Nate Smith

"Words have no meaning."

46 posts in this topic

Scott, I will attempt to answer every paragraph in the order you wrote them.

1) For one to know that there is a "chemical imbalance" they would have had to have evidence to prove their hypotheis which has never been done. No measurement of any chemicals and what they exactly do in the brain has ever been done on a living human's brain. The two things that come the closet to measurements are the taking of spinal-fluid before it enters the brain and then the collection of it after it leaves the brain. One other aspect that gave a glimpse into the brain is when it was discovered that when thin slices of brain were exposed to formaldehyde vapors the biogenic amines fluoresce different colors. So, norepinephrine fluoresced as bright green and serotonin as yellow and later dopamine. So, researchers could see through scans where the chemicals were going, but could not determine what they were doing in the brain. In different terms, there still is no evidence to back the unproven claims of a "chemical imbalance" causing a "mental illness!"

2) Once again I offer further reading in the books that I mentioned to come to a deeper understanding of what goes on during the use of drugs. Alcohol causes an effect also, but one would not consider it to bring about a positive response. Also, in most of the people that have the so called "chemical imbalances" or schizophrenia I think you will find it very difficult to find one that has not taken a large amount of drugs, so once again the cause is not some undefined disease.

3) It seems my point has been misunderstood. The items mentioned by Betsy (stroke) do not start in the brain, the brain feels the effect of a lack of oxygen to the area and some parts of the brain die. But, if oxygen returns to the brain and given enough time and effort a person can gain back control almost all of their lost aspects of their body. "Mental illness" which supposedly begins in the brain with a "chemical imbalance" which means that neurons cannot receive and transfer information to carry out daily activities, conscious or not, then the rest of the body would die off. In other words, you cannot just have a "chemical imbalance in the brain, because the rest of the body has neuro-synaptic connections that are also facilitated by "chemicals"/hormones. Norepinephrine and seratonin do not just function in the brain.

Norepinephrine has many functions within the body. When we sense cold upon our skin, norepinephrine is released that causes the muscles around hair folicles to contract which causes the dimpling commonly known as "goosebumps. The hair rising is a hold-out from our ancestors that had much more hair which would collect the warm air to warm up the animal. The release of norepinephrine also happens when man is under stress or in fear which causes the expanding of blood vessels and increased pulse rate to get us ready for the "fight or flight" syndrome. Seratonin is realeased when we eat carbohydrates which travels from the digestive tract to the brain which causes a shutting down of the hunger urge. This happens as we sense (thanks to the sensation of taste which is part of the bodies nervous system) the food in our mouths and it begins to break down. So, first off, if we had a "chemical imbalance" or a "receptor malfunction" it would not only be effecting the brain's neurons and neuro-synaptic transfers of energy as the whole body would be having neuro-synaptic" problems which in other words means a transfering of information and commands.

4) What I was trying to point out is that the whole idea is false. There is no such thing as a "chemical imbalance" as the brain's chemical/hormonal release is in a constant state of flux caused by what we sense and think about. In different terms, chemical changes are an effect not the cause of our psychological state.

5) I agree and if anyone is serious about the questions I raised then maybe they can begin a new thread, a PM or by reading the books I mentioned.

6) I agree with this paragraph also, and I hope he gets the full extent of what the law can punish him with.

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I thought some added information might help entice people to take a deeper look into the so called theory of "chemical imbalances" and what is the real cause and what are the effects of drug usage.

Ritalin and other "mind and mood controling drugs" are very similar chemically to the "illegal" drugs/stimulants known as cocaine and amphetamine/methamphetamine and are considered as part of the same "family of drugs. For example:

Ritalin = methylphenidate

Dexedrine and DextroStat = dextroamphetamine or d-amphetatime

Adderall = d-amphetamine and amphetamine mixture

Desoxyn and Gradumet = methamphetamine

Cylert = pemoline

Almost all of these drugs for children have been in use since the 1960s except for Cylert which was approved for use in 1975. I hope the reader also noticed that these drugs are defined as stimulants which are given to children that supposedly have ADD/ADHD and are supposedly already overly stimulated.

It is a well known fact that stimulants from the amphetamine family have certain side-effects beyond the suppposed mood controls. Some of those effects that have been documented are, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, insomnia, inability to concentrate, personality changes, jittery, attention and memory problems, pacing. hand and or foot jiggling. Biological problems have also been documented such as constricting of blood vessels, especially in the brain, heart palpitations, tachycardia, increased blood pressure, excessive CNS stimulation causing convulsions, psychosis, depression, vertigo, headaches, Tourette's or other tics, nausea and vomiting, growth hormone suppression, blurred vision, Leukopenia and Anemia.

