Tag Archives: Gut-Brain Axis

Hormone from Hell? About the neurotransmitter dopamine.

A very good – and easily understandable – summary of in what ways we are influenced by the neurotransmitter dopamine.

I only want to add: This competent blogger has yet another blog, called Victoria Neuronotes. You should follow that blog too.

NeuroNotes

| 1K pharm  |  Dopamine is a small molecule. Nothing too complicated really. Two neighboring hydroxy groups on a benzene ring with an amino group just around the corner. But, oh! What a molecule. It is a neurotransmitter produced in various parts of the brain and has five known target receptors. According to the Wikipedia entry for the compound: “Its main function as a hormone is to inhibit the release of prolactin from the anterior lobe of the pituitary.” But, that belies a whole host of issues for which dopamine is responsible. Dopamine, after all, has a role to play in behavior and cognition, in voluntary movement, in motivation, in our level of concentration, working memory, learning, sleep patterns, our moods, sexual gratification, punishment, and, of course, reward.

Reward

We all know it when we receive it. It’s that most pleasurable feeling, that emotion that drives us…

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Filed under Addiction, Blogs I follow, Brain, Gods, Hallucinations, Magical & Religious Thinking, Mind, Morality issues, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Priming processes, Psychiatry, Psychology, Reason vs. Faith a.k.a. Sense vs. Sensibility, Religion, Woo, Woo-Personality

About woo-ism, psychiatric symptoms and immune system disturbances

Autoimmune and inflammatory activities in the brain seem to be linked with psychiatric symptoms. Have a look at this article: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/25/451169292/could-depression-be-caused-by-an-infection

I even suspect there may be a positive correlation between woo-ism (believing woo experiences must be true/genuine/real phenomena PLUS also displaying a higher disposition towards experiencing such paranormal – and psychic – phenomena).

It’s undeniable that there exists an overlap between mental and physical illness. They have many symptoms in common.

Furthermore, lately researchers have detected a network of vessels that seem to be able to directly connect the brain with the immune system, so it’s not farfetched to assume that neuroinflammatory and/or neurodegenerative diseases are associated with immune system dysfunction.

For details, see: http://www.nature.com/articles/nature14432.epdf?referrer_access_token=M_gEqyTF4woL1TO0pPtt_dRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0PP9svrp_06Oir1YyDWe7ejvVLL2VbrH_EwNtYJfrQFs76c429WdrHUa3kC6-ROdf0a_sf0Wq3y-_lXvDuWqqE81teEmgu9jJgiCo644XrZpoQFLHRhQL_oQbZPSnuILCbsmK4rEXRW91jKrI6Im8RIguooFs6WobJt6z2yuX7A2pJD0k4VDG0jAeie6V4PmjIrmox96-6NYWQfQMxCVLxb&tracking_referrer=www.npr.org .

There are also many indications that stressors of any kind, especially in childhood, can activate our immune system. A hyperactive immune system alarm goes hand in hand with autoimmune diseases. And woo believers are known to have more autoimmune disorder diagnoses than non-woo believers.

Examples of such stressors are physical abuse, sexual abuse, feelings of neglect and grief, nutritional deficiencies, sleep deprivation, and much more. A childhood full of stressors like these might pave the ground for woo beliefs later on.

This finding is, in turn, completely compatible with the positive correlation between woo believers and mental disorders like depression, GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. And those diagnoses are, in turn, suspected to be caused, partly, by an infection that has activated the immune-inflammatory system of their bodies.

So it’s easy to imagine that both stressors (like those I just mentioned) and Infections during childhood – maybe already in the womb – might work in concert with genetics to make that individual (already as a fetus) sensitive to not only psychosocial factors but also to become prone to believe in, and experience, paranormal phenomena.

BTW, Here’s a book I can recommend to all those interested in the woo-personality traits: http://www.davidritchey-author.com/hoa.htm .

The author David Ritchey summarizes his findings here: http://www.davidritchey-author.com/hoa-findings.htm . The following six points are listed (especially point #5 is of extra interest here):

1. Various factors including Biology (“nature”), Trauma and Abuse (“nurture”) and Temperament Type Preferences (“personality”) can predispose an individual to be an Anomalously Sensitive Person (ASP).

