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Natalie Pineda's Paper

Created By: Jessica De anda
A1: Parkinson's Disease
Q2: Report: (Required*) 
A2: Imagine, (maybe you should take out the comma and add it before "never being able to stop") always shaking. Never being able to stop. Think about not being able to perform the easiest tasks ever. Like writing your name or holding a pencil, or even hugging someone you love without any interference. Well even though some are lucky to not have to worry people suffering from Parkinson's disease face this struggle everyday n]and still seem to cope with it.
Parkinsons disease is a very widely known disease. This disease is known to take over one's mind and take over their body. PD, parkinson's disease for short, can ruin someones life in just a matter of a time. The hook is good :)

Parkinson Disease appears in both men and women. (Stern 2013, 1) Even though this may be true it occurs more in men then women about 50%more. (Stern2013, 2) On average PD occurs at around the age 60 or so. (Stern 2013, 3)
If someone is diagnosed early it would be somewhere around the age 40.( Stern 2013, 4) Its is known that almost 500,000 people in the United States have Parkinson's Disease. (Stern 2013, 8) Also around 50,000 people are diagnosed in one year. (Stern 2013,5) People who have Parkinsons have around the same life expectancy as others who don't. (Stern 2013, 6) The only difference is all of their struggles become complications that are life threatening.(Stern 2013, 6Their shaking and tremors may causes them to fall or choke. (Stern 2013, 6

Parkinsons Disease goes through different stages each becoming more intense. PD will slowly progress over 20 years.(McCoy2013, 1) However, this number varies for different people suffering from Parkinson's. As this disease progresses, it goes through different stages. The first stage will only affect one side of the body. McCoy2013, 2) This causing (use "causes' instead of "causing") everyday tasks to become difficult, but are able to be handled. (MD 2005, 1) This stage also will cause slight and minor tremors and shaking. (MD 2005,2)  Even though these symptoms don't seem to severe they do take a toll on ones everyday life. And this symptoms only get worse as the PD progresses. 

In the second stage the disease starts affecting both sides of the brain. However balance is still intact. (McCoy 2013, 3) Even thought this may be true there is also declines in posture.(Jason 2010, 2) The persons isn't neccesarily disable but some tasks are hard to perform. (Jason D 2010, 1) In this stage doctors tend to prescribe medication to the patient. (Jason D 2010, 3) Also along with the medication, the patient will reccieve (receive) dopamine agonist. ( Jason D 2010, 4) This will block nerve impulses. (Jason D 2010, 4) Even going through this a patients symptoms will continue to get worse.

Stage 3 of this disease is when all the previous symptoms will worsen. The symptoms become mild to moderate. (McCoy 2013, 4) Their balance still remains impaired.(McCoy 2013, 4) This person can still however perform simple tasks by themselves. (McCoy 2013, 4) One's motions become slowed down and have a hard time walking. (Jason D 2010, 5) Another great risk at this stage is falling. ( Jason D 2010, 6) Due to the unbalance of the person this risk is increased. At this time much more powerful medications are prescribed to the patient. (Jason D 2010, 6)

Once onto (I think "in" might sound better than "onto" but thats not important :)) stage 4 everything becomes very much difficult for the person suffering from Parkinsons Disease.This stage is reffered (referred) to as "Advanced Parkinsons disease". (Jason D 2010, 7) People with stage 4 Parkinson's Disease are severely disabled. (McCoy 2013, 5) They are unable to complete their very simple day-to-day tasks as usual. (Jason D 2010, 6) This person would be unable to live by themselves. (Jason D 2010, 11) People at this stage are also recommended to be in a wheelchair (Jason D 2010,12) At this stage surgery is an option to slow down the symptoms.  (Jason D 2010, 13) However this option is always open to everyone. The person who is (are) interested in this surgery would have to be healthy and young, which isn't in always in most cases (Jason D 2010, 14)

The most advanced and severe stage is stage 5. (Jason D 2010, 16) Someone at this stage is not able to take care of themselves anymore. (Jason D 2010, 17) Stage 5 sufferers need around the clock care to keep well. (Jason D 2010, 18)something known as Cachexia occurs in this stage and this means that  their (there) is unwanted weight and muscle lost. (Jason D 2010, 19) At this stage someone suffering form Parkinson's Diseases life is over. (Jason D 2010, 20) They are no longer able to care for themselves. They cant walk around or enjoy life anymore. Their health begins to drop. (Jason D 2010,20) Patients become more prone to infection and disease. (Jason D 2010, 20)

There is no cure for the awful disease that is Parkinson's Disease. There may be surgeries or medication to control it but nothing can stop it. However one treatment that is used most often is called Carbidopa-Levodopa. (Stern 2013, 11)
Carbidopa- Levodopa is dopamine transfered into the brain. (Stern 2013, 12) Like any other treatment, however, there is (are) always side effects. (Stern 2013, 13) Some side effects of this treatment were bigger then others. They all varied from one end to another. One being muscle spasms. (Stern 2013, 13) Then another being irregular heart beats, nausea, hair loss, sleep disorders, confusion, anxiety, and hallucinations.( Stern 2013, 13) Even though the side effects sound bad for some these were all risks willing to be taken in order to fight for their happiness and well being. 

Parkinsons Disease takes many effects on someones brain. Not only does it take a toll on their mind but on their whole life. It effects what they can and can not do. Simple tasks someone thought they would be able to do all their life become a very difficult and frustrating  challenge. The shaking a patient suffers from never goes away. There is always movement in their body and no controlling it. Scientist work hard everyday to find cures for different terrible disease that take a big toll on people lives and their families everyday. This disease is one worth fighting for. Finding a cure would help more than thousands of people across the world who want to escape their pain and misery.
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Carolina Jaime's Paper

