Archives Point of View Memory

What to do when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Impacts Case Settlements:
The Benefits of an Accessibility-Focused Case Evaluation

A White Paper by Michael Fiore

One of the likely unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that Special Need Trusts (SNT’s) may be impacted due to settlement criteria that can be based on past, present, and future medical needs.

Read the White Paper

Teleseminars on Disability, Diversity, and the Changing Workforce. One hour of learning that can change the way that you think.

Tech Update: Read an article about the implications of 32-bit and 64-bit processors for Assistive Technology Solutions.

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Addiction and Memory

You think of the word addict, what are the first thoughts or images that you associate with such a pointed description. Perhaps it’s the image of a liquor bottle, maybe it’s vision of drug paraphernalia, or maybe you think of a personal experience. No matter what popped into your mind, something to keep in mind, is that whatever your minds-eye saw - was based on memory.

Recently, there has been a new theory that has been introduced into the mystery of addiction – and it too, is based on memory (extreme memory to be exact). It is webbed around a similar principle known as pathological learning and it is called Extreme Memory. The idea, in short, is that our brains release a certain chemical referred to as dopamine whenever our bodies do something that is critical to our existence. For example, when you take a sip of water, your brain recognizes the importance of just having done so, and as such, releases dopamine, which then essentially says to your brain, “ I think you’d better commit that little action to memory if you want to continue existing.” In a sense, dopamine creates a small addiction to water.

Now even though we know that drugs serve no beneficial purpose to our living bodies or minds, it is also known that drugs have the ability to commandeer the system by triggering the release of dopamine. Sometimes so much dopamine is released that ones mind is tricked into learning and remembering that drugs are critical to existence – as critical, in fact, as water.

As scientists experiment with different types of treatments, they are now focusing on the learning circuits, specifically how and what affects drugs can have on them. And on trying to understand why some people experience a stronger aversion to addiction than others. What gives them this “extreme memory”? One of the positive outcomes that has occurred as a result of this theory is a decrease in the negative stigma that is associated with the word addiction. People are beginning to see that perhaps addiction is not just a simple lack of will power, but rather something that may be as deep rooted as molecular composition.

There is still much research that needs to be done, but as this theory gains force many neuroscientists are optimistic that unraveling the mysteries of memory will help people overcome the struggles of addiction - and ultimately - remember how to forget.

For more information, contact Seth Acosta.


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