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Damage to the amygdala


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Rockbessie
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Joined: 06 Jan 2006
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Post Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:47 pm

Damage to the amygdala    Reply with quote  

I was watching a program on 5 last night about people who had suffered injury to the brains - haemorage and stroke and the like. Anyway this resulted in the outpouring of creativity in two of the subjects and a type of sex mania in the other. In the latter it was the case that the lady's amygdala was damaged by her haemorage and she had a lower fear than most people, not really recognising that some expressions on faces were threatening.

I am in a situation that I suffer terrible anxiety and clearly my amygdala has gone in the opposite direction. I wonder if there is anything that can be done to the amygdala to normalise it? I am on antidepressants and have a Cranial Electrotherapy device but if there was some type of operation anything to help I would undergo it. Does anyone know of any pioneering works?

Also was wondering about adrenal glands - if they are responsible for the secretion of adrenalin and miserable symptoms has anyone ever heard of anyone getting one of them removed and cutting the adrenaline down?

I know this all sounds mad but really I am desperate - I would undergo any pioneering treatment! Better than this misery and possible suicide anyway.
  
satanstoystore
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Joined: 10 Sep 2004
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Post Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:25 am

   Reply with quote  

Its more likely a malassociated neural connection forming a loop. You change the connection to something else and you will have more options for a response instead of the one you're stuck with.
PsyChris
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Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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Post Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:12 am

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The amygdala is a very interesting portion of our brains. One would not want to live without it!

The amygdala has a crucial role in our emotional circuitry.

Restak, R. (2004, November). The Amazing Brain: Is Neuroscience the Key to What Makes Us Human?. World and I, 19,.


quote:
Consider David, a patient of Ramachandran's who emerged from a coma mentally intact, with the exception of the bizarre delusion that his mother had been replaced by an impostor.

Further evaluation revealed an important distinction: Although David couldn't recognize his mother when encountering her face to face, he had no trouble identifying her when talking to her on the telephone. What could account for such an anomaly?

It turns out that separate pathways lead from the auditory and visual regions of the brain to the amygdala, an important component of the brain's emotional circuitry. In David's case, the fibers connecting the visual center to the amygdala were no longer functioning normally. As a result, whenever he looked at his mother he no longer got that warm feeling of recognition that normally accompanies seeing one's parent. He therefore accused her of being an impostor.

The auditory fibers in David's brain, in contrast, retained their normal connections with the amygdala. Consequently, the emotional linkage of voice and person remained intact and David recognized his mother's voice.


There are a lot of alternatives before you consider Amygdala lesioning and adrenalectomy to treat anxiety.
Rockbessie
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Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 772

Post Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:07 pm

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Hi Chris

Are they genuine options though? Could it be possible to go for an adrenalectomy or lesioning? I asked for ECT in the past and the psychiatrist nearly laughed me out of the place saying I am not ill enough! I am desperate to stop having anxiety!!!! Under any circumstances.
satanstoystore
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Post Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:54 pm

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What have you tried?
How long?
What were your results?
scampo
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 2095
Location: UK - East Midlands

Post Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:55 am

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I know how awful you feel as a fellow sufferer but you have been reading and watching too much junk science and words like "adrenalectomy" will certainly thrill you, I suspect. It's only reasonable to think about medical and surgical cures for anxiety but I'm afraid they do not exist.

Your symptoms are absolutely not caused by your amygdala or adrenals malfunctioning and there is no operation available for anxiety disorder as there are no surgical treatments that will work.

In the rare case where you are producing excessive hormones you will have an array of other symptoms beyond and above the anxiety. I presume you have had a blood test? If so this will have checked for thyroid and diabetes, for example. If you haven't, ask your doctor to carry one out specifically looking for something that might cause your symptoms. I pretty much guarantee nothing will turn up.

