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FAULTY CIRCUIT Since we now know that how we use our minds can change our brains*, differences

in brain structure or metabolism associated with certain disorders such as depression can no longer be cited as proof of a biological origin of such disorders. There is also mounting evidence that brain health can be adversely affected by sub-optimum nutrition, particularly in relation to omega 3 fatty acids and the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. Tony Carey * See for example Norman Doidge's book "The Brain that Changes Itself"

In two relatively short sentences this commenter accomplishes two remarkable things: 1) he marginalizes the argument for material causes of mental disorders, and; 2) he totally misses the point of the article. The fact that brain use is a feedback loop into its structure does not preclude the possibility that preexisting faulty circuits cause certain disorders such physiological conditions would certainly limit the feedback loop itself. The question here is a familiar one: Is the mind simply the manifestation of the underlying brain/body, or is it a synergism? Scientists must defend the former position while philosophers are free to go either way (metaphysicians will certainly find more fodder in the latter view). Brain use most probably will not correct underlying structural problems it is a hasty generalization to claim that we can think our way out of depression, OCD, PTSD, etc. (See A. B. Curtiss Depression Is A Choice: Winning the Battle Without Drugs and its surrounding controversy for an exposition of the issues involved here.) My guess is that this comment will spark as much controversy as the article itself.

Though this is important, it is more important to not lose sight of the fact that we cause our own problems mostly through our own bad habits. Let's not let the ideas presented in the article be yet another way of disassociating ourselves from the responsibility to take proper care of ourselves.

FIGHTING KILLER WORMS


Parasitic worms known as schistosomes are a major cause of disability and death in many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Although a treatment exists, reinfection is the rule. A vaccine would make a world of difference, but none has yet proved effective. Genetic and other tools hold promise for generating new candidates.

Parasitic worms known as schistosomes are a major cause of disability and death in many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Although a treatment exists, reinfection is the rule. A vaccine would make a world of difference, but none has yet proved effective. Genetic and other tools hold promise for generating new candidates.