Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Comments to All Science Articles

Psychiatry's Big Bang

Dopamine - Serotonin's Secret Weapon

Inside the Neuron

A Gene Odyssey

Solving the Mood Riddle

The Darwinian Challenge

A Brain Primer

Our Favorite Neurotransmitters

A Gene Primer


Gene Quest

The Cellular Bipolar Breakdown Lane

Inhibiting GSK3

The World According to DARRP

The Blood-Brain Barrier


  1. I think that neurons and neurobiology are still a relatively unknown area. I feel that we are more than just brains.
    Quantem mechanics revealed that reality is somewhat affected conscious observation.
    We observe and measure neurons and calculate action potentials..i.e neuronal communication and study the mechanics of the brain.
    By doing this we are altering probability fields and making a reality according to quantem mechanics. As you are aware action potential is driven by atoms and electrical dynamic energy which is something that has probability fields that are dampened via observation.
    Somethings cannot be measured correctly.

  2. I am optimistic and hopeful with the new areas of medications that could come from the cAMP-CREB areas of research. I have read that poor neural plasticity is somewhat involved in manic depression and that smaller synapses are noted in schizophrenia.
    These two identified points could be addressed with cAMP CREB the correct pharmacological input.
    It is amazing that it is only recently that the inner neurons are being studied as much as they are now.
    Nevertheless they are associated with long term memory and memory potentiality but I can see a great potential in this....Thankyou for pointing it out!

  3. Hi, G. I'm delighted someone is reading my Science articles. Re Heisenberg uncertainty principle - yes, definitely. The logo to my old website featured a Mandelbrot set image. We're living in chaos theory in search of order beyond the chaos.

    Re cAMP-CREB - yes, it is truly amazing our inner neurons are only just being investigated. I've heard two Nobel Prize winners (and got one autograph) and some of the people I've reported on are surely being considered for a free trip to Sweden.

  4. Re:
    The Cellular Bipolar Breakdown Lane
    Is the mitochondria responsible

    I am withdrawing from antidepressants cold turkey was not really my choice as I had become extremely ill taking meds for years and years. I have been diagnosed with a mitochodrial disorder and have talked to a few others who have this since quitting antidepressants.
    There are many drugs that cause mitochondrial damage two of the listed antidepressants I took cause it prozac and celexa.

    You can find the list here and check for yourself:

    Many in withdrawal are thinking it a fact that antidepressants cause bipolar disorder. As it seems to be a fequently recurring theme for many once treated with antidepressants to be diagnosed with bipolar when the meds reach tolerance or when they quit taking them. The reaction to both the above mimics bipolar. As we were told these drugs had no addictive qualities in the beginning we were not expecting the hell of withdrawal and were quit receptive when told our syptoms were actually bipolar. What I can tell you is many I have talked to seem to have healed completely from the effects of withdrawal it does however take the min of 2 years or the maximum of 7 years. First the drugs must be stopped not an easy thing many are doing a slow taper as withdrawal is so very painful.
    I don't know anything for sure except this the meds made me sick completely disabled. When I stopped listening to doctors and quit the meds I started to get better. The first year was a complete write off. The second is better but still not as well as I was before taking the meds. ps I had no mental disorder before taking my first antidepressant which was prozac I was given prozac as a pain med talk about off label it has cost a great deal good luck to you.

  5. Just a double paragraph repeat twice at the end of the Brain Primer article. Love your site!

  6. I just have to say that I read (with increasing astonishment) a member of the Nobel Committee DEFENDING their choice of Moniz! (an article published a year ago or so on the Nobel website.)! ! !
    psychiatric researcher
    in Sweden

  7. John,

    You are freakin awesome dude! *Finally* i have now read an article that actually bothers to embasket the usually-not-mentioned things I've been moaning about to doctors - "so if my dopamine circuits are all whacked and I just can't get out of bed or slof-slof over to the fridge to take my insulin because it seems like waaay too much trouble... howcome can i get really elated and inspired and motivated in an instant should this-or-that trigger happen during the day?" (Albeit back-to-N.A.F.I. (fyi this stands for No Ambition, F-all Interest, a great term we used to use at university to describe a frame of mind we sometimes encountered... maybe like the brow-beaten golfers in the article, the "what's the point" helpless state) when the "moment" (can be a 30-minutes moment, don't let words misguide you) is in the past). "There is either something yet-missing in the current model of this 'dopamine circuit' and/or, this medicine is stupidly (as in "Duh, but I don't know what else to do except this") inhibiting reuptake instead of treating faulty-trigger-circuits - or something like that, some other 'real cause'".


    ps John, as a journalist, how could one re-write this without the confusing parenthesis (plural and nested)??

  8. This is a great article. I figured all this stuff out on my own through simple experimentation and everyone I know just thinks I'm crazy when I tell them that the meds for anti depression are often triple bogey-7 compared to what we could be using.