In Psychology Today from 1974 Sidney Walker, III writes: "Animal studies indicate that amphetamines can cause constriction of brain vessels, increase the likelihood of convulsive siezures, and influence carbohydrate metabolism in an unknown way. They also alter the output of growth hormone, and affect the senstivie biochemical balance in the brain and central nervous system. It may well be that stimulant drugs produce greater harm in the long run than the hyperactive symptoms they are meant to control."

Jerome Jaffe writes in Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry (1995): "In monkeys the toxic effects of chronic amphetamine use include damage to cerebral blood vessels, neuronal loss, and microhemorrhages."

It has been demonstrated that cocaine and the amphetamine family of drugs cause reduced cerebral blood flow and cardiovascular disorders. Studies also demonstrated that Ritalin decreased blood flow to certain parts of the brain such as the cortex. Researchers from the Brookhaven national Laboratory used PET scans to measure the effects of Ritalin and blood flow of normal volunteers. The research found that Ritalin, just like cocaine, decreased the flow of blood to the whole brain by 23 to 30% which was attributed to the restriction of blood vessels.

The effect of stimulants such as Ritalin on glucose usage in the brain also has a negative effect. The effect was measured in a study done on rats that demonstrated dramatic glucose metabolism in large amounts of the brain which might sound like a good thing until one fully understands what is going on. The increased uptake of glucose causes even larger amounts of hyperactivity as the brain is flooded with energy. In other words the youth is overwhelmed with to much brain activity.

In another study done in 1986 at Ohio State found shrinkage of the brain in more than 50% of twenty-four young adults that were diagnosed with hyperactivity since childhood. The researchers stated that "cortical atrophy may be a long-term adverse effect of this treatment."

In another research group lead by Jay N. Giedd from 1994 which published the results of MRI images of hyperactive boys averaging 12 years of age found that Anterior protrions of the brain were found to be significantly smaller than in the non-hyperactive group. This might seem like a contracdiction to my premise until one realizes that most children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are started on medication as young as 5 and usually carry on with the drug until 15 at which time they are prescribed adult drugs.

I could go on and on with all the research studies that I have read on this subject, but I will not spend my time in waste. If someone has a deeper concern I offer that they begin another thread.

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I know this thread is a bit old, but unfortunately my current schedule hasn't allowed me to respond earlier. I wanted to offer some additional thoughts.

1) For one to know that there is a "chemical imbalance" they would have had to have evidence to prove their hypotheis which has never been done.

To reiterate a previous point, I don't like the term chemical imbalance and personally do not necessarily call it a cause of a brain disease. Yet, my firsthand experience has shown me how people who are flouridly psychotic (i.e., hallucinating, delusional, and/or speaking in jibberish) regain the capacity for normal, rational conversation and choices once they are put on an antipsychotic medication. Those medications directly affect the brain's processing of particular neurochemicals.

In those cases, I have no doubt that something was awry in the neurochemicals of such persons. What caused the neurochemical problem I can't say. Unless an external agent or toxin (or succession of horrific traumas) is identified as preceeding the onset of the psychosis, then there is every reason to think that it was caused by a brain malfunction or disease and no reason to think it was caused by something external. For other examples of diseases that affect cognition and other psychological functions, I recommend reading about Huntington's Chorea and dementias (except those caused by alcoholism).

2)...Alcohol causes an effect also, but one would not consider it to bring about a positive response. Also, in most of the people that have the so called "chemical imbalances" or schizophrenia I think you will find it very difficult to find one that has not taken a large amount of drugs, so once again the cause is not some undefined disease.

If in your first sentence above you mean to draw an analogy between alcohol and psychotropic medications, I must adamantly disagree. Alcohol impairs reasoning and judgment; psychotropic medications reduce symptoms of the disorders to which they are targeted, which has the effect of improving reasoning and judgment. Admittedly, they do not always work, nor are they a cure. But they are not intoxicants (although some, such as Xanax, are abused in this way and can become addictive). If you do not mean to draw such an analogy, then please ignore my statements.

If in your second sentence you mean illegal drugs, again I profoundly disagree. That is a baseless statement. To watch a person, especially a teenager or young adult, develop schizophrenia is incredibly painful, especially when you know there is no history of drug abuse. For them, it is a horrifying experience.

In regard to all of the above, one of the biggest problems with virtually all prescription drugs, but especially psychotropics, is noncompliance. Most people do not want to have to take drugs to deal with a psychological problem. Often, they will take the medication, experience significant symptom reduction, then stop. Just as often, symptoms return and are more intense than before.

Personally, I can count on one hand the number of times I have strongly recommended that a client take a medication. I don't push it because I see it as a good sign when someone wants to conquer a problem without medication. But I wouldn't consider anyone weak or misguided who uses one, nor would I tell someone to stop using one if he finds it helpful.

