VIGILANCE FOR BRAIN CANCER

Brain cancer is a very serious form of cancer. Recently, Sen. John McCain revealed he has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive type of brain tumor. GBMs originate in the brain; it does not spread there from another part of the body. The cause is not known. This tumor has no relation to melanoma, the skin cancer for which McCain was treated in the past.

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QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy is a standard treatment for cancer. It kills healthy cells along with cancer cells, inflicting damage on the body and seriously compromising the immune system. Chemotherapy also kills most rapidly dividing healthy and cancer cells, but not all the cells are fast growing. Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a small population of cancer cells that are slow growing and thus resistant to treatment, do not die. Chemotherapy makes these cells even more numerous as the ratio of highly malignant cells….

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RESTORING DIGNITY AND ’DOS

For many women facing cancer, the most devastating aspect is learning they may lose their hair due to chemotherapy.  “Most women tell me that as soon as they hear the oncologist say, ‘You’re going to lose your hair,’ that’s the last thing they remember hearing,” said Eric Johnson, co-owner, with his wife, Jeletta, of Hair Institute in Lexington. “They can deal with the sickness; they can deal with the treatments; but it’s the hair loss that gets them the most.

….FULL ARTICLE

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After being exposed to the images, the participants completed a memory test. The female participants were able to recall significantly more of the images than their male counterparts. The women had a particularly enhanced ability to recall the positive images. The study’s lead author, Dr. Annette Milnik, hypothesizes gender-dependent differences in emotional processing and memory are due to different mechanisms in the brain.


More specifically, the data suggested men have less reactivity to negative emotional images, which is linked with decreased activity in the motor regions of the brain. It may also suggest this is why men show less reactivity to various forms of trauma encountered in war and violent life experiences.


Sources and Resources


•  Lee, R., Arfanakis, K., Evia, A.M., Fanning, J., Keedy, S., Coccaro, E.F. (2017). White matter integrity reductions in intermittent explosive disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology.


•  Plutchik, Robert. (2002). Emotions and Life: Perspectives from Psychology, Biology, and Evolution, Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.  

It is well known men are wired differently than women when it comes to emotions. Emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response and a behavioral or expressive component. Are women “wired” to be more emotional than men? Not exactly, but new research provides more evidence that the male and female brain may have very different ways of processing emotions. Previous research has shown women generally experience higher levels of emotional stimulation than men. Now, a large scale study from the University of Basel suggests gender differences in emotion processing are linked to variations in memory and brain activity.


Feelings of happiness and pleasure are linked to the pre-frontal cortex in the brain. Anger, fear, sadness and other negative emotions are linked to the amygdala. All human behavior can be broken down into four basic emotions, according to research by Glasgow University. The study has challenged a commonly held belief that there are six basic emotions of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust.


Dr. Robert Plutchik (2002) is credited with developing a psycho-evolutionary theory of emotion. It is one of the most influential classification approaches for general emotional responses. He suggests there are eight primary emotions: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust and joy. Plutchik further introduces the concept

MEN AND THEIR EMOTIONS

of emotional contagion. Emotional contagion influences the feelings of one person from another person that transition into adoptive behaviors. This explains why some individuals are influenced by others and adopt their emotions as if they were their own. It is the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behaviors directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other individuals. A good example of this is the marketing strategies used by advertisers to push their products: “If you have this certain condition, you need this particular medication.”


The Basel researchers designed an experiment to determine whether women perform better on memory tests than men because of the way they process emotional information. The researchers exposed 3,400 participants to images of emotional content.


They found women rated the images as more emotionally stimulating than men, particularly in the case of negative images. When presented with emotionally neutral imagery, however, the men and women responded similarly.

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller