Memory

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If I had to pick a favorite neurotransmitter, I would have to pick acetylcholine (ACh).  As a matter of fact, I did. I ordered a custom-made necklace featuring my three favorite neurotransmitters – and ACh was the first in line.

The others?  Well, since you are interested — dopamine and serotonin.  And I always wear this necklace, these days.

Some ancient cultures have worshipped the herb rosemary as a symbol of memory. Me, I much prefer the molecule at my neck which, in addition to its well-known role at the neuromuscular end plate, where it translates neural impulses into motor contraction, is also essential for memory.

That teensy little nucleus basalis of Meynert, which looked kind of blue-gray when last I saw it on the front of a cadaver’s brainstem – and pretty faded when Alzheimer’s is present– has gone and given up a few of its secrets.

Let’s go to an epidemiologic mess, such as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and all of its subtypes and such, most of which I think are artifacts and do not exist — although (mostly untrained) adults often attribute them to children who annoy them.

A lot of these kids have anticholinerases (read: organophosphates ), originally meant for insecticides and Nazi nerve gases, inside them. Same with people with Alzheimer’s.

So I’m not just some “know-it-all” – I’m a one-woman  ACh fan club.  And this I swear on whatever Holy document you wish – I even dressed up as a Choline molecule TWICE for Halloween.  Once before I met my husband, and then again – because he wanted to see how cuddly a molecule could look –- again a few years ago.  He called me his “Choline Cutie.”

Of course, I was not built to scale – being somewhere near 300 lbs. when I dressed that way.  But the placement of the atoms was absolutely perfect.

ACh was the first neurotransmitter discovered – back in the 1920s — so I think it is about time it got recognition.

Anyone want to join the fan club?

Necklace featuring molecules of neurotransmitters

... or the psychopharmacology expert.

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Gail Sheehy, author of the groundbreaking book “Passages,” (and 15 subsequent spin-off books) is still using that way of looking at life to make a living. I certainly give her points for having figured out how to do that.

The reason is because one of the immutable laws they give you in marketing class is that it is essentially impossible to sell “prevention.” If you do not do “fill in the blank” something horrible will happen.

Something like illness.

memory lossWhen I thought I had diabetes (I don’t) and followed the directions I was given, I told my beloved husband — as well as my parents of blessed memory, who thought that since I was always thought of as a healthy and reliable one and couldn’t possibly be REALLY sick — that I would take good care of myself so that my old age would see me being strong. And comfortable. And of course, reliable to others.

That was when I really believed things that doctors told me., Especially the things that academic doctors told me. They were the people who had taught me, after all, be that in one country or another.

Read more on Cognitive Passages…

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The 94th Aero Squadron is my favorite restaurant in San Diego.  I have been surprised to learn it is some kind of a chain, with restaurants in the Los Angeles region and Ohio and God knows where else, but this does not matter to me.

I have had their luncheon buffets, where sometimes things that are supposed to be French are confused with Mexican things. I have visited their “artifacts” and decorations and I think they are poor historians, confusing World Wars I and II.  There is a vague notion of being part of the American military hanging around in France, enjoying things European, presentation that seems formal enough to a San Diego human that it is definitely European, and the opportunity to watch inept pilots take off and set down on a local airfield.

94th Aero Squadron with Dr. G and French FriendsNo, I am not sponsored by them — this is a free plug, and I’m hoping it guides others to experience the pleasures there. I did not say the food was extrordinary — although it is absolutely marvelous —  or had anything to do with why this is my favorite restaurant in San Diego.  It doesn’t.

It is my favorite because it plays into my personal story.  I do not think many people even collect or remember their personal stories, or know how those stories can enrich their lives.  I have been here before with a couple of friends. Today, a cherished friend (who happens to be from France), my husband, and someone who was my friend’s friend (visiting from France), who listened with a gaze akin to a deer in the headlights when I told my story. Read more on But Don’t Worry About Me ……

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