3) It seems my point has been misunderstood. The items mentioned by Betsy (stroke) do not start in the brain, the brain feels the effect of a lack of oxygen to the area and some parts of the brain die. But, if oxygen returns to the brain and given enough time and effort a person can gain back control almost all of their lost aspects of their body.

The point of that example is the localization of brain functions and how even irreparable damage to one part of the brain does not necessarily lead to a complete breakdown of the entire body.

"Mental illness" which supposedly begins in the brain with a "chemical imbalance" which means that neurons cannot receive and transfer information to carry out daily activities, conscious or not, then the rest of the body would die off. In other words, you cannot just have a "chemical imbalance in the brain, because the rest of the body has neuro-synaptic connections that are also facilitated by "chemicals"/hormones. Norepinephrine and seratonin do not just function in the brain.

You have repeatedly argued the point that the whole body would die off if there is a "chemical imbalance." I won't repeat again the issue I have with that term, but I will say that the real world indicates that there are brain diseases that involve neurochemical problems in which the body does NOT die off. I don't expect you to believe it, but it's true.

4) What I was trying to point out is that the whole idea is false. There is no such thing as a "chemical imbalance" as the brain's chemical/hormonal release is in a constant state of flux caused by what we sense and think about. In different terms, chemical changes are an effect not the cause of our psychological state.

And such chemical changes can also be caused by an underlying, but as yet unclear, brain disease, such as most cases of Schizophrenia, Huntington's, and the dementias. What I would like is an explanation of is how, if faulty neurochemical processing is NOT involved in psychosis, antipsychotic medications can have the incredibly positive effects I have seen firsthand.

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1) And to reiterate my point, most likely it is the drug that is the primary cause and not the answer. Chemicals ingested into the body or shot through a needle do cause the brain to react which overtime has very ill effects which studies have demonstrated since the early part of 20th century. So, what I am saying is that in most people the problem is the drug as most of the so called "mentally ill" are long-time drug users. How many so called mentally ill people have you met that never have taken drugs, prescribed or not? I would also add that I have never read about nor witnessed an infant "mentally ill" person.

2) I draw the analogy because it does not matter if the drug is legal or illegal they have very similar effects over time. What is the average age of a young child being put on Ritalin? The answer is around the age of 5, is there any wonder why their brains are messed up? Obviously, for almost a whole society, there is as most people attribute the wrong cause and it's effects.

3) And my point is to once agains demonstrate that you are discussing two different problems. I demontrated through the literature above, if you ever care to read it, what happens to the whole brain during drug usage. Your example (Betsy's example) is of a different type of problem which has killed a certain part of the brain, that does not mean that the brain does not react with what it has left. The reason people have difficulty after a stroke is not because their neuro-transmitters do not work, it is because they have lost all the neruons in that area of the brain, they no longer carry the skills gained at an earlier time.

4) The real world backs exactly what I stated, please read the above, study anatomy and physiology and do some further research.

5) I find it amazing how you overlooked my whole post filled with all the biological and chemical information. So, what about all the effects I mentioned? I could write a book on all the studies that demonstrate the opposite of what you claim. Just to mention one item, what about the so called "rebound effect" of what happens to drug users? If the drugs worked so damn well, why are most drug users still not functioning properly and have their doctors prescribed mulitple drugs? I challenge you to go and read the literature that I recommended.

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In those cases, I have no doubt that something was awry in the neurochemicals of such persons. What caused the neurochemical problem I can't say. Unless an external agent or toxin (or succession of horrific traumas) is identified as preceeding the onset of the psychosis, then there is every reason to think that it was caused by a brain malfunction or disease and no reason to think it was caused by something external. For other examples of diseases that affect cognition and other psychological functions, I recommend reading about Huntington's Chorea and dementias (except those caused by alcoholism).

I had chorea as a child which came after I had rheumatic fever which came after a strep throat infection. I took penicilin twice a day for 10 years and have never had a recurrence of the neurological problems I had since then. But certain types of drug usage has also been shown to be a cause of chorea, such as the use of; levodopa, anti-convulsants and anti-psychotics. I once again ask those that have a concern to rethink the cause effect relationship of what is under discussion.

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1) And to reiterate my point, most likely it is the drug that is the primary cause and not the answer. [etc. etc. etc.]

