We believe what we need to believe

While getting ready for bed tonight, I mused about how my younger brother had such an idealized postmortem view of our father. As he expressed six years ago in an obituary for our high school Literature teacher: “I’ll remember my favorite teacher and how much he’s meant to my life. My father and Martin Obrentz … Continue reading We believe what we need to believe

Your need to feel important will run your life, and you’ll never feel satisfied

Yesterday’s team meeting at work provided one display after another of a person’s need to feel important. These eye-openers were the reason the scheduled 30-minute meeting lasted 45 minutes. Although half of the forty or so attendees are under the age of 40, curiously, only two of them spoke during the meeting. I wasn’t among … Continue reading Your need to feel important will run your life, and you’ll never feel satisfied

Do we need to study the brain to understand the mind?

A coauthor of the studies referenced in: Advance science by including emotion in research; and Empathy, value, pain, control: Psychological functions of the human striatum offered an opinion piece in A Paper a Day Keeps the Scientist Okay entitled “Do We Need To Study The Brain To Understand The Mind?” “The emerging consensus appears to … Continue reading Do we need to study the brain to understand the mind?

Publicly-funded researchers need to provide unqualified free access to their studies

A magazine article New Clues to How the Brain Maps Time reviewed the findings of a 2015 Boston rodent study During Running in Place, Grid Cells Integrate Elapsed Time and Distance Run. The article’s information was mixed such that when the reader arrived at this phrase: “Moreover, time cells rely on context; they only mark … Continue reading Publicly-funded researchers need to provide unqualified free access to their studies

The need for a mother’s love

This 2014 wild chimpanzee study demonstrated how necessary it was to have a mother’s “nourishment, transportation, warmth, protection, and socialization,” in other words, a mother’s love, during infancy and early childhood. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/51/18189.full “Early social exposure in wild chimpanzees: Mothers with sons are more gregarious than mothers with daughters”

Blood pressure and pain

A trio of papers, with the second and third citing a 2013 review: “The relationship between pain and hypertension is potentially of great pathophysiological and clinical interest, but is poorly understood. Perception of acute pain initially plays an adaptive role, which results in prevention of tissue damage. The consequence of ascending nociception is recruitment of … Continue reading Blood pressure and pain

PTSD susceptibility?

This 2021 rodent study investigated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) susceptibility: “PTSD is an incapacitating trauma-related disorder, with no reliable therapy. We show distinct DNA methylation profiles of PTSD susceptibility in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Data analysis revealed overall hypomethylation of different genomic CpG sites in susceptible animals. Is it possible to treat PTSD by targeting … Continue reading PTSD susceptibility?

The brainstem’s parabrachial nucleus

I often reread blog posts that you read. Yesterday, a reader clicked Treat your gut microbiota as one of your organs. On rereading, I saw that I didn’t properly reference the parabrachial nucleus as being part of the brainstem. A “parabrachial nucleus” search led me to a discussion of two 2020 rodent studies: “Nociceptive signals … Continue reading The brainstem’s parabrachial nucleus

Eat broccoli sprouts every day

This 2020 rodent study demonstrated benefits from daily cooked broccoli intake, even when it contained no myrosinase enzyme and no sulforaphane: “Broccoli consumption by rats influenced several metabolic pathways that impact liver health. Plasma metabolite changes are potential biomarkers of liver health, and also monitor broccoli benefits. Rats fed a broccoli diet exhibited an enhanced … Continue reading Eat broccoli sprouts every day

Smoke and die early, while your twin lives on

A 2021 human twin study investigated epigenetic clocks: “This study showed that accelerated epigenetic aging is associated with increased mortality, and smoking plays a role in explaining this association. Present findings suggest that DNAm GrimAge is a strong predictor of mortality independent of genetic influences among female twin pairs. An invitation to participate in the … Continue reading Smoke and die early, while your twin lives on

Eat broccoli sprouts for your hearing

Two 2021 papers, both of which I found by each citing a 2009 Molecular mechanisms underlying cochlear degeneration in the tubby mouse and the therapeutic effect of sulforaphane (not freely available). First was a review: “Hair cell damage and loss mediated by oxidative stress are important causes of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is the … Continue reading Eat broccoli sprouts for your hearing

The next phase of reversing aging and immunosenescent trends

Dr. Greg Fahy earlier this week provided an update on the November 2020 TRIIM-X follow-on to the September 2019 TRIIM curated in Reversal of aging and immunosenescent trends. Emphasis was on reproducibility: 23:45 Dr. Steve Horvath reanalyzed TRIIM for the plasma portion of Levine’s PhenoAge epigenetic clock. Results were congruent with four other epigenetic clocks … Continue reading The next phase of reversing aging and immunosenescent trends

Dietary fibers and the aged microbiome

This 2021 rodent study investigated effects of four different types of dietary fiber on two different types of aged human microbiota: “Individual differences in gut microbiota may influence host metabolic responses to dietary fiber in humans. Dietary fibers are edible carbohydrates resistant to host digestive enzymes, and not broken down or absorbed in the small … Continue reading Dietary fibers and the aged microbiome

Part 2 of Vitamin K2 – What can it do?

Two papers on Vitamin K2, and an online database to continue Part 1: “Precise quantitative assessments of vitamin K bioavailability in humans is challenging due to unquantified tissue conversion of PK [phylloquinone, Vitamin K1] to MK [menaquinone, Vitamin K2]-4, and contributions of gut microbiota. Absorption of long-chain MKs (MK-7, MK-8 and MK-9) from natto, cheese … Continue reading Part 2 of Vitamin K2 – What can it do?

Ride the waves of gene expression with betaine

This 2021 cell study investigated a dietary supplement’s role in preventing nerve disease: “A loss of epigenetic control has been implicated in development of neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies have implicated aberrant DNA and histone methylation in multiple sclerosis (MS) disease pathogenesis. We have previously reported that methyl donor betaine is depleted in MS and is … Continue reading Ride the waves of gene expression with betaine