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Like Wolfram Syndrome, hereditary hemochromatosis is an autosomal recessive condition. The person must inherit two mutated genes called HFE one from each parent.

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This type of the disorder is deemed responsible for sexual dysfunction in percent of men. They exhibit loss of libido and potency, and have high iron and low plasma levels of testosterone. However, in some cases, inheritance of only one mutated gene may eventually lead to significant iron accumulation. Although the majority of these people will never know that they carry the gene, some will begin to feel aches and pains and changes in energy and mood.

This condition is also thought to contribute to what is called treatment resistant mental disorders. A study by researchers David Feifel and Corinna Young Casey at the University of California in San Diego showed that 80 percent of people with treatment resistant bipolar disorder carried one gene and lacked a family history for this disorder. They estimated that one percent of psychiatric patients were likely candidates for iron overload. Common symptoms of hemochromatosis are fatigue, aches and pains, disorientation, confusion, and memory problems.

In these cases, the diagnosis is often missed for several years, as symptoms are mistaken for depression or dementia. Signs of the illness usually appear between ages 40 to 60, but some people show symptoms as early as Patients suffering from idiopathic hemochromatosis exhibit low plasma levels of testosterone with loss of libido and potency. It was Eugene Weinberg that was the first to look at the effect of iron in our bodies. He found that the presence of high iron could cause chronic inflammation.

Hemochromatosis causes inflammation in the liver, joints, heart, lungs, pancreas, and the brain, especially in the basal ganglia. This part of the brain is rich in dopamine, and in these cases, iron may cause damage to the dopamine system contributing to many neurological disorders, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

The gene is thought to accelerate the onset of Alzheimer's disease by five years. In the past, people with hemochromatosis usually did not survive past their forties or fifties. But as a result of better recognition and treatment, most people with the disorder now have normal life spans. This has resulted in another problem, iron overload in the central nervous system.

Bloodletting has been a treatment for this illness for centuries and is still the treatment of choice. Another treatment is chelation therapy. We now know that lowering iron is not only useful for hemochromatosis, but may actually be beneficial to the immune system. Infections need iron to survive. The human body contains many natural chelators.

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Mental symptoms of Wilson's disease. Wilson's Disease affects approximately 1 in 30, people worldwide, making it a rare disorder. However, it is estimated that at least half of the people with Wilson's Disease are never diagnosed, and therefore will suffer, and sometimes die, from the disease. Wilson's is a genetic disorder that causes the body to retain copper. The liver of a person who has the disease cannot release copper into bile as it should.

Over time, the copper reaches a toxic level and injures liver tissue. Eventually, this damage will result in high levels of copper in the bloodstream, which leads to damage in the kidneys, brain, and eyes. Untreated, high copper will eventually cause liver failure and brain damage. Wilson's Disease occurs equally in men and women. Although some cases of Wilson's Disease can occur due to spontaneous genetic mutation, most cases are transmitted from generation-to-generation. The responsible gene is called ATP7B and is located on chromosome In order to inherit the disease, both parents must carry the gene.

Siblings of Wilson's Disease patients have a one-in-four chance of having the disease. Since both of a siblings' parents are carriers, one-fourth of the siblings' children have the disease, one-half are carriers, and one-fourth are disease-free and carry no Wilson's Disease gene. A child of a Wilson's Disease patient has a percent chance of getting one abnormal gene. The patient's spouse has a one-in-one-hundred chance of carrying the abnormal Wilson's Disease gene, and half the time, he or she will pass it on.

For this reason, all siblings and children of Wilson's Disease patients should be tested for Wilson's Disease. Other relatives who have had symptoms or laboratory tests that indicate liver or neurological disease also should also be tested. Because Wilson's Disease is often mistaken for other maladies such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or psychiatric problems, medical specialists estimate that only about one thousand cases per year are ever diagnosed.

In the early stages of the disease, especially when psychological symptoms occur, the diagnosis is often missed. The delay between symptoms and diagnosis ranged from one to five years. Depression sometimes leading to suicidal ideation and suicide attempts is common. Deteriorating academic and work performance is present in almost all patients.

Interestingly, many Wilson's Disease patients exhibit increased sexual preoccupation and reduced sexual inhibition. It is also linked with pedophilia. A barrier to the diagnosis of Wilson's Disease is that most patients have no family history of it. Because both parents must carry the gene to manifest the disorder, people with only one abnormal gene usually have no symptoms, or may have mild, but medically insignificant, abnormalities of copper metabolism, and do not become ill. People with Wilson's Disease may not have any outward signs, symptoms, or evidence of illness.