RayK - on numerous occasions you have criticized others for being "armchair warriors" because they've made remarks about the military which are contradicted by your own personal experience (or at least that's one reason.) In this instance you are acting as an "armchair doctor" or "armchair scientist", by actively blowing off Scott A.'s answers when, in fact, 1) he's making sense, and 2) he's a professional in the field and much of what he discusses is from daily personal observation and activities that goes far beyond your own experience and knowledge. Even your very first sentence (quoted above) is blatantly false, and Scott A., with his own expertise, has already rejected it, even explaining that many mentally ill individuals actively avoid medications because they fear them.

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1) And to reiterate my point, most likely it is the drug that is the primary cause and not the answer. [etc. etc. etc.]

RayK - on numerous occasions you have criticized others for being "armchair warriors" because they've made remarks about the military which are contradicted by your own personal experience (or at least that's one reason.) In this instance you are acting as an "armchair doctor" or "armchair scientist", by actively blowing off Scott A.'s answers when, in fact, 1) he's making sense, and 2) he's a professional in the field and much of what he discusses is from daily personal observation and activities that goes far beyond your own experience and knowledge. Even your very first sentence (quoted above) is blatantly false, and Scott A., with his own expertise, has already rejected it, even explaining that many mentally ill individuals actively avoid medications because they fear them.

Phil, no I am not. I am not stating that something is not happening nor denying what Scott has observed. I am stating that there is a different reason for the items he and others mention of which the nature of the human body demonstrates. Last I checked Scott does not have a Ph.D. in neurology nor has he studied neurology to the level of a neurologist, such as Elliot Valenstein who has worked in the field since 1953. So, he is not a "professional" in the actual field of neurological/bio-chemical understanding and application. Scott, nor anyone else, has explained how the chemicals actually work in the brain nor what their long-term effects are. And, unlike the people I have asked for them to explain where they gained their insight from, I have done an immense amount of research in this field that goes back to studies from the late 19th century of which most so called "professionals" have never even heard. I hate to bring it to your attention, but maybe the reason the person avoids the drugs is because of the ill effects which cause the body to produce a biological addiction that makes them feel terrible. Finally, I can quote and or bring an immense amount of studies, and have already done so in the past, that put forth a different cause effect and the negatives that come from drug usage. You also have not told anyone how chemicals that are similar to cocaine and methamphetamine and produce undetectable differences in monkeys, cats, dogs, rats and humans can possible be good for a mind.

There is not "arm chair" going on here.

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And for those that care to view or learn about a different premise, I have hundreds of studies on this subject and can start quoting the evidence of what really happens to the brain, if anyone cares?

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The fact that some people have been observably psychotic in times, and in places, when such drugs were not available (which is to say, throughout millenia of human history and much of the world today) is enough all by itself to refute the claim that drugs are responsible for all of the cases. The idea that if something were wrong with some of the brain implies that the entire brain would be dysfunctional down to the level of e.g. control of respiration, is equally ignorant, no matter how many studies are purported to support such a view.

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The fact that some people have been observably psychotic in times, and in places, when such drugs were not available (which is to say, throughout millenia of human history and much of the world today) is enough all by itself to refute the claim that drugs are responsible for all of the cases. The idea that if something were wrong with some of the brain implies that the entire brain would be dysfunctional down to the level of e.g. control of respiration, is equally ignorant, no matter how many studies are purported to support such a view.

First off drugs of some sort or another have been around and their effects have been recorded for millenia, maybe you should study the field. And I have never denied that people were psychotic in past times and if you have been reading my earlier statements/post you would have already have read those statements. What I have been stating is the the real cause is different than the accepted premise of today. The brain, whethter thousands of years ago or now, functions in the same manner and starts with similar attributes of which all your claims cannot change. Once again, our genes set the foundation, humans are born with around 100 billion neurons which increases to about 200 billion neurons by age five. Between the ages of 5 and 15 the brain begins to decrease the neurons in the brain which is caused by our experiences and throughts, those things that we experience, think about and take action on strengthen those specific neruronal-synaptic connections. At the start there is almost nothing there except what happens automatically. But by the time of full adulthood most humans have around 10,000 neuronal-synaptic connections. Have you not heard of neural-plasticity as human brains can change through one's senses of reality and what they think and experience about reality which causes different hormonal releases. The idea that just because you state something that it automatically makes it so is what is idiotic and ignorant.

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In those cases, I have no doubt that something was awry in the neurochemicals of such persons. What caused the neurochemical problem I can't say. Unless an external agent or toxin (or succession of horrific traumas) is identified as preceeding the onset of the psychosis, then there is every reason to think that it was caused by a brain malfunction or disease and no reason to think it was caused by something external. For other examples of diseases that affect cognition and other psychological functions, I recommend reading about Huntington's Chorea and dementias (except those caused by alcoholism).