Created By: Jessica De anda
Alzheimer's Cure
Q2: Report: (Required*) 
A2: "Alzheimer's...it is a barren disease, as empty and lifeless as a desert. It is a thief of hearts and souls and memories." This quote is written by Nicholas Sparks in The Notebook, and for those of you who haven't seen the movie, in the end, Allie, Noah's true love, dies from Alzheimer's. (Suggestion: This quote is written by Nicholas Sparks in The Notebook. For those of you who haven't seen the movie,  Allie, Noah's true love, dies from Alzheimer's in the end.) What a beautiful love story, with such a horrific ending, but what if this bad ending could turn into a good one? What if there can be a cure for Alzheimer's? Even though not all scientists may agree, I believe that there is hope as trial and error will eventually reveal a cure for Alzheimer's. In order to find a cure for this deadly disease, it is important to first go through the history, background, stages, and effects it has on patients and caregivers. Also, there are experiments being done to prove that there can be a happy ending to this movie, and for the lives of people afflicted by Alzheimer's. Good!!!! :)

Alzheimer's disease was first introduced on November 25, 1901 by Alois Alzheimer who is known to be "The Father of Alzheimer's Disease" (Ataman 2012, 13). This is the most common type of dementia that deteriorates brain cells and causes the brain to shrivel significantly (Stone 2013, 2). Dr. Alzheimer saw that this disease was abnormal and destroyed the brain, taking memories with it. When he first admitted Auguste D. as a patient, she shared her troubling experiences over the years, noting how she was beginning (use "began" instead of "was beginning" because you used "became" later in your sentence) to forget recollections of the past, became extremely frightened of people close to her, and was envious of her husband (Ataman 2012, 3). These types of symptoms were common because this disease leads to confusion about events, behavior and attitude changes, difficulty speaking, paranoia of people, and trouble walking (Stone 2013, 4). Using the staining method, a way to examine brain tissues in a microscope, Dr. Alzheimer noticed a large amount of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex. This amyloid protein usually stains blue when immersed in an iodine solution. Amyloid plaques are protein fragments that the brain produces normally; neurofibrillary tangles are consisted (use "consist" instead of "are consisted") of a protein called tau which is (made up of) insoluble twisted fibers inside the brain's cells (Ataman 2012, 4; Stone 2013, 3; Kim 2009, 2). He assumed that this mental disorder was inherited through genes and could be passed along to generations to come (Ataman 2012,5). 

One of the origins of Alzheimer's disease that many neuroscientists think is true is the accumulation of the amyloid beta, also known as AB or A-beta, in the brain. (This sentence is good :), but here's a suggestion: The most accepted belief among neuroscientists as to how Alzheimer's disease originated is the...) A-beta is a peptide processed by the amyloid precursor protein (APP) with non-pathological activity (Burica 2010, 1; Murray et. al 2013, 1). The amyloid precursor protein is found in many tissues of the brain and is focused in the synapses of neurons which later lead to plaque formation. Signs of this disease show ten to twenty years after changes in the brain have already occurred; so many doctors are aiming to find symptoms and trying to delay the progression of this fatal disease with drugs (LaPook 2012, 3). Approximately 5.4 million people in 2012 have been affected by Alzheimer's; if there is still no cure, studies have shown that this massive number is estimated to triple by 2050 (LaPook 2012, 1; Lloyd 2012,3). WOW! That's crazy! The government has been generous enough to donate about twenty-four million dollars in experimental trials to end the losses that many families are going through because of this horrendous illness; they have also outlined a plan to have a cure for this dementia 12 years from now (Lloyd 2012, 2). Alzheimer's has been around for 112 years, but new trials are underway to put an end to all of this misery. 

When being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it is life-changing for both, (take out comma) the patient and family (Anonymous 2013b, 5). There are three stages for this type of dementia: early, middle, and last-stage caregiving. Patients in the early-stage are still able to operate alone; they can continue to do their daily activities such as driving and working, with little or no problem. Because each patient is affected differently, the amount of caregiver support varies (Anonymous 2013b, 13). An issue most people tend to face is discussing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's; it is helpful to make the person not feel anxious as it can cause tension in the atmosphere (Anonymous 2013b, 4). (Suggestion: it is helpful to avoid making the person feel anxious as...) This stage can last up to several years, and others may not even be able to see this dementia until symptoms become recognizable (Anonymous 2013b, 2). Family members or care partners need to give emotional support, including love and camaraderie, as it is critical for the patients to feel lighthearted (Anonymous 2013b, 3).Mood changes will begin to occur, (actually, idk if you need this comma or not... ) making the person sense ("sense" sounds a bit awkward here, maybe change it to "feel")  as if they are losing control and (are) unaware of what they are feeling (if you changed "sense to "feel, change "unaware of what they are feeling" to "unaware of the varied emotions they are experiencing" so its not repetitive). These kinds of responses are normal for Alzheimer's disease (Anonymous 2013, 8; Carlsson et. al. 2013, 7). It is important to start planning for the future as symptoms will gradually worsen (Anonymous 2013b, 5).  

The middle-stage of Alzheimer's requires more time spent with the patient as the disease grows, and is usually the longest of the three stages. The role of being a caregiver will definitely come into play as the responsibility will become more demanding and help will be needed daily. Caregivers are recommended to take time for themselves, even if it's just a few moments (Carlsson et. al. 2013, 9). There will be good days and there will be bad days, but it's during these times that connections and bonds grow deeper (Anonymous 2013b, 6). Damages to the brain makes communication and thoughts rougher to express, so (Suggestion: use "thus" or "therefore" instead of "so") when communicating with a patient, caretakers must speak slowly and repeat their words for the patient to fully understand (Anonymous 2013, 7). Safety concerns such as supervision will be needed because patients begin to wander around (Anonymous 2013b, 10; Carlsson et al. 2013, 8). Memories will start to fade or modify from what they originally were; places will become a mystery (Anonymous 2013, 5).  

There is no way to predict when an Alzheimer's patient will die, but the last stage of this disease can last from numerous weeks to years. This is the time when caregivers spend all day and night with their patients; some patients even need to move to a facility because their home cannot provide the essential needs (use "necessities" instead of needs) (Anonymous 2013b, 9). Alzheimer's disease makes the patient handicapped where they can't do anything themselves. Families have a challenging time when thinking about the quality care they wish their family member to receive, either hospice of ("or" instead of "of"?) a convalescent home. A few important caregiving tasks include helping with personal care, eating, and walking (Anonymous 2013b, 1112). Because patients cannot walk or move, they are vulnerable and open to getting an infection. Caregivers try to save the patient's pride and self-respect by showing their love through their senses; even though the (Suggestion: use "their loved one's" instead of "the") brain is rotting away and losing its function, they should try to make it as enjoyable as possible because their heart still remains with them even if their brain doesn't (Anonymous 2013b, 1014). 

