The Capgras Delusion

The Capgras Delusion is a rare disorder in which a person holds the delusional belief that an acquaintance—usually a spouse or other close family member—has been replaced by an identical impostor. Found in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, dementia, or those suffering from a brain injury, the disorder is named after Joseph Capgras, the French psychiatrist who first described it in 1923.

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Trepanation

The practice of drilling a hole into the skull to expose the dura mater surrounding the brain is an ancient surgical procedure dating back to prehistoric times. It is the oldest surgical procedure for which evidence (in the form of human remains) has been discovered. Modern physicians continue to perform trepanations, though the medical rationale surrounding the surgery has since evolved.

Which artist gained notoriety for performing a self-trepanation and then screening a film of the procedure?

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Seizure Response Dogs

When their epileptic handlers experience seizures, these response dogs come to the rescue by pulling away dangerous objects, attempting to rouse them if they lose consciousness, and even summoning aid by finding another person or activating a medical alert or pre-programmed phone. Because epilepsy is such a wide-ranging condition, each dog is trained for a specific individual’s needs. Studies in which dogs were trained to anticipate their owners’ impending seizures have shown what? …read more

Senescence

Biologically speaking, senescence is the process of deterioration that follows the development of an organism. In 1965, Leonard Hayflick discovered that normal diploid cells divide in cell culture about 50 times before entering a senescence phase during which they can replicate no more. Each cell division shortens the telomere of the cell’s DNA, thus ticking back an “inner clock” for each subsequent copy of the cell. How does this mechanism protect the body from disease?
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Age is Just a Number

Jeanne Louise Calment, who died at 122 years and 164 days of age, lived to be the oldest person on record. Though her parents and siblings also lived to an advanced age, she outlived them all. An active woman, Calment continued to ride a bicycle until she was 100 years old and lived independently until she was nearly 110. At 114, she became the world’s oldest actress, appearing as herself in the family film Vincent and Me. Calment attributed her longevity to what food product? Discuss
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lentigo

Definition: (noun) A small, flat, pigmented spot on the skin.
Synonyms: freckle.
Usage: The dermatologist advised the patient to keep an eye on the large lentigo near her lip and to alert him if there was a change in its size or shape.
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Polymers

Both DNA and plastic, two seemingly unrelated materials, are classified as polymers, compounds of usually high molecular weight consisting of a number of structural units linked together by covalent bonds. A diverse assortment of natural and synthetic materials comprises the class of polymers, including hair, polyester, and shellac. Polymers are even used in the production of microprocessor parts. What is the process that produces polymers called? Discuss
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comedo

Definition: (noun) A plug of keratin and sebum within a hair follicle that is blackened at the surface.
Synonyms: blackhead.
Usage: On the morning of the school dance, she was dismayed to discover a large comedo on her chin.
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pyrosis

A painful burning sensation in the chest caused by gastroesophageal reflux (backflow from the stomach irritating the esophagus); symptomatic of an ulcer or a diaphragmatic hernia or other disorder.

Usage: Even after he swore off spicy foods, his pyrosis kept him up at night.
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See Also Heartburn

Pica

Characterized by the consumption of materials such as soil, chalk, and hair, pica is a disorder involving an appetite for non-nutritive substances or an abnormal compulsion to eat foodstuffs that are usually ingredients, such as flour or starch. Such eating behaviors have been observed in people of all ages but are only termed pica if they persist for more than one month in persons deemed developmentally able to determine whether an item is appropriate for consumption. How is pica treated? Discuss
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