Here, leading neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen offers a state-of-the-art look at what we know about the human brain and the human genome--and shows how these two vast branches of knowledge are coming together in a boldly ambitious effort to conquer mental illness. Andreasen gives us an engaging and readable description of how it all works---from billions of neurons, to the tiny thalamus, to the moral monitor in our prefrontal cortex. She shows the progress made in mapping the human genome, whose 30,000 to 40,000 genes are almost all active in the brain. We read gripping stories of the people who develop mental illness, the friends and relatives who share their suffering, the physicians who treat them, and the scientists who study them so that better treatments can be found. Four major disorders are covered--schizophrenia, manic depression, anxiety disorders, and dementia--revealing what causes them and how they affect the mind and brain. Finally, the book shows how the powerful tools of genetics and neuroscience will be combined during the next decades to build healthier brains and minds. By revealing how combining genome mapping with brain mapping can unlock the mysteries of mental illness, Andreasen offers a remarkably fresh perspective on these devastating diseases.
This fascinating and highly accessible book presents fantastic but totally feasible projections of what your brain may be capable of in the near future. It shows how scientific breakthroughs and amazing research are turning science fiction into science fact. In this brave new book, you'll explore: How partnerships between biological sciences and technology are helping the deaf hear, the blind see, and the paralyzed communicate. How our brains can repair and improve themselves, erase traumatic memories How we can stay mentally alert longer—and how we may be able to halt or even reverse Alzheimers How we can control technology with brain waves, including prosthetic devices, machinery, computers—and even spaceships or clones. Insights into how science may cure fatal diseases, and improve our intellectual and physical productivity Judith Horstman presents a highly informative and entertaining look at the future of your brain, based on articles from Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines, and the work of today’s visionary neuroscientists.
Good news about getting older from Scientific Americanand Scientific American Mind The Scientific American Healthy Aging Brain taps into themost current research to present a realistic and encouraging viewof the well-aged brain, a sobering look at what can gowrong––and at what might help you and your brain stayhealthy longer. Neurologists and psychologists have discovered theaging brain is much more elastic and supple than previouslythought, and that happiness actually increases with age. While ourshort-term memory may not be what it was, dementia is notinevitable. Far from disintegrating, the elder brain can continueto develop and adapt in many ways and stay sharp as itages. Offers new insights on how an aging brain can repair itself,and the five best strategies for keeping your brain healthy Shows how older brains can acquire new skills, perspective, andproductivity Dispels negative myths about aging Explores what to expect as our brains grow older With hope and truth, this book helps us preserve whatwe’ve got, minimize what we’ve lost, and optimize thevigor and health of our maturing brains.
Discover the tricks that your brain uses to keep you from writing—and how to beat them. Do you: Want to write, but find it impossible to get started? Keep your schedules so full that you don’t have any time to write? Wait until the last minute to write, even though you know you could do a better job if you gave yourself more time? Suddenly remember ten other things that you need to do whenever you sit down to write? Sabotage your own best efforts with lost files, missed deadlines, or excessive self-criticism? The good news is that you’re not lazy, undisciplined, or lacking in willpower, talent or ambition. You just need to learn what’s going on inside your brain, and harness the power of brain science to beat resistance and develop a productive writing habit. In Around the Writer’s Block, Rosanne Bane-- a creativity coach and writing teacher for more than 20 years-- uses the most recent breakthroughs in brain science to help us understand, in simple, clear language, where writing resistance comes from: a fight-or-flight response hard-wired into our brain, which can make us desperate to flee the sources of our anxieties by any means possible. Bane’s three-part plan, which has improved the productivity of thousands of writers, helps you develop new reliable writing habits, rewire the brain’s responses to the anxiety of writing, and turn writing from a source of stress and anxiety into one of joy and personal growth.
The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness, second edition examines and explains, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences, and more. It is also an outstanding introduction to philosophy of mind from the perspective of mental disorder. Revised and updated throughout, this second edition includes new discussions of grief and psychopathy, the problems of the psychophysical basis of disorder, the nature of selfhood, and clarification of the relation between rationality and mental disorder. Each chapter explores a central question or problem about mental disorder, including: what is mental disorder and can it be distinguished from neurological disorder? what roles should reference to psychological, cultural, and social factors play in the medical/scientific understanding of mental disorder? what makes mental disorders undesirable? Are they diseases? mental disorder and the mind–body problem is mental disorder a breakdown of rationality? What is a rational mind? addiction, responsibility and compulsion ethical dilemmas posed by mental disorder, including questions of dignity and self-respect. Each topic is clearly explained and placed in a clinical and philosophical context. Mental disorders discussed include clinical depression, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, religious delusions, and paranoia. Several non-mental neurological disorders that possess psychological symptoms are also examined, including Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and Tourette’s syndrome. Containing chapter summaries and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, The Disordered Mind, second edition is a superb introduction to the philosophy of mental disorder for students of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and related mental health professions.
