applied Neural PLasticity & dynamics

The brain has the amazing ability to change and rewire itself.

Lets use that as a tool and basis for treatment.

"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature,
but by our institutions, great is our sin."
-- Charles Darwin

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Why Aristarchus?

Why not start with the original scientific heretic? A person that stuck with the facts and what they knew was right.

Aristarchus was the first astronomer to propose that the sun was the center of our solar system, and not the Earth.  While considered trivial and even heretical even in his day in ancient Greece, his initial drive and observations started many, include Galileo Galilee, on the road to discovering truth, and of promoting scientific methods and reasoning over beliefs, dogma, and expediency. 

Currently we face a similar dilemma in mental health with addiction and addiction-like disorders. When addiction was reclassified as a disease, it increased funding and recognition as a true medical issue. It has also changed the approaches and the people researching answers. It has moved the focus to drug development by medical doctors to cure the disease, which seems good. But these drugs simply replace the illegal drug with a legal one, creating stopgap measures that won’t cure the problem. But that is also where the funding is, and science follows the funding. Even academia is following the lead, hiring and looking for faculty and collaborations to get their piece of the profits.

This approach has worked well with other organs in the body, but the problem is that the brain is like no other organ.  The current dogma is driving drug development as if the brain was a liver or kidney. No organ in the body has the incredible power to change itself. Current drug development treats this amazing plasticity as a problem they have to control for, not utilize. This is why it takes the brain a week or more to ‘stabilize’ during drug treatments or dosage changes. It’s a cat and mouse game of trying get enough drug into the person without the brain being able to adapt enough to minimize its effects. The brain is actually fighting against the treatment. This doesn’t happen in other organs, but to many in the medical field, that is irrelevant, or worse, just a problem that has to also be ‘fixed.’

My view is why aren’t we harnessing this power to help fix the brain, instead of trying to minimize it? We combine psychology and biology everyday in cases rehabilitation for stroke and traumatic injury because they are not ‘diseases.’ If the problem and injury accrues over a period of time, as in addiction and addiction-like disorders, we ignore this route and  call it a disease, and therefore must have a drug to cure it. Those that profess pursuing the logical path of extending what works for other issues dealing with brain disorders to addiction are heretics. Just like Aristarchus 2200 years ago, it all depends on you perspective. 

People willing to think based upon facts and to question established dogma. Heretics in good company. The Aristarchusy