Daily Archives: April 2, 2016

More Rejection, Acceptance, Controversy & Haters In 24 Hours!

    Dear Friends, I loved the amazingly helpful feedback I got in the Shot Down By HuffPost!–What Can Help A Mom with Bipolar During Setbacks post I published on Thursday. Thanks to all of you for taking time to contribute such thoughtful replies! Yesterday’s events turned out to be ironic in light of Thursday’s Huffington post rejection – … Continue reading More Rejection, Acceptance, Controversy & Haters In 24 Hours!

More Rejection, Acceptance, Controversy & Haters In 24 Hours!

    Dear Friends, I loved the amazingly helpful feedback I got in the Shot Down By HuffPost!–What Can Help A Mom with Bipolar During Setbacks post I published on Thursday. Thanks to all of you for taking time to contribute such thoughtful replies! Yesterday’s events turned out to be ironic in light of Thursday’s Huffington post rejection – … Continue reading More Rejection, Acceptance, Controversy & Haters In 24 Hours!

More Rejection, Acceptance, Controversy & Haters In 24 Hours!

    Dear Friends, I loved the amazingly helpful feedback I got in the Shot Down By HuffPost!–What Can Help A Mom with Bipolar During Setbacks post I published on Thursday. Thanks to all of you for taking time to contribute such thoughtful replies! Yesterday’s events turned out to be ironic in light of Thursday’s Huffington post rejection – … Continue reading More Rejection, Acceptance, Controversy & Haters In 24 Hours!

More Rejection, Acceptance, Controversy & Haters In 24 Hours!

    Dear Friends, I loved the amazingly helpful feedback I got in the Shot Down By HuffPost!–What Can Help A Mom with Bipolar During Setbacks post I published on Thursday. Thanks to all of you for taking time to contribute such thoughtful replies! Yesterday’s events turned out to be ironic in light of Thursday’s Huffington post rejection – … Continue reading More Rejection, Acceptance, Controversy & Haters In 24 Hours!

Day 2 Of What I Hope Is A Year

I suppose I should get caught up. My mom came for a month and it was absolutely fantastic. We had such a good time together. It’s been two weeks since she went back to Canada and I really miss already. What are you gonna do when the man you love lives in the states though.

I also need to be more proactive in finding a way to visit my family in one way or another. I haven’t seen most of them for over 15 years. I don’t know where time went it just passed so quickly.

I need to renew my green card too which is a huge pain in the ass. I need to take the citizenship test. I think I could pass especially with some studying. Meh who knows.

I’m finding myself trying to break out of the circle I’ve built. Hopefully I find something before I go completely out of my fucking mind. Seriously.

 

 


It’s the Immune System!

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In normal brains, the number of synapses (connections between neurons where neurotransmitters act and brain activity takes place and nerve impulses and information is passes on) is pruned or  whittled down as the brain matures from the womb to adolescence. These synapses are eliminated by immune cells of the brain called microglia.

First the hypothesis that Schizophrenia is caused by activation of microglia which eat away at synapses in childhood or adolescence, leading to fewer synapses and this mental illness! An amazing paper about which I wrote a post (https://wordpress.com/post/bipolar1blog.wordpress.com/3623) C1q is a protein that tags the neuronal synapses, once a synapse is tagged, microglia (the immune cells of the brain) come and chomp it away, voila, no more synapse. The information that that one synapse was transmitting is now lost. If this happens to many, many, synapses, a lot of communication and information is lost. And this loss leads to schizophrenia!

Now the same observations about Alzheimer’s as well! Microglia are eating away too may synapses in areas of the brain that are key to memory. β Amyloid is a plaque of protein found to a much larger extent in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. It is a deposit that is seen along neurons of people with Alzheimer’s. What this research team has found is that C1q in conjunction with the existence of β Amyloid plaques is what causes the microglia to eat up healthy synapses. This lead to destruction of brain cell connectivity, especially in the areas that house memory. So this process that happens naturally in the womb, somehow gets turned on later in life and causes pruning of connections in neurons which we need and leads to Alzheimer’s.

Again, it’s the immune system stupid!

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/over-pruning-synapses-may-drive-early-stage-alzheimer-s-disease?utm_source=newsfromscience&utm_medium=facebook-text&utm_campaign=alzhapses-3346

Alzheimer’s may be caused by haywire immune system eating brain connections

More than 99% of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s drugs have failed, leading many to wonder whether pharmaceutical companies have gone after the wrong targets. Now, research in mice points to a potential new target: a developmental process gone awry, which causes some immune cells to feast on the connections between neurons.

“It is beautiful new work,” which “brings into light what’s happening in the early stage of the disease,” says Jonathan Kipnis, a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.