However, people with mild or non-apparent Wilson's Disease will become seriously ill and eventually die if they are not treated. Diagnoses are usually made by blood and liver tests. Chelation therapy is commonly used as treatment. Doctors will also recommend avoiding foods high in copper such as liver, shellfish, mushrooms, nuts, chocolate, dried fruit, dried peas, beans and lentils, avocados, and bran.

Scientists believe the XXY condition is one of the most common chromosome abnormalities in humans. About one of every five hundred males has an extra X chromosome, but many have no symptoms. It is likely that about 60 percent of the cases are undiagnosed. Symptoms depend on how many XXY cells a man has, how much testosterone is in his body, and his age when the condition is diagnosed.

Children with this condition will often exhibit attention deficit disorder. The syndrome is normally diagnosed during puberty. At this age, those with Klinefelter's Syndrome often have less facial and body hair and may be less muscular than other boys. They are often shy and have trouble fitting in with peers. Mature men with this syndrome have several distinguishing characteristics, such as tall stature, long arms and legs, lanky build, feminized physique, little chest hair, female-patterned pubic hair, testicular atrophy, hypogonadism, osteoporosis, breast development, and low levels of testosterone.

The low testosterone accounts for the lack of development of male secondary sex characteristics. They may be infertile and are more likely to have certain health problems, such as autoimmune disorders, breast cancer, vein diseases, osteoporosis, and tooth decay. Behaviorally, they exhibit reduced aggression and lack of exploratory behavior. They also have trouble using language to express their thoughts and needs, but experience increased levels of emotional arousal.

Problems with reading, trouble processing what they hear, emotional instability, and anorexia nervosa may occur. The main treatment is for this syndrome is testosterone. It has long been known that certain families show tendencies for hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. What is not usually known is that members of such families are also prone to other conditions including insulin-dependent diabetes, pernicious anemia lack of vitamin B12 , premature gray hair, vitiligo white spots on the skin , arthritis, and allergic conditions, including asthma, hives, and hay fever.

There is also an increased tendency for members of these families to have various types of perceptual learning problems and dyslexia. Researcher Lawrence Wood suspects this relationship is missed because women in the family tend to get thyroid problems, while predominantly the men in the family have learning problems, but are seldom seen by family physicians.

See more on thyroid later in this document. DNA is found in every cell of the body. Another type is found in a part of the cell called mitochondria. DNA in the mitochondria, therefore, identifies maternal risk factors of medical and mental illnesses. Mitochondria are specialized organelles found in every cell of your body, except red blood cells.

There are approximately 1, mitochondria in each human cell. They are vital to the production of cellular energy. In fact mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90 percent of the energy needed by the body to sustain health. Inside the mitochondria, ingested sugar is broken down in the body by a process known as glycolosis , which changes glucose to a compound called adenosine triphosphate ATP , which is then converted in to pyruvate.

The pyruvate next delivered to tiny mitochondria. When this system fails, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell malfunction, and even cell death, may follow. Diseases of the mitochondria appear to cause the most damage to cells of the brain. Mitochondria damage contributes to developmental delay, mental retardation, autism, dementia, seizures, atypical cerebral palsy, atypical migraines, stroke and stroke-like events, and other psychiatric disturbances.

In early , researchers Kato Tadafumi and Kato Nobumasa at the University in Tokyo proposed a mitochondrial dysfunction hypothesis for bipolar disorder. Postmortem tissue samples extracted from the hippocampi of the brains of nine individuals with bipolar disorder showed significant mitochondrial depletion. A search for mutant mitochondrial DNA in the tissue samples revealed two suspect genes.

A Cleveland Clinic survey of 38 outpatients with mitochondrial diseases found 70 percent met the criteria for major mental illness, including 54 percent with lifetime depression, 17 percent with lifetime bipolar, 11 percent with lifetime panic, and 11 percent with current generalized anxiety.

On average, the mitochondrial disease was diagnosed about four years after the onset of psychiatric symptoms, and 14 years after a physician was seen for diagnoses. Genetic testing has helped significantly in identifying mitochondrial risk factors. Out of our 30, genes, only two percent of deoxyribonucleic acid DNA codes for proteins. These genes were considered to be the byproduct of millions of years of evolution — genes were still inherited but were no longer used. Recently, however, scientists have discovered that some of this junk DNA actually switches on RNA that interacts with other genes.

The field of research of these phenomena is epigenetics. Epigenetics is the science of turning genes on- and-off with nutrients and other chemicals, resulting in changes of expression of those genes. The process of suppressing and enhancing genes is called methylation, a chemical process that, among other things, aids in the transcription of DNA to RNA and is believed to defend the genome against parasitic genetic elements called transposons.

