Finding Help For Someone With Mental Illness11
As a teacher, you may occasionally have students who show symptoms of or who havesignificant risk factors for a mental illness. A first step for helping thesestudents is to contact the school nurse or guidance counselor. These individualsshould know the appropriate next steps to take, including directing the student’sparents or guardians to contact their physician or their city or county mentalhealth services.
If you think a friend or colleague might have a mental illness, encourage him or herto see a physician. Physicians can make referrals to mental health specialists inthe community. In addition, your state or county health departments may offerservices for people struggling with a mental illness. The National Mental HealthAssociation has an affiliate network throughout the country. The programs offered bythe NMHA affiliates include support groups, public education and advocacy campaigns,rehabilitation, and housing services. You can access the NMHA’s affiliate networkthrough its Web site: .
The Additional Resources for Teachers section describes other online resources aboutmental illnesses .
What Are The Parts Of The Brain
The brain is made up of three main sections: the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain.
The forebrain is the largest and most complex part of the brain. It consists of the cerebrum the area with all the folds and grooves typically seen in pictures of the brain as well as some other structures under it.
The cerebrum contains the information that essentially makes us who we are: our intelligence, memory, personality, emotion, speech, and ability to feel and move. Specific areas of the cerebrum are in charge of processing these different types of information. These are called lobes, and there are four of them: the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes.
The cerebrum has right and left halves, called hemispheres. They’re connected in the middle by a band of nerve fibers that lets them communicate. These halves may look like mirror images of each other, but many scientists believe they have different functions:
- The left side is considered the logical, analytical, objective side.
- The right side is thought to be more intuitive, creative, and subjective.
So when you’re balancing your checkbook, you’re using the left side. When you’re listening to music, you’re using the right side. It’s believed that some people are more “right-brained” or “left-brained” while others are more “whole-brained,” meaning they use both halves of their brain to the same degree.
In the inner part of the forebrain sits the thalamus, hypothalamus, and :
Early Embryonic Stage To 2 Years
Brain development in the embryo starts just a few weeks after conception. By the seventh month of a pregnancy, the fetus starts to emit its own brain waves. New neurons and synapses are formed by the brain at an extremely high rate during this time.
During the first year of life, the number of synapses in the brain of an infant grows more than tenfold. By age 2 or 3, an infant has about 15,000 synapses per neuron.
In the visual cortex of the brain , synapse production hits its peak at about 8 months of age. In the prefrontal cortex, peak levels of synapses occur sometime during the first year of life. This part of the brain is used for a variety of complex behaviors, including planning and personality.
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What Is A Basic Definition Of Brain
The brain is the organ in humans and animals thats responsible for thought processes. The plural form brains refers to intelligence or a person who is the smartest member of a group. The word brain has several other senses as a noun and a few as a verb.
Your brain is a squishy organ located inside your head and is protected by your skull. The brain is highly complex. It is the seat of all your conscious thoughts and unconscious impulses and is like the control center of the body, allowing you to do things like speak, move your muscles, and breathe without thinking. The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system.
Real-life examples: You and every other person have a brain. Animals have brains too, although they arent capable of doing all of the things the human brain is able to do. Your brain is very important and has a vast number of jobs, such as keeping all of your memories, telling your other organs what to do, and helping you read these words.
Used in a sentenceThe brain is the most complex and perhaps the most studied organ.
The plural form brains is used as a term for intelligence or intellect. This usage alludes to the brain being the organ that handles thinking.
Real-life examples: You may have heard a person being described as having brains. This means they are smart and able to figure things out, especially difficult or complex problems.
Relatedly, a person who is considered very smart can be called a brain.
Mental Illness And The Brain4
The term mental illness clearly indicates that there is a problem with the mind. Butis it just the mind in an abstract sense, or is there a physical basis to mentalillness? As scientists continue to investigate mental illnesses and their causes,they learn more and more about how the biological processes that make the brain workare changed when a person has a mental illness.
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Lobes Of The Brain And What They Control
Each brain hemisphere has four sections, called lobes: frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital. Each lobe controls specific functions.
- Frontal lobe. The largest lobe of the brain, located in the front of the head, the frontal lobe is involved in personality characteristics, decision-making and movement. Recognition of smell usually involves parts of the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe contains Brocas area, which is associated with speech ability.
- Parietal lobe. The middle part of the brain, the parietal lobe helps a person identify objects and understand spatial relationships . The parietal lobe is also involved in interpreting pain and touch in the body. The parietal lobe houses Wernickes area, which helps the brain understand spoken language.
- Occipital lobe. The occipital lobe is the back part of the brain that is involved with vision.
