Brain atrophy risks lowered with vitamin B
The rate of brain atrophy is lowered significantly in those receiving vitamin B treatment, Neuro-imaging has shown the brain shrinks about 0.5% per year in healthy elderly people. In Alzheimer’s disease the rate accelerates to 2.5% per year. Homocysteine is confirmed as a risk factor for brain atrophy and cognitive impairment, and dementia. Homocysteine can be lowered by giving B vitamins, which helps metabolize the homocysteine. Vitamin B treatment, lowers the homocystiene levels dropped 31%. PloSOne, September 1, 2010
Musicians have higher IQs
If you're a musician, you should be feeling pretty pleased with yourself. Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville found that professionally trained musicians have higher IQs and use their brain power more effectively than do their non-musical brethren.,
They also found that musicians use both the left and right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person, perhaps because they must be able to use both hands independently to play instruments. Musicians seem to have a more innovative way of processing the information that reflects the reality that creative thinking is part of their daily experience.
Again, another type of cell assumed to be just a passive player in human physiology, is noted to have a functional role in our complex behaviors . Glial cells, also called astrocytes, are now known to help control breathing. Calcium in these cells rise and polarize the neurons in the central respiratory centers of the brain. This occurs by the vascular release of ATP in neighboring glial cells in response to the fall in extracellular pH. In the brainstem. These glial cells sense changes in blood and brain CO2 and pH, and control the activities of our respirations and regulate our breathing.. Science July 30, 2010
Internet makes us shallow thinkers
Technology is the way in which intelligence drive social change. When the wheel was invented, our society became more sedentary resulting in our obesity epidemic, and reliance on oil which threatens global warming.
When writing was invented, it alters our thinking. The written word allowed physical creation of records rather than relying on memory. Information was stored and shared differently. No longer was it necessary to memorize all the songs or poems since they could be directly recorded on paper. To gain the maximum benefit from written words, people were forced to learn to read. This developed into a cognitive shift towards concentration and linguistic thought, necessary for reading. It aided us in cognition, a process leading to the high level of literacy we see today. With the invention of books, our minds achieved a higher state of consciousness.
With the development of the Internet, our way of thinking has been influenced. We don’t have to remember anything at al,l since we can google it or Wikipedia it. In a matter of seconds, information is on our doorstep. With instantaneous online access through blackberries and I-phones, the Internet has become a storehouse of human knowledge, where we can reach whatever and wherever we are.
It has also gave birth to a vibrant social component as Face book. Allowing us to maintain social groups that are far away from us and e-mailing and Skype being, this allows us to contact other people at a moment’s notice.
Yet there is no such thing as a free lunch. The volume of content that we access is increasing so rapidly, that it outstrips our ability for the brain to comprehend all of it. We can no longer engage in detailed and thoughtful analysis. This rapid expansion himof information has given us a superficial level of analysis. Our minds respond, by processing the immense stream of information in a very shallow way.
The Internet also influences our cognition. We make knowledge as accessible as possible, and deliver information with minimal effort. Search engines provide content and are experts in knowing what we really want. This allows them to put tailored advertisements on our searches. Unlike books, that emphasize concentration and discipline in thought, the Internet is creating a society that specializes in the superficial. We no longer are can engage in complex these thoughts. The Internet changes how we think and what we think. Source: science September 10, 2010
Five percent of U.S. adults suffer from major depression and over 495 of then don’t get relief from drugs or psychotherapy. The FDA just approved transcranial magnetic stimulation for those who have failed with other therapy. Only 245 improved with TMS but it is double the response to placebo. Patients don’t need anesthesia and stay awake. There is no memory loss nor confusion after these 40 minute treatments. Its made by Neuronetics fo Malvern Pa. Cost is now $6000 and is not covered by insurance
The brain, a universal computer
Neurons are covered with over 20,000 dendritic spines, Which are important to processing impulses. The spines are containers for calcium, which control the strength of the connections. These spines also serve an electrical function, even more important in processing incoming nerve signals. The amount of current is delivered through these denditric spines is inversely proportional to the length of the slender neck supporting ahead of the spine. Spines compartmentalize calcium to regulate synaptic strength. The spines help the cortex to work like an adding machine. The cortex is postulated as a universal computer, able to mobilize elementary math to accomplish complex thinking, remembering, and imaging.
