Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Watched two great documentaries on The Brain - Poem: 296.62 (Diagnostic Code)

Went to Scott's house to watch Can Alzheimer's Be Stopped and Riding the Tiger: The Bipolar Brain.

If you missed these programs watch them here

Bipolar show Riding the Tiger -

Funny, bc when I had bipolar I would occasionally dream of a Tiger and wake up in a terror.

Before that was a program on Alzheimer's disease - Can Alzheimer's Be Stopped?


Scott was at work but left the TV on for me. He has great reception, unlike me.

I lay on his bed and stared at the telly which sits on a high dresser, great pic.

As I lay there, I thought, How great this is! I am in no pain whatsoever. I'd had a blistering stiff neck that I had PT for - I continue to do the neckercises - and I still often get back pain left over from my operation.

Please! Stop this Old Lady talk.

Progress is indeed being made on Alz disease thru the development of novel drugs made possible by new instruments or tools being developed, and thru brain scans.

The plaques and tangles from Alz develop 20 yrs before the arrival of mild cognitive impairment. The show takes us right into the brain where we seem to BE the plaques and tangles. Can you see a skit on SNL where they dance to the song Plaques and Tangles?


Genentech out of San Fran spent $250 million in developing a drug to stop or prevent Alz. Double blind study that took about five yrs. Then they did the unblinding. There's a name for it but I'd have to watch the show again.

The drug was a success. 80 percent less cognitive impairment in folks with bad cognitive impairment.

An ad posted said One in Three Seniors die of Alz or cognitive impairment.

We traveled to Colombia to see the families who have the gene that determines they will get the disease. Many believed they were being punished for something they had done wrong.

Researchers convinced them they had a disease.

Through church records - marriages, deaths, baptisms - they traced the disease to one individual.

A Spanish conquistador!

Bet he was shocked when his brain was rocked asunder!


Following the Alz show, I sat up and began eating my snack.... hollow pretzels Donna brought me plus peanuts.

The pretzels are nutritionally worthless.

Now we're watching Riding the Tiger: The Bipolar Brain.

I was ecstatic .... an entire hour about my favorite disease.

Here are some of the featured people.... first the bipolar ones

Image result for patty duke

Patty Duke said she told her husband, Her brain feels like a motor.

Image result for patrick kennedy bipolar 
Patrick Kennedy was eloquent and helped us understand what bipolar behavior is like. He's the youngest son of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The show would not have been complete w/o Kay Redfield Jamison.

Image result for kay redfield jamison  She's still taking her medication religiously, she said.

Lithium, the so-called gold-standard, said the narrator, only works for about one-third of patients.

Image result for ruth z deming  You know what happened to this girl bc of lithium.

The program showed bottles and bottles of pills. I loved it!

Image result for pill bottles 

The POWER of these tiny little granules.

Image result for helen maybergDoctor Helen Mayberg is a brain surgeon, pioneer of deep brain stimulation. First she helped folks with Parkinson's and now she's helping people with treatment-resistant depression.

Hmmm. I think I'll recommend her to my friend, who is really bad.

You've gotta have hope that something will work.

Image result for nimh tom insel    Tom Insel, former head of NIMH, wants treatment 'stepped up' on brain surgery. We need to find out where the circuits are situated so we can help suffering people.

Well, I think that's all for tonight.

It's 12:51 now. Will write a quick poem.


Manic depression?
That was the word to
explain my bizarre behavior

How do I suffer?
Let me count the ways.

Grandiosity - call me Helen,
Helen of Troy

Flight of ideas - thoughts
galloping like a palomino
thru my brain

Sleeplessness - up all
night, a ballerina sailing
over furniture

Enough already!
Off to the asylum
or rather, the southern
mansion, a regular
Blanche Dubois who

found the kind stranger
at the hospital to hold
and love her till
cruel hands pulled
them apart

Who would believe
as her body aged and
matured, she would
one day throw her
pills away, the lithiums
the Klonopins, the
Cogentins, the Navanes,
the Risperdals, and
call herself

Image result for ruth z deming photo

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