 6h ago

Gia Gunn has made it official.

Back in March, Gian Gun came out as trans in a personal Instagram video in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility.


I thought I would dedicate today in the spirit of being visible to share my transition with all of you, Gunn revealed in the clip. I have been on hormone replacement therapy for about a year and I identify as female and I am indeed transgender.

Now the former RuPauls Drag Race contestant has announced on Twitter that she got a birth certificate to reflect her legal name and transition.

No document will ever validate or justify my gender, but I am so proud of myself for getting this done, Gia tweeted this week.

Gia came out as trans in March and the following month had her legal named changed to Gia:

Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey if you are in transition, or struggling with your gender identity, I want to hear from you in the comments and lets be visible, she said in her coming out message earlier this year.

Congratulations, Gia! Keep stunning!

RuPauls Drag Race Season 9: RuVealed airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Logo.

Pop culture and entertainment enthusiast. I know too much about the Oscars and Oprah.

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Dighton man running race to raise funds, awareness of traumatic … – Taunton Daily Gazette

Posted: at 9:47 pm

Jordan [email protected]

DIGHTON In 2013, Roberto Cabral remembers that his life changed in an instant. As he was operating a forklift at Bristol Marine, he fell two stories and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

At the time, the ensuing situation seemed hopeless for Cabral he was left deaf in his left ear, could not balance while standing, and had trouble regulating his emotions.

After nearly four years, Cabral is now an avid runner with a half-marathon already under his belt. This Sunday, hell be running seven miles to raise awareness about TBIs on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts in the 2017 New Balance Falmouth Road Race.

I struggled to come to terms with my injuries at first, it was hard to swallow, said Cabral. I had to accept that this was a new normal for me and that everyday is a new challenge. Each one, I take seriously.

In addition to a TBI, Cabral also suffered spinal fractures, broken ribs, a punctured lung, blood clots, and fractures in his left temporal and frontal lobes. As a result of his brain injuries, doctors told him that hed have trouble with the most basic everyday activities, from walking to remembering information.

Though he cant hear out of his left ear, Cabral still experiences an internal buzzing caused by tinnitus. He refers to it as a lawnmower in my head.

Cabral, who immigrated from Sao Miguel Island in 1977 and has since acquired full citizenship, worked in assembly line production until 2001, when he entered the shipbuilding business at J&J Marine. Twelve years later, the company was bought out by Bristol Marine, after which he suffered the 20-foot fall while shrink-wrapping a ship for winter storage.

Immigration was a challenge, but it got more rewarding as time went on and I learned the language, said Cabral. My injury was like starting a new life over.

When Cabral first arrived home from the inpatient rehabilitation, Cabral received all the help and suggestions that he could get from doctors, friends, and family. Due to the fact that he could not return to work, Cabral said that his mother-in-law moved in to live with him for over a year and half while his wife worked extra hours to make ends meet. He was also faced with another daily challenge: monitoring his 10-year-old daughter, who had recently been diagnosed with type-1 diabetes.

Your whole family suffers as a result (of TBI). A lot of people arent as lucky as me to have the support that Ive had, Cabral revealed.

Though the use of a treadmill, Cabral was able to regain the ability to walk normally and eventually worked his way up to running. He says that he now engages in intensive workout routines anywhere from three to four times a week.

Cabral had his first post-recovery experience with long-distance running after he was encouraged to run in a road race by Gwen Larsen, his physical therapist from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. From then on, Cabral says that he got hooked into the sport.

At Benson-Henry, Cabral participated in the institutes SMART program, which teaches patients to cope with anxiety and depression associated with traumatic injury through deep breathing and meditation. Cabral says that running goes hand-in-hand with both practices and is a form of therapy in itself.

In addition to Mass General, Cabral also went through rehabilitation at Brigham and Womens, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Community Rehab Care in Watertown.

While going through the physical and occupational rehabilitation process over two long years, Cabral was able to realize the full extent of those affected by TBI. Recent statistics compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission show that just under 60,000 individuals were admitted to hospital emergency rooms in 2014 for TBI. This number has not changed significantly over past years, according to Cabral.

Those who survive severe brain injuries all have different challenges, Cabral said.

As a result of a workers compensation, Cabral says that he was able to receive top-class care in Massachusetts, home to the best medical system in the world. In addition to physical care, Cabral said that an integral aspect to his rehabilitation process was receiving cognitive treatment to deal with mental issues associated with his injury.

He was later shocked to find out that state law does not require private insurance companies to cover cognitive rehabilitation associated with TBI and other brain injuries. For thousands of patients suffering from TBI, lack of private access to cognitive health services is costly to not only those without coverage, but also to the states public healthcare system.

