neurosciencestuff:

This is Your Brain on Drugs
Funded by a $1 million award from the Keck Foundation, biomedical researchers at UCSB will strive to find out who could be more vulnerable to addiction
We’ve all heard the term “addictive personality,” and many of us know individuals who are consistently more likely to take the extra drink or pill that puts them over the edge. But the specific balance of neurochemicals in the brain that spurs him or her to overdo it is still something of a mystery.
“There’s not really a lot we know about specific molecules that are linked to vulnerability to addiction,” said Tod Kippin, a neuroscientist at UC Santa Barbara who studies cocaine addiction. In a general sense, it is understood that animals — humans included — take substances to derive that pleasurable rush of dopamine, the neurochemical linked with the reward center of the brain. But, according to Kippin, that dopamine rush underlies virtually any type of reward animals seek, including the kinds of urges we need to have in order to survive or propagate, such as food, sex or water. Therefore, therapies that deal with that reward system have not been particularly successful in treating addiction.
However, thanks to a collaboration between UCSB researchers Kippin; Tom Soh, professor of mechanical engineering and of materials; and Kevin Plaxco, professor of chemistry and biochemistry — and funding from a $1 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation — the neurochemistry of addiction could become a lot less mysterious and a lot more specific. Their study, “Continuous, Real-Time Measurement of Psychoactive Molecules in the Brain,” could, in time, lead to more effective therapies for those who are particularly inclined toward addictive behaviors.
“The main purpose is to try to identify individuals that would be vulnerable to drug addiction based on their initial neurochemistry,” said Kippin. “The idea is that if we can identify phenotypes — observable characteristics — that are vulnerable to addiction and then understand how drugs change the neurochemistry related to that phenotype, we’ll be in a better position to develop therapeutics to help people with that addiction.”
To identify these addiction-prone neurochemical profiles, the researchers will rely on technology they recently developed, a biosensor that can track the concentration of specific molecules in vivo, in real time. One early incarnation of this device was called MEDIC (Microfluidic Electrochemical Detector for In vivo Concentrations). Through artificial DNA strands called aptamers, MEDIC could indicate the concentration of target molecules in the bloodstream. 
“Specifically, the DNA molecules are modified so that when they bind their specific target molecule they begin to transfer electrons to an underlying electrode, producing an easily measurable current,” said Plaxco. Prior to the Keck award, the team had shown that this technology could be used to measure specific drugs continuously and in real time in blood drawn from a subject via a catheter. With Keck funding, “the team is hoping to make the leap to measurements performed directly in vivo. That is, directly in the brains of test subjects,” said Plaxco.
For this study, the technology would be modified for use in the brain tissue of awake, ambulatory animals, whose neurochemical profiles would be measured continuously and in real time. The subjects would then be allowed to self-dose with cocaine, while the levels of the drug in their brain are monitored. Also monitored are concomitant changes in the animal’s neurochemistry or drug-seeking (or other) behaviors.
“The key aspect of it is understanding the timing of the neurochemical release,” said Kippin. “What are the changes in neurochemistry that causes the animals to take the drug versus those that immediately follow consumption of the drug?”
Among techniques for achieving this goal, a single existing technology allows scientists to monitor more than one target molecule at a time (e.g., a drug, a metabolite, and a neurotransmitter). However, Kippin noted, it provides an average of one data point about every 20 minutes, which is far slower than the time course of drug-taking behaviors and much less than the sub-second timescale over which the brain responds to drugs. With the implantable biosensor the team has proposed, it would be possible not only to track how the concentration of neurochemicals shift in relation to addictive behavior in real time, but also to simultaneously monitor the concentrations of several different molecules.
“One of our hypotheses about what makes someone vulnerable to addiction is the metabolism of a drug to other active molecules so that they may end up with a more powerful, more rewarding pharmacological state than someone with a different metabolic profile,” Kippin said. “It’s not enough to understand the levels of the compound that is administered; we have to understand all the other compounds that are produced and how they’re working together.”
The implantable biosensor technology also has the potential to go beyond cocaine and shed light on addictions to other substances such as methamphetamines or alcohol. It also could explore behavioral impulses behind obesity, or investigate how memory works, which could lead to further understanding of diseases such as Alzheimers.

neurosciencestuff:

This is Your Brain on Drugs

Funded by a $1 million award from the Keck Foundation, biomedical researchers at UCSB will strive to find out who could be more vulnerable to addiction

We’ve all heard the term “addictive personality,” and many of us know individuals who are consistently more likely to take the extra drink or pill that puts them over the edge. But the specific balance of neurochemicals in the brain that spurs him or her to overdo it is still something of a mystery.

