Brain Awareness Week promotional materials.

Ready, Set,…BAW. Gearing up for Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Week (BAW)—March 10-16—is less than two months away, and brain enthusiasts around the world are busy preparing for the excitement. From the skyscrapers of New York City to the Himalayas in Nepal, BAW partners, including hospitals, universities, schools, senior centers, and other institutions, are preparing for brain bees, brain fairs, brain accutane cost lectures, brain lab tours, brain dissections, brain art exhibits, brain performances and…you get the picture. Continue reading

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Ladies out of Luck: FDA Blocks “Female Viagra”

Guys who need it have Viagra; Ladies with the similar needs have nothing now that the FDA has denied approval of a new drug, flibanserin, which would treat sexual dysfunction in women. What’s interesting from a neuroscience perspective is how the drug works.  What’s interesting from a social perspective is how difficult it is to address this medical concern in women pharmacologically. Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Animal Research, by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Policymakers, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Wipe Out Fearful Memories

I’ll never forget it.  They strapped electrodes to my wrist, cranked up a black dial on a frightening electronic device encrusted with switches and knobs, and shocked me repeatedly with jolts of electricity.  Continue reading

Posted in by Douglas Fields, Learning and Memory, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Creativity, Madness and Drugs

San Diego–Would we have Poe’s Raven today if the tormented author had taken lithium to suppress his bipolar illness? Not likely, considering the high frequency of psychiatric illnesses among writers and artists concludes psychiatrist Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical School speaking this week at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. Madness electrifies the creative process Jamison concludes, but this difficult drug-use dilemma raises an even more provocative question: Would we have Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds had the Beatles not taken LSD?

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Posted in Addiction, Animal Research, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroethics, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Why Girls Are More Vulnerable to Maltreatment

Women suffer depression and anxiety disorders at higher rates than men; a new study finds an interesting new explanation for this.  Unwholesome family life can alter development of threat-detection circuits in the brain of young girls, which persist into adulthood and predispose women to developing mood and anxiety disorders as adolescents and young adults.  Boys are also negatively impacted by family stresses during childhood, but the lasting effects on their brain were seen in only one of two neural circuits controlling our response to threats, anxiety and fear.

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Posted in Addiction, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Caregivers, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Educators, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroeducation, Pregnancy and Parenting, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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To Kill a Crying Baby

Squeezing her hand over the toddler’s nose and mouth she smothered him to death because he would not stop crying.  Last Monday 22-year-old Jessica Fraraccio pleaded guilty in court to felony murder of 23-month-old Elijah Nealey in the summer of 2012.  No one in their right mind could conceive of committing such a horrible act, but babies are tragically killed or left severely brain damaged by shaken baby syndrome inflicted by a parent, family member, or caretaker frustrated by a child’s incessant crying. Dismissing those with depraved minds, how can we comprehend such sad stories as this one in the Washington Post?

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Posted in by Douglas Fields, Caregivers, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Educators, Mood, Neural Network Function, Pregnancy and Parenting, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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