Note: Ketamine is a controlled substance in the US and many other countries. Do not use ketamine illicitly.
Imagine an injection that briefly gives you schizophrenia. Now imagine that this injection is all at once the same drug once abused by Steve-O of MTV’s Jackass, the same drug popped in karaoke bars in East Asia, the same drug given as anesthesia to animals and children, and the same drug that holds promise as an emergency antidote to suicidal thoughts.
The evening of November 9th, 1938, began with typical fall solemnity for many Jews living across Germany: closing up their shops and businesses, returning home from school, and preparing family suppers. It would end with terror, as mobs ransacked storefronts, assaulted Jews on the street, and set fire to their homes. That terrible night would be known to history by the glittering debris of shattered windows lining the streets: “Kristallnacht.”
Kristallnacht, and the subsequent atrocities of Germany’s holocaust against the Jews, changed the world. Modernity had to forever acknowledge a surprising and abhorrent crime. Societies would undergo lasting changes, attempting to prevent such crimes, and the victims themselves, sadly, would suffer long-lasting impacts to their psyche.Continue reading
Brain stimulation might sound like some Frankensteinian demonstration from a Victorian science fair. But in reality, it is a contemporary technique making a huge impact in neuroscience by addressing a longstanding limitation of traditional methods for investigating human brain function. Such techniques, like EEG and fMRI, can only be used to infer the effects of a stimulus or task on brain activity, and not vice versa. For example, a scientist might use EEG to study the effect of a task like arm movement on brain activity, but how can one study the effect of brain activity on arm movement?Continue reading
In a recent presidential town hall, President Obama looked directly into the camera and made a powerful statement about mental health. “If something inside you feels like it’s wounded, it’s just like a physical injury. You’ve got to go get help,” said the leader of the free world.
Buried under the weight of a massive social stigma, seeking help or even acknowledging a mental illness can be an excruciating task. How, then, can we help ourselves and our loved ones achieve emotional and mental well-being?Continue reading
We all know too much sugar is bad for us. But did you know that having unfettered access to sugar might produce brain changes similar to highly stressful situations, such as neglect or abuse? A recent study published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience comparing the effects of unlimited sugar availability and the effects of early life stress in rats might suggest just that.Continue reading
If you’re in a room with ten adults, chances are two of them are going to develop a mental illness –- and only one of them will receive proper treatment. Depending upon the psychiatric condition, common treatments include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and pharmacotherapy. Continue reading
I’m going to ask you a question, and you have to be honest. Promise? OK. Here’s the question: how much time do you spend on Facebook each day? Take a minute to add it up: scrolling through your newsfeed in the elevator, liking photos while at the gym, commenting on a friend’s post while shopping, posting a photo of your food… Believe it or not, the average smartphone user spends 32 minutes on Facebook every day (Facebook IDC study, 2013).Continue reading
Have you ever woken up minutes before your alarm sounded? This strange phenomenon isn’t just a bizarre coincidence! Like most living things, we have an extremely accurate and powerful internal biological clock. As its name implies, this circadian clock operates over “about a day” and is responsible for controlling our sleep-wake cycles, digestive activities, mood, and many other physiological processes. In order to achieve such global results, the circadian rhythm operates over a hierarchy of oscillators that function at the cellular, tissue, and systems levels.Continue reading
When I was an undergraduate student, I was an expert at pulling “all-nighter” study sessions prior to exams and project deadlines. Once everything was said and done the next day, many of my classmates moved on to celebratory happy hours, while the only thing that could make me happy at the time was heading to bed! Even after some rest, however, I was slow, lethargic, and felt misplaced.Continue reading