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Member since: Sun Jan 8, 2006, 10:55 AM
Number of posts: 711

Journal Archives

First a bit of "tetris": Turning bits of science to make them fit and build from the ground up

The desire for some researchers (Davis et al., 2011) seems to be to make food addiction an instance of a general class of addictions, so that food addiction shares chemical mechanisms with ´conventional addictive drugs´. In this view the task is to uncover the causal path from overeating to changes in brain chemistry or brain physiology that will support an ongoing addiction.

The problem with this strategy is that it presupposes:

a) That conventional drug addiction is in fact supported by changes to the brain that are caused by the addictive drugs themselves.
That this is not the case needs to be argued separately.

b) That we for food addiction can map out a similar causal path

c) That there are no other valid explanations for food addiction

The alternative strategy that we are going to explore is based on the view that food addiction is not primarily supported by changes that are specific to the intake of food - ei. not the effect of changes that can be traced to chemical or physiological effects of the food items ingested.

Instead of assuming that, we are going to have a look at the energy circuits (mainly glucose metabolism) that eating feeds (in the most literal sense) and the consequences that different states of energy supply or depletion has on brain function in general and on self control in particular.

In simple terms the strategy is to explore food addiction for a general mechanism that can be applied in explaining the wider scope of addictions, including those that are now seen as caused by effects of the addictive substance. Instead of treating food addiction as a subspecies of drug addiction we are going to treat drug addiction as a subspecies of resource addiction, or more loosely a kind of food addiction.

Davis, C.ab , Curtis, C.a, Levitan, R.D.b, Carter, J.C.c, Kaplan, A.S.b, Kennedy, J.L (2011) Evidence that 'food addiction' is a valid phenotype of obesity, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21907742

"Loving an addict is really hard"

This is a significant part of the conundrum of addiction, but it might not work to the effect that Johann Hari imagines.

My journal about addiction

I am starting to write again. Hopefully more and with a more stable production, than so far. I feel I have something of value and I want to have no regrets about not making the needed effort. And looking at the bullpukky that is published about addiction, I feel that a restoration of our understand of addiction is gravely needed.

I want it to be a combined journal about my work ethics and the progress in explaining how addiction works. Explaining it to myself and anyone who would find value in that kind of understanding.

I wont write much about my own period of drug addiction because it is far in the past and because I tend not to think about it.

My main focus is self control, because that is how my brain is wired. But first step needs to be a detailed exploration of the causes, connections and process that keeps addiction running, the causal chain of addiction, so to speak.

I want to start by taking a look at food addiction and then make a detailed comparison with addiction to "hard drugs", ei. heroin, cocaine and other drugs that directly affect the dopamine systems in the limbic brain.

I hope this is not against any rules of this forum, but if it is, please do as you see fit.

So checking the box for "Add this thread to My Journal" for the very first time...
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