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the potential is stunning, part one

I've chosen Alyssa's icon here because she is a fave of both Kiota and me, a ranked figure skater, and an artist who works harder at getting better at performing. She was the subject of a photo essay Ki made at a competition in Spokane....some of both of their best work <3

I'm also going to post refs in case any of you wants to go there instead of peeking under the cut, or you might want to come back up here afterwards. Generally this all revolves around physiological neuropharmacology [which may turn most readers off, right there :P ]


"The Dying of Enoch Wallace" by Ira Black, MD [2001]
"The Genius Engine: Where Memory, Reason, Passion, Violence, and Creativity Interact in the Human Brain" by Kathleen Stein [2007]


"Understanding Aggression: It's Largely in the Planning", by Eve Bender, published in 'Psychiatric News' on December 5, 2003 http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/38/23/21

"Give Voice to Sexual Assault Victims" by Beth-Anne Blue, Clinical Psychologist, University of Florida at Gainesville; op-ed piece in USA Today, Monday, November 14, 2008. In answer to the next article ---

"PTSD Is A War Within The Body", USA Today, October 27, 2008

Involving the S in PTSD: the Stress after the Trauma event happens to you and it's over. Lots of PR about nightmares from war service in Iraq, and measuring PTSD in terms of combat victims and highway-accident victims. Dr. Blue's assessment is that PTSD originating from sexual attack is the same psychology but a very different trauma because it is compounded by guilt, shame, and silence: what's left is a cohort of "terrified, often revictimized women who have survived a sexual assault" --- as many as one in six college women will be "the victim of rape or attempted rape" in college, and that's two to seven or more years depending on the program. So her point is to ask for a lot more PR for sexual-attack traumas.

In Dr. Black's survey, it's revealed that nerve cells CAN be regenerated in your brain [contrary to what scientists thought for centuries] and the positions of memories --- good and bad --- are in the strengths or weaknesses between the *connections* in the nerve cells: trillions of them. No two nerve cells actually touch, messages get up and down your body through neurotransmitter protein molecules. They're called NGF molecules: Neuron Growth Factor.

All through your hippocampus and amygdala, the popularly-named locations for memory of sex attacks, and happy birthday times, and indeed all of our histories --- there are protein molecules 'remembering' this and making strong cell connections possible.

The neuro-docs also discovered "killer proteins", molecules that would trigger brain cell death instead of life: the cells would just wither and waste away. We all have them. There are more, and more powerful, NGF's: so we live. When the balance changes, we don't.

So every brain cell we have is programmed for both creation and destruction, says the model. Depends which kind of "glue" molecules get there first, to link the brain cells into a creative burst of joy or into a dance of death.

However, docs have been very successful at *making* molecules in the lab, introducing them into brains, and counteracting the killer proteins. The thought is that, in the near future, cell replacement therapy at the molecular level can get rid of specific corrosive memories that, in the worst case, can plunge you irretrievably into depression and generate suicidal attempts, and suicide completions.

Much investigation goes on into *why* compounds like fluoxetine HCl [Prozac] and various serotonin derivatives are helpful to depressives ... for awhile, anyway.

Anna read eagerly on these subjects and told her grandfather one day that the neurochemical reactions to child rape could actually alter cell structure in your brain as you grew into puberty, causing more hormonal-driven complications. She gave him a book on the subject [I don't know which one.]

So it's amazing to put both the molecular research and drug-therapy approaches together to conceive that a new set of molecules, or even a single one multiplied many times, made in the lab, can be introduced into your brain to replace other molecules, which will erase memories causing destructive effects in your life....

"Illness and injury need no longer be regarded as unrepairable tragedies that forever doom" the people who have them or suffer them. Says Dr. Black. *** all*** the people who have them, from whatever causes. "The potential is stunning."

And that is absolutely wonderful, a gift of light that is permanent.


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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