2. If an individual is anomalously sensitive in one realm (the “Physiological,” for example), s/he is very likely to be anomalously sensitive in the other realms (“Cognitive,” “Emotional,” “Altered States of Consciousness” and “Transpersonal Experiences”) as well.

3. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: be female, be hypopigmented (blond hair/blue eyes), be Non-Right-Handed (left-handed or ambidextrous), be artists, be born as one of a set of twins/triplets/etc. and have an other-than-conventionally heterosexual sexual orientation.

4. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: have an Introverted (rather than Extraverted) Orientation, have a preference for an Intuitive (rather than Sensate) mode of Perceiving and have a preference for a Feeling (rather than Thinking) mode of Judging.

5. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: have unusually sensitive immune systems, be highly reactive/responsive to sensory stimuli, exhibit learning/attention styles that differ from the norm, be very attuned to the emotions of both themselves and others, be especially facile at accessing Altered States of Consciousness and to frequently have Transpersonal (“metaphysical,” “paranormal,” “psychic”) Experiences.

6. The HISS data support the position of those negativists who hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of temporo-limbic epilepsy. The HISS data also support the position of those positivists who hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of kundalini arousal. The HISS data also support those who have no position and hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of anomalous sensitivity.

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Filed under Brain, Cognitive flaws, Delusions, Evolution, Genetics, Gods, Hallucinations, Neuroscience, Personality Tests, Priming processes, Psychiatry, Psychology, Reason vs. Faith a.k.a. Sense vs. Sensibility, Religion, Soul, Woo, Woo-Personality

About Woos, Woo-Personality, H.I.S.S., ASPs, HSPs, the Enteric Brain, and our Immune System.

Ever heard of David Ritchey? He wrote a book – entitled “The H.I.S.S. of the A.S.P. Understanding the Anomalously Sensitive Person” – that was was published in 2003.

That’s a whole book about the woo-personality or, rather, about people inclined, and highly willing, to believe in magical and (pseudo)religious mass delusional woo-bullshit.


Click this link, http://www.davidritchey-author.com/hoa-contents.htm , and you can see what topics and subjects are discussed and analyzed in David Ritchey’s intriguing book about woos – or, as he prefers to call them, schizotypals. This link is about the content in the 14 chapters of the book. 

For example, in chapter 4 you can read about biological predispositions toward sensitivities. The reader learns about phenomena like anomalous cerebral laterality, left-handedness, biochemical factors behind the schizotypal personality syndrome and so on. 

David Ritchey is fond of mapping woo-ish temperament types. He often refers to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, according to which many woos and magical believers are INFJs, i.e.Introverted and/or Intuitive Persons dependent on their Feelings (Emotions) when it comes to making Judgments (Decisions).In chapter 8 David Ritchey analyzes some common cognitive dysfunctions and malfunctions among woos, for instance the big prevalence of language and learning disorders among woos (many of them are dyslexic and/or dyscalculic).

Chapter 9 is about emotions and emotionality. The emotional acuity of the woo-personality can also be called HSP, meaning Highly Sensitive Person(ality). And HSP is strongly positively correlated to ASP (Anomalously Sensitive Personality/Persons).

Among ASPs altered states of consciousness (ASCs) are prevalent (at least relatively speaking). The same goes for dissociative disorders. And, of course, hallucinations and delusions are frequently experienced by an ASP.

 

Now click this link, http://www.davidritchey-author.com/hoa-findings.htm , and you can read a short summary of David Ritchey’s findings about personality traits and characteristics in people having a typical woo-personality. 


Ritchey calls attention to the following six findings:

#1. Various factors including Biology (“nature”), Trauma and Abuse (“nurture”) and Temperament Type Preferences (“personality”) can predispose an individual to be an Anomalously Sensitive Person (ASP).

#2. If an individual is anomalously sensitive in one realm (the “Physiological,” for example), s/he is very likely to be anomalously sensitive in the other realms (“Cognitive,” “Emotional,” “Altered States of Consciousness” and “Transpersonal Experiences”) as well.

#3. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: be female, be hypopigmented (blond hair/blue eyes), be Non-Right-Handed (left-handed or ambidextrous), be artists, be born as one of a set of twins/triplets/etc. and have an other-than-conventionally heterosexual sexual orientation.

