Mental Illness

Download Brave New Brain: Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of the by Nancy C. Andreasen PDF

By Nancy C. Andreasen

Nancy Andreasen, a number one neuroscientist who's additionally Editor-in-Chief of the celebrated American magazine of Psychiatry in addition to the winner of the illustrious nationwide Medal of technological know-how, bargains right here a state of the art examine what we all know concerning the human mind and the human genome--and indicates how those immense branches of data are coming jointly in a boldly bold attempt to overcome psychological ailment. Scientists this present day comprehend extra in regards to the mind than ever prior to, due to new imaging options and to discoveries in neuroscience and molecular biology. Andreasen provides us an interesting and readable description of ways all of it works, from the billions of neurons to the tiny thalamus to the ethical display screen in our prefrontal cortex. She additionally exhibits the development made in mapping the human genome, whose 30,000 to 40,000 genes are just about all lively within the mind. In possibly the main attention-grabbing part of the e-book, we learn gripping tales of the folk who enhance psychological ailment, the buddies and kin who percentage their affliction, the physicians who deal with them, and the scientists who examine them in order that larger remedies are available. This part covers 4 significant disorders--schizophrenia, manic melancholy, nervousness issues, and dementia--revealing what motives them, what occurs to the brain and mind, and the way the health problems are handled. ultimately, the publication exhibits how the robust instruments of genetics and neuroscience may be mixed in the course of the subsequent a long time to construct fitter brains and minds. Andreasen's bestselling The damaged Brain broke new floor within the public knowing of psychological sickness. Now, through revealing how combining genome mapping with mind mapping can liberate the mysteries of psychological affliction, she back bargains basic readers a remarkably clean standpoint on those devastating diseases--their nature, therapy, and attainable destiny prevention.

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Extra info for Brave New Brain: Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of the Genome

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A puritanical masochism may make us feel that human suffering should not be reduced so quickly—at least for diseases of the mind. We ought to rejoice that, as in the case of both Jim and his mother, the antidepressant medications worked miracles nearly as remarkable as those of antibiotics for infections. But instead we fret and worry that mental anguish should not be relieved so easily. Because we revere the mind so much, we have the sense that its illnesses must be treated with "deeper" techniques, such as psychotherapy, which work directly on the mind and its functions, such as feelings and 31 BROKEN BRAINS, TROUBLED MINDS memories.

This appears to occur through the multiplicity of psychotherapeutic techniques that are currently available—cognitive, psychodynamic, psychosocial, behavioral. But to the extent that these techniques are effective, they lead to changes in a "plastic brain," which learns new ways to respond and adapt that are then translated into changes in how the person feels, thinks, and behaves. Psychotherapy, sometimes denigrated as "just talk," is in its own way as "biological" as the use of drugs. " Because the medications were so obviously effective, this line of reasoning became increasingly difficult to defend.

Small concentrated islands of nerve cells also occur deep inside the brain, and these are called subcortical regions (regions below the cortex). White matter is called "white" because it looks much lighter than gray 43 THE BRAIN matter in both postmortem tissue and most MR images. Neurons are connected to one another by long "wires" that project out of them, called axons, which permit individual neurons to send messages back and forth to one another across relatively long distances. Although the neuronal cell body may perform the majority of the cells executive functions, most of the cell's total volume is in the axons—around 90%.

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