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A thread for scientific nerdiness

@gealach Molten metal/rock fascinate me. 🌋 ⚔️ Sadly, I’m the type of person who hallucinates REALLY strongly around volcanic gasses. I can’t even spend 5 minutes on the Big Island (Hawaii) if the winds are wrong, and the one time I hiked up to the caldera? Nope! Okay! Pele hates me. Check.The sea and I get on, and that’s more than enough for me!!!

Reeeally hallucinate.

So it’s never gonna be a first hand thing, for me.

At least, as long as no one decides to toss me in as good riddance. 😎
 
Was watching a video called “What are you?” about the question of how much of your body is you. Like if you donate an organ is that you inside another person? And you might have heard that your cells are replaced every seven years so you’re not the same person, physically.

Which got me thinking… which cells are never replaced? So I looked it up and found the answer and it was like: cortical neurons (strokes are a thing), spinal cord rarely grows back, some pancreas cells (diabetes does lasting damage), some cells that make T-cells senesce (so elderly die from infections.), and some others.

What I noticed was the exceptions. In cortical neurons there was a notable exception and a possible exception. The notable exception was the hypothalamus and the possible exception was cerebellum. It got me thinking about the roles of those parts in PTSD.

@Weemie get in here, I need your brain power to help me understand what I’m talking about! 😁

It is my understanding that the hypothalamus is part of an axis that includes the amygdala and maybe pituitary or prefrontal cortex? I guess the fear comes via the amygdala and then the hypothalamus triggers the body reactions (sweating, nausea, high blood pressure, etc.)

The cerebellum coordinates sensory input with movement and influences emotions.

So if the hypothalamus and the cerebellum are the only cortical cells that regenerate then might they be key players in recovery?

Like when we condition ourselves to not be scared of our memories we might be messing around with the cerebellum and when we are mindful of our body responses (or even inducing dissociation and numbness) we might be messing around with our hypothalamus?

That’s as much as my brain can ponder because I don’t have enough information but I did think it was interesting that the hypothalamus and cerebellum could regenerate and wondered how that might be related to PTSD recovery.

And on a different note, for the cortical neurons that don’t regenerate… what exactly is going on when we talk about rewiring? And habit forming and habit breaking? When we talk about deep neural grooves shifting by not feeding into them, are the pathways, the connections, literally strengthening and weakening through greater or less use?

That’s the scientific nerdiness I was thinking of just now.
 
So if the hypothalamus and the cerebellum are the only cortical cells that regenerate then might they be key players in recovery?

So essentially the hypothalamus, thalamus and cerebellum are the parts of our brain that regulate our senses, and is part of our reticular activating system with the locus caeruleus being in the pons, which is what we generally understand is involved in the most basic aspects of our consciousness (our senses) as well as involuntary actions like breathing and blinking and so on. So all these systems cover a wide array of neurological function! What you might be interested in however is something that I've been studying and talking a lot about called neurogenesis, which is where our brain forms new neural pathways and figures out new neural transport patterns, and may even actually regenerate neurons. This is a big deal for psilocybin and EMDR/ART therapies as these focus on neurogenesis and have some of the biggest, most bombastic "wow!" responses out of any PTSD therapies. That's because our brain is actually developing novel responses.
 
This is a big deal for psilocybin and EMDR/ART therapies as these focus on neurogenesis and have some of the biggest, most bombastic "wow!"
Interesting!
And this
brain forms new neural pathways and figures out new neural transport patterns
Is not the same thing as regeneration, right? But is this under the umbrella of neurogenesis? And is neuron generation only possible in the hypothalamus and cerebellum to the best of your knowledge?
 
And is neuron generation only possible in the hypothalamus and cerebellum to the best of your knowledge?

To the best of my knowledge, the answer is that we don't really know as of yet. My inclination is to say it is probably possible with any neuron, provided that neuron undergoes the state necessary to induce genesis, but up until very recently we actually did not expect that neurons were capable of any type of regeneration (as neurons are not thought to undergo mitosis).

Here's an article about it! It has to do with stem cells - there is evidence that some neurons 'revert' back to an embryonic stage when damaged, and could potentially be induced to "re-grow" rather than reproduce. In my studies, neurogenesis caused by psilocybin seems to be localized to the hippocampus, which is what plays a prominent role in PTSD.

This may be because those neurons are primed for genesis, or because that's where the bulk of the damaged pathways actually are. This is definitely a very new area of neuroscience!
 
The most profitable company in the world, an oil and gas company out of Saudi Arabia, made more dollars last year in profit (300B) than there are observable galaxies in the Universe or stars in the Milky Way, according to some estimates. But what’s a dollar worth anyway? Depends on who’s holding it, I guess.
 
When a coalition of Babylonians and Scythians sacked Nineveh (capital of Assyria) and burned it to the ground, a library of 30,000 texts was preserved because the clay cuneiform tablets were baked and therefore hardened.
 

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