Tag Archives: brain chemistry


brain lightbulbI am envisioning a day when my older patients with significant neurologic issues (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementias and Memory Decline of various types) will return to class to improve their brains and physical constitution.   They’ll go back to school….and they’ll like it!   This school would be called DDA …..Dr. Doug’s Academy (I’m riffing on an idea here…so let me have my fun!)

An elementary school at the age of 70, it would be a whole day affair.  It would start early in the morning, as the older set often have sleep issues.  The day would consist of more physical activity than mental activity, because it turns out that physical activity has the strongest correlation with improvement in brain function and memory.  We’d have 3-4 sections of physical activity daily, and then 2-3 classes that are academically oriented, as this remains important in it’s own right.

We’ll serve healthy food, abstain from liquor (to excess…a little liquor would be OK…perhaps even during the daytime!…..You’ll like my school.)  With all of this going on….we might need a naptime too with cookies and milk.

Why do I construct my school this way?  Because research is showing greater potential for spontaneous brain healing than we have previously imagined.  In this article from the WSJ sent in by a patient, you can read about the research that is informing such an approach.   Read>>>>HERE.



Brain Scan From AboveEric Kandel’s article in the New York Times this week, echoes the comments made in by Dr. Jim Schulte in our recent conversation on psychiatry (<<<SEE THE VIDEO HERE>>>)

The chemistry of the brain, as complex as it is, is becoming increasingly understandable with the use of fMRI (this stands for functional MRI….a type of scan available only in research settings).  We can visualize the areas of brain that activate or deactivate during certain moods or actions.  In Dr. Kandel’s piece, he notes that these scans are now able to predict whether an individual’s depression is more likely to respond to talk-therapy or to medication.

The future of psychiatry will be forever changes by these types of imaging technologies and their potential for putting the brain’s hidden functions on display.  They may even allow the unlocking of the idea of consciousness, one of the great mysteries of the universe.

John Searle on Consiousness