The Psychological Factors That Cause Food Cravings

I’ve heard a lot of people say that: when they start eating healthier, they start craving healthier food over time…

I haven’t noticed that working for me.  Not exactly.  I get cravings, but when I go to address the craving – I do try to make healthier choices.

Sweet Drug Clears Cholesterol, Reverses Heart Disease—And Was Found by Parents

Two parents’ quest to save their twin daughters’ lives from a rare, degenerative genetic disorder may end up saving and improving the lives of millions.

Source: Sweet drug clears cholesterol, reverses heart disease—and was found by parents

From  http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/8/333/333ra50 :

Cyclodextrin is a common FDA-approved substance that is already used as a solubilizing agent to improve delivery of various drugs.

Memories in Early Alzheimer’s May Not Be Irretrievable After All

Alzheimer’s disease leads to tragic memory deficits, but it’s not clear whether those memories are actually lost. It’s also not clear whether this is a problem with memory formation and storage or a problem in memory retrieval. This is clinically relevant, since memory retrieval could potentially be restored by targeted brain stimulation.

Source: Memories in early Alzheimer’s may not be irretrievable after all

I am curious about the difference between whether the memory is actually being stored and not able to be retrieved later, or not being stored to begin with at all.  It never occurred to me to think about such a nuance.

This Video Explains How Stress Breaks Down Your Brain

If you think there’s a possibility of Alzheimer’s for you, please make sure you make plans with regard to health, etc. before things get bad and you can’t make those decisions anymore. Things easily become a big mess in those situations.

Are Energy Drinks Bad for You?

Red Bull may give you wings, but at what cost? To some, energy drinks are dangerous elixirs, while others consider them magic potions of vitality? The truth about how they affect your body is not so black and white.

Source: Are Energy Drinks Bad for You?

I’ve never had an energy drink.  Closest thing would be a Gu gel…

The specific mention about long term ginseng use is interesting with the mention about impact to blood thinners.  Ginger is a low dose of vitamin K, ginseng is entirely different.

Musical Training Can Accelerate Brain Development and Help With Literacy

The notion that musical training can have positive effects on cognitive functions other than music has long been a source of interest. Research first emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Standardised assessments of IQ and musical ability suggested the two were correlated – and it was thought that participation in musical training could improve IQ.

Recently, research has shifted focus from effects on musical training on global intelligence and instead focuses on benefits to specific skills and tasks in individuals.

Source: Musical Training Can Accelerate Brain Development and Help With Literacy

I did learn an instrument, but in recent years I found myself wishing it had been the piano.  My music theory is terrible though…

Something that wasn’t mentioned in the article was the reality that access to music training generally brings up economic status.  How much is really from music training vs what other things that wouldn’t exist for those in poverty?

A New Drug Erases Memories to Treat Addiction

Methamphetamine is one of the nastiest drug addictions to overcome, in part because memories of the high are so powerful. But what if scientists could erase those drug-infused recollections? Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida have developed a drug that’s able to do just that in mice.

Source: A New Drug Erases Memories to Treat Addiction

We already have a general memory erasing drug – it’s called U0126. U0126 inhibits a kinase called MEK1 that doesn’t critically kill any one pathway when you inhibit it, but instead it ‘nudges’ half of the functions in the cell. Signaling through MEK1 is like the biochemical equivalent of Kevin Bacon; every single process has at most a degree or two of separation from it. One of the many processes altered by inhibiting it is memory reconsolidation. So give someone the drug, have them recall a memory strongly (this is why fear-inducing memories work well) and it’s like you sent the memory on snapchat.

Applications of either drug remind me of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

My Dentist Saved My Tooth, But Wiped My Memory!

After simple dental surgery, William lost his ability to form new memories. What happened? This real-life medical mystery should change the way we think about the brain, says David Robson.

William’s internal clock is eternally jammed at 13:40 on 14 March 2005 – right in the middle of a dentist appointment.

Source: My Dentist Saved My Tooth, But Wiped My Memory!

I hate it when that happens, getting stuck in a time loop…  If you haven’t seen Memento, I highly recommend it.

Individual Neurons Tell Us Whether We Remember Something

It’s hard to pin down exactly what makes us remember things. When you see an image, what makes you decide you’ve seen it before? A new study has tackled this question, identifying a group of neurons that participate in the process of identifying images as familiar.

Source: Individual neurons tell us whether we remember something

What about those who have eidetic memory?  This will have to wait for further study.