Transposons are spans of DNA that — through a process called transposition — can actually move to different positions within the genome of a cell. Transposition was first observed by researcher Barbara McClintock; this discovery earned her a Nobel Prize in More fascinating is the finding that these mutations may be inherited by children. Environmental toxins have been shown to alter the activity of genes through at least four generations after exposure. For example, women who smoke while pregnant double the risk of asthma in their grandchildren.

For this reason, no two brains are alike, including those of identical twins. It is thought that about 40 percent of our genes can be modified epigenetically. Although identical twins share the same DNA, their epigenetic material can be different. Moreover, the older the twins become, the more discrepancies will occur in their DNA. Fifty-year-old twins have four times as many differentially expressed genes than three-year-old twins. Even more interesting is the discovery that genes are regulated by maternal care. Thus far, at least nine hundred genes can be altered by maternal care.

For example, the presence of a variation in the monoamine oxidase A gene MAO-A combined with maltreatment predicts antisocial behavior. In mid, researcher Moshe Szyf at McGill University reported that commonly-used pharmaceutical drugs can cause such persistent epigenetic changes. Szyf and his co-author Antonei Csoka posit that drug-induced diseases, such as tardive dyskinesia and drug-induced lupus, are epigenetic in nature.

More about Lupus below. They also propose that epigenetic changes from pharmaceuticals may be involved in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, infertility and sexual dysfunctions, as well as neurological and cognitive disorders. Smoking can cause changes in gene function. As stated earlier, there is compelling evidence that prenatal smoking increases the incidence and severity of ADHD. The risk of a severe type of ADHD greatly increases in children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy and who also have variants of one or two genes associated with ADHD — one on chromosome 11 and the second on chromosome 5.

Interestingly, even children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy who didn't fit all of the criteria for ADHD had more symptoms of the disorder. This was true if they had been exposed to cigarette use in utero or had genetic variations related to risk. The early human embryo consists of three cell layers: the mesoderm, endoderm, and ectoderm.

The mesoderm forms muscle and bone. The endoderm creates the cells lining the digestive and respiratory system. The ectoderm forms the skin, hair, fingernails, olfactory system, and neural cells, including the brain. This is intriguing, since people with hair, skin, nail, and olfactory problems seem to be more prone to mental disorders, which will be discussed later. The brain begins from a miniscule layer of tissue called the neural plate. As the fetus continues to grow, there is neuronal migration up the plate to the head. The average human baby generates an astonishing 50, neurons per second during gestation.

In the developed brain, there are two essential types of cells — neurons and glia. The word glia is derived from the Greek word for glue. Although we usually think of neuron problems when we look at mental disorders, 90 percent of brain cells are glial cells; only 10 percent are neurons.

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Unlike many neurons, glial cells are able to divide and reproduce rapidly. Glial cells surround neurons and hold them in place, supply nutrients and oxygen to neurons, insulate one neuron from another, and remove dead neurons. University of California at Berkeley professor Marian Diamond has been one of the pioneers of the theory that an enriched environment increases brain function. Years ago, Dr.

It had long been thought that glial cells were protectors of neurons. This suggests that that the environment in the early years sculpts the brain. Astrocytes are a type of glial cell that surround the synapses between neurons. It appears that a dearth of these cells plays a part in mental illness. Postmortem studies on human brains of individuals with major depression or bipolar disorder have detected significantly lower than normal levels of glial cells.

A reduction in the number of glial cells in the prefrontal cortex has been observed in people who are clinically depressed. There are alterations of glial cells in schizophrenia. The function of astrocytes is to supply neurons with energy, meaning a low astrocyte level would cause lower activity in the associated neurons.

Sodium valproate is a sodium salt of valproic acid used in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and a mood stabilizer. Valproic acid protects dopaminergic neurons in midbrain neuron and glia cultures by stimulating the release of neurotrophic factors from astrocytes. Researcher Serge Przedborski, the co-director of the Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease, has found that astrocytes with a mutated form of a gene, superoxide dismutase called SOD1 , kill neurons, which eventually is seen as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Research presented at the Second World Congress on the Fetal Origins of Adult Diseases suggests that osteoporosis may actually begin in the womb. If a baby is undernourished, she will be small at birth, will be small at the first year, will often have low bone mass at 25, and will have a high probability of bone trauma at 70 and a high probability of hip fractures at Low bone mass is also linked to schizophrenia, depression, and other mental problems.

