Thanks to GVA for bringing this to our attention .Truth is far stranger that fiction, especially when it comes to brain recovery.
Dr Norman Doidge tells the story of a Brain That Changes Itself: into the abyss 26/07/2008:
“Can a damaged brain change its own structure and learn to replace lost functions? Conventional neuroscience once said no, but pioneers in the field have achieved miraculous transformations. From his investigation of their work, Norman Doidge tells the story of the perpetually falling woman …. ”
The Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychoanalysis Association gives an insightful review of Dr Doidges’ account of the endless powers of brain plasticity with perseverence.
In The role of eicosanoids in the brain: Tassoni et al from Deakin University Australia, remind readers that fish oil is the mainstay of our nervous system at Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:220-8. “The eicosanoids play important roles in neural function including sleep induction (PGD2), long term potentiation, spatial learning and synaptic plasticity (PGE2), resolution of inflammation (lipoxins) and anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective bioactivity (dihydroxy-docosatriene, neuroprotectin D1, formed from DHA). Additionally, drugs which are used to treat depression have been shown to reduce the turnover of arachidonic acid AA to PGE2 in the brain. Diets deficient in omega 3 PUFA lead to reduced DHA in the brain and increased turnover of AA to eicosanoids, an effect which is overcome by restoring the omega 3 PUFA to the diet. In neural trauma and neurodegenerative diseases, there is a dramatic rise in the levels of AA-derived eicosanoids. In contrast, DHA-derived compounds can prevent neuroinflammation. Clearly, the eicosanoids are very important for the normal functioning of the brain, while the PUFA themselves are important in membrane structure and function.
Deo-sceptic Richard Dawkins already has some readers’ interesting comments.
There is a lesson in this for both the developing damaged brain, and brain injury, and dementias – use it or lose it.