ADHD runs in the family
Children with ADHD are 24 times more likely to have mothers who also the condition, and 5 times more likely to have fathers with ADHD. This leads to marital conflict and only adds stress to the child. Source: Tuscano, Univ.
who would you trust?
Would you trust someone sure of his opinion, or someone less confident. People with confidence, are usually trusted. But their judgments are not infallible. An analytical tool now called “signal detection theory” allows the separation of efficacy from bias. The person’s level of confidence distinguishes between his correct and incorrect responses. Those who made confident judgments, had higher gray matter and volume in their prefrontal parts of the brain/ On MRI scans, they also had a higher signal intensity in their brains . Awareness seems to arise when the brain recognizes the perceptual signal is strong rather than weak. Visual awareness also depends on these prefrontal regions. Science September 17.2010
How do we process information?
Your world is constantly changing and uncertain. You respond by weighing the potential rewards and the costs of different options before you make a choice.
We really don’t understand the steps by which information is changed and integrated. Science has been able to piece together how our nervous system detects sensory information as sights, tastes, and holders. We have no idea how we can take a piece of good information hold onto it for later use or combine it with other information. If behavioral choices help us survive. How these decision-making circuits are set in the brain is still being unraveled.
THE FAMILY THAT EATS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER
Mealtime -- from prep to cleanup as well as the actual eating part -- may help couples bond just as the family dinner has been shown to benefit kids. Major complaints of parents was balancing their work and time together. The tasks that surround mealtime, including preparing the food and cleaning up after the meal, can strengthen the relationship because of the additional shared time.
Couples who start out their marriages with such mealtime rituals are more likely to eat together when they do have children. Family dinners foster connectedness among members; teens are less likely to engage in risky behaviors; and children who eat with parents eat more healthy foods than kids who don’t have dinner with parents.
Source: Schramm, Columbie Mo.
Start talking to yourself- pep talk
talk to yourself in a kind and loving and caring but demanding and determined away. You are everything you can choose to be in an unlimited endless universe. To achieve your goal, tell your subconscious mind what is true and what is not. It will accept what you are telling it and act on it. The goal must state a fact that change has really already happened.
I no longer smoke and I don’t overeat. I do everything I have to do when I need to do it. My memory is so good I automatically remember anything that’s important to me. I am also a good listener and am aware of everything going on around me. I have the guts to state my opinions and take full responsibility for everything I say and do.
When I drive, I take enough time to get where I’m going. I always get there before the time I need to be there. When traffic lights change, I now relax while I am waiting. Slow-moving traffic lets me enjoy and organize my thoughts and think about the things that are good for me. I will get there when I get there.
Antidepressants and suicide
taking antidepressants does not increase your risk to commit suicide, Whether you take SSRI in here but yours or benzodiazepine. don’t read too much into this, since patients hospitalized because they are suicidal, become classified as psychiatric and a drug is not implicated. Drug-related suicidal thoughts occur quite soon after a patient starts taking an antidepressant. The big question is how often doctors recognize the suicidal link, not on how often it is happening. Journal of clinical psychiatry 8.10.10
Two Chinese schools had more PhDs graduate from U.S. schools than University of California, Berkley. South Korea, Cornell and University of Michigan followed them. Chinese students are attracted to study here. Thirty seven percent of doctorate recipients are not U.S. citizens. Berkley is still number one in undergraduates who earn PhDs. It is closely followed by Seoul and then China.
Source: Science 7.11.08
Dementia and general practitioners
Dementia will affect 80 million people around the world in 30 years. Most of our elderly are managed in primary care. People with dementia have three times higher mortality rates when they visit general practitioners than those without dementia. It seems general practitioners don’t recognize dementia early, miss the opportunities for early treatment, Have poor access to expertise in dementia care, are pressed for time, and don’t communicate with medical and community providers very well. We all want to reach 90, but we then have a 15 times greater chance of getting dementia.
Source BMJ 8.5.2010