I had chorea as a child which came after I had rheumatic fever which came after a strep throat infection. I took penicilin twice a day for 10 years and have never had a recurrence of the neurological problems I had since then. But certain types of drug usage has also been shown to be a cause of chorea, such as the use of; levodopa, anti-convulsants and anti-psychotics. I once again ask those that have a concern to rethink the cause effect relationship of what is under discussion.

Scott was referring to Huntington's Chorea which is a specific degenerative neurological disease caused by a defective gene. See (link).

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A few studies from the people or groups that work in the field and their conclusions.

Kate Clarke who was a social worker in Illinois did her doctorial dissertation on children taking Ritalin, below our some of her observations, the childrens observations and her conclusions.

Clarke states that many children in the study report a "decrease in their abilitties in several respects."

One of the children from the study stated; "On Ritalin it's just like, you're really not in the mood to do anything. I'm lazy, and I can't do as much, I mean, I'm more tired. At recess I don't like to want to run, like play, because it (the Ritalin) makes you tired."

Another child reported; "I feel a hyper burst of energy after which you're tired and you're lousy and like lazy and tired."

Once again Clarke observes; "In my work as a school social worker, children and parents have informed me of the difficulties they have in coping with the "rebound effect" some children experience at home in afternoons when the effect of the noon dose of Ritalin administered at school wears off. These children become so hyperactive that parents administer another dose at home. This then results in difficulty falling asleep. Consequently, some young children stay up until 10:00 PM or later, and for some sleeping pills are rountinely prescribed."

From a 1996 report by the International Narcotics Control Board:

"With respect to abuse, according to estimates of the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) of the United States, the number of methylphenidate (Ritalin) related emergency room mentions for persons aged 10-14 has since 1990 increased more than 10 times and in 1995 reached the level of cocaine related mentions for that age group."

From and editorial of the Archives of General Psychiatry (1995):

"MP (methylphenidate/Ritalin), like cocaine, increase synaptic dopamine by inhibiting dopamine reuptake, it has equivalient reinforcing effect to those of cocaine, and its intravenous administration produces a "high" similar to that of cocaine."

How many more quotes of research, obervations and chemical explanations are needed before one begins to quesiton the premise that is accepted today? If no one else cares, please let me know as I can just stop wasting all of our time.

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In those cases, I have no doubt that something was awry in the neurochemicals of such persons. What caused the neurochemical problem I can't say. Unless an external agent or toxin (or succession of horrific traumas) is identified as preceeding the onset of the psychosis, then there is every reason to think that it was caused by a brain malfunction or disease and no reason to think it was caused by something external. For other examples of diseases that affect cognition and other psychological functions, I recommend reading about Huntington's Chorea and dementias (except those caused by alcoholism).

I had chorea as a child which came after I had rheumatic fever which came after a strep throat infection. I took penicilin twice a day for 10 years and have never had a recurrence of the neurological problems I had since then. But certain types of drug usage has also been shown to be a cause of chorea, such as the use of; levodopa, anti-convulsants and anti-psychotics. I once again ask those that have a concern to rethink the cause effect relationship of what is under discussion.

Scott was referring to Huntington's Chorea which is a specific degenerative neurological disease caused by a defective gene. See (link).

I know what he was talking about which is a totally different problem then what is under discussion. Here is an observation that I would like someone to explain, how is it that American's produce and use more than 90% of the worlds Ritalin (and other drugs) and still we are not any better off than other developed countries. How is it that in the year 2005 118 million individual prescripstions were filled for mind altering drugs and still it keeps getting worse. How is it that most of the worlds population that has a mental problem (chemical imbalance) all ended up in this country, should we not see similar numbers in other developed countries?

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I know what he was talking about which is a totally different problem then what is under discussion. Here is an observation that I would like someone to explain, how is it that American's produce and use more than 90% of the worlds Ritalin (and other drugs) and still we are not any better off than other developed countries. How is it that in the year 2005 118 million individual prescripstions were filled for mind altering drugs and still it keeps getting worse. How is it that most of the worlds population that has a mental problem (chemical imbalance) all ended up in this country, should we not see similar numbers in other developed countries?
An excessive number of cases misdiagnosed by Psychologists/Psychiatrists does not mean that some psychological problems can't be physiological in origin. No one here is arguing that in all cases where drugs are administered they are actually required for successful psychological treatment.

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In those cases, I have no doubt that something was awry in the neurochemicals of such persons. What caused the neurochemical problem I can't say. Unless an external agent or toxin (or succession of horrific traumas) is identified as preceeding the onset of the psychosis, then there is every reason to think that it was caused by a brain malfunction or disease and no reason to think it was caused by something external. For other examples of diseases that affect cognition and other psychological functions, I recommend reading about Huntington's Chorea and dementias (except those caused by alcoholism).

I had chorea as a child which came after I had rheumatic fever which came after a strep throat infection. I took penicilin twice a day for 10 years and have never had a recurrence of the neurological problems I had since then. But certain types of drug usage has also been shown to be a cause of chorea, such as the use of; levodopa, anti-convulsants and anti-psychotics. I once again ask those that have a concern to rethink the cause effect relationship of what is under discussion.

Scott was referring to Huntington's Chorea which is a specific degenerative neurological disease caused by a defective gene. See (link).

I know what he was talking about which is a totally different problem then what is under discussion. Here is an observation that I would like someone to explain, how is it that American's produce and use more than 90% of the worlds Ritalin (and other drugs) and still we are not any better off than other developed countries. How is it that in the year 2005 118 million individual prescripstions were filled for mind altering drugs and still it keeps getting worse. How is it that most of the worlds population that has a mental problem (chemical imbalance) all ended up in this country, should we not see similar numbers in other developed countries?

For those that do not know what Huntingtons' chorea is I would like to give a quick description of the disease. Huntington's is an uncommon disease in which degeneration of teh basal ganglia (paired nerve cell clusters in the brain) results in chorea (rapid, jerky, involuntary movements) and dementia (progressive mental impairment). Symptoms do not usually appear until the age of 35 to 50; in rare cases the condition is apparent in childhood. The symptoms for chorea usually affect the face, arms and trunk resulting in random grimaces, twitches and general clumsiness. The symptoms for dementia usually come in the form of personality and behavior changes, irritability, difficulty making decisions, memory loss and apathy. When the disease starts in childhood it is usually marked by loss of movement and muscle rigidity. There is no known cure and treatment is aimed at lessening the chorea with drugs and alleviating the effects of dementia with nurses caring for the individual.

Now let us look at chorea. Chorea is a condidtion characterized by irregular, rapid, jerky movements or fidgets which usually affet the face, limbs and trunk. These movements are involuntary and unlike tics they are not predictable but occur at random. Sometimes they resemble fragments of coordinated movements. Chorea arises from deisease or "disturbance of structures deep within the brain, in particular the paired nerve cell groups called the basal ganglia. Chorea may also be a side effect of certain drugs including birth-controll pills, neuroleptics (psychiatric drugs) and those used to treat Parkinson's disease; the chorea usually disappears when the drug is withdrawn.

Now let us look at dementia. Dementia is a characterized by a general decline in all areas of mental ability. Dementia is usuall due to brain disease and is progressive, the obvious feature being increaseing intellectual impairment. Dementia is considered to be one of the great health problems of developed societies as it is usually the elderly that are affected by dementia. Some of the known causes for dementia are head injury, pernicious anemia, encephalitis, myxedema, syphilis, brain tumor and alcoholism. The reversible illnesses just mentioned only account for about 10% of dementia patients. The remaining 90% of dementia patients results from cerebrovascular disease (which includes strokes) and from Alzheimer's disease. In the cerebrovascular disease the constatn narrowing of, or total blocking of arteries within the brain reduces the amount of blood (oxygen, sugar and nutrients) and causes gradual deterioration.

So, now back to a earlier poster's statement which attempted to claim that brain malfunctions do not have any dysfunctional aspects outside of the brain. I would hope that after what I have just written one should surely be able to see how false that claim is as the side effects for the disease mentioned were spastic movements in the face, arms, trunk and muslce rigidness.

Further, as I already mentioned, the taking of stimulants such as Ritalin, and all the similar amphetamine drugs and cocaine, cause the blood vessels to constrict in the brain limiting blood flow and has actually been demonstrated to reduce the overall brain size of people taking those drugs for long periods of time. It should not take much for a person to understand that the human brain is fueled by sugar and oxygen, reduce the pathways to the brain and one reduces the amount required to function properly and over time we end up with the mess we are in today. And in older people that lose their muscle mass which in turn causes the efficiency of the heart to diminish in correlation to that loss and older people have less oxygen and nutrients to the brain and hence the effects of aging dementia. It should not take much to put 2 and 2 together when one understands how the whole body functions as an integrated whole. Of course I am just an "arm chair" intellectual with no Ph.D. behind my name so no real validity with my conclusions, even when they are back by an immense amount of facts and evidence.

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I know what he was talking about which is a totally different problem then what is under discussion. Here is an observation that I would like someone to explain, how is it that American's produce and use more than 90% of the worlds Ritalin (and other drugs) and still we are not any better off than other developed countries. How is it that in the year 2005 118 million individual prescripstions were filled for mind altering drugs and still it keeps getting worse. How is it that most of the worlds population that has a mental problem (chemical imbalance) all ended up in this country, should we not see similar numbers in other developed countries?
An excessive number of cases misdiagnosed by Psychologists/Psychiatrists does not mean that some psychological problems can't be physiological in origin. No one here is arguing that in all cases where drugs are administered they are actually required for successful psychological treatment.