- Temporal lobe. The sides of the brain, temporal lobes are involved in short-term memory, speech, musical rhythm and some degree of smell recognition.
Major Cognitive Effects Of Covid
In survivors of intensive care unit stays due to acute respiratory failure or shock from any cause, one-third of people show such a profound degree of cognitive impairment that performance on neuropsychological testing is comparable to those with moderate traumatic brain injury. In daily life, such cognitive effects on memory, attention, and executive function can lead to difficulties managing medications, managing finances, comprehending written materials, and even carrying on conversations with friends and family. Commonly observed long-term psychological effects of ICU stays include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder . Effects due to COVID ICU stays are expected to be similar a prediction that has already been confirmed by the studies in Britain, Canada, and Finland reviewed above.
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How Does The Brain Work
The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.
Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .
Functions Of The Nervous System
The complex activities of the body are controlled jointly by the Endocrine and the Nervous systems. As opposed to the Endocrine system the Nervous system has a more or less instant effect on the body via a complex network of nerves and control centres. TheCentral Nervous System includes the brain and spinal cord, while Peripheral Nervous System includes nerves connected to the spinal cord. The nervous system can be further divided into sub-systems, all of which are composed ofneurons and connective tissue:
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Implications For Understanding Adolescent Behavior
Scientists caution against drawing definite conclusions about the direct impact of brain development on adolescent behavior . Human behavior has to also be considered in the context of social and cultural factors. However, it has been suggested that the non-uniform maturation pattern in which the limbic region develops faster than the cortex region may significantly contribute to an increase in risk taking and novelty seeking by youth, particularly young teenagers . Whereas risk taking during the teenage years may be normative and functionally adaptive as the adolescent strives for independence from adults, such behaviors may also contribute to an incentive to initiate drug use. Given the unique neurodevelopmental processes taking place during adolescence, trying out new experiences and taking risks is more likely among teenagers than among children and adults.
Furthermore, certain conditions may be ripe for risk taking by teenagers. These include situations in which a teenager is experiencing high emotion, in the presence of intense peer pressure, and faced with a perception that a short-term reward or positive outcome will be obtained. In these situations, the still-maturing brake circuitry in the front part of the brain may be particularly overwhelmed by the accelerator region compromising the ability to make thoughtful decisions .
Reinforcing The Importance Of Prevention And Treatment
The health significance of preventing drug use by youth and halting use if it starts is only further strengthened by the various risks created or, at minimum, enabled when a teenager with a developing brain uses drugs. The safest course for an adolescent is to refrain from all drug use while the brain is developing. A less ideal course is to delay the onset of drug use until as late as possible during the teenage years doing so at least has the potential to reduce a young persons risk for developing a substance use disorder during adulthood. Of course, it is crucial for adolescents with a substance use disorder to reduce or abstain from use. The messages that highlight the social and legal consequences of drug use which reinforce the public health significance of prevention and treatment can now be bolstered with the consequences of early drug use on the developing brain.
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The Brain Stem Relays Signals Between The Brain And Spinal Cord And Manages Basic Involuntary Functions
The brain stem connects the spinal cord to the higher-thinking centers of the brain. It consists of three structures: the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the midbrain. The medulla oblongata is continuous with the spinal cord and connects to the pons above. Both the medulla and the pons are considered part of the hindbrain. The midbrain, or mesencephalon, connects the pons to the diencephalon and forebrain. Besides relaying sensory and motor signals, the structures of the brain stem direct involuntary functions. The pons helps control breathing rhythms. The medulla handles respiration, digestion, and circulation, and reflexes such as swallowing, coughing, and sneezing. The midbrain contributes to motor control, vision, and hearing, as well as vision- and hearing-related reflexes.
Does Synaptic Pruning Explain The Onset Of Schizophrenia
Research that looks at the relationship between synaptic pruning and schizophrenia is still in the early stages. The theory is that schizophrenic brains are over-pruned, and this over-pruning is caused by genetic mutations that affect the synaptic pruning process.
For example, when researchers looked at images of the brains of people with mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, they found that people with mental disorders had fewer synapses in the prefrontal region compared to the brains of people without mental disorders.
Then, a large study analyzed post-mortem brain tissue and DNA from more than 100,000 people and found that people with schizophrenia have a specific gene variant that may be associated with an acceleration of the process of synaptic pruning.
More research is needed to confirm the hypothesis that abnormal synaptic pruning contributes to schizophrenia. While this is still a long way off, synaptic pruning may represent an interesting target for treatments for people with mental disorders.
