Why? It’s simple. The scientists don’t know what they’re doing. They have no clear objectives, and the notion of building an accurate picture of a few trillion neurons in action is as far from reality as a flea painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The utopian technocrats, who’ve been predicting that, by the middle of this century, they will create an artificial brain that outstrips the one inside the skull, are suddenly on vacation. They’re mumbling and backing away.
It’s the old put up or shut up. They’re shutting up. They’ve got nothing.
I guess paradise is postponed. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
Obama’s Manhattan Project of the brain, launched in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, is a sop to make suckers think science can stop murders by making accurate predictions based on some monumental, all-encompassing portrait of the mind.
The current debate, sparked by Obama’s launch, centers around “which paradigm” should be utilized in this Magellan voyage through our gray matter. That’s just a cover-up. Nobody has the faintest idea about which approach will work.
Part of the reason? The titanic complexity of brain activity is always changing, moment to moment. So even a perfect snapshot, frozen in time—which scientists have no idea how to execute—means almost nothing in the next split-second. The adage about never stepping in the same river twice applies perfectly to the brain.
To illustrate the whirlpool into which scientists are stepping, their sheer incompetence, and their wretched reductionist philosophy, we have only to look at what they’ve done with the concept of a mental disorder.
In past articles, I’ve demonstrated that, of the 297 official mental disorders, none can be tested for. The diagnosis in every case is a fiction.
That is to say, there is no scientific basis for labeling a person with such a condition or prescribing a drug.
I’ve also written extensively on the toxic destruction wrought by the drugs.
Behind all of this, then, what is a mental disorder?
It’s a social construct invented by psychiatrists and their allies to carve up the concepts of mind, brain, behavior, and thought. This construct is primarily inhibiting, which means that a kind of ceiling is created on human experience and consciousness.
“If you go there, or there, or there, or there, you have an illness, a disease, a disorder.”
“Stay here, don’t go there. This area means you’re all right; that area means you’re not all right.”
But of course, millions of people like the fiction. They like it for various reasons. And they absolutely insist on equating the fact that people suffer, have problems, lose control, can’t fit in, feel pain, are confused, with the idea of mental disorders.
They feel compelled to make that connection. They’ll die making that connection.
The discovery, led by Tor Wager and published in April 11 issue of New England Journal of Medicine, came as a result of detailed computer searches of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of 114 people after they had been exposed to varying degrees of heat from simply warm to painfully hot.
Going in, researchers expected to find unique neurolgical patterns in each person’s brain. And while the patterns were there, the scientists found that they weren’t so much determined by the person as the amount of pain he or she was undergoing.
In all, the pain “signatures” enabled researchers to predict with 90 percent to 100 percent accuracy whether a person had undergone a level of exposure to heat that was painful or not. This was true even when prior brain scans from each person were available for reference.
Wager and his team then examined the brain patterns after patients were offered an analgesic to dull the pain. Sure enough, the signature registered a decrease in pain.
Going forward, Wager said in a press release, he and others are looking to test the brain scan signatures across different conditions.
“Is the predictive signature different if you experience pressure pain or mechanical pain, or pain on different parts of the body?” he asks.
Ultimately, however, he hopes that as these questions are answered, he will be able to develop measures for chronic pain.
“Understanding the different contributions of different systems to chronic pain and other forms of suffering is an important step towards understanding and alleviating human suffering,” he said.
Apr. 10, 2013 — Researchers may have discovered a more accurate way to predict how long patients with the deadliest form of brain cancer will live, according to an analysis by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) published today in the journal PLOS ONE. The authors say the finding could better inform physician recommendations on the most appropriate treatment strategy for patients with aggressive brain tumors.
The new analysis examined tumors from patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), who survive 12-15 months on average with the current combination of surgery, radiation and the chemotherapy temozolomide. GBM’s deadliness is due not only to its staggering growth rate and location in the brain, but also to how quickly GBM cells become impervious to treatment.
While radiation and temozolomide usually kill most GBM cells, those that survive can quickly multiply to fill the void. Tough, treatment-resistant tumor cells soon comprise most of the recurring tumor, and 90 percent of recurring tumors show no response to temozolomide. At this point, patients have few options, most of which merely bring comfort before death.
Apr. 10, 2013 — Current treatments for anorexia and bulimia nervosa, which afflict an estimated 10 to 24 million Americans, are often limited and ineffective. Patients relapse. They become chronically ill. They face a higher risk of dying.
“A major reason contributing to the difficulty in developing new treatments for these disorders is our limited understanding of how brain function may contribute to eating disorder symptoms,” said Walter H. Kaye, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
In recent, published papers, Kaye and colleagues report the situation is changing. Advanced brain imaging technologies, supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, are beginning to be used to study and improve eating disorder treatments. Indeed, with funding from the Global Foundation for Eating Disorders (GFED), a New York City-based group that promotes eating disorder (ED) research and improved treatments, the UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research has launched a new initiative to create more effective ED therapies based upon brain imaging studies.
“Brain imaging research has allowed for a shift from simply describing a symptom to understanding the cause of a symptom,” said Kaye. “In the case of anorexia nervosa, imaging studies have helped us understand why people avoid eating and food and develop treatments that address the cause of the problem rather than secondary behaviors or symptoms.
“This is an important shift in the world of psychiatry similar to what revolutionized medical care decades ago. Today, if you show up at the doctor’s office with a bad cough, he or she might run diagnostics to determine whether the cough was bacterial or viral in order to administer the appropriate treatment. Similarly, the more we understand the specific causes of eating disorders, the more effective and targeted our treatments can become.”