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Mrs.S -Story

We are delighted to report on a patient with hydrocephalus after a stroke who has shown remarkable improvement over a period of 12 months with

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Back to the Hills

In October of 2010, I was introduced to an elderly lady admitted under Dr. Ennapadam S Krishnamoorthy and Dr. Rema Raghu in the Intensive Care

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Inspired

How Tai Chi and Related Practices Can Prevent Both Falls and Cognitive Decline

Prof. Peter Wayne introduced the lecture by referring to the holistic approach offered by the Ancient Medical systems of healthcare as compared to Modern Medicine. The ancient systems  aimed at treating the whole person and enhancing the interconnection between physiological bodily systems. Tai Chi, takes an ecological view, as compared to the modern mechanistic view. Modern Medicine, though highly specialized, tends towards reductionism, perception of fragmentation of the body and healthcare, and the more recent Precision Medicine studies it at a molecular level, all these approaches sometimes ‘missing the forest for the trees’.

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The Future of Integrative Medicine in India

On 11th May 2023, in a significant development, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Union Ministry of Ayush, (Ayush standing for Ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homeopathy), to promote and collaborate on integrative health care and research. The MoA will enable both parties to jointly establish Ayush-ICMR Centres for Advanced Research in Integrative Health at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in India. Inpatient and outpatient services will be established in the new Integrated Medicine departments of all 23 ‘functioning’ AIIMS which earlier served only as Ayush service departments. The studies will  extend to areas of public health as well. This initiative is planned to place integrative medicine  on a firmer footing  and for it to justifiably gain wider acceptance.

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Inspired

Spirituality and Mindfulness: A Pathway to Positive Mental Health

Exploring the synergy between spirituality and mental health, this piece highlights how mindful spiritual rituals can significantly enhance mental tranquility. While community-oriented religious practices have value, personal spiritual rituals, especially when free from distractions, are deemed essential for optimal well-being. At its core, the narrative underscores the importance of silent, meaningful communion with a higher power.

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Inspired

The Interplay of Spirituality, Gurus, and Mental Health

Examining India’s guru tradition, the piece explores its influence on mental health. While some find solace in spiritual guidance, its impact varies based on individual beliefs. Notably, genuine spiritual practices can induce positive brain changes, but understanding individual perspectives remains key.

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Inspired

The Synchronous Dance of the Mind and Body: A Neuropsychiatric Exploration

The connection between mind and body is explored, focusing on the impact of practices like yoga and mindfulness. Regular engagement in these activities can lead to noticeable physiological changes, such as altered blood pressure, pulse rate, and blood sugar levels. These become particularly important as individuals age. The role of the autonomic nervous system is also highlighted, as it connects the emotional brain with the body and governs internal organs. The key takeaway is that what benefits the mind also positively impacts the body, emphasizing the importance of holistic health practices.

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Inspired

Vulnerability and Spirituality: Discovering Faith in Uncertain Times

The relationship between vulnerability and spirituality is examined. People often turn to spiritual or religious beliefs during challenging times. Major life events, like the birth of a child, can dramatically shift one’s perspective on spirituality. Professions with uncertainty, like those with fluctuating income, tend to encourage a deeper spiritual connection. This is seen as a human need for comfort and predictability during hard times. Health challenges also often lead people toward spirituality, emphasizing its role as a source of hope in difficult situations.

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Inspired

The Interplay of Mental Health, Belief Systems, and Self-Identity

The relationship between mental health, self-perception, and religiosity is complex. A story is shared about a friend with schizophrenia who identifies as a shaman and chooses not to take medication. The situation raises questions about whether belief systems like religiosity are coping mechanisms or have deeper meanings. It’s emphasized that mental health professionals should respect individuals’ unique perspectives and belief systems. Religion is not just a coping tool but a vital aspect of many people’s lives. As people age and gain more experience, the spiritual dimension becomes increasingly significant, aligning with the World Health Organization’s holistic definition of health.

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Inspired

Navigating the Complex Intersections of Religiosity and Mental Health

Religiosity varies from person to person, influenced by factors like cultural upbringing and personal beliefs. While some follow family traditions, others might chart their own spiritual paths. A sudden intense focus on religious practices can be viewed as either personal enlightenment or a sign of potential mental health issues. For example, epilepsy has been linked to traits of hyper-religiosity. However, many people find comfort and stability in spirituality during mental health crises. The relationship between mental health and religiosity is complex and requires nuanced understanding.

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Inspired

The Need for Spiritual Anchors: The Neuropsychiatric Perspective on Human Belief Systems

The Indian tradition of seeking guidance from Gurus can offer emotional solace and act as anchors for those who find comfort in spiritual paths. However, these practices aren’t universally beneficial; their impact varies based on individual beliefs and upbringing. When sincerely practiced, spiritual activities can lead to positive brain changes, as research on mindfulness-based stress reduction indicates. Therefore, while spirituality can be a strong mental health tool for some, understanding individual perspectives is crucial in determining its effectiveness.

