The Mysterious Syndrome In Which Healthy People Can’t Recall Their Past

Psychologists in Canada think they’ve identified an entirely new memory syndrome in healthy people characterised by a specific inability to re-live their past. This may sound like a form of amnesia, but the three individuals currently described have no history of brain damage or illness and have experienced no known recent psychological trauma or disturbance.

Source: Some perfectly healthy people can’t remember their own lives

I remember enough to re-experience a situation, and I knew someone who was a professional ballet dancer – they could as well. I wonder if it is more common in those who are athletic in some fashion? I don’t remember everything – common things like locking the door I forget, to the point I wonder how I got to the car (I will return home to check sometimes, to find it locked). I can’t always control it, and sometimes my recall surprises me – page numbers to stories I might have read once, sheet music after decades.

There is a reason the word “eidetic” exists in our vocabulary, and it doesn’t mean exactly photographic. Hypervigilance would also allow someone to take in enough detail to relive an experience.

I’ve dealt with abusive people, whom it has been my belief will play “dumb” about not remembering an incident. It’s convenient – they don’t remember, so they don’t apologize or care. But the behaviour repeats itself…

Eating The Wrong Shellfish Could Give You Temporary Amnesia

Believe it or not, there is such a thing known as “amnesic shellfish poisoning”. Eating the wrong piece of shellfish — or occasionally just the wrong anchovy — can make you lose your memory.

Source: Eating The Wrong Shellfish Could Give You Temporary Amnesia

I love anchovies, and I can’t remember a time this has happened to me!

Wait…

Brain Damage Occurs After 6 Minutes, But the Holding Breath Record is 22?

The air you inhale is ~21% oxygen, and the air you exhale is 13-16% oxygen. Hold your breath for a minute with a blood oxygen meter on, and you find that there is zero change in the amount of oxygen your blood is carrying. Hold for another minute and your blood oxygen level will only drop a few percent. The urge to breath becomes intense very quickly because your body doesn’t actually know the amount of oxygen in your blood. But your body senses the build up of carbon dioxide (CO2)…  As your oxygen level drops, your body starts to restrict blood flow to the extremities and this (not the actual lack of oxygen) is what causes your fingers or lips to tingle when you are extremely out of breath.

Our bodies can also power many systems anaerobically (without oxygen) – your muscles can use more energy less efficiently and with more waste (lactic acid) for quite some time.  The only vital part of you that lacks this ability is your brain. Now all this adds up to the ability to hold your breath for ~8 minutes with proper training…  Some use hyperventilating to suppress the breathing reflex – this is extremely dangerous, and thousands of people drown/die that way every year!

The record referenced is a pure O2 record, where the diver holds their breath after breathing pure medical grade oxygen.  The grade of oxygen doesn’t matter – it doesn’t reduce the feeling of needing to breath at all, it just allows someone to hold breath much longer.

Fun fact: Kids can have breath-holding spells.  They generally grow out of it by the time they’re 5 or 6 years old.  I haven’t seen anything to support it, but I was told that the theory was that the carbon dioxide feedback loop isn’t foolproof at that age.  My brother was far worse – he could trigger a nosebleed when he wanted.  My poor mother…

Inadequate Vitamin E Can Cause Brain Damage

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered how vitamin E deficiency may cause neurological damage by interrupting a supply line of specific nutrients and robbing the brain of the “building blocks” it needs to maintain neuronal health.

The findings — in work done with zebrafish — were just published in the Journal of Lipid Research. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The research showed that zebrafish fed a diet deficient in vitamin E throughout their life had about 30 percent lower levels of DHA-PC, which is a part of the cellular membrane in every brain cell, or neuron. Other recent studies have also concluded that low levels of DHA-PC in the blood plasma of humans is a biomarker than can predict a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Inadequate vitamin E can cause brain damage

Curious about good sources for vitamin E?

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Spinach (not good for blood thinner)
  • Swiss Chard (also not good for blood thinner)
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts

Vitamin E is fat soluble – consuming fat soluble vitamins with fat increases their uptake.

What Happens When Your Brain Always Provides You With The Wrong Word

Jargon aphasia is a strange syndrome which cause people to suddenly say nonsense words while otherwise speaking normally. Often they won’t even know that they did it. And scientists are not entirely sure what that means.

Jargon aphasia arises from brain damage, either from traumatic injury or some kind of degenerative syndrome. It involves substituting in words that don’t make sense while conducting a normal conversation — words that may start with the same sound, like substituting “detective” for “debt,” or sometimes words that are related to each other, like substituting “bird,” for “egg.” Occasionally it involves substituting total nonsense words for regular words. This much most scientists all agree on.

Source: What Happens When Your Brain Always Provides You With The Wrong Word

No mention of Tourette Syndrome?

Can You Laugh Yourself To Death?

Zeuxis was a painter in the fifth century BC, who had been commissioned to paint a portrait of a wealthy patron as Aphrodite. When he saw the finished product, he supposedly laughed until he died. He was the first historical person to die laughing, but not the last. How dangerous can laughter really be?

Source: Can You Laugh Yourself To Death?

If you gotta go, go with a smile: