Rumi

sunsetI prayed for change, so I changed my mind.
I prayed for guidance and learned to trust myself.
I prayed for happiness and realized I am not my ego.
I prayed for peace and learned to accept others unconditionally.
I prayed for abundance and realized my doubt kept it out.
I prayed for wealth and realized it is my health.
I prayed for a miracle and realized I am the miracle.
I prayed for a soul mate and realized I am the One.
I prayed for love and realized it’s always knocking, but I have to allow it in.

 

Cognition and White Matter Alterations in Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Basically what this study is saying is in terms of the parameters they looked at [fractional anisotropy (FA) measures connectivity in the brain, number of fiber tracts (NofT), tract length (Le), and tract volume (vol)] people who had bipolar disorder were much closer to normal controls than people who had schizophrenia. That is, there is much less damage in the brain of people who have bipolar disorder and bipolar disorder is a much less severe illness than schizophrenia. Something I am acutely aware of and so thankful that if I had to have one of the two, at least I have the less severe one. Something about bipolar disorder for which to be thankful for a change. Nothing is perfect, but neither is it as bad as it could be…

http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/schizophrenia-and-psychoses/white-matter-alterations-in-schizophrenia-bipolar-disorder/article/516202/

According to new findings, published in Journal of Affective Disorders by investigators affiliated with Goethe University in Germany, Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, and Federal University of Ceará in Brazil, white matter, microstructural changes in the fornix are associated with cognitive ability in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia but not in those individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are characterized by significant genetic overlap, as well as significant overlap in the presentation of clinical symptoms. Brain white matter abnormalities are known to exist in patients diagnosed with psychosis, but until now, the direct comparison of white matter changes between individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder has not been performed. According to new findings, published in Journal of Affective Disorders by investigators affiliated with Goethe University in Germany, Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, and Federal University of Ceará in Brazil, white matter, microstructural changes in the fornix are associated with cognitive ability in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia but not in those individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are characterized by significant genetic overlap, as well as significant overlap in the presentation of clinical symptoms. Brain white matter abnormalities are known to exist in patients diagnosed with psychosis, but until now, the direct comparison of white matter changes between individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder has not been performed.

Investigators used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine white matter tracts in 32 euthymic bipolar disorder type I patients (15 female), 26 schizophrenia patients (13 female), and 30 matched typical, healthy control participants (16 female). The mean age of onset of bipolar disorder in the sample was 32.9 (SD=10.95), and 24.31 (SD=4.88) for patients with schizophrenia. All participants were taking medications at the time of study enrollment, but patients did not receive benzodiazepine drugs for at least 1 month prior to any brain imaging procedures.

Investigators chose to examine 4 white matter tracts: the bilateral fornix, the bilateral cingulum, the corpus callosum, and the bilateral anterior thalamic radiation. Disruption in fornix integrity in schizophrenia patients has previously been shown. The volume of the fornix in individuals with either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, however, was found previously not to be significantly different from that of control participants.

With respect to the cingulum, decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) values were observed in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. White matter tract abnormalities in the corpus callosum were also reported in both groups of individuals. Finally, microstructural changes in the anterior thalamic radiation were previously observed in patients with schizophrenia, and these abnormalities were linked to cognitive deficits.

In the current study, data show widespread white matter tract abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia compared with control participants [ie, differences were observed in all 4 regions and all indices of microstructral integrity, including fractional anisotropy (FA), number of fiber tracts (NofT), tract length (Le), and tract volume (vol)]. Differences in tract integrity were much smaller when these indices were compared between patients with bipolar disorder and controls, and alterations were noted only in the bilateral fornix.

Additionally, the alterations of the fornix have a functional relevance for cognitive performance (ie, reduced executive functioning and psychomotor speed) in patients with schizophrenia, but not bipolar disorder. These data “suggest that cognitive symptoms are closely associated with white matter changes in the fornix, at a greater (and significant) extent in schizophrenia than in bipolar disorder,” the authors wrote in their publication. 

Mean Bipolar Downswings: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself! by Julie Fast.