Scientists now believe that many disorders — including mental disorders — have their origins in the early stages of life. For example, low birth weight is correlated with depression after puberty. Low birth weight was not the only cause but increased the risk effects of other adversities, such as child abuse. The volume of the human brain increases more during the first year of life than at any other time; therefore, early physical health plays a part in brain development.

Researcher JWB Douglas found that children who had at least one admission to the hospital for more than a week's duration, or who had repeated hospital admissions before the age of five years, had significantly increased risk of behavior disturbance and poor reading in adolescence. The children were more troublesome in school and at home, and more likely to be delinquent in school. As adults, they were prone to show unstable job patterns than those who were not hospitalized in their first five years.

Although this type of historical data would be most helpful in making a diagnosis, it is rarely sought in an intake interview. Besides early illness, early nutrition also has lasting consequences. During the early years, nutrition is allocated in ways that give the child the best chance in early life, sometimes at the expense of later years.

In the era of the Baby Boomers, formula was considered by many doctors as superior to breast milk. Most baby boomers were bottle fed babies. In one study, premature babies fed only standard-formula milk had noticeably lower IQs at school age than breast-fed infants, and they were particularly bad at mathematics. A small area of their left parietal lobe was less active than expected. The developmental phenomenon called programming allows a fetus to adapt to sub-optimal conditions, such as malnutrition.

In some cases, this can have an effect on brain development which could be the precursor to a mental disorder later in life. There are sensitive periods for growth; if not exposed to environment at the proper time, brain development is altered. For example, language is acquired in the first few years of life. Neural Pruning is the deletion of cells. Over one-third of the neurons in the cerebral cortex are eliminated in the first three years. At six months, babies can differentiate human and non-human faces, such as monkey faces, but by nine months, they lose this ability to discriminate monkey faces.

Since the monkey face discrimination is not needed, it is deleted. Some researchers believe that pruning is also responsible for dementia. The theory is that, late in life, the pruning system is turned on and cells begin to be deleted. Cortical migration and neuron proliferation are complete at five and twelve months of age, respectively, while myelination is only 50 percent complete at eighteen months after birth. Seventy-five percent of human brain growth occurs during the first two years; the remaining 25 percent is not completed until adulthood.

Brain size in the newborn is proportionately greater than in adults. The newborn brain weighs one-third of an adult brain, while the newborn weighs only four percent as much as the average adult. The blood-brain barrier, which restricts the penetration of toxins to the brain, is not fully developed in humans until about one year of age. It is not known when the barrier becomes fully functional. Connections in the visual system are not fully achieved until three or four years of age. Brain development differs between boys and girls, with girls generally reaching peak gray matter thickness one to two years earlier than boys.

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Breastfeeding significantly decreases the risk of cognitive and behavioral problems. In full-term infants, increasing the duration of breastfeeding more than eight months is associated with consistent and statistically significant increases in IQ assessed at ages eight and nine reading comprehension, mathematical ability, and scholastic ability assessed at ages ten to thirteen.

While I am not suggesting that you measure the head of you clients, head size does correlate with mental function. It has long been noticed that head size is correlated with intelligence. Larger head size is related to higher tests scores in global cognitive functioning and speed of information processing. These observations are not confounded by educational level, socioeconomic background, or height. People with small head size defined as less than However, large head size is also correlated with social spectrum disorders.

There is also a correlation between small head size and schizophrenia. There are other issues - political issues, gender issues - that people need to be educated about. Humans tend to identify themselves as male or female. But, in fact, gender identity is a continuum. Researcher Simon Baron-Cohen states in his book, Prenatal Testosterone in Mind, that the default fetal brain structure is female. In a male fetus, testosterone is released at the seventh week, which changes the brain structure to that of a male.

How and when this occurs may play a part in gender behavior and identity. Several studies suggest that gay men are more likely than either lesbians or heterosexual men to have older brothers, but not older sisters. Researchers Gualtieri and Hicks posit that this may occur because of a maternal immunization effect. A mother carrying her first son has very little exposure to the proteins he is making because of the placental barrier. Her immune system responds to these proteins, and subsequent sons will be exposed, via active transport across the placenta, to antibodies directed against male-specific proteins, which then perturb development of the younger son.

This decreases birth weight and affects the events that masculinize the brain. I have never been married, and therefore is seems clear that I should do so now. Clinical empathy is an essential requirement for effective psychotherapy. It is the way we bond with our clients and it is also the way we assess the level and depth of their suffering.

