Alzheimer’s Disease: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Perspective — Part Two

In our continuing series on dementia we present two interviews with Dr. Betty G. Lacy, clinical psychiatrist, based in Ukiah, California, whose focus is the prevention, care and treatment of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. This chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time, is the cause of 60% to 70% of cases of dementia.  

In part one, Dr. Lacy tells the story of Alois Alheimers, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist, who’s credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, which would later be identified as Alzheimer’s disease.  She shares the emotional impact of the personal experiences of her parents, both of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She and her two siblings each carry the gene called APOE4, which increases a person’s susceptibility to this disease. She explains the benefits of being tested and identifies specific ways to retard and possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

In this program, part two, Dr. Lacy shares her personal experiences of caring for her parents with Alzheimer’s. She suggests ways to deal with the changing personality that comes with this disease and how to deal with the stress it brings to family members. 

Dr. Betty Lacy visited the studio of Radio Curious on July 7, 2017, and began part two of our conversation with her description of the changes Alzheimer’s presents to family relationships and dynamics.

The book Betty Lacy recommends is “He Wanted the Moon:  The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him,” by Mimi Baird and Eve Claxton. 

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.

Owen, Adrian Ph.D. — In a Coma and Conscious: Communicating with the Comatose

Approximately 20% of the people who are motionless and locked into a deep coma, wholly unable to move or respond, have a conscious awareness.  This conscious awareness may be determined with the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging, commonly called fMRI.  This imaging reveals the increased blood flow to specific areas of the brain when a person focuses on a certain idea or image.

In this program we visit with Adrian Owen, Ph.D., author of Into the Gray Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death. Dr. Owen who thoroughly enjoys neurobiology and his rock and roll band began to develop imaging techniques allowing a conscious person locked in a coma to respond yes or no, to a given question.  Owen is currently the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at the Brain and Mind Institute, of Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

As part of our continuing series on dementia, we visited with Dr. Owen from his office in London, Ontario Canada, June 28, 2017.  We began when I asked him to explain the difference between magnetic resonance imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

The book Adrian Owen recommends is The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

 

Conna-Lee Weinberg:  Conscious Direction of Your Spine

How we each may develop a conscious connection with the individual vertebrae of the spine is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Conna-Lee Weinberg, author of “Mindful Spine: Movement from the Inside Out – Connecting the Brain and the Spinal Vertebrae.”  Weinberg has over 30 years of experience as a psychophysical educator for Olympic and high-performance athletes.

Weinberg asserts that the spine overtly regulates our movements from birth until we begin to crawl and walk.  She believes that beginning when we crawl, the spine becomes subordinate to our muscles in controlling our movement.  This may result in sciatica, scoliosis, and other painful and sometimes debilitating conditions.

Weinberg believes that by learning to consciously direct or move the individual spinal vertebrae, with an intention similar to learning to ride a bicycle or moving a cup to our lips, we would be able to avoid, among other issues, the back pain too many of us suffer.  You may find further information at her website mindfulspine.com.

When Conna-Lee Weinberg visited the Radio Curious Studios on June 11, 2017, she demonstrated her personal ability to separately move the individual vertebrae of her spine.  In addition, she moved several vertebrae at the same time to imitate scoliosis.  She and I began our visit with her description of the Eureka moment when she learned that she could intentionally move her own spinal vertebrae.

The book Conna-Lee Weinberg recommends is:  “The Brain that Changes Itself:  Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science,” by Norman Doidge.  

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Baker, Carolyn Ph.D.: Hospice and Near Term Human Extinction (Archive)

This is the third conversation in our series on near-term human extinction, which Barry has called the most disturbing group of interviews he’s had in the history of Radio Curious. On today’s program, we’ll consider how we can each personally deal with this impossible problem, and how an understanding of hospice can help guide the way we interact with our communities and our planet.

Our guest is Dr. Carolyn Baker, co-author with Dr. Guy R. McPherson of Extinction Dialogues: How to Live with Death in Mind. She’s also the author of Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating the Relationships We Need to Thrive. As an author and psychotherapist, Dr. Baker discusses the importance of emotional and spiritual preparedness for the cataclysmic changes that abrupt climate change will bring.

As you listen to this interview, consider how you could incorporate Dr. Baker’s advice into your own life, and how the hospice concept—taking time to interact with loved ones, enjoy nature, and be mindful—can give meaning to your time on earth, in the face of human extinction.

Extinction Dialogs presents credible scientific evidence that global warming is pushing our planet to a swift apocalyptic end– more rapidly that we comprehend. Dr. Guy McPherson discusses the scientific evidence that suggests a looming extinction of the human species in parts one and two of this series. In the second half of Extinction Dialogs, Carolyn Baker encourages and recommends a hospice approach, which we present to you as part three in this series.

This interview was recorded on September 20, 2015. You can listen to the full interview here.

The book Carolyn Baker recommends is Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, by Stephen Jenkinson.

Grandin, Prof. Temple: What Autism Can Tell Us About Animals (Archive)

What animals think and how their thoughts might be understood is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious. A certain amount of insight into this curious question may be obtained from the book “Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior,” by Professor Temple Grandin.

Grandin, born in 1947, was diagnosed with autism at age 2 and did not begin to speak until she was 4 years old. She earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in animal science, and is now a professor of animal science at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

In her book “Animals in Translation,” Grandin explores the world of animals; their pain, fear, aggression, relationships and communication. She believes that autistic people at times think the way animals think, putting them in a strong position to translate “animal talk.”

