"For years mental health professionals taught people that they could be psychologically healthy without social support, that “unless you love yourself, no one else will love you.”…The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation"
Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. — “The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog” (via verthandi)
"During sleep, cells in the brain shrink by 60 percent, creating more space between the cells so the waste can be cleared better."
How sleep detoxes our brains. An interesting new research suggests that when you are awake, you are basically having a house party, and when you sleep, you are cleaning up afterwards. You can’t have both at the same time, and having too much of a party can be pretty harmful.  (via warston)

howstuffworks:

ucresearch:

Einstein’s Brain   (…and the neuroscientist who studied it)


Marian Diamond began her graduate work in 1948 and was the first female student in the department of anatomy at UC Berkeley.  The first thing she was asked to do when she got there was sew a cover for a large magnifying machine (?!?!?!?!).

"They didn’t know what to do with me because they weren’t used to having a woman. They thought I was there to get a husband. I was there to learn."

Such challenges were not uncommon. Years later she requested tissue samples of Albert Einstein’s brain from a pathologist in Missouri. He didn’t trust her.

"He wasn’t sure that I was a scientist. This is one thing that you have to face being a woman.  He didn’t think that I should be the one to be looking at Einstein’s brain."

Marian persisted for three years, calling him once every six months, and received four blocks of the physicist’s brain tissue (about the size of a sugar cube).  

Her research found that Einstein had twice as many glial cells as normal males — the discovery caused an international sensation as well as scientific criticism.  

What are glial cells?  Previously, scientists believe that neurons were responsible for thinking and glial cells were support cells in the brain.  Now Researchers believe the glial cells play a critical role in brain development, learning, memory, aging and disease.

Watch her popular course on Human Anatomy

Learn: How Albert Einstein’s Brain Worked 

Are we going to ignore that she’s teaching an empty class?

duskenpath:

zestydoesthings:

The Real Monsters are reborn! 

Upon getting so much attention for my previous designs, I wanted to redesign the monsters and develop the concept a little more. You’ll notice most of the monsters have subtle alterations and the descriptions have been changed to better reflect my original concepts.

Over the coming weeks I will release more (never seen before) monsters and will also release concept sketches and developmental work for each monster shown here- So stay tuned! (They may also be little animations…)

Disclaimer: The artwork is not at all intended to make light of these conditions but instead is intended to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance and make them appear more beatable as physical entities. 

All work (c)Toby Allen 2013

Reblogging again because the artist added the disclaimer that I think encapsulates what I got from the pieces and why I reblogged them.

(The anxiety one especially because a LOT of my anxiety is about time—I feel like I’m “losing time”, and I’m “on the clock” constantly—or that I’m “RUNNING OUT of time” or I only have so much time to fix shit. Idk it fucking speaks to me.)

smiliu:

[Article of Interest] Effect of Diagnostic Labeling
New study by Lorenza Magliano, John Read et al, in Psychiatry Research, (in press, 2013)
This study examines whether medical students’ views of treatments for ‘schizophrenia’ and of patients’ rights to be informed about their condition and their medication were influenced by diagnostic labeling and causal explanations and whether they differed over medical training.
Three hundred and eighty one Italian students attending their first or fifth/sixth year of medical studies read a vignette portraying someone who met diagnostic criteria for ‘schizophrenia’ and completed a self-report questionnaire.
The study found that labeling the case as ‘schizophrenia’ and naming heredity among its causes were associated with confidence in psychiatrists and psychiatric drugs. Naming psychological traumas among the causes was associated with confidence in psychologists and greater acknowledgment of users’ right to be informed about drugs.
Compared to first year students, those at their fifth/sixth-year of studies more strongly endorsed drugs, had less confidence in psychologists and family support, and were less keen to share information on drugs with patients.
These findings highlight that students’ beliefs vary during training and are significantly related to diagnostic labeling and belief in a biogenetic causal model.
Psychiatric curricula for medical students should include greater integration of psychological and medical aspects in clinical management of ‘schizophrenia’; more information on the psychosocial causes of mental health problems.

For more mental health news, Click Here to access the Serious Mental Illness Blog

smiliu:

[Article of Interest] Effect of Diagnostic Labeling

New study by Lorenza Magliano, John Read et al, in Psychiatry Research, (in press, 2013)

This study examines whether medical students’ views of treatments for ‘schizophrenia’ and of patients’ rights to be informed about their condition and their medication were influenced by diagnostic labeling and causal explanations and whether they differed over medical training.

Three hundred and eighty one Italian students attending their first or fifth/sixth year of medical studies read a vignette portraying someone who met diagnostic criteria for ‘schizophrenia’ and completed a self-report questionnaire.

The study found that labeling the case as ‘schizophrenia’ and naming heredity among its causes were associated with confidence in psychiatrists and psychiatric drugs. Naming psychological traumas among the causes was associated with confidence in psychologists and greater acknowledgment of users’ right to be informed about drugs.

Compared to first year students, those at their fifth/sixth-year of studies more strongly endorsed drugs, had less confidence in psychologists and family support, and were less keen to share information on drugs with patients.

These findings highlight that students’ beliefs vary during training and are significantly related to diagnostic labeling and belief in a biogenetic causal model.

Psychiatric curricula for medical students should include greater integration of psychological and medical aspects in clinical management of ‘schizophrenia’; more information on the psychosocial causes of mental health problems.