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Inspired

Rituals, Mindfulness, and Neuropsychiatry: Unraveling the Power of Collective Spirituality

The significance of rituals in connecting the brain with spirituality and religion is highlighted. While merely participating in a ritual might not have a deep impact, mindful immersion in the practice could allow for a more meaningful spiritual experience. The comfort derived from these rituals often comes from the collective experience and a sense of community belonging. Group activities like religious ceremonies emphasize this collective spirit. However, the depth of the spiritual experience might differ when practiced alone. Even a few minutes of mindful practice can have significant effects on mental well-being, particularly when there is genuine belief in the ritual.

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Inspired

The Intricate Dance Between Creativity, Logic, and Religiosity

While the right brain is often linked to creativity, it may not necessarily make someone more religious. Instead, hemisphere dominance might influence how one expresses spirituality. Interestingly, people in creative fields, who often face less job security, might lean more towards spirituality for comfort in uncertain times. The environment and social circles one keeps can also shape religious perceptions. Multiple factors contribute to an individual’s spiritual journey, making it a complex interplay of brain dynamics and life experiences.

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Inspired

The Neurology of Spirituality: Unveiling the Mysteries of Hyper-religiosity and Spiritual Practice

Research has linked the right hippocampus to hyper-religiosity in individuals with epilepsy, as confirmed by functional imaging studies. Neurological effects of spiritual practice, such as a state of union with the divine, can also be observed in EEG and fMRI patterns. Repeated spiritual or religious activities can lead to more synchronous brain pathway functioning, similar to how actions like driving become automatic with repetition. The findings offer valuable insights into the connection between religious experiences and brain structure.

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Inspired

The Vagus Nerve: Bridging the Brain, Mind, and Soul

The vagus nerve is key in connecting emotional and physiological responses. For example, encountering a threat triggers a fight or flight response, with symptoms like rapid heartbeat managed by the vagus nerve. This nerve also links gut health to brain function, emphasizing its role in both mental and digestive health. Historically, practices like Kundalini yoga aimed to regulate the autonomic nervous system, highlighting the nerve’s importance in both physical and spiritual aspects of life.

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Vincent Van Gogh: A Study of Brain, Mind, Soul, and Artistic Genius

Vincent Van Gogh’s life was marked by intense emotions, religious influences, and signs of epilepsy. He exhibited hyper-religiosity and shifts in sexuality, possibly indicative of mental health challenges. A prolific phase in Arles involved creating numerous artworks and letters, perhaps due to hypergraphia. His self-portrait with a bandaged ear could point to a religiously inspired, self-inflicted wound. His life highlights the intricate link between creativity, religion, and mental health.

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Inspired

Navigating the Crossroads of Culture and Mental Health: Understanding the Belief in ‘Jins’

The perception of psychosis can vary dramatically based on cultural context. For instance, conversing with ‘Jins’ in Old Delhi or revering ancestral spirits in Native American cultures might seem unusual to outsiders. However, these practices are deeply ingrained in their respective cultures and carry significant meaning. Before labeling such activities as delusional or detached from reality, it’s essential to consider the cultural framework from which they arise. Dismissing them outright could undermine the traditional values of entire communities. The main point is that cultural relativity is vital in understanding what might be considered ‘normal’ or ‘outlandish,’ as spiritual beliefs are both varied and deeply personal.

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Inspired

The Deleterious Impact of Stress: From Brain to Soul

Chronic stress has notable effects on the brain, especially the hippocampus, which is crucial for memory. Prolonged stress can reduce its size, thereby affecting mental processes and resilience. The impact extends to the mind, altering the way we perceive and experience daily events, and making us more susceptible to mental health issues. This sustained stress not only skews our daily life but might even affect our spiritual connection. Overall, while short-term stress can be adaptive, its long-term counterpart has far-reaching consequences on our well-being.

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Inspired

Aligning the Brain, Mind, and Soul: A Journey Towards Self-Actualization

The analogy compares the brain to a computer’s hardware and the mind to its software. The concept of the soul is introduced as manifesting during moments of intense creativity or deep emotional experiences. Examples include being moved by art, music, or film, suggesting these could offer glimpses into the soul’s elusive nature. These emotionally charged experiences illuminate the abstract concept of the soul, highlighting the complex, harmonious interplay between the brain, mind, and soul.

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Inspired

The Enigmatic Psyche: Journey, Evolution, and the Influence of Life Experiences

By Shaping life’s positive and negative experiences, role models, and nurturing events. While these experiences can leave scars, the psyche is dynamic and evolves over time. One interesting point raised is the relationship between marriage and mental health. Marriage often provides a stabilizing effect on the psyche, but data suggests an increased risk of mental health issues within the first six months after tying the knot. Overall, the human psyche is complex and continuously influenced by pivotal life events.

