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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

curing unhappiness

this presentation is from the the world economic forum IdeasLab 

and is by Jonathan Flint (Co-Director, James Martin 21st Century School, Programme for Mind and the Machine, University of Oxford) 

and in summary it says

- the world health organization in a report at the end of the last century predicted major diseases - major depression was the 3rd biggest 
in terms of impact on population health, quality of life and susceptibility to other diseases.

- understanding the biological basis of common disorders such as depression and anxiety is a starting point for developing effective therapies.

- we seek to understand the "circuits" within brains.

- research suggests that behaviours and emotions are produced at the basic level of brain circuitry and that when problems arise they are problems of brain activity, (this has been verified with a study of the brains of flies).

- the next steps are to use this knowledge to gain insights into how brain circuitry works and how the findings may translate to the human brain. 

- but are at the very very beginning of this research (can shine a light into a mouse brain to make it go to sleep)

- the goal is to better understanding what goes wrong with the brain in the case of mental illness.

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