Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Emotional Stability from More Sleep?

After a lengthy visit with a recent stroke patient of mine (left frontal lobe stroke with subsequent post-stroke depression), they clipped this article below and sent it my way, supporting a rather lengthy conversation we had about the cyclical relationship between their co-present poor sleep quality and difficulty treating mood; mood dysfunction such as depression and anxiety feeding into poor sleep quality, and how to try to disentangle which is more directly problematic. 

This summary of a study below reveals an inherent weakness, that ONLY 14 patients were involved, which limits aspects of its applicability, but I think they were trying to find the "purest" patients alone for enrollment in the study (i.e. primary insomnia patients without ANY other cause for their insomnia (secondary insomnia)), and it is expensive to use the specialized fMRI scanner to study the amygdala's activity, especially when a pharmaceutical company isn't footing the bill. 

The amygdala, by the way, is sort of an earlier-design complex subconscious parallel shadowing emotional center of the brain, supporting our higher level later-edition, layered-on cortex... Kind of like a form of Id supporting our Superego, and sometimes studying the amygdala "reveals" more about how we truly think about things in ways we may not have self-reflective insight into. 

Anyway, I know many of you would find it at least tangentially interesting.