It is shameful to see that others with similar injuries cannot get the same care as I did, said Cabral. If I didnt have all the coverage that I did, I dont know what Id be doing today.

In 2015, Cabral decided to speak up by petitioning before the Massachusetts House of Representatives to enact legislation that would mandate insurance companies to provide cognitive therapy for brain injury patients. The initial bill H.843 was spearheaded by both the BIA-MA and State Representative Kimberly Ferguson, although it was not enacted into law.

In January of this year, a new piece of legislation an Act Improving Lives by Ensuring Access to Brain Injury Treatment was sponsored by members of both the House and Senate, filed respectively as S.502 and H.2166. The bill is currently still in discussion.

While Cabral is not able to work full time with his condition, he still spends as much time as he can volunteering and working part-time at various locations. Hes currently a member of the Knights of Columbus out of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in North Dighton. At the church, he cuts the lawn and helps with fundraising efforts. Recently, he acquired a gym membership at Raynham Athletic Club.

I feel very blessed to be able to recover to the level that I have and to be able to give back to people who dont have what I do.

Most notably, Cabral works at Tauntons Pride Incorporated on a per diem basis. Pride provides day habilitation (also known as day-hab) to individuals who have living disabilities, helping them learn skills essential to living on their own.

There, he has been spending time with a man who suffers from Parkinsons Disease.

Bob has a super relationship with (the man), said Douglas Latham, the director of operations at Pride and Cabrals neighbor.

I was really worried about him (Cabral) when he came home from rehab, said Latham.

He worked through his condition with hard work and dedication. He might not have went back to work full time, but he remembers where he came from after the injury and never forgets it.

After the Falmouth Road Race, Cabral says that his eventual goal is to run in the Boston Marathon. Although he believes that his condition will make it hard for him to qualify in the trial. He hopes that he will be able to obtain a bib by running on behalf of a charity, preferably one for diabetes. Much like Cabrals dedication to his own recovery, he says that he spends just as much time researching diabetes for his daughter.

Once you accept your situation, then everything changes. If you focus on the positives in life, the negatives become much less of a burden. It does get better.

If you would like to donate to the BIA-MA to help support services to TBI survivors, Cabrals donation page for the Falmouth Road Race can be found at

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Survey: Patients With Parkinson’s Disease, MS Report Efficacy From Medical Cannabis – eNews Park Forest

Posted: at 9:46 pm

Sativex is the cannabis-based mouth spray developed by UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals. (Source:

Fort Collins, CO(ENEWSPF)August 18, 2017. Patients suffering from Parkinsons disease and multiple sclerosis report that cannabis effectively mitigates many of their symptoms, according to survey data published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Five hundred and ninety-five subjects responded to an online questionnaire hosted on the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society webpages. Respondents reported that cannabis was highly effective (6.4 on a scale from zero to 7) at providing symptom management, and 59 percent of participants said that they had reduced their use of prescription drugs since initiating medical marijuana treatment. Those respondents who identified themselves as medical cannabis users reported lower overall levels of disability compared to non-users, specifically in the domains of memory, mood, and fatigue.

Placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the use of both whole-plant cannabis and/or cannabis-derived extracts in patients with MS have consistently shown efficacy in the mitigation of spasticity and other symptoms. A plant cannabis-derived spray, Sativex, is available by prescription for the treatment of MS in Canada, the United Kingdom, and in several other countries.

Patients with PD consistently report subjective benefits from cannabis, particularly for the mitigation of tremors and bradykinsea (slowness of movement).

Full text of the study, Cannabis use in people with Parkinsons disease and Multiple Sclerosis: A web-based investigation, appears in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.


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Stem cell researchers discover promising lead in quest for hair regrowth –

Posted: at 6:46 am
Stem cell researchers discover promising lead in quest for hair regrowth
In new findings published in Nature Cell Biology, UCLA researchers revealed the discovery of a new way to activate hair regrowth by focusing on the unique metabolism of “quiescent” hair follicle stem cells. Although long-lived, these stem cells are
We Just Figured out How to Activate Stem Cells to Treat BaldnessFuturism
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Researchers Discover New Key to Hair GrowthR & D Magazine
Technology Networks –UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center
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Scientists Discover New Hair Growth Technique Using Stem Cells – TrendinTech

Posted: at 6:46 am

Those suffering from hair loss problems could soon be worry free thanks to a bunch of researchers at UCLA. The team found that by activating the stem cells in the hair follicles they could make it grow. This type of research couldnt come soon enough for some. We may have finally found a cure for patients suffering from alopecia or baldness.

