Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder which is characterized by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that result in worry and repetitive behaviors (compulsions) aimed at alleviating the anxiety. While most of us have run back into the house to check the stove was turned off, people suffering from OCD experience these thoughts more frequently, and to the point that it becomes alienating and all-consuming. But what causes it?
Migraine is a common, disabling, and highly prevalent disorder of neurovascular origin, leading to a diminished quality of life in both those affected and their relatives. It's not an uncommon disorder either, affecting between 12% and 15% in most populations. But what do we understand of migraine's genetic and non-genetic causes?
We don’t normally associate creativity with brain disease, but a recent paper published in Brain suggests that maybe we should. When we think of someone affected by a serious brain disorder, we imagine deterioration and loss of function, but a surprising new study shows that some people may actually develop artistic talent as a result of their brain disorder, and that in turn, their art can tell us about the nature of their brain disorder.
Barbara Arrowsmith-Young life's work has been a quest to develop programs that use the principles of neuroplasticity to strengthen underlying cognitive functions in the brain that impact learning. Today she can assess, and has programs to strengthen, 19 cognitive areas of potential learning dysfunction. In her book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: Stories of Transformation from the Frontier of Brain Science, she chronicle's the brain’s ability to change. Through the practical application of the principles of neuroplasticity -- simply put the brain’s ability to change as the result of mental exercise -- we can change the brain’s capacity to learn and to function and this can happen throughout the lifespan.