Bipolar and Mental Illnesses are written about here. Written by a bipolar person themselves.

Posts tagged ‘brain’

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Area of brain linked to bipolar disorder pinpointed

Area of brain linked to bipolar disorder pinpointed


I have wondered for years what part of the brain can make you bipolar, or at least, what part of the brain is consistent with those who have bipolar? Being bipolar, I have always questioned what happened to my brain when I became diagnosed bipolar? Well I know now, trauma. Lots and lots of trauma. When I was in my 20’s, and being first diagnosed, I thought I was going crazy. I didn’t understand what was happening to my brain. It felt like it was changing, literally. It gave me headaches and worse. Well, yesterday a new article came out claiming that they pin pointed where in the brain is linked to bipolar. I have shown parts of the article, but to read the whole thing, go to the source at the bottom of the page. 


Summary: “A volume decrease in specific parts of the brain’s hippocampus — long identified as a hub of mood and memory processing — was linked to bipolar disorder in a new study.

“A volume decrease in specific parts of the brain’s hippocampus — long identified as a hub of mood and memory processing — was linked to bipolar disorder in a study led by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).”


“Our study is one of the first to locate possible damage of bipolar disorder in specific subfields within the hippocampus,” said Bo Cao, Ph.D., first and corresponding author and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “This is something that researchers have been trying to answer. The theory was that different subfields of the hippocampus may have different functions and may be affected differently in different mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and major depression disorder.”

“The research team used a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a state-of-the-art segmentation approach to discover differences in the volumes of subfields of the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped region in the brain. Subjects with bipolar disorder were compared to healthy subjects and subjects with major depressive disorder.”


“Researchers found that subjects with bipolar disorder had reduced volumes in subfield 4 of the cornu ammonis (CA), two cellular layers and the tail portion of hippocampus. The reduction was more severe in patients with bipolar I disorder than other mood disorders investigated.”

“Further, in patients with bipolar I disorder, the volumes of certain areas such as the right CA 1 decreased as the illness duration increased. Volumes of other CA areas and hippocampal tail were more reduced in subjects who had more manic episodes.”

  • The picture below shows hippocampal subfield measurements. 


Source: Sciencedaily.com

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Food for Depression

Food for Depression 



It is January, and now officially winter everywhere. Since I live in Florida, our cold is just arriving for its short while. During the winter months people are much more likely to become depressed. People can become depressed from the cold weather, the cloudy skies, staying warm with layers of clothes, your monotonous job. There are endless reasons why someone could get down and feel a little depressed. The good news is, there are so many ways to fight depression with food, eating the right kind. Here are two examples of foods to eat to feel less sad and lessen depression. 


If you are in need of a pick-me-up, or a mood booster, here are foods for a brighter mood. Boosting your mood can elavate you to another level. They can turn that frown upside down… if you let them. 


What is it in our bodies that keep us happy? Do you know? This chart shows what you need to eat to keep a happy brain. 


In our brains we have 4 chemicals that keep us regulated and happy. Without them, even having one low can cause you to feel fatigue and create anxiety, up to depression. So learn these four chemicals and feed your brain. 





Along side depression is stress and anxiety. There are so many foods that can help you ease your stress, and lessen anxiety. I have struggled with anxiety for over a decade now, and I have come to learn that I act nicer and feel happier when I have these foods in my body. 



So stay healthy and happy this winter season. Eat the right foods, supplements and vitamins, whatever it calls for to keep a happy brain, and help stay away from depression. Along with alleviating depression. 

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All About Your 7 Chakras

  

  • What is a Chakra?

“The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet.  This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.”

– See more at: 

Chakras

   
  

 

    

  • The Importance of the Main Chakras in the Body

These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow. Think of something as simple as your bathtub drain. If you allow too much hair to go into the drain, the bathtub will back up with water, stagnate and eventually bacteria and mold will grow. So is too with our bodies and the chakras. A bathtub is simple; it’s physical so the fix is easy.”
  

“Keeping a chakra open is a bit more of a challenge, but not so difficult when you have awareness. Since mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in one area will help bring the others back into balance. Take for example, a wife, who has recently lost her husband. She develops acute bronchitis, which remains in the chest, and then gets chest pains each time she coughs. The whole heart chakra is affected in this case. If she realizes the connection between the loss and the bronchitis, healing will occur much faster if she honors the grieving process and treats that as well as the physical ailment.”
  