And I have never stated that they were as people can have biolgical problems beyond their control and hence what I just attemted to explain in my above post. But chemical releases in a normal person's brain are in a constant state of flux and our senses, thoughts, actions and overall experiences are what cause those hormonal releases not the chemical release causing our experiences, thoughts, actions and experiences.

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Last I checked Scott does not have a Ph.D. in neurology nor has he studied neurology to the level of a neurologist, such as Elliot Valenstein who has worked in the field since 1953. So, he is not a "professional" in the actual field of neurological/bio-chemical understanding and application.

This is true; I do not have a Ph.D. in neuroscience, nor am I a professional in that field.

I have been debating with myself whether or not I should further address this point in terms of my training and experience. On the one hand, I don't take Ray's statements to in any way be an attack against me, and so offering a rebuttal in terms of listing my experiences might seem inappropriately defensive. On the other hand, while what Ray states is a fact, it does not take into account the other facts about my training and experience that have now become a point of conversation. If I leave those facts unstated, then it is possible that my perspective would be inappropriately dismissed as coming from a position of ignorance. So, in the interest of filling what is currently a relatively empty description of my professional background, I will offer a brief summary of my training to date (which will not include all of my training, but primarily that germane to the current issue).

In direct relation to neuroscience, I have taken at least 5 full semester, graduate courses or advanced seminars (which are intensive, usually 6-week studies) in neuroscience. I have taken a full semester, graduate course on psychopharmacology, and an advanced seminar on the subject, as well. These occurred during my graduate schooling and as a pre-doctoral intern. They covered gross and micro neuroanatomy and functioning, a wide range of neurological impairments and psychological disorders or mental illnesses, differences in brain functioning across the lifespan, and prescription medications. The readings I had to do were extensive. As a pre-doctoral intern, I completed a neuropsychology rotation, which involved more reading, neuropsychological testing, and integrated reports with treatment recommendations. The exam I took for licensure had as a major section neuroanatomical functioning (and I did pass my licensure exam on the first try). I have taught no less than 7 undergraduate courses which had at least one section on gross and micro neurological anatomy and functioning. Indeed, even the undergraduate Introduction to Psychology course I'm currently teaching, and have taught before, covers these issues (which I have just lectured on this week). Outside of neurobiological issues, I have conducted academic research on prescribing patterns of psychotropic medications generally, and antipsychotics specifically, across the country (with an emphasis on rural/urban differences in such patterns). This research required extensive literature review and statistical analyses. (You can see the titles of the research projects here.)

Outside of specific coursework and clinical experience in this area, I have worked on either locked or unlocked inpatient psych wards, in which the majority of patients have psychotic or other serious mental illnesses, as well as halfway houses that help transition people with schizophrenia from inpatient facilities to living as independently as possible. I have done outpatient psychotherapy and personality and/or intellectual testing at outpatient clinics or facilities. I currently have my own office in private practice and also see patients at 5 different rehab and residential facilities that cater to elderly adults. The ages of the people I currently see range from 16 to 90, and I had a patient who was 100 but unfortunately died a month ago. For the elderly population, the diagnoses include depression, anxiety, personality disorders, psychosis, and dementia. I have regularly worked with medical teams that include physicians, psychiatrists, and the full range of other health professionals. My training in neurological issues has been conducted by people who most certainly have expertise in the field.

So, where does this put me in the general universe of clinical expertise and knowledge? First, I don't consider myself as even on the same planet as actual neuroscientists or even neuropsychologists. However, I have not only visited their world, I have stuck around, learned the basic language and knowledge, and can communicate with them, albeit in an admittedly limited way. As compared with the general population, I regard my knowledge and experience as significantly more than average. An expert I am NOT, and were someone to ask me to conduct neuropsychological assessment and offer treatment recommendations, I would refuse out of ethical obligation not to practice beyond my expertise.

There it is.

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1) And to reiterate my point, most likely it is the drug that is the primary cause and not the answer. Chemicals ingested into the body or shot through a needle do cause the brain to react which overtime has very ill effects which studies have demonstrated since the early part of 20th century. So, what I am saying is that in most people the problem is the drug as most of the so called "mentally ill" are long-time drug users. How many so called mentally ill people have you met that never have taken drugs, prescribed or not? I would also add that I have never read about nor witnessed an infant "mentally ill" person.

I am truly baffled by the above. If I understand you correctly, you are arguing that 1) there is no such thing as mental illness (hence the scare quotes around that term) and 2) somehow normal people were taken to physicians or psychiatrists for no reason and, also without reason, were prescribed some kind of psychotropic medication which then led to the "mental illness" that they now have(?). If I'm misunderstanding you, please correct me.

