Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Brain & NPD, 2

Based on, I’m guessing, some of the ‘news items’ lately, I’ve been asked more questions about narcissism recently, including any role parenting might play in its development. A Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is one of several types of personality disorders, which are mental conditions characterized by traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways (a Mayo Clinic puts it). No surprise, this limits their ability to function effectively and successfully in relationships both personally and professionally. These individuals tend to have an inflated sense of their own importance, which includes a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. Their exhibited persona is that of ultra-confident behavior, but at its core it contains an extremely fragile sense of self-worth or self-esteem, which makes them vulnerable to the slightest perceived criticismreal or imagined—no matter how mild or deserving. More tomorrow.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Brain & Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Narcissism and the Brain

Several times I’ve been asked to speak on the topic of “Difficult Brains—Toxic Behaviors.” The goal, of course, is to help people recognize undesirable behaviors quickly. If it involves their own behaviors, they can choose to course correct. If it involve the behaviors of others, they can self-select strategies to protect themselves from at least some of the negative consequences. A parent contacted me and described his emotional pain related to a visit from his adult son. On the surface at least, what the father described fell into the category of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and the reported behaviors were pretty ugly. The son stated, among other things, "I do not have a happy life and it is all your fault. After all, you had me and I did not ask to be born, period. Certainly I did not ask to be born into this family!" It can be tough when the narcissist you know is a member of your own family or, for that matter, yourself. In the latter case, you do have the choice to course correct. More tomorrow.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dementia and Music

As with AIDS when it was discovered that dementia appeared to result when the HIV attacked glial cells in the brain (which then failed to care for the neurons that died from neglect), Alzheimer’s may be the outcome of an attack on the mitochondria. It is going to be interesting following this line of research. Recently, a friend of mine shared a youtube item about a 95 year old man who had developed dementia and had to be placed in a facility for individuals whose brains were damaged at that level. Although Alzheimer and other forms of dementia are believed to be a type of neurological brain disease, apparently they doesn’t necessarily wipe out all skills and abilities. This man was still able to play jazz! You may want to take a couple minutes and watch this. It brought tears to my heart . . .

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Alzheimer’s and Mitochondria, 2

As with almost anything in the human brain and body, the mitochondria can become damaged, which can result in their failing to create sufficient ATP. Studies have found that mitochondria damage and dysfunction can contribute to a host of human diseases including: include epilepsy, stroke, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Parkinson's disease, plus a variety of neurological diseases such as autism, dementia—and now it appears, Alzheimer’s. So the tangles and other identified abnormalities may be linked with mitochondrial dysfunction that sets up cells in some brains for Alzheimer’s (rather than being the result of Alzheimer’s disease itself). More tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alzheimer’s and Mitochondria

Enter the mitochondria. Referred to as ‘organelles,’ mitochondria are oblong or oval in shape and have a double membrane. Found in both animal and plant calls, the numbers of each within a cell varies. For example, mature red blood cells contain no mitochondria at all, likely because red blood cells need all the room possible in the cytoplasm (all the material inside a given cell outside the nucleus) for hemoglobin molecules that transport oxygen to the brain and body. Muscle cells may contain hundreds or thousands of mitochondria. Think of mitochondria as energy factories or energy generating plans, generating energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) a coenzyme that cells use for energy storage. Without sufficient ATP the brain and body tend to malfunction in some way or other. More tomorrow. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Alzheimer’s – Type 3 Diabetes

According to Samuel Cohen, here’s the bottom line: Alzheimer’s does not reflect normal aging. For most people it is not inevitable and the studies are encouraging. And what of the disease being called type 3 diabetes? A research study reported several years ago concluded that the term “type 3 diabetes” accurately reflects the fact that Alzheimer’s Disease or AD represents a form of diabetes that selectively involves the brain and has molecular and biochemical features that overlap with both type 1 diabetes mellitus and diabetes type 2. It appears to involve a form of insulin dysfunction. More tomorrow.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Alzheimer’s – a Disease

Recently I watched a TED talk by Samuel Cohen. He mentioned several things I found interesting. The term itself dates back 114 years to 1906 when a German physician and neuropathologist by the name of Dr. Alois Alzheimer presented a case history before a medical meeting. He discussed a 51-year-old woman (Auguste Deter) who suffered from a rare brain disorder. A brain autopsy identified the plaques and tangles that today characterize Alzheimer's disease. Currently 40 million people around the world are believed to have Alzheimer’s and by 2050 it is estimated that 150 million people worldwide will have that diagnoses. It is the most expensive disease currently, without hard data on how to prevent, cure, or slow down its progress. Good news comes from findings at the University of Cambridge, where scientists have been studying Alzheimer’s for the past ten years. More tomorrow.