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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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

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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Even I – a supposed expert — have only scraps of information on this drug.

I remember a wonderful professor in medical school, who introduced me to her mother, who had some problems with dementia.  Mother had improved greatly, it seemed, in a loving homey institution on a medication called “Centrophenoxine” — which I have since learned is also called “meclophenoxate” or “Lucidryl.” Read more on Mostly Harmless “Smart Drug” — But No Endorsement (Yet)…

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