Category Archives: Brain

A side benefit?

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Holy smokes! I may have gotten a special advantage because of  a life-long problem I’ve had.

A little bit of context. I was born with a compromised respiratory system. Thanks to a mom who smoked non-stop from the time she was about 16 until she was almost 50. And, she only stopped then because I informed her she wouldn’t be coming to my wedding if she smoked another cigarette.

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Do you see the light?

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Sometimes, even your hoped for results astound you. Like, Dr. Hannah Iaccarino (MIT) found when she zapped a mouse with induced (but initial stages of) Alzheimer’s disease. The light caused brain wave induction (roughly 40 oscillations per second [Hz]). And, then she found that the toxic protein levels of amyloids halved.

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Eureka or Serendipity?

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Serendipity.   How trained minds recognize that something is different and, in so doing, solve a problem.  Yes, I know that is not the definition you will find in a dictionary, which claims it means:   the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.  Except the concept of serendipity universally occurs in science and technology, and my definition describes how it happens.

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The same- but different?

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So, yesterday, I described a meta-analytical study about ADHD. You recall that effecting a meta analysis means one examines data collected from various studies and attempts to see if there are correlative results among the studies. (See that word- correlative? Meta-analysis doesn’t really help to determine causation; it just lets one correlate large collections of data to see if there is a trend or factor that stands out.)

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Blame it on Cognitive Dissonance?

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This fake news phenomenon (this is the third and final installment of our current discussion; here are one and two) is related to the majority of folks’ inability to deal with cognitive dissonance.  The stress we feel when we are confronted with data that is (diametrically or less so) opposed to the strongly held beliefs and ideas that we harbor internally.  As such, we are more willing to accept fake news that doesn’t confront our beliefs- even if we suspect the “facts” have been uttered by Kelly Ann Conway (as in “alternative facts”).

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Still seeking the key to Parkinson’s treatment

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The other weekend, I was talking with a friend about Parkinson’s Disease.  One of our synagogue members is succumbing; during the discussion, my friend  mentioned that his mom also suffered from the ailment.  And, when I told him so did my grandfather, he mentioned how he was surprised that L-Dopa was the experimental treatment his mom tried- and that the doctor who was involved was at St. Barnabas in New York.  To which I replied, he meant Dr. Bill Cooper- which blew him away.  Because that was the name he was trying to draw up in his memory.  It was pretty clear that we must have crossed paths some 47 years ago.

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