I just read this blogpost by my friend Julie Fast. It seems like she has read my mind and put down exactly how I’m feeling right now! Totally negative, about everything, it feels pretty bad! Will try all in my power to get over this blast of negativity, and get back to my positive, real self. Thank you Julie for posting this! XXXOOO

“When overwhelmed, negative mood swings arrive, they can bring out some very unsavory behavior. 1. No table at a restaurant pleases. 2. No food tastes good. 3. Driving causes road rage.  4. Life feels very difficult. 5. It’s hard to find a comfortable place to sit. 6. Work is scattered. 7. The body is out of whack. 8. People get on the nerves. 9. Life is too busy. 10. We want a different life.  When I have one of these mood swings, I recognize that I’m overwhelmed and I take action. It usually takes me hours to get myself to calm down and those are often lost hours. I have to stop myself from driving randomly. I will park, go in a place, feel uncomfortable and leave over and over again if I let myself. I will eat sugar to feel better and to calm down. I will snap at people and yell and scream and pedestrians who do something stupid. I don’t want to be this person, so I check myself before I wreck myself. Julie”

Source: Mean Bipolar Downswings: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself!

People…

ferrari-458-italia-red-11

They will say whatever they want, do whatever they want, think whatever they want, whenever they want. There’s nothing we can do about it, nothing I can do about it. People who you thought were your friends will call you a narcissist, nothing you can do about it. You are not a narcissist, all your true friends know that. Or do they? How do you know what anyone thinks? How do you know whom to trust? Can you trust anyone at all? Are we not just animals with animal brains, thinking animal thoughts that come out of the animal amalgamation, the chemical concoction in our brains. Half the time we don’t even know why we feel the way we do, how can we possibly know how someone else feels and why and what will come out of their mouth?

Let me just tell you honestly, so you can laugh your head off, I have always given my friendship unconditionally to my friends, trusted them wholly, and they could trust me completely, I’ve been their friend with no conditions. But I am not really sure that is the right thing to do. Of course, and again, here I am being stupidly sincere, I don’t know what the right thing to do is… it’s just that when someone you think is your friend calls you a narcissist, well, it doesn’t feel good. And it sort of shakes up your beliefs and it rattles your trust in other people. Does everyone think I’m a narcissist and just hasn’t said it to my face? Do they think worse? No, I admit, I am decidedly no angel, but when I think of you as my friend, I do think of you well.

Anyway… I’ll get over it. I know I am not a narcissist, and so do my close friends… I think… I don’t want what someone said to me, maybe carelessly, maybe not, to change who I am and how I think and behave, but for now it has, like a brand new Ferrari 458 Italia red can get dented in a collision… I feel dented, maybe time will hammer out the dents and give me a fresh coat of fire engine red paint. Maybe not. Ooops, is that narcissistic???

 

 

Five to Quit, One to NEVER Quit!

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And one thing to NEVER, EVER quit: Being Independent! Don’t depend on the good wishes of anyone, on the affection of anyone. Be everything to yourself! Give yourself the love you never got, give yourself the approval you never got, everyone else is battling their own issues, give unto yourself. And having given to yourself, then try and give to others as well. Be a beacon of love and warmth, at least try!

 

Quit these:

Trying to Please Everyone: Yeah that always works! Everyone is always so pleased by everything I do, they call me “The Princess!” NOT! It never works. Don’t try to please everyone, in fact don’t try to please anyone, just do what you think is right and proper and necessary. Don’t worry about anyone else! And never explain yourself to anyone.

Fearing Change: Change is the only constant! Ha! It really is! Nothing ever stays the same, you never step into the same river twice, blah, blah, blah. No, seriously, we are all changing every moment, the day turns into night, summer turns into fall, and ebony hair turns grey. Thermodynamics, entropy, aging, change, read about it!

Living in the Past: If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times, you can’t change the past! No matter how many times you go over it in your head, you cannot change the past. So don’t think about it, don’t live in it, they don’t have very nice accommodations!

Putting Yourself Down: Yeah, this is the real one. Put yourself down, and immediately, there will be people who call themselves your friends, who will absolutely agree with you! They’ll go a few steps further and perhaps pull out all the stops and trash you! In fact people will put you down out of the clear blue sky, you don’t even have to utter one single word against yourself. Why put yourself down? Everyone else is already ready to do it for you, yes they unfortunately are… so build yourself up, so when people put you down, there is still a structure called “YOU” left standing!

Overthinking: Just three words: Don’t do it!

I Got Nothing

I was going to post some scientific research about similarities in schizophrenia and autism, but decided not to (Read it here if you’d like: Autism, Schizophrenia,Epilepsy, Dementia .) Then I was going to write something, anything, as a post, but have nothing. Not sad, not happy, just have a little ball of dread lodged in my solar plexus. Besides that, nothing.

Finished reading the “Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy” book. Hilarious, and she is so hilariously incompetent that anyone would feel better after reading it. Maybe that’s the reason for her popularity… But really, really funny book. Highly recommend it!

