Nightmares and suicide: what are the mechanisms that trigger these processes in the brain

Who is responsible for suicide, why do people dream nightmares, and whether the blood replaced with ice water. It turned edition of “Real Time”.

Кошмары и самоубийства: какие механизмы запускают эти процессы в мозге

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Parts of the brain-suicidal

Scientists at Yale and Cambridge universities were able to detect differences in certain areas of the brain that may be associated with suicidal behavior. A new study gives the possibility to predict which people are at risk for suicidal tendencies.

According to the world health organization, every year more than 800 thousand people die from suicide. It is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.

In a study of all available visualizations of the brain was attended by over 12 thousand people. Compare:

  • patients with mental illness who had attempted suicide;
  • with mental illness, but without suicidal behavior;
  • healthy people.

The study found that the frontal region, regulating emotions, and region, participating in decisions and controlling behavior associated with suicidal thoughts. What changes in these structures of the brain increase the risk of suicide.

Now scientists are looking for treatments that can change the structure of neural connections, thereby reducing the risk of suicide.


A team of neuroscientists from Switzerland and the United States tried to solve the mystery of nightmares. In their view, dreams are a part of emotional processing of adverse life events. What worries people a day, can disturb the night. However, bad dreams allow us to safely “play” potentially dangerous situations before they happen in real life.

In the experiment scientists involved 18 volunteers, they have recorded the electrical activity of the brain during sleep. During the night several times woke to ask them a series of questions about whether dreams and what they were. The participants also conducted “dream diary”.

The participants ‘ answers were compared with EEG and found that during the terrible dreams especially active were the proportion of insular cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. During the day the island the share participates in identifying and assessing emotional reactions, while the cingulate cortex plays the role of “handbrake” in our head and is responsible for the preparation of physical reactions to perceived danger.

During the second part of the experiment, participants were shown a series of disturbing images and recorded on the MRI changes in the brain.

Scientists have noted that the image evoked a smaller response in two brain regions namely those participants who reported a large number of nightmares. Scientists hope that the results of the experiment will help to create methods for the treatment of anxiety States in patients.

Freeze to save

American surgeons were able to replace blood ice-cold solution of the seriously wounded to the patient to save his life.

The idea that the basic functions of the human body can be put on “pause” until carry out emergency medical interventions until recently seemed fantastic, but now doctors have made progress with the actual freezing and reviving people.

Professor Medical school of the University of Maryland Samuel Tisherman led the team, which placed in the suspended animation of a patient with massive blood loss.

All of our cells operate due to oxygen. With it comes energy production, which is necessary for normal functioning of the cells. The longer the cells in the body go without oxygen, the more damage they suffer.

The main aim of the study is to reduce the brain damage. When the heart stops and the blood ceases to circulate, the brain is rapidly losing oxygen, experiencing irreparable damage within five minutes.

Scientists suggest that the slowing of cellular metabolism, they can stretch that five minutes to an hour or more. This will enable physicians to take control of the bleeding.

Procedure it takes 15 minutes – involves replacing all the patient’s blood ice-cold saline solution that quickly cools to minus 10 degrees – vital organs, particularly the brain and heart. In this condition, the heart and brain stops. In the body there is no blood, no breathing, no brain activity, the patient is clinically dead but his cells can still live within a few hours.

As a result, physicians will be up to two hours of time to deal with the hemorrhaging. After the operation is the transfusion of blood and cardiac activity of the patient is resumed.

Cream transplantation slows the aging

Researchers from the Medical College of Drexel University believe they have found a drug that can be the fountain of youth and slow down aging of the skin.

This is rapamycin, which is still used for patients who have undergone organ transplant to combat a rare lung disease, and also as anticancer agent.

Under the supervision of physicians 13 forty participants within 8 months used cream with rapamycin. At the end of this little experiment in the tissues of the skin of the participants increased the amount of collagen, as the researchers found, and the level of protein, which is associated with the appearance of wrinkles and aging of skin cells called P16 significantly decreased.