Brain

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I found this one in the general plumbing of news that is the delight of the internet.

If someone in the U.K. thinks that DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is safe, then somebody is clearly worried that it is not.

Mosquitoes are very dangerous, and DEET is one of the most powerful ways we have to get rid of mosquitoes. Read more on Deet As An Insecticide…

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I don’t think we plan what our real specialties are going to be.

I frequently tell patients I am an expert on getting through menopause now that I have been able to come through my own relatively unscathed.

I became somewhat of an expert on Asperger’s because I diagnosed many elements of it in my father and just about all criteria in my brother.

They both carried additional diagnoses of bipolar (a.k.a. ‘manic-depressive’) illness.  Neither one was in any way typical.

Both surely had their problems in life.  My father was assisted considerably by his domineering mother who gave him lots — I mean lots — of direction.  She even helped him choose a wife — my mother — who took care of the things in life that were difficult or even impossible for him. Read more on From Sandy Hook to Santa Barbara — Asperger’s Syndrome And Violence…

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This thing might work for some.  Proof of its working is thin, but that tends to be a chronic problem with this kind of device.  The patients studied with Cefaly had migraines not over a few times a month. My patients — who use marijuana, generally of the sativa type — have the most intense migraine headaches I have ever seen or heard of and have them on a daily basis.  This is pretty amazing, since I worked for one year in a major Midwestern university headache clinic. The major questions are what causes migraine headaches, and whether this device indeed nips them in the bud. Read more on Cefaly, the Anti-Migraine Device…

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Waylon and Willie said it best.  “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to play football.”  Wait, maybe they said cowboys.

Actually, it was a soccer player who came to visit me regarding chronic pain of the knee and ankle on one side, from soccer injuries.  He was only semi-pro, but so loved the game he could not and would not stop playing.  I suggested marijuana balm, instead of just knocking himself out with smoking.  He did have to work at his customary job as some sort of electrician on most days and could not “medicate” with marijuana until he got home.  This produced some pretty painful days. Read more on When Will the Footballers Ever Learn About Concussion?…

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I don’t think I know anyone who can say they’ve never had a headache.  And some have them often enough that they’re given about as much attention as a hiccup or a sneeze.  But sometimes, a headache can be more than a headache.

I was in Minneapolis doing a rotation in neurology through a university headache clinic. A lot of people were referred through primary care physicians and some even from other neurologists.  They were strange headaches to them, but headaches that were frequently seen by these university neurologists in Minneapolis.

I remember seeing a professional football player who had cluster headaches with such intense pain that it brought him to tears.  There were many middle aged and older people, but there’s one girl I remember in particular. She was 23 years old and was given to me to see with no pre-screening. Read more on Headache or Tumor…

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Why can’t science be fun?

I mean, sure – I’d love to see cancer cures, and schizophrenia cures and even more on the promising telomeric theory of living forever.  But sometimes, we learn a lot of things that seem – if not useless, then inconsequential –and they prove invaluable later on in ways we can never predict.

Would you like to know in advance if a pop song is going to be a big hit?  I’m sure some people would.  Believe it or not, that has been the topic of recent research. Okay, so it is a small study.  Who would fund further research on this one? There is a certain part of the tender adolescent brain (remember, our brains don’t get completely myelinated until age 28.  That means we do not have all the fatty-insulation around the nerves to conduct impulses) that reacts in a very interesting way to music. Based mostly on animal studies, the ventral striatum seems to be associated with emotions that generate behavior.  This differentiates it from the dorsal striatum, which has mostly sensorimotor control.   Makes sense.  Although they are similar, these two different types of behavior are slightly different.  Sometimes we decide what we want to do by what we feel physically.  If it is too cold, we go for a jacket.  The sensory input probably goes through at least a couple of brain centers, like thermoregulation. Read more on Using Science To Predict Pop Music Hits…

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While taking my psychiatric training at the University of Kansas, Wichita – the so-called “Buckle of the Bible Belt,” I often saw patients who told me freely they did not think I could help them because I was of Jewish origin.

Most could deduce because of my name, and most were not shy about asking point-blank.  I had nothing to hide and was not ashamed. 

They would quiz me about my belief in Christ, and despite my protestations that a prescription pad looked pretty much non-sectarian to me, some would request/demand to see someone who was at least marginally a Christian. Read more on What About The Brain Of The Born-Again?…

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Full Disclosure – I don’t strictly spend my time-off at the opera or watching Masterpiece Theater or reading Proust in the original French.

Shaved head with Tetris blocks painted in

thanks to technabob.com

Oh, I do have a wonderful appreciation for doing such things, but I also spend some of my time playing Tetris.  Honest!

I won’t say I’m obsessive, but the game is really quite fun and challenging.  However, I actually met what I thought was the first “tetris psychosis” I had ever seen. The 43 year old bipolar actually told me he was addicted to Tetris. Read more on Tetris Psychosis — It Could Happen…

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Excuse me while I curse — “Oy vays mir!”

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer

That is a pretty mild ethnic expletive in Jewish language as cursing goes and the translation is something like “oh, woe is me.”

I’m sure you’ve heard worse elsewhere.  However, this is engrained deeply in the limbic — deep, reflexive — areas of my brain, I suppose, since sometimes I forget that there is nobody around me who could possibly understand it.   It does not call upon any real or imagined universal powers.  Yet my grandmother of blessed memory spoke it often, when she thought someone around her was being really stupid, and could potentially be harmful — like a butcher who had slaughtered her chicken incorrectly  and we maybe could end up with some bile in the preparation. So by hearing this, you can be assured that I have surely been secreting bile. Read more on Brain Cancer and Cell Phones (Or Not?)…

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The current litany is “The economy is bad and I need more money just to get by.” Patients tell me they are about to get evicted or starve to death.  I know nothing about benefits or their politics, except that governmental entities have no money either and this route is harder.

A lot of people seem to think that their lives would be better if they were plugged into a job that fit them as well as a plaster cast fits a fracture.  But instead, they usually tell me there are no jobs at all.  I try to slip in a little bit of useful advice, but obviously personal experience is limited.  I don’t even have a really good answer for the patients who say “you have a job.  Lucky you.  You can’t understand what I am going through.”

There are patients who amaze me with their resourcefulness.  Mostly, the manics or hypomanics; depressed people seem more likely to get “stuck.” Read more on Brainpower Helps In Hard Times…

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