Empathy is hard-wired in the brain. It is one of the fundamental traits in pair bonding. Therefore, the brain has multiple circuits for understanding the emotional state of others. Human brains are remarkably alike. They all contain cerebral hemispheres, a corpus collosum , white matter, and other structures that mediate behavior, thought, and mood. Subtle architectural changes, however, can have a profound change in these capacities. Research suggests that the default genetic blueprint of a human brain is a right-handed female.

At the seventh week of gestation, the male fetus begins to secrete testosterone, and this lateralizes the brain. Among the changes from female to male architecture is the pruning of the corpus collosum. Savants — people who often have remarkable abilities with memory, math and music — frequently have a significantly smaller corpa collosa. Autism is one of the most heritable mental disorders. If one identical twin has it, there is a 90 percent probability that the other will also have the disorder. If one child in a family has autism, siblings have a times greater-than-normal risk of symptoms.

Relatives of children with autism spectrum disorders are at a higher risk of having mild development impairments, including language delays and impairments in social skills and social gestures, and are more likely to exhibit attention deficit disorders. People exhibiting alexithymia have a difficult time speaking about, or even being aware, of their feelings.

See the skin and hair sections below. Feelings are often seen as bothersome or useless. People with these traits are often depicted by family and friends as cold, distant, and nonassertive. Research suggests that alexithymia often acts as a trigger for many medical and psychiatric disorders. This also contributes to marriage and family problems. Spouses and family will often complain that the person is cold, aloof, and non-caring. This state of being seems to be hardwired early on in brain development.

Researchers suggest that this deficit is in part caused by a smaller corpus collosum, the part of the brain that connects the left and right hemispheres. In the developing brain, the right hemisphere is dominant for the first three years of life. This hemisphere modulates primitive emotions, emotional perception, and nonverbal communication. Researcher and author Alan Schore believes that attachment makes possible the emergence of affect regulation, located in the right orbital prefrontal area, but others believe the predisposition for this is hard wired.

Von Economo neurons discovered by researcher Constantin von Economo thus far have only been found in humans, the great apes, humpback whales, fin whales, killer whales, sperm whales, and African and Asian elephants. These neurons are found in the human insular cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex — both areas of the brain that mediate intuition, humor, trust, empathy, mood, pain, and what researchers call theory of mind. People with deficits in the corpus collosum tend to have low counts of these neurons. The mirror neurons of many children with autism spectrum disorders respond only to their own movement.

From to , the California State Department of Developmental Services reported a percent increase in autistic disorders, while the state population grew only 19 percent. The increase did include cases of high-functioning autism or Asperger's. Most humans are right-hand dominant, but there are a growing number who are not right-handed. Being right- or left-handed is partially determined by genetics.

If a person inherits the gene for right-handedness, that person will be right-handed. But those who do not have the gene may be either left- or right-handed. There is no specific gene for left-handedness. If identical twins carry the right-hand gene, both will be right-handed. But if they lack the gene, one twin may be right-handed, while the other may be left-handed. Currently, approximately 13 percent of the population is left-handed.

Generally, males are three times more likely to be left-handed than females. Several studies report that gay people have a 39 percent probability of being left-handed, although there is still controversy about these findings. People who can use both hands equally well are ambidextrous. True ambidexterity is rare. Many left-handed people have a penchant for mathematics and the sciences. Members of Mensa, the high IQ club, also have a far higher than normal incidence of allergies. Left-handedness has also long been coupled with mental disorders. There is a higher rate of depression in left-handed people.

A study found that in children with developmental coordinational disorder, 31 percent were left-handed, and 13 percent were mixed dominant. Being "a lefty" is also correlated with social anxiety, shyness, and embarrassment. In general, left-handers are also known to have a higher incidence of allergies, asthma, eczema, and autoimmune diseases. Doctor Lawrence Wood at Massachusetts General Hospital has noted that there is a 17 percent incidence of left-handedness and ambidexterity in patients with Grave's Disease, Hashimoto's disease, and primary hypothyroidism, as well as in family members.

Autoimmune diseases in general seem to be associated with left-handedness, mixed dominance, and learning disabilities. The sneezing and runny nose you have makes you miserable. The aches and pains and lethargy make you want to go to bed and sleep for a week. You don't feel like doing anything. Getting up to pay the bills seems like an overwhelming task, and you can't even focus on the book you took to bed with you.

All you want to do is sleep. The above is a good description of the common cold, but if you take away the sneezing and runny nose, it also looks a lot like depression. The immune system is the part of the body that that fights infection. When the body has a cold, the immune system goes to work by attacking the virus with an array of special cells, proteins, and organs. Immune system cells are white blood cells called leukocytes. These cells are manufactured and stored in many sites in the body, especially in the thymus, spleen, and bone marrow.

