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The habenula

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Posting this mostly because there's been interest expressed in some brain science stuff here. This isn't directly related to CH, or at least to CH causes and treatments (though I suppose maybe it is).

So, here's a study that shows a tiny brain part directly involved in anticipating bad events -- the habenula. (Sounds so cute, doesn't it?)  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0714/290714-Bit-of-brain-signals-how-bad/

The two parts that interested me regarding CH were:

>>“Fascinatingly, people were slower to press the button when the picture was associated with getting shocked, even though their response had no bearing on the outcome.” says lead author Dr Rebecca Lawson, also at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. “Furthermore, the slower people responded, the more reliably their habenula tracked associations with shocks. This demonstrates a crucial link between the habenula and motivated behaviour, which may be the result of dopamine suppression.”<< 

I don't know -- I was just thinking of how often people with CH wait even when they know they probably shouldn't -- hesitating to get on O2 at the first sign of an attack, or hesitating to bust at the first sign of a cycle, for example.

>>“Other work shows that ketamine, which has profound and immediate benefits in patients who failed to respond to standard antidepressant medication, specifically dampens down habenula activity,” says Dr Roiser. “Therefore, understanding the habenula could help us to develop better treatments for treatment-resistant depression.”<<

Just thinking here about the positive effects that some people who are taking ketamine have reported related to their mood. . . .

Like I say, not a huge amount here, but the thing in itself is pretty interesting, I thought.

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Wha??!! Where did you find that and how was it even filmed without my authorization?! OK I will go ahead and admit that for some time now I have in fact enjoyed a rewarding career as a professional dancer on the habenula circuit.

That and break dancing.


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As usual always interesting...

>>A hyperactive habenula could cause people to make disproportionately negative predictions<<

Or perhaps an imprint too strong... or over time too much to handle?

PTSD anyone?

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