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Human Brain in Health and Disease
Understanding the human brain is essential to become a well-informed, modern citizen. As always, nonsense proliferates around popular topics. The author of the human Brain is a physician-writer who is good at making complex subjects more understandable. Dr. Gislason is also an expert navigator who can steer you away from nonsense, and help you understand practical details about brain function and disease. This is a big book with big ideas, so be prepared to read, re-read and then keep the book as reference.
There are five main sections:
Section 1 Essential Concepts
Section 2 Mechanisms of Brain Disturbances
Section 3 Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy
Section 4 Features of the Brain
Section 5 Perspectives on Neurological Diseases
Here is Dr. Gislason's Preface
My goal in writing this book is to provide a guide to intervention in disorders of brain function. The brain is the organ of the mind. Therefore, molecular influences that alter the function of brain are manifest as mental influences. Brains are delicate devices that need special care to work well. When brains do not function well, disorders of sensing, deciding, acting and remembering occur. Food is the major source of molecular influences on the brain and, therefore, on mind states. Finding and consuming food is the main business of all animal brains and remains the priority in the organization of human behavior.
An integrated view of body/mind does not draw artificial boundaries among different events. Psyche does not affect Soma or vice versa. Psyche and Soma are one interacting whole system. Behavioral adaptation to environment is intermeshed with molecular adaptation. This means that mind and body interact with environment as a single integrated unit. Molecular events determine mind/body events just as mental or behavioral events determine molecular events. There is little argument that diseased arteries that carry blood to the brain lead toward the most prevalent and often the most devastating loss of brain function. High blood pressure and plugged arteries work together to produce strokes. Other brain diseases are not so obvious.
The role of the environment and dietary problems in creating emotionally and mentally disturbed people has been underestimated or ignored. Bad environments and problems in the food supply can disturb brain function in entire populations. Bad chemicals are more powerful than good intentions and good ideas unless the good idea is to remove the bad chemicals from the environment. When a fish in an aquarium displays psychotic behavior, you do not call a fish psychiatrist; you check the oxygen concentration, temperature, and pH of the water. You have to clean the tank and change the fish diet.
I regret the increasing use of psychotropic drugs. The aggressive marketing of drugs that affect the brain has become a major determinant of what people believe and how people behave. I was once an advocate of drug therapy, but now I believe that we are on the wrong track and advise against taking drugs that affect the mind.
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Further reading: Alpha Nutrition Program, Neuroscience Notes, Intelligence and Learning.
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