A new study at Harvard University proposes the idea that the main cause of Alzheimer's disease--the accumulation of amyloid beta--may be what can protect the brain (Burica 2010, 1). This protein looks similar to the LL-37, which is known to fight off infections in animals. In an experiment, A-beta killed over 60% of bacteria, making it effective (Burica 2010, 2). Neuroscientists studying this case believe that Alzheimer's disease is just caused by too much of the amyloid beta protein. Laura Vogel, a professor of immunology, states that this can be a possible explanation since the majority of people believe that destroying A-beta will treat Alzheimer's. If a patient needs the amyloid beta protein to protect themselves from contagion, disposing away of this protein may not be such a good idea. A professor of biology by the name of H. Tak Cheung believes that controlling the cause of the A-beta protein, which is a bacteria-based infection, may result in a cure for dementia (Burica 2010, 3).

Another study using radiation on mice was found for a possible treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Brian Marples, one of Beaumont's Radiation Biologists, discovered that taking genetically bred mice with injected proteins, relating to Alzheimer's, and giving them radiation over a couple of weeks could lead to a possible cure (Larson 2012, 12). The amyloid beta plaque reduced by 80% when giving low amounts of radiation over time; when patients take drugs to lower their symptoms, the drug has to get into the blood brain-barrier, which are cells that make up the walls of brain capillaries and prevent fluids in the blood to diffuse freely into the brain; however, when using radiation, neuroscientists don't have to cross that barrier (Larson 2012,3). These mice were very cooperative when doing the radiation. Dr. Marples will begin a human study to see if high or low radiation will reduce amyloid deposits and whether it has a benefit on a patient's memory (Larson 2012, 4). 

The modulation of the ADAM10 gene, or A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase, could perhaps be a target for the cure and prevention of Alzheimer's disease (Kim 2009, 6). Disintegrin and metalloproteinase cut off transmembrane proteins; these proteins go from one side of the cell membrane to the other. There is indication that the ADAM10, as well as two other mutations, Q170H and RI81G, are associated with this dementia; about 70% of these mutations were found in seven Alzheimer's families (Kim 2009, 15). The Q170H and R181G mutations significantly lower a-secretase activity of ADAM10. A-secretase are seen on the surfaces of cells and are attached in the cell membrane. The place where these two mutations are on the ADAM10 gene suggest that the amount of activity through the prodomain, a specific function or interaction with other proteins, could signify the advancement for a treatment and avoidance of Alzheimer's (Kim 2009, 6). Good!!!! :)

Ketoacids, also called ketone bodies, are medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil) that have been experimented to cure and prevent this type of dementia. Ketone bodies are chemicals that the body makes when there is not enough insulin in the blood and must break down fat, instead of glucose, for energy; they help the brain recover oxygen after it has been lost in babies through adults (Newport 2008, 34). The liver converts all MCTs as ketone bodies to use as energy. This MCT oil produces hyperketonemia, which are then available to the brain, even in the presence of glucose; hyperketonemia is the concentration of ketone bodies in blood, and result in an increase of cerebral blood flow, and mental dysfunction. Brain cells, precisely neurons, are limited to the type of energy they can use to work and survive. We, humans, don't have these ketone bodies flowing and open to the brain (Newport 2008, 56). Before symptoms begin to show in Alzheimer's disease, neurons in certain parts of the brain slowly die off because they are unable to take in glucose, due to the insulin resistance. These neurons could ("would" instead of "could"? bc you used "were" later on in this sentence... i really dont think its a big deal though :)) stay alive and function if ketone bodies were accessible. When sugar is not available in the body, beta-hydroxybutyrate is used to protect neurons; consuming more of this beta can result in higher levels of ketone bodies (Newport 2008, 10). In order to have ketone bodies circulating the blood all day, 7 teaspoons of coconut oil should be taken once a day. After about 50 days of using coconut oil, the patient definitely saw (since you used "should" in the previous sentence, maybe you should change "the patient definitely saw" to "the patient should definitely see") some improvement in their memory (Newport 2008, 913). 

Genentech crenezumab and an insulin nasal spray vaccine are two studies that scientists are undergoing to stop Alzheimer's from spreading, which may eventually lead to a cure. Crenezumab is an experimental antibody drug given to an extended family of 300 in Colombia showing no signs or symptoms of this dementia, but unfortunately having the disease in their gene (Anonymous 2012, 7). Its mission is to stop amyloid beta from forming in the brain, and prevent it from into going to people who are predestined to have Alzheimer's (Lloyd 2012, 5; Anonymous 2012, 23). Scientists are aiming to see if this antibody can sustain memory and cognitive skills (Callaway 2012, 5). The second study is an insulin nasal spray vaccine that will test if insulin sent to the brain will help people with mild memory problems. Not only will this spray help manage Alzheimer's, but it can also help prevent strokes (Anonymous 2011, 1). By using the body's own immune system, damages in the brain tissue will be repaired through attacking the amyloid-beta protein. The reason scientists are using insulin for the vaccine is because brain cells need glucose, which is a form of fuel for the brain (Lloyd 2012, 6). This vaccine could be given to people are at risk or show symptoms of Alzheimer's, or those who have had strokes in the past (Anonymous 2011, 4).

In conclusion, many people who are battling Alzheimer's disease have already suffered a tremendous amount of misery and deserve to believe in hope for a brighter future, hope that someday there will be a cure. They should be able to see their children, even grandchildren, and be able to recognize them with opening arms and love. This disease has ripped families apart and taken away memories that should have never been forgotten. Alzheimer's disease goes way back to the 1900s and has a plethora of background; it contains three stages which effect not only the patients, but caregivers as well. Multiple experiments such as radiation, the ingestion of coconut oil, usage of insulin nasal sprays and many other methods will soon prove that there will be a cure for Alzheimer's. Hope and patience is what one needs in this battle to end the epidemic of Alzheimer's.  

Your report is really good!!!!! :) LOVE the conclusion!!!!!
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Mariela Dagio's Paper

Created By: Jessica De anda
A1: Bipoloar Disorder: The Whole Story
Q2: Report:(Required*) 
A2: About 5.7 million people 18 and older are affected by bipolar disorder a year. That's about 2.6% of the U.S population. After researching bipolar disorder, its symptoms, treatments, who it affects, role of genes, looking at journals of neuroimaging, and seeing what happens in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder I can say I have learned a lot and would like to share that knowledge on how I believe bipolar disorder is caused and what happens in the brain. (Suggestion: After researching bipolar disorder's symptoms, treatments, susceptibility rates, and the role of genes, along with looking at journals of neuroimaging, and observing the abnormal brain functions of patients, I would like to explain this information within my report. I believe bipolar disorder is caused by... and *this* happens in the brain.)

Bipolar disorder equally affects both women and men, as well as equally affects every race, age social class, and ethnic group (Anonymous 2013, 2; Bressert 2 2013, 3). Although it affects both genders equally, women have been proven to experience 3x more rapid cycling, which is experiencing four or more mania or depression episodes inside of a year. Mania episodes are when the patient starts experiencing rapid thoughts and loses all clarity due to overwhelming confusion, they start to think everything is funny and suddenly go to the worst where they are irritable, frightened, angry, and uncontrollable (Anonymous 2 2013, 2). This is one of the main symptoms of bipolar disorder along with other symptoms occurring daily such as sudden moodswings, racing thoughts, fast talking, making impulsive decisions, restlessness, increased energy, an inflated self-esteem, and high sex drive (Anonynous 2 2013, 1).
There are many questions on what causes bipolar disorder. The cause isn't entirely known though. There are beliefs that genetic, neurochemical, and environmental factors play a part in the onset and progression of bipolar disorder (Bressert 2013, 1). There are many thoughts bipolar disorder is a biological disorder that occurs in a specific part of the brain, and is due to malfunction of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Being a biological disorder means it may always be there active or not and caused to be active by being triggered by stressors (Bressert 2013, 14). (Suggestion :) - As a biological disorder, bipolar disorder will always be part of a person, whether it is active or not; Stressors are known to trigger bipolar activeness within one.)
There are studies done on patients with bipolar disorder (to see) if there is a connection between brain abnormalities such as an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, which is the site where your emotions, personality, and decision making happen (Strakowki 2004, 4). Bipolar disorder is related to structural brain abnormalities (McIntosh et al. 2005, 1). There are studies on identical twins when (maybe use "where" instead of "when" but i dont think it really makes a difference :)) only one of them has bipolar disorder. Since they are identical twins they share 100% of their genes. Which means if it was relied on genes alone then both of them would get bipolar disorder but they only have a 28-96% of coordance which means it happens to both (Phillips 2005, 2). (Suggestion: This means that if the disorder relied on genes alone, then both of them would get bipolar disorder. Surprisingly, they only have a 28-96% of coordance, which means it happens to both) So the question remains, what causes bipolar disorder? 

After researching the causes of bipolar disorder I believe that bipolar disorder is caused by environmental and genetic factors. A person who has a long line of generations in their family with at least one family (member?) with bipolar disorder they (maybe take out "they") are (at a) higher risk of (developing) bipolar disorder than someone who does not have history of the disorder in their family. A life altering event in a negative way can trigger a mood episode in someone who has genetic depositor, bipolar disorder running the family, to bipolar disorder (Bressert 2013, 8). Also having excessive bad habits that lead to any psychological problems such as alcohol and/or drug abuse, hormonal problems, and illegal substance use can trigger a mania episode even in someone who does not have history of the disorder in the family (Bressert 2013, 9). 

Bipolar disorder is highly likely to be misdiagnosed in women as depression and in men as schizophrenia, (maybe change the comma to a ; and add "in other words,") it is a gender bias in diagnosis (Anonymous 2013,11). When being misdiagnosed and given medicine for that, such as anti depressants, it can trigger a medication-triggered mania (Bressert 2013, 12). Also having an effect on your brain when having bipolar disorder is a decrease in frontal cortex grey matter which is the regions of the brain involved in muscle control, sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, and speech (Van Der Schot et al., 2010, 3).

Bipolar disorder affects everyone from adolescents to adults. It affects many families and it is the sixth leading cause of disability in the U.S (Anonymous 2013, 4; Asher 2010, 2). It also is one of the leading causes of suicide along with paranoid schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder has no cure but there are treatments to help keep the mania and depression episodes under control. There is no one medication that works for everyone, so many medications have to (be) tried out before having a rountine medication (Anonymous 3 2013, 1). Many medications are tries (use "tried" instead of "tries") out such as mood stabilizers, which are usually the first ones to be prescribed. Mood stabilizers usually stay in the rountine medication along with lithium ( Anonymous 3 2013, 2). Lithium is a medication used to prevent mania and depression episodes and controlling the symptoms of those episodes (Anonymous 3 2013, 3). Valproic acid is an alternative to lithium for treating mania and is usually as effective as lithium (Anonymous 3 2013, 4). Patients with bipolar disorder usually have thyroid gland problems, lithium may cause low thyroid function with the treatment (Anonymous 3 2013, 5). It causes hypothyroidism, which is when your thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone which can cause you to lose weight quickly, have a fast heartbeat, sweat a lot, or feel nervous and moody (Anonymous 4 2013, 1; 2). Good!!!!! (not the disease haha)
There are four basic types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar 1 disorder is mainly mania and depression episodes for at least seven days, or maniac symptoms that require hospital care (Anonymous 5 2013, 1). Bipolar 2 disorder is having a pattern of depressive episodes, and going back back and forth from hypomanic episodes but never going into full blown maniac or mixed episodes (Anonymous 5 2013, 2). Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is when the patient has the symptoms of bipolar disorder but does not meet the full criteria od (of) bipolar disorder 1 or 2. The symptoms do not last long enough or do not have enough symptoms to be bipolar 1 or 2. You can tell that the characteristics of the behavior is not the person's normal personality (Anonymous 5 2013, 3). Cyclothymic disorder is a more mild sort of bipolar disorder. The patient experiences mild depression episodes along with hypomania but to meet the diagnostic requirements for bipolar disorder (Anonymous 5 2013, 4). If bipolar disorder is not treated it may get worse, and over a long period of time the patient starts suffering from more severe and frequent episodes (Anonymous 5 2013, 5). 
There was a recent study done where they found a genetic hotspot where depression and bipolar disorder are connected in a way. One gene that codes for a part that tells the gene when to turn on or off. It is over expressed in the brains of bipolar disorder patients (Asher 2010, 1). The gene they suspect is called PBRM1, (use ; instead of ,) it is in charge of coding for a protein that is very important for chromatin remodeling, which is a key process in regulating gene expression (Asher 2010, 3). The gene PBRM1 was found more in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is in charge of making decisions and controlling emotions, of patients of bipolar disorder than those without (Asher 2010, 4). Since bipolar disorder is most likely something to do with altered gene expression during brain development that makes PBRM1 a good explanation for the possible cause of mood disorders (Asher 2010, 5). 