    Even understanding the role of dopamine in depression allows you to increase dopamine in natural ways to reduce depressive symptoms and calm yourself in extreme episodes by having a warm bath for example, eating well ripened bananas and going for a walk.

  9. Is there any research about how various clinical aspects of mood disorders are inherited? I know, for example, that response to antidepressants sometimes runs in families. If a parent has a bipolar disorder type I, is able to stay well without significant symptoms between episodes, does this mean a child, if they inherit the disorder will have a similar presentation most likely? I know in some diseases children or relatives can have the same disease (and perhaps share the genetic or biological difference) but the course of illness is very different. Curious if anyone has looked at such patterns? Obviously environment is another mitigating factor in terms of what type of day to day existence the child of a parent with the same illness has...

  10. Just a personal insight .......Virginia experienced suicidal depressions ,blackouts (time losses without alcohol), "mood swings" and hearing voices etc.............her novels expose a constant jumping of "time' from past to present and dislocated............absolutely classic features of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Especially in view of her childhood abuse by Gerald Duckworth.
    Most DID folks don't have obvious "alters/people" like the famous Sybil , who is only representative of a florid 5% of sufferers. Most with DID are subtle, hidden, covert and present with symptoms just like Virginia.

  11. I agree fully. The combo I was on Fluoxetin and Wellbutrin is as close as I ever came to full rehab from Depression. Even my childhood friend stated that I was like before I fell ill (the age of 14). Fluoxetine took away the negatives (like permanent suicide ideation) and Wellbutrin actually made it possible for me to enjoy things. Though I just tried it 5 days due to the allergic reaction I got from them. By now I am totally sure Dopamine, eventually signaling to receptor D2 is what causes anhedonia and I guess that's why abilify works like it does. I tried methylphenidate at my own for some days to. I don't know if it did much to the anhedonia but it sure helped me with motivation.

    The only hope now seems to be Parnate, or if it's worth risking getting Tardive Dyskinesia Abilify..

  12. look at that
    theory:MONOAMINE theory of depression
    medication:SELECTIVE SEROTONIN reuptake inhibitor
    this is nonsense

  13. For some reason, the Chopin/Liszt article sent me to the "science" comments. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for it. I never played any Liszt (speed and technique were never my forte ... ha!) but Chopin has always felt like a kindred spirit. Playing Chopin, without fail, is an emotionally validating experience.

  14. The second article:

  15. i didnt read everything As i am currently at work. I work as a scientist mysefl incidentally. Besides these very interesting cross-cultural comparssions, there are also studies that prspoectively monitored patients within the US over time. interestingly they found much better outcomes for those that refrained from taking medication or ceased their use when compared to patients who used antipsychotics. An interesting observation is that antipsychotic medication is probably not widely avaialable in africa. Considering that the treatment of schizophrenia up until thise day consists mostly of medication that antagonizes dopamine in the brain, while it is known that the ' positive symptoms' are associated with local hyperdopaminergic funtion, whereas the ' negative' symptoms are associated wth local hypodopaminergic function it might actually be that it is actually our treatments wchich lead to chronicity of the horribleness that is schizophrenia.

  16. I was an accountant most of my working life. At age 49 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and before that was on SSRI's most of the time. The dopamine replacement therapy I have been on has wrecked havoc on my life. My only question is: how do I get my psychiatrist and neurologist to read your article?

  17. Great article.
    I hope the growing understanding of dopamine will hasten a cure for Parkinson's. If they could find a way to deliver dopamine to the substantia nigra, it could do the job. They nanno-deliver drugs to targeted sites for cancer. I wish they would research dopamine delivery.

  18. “Yes, antipsychotics work well in clearing up mania and psychosis, but often at the expense of making patients feel worse.”
    "Without adequate dopamine signaling, our patients do not feel "well." When dopamine systems are dysfunctional, patients seek a change. This may involve stopping a medication, such as antipsychotic drugs that block dopamine. "
    thank you for understanding this. Many psychiatrists do not understand this, and it seems so straightforward: dopamine is crucially involved in feelings of pleasure, cognition, and motor movements, and medications that block dopamine inhibit these functions, and yet it seems a mystery to them why people would not want to take them. How does someone smart enough to get through med school not understand this?
    "In the meantime, we are stuck with the low-tech solutions of considering easing off on antipsychotics doses and just saying no to (street) drugs. Maybe your psychiatrist can come up with some creative work-arounds, but first he or she needs to listen your concerns, really listen."
    thank you so much for understanding this, the meds we currently have are crude. we need better meds.

  19. Preventing endogenous dopamine degradation AND increasing intake of dopamine dietary precursors seems '''simple'' and straight forward... for those experiencing emotional neurasthenia and ''loss of fun''...

    dr. w. w. g.