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Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

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August 07, 2003

Brains! Growing Delicious Brains!

Each and every morning, I get out of the shower and take pills, mostly just on general principle.

Aspirin for strokes, based on the conclusion from a medical study I read about over a decade ago, that the longer the aspirin a day regimen is followed, the less likely strokes and heart attacks become. I'm on my 10th or eleventh year now.

Zovirax for oral herpes, which I used to get, of all places, on the side of my nose. It was truly a disgusting thing to behold. My close friends helped me through this difficult time in my life by calling me "Cank" the entire time.

Vitamin E, for..... I forget what it's for. Internal wound healing, or some damn thing, as if my diet consisted entirely of light bulbs.

Niacin, for lowering bad cholesterol levels. It's got a hell of a kick. 500 mg of Niacin and a quick latte sized cup of Joe in the morning produce a hell of a hot flash. The longer I take that specific dosage level, the less the effect, but initially it is quite striking. I conned Kehaar into taking down my regular dose one Saturday morning a year or so ago, and he turned purple and started exuding water like a snail covered in table salt.

And a little orange tablet, Senna S, so I don't have to moo like a cow and strain like a Thai criminal at a prison body building contest during my personal and private bathroom time.


pic via yahoo

Not that things have been very private since Ngnat learned how to open doors. Locking them doesn't help; upon being presented with a recalcitrant knob, she addresses the occupant on the other side through the keyhole, demanding entry so that she may observe the goings on within.

But that's beside the point. Given the discovery today that antidepressants promote brain cell regeneration, I'm wondering if I shouldn't start taking a Paxil or Prozac a day as well.

It's not that I'm depressed. If anything, my internal switches have been stuck on slightly manic since 11th grade.

But after 7 years of college, including a pizza delivery career heavy in the kinds of tips cash-poor, munchy-beridden frat boys give at two in the morning, I could use some extra brain cells. So could Kehaar and Woundwort, but for entirely different reasons.

Anything fun kills brain cells, as do many things that are not. Just reading down to this point in the post probably put the kibosh on a few dozen more. I think we'd all be happier if we knew they could be restored with a happy pill. They'll come in handy later in life.

Shoot, they'll come in handy now.

If you doubt me, think on this. The major area of the brain effected by the antidepressant effect is the hippocampus, and one of the signs of Alzheimer's disease is that the hippocampus starts to shrink, years before actual symptoms appear. That's not because the actual cells of the hippocampus are getting smaller. Instead, they are being shed.

Antidepressants will also come in handy because the hippocampus is the seat of learning and memory. As the brain ages and grows less plastic, both of those skills decline. A pill that reversed the downward trend in either or both would be worth more than its weight in gold.

"What about the side effects?" You might say. Well, I'm no doctor, but obviously some are better than others.

As my momma told me. "You'd better shop around."

Posted by Bigwig at August 7, 2003 09:48 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

I'm living proof that Paxil does not regenerate brain cells.

Posted by: michele at August 7, 2003 09:59 PM
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