Most new Alzheimer’s drugs aim to eliminate β amyloid, a protein that forms telltale sticky plaques around neurons in people with the disease. Those with Alzheimer’s tend to have more of these deposits in their brains than do healthy people, yet more plaques don’t always mean more severe symptoms such as memory loss or poor attention, says Beth Stevens of Boston Children’s Hospital, who led the new work.

What does track well with the cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s disease—at least in mice that carry genes that confer high risk for the condition in people—is a marked loss of synapses, particularly in brain regions key to memory, Stevens says. These junctions between nerve cells are where neurotransmitters are released to spark the brain’s electrical activity.

Stevens has spent much of her career studying a normal immune mechanism that prunes weak or unnecessary synapses as the brain matures from the womb through adolescence, allowing more important connections to become stronger. In this process, a protein called C1q sets off a series of chemical reactions that ultimately mark a synapse for destruction. After a synapse has been “tagged,” immune cells called microglia—the brain’s trash disposal service—know to “eat” it, Stevens says. When this system goes awry during the brain’s development, whether in the womb or later during childhood and into the teen years, it may lead to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, she says.

Stevens hypothesized that the same mechanism goes awry in early Alzheimer’s disease, leading to the destruction of good synapses and ultimately to cognitive impairment. Using two Alzheimer’s mouse models—each of which produces excess amounts of the β amyloid protein, and develops memory and learning impairments as they age—she and her team found that both strains had elevated levels of C1q in brain tissue. When they used an antibody to block C1q from setting off the microglial feast, however, synapse loss did not occur, the team reports today in Science.

To Stevens, that suggests that the normal mechanism for pruning synapses during development somehow gets turned back on again in the adult brain in Alzheimer’s, with dangerous consequences. “Instead of nicely whittling away [at synapses], microglia are eating when they’re not supposed to,” she says.

The group is now tracking these mice to see whether a drug that blocks C1q slows their cognitive decline. To determine whether elevated β amyloid can cause the C1q system to go haywire, Stevens and colleagues also injected a form of the protein which is known to generate plaques into the brains of normal mice and so-called knockouts that could not produce C1q because of a genetic mutation. Although normal mice exposed to the protein lost many synapses, knockouts were largely unaffected, Stevens says. In addition, microglia only went after synapses when β amyloid was present, suggesting that the combination of protein and C1q is what destroys synapses, rather than either element alone, she says, adding that other triggers, such as inflammatory molecules called cytokines, might also set the system off.

The findings contradict earlier theories which held that increased microglia and C1q activity were merely part of an inflammatory reaction to β amyloid plaques. Instead, microglia seem to start gorging on synapses long before plaques form, Stevens says. She and several co-authors are shareholders in Annexon Biosciences, a biotechnology company that will soon start testing the safety of a human form of the antibody the team used to block C1q, known as ANX-005, in people.

Such a central role for microglia in Alzheimer’s disease is “still on the controversial side,” says Edward Ruthazer, a neuroscientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital in Canada. One “really compelling” sign that the mechanism is important in people would be if high levels of C1q in cerebrospinal fluid early on predicted developing full-blown Alzheimer’s later in life, he says. Still, he says, “it’s difficult to argue with the strength of the study’s evidence.”


Rubberband

I am feeling irate today. Not angry irate, anxiety irate. My kid’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard and I know it’s me, not her. I own that. I am letting her play outside with her friends and just hearing their shrill little squeals and babble makes my skin crawl. I think I am just on overload because we spent so much time in the dish yesterday. She keeps running in and out, which always drives me nuts. I chastise, she acts like I don’t exist.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

And yeah, I know I suck, cos I told her she was grounded a week but I only made it five days with her in my face. Five days is close enough to a week, after her being home nine days on spring break.

It’s me. She’s not being bad. It’s me.

I sent R a text yesterday about a license plate I saw that said Zaphod, cos he is a huge Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan…He finally texted back with “I’ve seen it dozens of times and it says Zaphd, not Zaphod,” I shot back with, “Is there ever a moment you’re not correcting someone?”

Think I made the shit list but I’m not wrong. He is constantly correcting everyone on every tiny thing. You can’t get a number or letter off. You can’t loosely quote a movie line because he has to correct you with every single correct word of the quote. It’s maddening. I have to hear about my inability to focus and math dyslexia irritating him, yet he is oblivious to how annoying he is. I mean, I was just trying to send a text, say something other than FIX MY CAR. Let him know I’m not just using him for car repair, I actually think of him as a friend.

And for my trouble I get corrected and end up feeling shitty about myself because I got it wrong. Why would anyone want to be around someone who constantly makes you feel that way? Or am I just a big baby with a fragile psyche? Pfft. Just sick of the criticism for my bipolar symptoms that I can’t control yet I am surrounded by assholes who could check their behavior if they had a brain. If I am doing something irksome, I want to be told and I will try to correct it or at least do it less. If I can take criticism that way, how fragile can my psyche be?

