Download Brave New Brain: Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of the by Nancy C. Andreasen PDF

By Nancy C. Andreasen

Nancy Andreasen, a number one neuroscientist who's additionally Editor-in-Chief of the celebrated American magazine of Psychiatry in addition to the winner of the illustrious nationwide Medal of technological know-how, bargains the following a state of the art examine what we all know in regards to the human mind and the human genome--and indicates how those gigantic branches of data are coming jointly in a boldly formidable attempt to overcome psychological disorder. Scientists at the present time be aware of extra concerning the mind than ever ahead of, due to new imaging thoughts and to discoveries in neuroscience and molecular biology. Andreasen supplies us an interesting and readable description of ways all of it works, from the billions of neurons to the tiny thalamus to the ethical video display in our prefrontal cortex. She additionally indicates the growth made in mapping the human genome, whose 30,000 to 40,000 genes are just about all energetic within the mind. In probably the main interesting component to the booklet, we learn gripping tales of the folk who boost psychological sickness, the buddies and family who percentage their pain, the physicians who deal with them, and the scientists who examine them in order that larger remedies are available. This part covers 4 significant disorders--schizophrenia, manic melancholy, anxiousness issues, and dementia--revealing what factors them, what occurs to the brain and mind, and the way the health problems are taken care of. ultimately, the e-book indicates how the robust instruments of genetics and neuroscience might be mixed throughout the subsequent many years to construct more fit brains and minds. Andreasen's bestselling The damaged Brain broke new floor within the public figuring out of psychological ailment. Now, through revealing how combining genome mapping with mind mapping can liberate the mysteries of psychological disorder, she back bargains common readers a remarkably clean point of view on those devastating diseases--their nature, therapy, and attainable destiny prevention.

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Extra resources for Brave New Brain: Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of the Genome

Example text

The reasoning runs like this. If these illnesses are mental, then one should treat the mind with psychotherapy. If they are physical or "in the brain," then one should use physical treatments that affect the brain, such as medications. The first problem with this line of reasoning is its basic premise—the mind versus brain dichotomy. But the mind versus brain (or mental versus physical, or biological versus psychological) distinction is very entrenched. Consequently, simply pointing out the false dichotomy is probably not sufficient to dissuade people from the foolishness of the drugs versus psychotherapy distinction.

The problem begins, as is so often the case, with the language that we use. We talk about genes versus environment when we should be saying "genetic" and "nongenetic" factors, and not using the word "versus" at all. The word "environment" is too vague. It means everything ranging from things that influence the growth of the fetus in the uterus (such as the mother's nutrition or use of cigarettes), to infections with viruses, to mental stimulation such as occurs (we hope) when people attend college, to painful personal experiences such as the loss of a loved one.

There are endless examples of combined therapies 3O BROKEN BRAINS AND TROUBLED MINDS for other illnesses, and we don't pause for even a moment to raise false dichotomies when doctors suggest combinations of medications and other kinds of treatment. Why should we ask whether mental illnesses should be treated with medications versus psychotherapy? A third problem with this line of reasoning is that it fails to recognize that drugs affect the mind, and psychotherapy affects the brain. Again, these points are so obvious that they should scarcely need to be made, and yet the dichotomy still seems to persist.

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