Science is one step closer to reverse the damage of chronic stress

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Stress is inevitable and suffering is universal, but victimhood is optional. The choice is yours, says Dr.Eger, who survived a concentration camp during World War II and reflected on life in her book. However, it is not easy to change the brain by using the brain itself. Stress causes maladaptive plasticity within the brain’s reward circuit. The mood and anxiety disorders affect one out of every six people in their lifetime and cost the United States economy an excess of $50 billion per year.

The recent good news stemmed from new studies attempting to tune the brain’s plasticity back to…


Some are born with status sensitivity and the taste for impulse buying

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How many of you still believe that narcissist is a victim of elusive childhood traumatic experience? One giant … lie? And here is why?

There is an increasing tendency toward narcissism among young adults worldwide, but the root causes are still obscure. Here are three scientifically-supported data points to consider why narcissism may be a genetic condition rather than the result of traumatic childhood upbringing.

Narcissists are geared toward the status

Investigators measured spontaneous facial muscle activity linked to positive affect (muscles responsible for smiling) and negative affect (muscles involved in frowning) in 123 children aged 8–13 participating in a game that involved status changes. The…


A single dose of psilocybin “couples” “uncoupled” brain networks

Art by @andeveaux

If consciousness is a state of being awake and aware, does it mean you are unconscious in your sleep?

For many years the majority of researchers considered dreamless sleep being equal to an unconscious state. Consciousness, however, is not a binary on/off state. Many states of consciousness are well known — dreamless sleep, REM sleep, sleepwalking, waking consciousness, vegetative state, and finally, a state of coma. More precisely, sleep is a state of reduced consciousness, and coma is the state of unconsciousness. …


Women experience pain differently

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Believe it or not, men and women are created differently. The debate is not about gender or equality. It is about Sex As a Biological Variable (SABV).

In 2016, the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a policy introducing SABV in research. Humans and animals may be classified by sex, so are cells and tissues used in biomedical research.

Interestingly, pain impacts women differently than men. In 1999, researchers became interested in gender/pain connection and formed a Special Interest Group on Sex, Gender, and Pain. …


Including weight, heart diseases, and cancer risk

By Anna Deveaux, M.Sc., Canva

Surprise! One day psychedelics may become a new fitness trend.

The effects of therapeutic psychedelic treatment on mood disorders are receiving significant scientific attention. Psilocybin is currently being tested in several clinical trials for the treatment of mood disorders. However, arguably, even broader health benefits of classic psychedelics may include weight, cardiovascular disease, and cancer risk.

A groundbreaking new paper just published in March looked into the presumable broader health benefit of classic psychedelics. Three years of data, on over 170 000 people provided by the National Survey on Drug Use, was recently examined by a team of researchers from…


Neuropathology of narcissism

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Quantifying the living human brain isn’t an easy task, particularly when it comes to elusive and difficult to measure high cognitive functions such as behavior, empathy, humanity, and humility. (Yes, I am referring to Meghan Markle). Recently, scientists used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine how individual differences in behavior might compare to white matter structure and connectivity.

White matter is the tissue through which messages pass between different areas of grey matter within the brain.

A team of researchers from China came to an intriguing conclusion and published the findings in the International Journal of Neuroscience. The team matched…


Psilocybin may soon be legally available for young and old

Art by Anna Deveaux

Did you know that psychedelics acceptance is just around the corner? Robust and durable beneficial mind-altering properties of single or few-doses psilocybin can be used respectfully by carefully selected young and old individuals.

Let's be clear. Some botanicals including cannabis are currently still listed on Schedule 1 of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971). Scheduled substances may or may not lack therapeutic effects or may have a high potential for abuse/dependence, and may cause serious adverse effects. Psilocybe mushrooms, on the other hand, are not scheduled under the UN Convention, but many countries introduced specific laws to control…


A five-year-long waiting list?

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Canada’s vaccination is lagging. Currently, the pace is approximately 10 000–40 000 doses per day. At that pace will take “a short five years” to deliver two doses of the COVID19 vaccine to every Canadian.

Another couple of years of confinement? Maybe. Listen, “honey” ( my inner voice), someone needs to give a break to the prepaid health care system. Since they couldn’t add more beds. It’s understandable — they only had 12 months to act.

No, it’s not. And yes, it’s a gloomy reality.

How long the vaccine protects from severe infection?

According to the vaccine manufacturers, the maximum protection requires three things:

  • First dose
  • A booster…

Why anxiety and depression cause dry eyes?

Photo by Aliyah Jamous on Unsplash

Eyeballs are the only part of the brain that can be seen from the outside. Like many human diseases, dry eye condition is poorly understood. Until you experience the constant annoying feeling of irritation, dryness, grittiness, you probably never even heard of dry eye disease (DED). But unlucky ones are suffering physically and mentally.

Some eye drops and an enhanced eyelid cleaning routine — two pieces of advice — you should not expect more from a professional. Most optometrists are defeated by DED, a relentless and potentially life long condition.

Three quick facts about precious ocular liquid

One — The tear film is a thin coat of…


A detailed timeline of an unlikely recovery from a binary chemical weapon poisoning

The Lancet published a timeline of the clinical course of Alexey Navalny's illness. He is a prominent opposition leader in Russia, after recovering over a long period of time in Germany, Navalny returned home and was immediately thrown in jail.

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

Clinical timeline

On Aug 20, 2020

A 44-year-old previously healthy man became confused 10 min after boarding a flight in Russia. He vomited, collapsed, and became unconscious. The same day the patient had received atropine in the intensive care unit in Omsk, Russia.

31 hours later

German air ambulance medical crew had access to Navalny. The patient had a heart rate of…

Anna Deveaux, M.Sc.

learner, writer, biotech investor, research translation, drug development, genetics

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