Brain's "reward system" also tied to sleep-wake states


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/07/brains-reward-system-als.html


#2

"Now we see the possibility of developing therapies that, by narrowly targeting this newly identified circuit, could induce much higher-quality sleep.”

Yeah, let’s do that. Let’s ignore all the blatantly obvious warning signs that these lifestyles are killing us, and instead narrowly target one tiny aspect of a systemic problem, to allow people to continue to live this way. Because Big Pharma knows best.

Is it really any wonder that people go off the deep end with alternative medicine and woo-woo, when the established ‘good guys’ can be so fucking clueless?


#3

As a lifelong insomniac, I can tell you that it is a battle that you can’t stop fighting. Regularly I change just about every aspect of my sleep rituals, it works for me in a way to keep my brain/body guessing, then I sleep. I wouldn’t ever use medical means, it’s not an answer, it’s a short term fix with a multitude of side effects.


#4

Fun fact: benzodiazepines can turn totally regular people into kleptomaniacs (and it’s not uncommon). I suspect their ability to stifle very short-term memory suppresses fear of violating some cultural norms.


#5

Hope you haven’t discounted melatonin. Works wonders for some. Although seems to work best if used only occasionaly. My heart goes out to you though. My mom suffers from bad insomnia. I can imagine how miserable it is.


#6

They can give you stigmata when you come off them as well.


#7

I’m not familiar with that, I’ll look it up. They are no joke, that’s for sure. You can die from withdrawal, as well as suffer permanent emotional damage. I didn’t believe either of those things until I saw them firsthand.


#8

My friend did a very fast phased withdrawal from a benzo script and her palms started to scab & bleed. According to her doctor, apparently it’s not uncommon. Nasty things. They’ve killed a couple of people I know too, and turned some more into raging, blackout-prone assholes til they got off them.


#9

My brain’s reward system seems to be tied to maintaining a constant* wake state.

*except the following: meetings, driving with the sun in my eyes, watching certain “events”, post ingestion of a couple of espressos.


#10

Remember back in the day when your acid reflux (then known simply as heartburn) taught you a lesson to not eat greasy food (especially right before bed), or drink so much, or have that high stress job, or let your weight exceed your belt / pants’ waist circumference?

Well screw that! Take the little purple pill. Now you can engage in all the bad habits that no longer cause heart burn but will instead kill you.

Thanks big pharma!


#11

If only it were so easy. Severe reflux (which can feel like a severe heart attack) can happen to susceptible people even without greasy food right before bed. Some people have genetic quirks to the plumbing or over-production of acid. Or it can be a side-effect of a more serious gastrointestinal problem. Once it starts happening, damage and scarring can increase acid leakage. Ignoring reflux for too long can lead to esophageal cancer, a really nasty disease.

Drugs for some things are useful and indeed lifesaving. It’s just that big pharma would like everyone to use them for everything, and that’s the problem.


#12

Yeah my only serious bout of acid reflux happened while ending a bad relationship. It was stress related and I didn’t need the painful physical symptoms to encourage me to change my situation.

I didn’t end up taking drugs but I don’t buy the idea that medicating would have been a mistake.

It’s perfectly reasonable to treat symptoms first and address cause second. The misuse of drugs doesn’t excuse trowing out the baby with the bath water.


#13

I absolutely agree with your post and did not mean to minimize acid reflux or suggest all sufferers fall into the situations I described. Clearly I failed.

The point I was trying to make was the one you made so much better:


#14

No worries! I just wish drug ads aimed at patients were still forbidden. As well as lunches, golf games, cash rewards, etc., given to physicians in exchange for pushing the latest drug.

And you should see the ads in some medical journals, in between the articles some of which are reporting research paid for by big pharma, written by researchers who are paid by big pharma to omit the bad side effects.

I could go on, but I’m on meds for hypertension . . .


#15

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