BJ

Got five more books from my favorite bookstore in the Highlands, haven’t started reading them though. One of them is the earlier writings of Jane Austen known as Juvenilia! I didn’t think there was anything by Jane Austen in existence that I hadn’t read! But there is, and very excited, will start reading it tonight🙂

Jane Austen Juvenilia

Worried about my son, haha, of course worried about my son. I know I shouldn’t worry about him, he is intelligent and capable and he is going to pass the Bar and find a job and take responsibility for himself and his life. May he have a beloved, happy, healthy life, doing what he loves to do. That’s the prayer of a mother’s heart.

A 1 A 3A 2

Politics have been absolutely appalling, but since Hillary is slated to win by 88%, I can relax about that, whew! I hope! Still have to get my KY license, have a spare NY license so will always have that🙂

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-could-win-in-a-landslide_us_57b1ae13e4b071840411d76c

Been going to Zumba, so FUN! A smile never leaves my face when I’m doing Zumba!


Hope to have something more inspiring shortly…

Cortical Molecular Markers Differentiate Psychotic, Bipolar Disorders

braintemporallobets_1017632The researchers quantified the transcript levels of GAD67, parvalbumin, somastatin, and Lhx6 in the prefrontal cortex.

GABA or γ (gamma) amino butyric acid is the inhibitory neurotransmitter in our nervous system. That is, it reduces the activity of neurons to which it binds. Interestingly enough, benzodiazepines also bind to GABA receptors, therefore it is believed that GABA’s reducing neuronal activity also reduces anxiety! Hmmmm, will have to look into this! There are also excitatory neurotransmitters in our nervous systems, eg. glutamate, will have to steer well clear of those! Except if in catatonic depression! But seriously…

The study below finds that there are deficits in GABA related molecules such as the GABA synthesizing enzyme GAD67, the calcium binding protein Parvalbumin, the neuropeptide Somatostatin, and the transcription factor Lhx6.

These deficits are most pronounced in a subset of Schizophrenia patients identified as ‘low GABA marker’ or LGM molecular phenotype.

Schizophrenia shares clinical features, possibly genetics, and abnormal cortical circuitry with schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. Therefore they determined to what extent the LGM molecular phenotype was present in these other disorders.

Approximately 49% of the subjects with schizophrenia, 48% of the subjects with schizoaffective disorder, and 29% of the subjects with bipolar disorder, but only 5% of unaffected subjects, clustered in the cortical LGM molecular phenotype.

They concluded that these findings support the characterization of psychotic and bipolar disorders by cortical molecular phenotype which may help elucidate more pathophysiologically informed and personalized medications.

All this research is fascinating, and advances in the field are being made daily. I just can’t wait till some of it is put in to practice for us, the people who have these disorders.

http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/schizophrenia-and-psychoses/molecular-markers-differentiate-psychosis-bipolar-disorder/article/515598/

Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia share certain genetic risk factors, as well as clinical features including psychosis and cognitive impairment, with patients diagnosed with either schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder.

New evidence indicates that patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder can successfully be identified based on their cortical ‘low GABA marker’ (LGM) molecular phenotype. Researchers affiliated with University of Pittsburgh conducted the study, and their findings were published in Psychological Medicine journal.

Postmortem analyses of brain tissue in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia consistently show disturbances in gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). These findings have repeatedly been replicated, and deficits in GABA neuron-related mRNAs cannot be attributed to the use of antipsychotic medications.

“Alterations in inhibitory neurotransmission have been reported to contribute to cognitive impairments that are present in schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder,” the authors noted in their publication.

In the current study, researchers quantified the transcript levels of GAD67, parvalbumin, somastatin, and Lhx6 in the PFC to identify the cortical phenotype across these 3 severe psychiatric disorders. In line with previous reports, the investigators show that only 5% of typical, healthy control participants (n=87) present with a LGM molecular phenotype, compared with 49% of patients with schizophrenia, 48% of patients with schizoaffective disorder, and 29% of patients with bipolar disorder.

GAD67 is an enzyme that catalyzes the decarboxylation of glutamate to the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, and the ablation of GAD67 results in an almost complete reduction in basal GABA levels in the brain. Parvalbumin is a calcium-binding protein present at high levels in GABAergic neurons, and is an important modulator of intracellular calcium dynamics in nerve cells. Somastatin is a cyclic polypeptide that is colocalized and sometimes co-released with GABA, and has been implicated in various cognitive and affective functions. Lhx6 is a transcription factor that is expressed in GABAergic cells and its silencing impedes migration of interneurons into the cortex.

“The presence of the LGM molecular phenotype may represent a substrate for cognitive impairment in subsets of these subjects…. and individuals with [this] phenotype may potentially benefit from pharmacological treatments that focus on GABA-related disturbances,” the authors concluded.