“There’s not really a lot we know about specific molecules that are linked to vulnerability to addiction,” said Tod Kippin, a neuroscientist at UC Santa Barbara who studies cocaine addiction. In a general sense, it is understood that animals — humans included — take substances to derive that pleasurable rush of dopamine, the neurochemical linked with the reward center of the brain. But, according to Kippin, that dopamine rush underlies virtually any type of reward animals seek, including the kinds of urges we need to have in order to survive or propagate, such as food, sex or water. Therefore, therapies that deal with that reward system have not been particularly successful in treating addiction.

However, thanks to a collaboration between UCSB researchers Kippin; Tom Soh, professor of mechanical engineering and of materials; and Kevin Plaxco, professor of chemistry and biochemistry — and funding from a $1 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation — the neurochemistry of addiction could become a lot less mysterious and a lot more specific. Their study, “Continuous, Real-Time Measurement of Psychoactive Molecules in the Brain,” could, in time, lead to more effective therapies for those who are particularly inclined toward addictive behaviors.

“The main purpose is to try to identify individuals that would be vulnerable to drug addiction based on their initial neurochemistry,” said Kippin. “The idea is that if we can identify phenotypes — observable characteristics — that are vulnerable to addiction and then understand how drugs change the neurochemistry related to that phenotype, we’ll be in a better position to develop therapeutics to help people with that addiction.”

To identify these addiction-prone neurochemical profiles, the researchers will rely on technology they recently developed, a biosensor that can track the concentration of specific molecules in vivo, in real time. One early incarnation of this device was called MEDIC (Microfluidic Electrochemical Detector for In vivo Concentrations). Through artificial DNA strands called aptamers, MEDIC could indicate the concentration of target molecules in the bloodstream. 

“Specifically, the DNA molecules are modified so that when they bind their specific target molecule they begin to transfer electrons to an underlying electrode, producing an easily measurable current,” said Plaxco. Prior to the Keck award, the team had shown that this technology could be used to measure specific drugs continuously and in real time in blood drawn from a subject via a catheter. With Keck funding, “the team is hoping to make the leap to measurements performed directly in vivo. That is, directly in the brains of test subjects,” said Plaxco.

For this study, the technology would be modified for use in the brain tissue of awake, ambulatory animals, whose neurochemical profiles would be measured continuously and in real time. The subjects would then be allowed to self-dose with cocaine, while the levels of the drug in their brain are monitored. Also monitored are concomitant changes in the animal’s neurochemistry or drug-seeking (or other) behaviors.

“The key aspect of it is understanding the timing of the neurochemical release,” said Kippin. “What are the changes in neurochemistry that causes the animals to take the drug versus those that immediately follow consumption of the drug?”

Among techniques for achieving this goal, a single existing technology allows scientists to monitor more than one target molecule at a time (e.g., a drug, a metabolite, and a neurotransmitter). However, Kippin noted, it provides an average of one data point about every 20 minutes, which is far slower than the time course of drug-taking behaviors and much less than the sub-second timescale over which the brain responds to drugs. With the implantable biosensor the team has proposed, it would be possible not only to track how the concentration of neurochemicals shift in relation to addictive behavior in real time, but also to simultaneously monitor the concentrations of several different molecules.

“One of our hypotheses about what makes someone vulnerable to addiction is the metabolism of a drug to other active molecules so that they may end up with a more powerful, more rewarding pharmacological state than someone with a different metabolic profile,” Kippin said. “It’s not enough to understand the levels of the compound that is administered; we have to understand all the other compounds that are produced and how they’re working together.”

The implantable biosensor technology also has the potential to go beyond cocaine and shed light on addictions to other substances such as methamphetamines or alcohol. It also could explore behavioral impulses behind obesity, or investigate how memory works, which could lead to further understanding of diseases such as Alzheimers.

(via megacosms)


princessblogonoke:

Anxiety & Helping Someone Cope. 
I didn’t want to make it overwhelming or too long remember, so I kept it to the main points that benefit me greatly when I’m experiencing an attack.
40 million of Americans alone suffer with anxiety; it’s a horrid feeling when you know someone just wants to help you but you cannot even construct a simple sentence at the time, so please share this in hope that it benefits even just 1 person. Muchos love. 

(via mentalillnessmouse)


believeinrecovery:

A little table to how to get rid of all that negative self-talk. We have to learn look at the good in situations too, instead of dwelling on things we can’t change- because you know what? We may not be able to change what is happening but we CAN change how we view it! 