We spoke with Professor Grandin from her office in Ft. Collins, Colorado, in March 2006. We began our conversation when I asked her to define autism.

You can hear the full interview here.

 

Dr. Dana Chidekel: Who’s in Charge? Your Young Child, or You? (Archive)

Are you or do you know someone who is tired of endlessly negotiating with a 5-year-old? How about taking a 3-year-old to a restaurant? Children are too often seen and treated as small adults, dressed as adults, and sometimes have their lives planned out for them to be as busy as adults. Treating children as people older than they are overlooks their cognitive abilities. This can lead to unsatisfying and sometimes traumatic relationships between the child and the parents.

Parents in Charge: Setting Healthy, Loving Boundaries for You and Your Child was written by Dr. Dana Chidekel in 2002. She’s a child psychologist near Los Angeles, California. Dr. Chidekel argues that the developing brain of toddlers does not give them the capacity to respond to being placed on equal ground with their parents. She encourages parents to assume their rightful role of authority.

I spoke with Dr. Dana Chidekel in the winter of 2002 from her office in Southern California. We began our conversation by talking about the developing brain of young children. I asked her what the brain of a young child is can and cannot assess.

The books that Dr. Chidekel recommends for young children are the Berenstain Bears series. The book she recommends for older people is “Seabiscuit.”

You can listen to the full interview here.

Tracy, Dr. Jessica – Pride: The Most Human Emotion

The science of pride, authentic pride, and hubristic pride is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest, Dr. Jessica Tracy, is the author of Take Pride:  Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success.  She is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada and directs the Emotion & Self Lab as part of her work.

In Take Pride, Tracy explains her research, partially conducted in the most rural areas of the West African nation of Burkina Faso, in Athens, Greece among the athletes who participated in the 2004 Olympic Games, and with blind athletes at the Paralympic Games.  Her findings substantiated that pride is an emotion experienced and similarly expressed by all human beings:  Chest-expanded, shoulders-back and broad smile.

With pride as s cross cultural human emotion I became curious as to why it is considered a sin by some.  So when Jessica Tracy and I visited by phone from her office in Vancouver, British Columbia, on November 11, 2016, that’s where we began…

The book Jessica Tracy recommends is The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, by Steven Pinker.

This program was recorded on November 11, 2016.

Click here to listen.

 

Burgo, Joseph Ph.D. — “I’m Right and You’re Wrong:” The Narcissist You Know

The concept of “I’m right and you’re wrong” is increasingly prevalent during governmental political struggles and those of local public radio stations. How to identify the narcissists in our lives is the topic of this archive edition of Radio Curious in our 2015 conversation with Joseph Burgo, Ph.D. He is the author of “The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About Me Age.”

Dr. Burgo describes narcissism as a more-common-than-we think personality type, based on shame, that covers a wide spectrum of frequently and cleverly disguised deceptive behaviors. 

Once a narcissist’s behavior is identified, it’s possible to learn how to coexist and avoid being trapped.  This may be achieved without compromising one’s own mental health, integrity, or ability to succeed, or losing ourselves in the process.

When Dr. Joseph Burgo and I visited by phone from his home in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, on October 5, 2015, we discussed two of the eight most common types of narcissists:  the bullying narcissist and the seductive narcissist.  We began our conversation when I asked him to describe narcissism.

The book Dr. Joseph Burgo recommends is “Why is it always about You?” by Sandy Hotchkiss. 

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Woodbine, Onaje Ph.D. — Black Gods of the Asphalt Part Two

The transcendent experience of street basketball is the topic of two conversations with Onaje X. O. Woodbine, author of “Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball.” Woodbine grew up in the inner-city of Roxbury, Massachusetts, became a skilled street basketball player and attended Yale University on a basketball scholarship. After two years as a star player on the Yale team, he chose a different life path and quit.

After graduating from Yale, Woodbine earned his Ph.D. in religious studies from Boston University. His book, “Black Gods of the Asphalt” presents a social-anthropological view of this inner-city sport where coaches often assume the role of father, mentor and friend. He contrasts the lessons learned on the street basketball courts, with those learned at the predominantly white basketball courts and locker rooms of Yale University.

Onaje Woodbine visited with Radio Curious by phone on August 13, 2016, from his home in Andover, Massachusetts. In part one we discussed his experiences growing up and playing on the basketball courts in the inner city and how that differend from the Ivy League schools he later went to. In part two, we began our conversation when I asked him to explain the ethnographic research and methods he used in making his book, “Black Gods of the Asphalt.”

The book Dr. Onaje Woodbine recommends is “Jesus and the Disinherited” by Howard Thurman.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Miles, Dr. Steven — A Blind Eye to Torture

The silence of doctors, nurses and medics in cases of torture and physical abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Dr. Steven Miles, the author of “Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War On Terror,” a book based, in part, on eyewitness accounts of actual victims of prison abuse and more than thirty-five thousand pages of documents, autopsy reports and medical records.  His work explores the information provided by physicians and psychologists to determine how much and what kind of mistreatment could be delivered to prisoners during interrogation. Dr. Miles is a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and its Center for Bioethics.  He is a recognized expert in medical ethics, human rights and international health care.

This interview with Dr. Steven Miles was recorded in mid-July 2006 from his office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We begin when I asked him about his motivation to write a book about the treatment of people who are disarmed and imprisoned.

The book Dr. Steven Miles recommend is “Bury The Chains: Profits and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves,” by Adam Hochchild.

This interview with Dr. Steven H. Miles was recorded in mid July 2006.

 Click here to listen or on the media player below.