#4. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: have an Introverted (rather than Extraverted) Orientation, have a preference for an Intuitive (rather than Sensate) mode of Perceiving and have a preference for a Feeling (rather than Thinking) mode of Judging.

#5. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: have unusually sensitive immune systems, be highly reactive/responsive to sensory stimuli, exhibit learning/attention styles that differ from the norm, be very attuned to the emotions of both themselves and others, be especially facile at accessing Altered States of Consciousness and to frequently have Transpersonal (“metaphysical,” “paranormal,” “psychic”) Experiences.

#6. The HISS data support the position of those negativists who hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of temporo-limbic epilepsy. The HISS data also support the position of those positivists who hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of kundalini arousal. The HISS data also support those who have no position and hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of anomalous sensitivity.

I came to think of David Ritchey’s woo-typology study when I just a little while ago read this article,

http://www.neuroscientificallychallenged.com/blog/microbes-and-the-mind . entitled “Microbes and the mind: Who’s pulling the strings?”. 


Neuroscientifically Challenged is a blog I strongly recommend for those of you who are interested in how both functional and dysfunctional/malfunctional brains work.
The blog article I received today from Neuroscientifically Challenged is about how microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and parasites are able to influence the neurobiology and behavior of their hosts (in this case humans). Researchers have pretty long been aware of a powerful connection between the gut, or gastrointestinal tract, and the brain;
This connection is called the gut-brain axis.
This powerful connection explains why strong emotions can have a great impact on the functioning of the gastrointestinal system – and vice versa.
In mammal bodies there are probably hundreds of millions of neurons OUTSIDE the brain and and the central nervous system (CNS).  This kind of  “external” neuronal structure has been dubbed the enteric nervous system (ENS).

Such neurons can be found around the heart but mostly, of course, in the walls of the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to anus (so who knows, maybe there is, after all, at least some veracity of the saw “He must be thinking with his ass”?).

Anyhow, the connections between the brain and the enteric nervous system are extensive, and the two can communicate through neuronal, endocrine, and immune system signaling.

And that’s why I came to think of David Ricthey and his book. Ricthey found that the Anomalously Sensitive Person (ASP) is likely to: have unusually sensitive immune systems, They often suffer from directly autoimmune diseases and so-called autoimmune-related disorders.

Therefore it shouldn’t come as any surprise that for woos (i.e. HSPs, ASPs) diagnoses like Fibromyalgia and. Chronic Fatigue are relatively common.

Neither of those two diseases (diagnoses) are genuine autoimmune disorders, strictly speaking, but they have both a marked and pronounced connection to many (other) autoimmune diseases that are categorized as genuine and are therefore associated with a dysfunctional/malfunctional immune system

Other directly or indirectly autoimmune-related diseases/disorders that seem to be more common than statistically expected among woo people are different types of personality disorders (for instance Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Latent schizophrenic Personality Disorder etc.), mood affecting disorders (such as depression, GAD, OCD OCHD, Tourette’s Syndrome and so on) and Attention Deficit Disorders (like ADD or ADHD).

Woos also often seem to be diagnosed with more specific disorders/diseases like Urticaria, Vitiligo, Psoriasis, Porphyria, IBS, Celiac disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, Narcolepsy, Sleep Paralysis, Lyme disease,Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Endometriosis, and Alopecia areata.

Please note that most of these correlations are just anecdotal so far. This research area is still to be referred to as a “terra incognita”.

If you want more information about this kind of correlations, have a look at; http://www.davidritchey-author.com/HISS%20Questionnaire%20(VIIA).pdf . By clicking that link, you can see an abbreviated version of David Ritchey’s so-called  H.I.S.S. Questionnaire (with almost 100 questions to be answered by the respondent).

H.I.S.S. stands for Holistic Inventory of Stimulus Sensitivities.

A not so emotionally laden example of hypersensitivity is hyperacusis or hyperacusia.

That diagnosis means an abnormal acuteness of hearing due to increased irritability of the neural mechanism of your auditive sense. The disorder is characterized by a more or less strong intolerance for ordinary sound levels. For instance, you can get temporary “crazy” just because your neighbor decided to start his lawn mower at 8 a.m. or even earlier, on a Sunday morning.

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