Hair loss is often caused by the hair follicle stem cells inability to activate and induce a new hair growth cycle. In doing the study, researchers Heather Christofk and William Lowry, of Eli Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA discovered that the metabolism of hair follicle stem cells is far different to any other cell found within the skin. They found that as hair follicle stem cells absorb the glucose from the bloodstream they use it to produce a metabolite called pyruvate. The pyruvate is then either sent to the cells mitochondria to be converted back into energy or is converted into another metabolite called lactate.

Christofk is an associate professor of biological chemistry and molecular and medical pharmacology and he says, Our observations about hair follicle stem cell metabolism prompted us to examine whether genetically diminishing the entry of pyruvate into the mitochondria would force hair follicle stem cells to make more lactate and if that would activate the cells and grow hair more quickly. First, the team demonstrated how blocking the lactate production in mice prevented the hair follicle stem cells from activating. Then, with the help of colleagues at the Rutter lab at the University of Utah, they increased the lactate production in the mice and as a result saw an accelerated hair follicle stem cell activation and therefore an increase in the hair cycle.

Once we saw how altering lactate production in the mice influenced hair growth, it led us to look for potential drugs that could be applied to the skin and have the same effect, confirms Lowry, a professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology. During the study, the team found two drugs in particular that influenced hair follicle stem cells to promote lactate production when applied to the skin of mice. The first is called RCGD423. This drug is responsible for allowing the transmission of information from outside the cell right to the heart of it in the nucleus by activating the cellular signaling pathway called JAK-Stat. The results from the study did, in fact, prove that JAK-Stat activation will lead to an increased production of lactate which will enhance hair growth. UK5099 was the second drug in question, and its role was to block the pyruvate from entering the mitochondria, forcing the production of lactate and accelerating hair growth as a result.

The study brings with it some very promising results. To be able to solve a problem that affects millions of people worldwide by using drugs to stimulate hair growth is brilliant. At the moment there is a provisional patent application thats been filed in respect of using RCGD423 in the promotion of hair growth and a separate provisional patent in place for the use of UK5099 for the same purpose. The drugs have not yet been tested in humans or approved by the Food and Drug Administration as fit for human consumption.

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Life Science investment paying dividends – The Recorder

Posted: at 6:46 am

BOSTON (AP) In his offices at Boston Childrens Hospital, Leonard Zon is busily developing cutting-edge stem cell therapies surrounded by fellow researchers, lab equipment and 300,000 striped, transparent zebrafish.

Zons lab and the zebrafish are the results of an initiative begun nearly a decade ago to make Massachusetts one of the countrys premier life sciences incubators.

That 2008 initiative, signed by former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, committed Massachusetts to spending $1 billion over 10 years to jump-start the life sciences sector attracting the best minds, research facilities and the venture capital funding.

By most yardsticks, Patricks gamble has paid off. Massachusetts, and the greater Boston area in particular, are now seen as a top life sciences hub.

For Zon, and other life sciences leaders, the support has been transformative.

In 2013, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which is charged with disbursing the funds, awarded a $4 million grant to Childrens Hospital to help establish the Childrens Center for Cell Therapy. Some of the money went toward replacing the original aquaculture facilities at Zons lab with state-of-the-art systems.

Zon said the changes helped him pursue stem cell therapies taking tissues grown from stem cells aimed at thwarting specific diseases and transplanting them into a diseased organ. Zon said his lab helped develop a drug for treating a blood disease known as Diamond Blackfan anemia in part by developing zebrafish models of the disease.

Massachusetts is the best place in the world for biotechnology, he said. Its been life-changing for us.

Zons experience isnt unique.

NxStage Medical, Inc., a medical technology company founded in 1998 in Lawrence focused on end-stage renal disease and acute kidney failure, received nearly $1.8 million in tax incentives through the program. In 2013, Woburn-based Bio2 Technologies received $1 million in loan financing, helping it develop bone graft substitute implants.

The states reputation as a magnet for life sciences also can be seen in the surge of construction in Boston and Cambridge, particularly around the Kendall Square area, where glass-lined office and research buildings have sprouted.

Travis McCready, CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, also pointed to the influx of grant money from the National Institutes of Health and funds from world-class academic and research institutions.

By pretty much any measure we are considered the leading life sciences ecosystem in the U.S., and among the leading ecosystems in the world, McCready said.

McCready said the 2008 initiative helped create a framework for that growth, even as he acknowledged that not every company or research effort that receives funding succeeds.

Some of these startups are going to fail, but ideas will be tested and intellectual property will be created, he said. Failure is not a negative.

McCready said a top goal of the program is to develop the next generation of researchers. The center funds over 500 life sciences internships each year with about a quarter of those landing full-time jobs at the company where they interned.

He said that talent pool is critical to the next stage in the life science revolution: bio-manufacturing and digital health.

