Brain Blogging, Fortieth Editionby Shaheen E Lakhan, MD, PhD, MEd, MS | October 9, 2008
Welcome to the fortieth edition of Brain Blogging. In this round, we discuss how to beat the aging process, what really is cognition, fooling the doctors, and many more topics.
Remember, we review the latest blogs related to the brain and mind that go beyond the basic sciences into a more human and multidimensional perspective. If you were left out, just leave a comment with your blog entry. You can check our archive for every edition.
For future editions, please remember to submit your blog entries using the online submission form. We will do our best to review and include your entry! Enjoy your readings…
It’s All in the Mind…
Improved Lives writes How a Story Reversed the Aging Process:
Just a year ago, in 2007, Ellen Langer started a new experiment, this time with colleague Alia Crum. The researchers took various health measurements from a group of 84 hotel workers, and then split the group in two. They told one group that the physical exercise they were getting by cleaning hotel rooms satisfied the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle and the maids were given specific examples of how their work was actually exercise.
Providentia writes Fooling the Doctors:
Examples of medical fakery have been recorded as far back as Roman times, only the reasons for faking have changed. The same text on deception describes a number of other examples of faking by soldiers in the British army to secure a pension or otherwise escape being called into combat (PTSD was unknown in those days, only physical injuries were considered grounds for military discharge). Soldiers tried different ways to fool the army surgeons (often with helpful advice from family or friends). Substances used to fake symptoms included silver nitrate, large doses of tobacco, Spanish fly (which had more than one use), belladonna (for faking blindness), and assorted other herbal compounds.
Balanced Existence writes Are You Becoming Dumber?:
It seems to me almost beyond belief that companies would knowingly produce processed food that contain substances that actually reduce our ability to think logically and critically. It’s just too crazy. But it doesn’t end there. The names of common excitotoxins are well known. Mono-Sodium Glutamate (MSG) and Aspartame are just two names excitotoxins parade under. Other names include artificial sweetener, hydrogenised vegetable protein, yeast extract, and flavor enhancer.
Psypo writes Beware, Your Brain Is Being Hacked:
Even though mind is nothing but a property of brain, most often it work as a different entity. You can consider your brain as your computer hard disk where you save all the data and mind as the operating system (windows or linux, whatever it is). It is funny to note that even the operating system is stored in your hard disk as the mind is in the brain.
Highlight HEALTH writes The Cancer Genome Atlas Reports Molecular Characterization of Brain Tumors:
Investigators from seven cancer centers and research institutions across the U.S. integrated multiple types of data, including genetic mutations, gene expression, large-scale changes in chromosome number (amplification or deletion), epigenomics and clinical treatment. The scientists evaluated 206 biospecimens for DNA copy number, gene expression and DNA methylation (a chemical modification of DNA that reduces gene expression). Of these, 143 samples had matched normal peripheral blood DNA; 91 were selected for detection of somatic (meaning cells that differentiate into various tissues and organs, as opposed to germline cells (e.g. sperm and ova)) mutation in 601 selected genes. Eight genes were identified as significantly mutated, three of which were not previously reported for glioblastoma.
BoundlessMe writes Strategies for Dealing with Anxiety:
Exercise not only reduces anxiety but also prevents it by raising serotonin levels in the brain. WebMD explains the role of serotonin to relaying messages between areas in the brain. “This includes brain cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behavior.”
The BridgeMaker writes Seven Powerful Techniques to Ignite the Fire Inside:
Commitment means to lock-in to what you want and allow nothing to get in your way. When setbacks and obstacles happen (and they will) you need to reframe the circumstances until you see a solution and a path forward. Believe deep down in your soul, your gut, you are capable of seeing your dream realized.
Brain Health writes What is Cognition?:
Cognition literally means “to know”. Knowledge can be thought of as memories formed from the manipulation and assimilation of raw input , perceived via our senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.
Living Skillfully writes How Mind-Body Healing Works:
What this means is that I can sit in a room with you and talk – or you can even listen to a recording of me talking – and your cunning brain can translate (or, in Rossi’s term, “transduce”) the words into symbols, memories and emotions which, through your hypothalamus, can influence your body all the way down to the cellular level.
GrrlScientist writes The Bi | Polar Puzzle:
But why bother to diagnose bipolar disorder in children? Because it is devastating, that’s why. In short, this disorder can interfere with educating the child, prevent that child from being properly socialized (so they can reach adulthood without having had even one friend), and disrupt or completely destroy family dynamics, leaving everyone involved to struggle with deep, lifelong scars.
Still, recovery is a long process. Bob had six months of structured cognitive therapy focused on speech and languages areas, because that was the part of his brain that had been most damaged. The therapist identified the main tasks for him to work on in a challenging, yet familiar way, usually asking Bob, for example, to read the New York Times, then try to remember what he had read, and write a short essay on his thoughts and impressions.
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