As to mentally ill infants, I have not read about or witnessed such a thing either. However, there are mental problems that occur in young children, including autism, Asperger's, retardation, learning disabilities, ADHD, and Pica to name a few. Some young children also have psychosis, although this is very rare.

2) I draw the analogy because it does not matter if the drug is legal or illegal they have very similar effects over time. What is the average age of a young child being put on Ritalin? The answer is around the age of 5, is there any wonder why their brains are messed up? Obviously, for almost a whole society, there is as most people attribute the wrong cause and it's effects.

I now understand that you are talking about long-term effects of medication use. I didn't understand that from your previous posts. Certainly I agree that there either are or can be such effects. Tardive dyskinesia is one of them. However, aside from antipsychotics, I'm not sure how long most people prescribed a psychotropic are actually on it. In my view, the purpose of most psychotropics is that they are used temporarily to provide initial symptom relief that puts a person in a better mental position to deal with whatever the problem is. They are not meant to be long-term solutions or something that one must necessarily use forever.

5) I find it amazing how you overlooked my whole post filled with all the biological and chemical information. So, what about all the effects I mentioned? I could write a book on all the studies that demonstrate the opposite of what you claim. Just to mention one item, what about the so called "rebound effect" of what happens to drug users? If the drugs worked so damn well, why are most drug users still not functioning properly and have their doctors prescribed multiple drugs? I challenge you to go and read the literature that I recommended.

I did not overlook your post(s) on biological and chemical information. As I stated in a previous post, I consider that to go well beyond the original topic of this thread, which was Loughner and the possible relation between a mental illness and his criminal actions. I suggested you start a separate thread on those issues. The fact is that you have gone from the original topic and introduced at least four different topics, which include neuroanatomy and chemistry, the overprescription of psychotropic medication in America, the long-term effects of using such medication, and what seems to be a theory that no such thing as mental illness exists and/or it is caused by the medications people are prescribed to combat either mental illness or psychological disorders. I grant that these things are related and very interesting issues. However, call me limited if necessary, but I can't keep up with all the directions you are trying to take this discussion.

As to your challenge, I truly wish I had the time to read the things you mention. However, you are essentially asking me and others to read what I would guess is thousands of pages of material. This is not a reasonable challenge, given the demands of my own and, I presume, others' lives. It would be more helpful if you started a new thread and presented some relatively brief synopses of the work to which you are referring.

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I hate to bring it to your attention, but maybe the reason the person avoids the drugs is because of the ill effects which cause the body to produce a biological addiction that makes them feel terrible.

There are definitely side effects to psychotropics that cause people to avoid them. However, addiction is typically not one of them. Instead, it usually involves problems with weight gain, sleep or sexual dysfunction, or other basic physiological functions (e.g., going to the bathroom). Sometimes people do feel mentally dull or disconnected. I agree with you that none of these are good things, and someone experiencing them should reconsider using medication or a particular medication. Or, they need to weigh the costs vs. benefits of using the medication.

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So, now back to a earlier poster's statement which attempted to claim that brain malfunctions do not have any dysfunctional aspects outside of the brain.

I truly hope you are not referring to me. I have never made the above statement, as anyone who reads my posts can verify. If you do mean me, then your blatant mischaracterization of my actual statements only does harm to your own arguments. If you do not mean me, then I retract what I have just written (unless of course you are mischaracterizing what someone else has written).

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So, now back to a earlier poster's statement which attempted to claim that brain malfunctions do not have any dysfunctional aspects outside of the brain.

I truly hope you are not referring to me. I have never made the above statement, as anyone who reads my posts can verify. If you do mean me, then your blatant mischaracterization of my actual statements only does harm to your own arguments. If you do not mean me, then I retract what I have just written (unless of course you are mischaracterizing what someone else has written).

No, I was not referring to you. And I do appreciate your insight. But when I see contradictions in what is stated and what is happening I choose to dig further. I also understand that you do not have the time to read the items I mentioned as they total hundreds of studies, books and technical manuals and I was not the onle that originally brought up or questioned your credentials. But, to paraphrase Leonard di Vinci; I will never put another's reasoing faculty above my own.

Whether people on this forum know or acknowledge it there is a lot more to being a personal trainer than setting up weights and clicking a stop-watch. I sometimes have to deal with people on the most personal level and deal with or overcome their most secret/hiden psychological problems/contradictions. If someone thinks that a personal trainer can get a person to push to a phyical extemely discomforting level without first having a proper psyche, then they should rethink their premise as it cannot be done.

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