Posts Tagged children

A Fix For A Neurological Disease

Posted by on Thursday, 19 December, 2013


Cartoon relating to Tourette's Syndrome




The  headline was originally KIDS WITH TICKS.

I changed it. I didn’t want to sound like a jerk.

A jerk? That’s what we call an insensitive clod? Jerk?

We bad.

Kids with Tourette Syndrome get “tics”. They are are caused by nerves that are too sensitive – hyperexcitable. Tourette’s kids can’t keep hands, feet, arms, legs, head from twitching or jerking. Sometimes Tourette’s causes vocal tics which can result in embarrassing noises or even in saying things that piss people off. Sometimes strings of profanity pop up.

Shit, shit, shit! (Imagine the consequences!)

The exact science behind Tourette’s has been elusive.  But researchers at The University of Nottingham (Journal of Neuropsychology) are tracking it down. They find that a particular piece of the brain, the “striatum”, is in overdrive in these kids which causes the  brain’s cortex to be bombarded with too many signals and too much stimulation. Their work has lead to the idea of using an electromagnetic stimulation device (Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation ) to suppress the excess excitation.


The good thing is that this basic approach to the science behind Tourette’s seems to be unearthing the mechanism behind it. And, if all goes well, kids with Tourrette’s might be able to get fixed up without drugs. Just by applying an electromagnetic device to their heads for a few minutes a day.

This is all very exciting.


What’s bad is that we’re not there yet. This work is ongoing. More to be done. Maybe a device has to get approved by regulatory agencies. And kids don’t stay kids forever. We need this thing. MISTER ScienceAintSoBad is hoping for fast progress.


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That drawing is mine.

To leave a comment, click “comments” which can be found at the top right of each article just beneath the headline.



Posted by on Friday, 13 December, 2013


Funny cartoon about spanking kids



The kids are out of control,  right?  Maybe a good smack would do the trick. It worked for you, didn’t it? Back in the day?

Dr. Murray Straus (Sociology Dept. , University of New Hampshire) says physical punishment isn’t a good idea. Neither is giving the kids to the next door neighbor, by the way. His new book “The Primordial Violence” examines the evidence from 32 different countries and 7,000 kids in the US.

Does spanking work?

It does. – If you’re goal is to get the kids to shut up and stop being a pest. You can modify behavior, using force. It doesn’t take a genius. But don’t go there, okay? Here’s why.

There are other ways to get kids to behave that are just as good as spanking without the negatives.  Spanking can mess up the bond between you and your children as well as affect their self esteem. Before you dismiss that as a lot of hooey, here’s what Straus saw from looking at what worked and what didn’t work with the thousands of kids he looked at. Kids that were spanked became “hitters” themselves. They struck out at other kids and even at their parents. When they grew up, they became physically abusive to their partners.  Kids who were spanked developed slower mentally and they did worse at school.

That’s a lot of bad stuff considering that you can do just as well by just holding back on privileges or using “time outs” to get the same result.


Posted by on Saturday, 26 November, 2011


A fella shows up at his church and says to the priest, Father, I have three things to confess. I didn’t do my penance like you asked me to last week, I didn’t put any money into the poor box today, and I told my kid I don’t have time for his stupid jokes. Well, says the priest, let’s not get bogged down with all the religious stuff when you’re lousing up yer kid’s life!

Not that funny? But, you know what? That priest had a point. According to Dr Elena Hoicka (a developmental psychologist, University of Stirling, Scotland) you need to yuck it up some with your kids.


Here’s the thing.

Hoicks’s work shows it’s important to interact, using jokes and pretending. If you think you’re too much of a stiff to pull this off, there are even tips to help you  loosen up (brandy?).  Knowing how to joke, they say, helps kids make friends, deal with stress, and think creatively.

Does MISTER SASB think this is crazy important science? Is this what Einstein WISHED he could do?

Tell me this. How could it hurt?


Thanks (again) xkcd for the image:

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