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Complaining and the Brain – How “Bad Karma” Is Created

It is intuitive that a negative attitude and constant complaining are bad for us – but can it really affect our brain? It turns out that there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that negativity can alter our perception of life by changing the connection of the neurons in our brain. This would then […]

Trusted source? The Conversation tells migraine sufferers that child abuse may be at the root of their problems

Patients and family members face a challenge obtaining credible, evidence-based information about health conditions from the web. Migraine sufferers have a particularly acute need because their condition is often inadequately self-managed without access to best

The Myth of Human Adult Neurogenesis?

In a new paper that could prove explosive, Australian neuropathologists C. V. Dennis and colleagues report that they found very little evidence for adult neurogenesis in humans. In recent years, the idea that neurogenesis - the production of new neurons - occurs in specific regions of the adult brain has become widely accepted, and much discussed. Show More Summary

Cannabinoids Hold Promise for Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative condition and the most common form of dementia worldwide, accounting for around 70% of dementia cases. Deposition of the amyloid-beta (A-beta) peptide in the form of amyloid plaques is one of the hallmarks of the disease, occurring early in the development of this condition. As disease progresses, degenerative changes […]

Marketing Conspiracies and Conspiracy Marketing

A recent article by Spenser Davis details how Alex Jones uses his conspiracy mongering to sell conspiracy-themed supplements and products. This phenomenon goes way past Alex Jones. This meme from Destroyed by Science lists a few of the more popular websites that combine conspiracy theories and dubious supplements and other products. In my opinion, Jones […]

A Tougher Turing Test

In 1950 Alan Turing, as a thought experiment, considered a test for telling the difference between a human and an artificial intelligence (AI). If a person had an extensive conversation with the AI and could not tell them apart from a real person, then that would be a good indication that the AI had human-like […]

Nurturing The Brain – Part 10, Ketogenic Diets

Fasting has been used as a form of therapy for epilepsy throughout the history of medicine. But in 1921, Dr Woodyatt at Rush Medical College in Chicago observed that that there were a couple of ketone molecules that appeared in the blood of subjects undergoing starvation or low-carbohydrate/high-fat content diets, while Dr Wilder at the […]

A New Map of the Brain: What Does It Mean?

A new Nature paper has earned a lot of media attention, unusually given that it's a fairly technical and 'basic' piece of neuroscience. In the paper, researchers Matthew F. Glasser and colleagues present a new parcellation (or map) of...Show More Summary

Alzheimer's Disease: AAIC16 Annual Meeting (Toronto)

Alzheimer's Association International Conference (July 22-28, Toronto, Canada) has opened! Here is the homepage: AAIC16

How Does The Brain Organize Memories Across Time?

Research on the organization of our memory has long been a topic of fascination among neuroscientists given that this could lead to treatments for reversing cognitive impairments. Here, we review some recent findings on how memory is organized which show the importance of a coordinated “wave” of neuronal activity in spatial navigation, and the temporal […]

Does Race Exist?

Is Pluto a planet or a dwarf planet? Are these two categories even meaningful? The reality is that objects orbiting our sun occur on a continuum from asteroids to planetoids, dwarf planets, and full planets. Humans like to categorize, however. It helps us wrap our minds around complexity, gives us convenient labels to help sort […]

A New Twist on Some Old Brain Myths

1. We only use 4 to 5% of our brains.The usual ten percent myth is wrong, according to Brain Vizion. We have even more untapped potential waiting to be unlocked!Brain is the most complex organ in the human body & serves as the center of the nervous system. Show More Summary

Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Genuine mysteries in science are fascinating, and there is no shortage of them. Scientists love mysteries, because that is where the work is. Two of the biggest scientific mysteries of our generation have similar names – dark matter and dark energy. Their names imply the unknown. They are, in fact, place-holder concepts that are temporarily […]

An Ecological Model for Dysfunction

In previous essays, I’ve discussed a way to look at mental disorders, not as discrete medical entities, but as attempts to describe types or patterns of psychosocial problems. I’ve called these dysfunctions that can be placed on dimensions of dysfunction. Dimensions have no breaks between normal and abnormal, between sane and mentally ill; only more […]

Sexual Trauma, Rape, PTSD, and Suicide: A conversation with Katie Webb

Among Americans, rape is the trauma that is most likely to lead to PTSD. The medical profession is becoming increasingly aware that sexual trauma represents a serious medical and mental health concern. Several years ago,

Can Ultrasound Diagnose Autism?

A paper makes the remarkable claim that autism could be detected through the use of ultrasound to peer beneath the skull. This paper is from 2014, but it just came to my attention. The authors of the piece, James Jeffrey Bradstreet,Show More Summary

Best and Worst in Health and Healthcare – June 2016

In June, the beneficial effects of exercise were on the spotlight again, along with a few potentially effective new therapies. On the down side, there were a number of studies highlighting the negative side-effects of commonly used drugs. Here is the best and worst news of June. THE BEST Consensus on the effect of physical […]

Debunking Islamic Creationism

Adnan Oktar, who writes under the pen name of Harun Yahya, is an Islamic creationist. He has written several books and his articles now infect the interwebs. His arguments are essentially the same as Christian creationists, which raises the question of whether or not he developed them independently or he simply read Christian creationist texts. […]

Happy Birthday, Dr. Milner!

Tomorrow, the 15th of July, is the birthday of Dr. Brenda Milner. Happy birthday! Video interview: Video History of Medicine in Canada

Dimensions of Madness

In my previous essay, I characterized mental disorders as descriptive types that can be placed on dimensions of dysfunction. I called the result a dimensional typology. Now, I’ll discuss what I mean by this. The dimensions are the important things because they describe the broad categories of mental health problems that people can have and […]

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