Unlocking the GPS in our brains

Did you know that your brain has its own type of GPS system? It does. And today, the scientists who discovered it have won a Nobel Prize.

Ever since my most recent hospitalization for depression and anxiety, I’ve been fascinated with how the brain works. Ironically, here’s what I find most fascinating: the fact that, in 2014, even the best scientists still consider the brain to be a (pun intended) head-scratching mystery. Even with this Nobel-winning discovery, scientists are JUST NOW BEGGING to understand how people think and do and plan.

There’s an obvious link to mental illness, and especially treatment for mental illness. Anyone who’s ever taken meds for mental illness knows that even the good ones are far from perfect. At times, the side effects — everything from memory loss to addiction — are as troubling as the illness. But then, if there hasn’t been much understanding about how the brain works, it stands to reason that meds designed to help the brain would have some flaws.

To be clear, I am NOT saying that people should steer clear of meds. I take them myself, and I probably wouldn’t be alive without them. But boy, I’d love to see a day when better, more effective meds are created. The more scientists continue to discover about the brain, the faster that day will come.

For more information on the brain’s GPS, click here.


2 responses to “Unlocking the GPS in our brains

  • Refiloe

    It’s been a month now since my first hospitalization. I’m way better than when I went in but it’s still no easy. I’m back at work and everyone assumes I’m “cured”, I also have to remind myself that it’s a process but it’s disheartening that I’ve completely changed my lifestyle and I’m taking my meds properly but I’m still not seeing much of my old self.


    • Alan Kravitz

      Thanks for your comment, Refiole. I can relate. It is a process and sometimes its a long one. In my case, the meds have helped. I still get occasional anxiety attacks, but they are not as frequent as they used to be. Still, there are side effects. I have become more forgetful, and I get tired a lot more easily–even with exercise. So it’s a constant juggle. I talked about this with my doctor. If the panic continues decreasing, then she may decrease my med dosage further. Hopefully, that will give me more energy. And on my good days, people also think I’m “cured.” Yeah, right.


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