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Unformatted text preview: NPB12
Lecture 16 Bill Murray as
Carl, the assistant
groundskeeper Conscious vs. Unconscious
Right now we are fully conscious (sleep is different that either conscious
You can become unconscious for a short time (e.g. during an epileptic seizure or
after a blow to the head) and then you recover.
You can become unconscious for a longer time, and that is when it gets tricky. The problem is that there is conscious, unconscious, and everything in between. Coma / Comatose State: A lack of arousal or purposeful motor response and
reflects overwhelming functional impairment of brainstem arousal mechanisms.
This can happen due to an injury, etc., and then potentially progress to either full
recovery or one of the following:
(Permanent) Vegetative state: This has periods of where your eyes are open,
and you may have orienting responses. The person shows no signs of awareness
of themselves or others. This can be particularly troubling and confusing to
family members. After 30 days it is considered permanent , although there have
been cases where the person comes out of it after much longer than that.
Minimally conscious state: There are fluctuating periods when the person is
clearly aware of themselves or others. Often this is a verbal or physical response to
a question that shows that they understood what was asked.
Cognitive disability: This is more commonly referred to as brain damage , where the
person does not have the same cognitive abilities that they had before. paramedian mesodiencephalic
structures (PMD) A small lesion here will
result in a permanent
vegetative state. These structures are near the
brainstem areas that control
pupil size. The basilar artery
feeds the brainstem
if you get a clot your
brainstem will be paralyzed large-scale
the cerebral cortex
will lead to a
vegetative state / coma
(Permanent) Vegetative state:
T his is when the patient will
have alternating eyes-open
“awake” periods with eyesclosed “sleeping” periods.
However, patients show no
signs of an awareness of self or
others or their environment. Where is the conscious part of the brain? Is it all conscious? Medial pre-frontal
cortex (MPFC) Are you happy?
Is happy the same
You remember that happy was
a word in the question better if
it is about you, and your MPFC is activated. Girls develop this sooner than boys. Theory of Mind:
Empathy and introspection. MPFC is activated when you think about how others are feeling. Do other animals have it as well? Mental Illness Historically, mental
illness was not well
understood. The inherent problem is in most cases a dysfunction of one or more
We know this because psychoactive drugs work by manipulating these
T he reason that we suspect the neuromodulators as the culprits in mental illnesses is that the
most effective drug treatments in some way alter the patient's neuromodulator levels. You can bind to the
and make it think that
dopamine bound to it.
You can bind to the
and prevent dopamine
from binding to it.
You can block the reuptake mechanism.
You can alter the
action of monoamine
oxydase. You can alter the activity
of COMT. MAO and COMT are used in
a number of different
neuromodulator systems, so
it is difficult to target only
one (the one that is broken). nausea, diarrhea, and low blood pressure dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, rash, constipation,
vision changes, difficulty urinating, involuntary
movements, sore throat, pounding heart beat,
unusual bruising or bleeding,
mood changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble
sleeping, irritability, agitation, aggressiveness,
severe restlessness, mania thoughts of suicide or
Abdominal cramps, blurred vision, dry mouth, racing
heartbeat / palpitations, shaking / slurred speech,
urination problems, convulsions, hallucinations,
memory loss, trouble breathing, staggering / trembling,
headache, clumsiness, sleepiness or confusion. Schizophrenia ( Shattered Mind ) Clara Bow Peter Green Syd Barrett 1% of Americans
Age of onset of symptoms
usually late adolescence or
Some genetic component,
but no single schizophrenia
Incidence increases over
the past few decades.
Why? Schizophrenia Positive Symptoms: Hallucinations (usually auditory) Delusions (Grandeur and/or
Disorganized Speech Bizarre Behavior Schizophrenia: Means literally
(in latin), "shattered mind".
T here is no single set of
symptoms, or apparent etiology,
for schizophrenia, and thus it is
considered a "disorder" rather
than a "disease". Schizophrenia Negative Symptoms:
Alogia: Poverty of speech (muteness) or
speech that is empty of content.
Affective flattening: The patient is unable to
feel emotions that a normal person would,
whether it be sadness, happiness, anger, etc.
Avolition: The inability to initiate or persist in
Attentional impairment: The
inability to focus and maintain
attention on a particular task.
T hese individuals are easily
distracted, and in fact complain
about all the "noise" that is around
them that prevents them from
accomplishing a particular goal.
T his problem is closely associated
with avolition. Dopamine Hypothesis Schizophrenics have too
much dopamine in their
cerebral cortex (temporal
and frontal lobes). Treatments are usually
drugs that block the
decrease the release,
or increase the re-uptake.
Cocaine and amphetamines cause an increase in dopamine
action, and lead to a similar (but different) problem: amphetamine
The NMDA receptor has also recently been implicated in schizophrenia, so
perhaps it is the influence of both of these neurotransmitter systems that are
at the root of the problem. Chronic treatment can lead to serous side effects.
Tardive Dyskinesia Clozapine T hese are characterized
by repeated, and usually
bizarre, movements of the
face and mouth that the
patient cannot control. This
is due, presumably, by a
compensation of the
dopamine neurons in the
substantia nigra, and the
neurons in the basal
ganglion to make up for
the reduction in dopamine.
T his can be done by either
an increase in the
increase in the dopamine
receptors, and/or increase
in the intracellular
response to the dopamine
synapses in the basal
ganglion cells 5% more likely to successfully
commit suicide. 45-55% of schizophrenics
attempt suicide at some point in
their life. ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2011 for the course NPB 72965 taught by Professor Recanzone during the Fall '11 term at UC Davis.
- Fall '11