Just…rudeness. Major trigger.

I was hoping dad and them might have Spook sleep over tonight but now…I don’t want to deal with them. I don’t want to try to find her clothes from Mt Laundrolympus. I don’t want to breathe because it takes too much energy and I just feel so anxious and irate.

It’s me.

Actually, it’s fucking bipolar.

I am not my disorder.

Unfortunately, I seem to be the only person around who can make that observation.

Geesh, even the wind is too loud and irritating me. The cat bathing herself is too loud.

There is only one direction my mental state is going from here and that is right into another splat episode.

Just in time for her to go back to school and me have to put on the mask of “I really want to get up at 7 a.m.”

Dear God, I let one of the girls use the bathroom and she helped herself to my perfume, it’s wafting. I can’t stand people touching my stuff without asking first. Just…yeah, I am territorial. Just…NO. Personal space, respect, manners. ASK.

It’s just my current bipolar shift, that is all. I can ride this out.

Even if all I want to do is have a screaming rage fit then collapse into a pile of exhausted tears.

 


Westward Ho! Day 6

IMG_0405I smartened up yesterday, dumped out one suitcase, and loaded it with all the art supplies I need to schlep to classes.  I’d seen other people doing this, so it’s not my brilliant idea.  Just took me a day.

Yesterday’s classes were with painters.  I’ve longed to learn how to use paint since high school (when I flunked art class).  It’s always intimidated me, so I ran through a gammet of expected emotions throughout the day.  It was a challenge to stay present, to breathe, to remember who I was and that I was okay no matter what.  Both teachers were kind, funny, helpful, nonjudgmental.  All that made a challenging day successful.

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Reblog – Sharing is Caring!

Originally posted on Dream Big, Dream Often:
It is time for a brand new share link!  Take a few moments and leave me the link to your favorite and/or newest post and I will add you to the Featured Bloggers…

Strengths and Weaknesses

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Dear Readers,

I would like to  share something that has happened with me, it is an amazing thing, a wholly unexpected thing, a wished for thing to be sure, but yet a surprise!

With the reading about childhood abandonment and childhood abuse has come a, I don’t know how to put it…

The burden of pain that I have carried in my heart since I was surely a little child, that burden of pain had decreased. I feel lighter, more at ease, less afraid, stronger and more able to handle life. The pain inside has lessened so much so that even when I come to Buffalo, the bottom doesn’t fall out because I feel so bad about not living near my son and in my old home. I still do miss Buffalo and it will always be my home, I do miss my son very much, but the sadness is not the heartbreaking, soul annihilating, lost in the darkness sadness. This sadness I can stand. I am sure it is normal for people to miss their old homes and neighborhoods and obviously it is normal for mothers to miss their sons. But it was not “normal” for me to descend into heart shattering darkness whenever I came here and then again when I got home again, or for any number of reasons.

But the burden of pain I have carried since I was a little mite has lessened and this “Buffalo sadness” or any other sadness doesn’t wipe me out anymore. I feel stronger and more able to handle this and to handle life.

Now that the climate inside me is getting sunnier, I can look to what is happening in the outside world and think seriously about what I want to do with my life. All the energy that was going in to pulling myself out of the abyss of heartache and sadness may now be spent on external things, such as PhD’s or Real Estate licenses.

Ironically at this time of emotional strengthening, I have found out that, as I always suspected, I do indeed have a hole in my heart hahaha. No seriously, I do, it is a hole in the wall of my atria. It’s called a Patent Foramen Ovale. Everyone has it as a fetus, but it closes for most people at birth. For up to 25% of people, it doesn’t close, I am one of the 25%. Mine is a small hole, blood going mostly from right to left, better than going left to right, as this direction leads to strokes. Speaking of strokes, my MRI that I had done due to the concussion last December showed I’d had a tiny stroke in the right hemisphere of my brain, in an area called the nucleus accumbens. Most certainly as a result of a tiny clot going through the hole in my heart and being carried to the brain.

So a little hole in my heart, a tiny stroke, and strength. That’s what I’m made of. It’s scary, but when I get frightened, I tell myself I’ve had this hole all my life, and yes I did have a stroke as a result of the hole in my heart, but it was a tiny one, so much so that I never knew I had it and there were no effects of it whatsoever.

There is a surgery that can be done, a catheter is inserted in your leg vein, taken all the way up into your heart and a membrane is put on the hole in the atrial septum that closes the hole. I may get that done or I may stay with my 1/2 a baby aspirin a day therapy, which acts as an anticoagulant, prohibiting the formation of clots. So hopefully no more strokes, as well, not too many black and blue marks.

So there it it. Strength in the emotional arena, what can only be described as weakness in the physical arena. But lots of strength and a little bit of weakness. I’ll take them both.

With love and hugs,

Samina.