The story behind bipolar disorder traces back to Ancient Greeks to a philosopher and physician of that time named Aretaeus of Cappadocia (Burton 2012,1). He described a group of people who were happy, dancing, and play all night and day. Then suddenly go to dull and sorrowful at other times (Burton 2012,12). The understanding we have now started in 1854, Jules Baillarger and Jean-Pierre Falret both presented independently descriptions of bipolar disorder to the Academie de Medicine in Paris (Burton 2012, 3). Baillarger called it dual-form insanity, while Falret called it circular insanity (Burton 2012, 5). Later in the early 1900s a German psychiatrist named Emil Kraepelin found a distinction from schizophrenia and the disorder, while leaving bipolar disorder untreated there were symptom free periods (Burton 2012, 67). Only recently was there a distinction between people with both manic and depressive episodes and people with depressive episodes with psychotic symptoms, which would be those with schizophrenia (Burton 2012, 7;8). Even though the most common term used for the disorder is bipolar disorder many people and psychiatrists still use manic-depressive illness because they feel it is a more accurate name for what it is (Burton 2012, 11). 

Even though bipolar disorder does not have a definite answer for why it happens scientists know there are many factors that contribute to it. Genetic factors seem to be the ones that pop out the most at scientists. It can run in the family and affect every person, and it might not. As I wrote earlier, even though identical twins share the exact same genes, not both of them always got the disorder. (Suggestion: As I wrote earlier, even though identical twins share the exact same genes, both did not always get the disorder.) There are also environmental factors such as stress, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and  a life altering occurrence. There are also neurochemical factors with bipolar disorder such as the neurotransmitters not functioning properly with the chemicals (Bressert 2013, 7). And as said previously also medication-induced episodes are a factor in what cause bipolar disorder. 

There are many people bipolar disorder affects every year. It may hit a family hard when there are young adults with bipolar disorder that (who) take their own lives to to their condition. Bipolar disorder is highly connected to suicide (KR 2006, 1). 25- 50% of patients with bipolar disorder have tried to kill themselves at least once (KR 2006, 2). Lithium is also an effective treatment for suicide, because its mood-altering effects (KR 2006, 3). Suicide is a result of some form of mental illness (KR 2006, 4). Medication must be taken to prevent thought of suicide. If it is not the thoughts are always there. A boy by the name of Steven Hrabovsky-Kleine took his life after the third time of attempting suicide. He never took his medication. He hard a hard life and just wanted to go to Heaven with his grandmother who died when he was four.. After he dies his mother found eleven bottles of unopened bottles of medication. :'(
Many questions are asked when it comes to bipolar disorder that cannot be answered. Such as why people get it. Its a question that is asked for every mental illness. The main reason every scientist seems to come up with is that its in your genetics. There is no way to avoid it. It has to do with brain abnormalities as well (Van Der Schot et al. 2010, 1). Structural damages can also cause you to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There are many factors that cause the illness and there is not an exact way to know where it comes from. It's research is much like the illness; it has many ups and downs. 

Bipolar disorder is a very well known illness. It affects everyday people all the time. Being aware that you have bipolar disorder is a way too (to) make sure you keep it under control. Having bipolar disorder does not neccesarily (necessarily) make you disabled. You can live a normal life along with taking your medication. This was a very interesting topic and I am glad I chose to do a report on it. Not only did I learn a lot about mental illness, I also learned of the origin of bipolar disorder. That is the whole story of bipolar disorder.

Nice report!! :) 
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MacKinnon 2013

Created By: Jessica De anda

The phenomenon of sleep paralysis can be recognised in reports across different cultures and throughout history. [1Perhaps the most famous historic example of sleep paralysis in art is Henry Fuseli’s 1781 painting “The Nightmare”. This painting features many of the classic symptoms of sleep paralysis. The central figure is portrayed lying on her back with a demon sitting on her chest, and strange looking creatures in the background. Many consider it Fuseli’s greatest work and it is believed to be one of the first artistic impressions of sleep paralysis (French & Santomauro, 2007).

Historical Accounts of Sleep Paralysis in Medicine

In the history of Western medicine, sleep paralysis has been documented for at least 300 years. Writing in 2008 Kompanje describes a 1664 case report from Dutch physician Isbrand Van Diemerbroeck titled ‘Of the Night-mare’. It describes a patient’s symptoms:

“…in the night time, when she was composing herself to sleep, sometimes she believed the devil lay upon her and held her down, sometimes that she was choked by a great dog or thief lying upon her breast, so that she could hardly speak or breath and when she endeavoured to throw off the burthen, she was not able to stir her members.”

- Citation literal from Van Diemerbroeck, 1689

Van Diemerbroeck diagnosed the case as follows:

“This affection is called Incubus or the Night-Mare, which is an Intercepting of the Motion of the Voice and Respiration, with a false dream of something lying ponderous upon the Breast… the Motion of the Muscles fail… Now, because the motion of the Muscles, for the most part ceases in time of sleep, except the Respiratory Muscles, therefore the failing of their Motion is first perceived, by reason of the extraordinary trouble that arises for want of Respiration. Now the patient…not understanding the cause in that Condition, believes herself to be overlayed by some Demon, Thief, or other ponderous Body being neither able to move… nor to Breath”

- Citation literal from Van Diemerbroeck, 1689

Van Diemerbroeck’s report accurately represents a case of sleep paralysis, suggesting that this condition has been known by medical professionals for hundreds of years. There is evidence that Persian doctors also knew of sleep paralysis. A 10th century Persian medical text by renowned physician Rhazes (865-925 CE) describes the following condition:

“…when the night-mare (kabus) happens, the person senses a heavy thing upon him and finds he unable to scream…”

- in Golzari et al, 2012

Rhazes’ student Akhawayni went further, detailing his ideas for cause and treatment for this condition:

“The nightmare… is caused by rising of vapours from the stomach to the brain… The therapy includes bloodletting from the superficial vein of the arm and from the leg vein and thinning the diet, especially in patients with red eyes and face”.

Greek doctors were also aware of sleep paralysis, with Galen discussing the condition in the second century CE. The earliest written account of sleep paralysis can be found in a Chinese book on dreaming, dating back to 400 BCE. It is interesting to note that a lot of these early examples refer to sleep paralysis attacks as a night-mare. In fact the symptoms of sleep paralysis implied in the original meaning of the word ‘nightmare’, as opposed to what we think of as a nightmare today (merely a bad dream). Despite the fact that the medical professions have long known about sleep paralysis and known it to be a natural phenomenon, throughout history sleep paralysis has often been interpreted as supernatural connotations, and this interpretation has sometimes had deadly consequences.

Sleep Paralysis and Witch Trials

The ‘mare’ of the word ‘nightmare’ is derived from the Norse word ‘mara’. This refers to a supernatural – usually female – being that lies on people’s chests at night suffocating them. Whilst examples of this depiction of the nightmare can be found across Europe, by the early modern era (1500-1800) this explanation of sleep paralysis experiences had been largely forgotten, and [4in many parts of Europe including Britain and France, sleep paralysis was frequently interpreted as witch attacks. Writing in 2003, Davies quotes examples of sleep paralysis found in evidence used at the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Accused witch Susan Martin had reportedly told Robert Downer that “some She-Devil would shortly fetch him away”. That night, Downer claimed “as he lay in his bed, there came in at the window, the likeness of a cat, which flew upon him, took fast hold of his throat, lay on him a considerable while, and almost killed him.” Another accuser, Bernard Peach, gave ‘evidence’, testifying that “he heard a scrabbling at the window, whereat he then saw Susanna Martin come in, and jump down upon the floor. She took hold of this deponent’s feet, and drawing his body up into an heap, she lay upon him near two hours; in all which time he could neither speak nor stir.” When the paralysis began to wear off he bit Martin’s fingers and she “went from the chamber, down the stairs, out at the door.”

Bridget Bishop was also accused of witchcraft in testimonies which seem to describe sleep paralysis experiences. Richard Coleman claimed that Bishop had “oppressed him so, that he could neither stir himself, nor wake anyone else, and that he was the night after, molested again in the like manner”.

It was not only in Salem that probable sleep paralysis attacks were used as evidence against accused witches. For a detailed account of many such cases, see Davies (2003).

Sleep Paralysis and Alien Abduction

There is strong evidence that some claims of alien abduction may actually describe episodes of sleep paralysis. In a 1993 study by Spanos and a 2002 paper by Holden & French it is shown that 60% of intense UFO experiences are associated with sleep. In a 2008 study, French et al found that people who claim to have been abducted by aliens report more incidences of sleep paralysis than a control group. Descriptions of alien abduction often bear strong resemblance to accounts of sleep paralysis.

“A female abductee was lying on her back when she woke up from a sound sleep. Her body was completely paralyzed and she experienced the sensation of levitating above her bed. Her heart was pounding, her breathing was shallow, and she felt tense all over. She was terrified. She was able to open her eyes, and when she did so, she saw three beings standing at the foot of her bed in the glowing light. Another female abductee was lying on her back when she woke up in the middle of the night. She was completely paralysed, and felt electrical vibrations throughout her body. She was sweating, struggling to breathe, and felt her heart pounding in terror. When she opened her eyes, she saw an insect like alien being on top of her bed. A male abductee awoke in the middle of the night seized with panic. He was entirely paralysed, and felt electricity shooting throughout his body. He felt his energy draining away from him. He could see several alien beings standing around his bed.”

- in McNally & Clancy, 2005

Whilst sleep paralysis is very likely linked with some alien abduction experiences, most experts agree that it isn’t the sole explanation. Many alleged abductees have no initial memory of the full abduction, and accounts often materialise after memories are ‘recovered’ by therapists and hypnotists. It has been suggested that these ‘recovered memories’ are likely to be false memories manufactured by the interactions between therapist and abductee (Holden & French, 2002).

Other cultural explanations of sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis attacks and nocturnal attackers are integral to the folklore of many countries. It is interesting how varied accounts and explanations can be across cultures, whilst the core aspect of the experience remains the same. Two of the best-documented examples of nocturnal attackers are Kanashibari in Japan, and the Old Hag of Newfoundland.

The term Kanashibari, meaning ‘to tie with an iron rope’ is derived from the magic of Fudoh-Myohoh, a Buddhist God. The idea of being tied up comes from the belief that ancient Buddhist monks could use magic to paralyse others as if they were bound in a metal rope. Even today, many Japanese believe Kanashibari to be caused by evil spirits. In a 1987 study of Japanese respondents, Fukuda et al found the symptoms of kanashibari to be identical to those of sleep paralysis.



The Old Hag phenomenon is a traditional interpretation of sleep paralysis found in Newfoundland. [2A visit from the Old Hag reportedly starts with the victim becoming conscious and unable to move or speak and feeling a heavy weight pressing down on their chest. Victims sometimes report seeing an animal or human sitting or lying on their chest. Those who claim to experience the Old Hag also report being fully conscious during a visit. In folklore, visits from the Old Hag may be attributed to several factors. The victim may have been overworked, or may be the subject of the hostile or jealous feelings of another person. (Ness, 1978).


In other parts of the world, diverse explanations can be found for sleep paralysis-like experiences. Across the Caribbean, the local term for sleep paralysis is kokma. [3Kokma is believed to be caused by the souls of unbaptized babies who come to strangle victims in their sleep. In many African cultures, voodoo magic is cited as a cause of sleep paralysis, with attacks being the work of zombies coming to visit in the night (Mdlalani, 2009). These are but a few of the many examples of sleep paralysis in different cultures. Again, interested readers are referred to Davies’ 2003 paper on supernatural interpretations of sleep paralysis, which gives many detailed examples from different parts of the world, and Shelly Adler’s 2012 book.


The Malleability of Sleep Paralysis Interpretation

Even more remarkable than the great diversity of explanation of the same phenomenon is how changes within a culture can bring about changes in the interpretation of sleep paralysis, and even the hallucinatory content.

In 2005, Law & Kilmayer interviewed Inuit elders and youths about their experiences of uqumanirniq (the local term for sleep paralysis). They found that the elders attributed the experiences to the work of shamanistic forces, often a hex placed on the victim by a shaman. They also believed uqumanirniq attacks to signal coming misfortune such as a bad hunt. Young Inuits however had very different interpretations. Whilst their accounts of the symptoms of uqumanirniq were the same as the elders, they evoked typical Christian explanations of attacks as the work of the Devil, probably as a result of increasing presence of Christianity in the region. They too thought it to be a harbinger of misfortune, but related this portent to contemporary challenges facing Inuits such as poverty and unemployment. Some young Inuits also explained uqumanirniq in scientific terms. Another example from Zanzibar shows how interpretations of Popobawa – the local traditional interpretation of sleep paralysis – was originally shaped from various explanations, which were replaced with a single explanation in reaction to increasing political instability in the region (Walsh, 2009). These two examples illustrate the extent to which that explanations and interpretations of sleep paralysis are affected by cultural setting and belief.

Illustrated interpretations © Carla MacKinnon
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Anonymous 2007

Created By: Jessica De anda

Demons and Sleep Paralysis

By missvzla (2 stories) (33 posts) (the author is a middle age adult)
Date: 2007-02-21
Country: United States
State: California
Paranormal Category: Old Hags / Night Attacks / Sleep Paralysis

Back in the 80's, I was a bit of a party girl. Hey nothing wrong with that, I was in my early twenties and liked to dance and live it up on the weekends. At that particular time, I lived with my sister Lucille in Whittier near Washington Blvd & Broadway. I would often come home pretty buzzed and would go right to sleep. That was the time that I would see, hear and feel "unexplainable visitors". My niece who was 5 at the time, says she would hear me talking to people and sometimes she would hear me laughing or crying. She assumed I was on the phone so she never gave it much thought (heck she was just 5 why would she). Crazy thing, is that I would also hear people and do remember talking to someone. Many a time I thought it was just the alcohol and that I was in that deep sleep that most drunk people get in when they hit the pillow and crash. But I know I wasn't dreaming. I heard the voice and I could hear my own voice as well. There were several times I could not get up and had my eyes open seeing someone coming down the hallway towards me. I was terrified and kept trying to move any part of my body or yell but I never could. And these were in the morning already so there was light in my room and all through the house.

One day I woke up to find I was being made love to. I'm not kidding, I could feel the darn thing inside me and felt the whole endorphin rush. I would also like to add that the sleep paralysis and conversations were not only when I would could home after partying. This would happen on normal, everyday work nights. My 5 year old niece told us one time that she saw a figure standing at her doorway looking in at her. She hid under the covers and passed out (fell asleep). In the morning she was full of sweat from being under the covers. It's a miracle she didn't suffocate. She said that she thought it was me coming home from a late night but I was already home and in bed. She is now 24 and she still swears she saw a figure looking in at her that night.

Well, one day I was just staring at the walls in my bedroom thinking and my God, if I didn't see faces of demons. The walls had wood paneling on them and yes, wood paneling is like the clouds where you can see several different things in it. But I could actually see two forms of demons. I told my sister about that and she told me to keep quiet because she didn't want me scaring my niece. I really wonder if that had anything to do with all that... The wood paneling was taken down and they painted instead...

Fast forward now to 2003 and I am now living in Sun Valley (next to Burbank) with my sister Rose and we are in the process of packing up because she bought a house in Whittier near my mom. One Saturday morning, I woke up tired, cranky, irritable and just did not want to work. I did not feel like packing any boxes or cleaning or sweeping, I just didn't. I told my sister I was not feeling well, so she left me alone (I could tell she got pissed). So as I'm laying there on the bed (it was about 10:30am) [1I suddenly could not move. I could not scream and I could not think. One thing I could do was HEAR and I heard two distinct voices: One was a demonic woman that said "we should have never let you get away from us" - then a demonic man's voice that said "this time you will not get away from us"... I struggled and struggled and felt my mouth moving and calling my sister Rose, actually I know I was screaming her name - but she was downstairs in the garage and could in no way hear me. After what seemed like an eternity, the pressure suddenly left and I got up. I ran downstairs and asked Rose if she could hear me calling her name, she said No. I told her what happened and she said why didn't you pray to God? I said that I couldn't think, I was just too scared and it caught me off guard.

To this day I wonder who the heck those demons were and what they meant by "we should have never let you get away from us".... Was it the same forces that were tormenting me back at my sister Lucille's house in 1989? What's weird is that was the first time I actually heard a female demon voice because at Lucille's I always heard male voices.... Here we are in 2007 and every now and then I get the sleep paralysis but I am thoroughly prepared. I have dreams where I actually talk down the demons that are attacking me and act like some sort of super hero. I rebuke them in the name of Jesus Christ and it always works, they are defeated. For all of you who have been having this happen to you, I notice that none of you rebuke the demons but instead try to fight them off or scream. Rebuking them in the name of Jesus Christ will send them fleeing, trust me, they are powerful words. I've always felt that there is some kind of power struggle going on for my soul. I have never done drugs or played with Ouija boards or anything like that, but I have been suffering from depression for a while now and I know that demons head straight for those that suffer from this. We are easy targets but we can defeat them with simply rebuking them in Jesus' name.

One time that sleep paralysis hit me, I could not remember the word "Rebuke" and I could not get those bastards off of me. I instead kept telling them in a sissy way to get off me and leave me alone. As you know, any bully hearing those words will just pound on you more. I notice that after the attacks are over, I am exhausted, both mentally and physically. But it seems that they have left me alone for now and I am somewhat at peace...

A funny thing did happen about 3 or 4 months ago though. I was sleeping on a day bed and one morning I got up a little too early for work, so I got up to turn off the alarm before it went off, because it is loud and always scares the heck out of me, and to put on my fuzzy booties. I then laid back down in bed but I scooted all the way towards the bottom of the bed so I could rest my feet up on the metal frame... I somehow managed to fall deep asleep again and was going to be late for work. I say "going to be late" because of the weird thing that happened next. Remember that I had my feet up on the metal frame so they were resting at the top right?. Well something, or someone, "whacked" my feet hard and it startled me awake. I sat up thinking someone was there like my mom, but I was alone... I know I felt it because it shook my whole body and I woke up. It was like some old mother coming by your bed and smacking you with that "get up you good for nothing lazy son of biscuit eater" attitude... But what amazed me was that I was awaken at the usual time that I get up (6am)... That, right there, proves it was no unusual coincidence because first of all, I felt the hard whack and secondly it hit me at the exact time to get up... I have 3 cats that sleep in my room. At the time this happened I had my black cat laying next to me but she never reacted in any way at all like most animals do when they sense a ghostly presence... However this "thing" that whacked me did not seem evil, how do I know? I could just tell or rather I could just feel it. It seemed like a genuine, caring spirit like a guardian angel that people say we all have.

I live at home with my mom now and back in my old room from high school. Nothing weird has ever happened in that room except for the recent whacking of my feet that woke me up. I am not a church goer but I'm strongly anchored in my faith with God and pray to him all day long. I know that my faith protects me like an armor, but I also know I am weak in many areas, one of them being depression. Demons will look for any chink in the armor to break in and depression is one of their favorites so maybe that's why I always feel like I am in some sort of tug of war and have to constantly be on guard. I'm just glad I know now what I didn't know back in 1989 and I sure hope that those of you reading this will start rebuking the demons when you find yourself being pinned down or menaced...

Remember the words "I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ"... Say it over and over and say it loudly even if you can only say it in your head... People, please put on your suit of armor and don't be demon doormats anymore... Best of luck to you all.
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Anonymous 2012

Created By: Jessica De anda


Sleep paralysis is caused when hormones produced by the body to help you sleep do not wear off as you wake up.
This means that you remain temporarily paralysed but conscious.
REM sleep

To understand better what causes sleep paralysis, it is useful to know what usually happens when you are asleep.
Sleep occurs in cycles and each cycle is split into two phases – rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep.
The brain is very active in REM sleep and most dreams occur at this stage of sleep. [1Also, during REM sleep the body is paralysed, apart from the movement of the eyes and diaphragm (the main muscle used in breathing). [2The paralysis is thought to occur to prevent you acting out the actions in your dreams.
Sleep paralysis occurs when the normal muscular paralysis of REM sleep temporarily continues after you have woken up.
Increased risk

Certain factors make you more likely to get sleep paralysis:
[3] age – it is more common in teenagers and young adults
[4] sleep deprivation – sleep paralysis is more common in people who do not get enough sleep
[5] irregular sleeping patterns – people with irregular schedules or who work shifts are more prone to sleep paralysis
[6] narcolepsy – some people with narcolepsy (a sleep disorder where you suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times) also experience sleep paralysis
[7] family history – you may be more likely to have sleep paralysis if another member of your family also has it; however, this is an area where further research is needed


The main symptom of sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or talk.
[8] The paralysis usually happens as you are waking up, but it can also sometimes happen when you are falling asleep.
[9] Not being able to move or talk can be very frightening, particularly as you will be completely conscious throughout the experience.
During an episode of sleep paralysis, you may also experience a very real sensation that there is someone else in the room with you.
These type of hallucinations are a fairly common feature of sleep paralysis, although they do not occur in every case.
[10] The length of time that you are unable to move for can vary from a few seconds to several minutes. After this, you will be able to move and speak as normal.
[11] Immediately after an episode of sleep paralysis you may feel unsettled and anxious. However, the condition does not pose a risk to your overall health.
Many people only experience sleep paralysis once or twice in their life. If it happens several times a month or more regularly, it is known as isolated sleep paralysis.

Treating sleep paralysis

Ensuring you get enough sleep and improving your sleeping environment will help if you have sleep paralysis. In severe cases, medication may be recommended.
Sleeping habits

[12] Sleep paralysis is more common in people who are sleep deprived, so getting enough sleep may help reduce the number of episodes of sleep paralysis. Most adults need 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
Keeping to a regular sleeping schedule, where you go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, can also help.
Tips for improving your sleeping habits include:
[13] creating a restful sleeping environment that is quiet, dark and not too hot or cold
ensuring your bed is comfortable
exercising regularly (but not too close to bedtime)
cutting down on caffeine
not eating or drinking alcohol before bedtime
giving up smoking (if you smoke) because nicotine is a stimulant


If your sleep paralysis is particularly troublesome, you may be prescribed a short course of antidepressant medication, such as a tricyclic antidepressant (TA), typically clomipramine.
[14] Antidepressants affect mood and are usually used to treat depression, but are also sometimes prescribed to treat severe sleep paralysis.
The medication is thought to work by altering the amount and depth of REM sleep. This should prevent the temporary paralysis when you wake up or fall asleep, and it should also help reduce any hallucinations you may have.
You may be advised to take the medication for a month or two to see whether it improves your symptoms.
Possible side effects of TAs can include:
dry mouth
difficulty urinating
blurred vision
These side effects should ease after 7-10 days as your body starts to get used to the medication. You should visit your GP if the side effects have not eased after this time.
Read more about the side effects of TAs.

Sleep paralysis can sometimes be a symptom of another sleep disorder called narcolepsy, which causes severe daytime sleepiness and an inability to stay alert for more than a few hours.
Although there is no cure for narcolepsy, the condition can usually be managed with medication.
A number of lifestyle adjustments may also help, including:
[15] taking frequent brief naps during the day
sticking to a strict bedtime routine where you go to bed at the same time each night
ensuring you get at least eight hours of sleep every night
avoiding stressful situations, eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking regular exercise (but not too close to bedtime)

Read more treatment advice for narcolepsy.

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