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A nice drink cannot do any harm? Brain says no. A new study by a Chinese research group shows that even low doses of alcohol can harm the brain immediately though not permanently. “We were investigating the acute effects of low and high doses of alcohol by diffusion tensor imaging, wondering whether the consequences of alcohol administration can be observed by the measurement of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA)”, said Dr. Lingmei Kong (Shantou University Medical College, China) at the 21st Annual Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS) in Lisbon. They could. The participants of the study did not only show reactions in their behaviour. The research group could also show that frontal lobes and thalamus are more vulnerable to the effects of acute alcohol consumption. And: DTI is capable to detect changes in the brain after acute alcohol consumption not visible on conventional MRI. More than ! 3.200 neurological experts from around the world are currently discussing the latest developments in all areas of their specialty in the Portuguese capital.

Source: Medical News today


A few years ago a celebrated physician, author of an excellent work on the force of imagination, being desirous to add experimental to his theoretical knowledge, made application to the Minister of Justice to be allowed an opportunity of proving what he asserted, by an experiment on a criminal condemned to death. The minister complied with his request, and delivered over to him an assassin, a man who had been born of distinguished parents. The physician told him that several persons who had taken an interest in his family had obtained leave of the minister that he should suffer death in some way other than on the scaffold, to avoid the disgrace of public execution; and that the easiest death he could die would be by blood-letting. The criminal agreed to the proposal, and counted himself happy in being freed from the painful exhibition which would otherwise have been made of him, and rejoiced at being thus enabled to spare the feelings of his family and friends. At the time appointed the physician repaired to the prison, and the patient having been extended on a table, his eyes bound, and every thing being ready, he was slightly pricked near the principal veins of the legs and arms with the point of a pen. At the four corners of the table were four little fountains, filled with water, from which issued small streams, falling into basins placed there to receive them. The patient, thinking that it was his blood that trickled into the basins, became weaker and weaker by degrees, and the remarks of the medical men in attendance, in reference to the quality and the appearance of the blood (made with that intention) increased the delusion, and he spoke more and more faintly, until at length his voice was scarcely audible. The profound silence which reigned in the apartment, and the constant dropping of the fountain, had so extraordinarily an effect on the brain of the poor patient, that all his vital energies were soon gone, although before a very strong man, and he died without having lost a single drop of blood.

The Dublin penny journal – 1835
Atkinson´s casket, Samuel Coate Atkinson – 1836




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The three wise monkeys

See no evil   –   Speak no evil   –   Hear no evil


The three wise monkeys