Achieving Your Goals In 2018

Achieving Your Goals In 2018

Every action should serve a purpose.
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Everybody has goals, dreams, and personal adjustments that they wish to see come to fruition in 2018. Every single year, my social media feeds are full of the "new year, new me" nonsense, but nobody ever changes. If you want to change yourself this year, then making a New Years resolution is the absolute worst thing you can do to achieve it.

Don't start big. When you set goals, you want to make them small and reachable so that they compound on one another. It's like climbing a latter; you don't just immediately jump to reach the top rung. Instead, you take it one step at a time with consistency so you don't fall off or tire of climbing. So many people who set a goal fail to achieve it because they get burned out by trying to go "all or nothing." Just slow down and don't rush it.

If you really want to change, then sit down and write down three things you want to accomplish each week that will help you achieve your overall goal. Changing your life doesn't just magically start at the stroke of 12. You have to be truly active if you want to change. Everything you do should have a purpose. Write down your overall goal every single day in multiple places to remind yourself of what you want to accomplish. Don't be afraid to ask others to help motive and remind you too.

Whether the goal is losing weight, improving grades, saving up for a new car, or just being a better person, everyone enters a new year with high hopes, expectations, and optimism. Use this time to set real goals that will help you become who you want to be, not some ridiculous resolution that you'll forget about two weeks later. Change doesn't happen over night. It takes a lot of time and a lot of consistency.

As we start this new year, I wish you all nothing but the best of life. I myself have plenty to change and I know we can achieve our goals if we take this year one day at a time. Make every day count!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Are Magic Mushrooms The Key To Understanding The Brain?

An Academic Perspective
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Mushrooms that, when ingested, induce “mind-manifesting” effects are categorized as psychedelic. They are colloquially referred to as “Magic Mushrooms." The main psychoactive component of these fungi is psilocybin. Here, the term psychedelic is describing the compound’s ability to manifest underlying aspects of the mind; it’s etymology deriving from the Greek words psychē and dclôsē, meaning “mind” or “soul” and “to manifest,” respectively. Western countries first became aware of the “magic mushroom” in the first half of the 20th century when a western traveler came across one in Central America. Psychedelics became popular with the generation of Americans who were disillusioned with government, as the Vietnam War broadcasted on television and had forced conscription. The government targeted anti-war protesters, often identified as hippies through the illegalization of psychedelic drugs. As with many illegal substances, the “magic mushroom” continues to be abused for recreational purposes. Non-western nations, specifically those indigenous to the Americas, have an ancient history with psilocybin, which was often used in sacred ceremonies, as well as for healing purposes. Whilst it is often implied that western medicine is more legitimate, that narrative is founded in cultural biases held by the people who invaded and settled on this land. Nevertheless, this paper focuses on current western research into psilocybin, as interest in the therapeutic aspects of psychedelics have had a resurgence in these countries. It induces a similar state to Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Unlike experiments performed during REM, however, those performed under psychedelic influence can be mechanistically and scientifically controlled. Inspired by the mysteries of the brain, this article explores the possibility that psilocybin may be the catalyst for marrying analysis of the brain on the cellular level and on the metacognitive, conscious one. It is the first part in a series of academic articles on the topic.


Because psilocybin is structurally similar to the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin), it produces psychedelic effects by binding to 5-HT2A receptors. One study suggested that 5-HT2A receptors may live in the plasma membrane of pyramidal cells that project onto interneurons, possibly contributing to the decrease in neural activity associated with higher level thought. A study done in people found a statistically significant increase in the likelihood of layer 5 pyramidal neurons firing after consumption of magic mushrooms. Nevertheless, the former study disagrees on how, proposing that excitation of 5-HT2A receptors has an inverse relationship with that of pyramidal cells. It is notable that 5-HT2A receptors are most densely expressed on pyramidal neurons, specifically in the neural regions associated with cognition and perception, as opposed to ones associated with more basic functions, such as the motor cortex. Whilst the underlying mechanisms of psychedelic effects at the receptor level aren’t clear, the impact on neurobiological mechanisms, believed to be involved in higher-level thinking, have more of a consensus across studies.

One study used arterial spin labeling fMRI and blood-oxygen level-dependent fMRI imaging techniques to look at the changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) as it correlates to the specific regions of interest in the brain over time, as well as to the subjective intensity of the effects of the psilocybin administered. Associating CBF with neural activity, they found that decreases in CBF were localized to the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and the thalamus.

All of the aforementioned function as important connector hubs in the brain, associated with high level cognitive functions. Specifically, the PCC is a vital component of the default mode network (DMN), a system of highly correlate brain regions critical for cognition and the perception of self; the ACC is involved in executive function, connecting the emotion-linked limbic system and cognition-linked prefrontal cortex; the mPFC functions in higher order memory and decision-making processes; and the thalamus relays sensory signals to the cerebral cortex and regulates consciousness. The statistically significant correlation between these decreases and perceived potency of psilocybin, as well as the significantly decreased positive coupling of the PCC and the mPFC suggest that classic psychedelics may function by fracturing brain networks to alter a person’s state of waking consciousness.

Consistently receiving greater CBF and energy than all other regions of the brain, the default mode network (DMN) has a functional centrality as it integrates and routes information from different brain networks, excluding sensory. The DMN, in fact, may be the highest level of functional hierarchy, engaging in metacognition that encompasses: self-reflection, theory-of-mind, and mental time-travel. This metacognition, the discernment and/or control of one’s own thoughts and behaviors, is commonly only attributed to humans, and may be thought of as “self” or as “ego” in Freudian terminology. A recent study used fMRI to investigate the medial temporal lobe (MTL), including the hippocampus, which is involved in the formation of long-term memory, and its interaction with the DMN. Functional coupling between the MTL and DMN decreased post-psilocybin delivery into the bloodstream, further supporting the hypothesis that the psychedelic state is a regression from executive control. Studies on meditative states, long thought to be similar to psychedelic ones, have found the same phenomenon.

