Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Executive Function of The Brain

I recently posted an article from the NY Review of Books about the current state of psycho pharmacology and some of the concerns about treating depression and other mental illness with drugs that alter brain chemistry and structure, sometimes with long lasting and maybe permanent negative unintended consequences such as dopamine and serotonin depletion (which interestingly are also negative side effects of opiate use). I was going to post part two of the article but decided not to because it did not add much to the discussion of part 1 and I got side tracked reading about the DSM (the bible of all psychological diagnosis), its history, its political complications, the role of big pharma in diagnostic formulation, its imprecision and generally what a mess it is. (Relevant now because edition 5 is soon to be released). It does seem that we are at the infancy of understanding the brain and in the meantime money has an important (and likely negative) influence. Of course, capital can be positive in terms of funding research and science and advancing our knowledge but with short-term profit being the bottom line for corporations it is not comforting to think about the role that drug companies play in such an important arena.

Any way, I have come up with my suggestions for the DSM V as regards how clinicians and parents can empirically recognize when their child's executive function of the brain has developed to the adult stage:

If you hear these or similar words come out of your child's mouth, the executive function switch has been flipped "on":

1. "I have to go pick up my dry cleaning."
2. (after spilling salsa on his/her shirt "(Expletive deleted), I just washed this shirt."

1 comment:

  1. are you awear of the works of
    Dan Winter
    Wai H. Tsang



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