The Corpus Callosum

Archives for May, 2008

Brain Stimulation Wars

Just as we learn of favorable studies about rTMS (see yesterday’s post on this blog), studies that suggest that ECT could be surpassed, the ECT camp fires again.  A new study by Sackeim indicates that a new form of ECT is highly effective, with lower negative impact on cognition.  The difference is in the length…

Jonah posted an interesting video of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) on The Frontal Cortex.  That got me to wondering if there was anything new.   In January 2007, the US FDA concluded that rTMS was safe, but they were unconvinced of its effectiveness.  Their conclusion was arguable, but the arguments fell short.  For one thing, the…

Poisoning Ourselves, Part II

I’m harping on the same string.  A month ago, I noted how it was not necessary for terrorists to figure out how to poison us.  Our own companies are doing it for them.  Now, our government is doing a heck of a job to make it easier for companies to poison us, and to get…

Sunday Garden Blogging

I am not sure that it would make sense to grow artichokes, if the garden were serving to supply food in a crisis.  But we are not having a crisis yet, so we can have fun.  Artichokes are good, but the amount of food you get, per unit of garden, is not great. The artichoke…

Another Oil Company Subsidy

Despite a chorus among citizenry and punditry to end oil company subsidies, it turns out that yet another has been foisted upon us.  What is worse, it was created under the guise of a populist program: Households will spend about $90 billion more this year on gasoline if fuel prices remain at current levels, according…

BGC20-0166

Sleepdoctor (Michael Rack) alerts us to a new pharmaceutical product in development: BGC20-0166.  He doesn’t say a lot, except to dismiss it out of hand.  That is appropriate, but I thought I’d add a bit of explanation.   His post: Saturday, May 03, 2008 Pills don’t cure Obstructive Sleep Apnea The life sciences company BTG…

I have to admit, I retain some skepticism about the concept of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Research such as the topic of this post helps, though, to lend some credibility to the concept.   It is true that exposure to bright light therapy (BLT) can alleviate symptoms of SAD.  That alone would seem to verify the…

Humpday News Commentary

Politics: ON NPR today, they were talking about the “mistakes” of the Clinton campaign.  I was annoyed by that.  Framing the issue in that way implies that a) the race was hers to lose, and b) the outcome is not really up to the voters.  The discussion implied that if a candidate runs a perfect…

I realize that in the spectrum of boneheaded moves by the Administration, this one is not the most extreme.  Still, it was a pretty dumb thing to do. Blunt Federal Letters Tell Students They’re Security Threats By SCOTT SHANE Published: May 13, 2008 WASHINGTON — A German graduate student in oceanography at M.I.T. applied to…

A while back, Gred Laden and Dr. Shock independently linked to a remarkable video.  In it, a famous author-surgeon-professor reveals that he had had an episode of severe depression.  Moreover, he underwent treatment with electroconvulsive therapy.  It worked, he got back to work, and went on to have a distinguished career.  The video can be…