This desynchronization of cortical activity can be observed via the modulation of alpha oscillations, deduced to be a result of psilocybin-excited 5-HT2A receptors. Related to temporal framing of perception, alpha oscillations were found to regulate both cortical excitation and N170 visual potentials that appear connected to visual hallucinations. The decreased alpha power values post-psilocybin absorption in the body demonstrated a statistically significant relationship with both general increased excitability in the absence of stimuli, as well as the formation of hallucinations, which is consistent with known psychedelic effects. The latter is likely because psilocybin attenuates N170 potentials, which help translate natural images into clear and meaningful structures. Moreover, another study found that this decrease in alpha power positively correlated with subjective ratings on both the disintegration of “self” and the “supernatural” quality of the experience. The presented pharmacophysiological mechanism underlying these results submit that oscillatory rhythms constrain spontaneous firing of individual pyramidal cells, upholding structure to brain activity and supporting the theory of “self-organized criticality.”

The entropic theory of consciousness, known as the entropic brain hypothesis, relates system entropy in the brain with “self-organized criticality.” Entropy refers to system disorder. “Self-organized criticality” refers to a complex system (the brain), in which the properties as a whole are not those expressed at the level of an individual unit (neuron). The entropic brain hypothesis purports that a mature sense of self-identity or personality, related to metacognition, suppresses entropy in the brain so that humans can have more advantageous control over the natural world. We'll talk more about the entropic theory of consciousness in the second part to this article.

Share if you've learned something new! I've put references below, if you'd like a more thorough understanding.


Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to condone the use of illegal substances, or replace individual research. The author takes no responsibility for the actions of readers.


References:

  1. Carhart-Harris, R. L., Hellyer, P., Shanahan, M., Feilding, A., Tagliazucchi, E., Chiavlo, D., Nutt, D., (2014). The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. U.S.A. 8, 1662-5161, DOI=10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020
  2. Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Williams, T., Stone, J. M., Reed, L. J., Colasanti, A., et al. (2012a). Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 2138–2143. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119598109
  3. Yu A-M. Indolealkylamines: Biotransformations and Potential Drug–Drug Interactions. The AAPS Journal. 2008;10(2):242. doi:10.1208/s12248-008-9028-5.
  4. Dinis-Oliviera, R.J., Drug Metab Rev. 2017 Feb;49(1):84-91. Doi: 10.1080/03602532.2016.1278228. Epub 2017 Jan 31.
  5. Zhu JJ. Maturation of layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons: amplifying salient layer 1 and layer 4 inputs by Ca2+ action potentials in adult rat tuft dendrites. The Journal of Physiology. 2000;526(Pt 3):571-587. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7793.2000.00571.x.
  6. Sporns, O., Chialvo, D. R., Kaiser, M., and Hilgetag, C. C. (2004). Organization, development and function of complex brain networks. Trends Cogn. Sci. 8, 418–425. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2004.07.008
  7. Euston DR, Gruber AJ, McNaughton BL. The Role of Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Memory and Decision Making. Neuron. 2012;76(6):1057-1070. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.12.002.
  8. Freud, S. (1927). The Ego and the id. London: L. and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth press, The Institute of psycho-analysis.
  9. Chialvo, D. R., Balenzuela, P., and Fraiman, D. (2007). “The brain: what is critical about it?” in Collective Dynamics: Topics on Competition and Cooperation in the Biosciences, eds L.M. Ricciardi, A. Buonocore, and E. Pirozzi (New York, NY: Vietri sul Mare), 28–45.
  10. Ardila, Alfredo. (2008). On the evolutionary origins of executive functions. Brain and cognition. 68. 92-9. 10.1016/j.bandc.2008.03.003.
Cover Image Credit: cg trader

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Global Insulin Glargine Market Report Till 2021

Global Insulin Glargine Market by Manufacturers, Countries, Type and Application, Forecast to 2021 Report by DecisionDatabases.com
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The latest trending report Global Insulin Glargine Market by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2021 offered by DecisionDatabases.com is an informative study covering the market with detailed analysis. The report will assist reader with better understanding and decision making.

Insulin glargine, marketed under the names Lantus among others, is a long-acting basal insulin analogue, given once daily to help control the blood sugar level of those with diabetes. It consists of microcrystals that slowly release insulin, giving a long duration of action of 18 to 26 hours, with a “peakless” profile (according to the insulin glargine package insert).

This report focuses on the Insulin Glargine in Global market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, type and application.

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Market Segment by Manufacturers, this report covers
• Sanofi-Aventis
• Ganlee
• Biocon


Market Segment by Regions, regional analysis covers
• North America (USA, Canada and Mexico)
• Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)
• Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia)
• Latin America, Middle East and Africa



Market Segment by Type, covers
• Single Dose Vial
• Pre-filled Syringe

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There are 13 Chapters to deeply display the global Insulin Glargine market.

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Chapter 2, to analyze the top manufacturers of Insulin Glargine, with sales, revenue, and price of Insulin Glargine, in 2015 and 2016;

Chapter 3, to display the competitive situation among the top manufacturers, with sales, revenue and market share in 2015 and 2016;

Chapter 4, to show the global market by regions, with sales, revenue and market share of Insulin Glargine, for each region, from 2011 to 2016;

Chapter 5, 6, 7 and 8, to analyze the key regions, with sales, revenue and market share by key countries in these regions;

Chapter 9 and 10, to show the market by type and application, with sales market share and growth rate by type, application, from 2011 to 2016;

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