Does awareness reside in the brain? – Dr. Michel Accad – May 2018
This is just strange: a brain scan showing hardly any brain in a person functioning normally.
…a report of a 44-year-old married man and father of 2, duly employed by the French postal service, who went to the hospital for evaluation of mild weakness.
Because he gave a history of having hydrocephalus as an infant, which was treated with a drain that was removed at age 14, the hospital staff thought it would be prudent to obtain a CT scan to investigate this minor weakness. Continue reading →
Under Pressure: Large Spinal Study Finds Intracranial Hypertension Common in ME/CFS – Health Rising by Cort Johnson | Dec 2019
This article explains how lax spinal joints in the neck can “kink” the vessels holding our cerebrospinal fluid produce common symptoms of Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and Hypermobility/EDS.
A couple of years ago, there was hardly any discussion of spinal issues in ME/CFS. It’s become clear, though, that spinal issues are present in some patients and can even, in some instances, produce virtually all the symptoms found in this disease.
From cerebral spinal fluid leaks, to spinal stenosis, to intracranial hypertension, to craniocervical instability, the spine is now of intense interest. Continue reading →
Brain imaging reveals dynamic changes caused by pain medicines | University of Michigan Health System – University of Michigan – 2013 (no longer available online in 2019. This is a repost with new relevance)
…the implication is that at least one factor in chronic pain can now be visualized by computer imaging. Pregabalin (Lyrica) soothes the insula, and the changes in insula activity and corresponding decreasing pain levels were made visible for the first time.
So far, we’ve only had static images of brains to compare those of people with chronic pain to those who are pain-free, but now we can compare the changes as they happen in a single individual. Continue reading →
Can Interoception Improve the Pragmatic Search for Biomarkers in Psychiatry? – free full-text /PMC4958623/ – Jul 2016
This is another one of the articles I found about the extreme interoceptive sensitivity of people with hypermobility/EDS and how it is linked to anxiety.
Disrupted interoception is a prominent feature of the diagnostic classification of several psychiatric disorders. To examine the degree to which the scientific community has recognized interoception as a construct of interest,
we identified and individually screened all articles published in the English language on interoception and associated root terms in Pubmed, Psychinfo, and ISI Web of Knowledge. Continue reading →
Neuroimaging and psychophysiological investigation of the link between anxiety, enhanced affective reactivity and interoception in people with joint hypermobility – May 2014
This study makes connections between the acute perception of our internal body states, which trigger excessive activation of our amygdala, with anxiety.
In lay terms, we are too sensitive and too responsive, thus unable to hold life’s rougher times at an arm’s distance. It’s as though we lack the protective barrier built into the “hardware” of most people to shield them from the extremes of their environment.
Objective: Anxiety is associated with increased physiological reactivity and also increased “interoceptive” sensitivity to such changes in internal bodily arousal. Continue reading →
What Are Important Ethical Implications of Using Facial Recognition Technology in Health Care? – AMA Journal of Ethics – Nicole Martinez-Martin, JD, PhD
Applications of facial recognition technology (FRT) in health care settings have been developed to identify and monitor patients as well as to diagnose genetic, medical, and behavioral conditions.
The use of FRT in health care suggests the importance of informed consent, data input and analysis quality, effective communication about incidental findings, and potential influence on patient-clinician relationships.
Privacy and data protection are thought to present challenges for the use of FRT for health applications. Continue reading →
Effective Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain in Humans Reverses Abnormal Brain Anatomy and Function | Journal of Neuroscience – Free full-text article – May 2011
Though also not new, this study is a follow up on an earlier post: Brain abnormalities are Consequence Not Cause of pain (2009). The article below contains dozens of links to further information.
Chronic pain is associated with reduced brain gray matter and impaired cognitive ability.
In this longitudinal study, we assessed whether neuroanatomical and functional abnormalities were reversible and dependent on treatment outcomes. Continue reading →
Neuroimaging for Chronic Pain: IASP Consensus Statement – by Tori Rodriguez, MA, LPC October 19, 2017 – repost of this critical article
health and disability insurance companies seek methods to confirm the pain status of beneficiaries to corroborate self-report, which is the current gold standard for pain assessment in clinical and research settings.
All parts of our health system (and its interface to the legal and financial systems) have difficulties with self-reported symptoms because they are all based on numerical values that are independently verifiable.
A blood test or x-ray taken by your doctor will not yield significant differences from the ones taken by your insurance company or lawyer, so these are seen as “factual evidence”. Continue reading →
Can brainwaves be detected in lime Jell-O – “Dear Cecil” – Jun 2010
The Jell-O brainwave researcher was neurologist Adrian Upton, who conducted pioneering work on the electroencephalography of gelatin desserts starting in the 1960s.
Upton wasn’t trying to be a wise guy — he wanted to make a serious point about brain death, which became a matter of critical importance once life-support equipment made it possible to keep a body functioning even though its owner had checked out.
This made me think that if a patient’s brainwaves are the same as lime Jell-O, they should probably be considered dead, but what about other flavors? Continue reading →
Scanning Dead Salmon in fMRI Machine Highlights Risk of Red Herrings – Wired.com – by Lexis Madrigal – Sep 2009
Here’s a humorous, but also dead serious (pardon the pun), study pointing out the HUGE problems with fMRI brain scans that supposedly tell us something about what we’re thinking or feeling.
Neuroscientist Craig Bennett purchased a whole Atlantic salmon, took it to a lab at Dartmouth, and put it into an fMRI machine used to study the brain. The beautiful fish was to be the lab’s test object as they worked out some new methods.
So, as the fish sat in the scanner, they showed it “a series of photographs depicting human individuals in social situations.” To maintain the rigor of the protocol (and perhaps because it was hilarious), the salmon, just like a human test subject, “was asked to determine what emotion the individual in the photo must have been experiencing.” Continue reading →