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Posted Jun 28 2010 12:00am

Beyond Meds is a blog written by a wonderful researcher. Her hard work has lead me to the concept of the neuroplasticity of the brain. I have learned a few very valuable things in the past couple of days:

My daughter’s brain was injured by the meds, more specifically from the withdrawal, too quick and not tapered as it should have been.

The adult brain, long considered to be fixed in its wiring, is in fact remarkably dynamic. Neuroscientists once thought that the brain’s wiring was fixed early in life, during a critical period beyond which changes were impossible. Recent discoveries have challenged that view, and now, research by scientists at Rockefeller University suggests that circuits in the adult brain are continually modified by experience. – lifted from the June 16, 2010 post on Beyond Meds.

I read here that perhaps my daughter’s belief that she could live on her own taught her brain by experience. Doing gave the power to do.   Dr. Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist . …. He notes, “We have this exciting news that we can actually change the neural pathways in our brains based on the actions we take in life. Millions and millions of evolutions of the brain have given us this awe inspiring organ that has more connections than we can comprehend.

For thousands of years, Buddhist meditators have claimed that the simple act of sitting down and following their breath while letting go of intrusive thoughts can free one from the entanglements of neurotic suffering. Now, scientists are using cutting-edge scanning technology to watch the meditating mind at work. They are finding that regular meditation has a measurable effect on a variety of brain structures related to attention  an example of what is known as neuroplasticity, where the brain physically changes in response to an intentional exercise.

A poet, essayist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who divides his time between Toronto and New York,  Norman Doidge is the author of The Brain That Changes Itself, an international bestseller translated into 14 languages, published in 40 countries and essential primer for anyone who wants to better understand their own brains and the considerable advances in neuroscience of the past two decades.

For 400 years, says Doidge, scientists saw the brain as a machine made up of parts that performed specific single functions. “According to that way of thinking, this meant that if a part was damaged, nothing could be done, and it made no sense to try to preserve your brain as you aged, that was pointless effort. And it regarded human nature, which emerges from the brain, as being as fixed as the brain. This turns out to be spectacularly wrong.”

In fact, we now know that the brain has a remarkable capacity for change, for repair and healing after injury and for learning, from cradle to grave. Gone is the idea that the brain you were born with is the brain you are stuck with and that once you reach your mental peak it’s all downhill into doddery dotage. – lifted from Beyond Meds, September 10, 2008


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