Bio-manufacturing refers to the ability of research labs and life science companies to take their breakthroughs and start manufacturing them on a large scale. He pointed to a decision by Kendall Square-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals to open a 200,000-square-foot (18,580 square meter) manufacturing space in Norton, just 45 minutes away.

He said the state also is hoping to builds up the digital health sector, where large sets of scientific data are used to look for new therapies and how best to deliver those medicines inexpensively.

Today we are the undisputed global leader in the field, Patrick said this week in a statement to The Associated Press. Public investment not only catalyzed hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment and created thousands of jobs, but contributes meaningfully to the development of life changing treatments and cures for people around the world.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is hoping to build on the initiative. In June, Baker announced a proposal to dedicate $500 million over five years to continue strengthening the life sciences with a focus on public infrastructure, research and development, workforce training and education. Baker said he will be supporting the public-private partnerships and strategic investments that have made Massachusetts a global leader in the life sciences.

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Diabetes Drug May Be Used as a Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease – Healthline

Posted: at 6:45 am

Exenatide has worked well for people with diabetes. Now, researchers want to see how good a treatment it can be for people with Parkinson’s disease.

In medicine, researchers often find that a drug intended for one use is also effective in different, unexpected ways.

In a recent study, researchers from University College London (UCL) found that exenatide a medication thats been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2005 for people with type 2 diabetes has the potential to modify Parkinsons disease.

The study, published in the Lancet and funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research (MJFF), had researchers testing exenatide in people with Parkinsons.

In a test that pitted exenatide versus a placebo, researchers found that those who were taking exenatide had better motor function after their treatment.

This improvement persisted after a 12-week follow-up. For those who had taken a placebo, motor function showed a marked decline.

The findings have promising implications for people with Parkinsons disease, a long-term degenerative condition for which there is currently no cure.

Exenatide has an interesting history.

Dr. Dilan Athauda, first author of the UCL study, described the drugs past in an email to Healthline. Athauda is a specialist registrar in neurology and a clinical research fellow at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Exenatide is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring protein exendin-4 that was originally discovered by Dr. John Eng in the early 1990s in the saliva of the Gila monster, a venomous lizard native to the Southwestern United States, he wrote.

Engs team found that exendin-4 was similar to a human hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). The substance is secreted in humans after eating a meal to stimulate insulin secretion, which lowers blood sugar.

In humans, GLP-1 quickly breaks down and its effects dont last long. But studies showed the effects of exendin-4 (the Gila monster protein) lasted longer in humans.

This eventually led to approval from the FDA for the synthetic version of this protein exenatide for those with type 2 diabetes.

During the trials on its road to FDA approval, researchers found that exendin-4 had neuroprotective properties. This could help rescue degenerating cells and protect neurons.

Based on this preclinical evidence, Professor Tom Foltynie of the UCL Institute of Neurology supervised a small trial of exenatide in people with Parkinsons.

The team found that patients treated with exenatide for one year (in addition to their usual medication) had less decline in their motor symptoms when assessed without their medication compared to the control group (just on their usual medication) and this advantage over the control group was still present one year after stopping exenatide injections, wrote Athauda.

Based on these results, the UCL team expanded their research and conducted a larger, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Athauda told Healthline that patients treated with exenatide showed a reduced rate of decline compared with those who had taken a placebo.

He cautioned, however, that patients did not notice any difference in their quality of life.

Still, the findings show promise. UCL researchers would like to expand their research to include a larger group of participants across multiple centers.

Since Parkinsons disease progresses slowly, Athauda notes that longer-term studies could give a clearer idea of how exenatide works with these patients.

Overall, I think the results support accumulating data that this drug (and class of drugs) should be the subject of further investigation to assess their potential as a future therapy for Parkinsons disease, he wrote.

Using exenatide as a potential treatment for Parkinsons disease is an example of drug repurposing or repositioning, and is an important pathway to bring new treatments to patients in a timely and cost-effective manner, however it is an inexact science, wrote Athauda.

Exenatide has been FDA-approved for diabetes for years, and it has an excellent track record. But it does have some adverse side effects in people with Parkinsons. These are mostly gastrointestinal issues like nausea and constipation.

While we are optimistic about the results of our trial, there is more investigation to be done, and it will be a number of years before a new treatment could be approved and ready for use, said Athauda in a release.

The results of the UCL study show promise, but the road to clinical approval is a long one.

Using approved therapies for one condition to treat another, or drug repurposing, offers new avenues to speed Parkinsons therapeutic development, said Dr. Brian Fiske, senior vice president of research programs at MJFF, in a release. The results from the exenatide studies justify continued testing, but clinicians and patients are urged not to add exenatide to their regiments until more is known about their safety and impact on Parkinsons.

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