The prospect that the psychiatric profession has hurt rather than helped many of its patients is incredibly disheartening; however, wrong diagnoses and improper treatment are all too common errors within the field. Author René Muller presents a revealing look into how psychiatry has failed a great majority of patients, all the while recognizing the valiant efforts made by psychiatrists who maintain their integrity and serve their patients well. The result is an enlightening critique of the profession—one that pits criticism of psychiatry's current biological reduction and exaggerated promises against the accumulated wisdom of a profession that has struggled for a century and a half to understand and help those with mental illness.
Why Love Matters explains why loving relationships are essential to brain development in the early years, and how these early interactions can have lasting consequences for future emotional and physical health. This second edition follows on from the success of the first, updating the scientific research, covering recent findings in genetics and the mind/body connection, and including a new chapter highlighting our growing understanding of the part also played by pregnancy in shaping a baby’s future emotional and physical well-being. Sue Gerhardt focuses in particular on the wide-ranging effects of early stress on a baby or toddler’s developing nervous system. When things go wrong with relationships in early life, the dependent child has to adapt; what we now know is that his or her brain adapts too. The brain’s emotion and immune systems are particularly affected by early stress and can become less effective. This makes the child more vulnerable to a range of later difficulties such as depression, anti-social behaviour, addictions or anorexia, as well as physical illness. Why Love Matters is an accessible, lively, account of the latest findings in neuroscience, developmental psychology and neurobiology – research which matters to us all. It is an invaluable and hugely popular guide for parents and professionals alike.
Two centuries ago, the first Enlightenment failed when its dream of reason smashed into the passions and fury of stubborn humans. Without a deep, broad understanding of the world, the emerging Enlightenment was left floundering, its best impulses perverted into the bloody excess of the French Revolution. Arguably, its idealism and noble goals led directly, and shockingly, to the 20th century's totalitarian nightmares. Now the 21st century is learning anew the Faustian hunger to know everything that can be known. But Enlightenment values of reason and tolerance, enriched by new knowledge, face a complex world no less eager to embrace medieval terrorism and ancient superstitions, a world bizarrely denying itself many of the fresh opportunities amd insights availed by science. Can we find cures for poverty, unhappiness, ignorance, the ruination of the planet, aging, and perhaps for death itself? If so, should we? Damien Broderick's own ferocious mind invites you to explore today's unexpected treasure-house of understanding-and provides enticing glimpses of tomorrow's.
A riveting, revelatory, and moving account of the author’s struggles with anxiety, and of the history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand the condition As recently as thirty-five years ago, anxiety did not exist as a diagnostic category. Today, it is the most common form of officially classified mental illness. Scott Stossel gracefully guides us across the terrain of an affliction that is pervasive yet too often misunderstood. Drawing on his own long-standing battle with anxiety, Stossel presents an astonishing history, at once intimate and authoritative, of the efforts to understand the condition from medical, cultural, philosophical, and experiential perspectives. He ranges from the earliest medical reports of Galen and Hippocrates, through later observations by Robert Burton and Søren Kierkegaard, to the investigations by great nineteenth-century scientists, such as Charles Darwin, William James, and Sigmund Freud, as they began to explore its sources and causes, to the latest research by neuroscientists and geneticists. Stossel reports on famous individuals who struggled with anxiety, as well as on the afflicted generations of his own family. His portrait of anxiety reveals not only the emotion’s myriad manifestations and the anguish anxiety produces but also the countless psychotherapies, medications, and other (often outlandish) treatments that have been developed to counteract it. Stossel vividly depicts anxiety’s human toll—its crippling impact, its devastating power to paralyze—while at the same time exploring how those who suffer from it find ways to manage and control it. My Age of Anxiety is learned and empathetic, humorous and inspirational, offering the reader great insight into the biological, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to the affliction.
A guide to dealing with hormone related mood swings in men describes the triggers and warning signs of Irritable Male Syndrome, the ways it can affect those suffering from it, and the best ways for men and their families to work through it. Reprint.