The function of the dorsal ACC is to monitor pain in survival contexts

This 2015 California human study was of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC): “No neural region has been associated with more conflicting accounts of its function than the dACC. The best psychological description of dACC function was related to pain processing—not executive, conflict, or salience processing. We conclude by considering that physical pain may be … Continue reading The function of the dorsal ACC is to monitor pain in survival contexts

A trio of epigenetic clock studies

The first 2018 epigenetic clock human study was from Finland: “We evaluated the association between maternal antenatal depression and a novel biomarker of aging at birth, namely epigenetic gestational age (GA) based on fetal cord blood methylation data. We also examined whether this biomarker prospectively predicts and mediates maternal effects on early childhood psychiatric problems. … Continue reading A trio of epigenetic clock studies

Are there epigenetic causes for sexual orientation and gender identity?

This US 2018 review lead author was a gynecologic oncologist in private practice: “Sexual orientation is biologically conferred in the first trimester of pregnancy. Gender identity is biologically conferred during the middle trimester of pregnancy. Since the genitals differentiate in the first trimester, and the brain becomes imprinted in the latter half of gestation, it … Continue reading Are there epigenetic causes for sexual orientation and gender identity?

Cell senescence and DNA methylation

This 2018 Baltimore cell study found: “Based on similarities in overall methylation patterns in replicative senescence and cancers, it is hypothesized that tumor-promoting DNA methylation in cancers derives from cells escaping senescence. We show that the tumor-associated methylation changes evolve independently of senescence and are pro-survival events with functional implications contrasting that in senescence. In … Continue reading Cell senescence and DNA methylation

An emotional center of our brains

This 2018 McGill/UC San Diego rodent study subject was the dentate gyrus area of the hippocampus: “Early life experience influences stress reactivity and mental health through effects on cognitive-emotional functions that are, in part, linked to gene expression in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus. The hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) is a major site for experience-dependent … Continue reading An emotional center of our brains

Science and technology hijacked by woo

I’m an avid reader of science articles, abstracts, studies, and reviews. I tried a free subscription to Singularity Hub for a few weeks last month because it seemed to be a suitable source of articles on both science and technology. I unsubscribed after being disappointed by aspects of science and technology hijacked almost on a … Continue reading Science and technology hijacked by woo

How to cure the ultimate causes of migraines?

Most of the spam I get on this blog comes in as ersatz comments on The hypothalamus couples with the brainstem to cause migraines. I don’t know what it is about the post that attracts internet bots. The unwanted attention is too bad because the post represents a good personal illustration of “changes in the … Continue reading How to cure the ultimate causes of migraines?

Do preventive interventions for children of mentally ill parents work?

The fifth and final paper of Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance week was a 2017 German/Italian meta-analysis of psychiatric treatments involving human children: “The transgenerational transmission of mental disorders is one of the most significant causes of psychiatric morbidity. Several risk factors for children of parents with mental illness (COPMI) have been identified in numerous studies and meta-analyses. … Continue reading Do preventive interventions for children of mentally ill parents work?

A gaping hole in a review of nutritional psychiatry

This December 2016 Australian review published in September 2017 concerned: “..the nutritional psychiatry field..the neurobiological mechanisms likely modulated by diet, the use of dietary and nutraceutical interventions in mental disorders, and recommendations for further research.” The reviewers inexplicably omitted acetyl-L-carnitine, which I first covered in A common dietary supplement that has rapid and lasting antidepressant … Continue reading A gaping hole in a review of nutritional psychiatry

Beyond Belief: The impact of merciless beatings on beliefs

Continuing with Dr. Arthur Janov’s May 2016 book Beyond Belief: “p. 17 When someone insults us, we immediately create reasons and rationales for it. We cover the pain. Now imagine a whole early childhood of insults and assaults and how that leaves a legacy that must be dealt with. The mind of ideas and philosophies … Continue reading Beyond Belief: The impact of merciless beatings on beliefs