In addition, throughout the body are groups of cells called lymph nodes that house leukocytes. Leukocytes constantly circulate through the blood vessels, but they also travel through the body by way of the lymphatic system. Researchers have suspected for many years that infections can lead to mental illness.

In fact, in an editorial entitled Is Insanity Due to a Microbe? Syphilis, once considered to be a common mental illness, was eventually found to be caused by a virus. There was a lull in research during the era of psychoanalysis, but in , psychiatrist and researcher E. Fuller Torrey at the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Chevy Chase published a series of articles suggesting that microbial infections could cause mental illness.

In the last decades, it has become clear that microbes and pathogens are the cause of many mental illnesses. It now appears that schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, and other mental problems are linked to various infections, including fungal, viral, and parasitic infections. These infections can attack the nervous system during pregnancy, childhood, or later life.

While some infections directly affect the brain, others trigger immune reactions that interfere with brain development or perhaps even attack our own brain cells in an autoimmune mistake. More than studies have suggested that schizophrenia occurs between five to eight percent more frequently than average in children born in the winter or spring.

Viruses are most prevalent in the cold winter months. In , researchers at Columbia University suggested that one-fifth of schizophrenias are caused by prenatal infections. It has also known that streptococcus can, if left untreated, lead to serious psychiatric problems. The mapping of the human genome has revealed connections between genes, microbes, the immune system, and mental illness. An alteration of genetic markers in a particular population has also been shown to provide resistance to specific diseases. For example, schizophrenia has been shown to have a strong inverse correlation with rheumatoid arthritis, such that one disorder protects against the other.

The burgeoning field of research linking the immune system and mental health is called psychoneuroimmunology. The immune system and the brain are alike in two fundamental ways. Both have the capability to store new information in a form of memory and both are able to recall that information in response to an appropriate stimulus. Both systems have an intricate network of synaptic connections and also share a number of messenger molecules, such as cytokines and chemical mediators.

There is only one type of immune cell inside the brain — microglia. Microglia cells are similar to immune cells found in the body, called macrophages. Microglia do not mount much of an immune response in the brain. In fact, in some instances they made even be harmful to brain cells. Jerome Posner has found that a tumor — anywhere in the body — can lead to degeneration of specific brain regions by means of molecular mimicry. Antigens from the tumor cells induce antibodies that trigger immune responses both in the tumor and in the brain. This can lead to an immune attack on the brain resulting in neural damage.

For example, inner uterine cancer may cause damage to the cerebellum. The clumsiness that is caused by this damage may appear years before the cancer is diagnosed. Posner found that certain types of tumor cells expressed the same target protein that was the antigen under attack in neurons. Life can get monotonous, filled with a laundry list of tasks.

Creating something social to look forward to can be just what you need to stay emotionally healthy.

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  5. Maybe once a month you have neighbors over for dinner or you host a weekly game night for co-workers. Baya Voce , Chief Strategy Officer of Secret Experiences, an experiential design firm to help organizations enhance human connections, has a lot to say small moments. Whatever it is, make it something you enjoy. Make time to discover your needs before jumping into anything in haste. What are some traits you are looking for in future friends? Putting in the effort to plan special experiences with others can be hard if you are feeling doubtful about the lack of close relationships in your life.

    Greenberg says that people often feel connected when they express and act on their values with others. Look at what you value and decide what areas to target. On the ohter hand, not moving out of your comfort zone can keep you from forming connections. Feeling distant with a friend or lover? It may sound basic, but it can help deepen your relationship and decrease loneliness. Enduring the pain of loneliness can also mean facing the pain of stigmatization. The best art may be able to soothe our deepest sorrows.

    Another way to feel better is with these 8 foods that scientifically put you in a better mood. Research has found that reading may foster compassion through narratives. Start a book club and get the best of both worlds; increase your empathetic ways and get the added bonus of social interaction. Your childhood may provide clues about your loneliness and possible subsequent depression. A study published in in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry suggests the importance of assessing your earlier life.

    Why not take feelings of rejection and put them to use?

    Healing Your Mind - Teal Swan

    It makes sense that feeling pushed away, may actually catapult you into trying new experiences or adapting new mindsets that encourage change. And with change, often comes newfound creativity. Acknowledge that suffering may have the power to enrich your life. Mindfully processing thoughts, ideas, musings, and new information is a form of intellectual and emotional pleasure that can transport sadness into curiosity and meaning. And by adopting more of these healthy habits , your year-old self will thank you. When you stop such negative mind wandering MW , you may decrease loneliness.

    The late John T. It stands for the following: E xtend yourself. Have an A ction plan. S eek collectives, like people with similar interests. And finally when you do those things, E xpect the best. Why not try something new and creative? Consider signing up for a painting class or head to a new fitness session that differs from your routine. Starting or simply joining a community garden can help you connect with the earth and one another.

    Potlucks and community bonds often go hand-in-hand. Therefore, consider initiating a shared meal. A potluck could be a gathering with neighbors, colleagues, fellow volunteers, classmates, or old friends. Our brains associate physical warmth with psychological feelings of connection. She explains that helping others can foster a sense of connection between both parties. He also encouraged people to reflect on one's actions and worth at the end of each day. Movements which use magic, such as Wicca , Thelema , Neopaganism , and occultism , often require their adherents to meditate as a preliminary to the magical work.

    This is because magic is often thought to require a particular state of mind in order to make contact with spirits, or because one has to visualize one's goal or otherwise keep intent focused for a long period during the ritual in order to see the desired outcome. Meditation practice in these religions usually revolves around visualization, absorbing energy from the universe or higher self, directing one's internal energy, and inducing various trance states.

    Meditation and magic practice often overlap in these religions as meditation is often seen as merely a stepping stone to supernatural power, and the meditation sessions may be peppered with various chants and spells. New Age meditations are often influenced by Eastern philosophy, mysticism, yoga , Hinduism and Buddhism, yet may contain some degree of Western influence. In the West, meditation found its mainstream roots through the social revolution of the s and s , when many of the youth of the day rebelled against traditional religion as a reaction against what some perceived as the failure of Christianity to provide spiritual and ethical guidance.

    This is often aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra, or focusing on an object. The US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that "Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Low-quality evidence indicates that meditation may help with irritable bowel syndrome , [] insomnia , [] cognitive decline in the elderly, [] and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    A review of the literature on spirituality and performance in organizations found an increase in corporate meditation programs. As of around a quarter of U. Aetna now offers its program to its customers. Google also implements mindfulness, offering more than a dozen meditation courses, with the most prominent one, "Search Inside Yourself", having been implemented since Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School conducted a series of clinical tests on meditators from various disciplines, including the Transcendental Meditation technique and Tibetan Buddhism.

    In , Benson published a book titled The Relaxation Response where he outlined his own version of meditation for relaxation. Biofeedback has been used by many researchers since the s in an effort to enter deeper states of mind. The history of meditation is intimately bound up with the religious context within which it was practiced. In the Roman Empire , by 20 BCE Philo of Alexandria had written on some form of "spiritual exercises" involving attention prosoche and concentration [] and by the 3rd century Plotinus had developed meditative techniques.

    The Islamic practice of Dhikr had involved the repetition of the 99 Names of God since the 8th or 9th century. Western Christian meditation contrasts with most other approaches in that it does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and requires no specific posture. Western Christian meditation progressed from the 6th century practice of Bible reading among Benedictine monks called Lectio Divina , i.

    Its four formal steps as a "ladder" were defined by the monk Guigo II in the 12th century with the Latin terms lectio , meditatio , oratio , and contemplatio i. Western Christian meditation was further developed by saints such as Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila in the 16th century.

    Meditation has spread in the West since the late 19th century, accompanying increased travel and communication among cultures worldwide. Most prominent has been the transmission of Asian-derived practices to the West. In addition, interest in some Western-based meditative practices has been revived, [] and these have been disseminated to a limited extent to Asian countries.

    Ideas about Eastern meditation had begun "seeping into American popular culture even before the American Revolution through the various sects of European occult Christianity", [27] : 3 and such ideas "came pouring in [to America] during the era of the transcendentalists, especially between the s and the s. The World Parliament of Religions , held in Chicago in , was the landmark event that increased Western awareness of meditation. This was the first time that Western audiences on American soil received Asian spiritual teachings from Asians themselves.

    Thereafter, Swami Vivekananda More recently, in the s, another surge in Western interest in meditative practices began. The rise of communist political power in Asia led to many Asian spiritual teachers taking refuge in Western countries, oftentimes as refugees. Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation emphasizes stress reduction, relaxation and self-improvement. Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a subfield of neurological research.

    Since the s, clinical psychology and psychiatry have developed meditation techniques for numerous psychological conditions. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of meditation on empathy , compassion , and prosocial behaviors found that meditation practices had small to medium effects on self-reported and observable outcomes, concluding that such practices can "improve positive prosocial emotions and behaviors". Meditation has been correlated with unpleasant experiences in some people.

