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Experiments with neutrons at the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) show that the antidepressant lithium accumulates more strongly in white matter of the brain than in grey matter. This leads to the conclusion that it works differently from synthetic psychotropic drugs. The tissue samples were examined at the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) with the aim of developing a better understanding of the effects this substance has on the human psyche.
At present lithium is most popular for its use in rechargeable batteries. But for decades now, lithium has also been used to treat various psychological diseases such as depressions, manias and bipolar disorders. But, the exact biological mode of action in certain brain regions has hardly been understood. It is well known that lithium lightens moods and reduces aggression potential.
Because it is so hard to dose, doctors have been reluctant to prescribe this “universal drug”. Nonetheless, a number of international studies have shown that a higher natural lithium content in drinking water leads to a lower suicide rate in the general population. Lithium accumulates in the brains of untreated people, too. This means that lithium, which has so far been regarded as unimportant, could be an essential trace element for humans.
Whether it is a fear of spiders, snakes or heights, many of us have phobias that we would love to be rid of for good. Now, a new study suggests that we can, by watching other individuals interact with the object or scenario that frightens us.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden say that experiencing our fears through the actions of another person may be more effective than trying to combat our fears directly, and it could even prevent them from resurfacing.
Previous studies have suggested that social forms of learning may trigger phobias, the researchers say. From this, they wanted to see whether it could also help to suppress them.
The study, published in Psychological Science, involved conducting a vicarious learning experiment on 36 male participants.
All participants were shown a series of faces. The appearance of one face was followed by an unpleasant electrical stimulation to the wrist six out of the nine times it was presented. The researchers say this was to teach the participants to associate the target face with the electric shock.
The researchers then showed the participants two movie clips of the same experiment in which the target face was not linked to the electrical stimulation. One movie clip showed a person carrying out the experiment, while the other clip did not.
“Eating Disorder does not have to be a life sentence” Dr Jeremy Alford
Qualified Clinical Psychologist, Hypnotherapist & Neurofeedback Therapist, Member of the British Psychological Society ,and Founder member of the Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section, Dr Jeremy Alford opens Online Clinic at ProvenTherapy.com
Press Release: Sep. 10, 2013 – Dr Alford established his own private practice since 2003 and has 15,000 client hours until now. He is also founder and president of the Middle East Eating Disorders Association. Dr Alford has a multicultural experience and proven adaptability to international settings. He has experience in the application of learning in the UK and applying this knowledge in the Middle East.
He is specialized in the support and treatment of:
* Eating disorders and related issues
* Smoking Cessation
* Mood and Anxiety Disorders (such as Depression, Phobias, Panic Attacks)
* Compulsive Behaviours (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Addictions)
* Traumas (such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Grief)
* Learning difficulties (Attention Deficit Disorders, Hyperactivity, Anger Management, Assertiveness Training)
* Psychotic issues (Management of Schizophrenia and other specific issues)
Dr Alford has appeared on several TV interviews to discuss various psychological topics in addition to having newspaper and magazine interviews.