Unlike research into schizophrenia, which theorizes that the brain is over-pruned, researchers hypothesize that the brains of people with autism may be under-pruned. Theoretically, then, this under-pruning leads to an oversupply of synapses in some parts of the brain.
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Psychological Or Psychiatric Issues
Individuals who chronically abuse methamphetamine are more susceptible to the development of severe psychiatric disorders, including issues with psychotic-like behaviors, such as delusions, hallucinations, impaired reality testing, etc. Some of these psychotic-like behaviors can be rather idiosyncratic. For example, the term meth bugs refers to a psychiatric condition where chronic methamphetamine users have a sensation that their skin is crawling or itching with bugs even though no external stimulation is occurring. This condition will often remit but may return spontaneously in some individuals.
Individuals who enter a formal substance use disorder treatment program and are successful in maintaining abstinence often recover some level of functioning however, in many cases, significant residual effects remain. Research indicates that there is quite a bit of variability in recovery that is often related to a number of personal variables as well as the length and seriousness of an individualâs use of methamphetamine.
Understanding Brain Science And Cognitive Psychology
The human brain is an amazing and powerful tool. It allows us to learn, see, remember, hear, perceive, understand and create language. Sometimes, the human brain also fails us.
Cognitive psychologists study how people acquire, perceive, process and store information. This work can range from exploring how we learn language to understanding the interplay between cognition and emotion.
New technologies like magnetic resonance imaging allow researchers to see a picture of the brain at work helping them to understand how a brain reacts to a particular stimulus or how differences in brain structure can affect a persons health, personality or cognitive functioning.
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% Of Brain Growth Happens Before Kindergarten
At birth, the average babys brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. Incredibly, it doubles in size in the first year. It keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90% nearly full grown by age 5.
The brain is the command center of the human body. A newborn baby has all of the brain cells theyll have for the rest of their life, but its the connections between these cells that really make the brain work. Brain connections enable us to move, think, communicate and do just about everything. The early childhood years are crucial for making these connections. At least one million new neural connections are made every second, more than at any other time in life.
Different areas of the brain are responsible for different abilities, like movement, language and emotion, and develop at different rates. Brain development builds on itself, as connections eventually link with each other in more complex ways. This enables the child to move and speak and think in more complex ways.
The early years are the best opportunity for a childs brain to develop the connections they need to be healthy, capable, successful adults. The connections needed for many important, higher-level abilities like motivation, self-regulation, problem solving and communication are formed in these early years or not formed. Its much harder for these essential brain connections to be formed later in life.
Subtle Cognitive Effects Of Covid
It is clear that COVID can cause brain damage by direct infection , by strokes, and by lack of oxygen. It is also clear that when patients experience severe illness requiring an ICU stay, brain damage is highly likely to occur, and its effects are typically obvious. But what if the COVID illness is not so severe? Can brain damage still occur?
A Chinese group of doctors and researchers examined several aspects of cognitive function in 29 individuals who were thought to have fully recovered from COVID infection. They found persistent impairment in sustained attention the ability to attend to important information for as long as it is relevant.
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Origins Of The ‘reptilian Complex’
The term, ‘reptilian brain’ is derived from a longstanding belief within the field of neuroanatomy that the forebrains of reptiles, and other small animals, were dominated by these structures. Paul MacLean suggested, within the Triune brain model, that the basal ganglia and a number of the surrounding structures within the base of the forebrain are responsible for ‘species-typical’ behaviors, which are present in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays.
A Possible Alzheimers Connection
Research does suggest an association between diabetes and Alzheimerâs. People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop Alzheimerâs as people without diabetes. But researchers are still trying to figure out whether diabetes actually causes Alzheimerâs.
âAlzheimerâs is characterized by local deposits of beta-amyloid, an protein accumulating in the brain,â says Peter Butler, MD, director of the Larry Hillblom Islet Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In some people with Alzheimerâs, beta-amyloid forms clumps that interfere with nerve cellsâ ability to communicate with each other.
In the pancreas, where insulin is made, “there are similar proteins that lead to damage and the death of cells,â Butler says.â Itâs likely to be a shared risk for developing either Alzheimerâs or type 2 because the thing that goes wrong is very similar.â
But Butler adds that vascular cognitive impairment is another cause of Alzheimerâs. That makes the matter more confusing. It seems there is a lot more to learn about which happens first, whether one is causing the other, and exactly how they are linked.
âItâs hard to separate out in chronic disease processes where cells donât function as they should anymore,â Butler says. âIt would be naive to say that 100% of one personâs Alzheimerâs is from amyloid plaques while someone elseâs Alzheimerâs is vascular.â
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