Tag Archives: hippocampus

Camp Hippo Redux, Meditation and Anxiety

According to a report by Science Daily, a decrease in hippocampal volume has been linked to bipolar disorder. You may recall I have posted articles about attempting to rescue or increase hippocampal volume using the supplement Astaxanthin in this very blog.

There is some information about the hippocampus as well on Joe Rogan’s recent podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick – and some fascinating information about mitochondia and mitophagy., and what we can do to keep our mitochondria healthy and happy.

In other news, mindfulness meditation has been scientifically proven to physiologically combat anxiety.



PTSD Shrinks Camp Hippo, too!

In PTSD News…

So I just flipped an article about what PTSD does physiologically to the brain, and found its findings very significant so I am linking it here.

Been Traumatized? Here’s How PTSD Rewires The Brain Click Here to read the article.

Of the 75 percent of people who experience at least ONE traumatic event in their lifetime, 20 percent of those will develop PTSD. (Who the fuck are these 25 percenters that are leading perfect lives? Not a single trauma? That’s amazing. I cannot even imagine.) One in nine people with PTSD is female. And I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that PTSD isn’t just about war trauma, but also sexual assault, physical abuse, rape, witnessing violence, witnessing a disaster, and lots of stuff I’m leaving out but basically anything traumatic that causes the person to develop post-traumatic stress.

Here’s something: Try not to startle people with PTSD as the startle response is HUGE. And terrible. We’re easily startled people. Yelling “Boo!” is not cool. I can’t take that, man. Haunted houses? No more for me! And if you try to pretend like you’re going to push me off a ledge when we are standing together on something high, I probably will not find that funny.


Astaxanthin and Camp Hippo

There are so many reverse perks in mental illness – “reverse perks” being something that you get for free that actually sucks – and now there is one more to add to the list: a shrunken hippocampus. Before you picture a shrunken hippopotamus head, let me explain that the hippocampus, it has been widely reported, decreases in mass in people having depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and the like. The hippocampus affects, among other things, cognition, learning, and memory. These things are super-important for more reasons than could be listed here, and so as those of us with mental illness get older, our hippocampi get smaller – and we experience cognitive deficits, brain fog, short term memory loss, and learning disabilities in addition to our already full plate of crazy. It’s disheartening – particularly because the longer you live with these illnesses, the more (it is hoped) you have learned about how to manage them or at least minimize fallout for yourself, but if you start losing the ability to think, well, it just kind of fucks up everything you might be trying to do. Like survive.

Enter Astaxanthin. It’s an anti-oxidant which is 6,000 (yes, six thousand) times more potent than Vitamin C, which is going to be good for your brain right off the bat because as someone with mental illness you will have more oxidative stress and more free radicals gamboling around in there like they own the joint. So Point One. Point Two is even more heartening: It was recently discovered, as reported by ScienceDaily.com, that mice given astaxanthin for four weeks showed increased neuroplasticity and increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Which means that the stuff in their hippocampi (Hippo Camp! Where Hippos go for summer) started to work better, and then NEW stuff started to grow, meaning new brain cells, increasing the hippocampal volume and thus being a great pre-emptive strike, in my opinion, to combat the accelerated entropy that is going on in there, at Camp Hippo, which is what I’m going to be calling my hippocampus from now on. You are welcome to call your own hippocampus Camp Hippo as well, if that is something you would find soothing.

Anyway. I have no idea what dosage is appropriate. Capsules are available in 2, 4, and 12 mg sizes. Due to certain aspects of my personality having to do with impulse control and moderation, I want to go 12 mg. I’ve been taking 4 mg for the past month. Do I notice a difference? I am taking a break from my studies so I can’t speak to the effect it has on my learning, but I do seem to have an improvement in short term memory, which is helping my ADHD because ripples. (Shoot me because I just used “because ____” as an explanation for something. I have become the thing I hate. And don’t you hate when that happens?)

ASTAXANTHIN. Check it out. I recommend it. No one paid me to do so. (Someone, please pay me to do so.) For now, this is a Public Service Announcement.

I’m off to think up a song for Camp Hippo.