Diagnosis & Disease Information

Cults and Big Business

Cults and Big Business: Is There a Difference?

In 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, with respect to their exercising of free speech in the form of political campaign spending. But could some big businesses also be compared to a very specific type of person: a charismatic cult leader? Do big businesses use some of the same tactics leveraged by cults to win followers and suppress dissent? Are they using a form of neurological manipulation? As medical research goes forward, will it unwittingly help teach big business how to control the public brain?

Combating ALS

Researchers Develop Strategy to Combat Genetic ALS, FTD

A team of researchers at Mayo Clinic and The Scripps Research Institute in Florida have developed a new therapeutic strategy to combat the most common genetic risk factor for the neurodegenerative disorders amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). In the Aug. 14 issue of Neuron, they also report discovery of a potential biomarker to track disease progression and the efficacy of therapies.

Brain Training

Brain Training: Does It Work?

Brain training has gained popularity in recent years. But does it really work? Some are not so sure. Most certainly, Gareth Cook does not think so. In a 2014 New Yorker blog post titled Brain training games are bogus, Cook lambasted companies such as Lumosity, Jungle Memory, and CogniFit. The author even went so far as to say that 10 hours of brain training per week could be dangerous because it gives people false hope and prevents them from engaging in more healthy activities, such as exercising.

Brain Development and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

UNC Researchers Pinpoint Protein Hub Necessary for Proper Brain Development

Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have found that the protein glycogen synthase kinase-3, or GSK-3, is crucial for proper brain development early in life, a surprising finding considering that drug companies are searching for ways to limit the proteins function to treat conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimers disease.

Near-Death Experiences

Near-Death Experiences: More Real Than Real

Near-death experiences (NDEs) have been documented throughout time, the earliest dating back to Plato. Generally, they are stories told by people who were dying, or thought to be dying, and then returned to life healthy enough to describe their experience. Dream-like, out-of-body NDEs usually involve a tunnel of light, seeing loved ones who have passed away, a sensation of euphoria, and a mind-expanding journey. The recent documentation of NDEs has raised the question of whether human beings have souls or not. In most NDE cases, there is the sensation that people’s souls have left their bodies. However, as our knowledge has advanced, many experts claim NDEs can be explained through neuroscience, dismissing the theory of a connection to the soul.

Hypnosis in Medicine

Bringing Hypnosis out of the Mystical and into the Practical: Is It Real?

On February 9, 1978, 12-year-old Kimberly Leach realized that she had left her purse in one of her classes at Lake City Junior High School in Lake City, Florida and returned to the classroom to retrieve it after a school assembly. That was the last time she was seen, until her body was found 2 months later near the Suwannee River approximately 35 miles west of the school. The only witness to Kimberly’s abduction was Clarence Anderson, who said he saw a young girl in front of the school being led to a white van by a man he thought was her father. However, he was unable to provide a detailed description of either the man or the girl he observed. At the request of Assistant State Attorney Bob Dekle, Anderson subsequently underwent 2 hypnosis sessions, after which he was successfully able to describe in detail their clothing and identify the murderer as the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy.

Proof of Heaven

Proof of Heaven: A Skeptic’s Trip to the Hereafter

Proof of Heaven, the story of neurosurgeon Eben Alexander’s self-professed trip to the afterlife and a New York Times best-seller about the joy of being dead and coming back, addresses a basic human question: What happens after we die? This perennial question continues to provoke philosophical, religious, and existential interest. In modern times, the issue of “heaven” has garnered much attention with the analysis of near-death experiences (NDEs) and other incidents shared by people who claim to have been there, including those who say they were reacquainted with lost loved ones along the way. It’s a powerful and sensitive subject that many of us want to know more about, but not everyone is engaging in the conversation fairly.

Gaming Is Now an Extreme Sport

Gaming Is Now an Extreme Sport

Starting in the 1970’s, cult classics such as Pac-Man, Asteroids, and Pong helped pave the way for video games to become an increasingly popular form of entertainment. Encompassing a myriad of genres, video games provide many unique experiences, but who would have thought that they would legitimately become a competitive sport? Human beings by nature are competitive, yet we are also able to cooperate to accomplish some amazing feats.

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