Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Shady Grey Area

What follows is Extremely Close to Stream Of Consciousness.
Be warned.

First of all, how does one spell this color? Grey or Gray? Because this article definitely uses an E and the town where my parents live uses an A.

But this is unimportant. What is important is that scientists have found that the Lack Of Grey Matter In [the] Brain Is Linked To Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder. Okay, pretty cool, we've found a trend. WHICH SUCKS. Because now everyone is going to think we're all stupid because we have fewer brain cells. I will present my own thesis, and this picture to aid us.

Nobody's looked at the differences in the size of the overall brain between "normals" and schizos and MDs (no, I don't mean doctor, although my dad is both) (also, I'm going to tentatively take that statement back until I research it further). Let's assume for the moment (and if the succeeding statement is not true, my theory collapses, but let's move on) that we all have similar brain sizes, p<.05 between us psychos and the rest of the world. Well less grEy matter means there must be more white matter. Crap, and I just thought of those damn glial cells. Alright, now the theory splits:

1. Less grey matter = more white matter. For you non-nerdies out there, grey matter is the neuronal bodies (or somas), and white matter are their myelinated axons which send the messages to other parts of the brain/body. So yes, fewer cells. But also MORE CONNECTIONS. Do you know how many artists, poets, and composers were/are bipolar? People who make startling and new connections, putting them down on paper/canvas, and getting famous for it? We'll start off with Georgia O'Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh, then go to Edgar Allan Poe and my personal favorite, Lord Byron. Continue on to William Faulkner and Virgina Woolf. Schumann and Tchaikovsky anyone? (this one I have a reference for: "Touched with Fire" by Kay Redfield Jamison. Actually, the whole book supports this point.) Note: I am NOT, and I repeat NOT saying that all artists, poets, writers, and composers are bipolar or have some other mental illness. It's just a trend that has been pointed out and I see merit in. Also, this does not mean I have any artistic ability. I think you might have be a Type I with the hard core psychotic episodes. I don't really think I'm a goddess.

2. Less grey matter = more glial cells. Glial cells are the supporting cells of the central nervous system. If I remember correctly, there are four types, but nevermind that. They help keep the brain/spinal cord in tip-top shape, making sure those few neuronal bodies are firing off, and firing off at the right time. Signaling and communicating to other neurons in other parts of the brain. Look at that! Sending messages, communicating with each other, CONNECTING!!!!!!

This is also assuming that the lack of grey matter causes the illness. I'll look at it the other way (the illness causing the neuronal cell bodies to go kaput) tomorrow. I have to get up early.

By the way - only me and a few close friends can call me psycho. No one else.

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