Anxiety and fruit flies


There are many lovely TED talks about anxiety and mental disorders but I recently watched one about some research using fruit flies to determine brain function. So interesting to realise that the brain is superbly complicated and yet we can actually get to understand things at molecular as well as genetic level.

Can you untangle the mind of a fly and genetically modify the circuit? Well yes!

Who would have thought. And this has taught us – the human race quite a lot about the finesse of operations of the brain.

The brain is not a bag of chemical soup and we can not change the flavour of the soup to treat psychiatric disorders. This specific researcher likens using “broad spectrum” anti-depressants to treat disorders to pouring oil over the whole engine rather than into the oil holder. WE need to be more specific in order to get better results and have fewer side-effects.

On another note, the brain is also intuitive and there are many many ways in terms of anxiety that one can tone down or up. Deep “proper” breathing is one of them. Also our bodies are designed to move a whole lot more than we do these days and you will be surprised at how much you can unwind your mind by winding and unwinding your body.

Food for thought – fruit flies brains can actually teach us a whole lot about our wonderfully complex brains and yet some of the answers we so desperately seek are actually in front of our very own eyes.

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