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Inspired

Mind and Soul: The Enduring Questions of Existence and Transcendence

The blog delves into the fate of the mind after death, comparing Eastern and Western philosophies. Eastern beliefs suggest the soul journeys towards liberation, while the mind might merge into a “collective consciousness” influencing societal norms. For example, societal behaviors like politeness in Japanese culture could stem from this collective mindset. The text also notes how cultural interpretations of events, like rainbows after a significant person’s death, vary widely.

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Inspired

The Temporal Lobes: Ancient Gatekeepers and Their Complex Manifestations in Neuropsychiatry

The piece delves into the complexities of injuries to the temporal lobes, part of the brain’s older structures. It discusses a politician who developed Klüver-Bucy Syndrome after a road accident, leading to unusual behaviors like hypermetamorphosis and hyperphagia. This is contrasted with artist Van Gogh’s symptoms of hypergraphia and hyperreligiosity, also linked to temporal lobe disturbances. The two cases illuminate the diverse behavioral manifestations that can result from such injuries, emphasizing the brain’s role in shaping behaviors and personalities. The content stresses the importance of understanding these nuances in neurology and neuropsychology.

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Inspired

The Fragile Tapestry of Memory and Emotion: An Exploration in Neuropsychiatry

The piece explores the impact of injuries to brain areas responsible for memory and emotions, illustrating the fragility of our memory storage. A young woman lost a year’s worth of memories, including her own wedding, after a prolonged epileptic seizure. The work of neurologist Oliver Sacks is cited, discussing a man trapped in memories from two decades ago. Injuries to these key brain areas can affect not just memory but emotions and personality as well, leading to potential lifelong neuropsychological impairments. The content underscores the need for understanding and protecting our brain’s complex structures.

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Inspired

Deciphering Mental Boundaries: Mind, Brain, and Reality

The concept of “losing one’s mind” is demystified, contrasting it with losing brain function. The focus is on mental health states like neurosis, rooted in reality, and psychosis, a detachment from reality. The piece also discusses ‘ego boundary disturbances,’ where the line between internal thoughts and external voices blur. It aims to clarify complex mental health terms and shed light on what ‘losing one’s mind’ truly means.

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Inspired

The Symphony of Self-Actualization: A Dance Between the Hemispheres

The focus is on the role of brain hemispheric dominance in self-actualization. While the left brain is often considered logical and the right brain creative, the idea presented is that self-actualization a state of reaching one’s potential involves a harmonious blend of both hemispheres. While the right hemisphere plays a pivotal role in experiences like self-actualization, the left hemisphere, responsible for logic and reason, also contributes. The content aims to challenge simplistic notions about brain functions and provides a nuanced understanding of our cerebral capabilities, emphasizing that moments of self-actualization likely involve both hemispheres working in tandem.

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Inspired

The Dance of Dualities: Gender and the Triad of Brain, Mind, and Soul

The focus is on the nuanced relationship between gender and the attributes of the brain, mind, and soul. Inspired by the concept of Ardha Nareeshwara, representing the harmonious union of masculine and feminine qualities, the content argues that everyone embodies both these attributes. While empathy is often associated with females and logical reasoning with males, these are not rigid categories. The key message is that individuals have the ability to tap into either trait depending on circumstances and context. This perspective challenges traditional gender norms, emphasizing the inherent fluidity in human behavior.

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Inspired

The Mysterious Frontal Lobe: From Silent Brain to Master of Personality

The focus is on the critical role of the frontal lobe in shaping our personality, emotions, and decision-making abilities. Through the historical case of Phineas Gage, whose personality dramatically changed due to a frontal lobe injury, the complexity and importance of this brain region are highlighted. Gage transformed from a disciplined worker into an emotionally unstable and impulsive individual, emphasizing the lobe’s role in emotional regulation and behavior. Modern-day instances further accentuate how injuries to the frontal lobe can significantly impair an individual’s ability to reintegrate into society. Overall, the content emphasizes the frontal lobe’s crucial influence on planning, execution, and human behavior.

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Inspired

Flight, Fight, Freeze, and Fawn: The Evolution of Human Fear Responses

The innate human reactions to fear are examined, going beyond the commonly known ‘fight’ and ‘flight’ responses to include ‘freeze’ and ‘fawn.’ The video draws on an analogy of a caveman’s primal fear, emphasizing that fear responses have evolved over millennia but remain consistent. While ancestral fears were triggered by immediate, tangible threats, modern-day anxieties often come from less apparent sources. These can range from confrontations at work to marital disagreements. The video provides a nuanced understanding of why humans react the way they do when faced with fear, both in historical and contemporary contexts.

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