Friday, March 27, 2009

Damn that right hemisphere.

Global cortical folding reduced with treatment-resistant depression in the right hemisphere by 4%. The study involved those with unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. Also interesting is that those on lithium had 6% less cortical folding than those not taking the drug. Which, if I remember correctly, doesn't agree with a previous study/article I had commented on a while back. Don't remember which one (and too lazy to look for it), but it had mentioned that those on correct medication had more brain matter than those that were not. Or maybe it was just better performance.

Brain Marker for Familial Depression is a thinning of the cortex in the right hemisphere. A thinning of 28% actually, compared to the normals. Which is, needless to say, a hell of a lot. This was correlated with a worsening performance on attention and memory tasks.

Oh fine fine fine. We've less brain matter, folks. I'll stop arguing and being stubborn and just not accepting. But anyways, these two articles complement each other. Less cortical folding = less surface area = less space for neuronal cell bodies = less brain matter in general. Attention and memory though... I know my memory is crap, as is my father's. And his attention is going down the drain. To the point of annoyance, have to repeat everything 2 or 3 times... he can't seem to follow a conversation.

Hmmm... as I mentioned before, been reading "Touched with Fire" by Kay Redfield Jamison again. "Manic Depressives and the Artist Temperment". How in the past few centuries, there have been numerous BPDs that have impacted the literary, artistic, and musical worlds for the better. But the right hemisphere has been associated in the past with artistic sensibilities, and the left with logic and math. A general classification, but one with at least some merit I think. So why, if less brain matter in the right hemisphere, are they more creative than the general population? And super productive as well... which would not coincide with the less memory and attention. This could go back to my original theory that if they've less grey matter, they've more white matter (axons, myelin, and neuronal connections), allowing for more abstract associations in general. But who knows.

Ah, the mysteries of life.

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I think about this all the time. My father also has to have everything repeated all the time. I believe mental illness runs on his side of the family. Now I am an artist/designer and am too productive. I say that because I don't sit to relax because my happiness comes from what I create. I wonder if my creativity comes from some gene that causes mental illness in the family. I also believe that those who are sensitive (such as myself) use art as a communication tool. I believe that most mental disorders are linked in some way. Also, the right side of the brain has to have a connection because why are there so many similarities between artist and even artist with mental disorders. Art is therapy and a way for someone to express their mind. I love creative people because they question what is normal. Without creativity, we would not have inventions, music, and much more. Lastly, Einstein's imagination (right side of brain) allowed him to dream up his theories. His son had full blown schizophrenia.


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