Read the whole article to learn more:

What is a Chakra


  • The seven chakras are the centers in our bodies in which energy flows through.

Blocked energy in our seven chakras can often lead to illness, so it’s important to understand what each chakra represents and what we can do to keep this energy flowing freely. Here’s our quick summary:



1. Root Chakra — Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded

  • Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.
  • Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money and food.

  

   
 

2. Sacral Chakra — Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.

  • Location: Lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel and two inches in.
  • Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure and sexuality.

   

 

3. Solar Plexus Chakra — Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.

  • Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
  • Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem.

   

  
 

4. Heart Chakra — Our ability to love.

  • Location: Center of chest just above the heart.
  • Emotional issues: Love, joy and inner peace.

 

  

  

  
  

 
5. Throat Chakra — Our ability to communicate

  • Location: Throat.
  • Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings and the truth

  

   

 
   

6. Third Eye Chakra — Our ability to focus on and see the big picture.

  • Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra).
  • Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom and the ability to think and make decisions

   
   

 

  
 
  

7. Crown Chakra — The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.

  • Location: The very top of the head.
  • Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality and pure bliss.

  

  

  

  

 


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A Neuroscientist Explains What Happens To Your Brain When You Meditate

Source: Collective-Evolution   
“Meditation is becoming very popular lately. Perhaps it’s the anecdotal evidence friends are sharing with each other or the fact that more and more science is coming out to confirm the benefits of meditation that it’s encouraging people to take up the practice. Meditation has shown to decrease stress, increase happiness,quality of life, increase gray matter in the brain, making people more compassionate, lowering blood pressure, increasing memory and more. A great series of benefits from such a peaceful practice.”

  

“Meditation can be discouraging at times. It’s not easy to calm your mind, stop the thoughts and get into a space that is quiet. Since many of us, especially in western culture, are never taught to explore this practice at a young age it can be even harder to get into a quiet meditative space realizing that we are not our thoughts or mind. If you are discouraged you can get some tips here. If you are looking for some great ways to get into meditation, you can check these out.”
What Happens When You Meditate ? 
“A group of Harvard neuroscientists came together to study the benefits of meditation on the brain and how it affects mindfulness. Sara Lazar enrolled her team of 16 subjects in a 8 week mindfulness program to see if meditation, over a short period of time, could begin to create changes in lifestyle and the brain.”

  

“The subjects were given a 45 minute guided mindfulness exercise to be used daily and they were encouraged to do various daily activities with as much mindfulness as possible. On average the subjects performed about 27 minutes of mindfulness each day.”

  

“Britta Hölzel, the lead author on the paper says, “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.””

  
“One of the biggest things that happens to our brains when we meditate is that it stops processing so much information. Beta waves generally indicate a processing of information. When beta waves are decreased, we see a decrease in information processed. Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging, (MRI) we can see how and where beta waves are decreasing the most. This is indicated by the color changes in the image below.”

  

Taking things a little deeper, the following areas of the brain were affected by meditation in different ways.”


  • Frontal lobe

“This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-conscious awareness. During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.”

  

  • Parietal lobe

“This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. During meditation, activity in the parietal lobe slows down.”

  

  • Thalamus

“The gatekeeper for the senses, this organ focuses your attention by funneling some sensory data deeper into the brain and stopping other signals in their tracks. Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information to a trickle.”

  
  

  • Reticular formation

“As the brain’s sentry, this structure receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert, ready to respond. Meditating dials back the arousal signal.”

  
  

““This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.” Sarah Lazar Ph.D., the study’s senior author.”
Societal Benefits For The Bigger Picture

“When we begin to consider the benefits of meditation we can start to imagine how different our world might look if everyone, or even the majority of people began practicing meditation more regularly. Could an increase in mindfulness, happiness, care, and empathy for others make an impact on our world? How about reduced stress and better memory? As opposed to many of the practices we do in our society today, drinking, smoking, drug use, pharmaceuticals for EVERYTHING, television, which are all seen as generally acceptable, imagine if a portion of the time spent doing things destructive to our body and mind was replaced with meditation instead. What might the outcome look like?”

“Certainly some interesting things to ponder when you realize that many of the issues we see today in our world on a daily basis stem from a lack of mindfulness and a take over of egoic individuality where we lose sight of how our actions might affect others or how we can get caught up in taking things personally. For example, studies have shown that meditation makes people connect better with others and feel more compassionate towards them. Given how many of our daily and worldly challenges stem from seeing others as a problem to our own lives, isn’t it fair to say that suddenly seeing beyond these perceived perceptions and gaining a connection to others could instead create a more peaceful and joyous reality?”
“I feel that many of our worlds problems are not necessarily due to the structures around us presenting limitations but because the consciousness or mindset that acts as the foundation for our world is creating this experience. To change our world from the source, a change in mindset (consciousness or world view) would trigger a different understanding of how we could live and create our world. Instead of simply operating from belief and programming as we do today, we could strip that away and create from a space connected with our hearts and true selves, something I believe would drastically change our world.”

Want to learn more? Check out these articles: 

  1. This is Your Brain On Meditation
  2. Meditation Can Change the Brain
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ADHD and Traumatic Injuries

  

  • Study finds association between people who have had a traumatic brain injury, ADHD

   

“A new study has found a “significant association” between adults who have suffered a traumatic brain injury at some point in their lives and who also have attention deficit hyperactive disorder.”

  
“The data used in the adult study was collected by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Monitor, a continuous, cross-sectional telephone survey of almost 4,000 Ontario residents age 18 and older. Traumatic brain injury was described as any injury to the head that resulted in loss of consciousness for at least five minutes or overnight hospitalization. ADHD was measured by self-reported history of an ADHD diagnosis or the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale known as the ASRS.”

  
“Among adults with a history of TBI, 5.9 per cent reported having been diagnosed with ADHD in their lifetime and another 6.6 per cent screened positive for ADHD when the self-report scale was conducted during the phone survey.”

“Recent clinical studies have suggested a relationship between ADHD and TBI that were experienced in childhood.”

  

  
“”This is not be surprising because some of the most persistent consequences of TBI include ADHD-like symptoms, such as memory and attention impairment, deficits in executive functions such as planning and organization, processing consonants and vowels and impulsive behaviour,” Dr. Ilie said.”

“Other studies have suggested that TBI may lead to psycho-neurological changes that facilitate ADHD or ADHD may increase the probability that a person may fall or have another accident that will result in a TBI.”

“Traumatic brain injuries are increasing in developed countries. The World Health Organization has predicted that by 2020 TBI will become the third largest contributor of disease and disability in the world, following heart disease and depressions.”

  “Injuries from team sports such as hockey and football have been identified as the main source of TBI among youth, while falls and motor vehicle collisions are the main causes among adults.”
   
 

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Mapping Brain Abnormalities Tied to Teen Suicide

Ties to Teen Suicide

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“Researchers at Yale University have identified certain abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex and other related brain regions in young people who have attempted suicide.”

“The findings, recently presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology’s annual meeting, suggest that deficits in frontal systems may be linked to a greater risk for suicide attempts in teens with mood disorders.”

“Most suicide attempts occur in the presence of mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. About three to four percent of the U.S. population suffers from bipolar disorder, and 25-50 percent of those affected attempt suicide; 15-20 percent of individuals with the disorder die from suicide.”

“Researchers hope to find earlier intervention techniques, as suicidal behavior usually emerges in adolescence. The development of new interventions, however, would require a better understanding of how features of brain structure and function are linked to the development of suicidal behaviors.”

“For the study, the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to get a better look at the structure of the brain.”

“The Yale research team examined the brain structure and function of adolescents and young adults, aged 14 to 25 years. Sixty-eight participants with bipolar disorder, of whom 26 had attempted suicide, were compared with 45 healthy volunteers matched for age and gender.”

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“The findings reveal that, compared with healthy control subjects and also bipolar patients who did not attempt suicide, the suicidal young people displayed less integrity of white matter in key frontal brain systems, including the uncinate fasciculus, a fiber tract that connects the frontal lobe with key brain areas responsible for emotion, motivation, and memory.”

“Furthermore, the abnormalities in the structural connections were linked to weaker connections between the prefrontal cortex and amygdale.”

“This suggests that the dysfunction in white matter disrupts the ability of these system components to work together. There were also links between the circuitry deficits and thoughts of suicide, the number of suicide attempts and the relative mortality of those suicide attempts.”

“These findings are a significant first step in understanding the neurobiology of how suicidal thoughts and behaviors are generated and may aid in the development of targeted interventions to prevent suicide.”

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Which Organ Contains the Mind?

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https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140725115902-77858632-which-organ-contains-the-mind-3?_mSplash=1

“The organs and hence the body forgets to fall sick. The cells work on a momentum set by nature and outside factors do not interfere with skilled exchanges in the body.”

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