Have you seen any books by Claire Weekes? They should be at your local library and are well worth reading. "Self Help for Your Nerves" is one I recall that helped my anxiety a great deal.
JAKJRF
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Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 1680
Location: USA

Post Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:56 pm

Cranial Electrotherapy device    Reply with quote  

Hi Rockbessie

Let me ask about your "Cranial Electrotherapy device"; how is that working for you? Their web site provides Selected Alpha-StimĀ® Research Studies and a sales video. Did read the "Anxiety and Panic Attacks" forum thread "Alpha Stim" and was fascinated by poster Mick75 comments, especially his closing comments to you.

Know that it is a powerful psychological step to move towards control through acceptance and removing the fear of those things that we want to change. For most of us this moving to gain control lets us begin to learn, to change our brains in good ways. And frankly, if my tooth hurts, I want a quicker solution, one that does not require my belief, my cognitive efforts, for in these things it is my conscious effort and that effort comes at a cost; I tire and like my muscles I, for a time, use up my strength, I don't want to play anymore. For sure most anxiety and much depression does not raise itself to tooth pain, for in long term pain we eventually grow towards numb, towards that pain invading every area of our lives, every thought, where distraction is relief, where pains good message to us is investigated and found to be false; so again we naturally move to control, and here we are again using powerful psychological steps to move towards control through acceptance and removing the fear of those things that we want to change and on this account my wonder is if the Alpha-StimĀ® is of value to you.

A word about the amygdala... Even if science understood what it studies, the lay person's use of this knowledge is more to give us a sense of control. Science has a long way to go as witnessed in these over 9 thousand technical studies; Science Direct amygdale. If someone told us our amygdala was in backwards, we simply don't have the tools at home to prove and correct this. Indeed it is helpful to self study and seek the latest information, for in that journey we gain hope and control and provide input to the professionals that give us service.

How is that "Cranial Electrotherapy device" working out?
Rockbessie
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Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 772

Post Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:03 pm

   Reply with quote  

Hi

Thank you for your posts - yes the possibility of removing or modifying an organ that is indicated in causing my pain is certainly desirable - if my appendix was malfunctioning it would be removed. Anyway I am clearly living in a fantasy land although I did see a study on amygdala lesioning that greatly reduced anxiety in the subjects. I would be up for that or at least I would up for any experimental pioneering works so if anyone knows of any ongoing let me know!
JAKJRF
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Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 1680
Location: USA

Post Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:13 pm

   Reply with quote  

How is that "Cranial Electrotherapy device" working out?
satanstoystore
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Post Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:56 pm

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You shock your self??

ok think of anxiety/panic as a symptom, like a leak in a weak dam. The leak comes from excessive pressure. If you plug it up the pressure is still there and will come out somewhere else. Brand new symptom(s) somewhere else!

There may be an unknown side-affect of avoiding the problem too. example, client removes panic by competing stimulus. Fear becomes suppressed and turns in to apathy. Client no longer cares. Now the problem has effectively become "invisible". Quality of life shrinks, client becomes depressed and fatigued (it takes a lot of energy to suppress fear and avoid problems).

I understand you feel you don't have many other options. Or any. Anxiety and panic are like a big wall in someone's life. Chances are the answers aren't clear until you're on the other side of it. Besides, what if the surgery creates perpetual panic? What if you do it and it never turns off? Or what if it turns off other areas of your brain? Like orgasm? Or hunger? Or you become apathetic to everything, no drive or interest in anything? They can't move or repair brain connections manually.
PsyChris
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Post Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:29 am

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You should probably leave surgical options alone. That is an extreme option for people in severe distress after they have tried many other non-invasive procedures. I am also fairly certain that any neurosurgeon who would agree to lesion your Amygdala to reduce anxiety would have his/her license taken away and possibly brought up on criminal charges.

How bad would you feel if you lesioned your Amygdala and still had anxiety problems?!

Whenever we speak directly of brain function it's cloudy. The amygdala does not serve one purpose as the appendix does. It is involved in agression, sexual behavior, smell, facial expressions of fear, storage of memory associated with emotion and I'm sure some undocumented things. As I illuded to the brain rarely acts from one position. Many parts of the brain are involved in anxiety.

What options, besides surgical intervention have you considered?
  

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