    Meditators with high levels of repetitive negative thinking and those who only engage in deconstructive meditation were more likely to report unpleasant side effects. Adverse effects were less frequently reported in women and religious meditators. The psychologist Thomas Joiner argues that modern mindfulness meditation has been "corrupted" for commercial gain by self-help celebrities, and suggests that it encourages unhealthy narcissistic and self-obsessed mindsets.

    Many major traditions in which meditation is practiced, such as Buddhism [] and Hinduism, [] advise members not to consume intoxicants , while others, such as the Rastafarian movements and Native American Church, view drugs as integral to their religious lifestyle. The fifth of the five precepts of the Pancasila , the ethical code in the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, states that adherents must: "abstain from fermented and distilled beverages that cause heedlessness. On the other hand, the ingestion of psychoactives has been a central feature in the rituals of many religions, in order to produce altered states of consciousness.

    In several traditional shamanistic ceremonies, drugs are used as agents of ritual. In the Rastafari movement , cannabis is believed to be a gift from Jah and a sacred herb to be used regularly, while alcohol is considered to debase man. Native Americans use peyote , as part of religious ceremony, continuing today. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the induction of specific modes or states of consciousness. For other uses, see Meditation disambiguation.

    Various depictions of meditation. Main article: Asana. Main article: Hindu meditation. See also: Yoga. Main article: Jain meditation. Main article: Buddhist meditation. Play media. Main article: Daoist meditation. Main article: Jewish meditation. Main article: Christian meditation. Main article: Muraqaba. See also: Mindfulness-based stress reduction and Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Main article: History of meditation.

    Main article: Research on meditation. Further information: Entheogen , Religion and drugs , and Psychedelic psychotherapy. The term "discursive thought" has long been used in Western philosophy, and is often viewed as a synonym to logical thought Rappe, Sara In their final consideration, all 7 experts regarded this feature as an "essential" component of meditation; none of them regarded it as merely "important but not essential" p. This same result is presented in Table B1 in Ospina, Bond, et al.

    Each member had specific expertise and training in at least one of the following meditation practices: kundalini yoga , Transcendental Meditation , relaxation response, mindfulness-based stress reduction , and vipassana meditation" Bond, Ospina et al. Goleman's book has 33 editions listed in WorldCat: 17 editions as The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience [23] and 16 editions as The varieties of meditative experience [24] Citation and edition counts are as of August and September respectively.

    At the climax of such contemplation the mental eye Sariputta tells Ven. Rahula in Pali, based on VRI, n. In the technical vocabulary of Indian religious texts such states come to be termed "meditations" [Skt. Gethin, , p. The meditations that derive from these foundations of mindfulness are called vipassana The forty concentrative meditation subjects refer to Visuddhimagga 's oft-referenced enumeration.

    Regarding Tibetan visualizations, Kamalashila , writes: "The Tara meditation Shapiro American Psychologist Submitted manuscript. Rael Cahn; John Polich Psychological Bulletin. Jevning; R. Wallace; M. Beidebach The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience. New York: Tarcher. Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

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    Retrieved 25 December Oxford Dictionaries — English. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Personality and Individual Differences. Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper. Retrieved 2 February Issue 1. A practical Sanskrit dictionary with transliteration, accentuation and etymological analysis throughout. London: Oxford University Press. The healing power of sufi meditation. Teaching Theology and Religion. Zelazo, P. Cambridge University Press. Carlson Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

    New York: Viking. Cambridge English Dictionary. Archived from the original on November 20, April Trends in Cognitive Sciences. In order to narrow the explanandum to a more tractable scope, this article uses Buddhist contemplative techniques and their clinical secular derivatives as a paradigmatic framework see e. Among the wide range of practices within the Buddhist tradition, we will further narrow this review to two common styles of meditation, FA and OM see box 1—box 2 , that are often combined, whether in a single session or over the course of practitioner's training.

    The first style, FA meditation, entails voluntary focusing attention on a chosen object in a sustained fashion. Nilgiri Press. However, in order to develop samadhi itself we must cultivate principally concentration meditation. In terms of practice, this means that we must choose an object of concentration and then meditate single-pointedly on it every day until the power of samadhi is attained. International Journal of Psychotherapy. Retrieved Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    This is a refined, refreshing and nourishing state of consciousness. But it is not the goal. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 28 May Consciousness and Cognition. Huffington Post. ABC News. Time magazine. Retrieved 17 March Behavioral and Brain Functions. Times of India. Roots of Yoga.