For more mental health news, 
Click Here to access the Serious Mental Illness Blog

psychhealth:

lifesigns:

New app for young Londoners, to help find mental health services in the capital. From Living Well, YoungMinds, NHS and @WellHappyApp

For my London followers!

whowasntthere:

My Illness Does Not Define Me

For a brief comic, I will warn that my personal experiences do not necessarily reflect every single case. I hope I made that clear in the first pages, but it’s possible I must say it plainly. After many letters of encouragement, support and trusting my friends and spouse, I thought it was in my best interests to post the comic finally. I know it’s going to have its ups and downs, but I trust that it might help some folks and give others a more basic understanding of such a misrepresented mental illness.

neuromorphogenesis:

Good vibrations: Mediating mood through brain ultrasound

University of Arizona researchers have found in a recent study that ultrasound waves applied to specific areas of the brain appear able to alter patients’ moods. The discovery has led the scientists to conduct further investigations with the hope that this technique could one day be used to treat conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Dr. Stuart Hameroff, professor emeritus of the UA’s departments of anesthesiology and psychology and director of the UA’s Center for Consciousness Studies, is lead author on the first clinical study of brain ultrasound, which was published in the journal Brain Stimulation.

Hameroff became interested in applying ultrasound to the human brain when he read about a study by colleague Jamie Tyler at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, who found physiological and behavioral effects in animals of ultrasound applied to the scalp, with the waves passing through the skull.

Hameroff knew that ultrasound vibrates in megahertz frequencies at about 10 million vibrations per second, and that microtubules, protein structures inside brain neurons linked to mood and consciousness, also resonate in megahertz frequencies. Hameroff proposed testing ultrasound treatment for mood on human brains.

"I said to my anesthesiology colleagues, ‘we should try this on chronic pain patient volunteers.’" His colleagues respectfully suggested he try it on himself, first. Hameroff acquiesced.

After 15 seconds with an ultrasound transducer, a standard ultrasound imaging device, placed against his head, Hameroff felt no effect.

"I put it down and said, ‘well, that’s not going to work,’" he said. “And then about a minute later I started to feel like I’d had a martini."

His mood was elevated for the next hour or two, Hameroff said. Aware that his experience could be a placebo effect, an imagined effect derived from his expectation to feel a change, Hameroff set out to properly test the treatment with a clinical trial.

With research committee and hospital approval, and patient informed consent, Hameroff and his colleagues applied transcranial ultrasound to 31 chronic pain patients at The University of Arizona Medical Center-South Campus, in a double blind study in which neither doctor nor subject knew if the ultrasound machine had been switched on or off.

Patients reported improvements in mood for up to 40 minutes following treatment with brain ultrasound, compared with no difference in mood when the machine was switched off. The researchers confirmed the patients’ subjective reports of increases in positive mood with a Visual Analog Mood Scale, or VAMS, a standardized objective mood scale often used in psychological studies.

"Encouraging!" Hameroff remarked. “We’re referring to transcranial ultrasound as ‘TUS,’" he added. “This was a pilot study that showed safety, and some efficacy, for clinical use of TUS," Hameroff said. “Because important structures called microtubules in all brain neurons vibrate in the ultrasound range, and help mediate mood and consciousness, TUS may benefit a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders."

The discovery may open the door to a possible range of new applications of ultrasound in medicine.

"We frequently use ultrasound in the operating room for imaging," said Hameroff. “It’s safe as long as you avoid excessive exposure and heating."

The mechanical waves, harmless at low intensities, penetrate the body’s tissues and bones, and an echo effect is used to generate images of anatomical structures such as fetuses in the womb, organs and blood vessels.

Additionally, the high-frequency vibrations of ultrasound, which far exceed the range of human hearing and are undetectable when passing through the body, may be more desirable than existing brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. Used to treat clinically depressed patients, TMS can have side effects including what some describe as an unpleasant sensation of magnetic waves moving through the head.

After finding promising preliminary results in chronic pain patients, Hameroff and his colleagues set out to discover whether transcranial ultrasound stimulation could improve mood in a larger group of healthy volunteer test subjects.

Jay Sanguinetti, a doctoral candidate in the department of psychology and his adviser John Allen, a UA distinguished professor of psychology, were intrigued by Hameroff’s idea of testing ultrasound.

They conducted a followup study of ultrasound on UA psychology student volunteers, recording vital signs such as heart rate and breath rate, and narrowed down the optimum treatment to 2 megahertz for 30 seconds as the most likely to produce a positive mood change in patients.

"With 2 megahertz those who were stimulated with ultrasound reported feeling ‘lighter,’ or ‘happier;’ a little more attentive, a little more focused and a general increase in well-being," Sanguinetti said.

Allen and Sanguinetti then began a double blind clinical trial to verify the statistical significance of their findings and to rule out any possibility of a placebo effect in their patients. Results of the trials are being analyzed, Sanguinetti said.

"What we think is happening is that the ultrasound is making the neurons a little bit more likely to fire in the parts of the brain involved with mood," thus stimulating the brain’s electrical activity and possibly leading to a change in how participants feel, Sanguinetti said.

The UA researchers are collaborating with the Silicon Valley-based company Neurotrek, which is developing a device that potentially could target specific regions of the brain with ultrasound bursts.

The UA researchers will work with a prototype of the Neurotrek device to test its efficacy and potential applications.

Said Sanguinetti: “The idea is that this device will be a wearable unit that noninvasively and safely interfaces with your brain using ultrasound to regulate neural activity.”