(via celestialallegorist)


healingschemas:

Emotion regulation refers to a person’s ability to understand and accept his or her emotional experience, to engage in healthy strategies to manage uncomfortable emotions when necessary, and to engage in appropriate behavior (e.g., attend classes, go to work, engage in social relationships) when distressed.
People with good emotion regulation skills are able to control the urges to engage in impulsive behaviors, such as self-harm, reckless behavior, or physical aggression, during emotional distress.

healingschemas:

Emotion regulation refers to a person’s ability to understand and accept his or her emotional experience, to engage in healthy strategies to manage uncomfortable emotions when necessary, and to engage in appropriate behavior (e.g., attend classes, go to work, engage in social relationships) when distressed.

People with good emotion regulation skills are able to control the urges to engage in impulsive behaviors, such as self-harm, reckless behavior, or physical aggression, during emotional distress.

(via clinicallydepressedpug)


6 Questions to Ask Yourself

onlinecounsellingcollege:

1. Will it really matter in a year? Or in six months?

2. Is this helping me to grow and become a better person?

3. Why does their opinion or approval matter to me?

4. Am I acting on my feelings? Am I likely to regret this?

5. What if I decided to do things differently?

6. What if I decided to write a choose who I will be instead of letting others decide my life for me?

(via mentalillnessmouse)


toopunktofuck:

to all my followers who take antipsychotic medications:

please remember the heat stroke advisory! please remember your meds may make it more difficult for your body to regulate its core temperature! wear your loosest clothes and limit your sun exposure!

(via mentalillnessmouse)


Nearly everyone with ADHD answers an emphatic yes to the question: “Have you always been more sensitive than others to rejection, teasing, criticism, or your own perception that you have failed or fallen short?” This is the definition of a condition called rejection-sensitive dysphoria. When I ask ADHDers to elaborate on it, they say: “I’m always tense. I can never relax. I can’t just sit there and watch a TV program with the rest of the family. I can’t turn my brain and body off to go to sleep at night. Because I’m sensitive to my perception that other people disapprove of me, I am fearful in personal interactions.” They are describing the inner experience of being hyperactive or hyper-aroused. Remember that most kids after age 14 don’t show much overt hyperactivity, but it’s still present internally, if you ask them about it.

The emotional response to the perception of failure is catastrophic for those with the condition. The term “dysphoria” means “difficult to bear,” and most people with ADHD report that they “can hardly stand it.” They are not wimps; disapproval hurts them much more than it hurts neurotypical people.

If emotional pain is internalized, a person may experience depression and loss of self-esteem in the short term. If emotions are externalized, pain can be expressed as rage at the person or situation that wounded them.

In the long term, there are two personality outcomes. The person with ADHD becomes a people pleaser, always making sure that friends, acquaintances, and family approve of him. After years of constant vigilance, the ADHD person becomes a chameleon who has lost track of what she wants for her own life. Others find that the pain of failure is so bad that they refuse to try anything unless they are assured of a quick, easy, and complete success. Taking a chance is too big an emotional risk. Their lives remain stunted and limited.

For many years, rejection-sensitive dysphoria has been the hallmark of what has been called atypical depression. The reason that it was not called “typical” depression is that it is not depression at all but the ADHD nervous system’s instantaneous response to the trigger of rejection.

"Devastated by Disapproval" - William Dodson, M.D., ADDitude Magazine (via alchemy)

there’s also the ugly lessons you learn growing up with adhd — that people will not understand or forgive your failures, that ‘live up to your potential’ are fighting words, that chronic insomnia is no excuse for being late/sick/groggy at school or work. disapproval isn’t just badfeels. it’s a warning sign that the shit’s about to hit the fan and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.

(via jumpingjacktrash)

(via betterthandarkchocolate)


emt-monster:

The beautiful brain. Sagittal, coronal and horisontal view.

(via infinity-imagined)


sassysnitch:

interrobangphan:

hiimcastieltheweepingangel:

mujertropical:

donnaluna:

shmoke-what:

oliviatheelf:

too-kawaii-to-die:

I don’t care what kind of blog I have I will blog this no matter what.

"Craving sensation: feeling unreal" was such a huge part of the beginning of my relapse. I was convinced that people in front of me didn’t even exist and I kept touching things and trying to feel sensation. I’m reblogging because I know that that was so horrifying for me and I never want anyone else to go through it. 

In case someone needs to see this

Just in case this can help someone. Some suggestions also seem harmful (eating a hot pepper really hurts!!!) but steps to feeling better and not self harming is most important. Sending you love and light

STOP SCROLLING! Please reblog this vitally important information because at least one of your followers is self-harming. Thank you!

I need this

I’ve used some of these and they really do help! Reblogging forever simply because this could help save someone

Always,
always, ALWAYS REBLOG THIS. It is so important and you have no idea if someone browsing your blog needs it.

(via nyaagisa)