Lacunar Amnesia

Lacunar amnesia is the loss of memory about a specific event. This specific form of amnesia is caused by brain damage in the limbic system which is responsible for our memories and emotions. When the damage occurs it leaves a lacuna, or a gap, in the record of memory within the cortex region of the brain. There is a general belief that certain emotions from the lost memory may be triggered without the recollection of the event.


Daniel Goleman, in his book Vital Lies, Simple Truths, defines a lacuna as:

“…the sort of mental apparatus that diversionary schemas represent. A lacuna is, then, the attentional mechanism that creates a defensive gap in awareness. Lacunas, in short, create blind spots.”[1]

Lacunar amnesia has also been known to be attributed to alcoholism, drug treatment, and withdrawal in some cases. After using these substances a person may experience a loss of memory of a specific event temporarily or even permanently.[2]

Steven Johnson, (the author of Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life) also states that:

“Scientists believe memories are captured and stored by two separate parts of the brain, the hippocampus, the normal seat of memory, and the amygdala, one of the brain’s emotional centers. People who, due to hippocampus damage, are incapable of forming long-term memories can still form subconscious memories of traumatic events if their amygdala is intact. “This may be related to erasure or reconsolidation of memories. Attempts have been made to remember memories that have been consolidated and reconsolidate them under desired conditions.

According to Alex Chadwick speaking on NPR:

“Some scientists now believe that memories effectively get rewritten every time they’re activated. Studies on rats suggest that if you block a crucial chemical process during the execution of a learned behavior – pushing a lever to get food, for instance – the learned behavior disappears. The rat stops remembering. Theoretically, if you could block that chemical reaction in a human brain while triggering a specific memory, you could make a targeted erasure. Think of a dreadful fight with your girlfriend while blocking that chemical reaction, and zap! The memory’s gone.”

This idea of the reconsolidation of memories has also been used in cases of PTSD to lessen or alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the illness.   more


Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction can be any problems that prevent a person or couple from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity. Some 43% of women and 31% of men report some degree of sexual dysfunction.

What is sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction is a problem that can happen during any phase of the sexual response cycle. It prevents you from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity.

The sexual response cycle traditionally includes excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Desire and arousal are both part of the excitement phase of the sexual response. It’s important to know women don’t always go through these phases in order.

While research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common, many people don’t like talking about it. Because treatment options are available, though, you should share your concerns with your partner and healthcare provider.

What are the types of sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction generally is classified into four categories:

  • Desire disorders: lack of sexual desire or interest in sex.
  • Arousal disorders: inability to become physically aroused or excited during sexual activity.
  • Orgasm disorders: delay or absence of orgasm (climax).
  • Pain disorders: pain during intercourse.

Who is affected by sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction can affect any age, although it is more common in those over 40 because it’s often related to a decline in health associated with aging.    more

Joubert Syndrome


Joubert syndrome is a rare disorder in infants and children whose brains don’t develop correctly. A part of the brain called the cerebellar vermis, which controls balance and coordination, is either underdeveloped or absent. And the brain stem, which connects the brain and spinal cord, is also abnormal.

Joubert syndrome can affect many different parts of the body. It can lead to multiple health problems, developmental delays and intellectual disability.

It affects each child differently, from minor to severe symptoms. It can cause problems with intellectual development, motor skills, eyesight, and kidney or liver function. Joubert syndrome is diagnosed by the “molar tooth sign” on a brain MRI.

How common is this cerebellar disease?

Joubert syndrome is rare. It’s estimated to affect only about one in 100,000 or more newborns. Only a few hundred cases have been reported in the medical literature.

Are some people more at risk for Joubert syndrome?

Joubert syndrome runs in families, so people who have relatives with Joubert syndrome have a higher chance of passing it on to their children.

The syndrome is more common in some ethnic groups: Ashkenazi Jewish, French-Canadian and Hutterite.

What causes Joubert syndrome?

Joubert syndrome is caused by mutations in 35 or more genes. It can be inherited within families or happen by chance (with no known family link).

The genetic mutations cause cilia to form incorrectly. Cilia are like tiny antennas on cells that help them communicate with each other. They help organs develop and function. Joubert syndrome is in a group of disorders called “ciliopathies.”

Researchers are still trying to understand how the abnormal cilia cause the specific developmental problems in Joubert syndrome.

What are the symptoms of Joubert syndrome?

Symptoms of Joubert syndrome can vary quite a lot, even among people in the same family. They can range from a few mild effects to severe problems in multiple body systems.

Depending on what body systems are involved, the condition may be called “Joubert syndrome and related disorders.”

The most common signs in infants are:

  • Abnormal eye movements, such as trouble moving the eyes from side to side.
  • Fast breathing.
  • Delayed intellectual and language development.
  • Inability to control voluntary muscle movements (ataxia), such as walking, picking things up and speaking.
  • Weak muscle tone (hypotonia).

Some people with Joubert syndrome might also have physical deformities, such as:

Joubert syndrome can affect organ systems that depend on cilia, including:

  • Eyes, particularly the retinas.
  • Kidney.
  • Liver.    more

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Learn About Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is an impulse-control disorder characterized by sudden episodes of unwarranted anger. The disorder is typified by hostility, impulsivity, and recurrent aggressive outbursts. People with IED essentially “explode” into a rage despite a lack of apparent provocation or reason. Individuals suffering from intermittent explosive disorder have described feeling as though they lose control of their emotions and become overcome with anger. People with IED may threaten to or actually attack objects, animals, and/or other humans. IED is said to typically begin during the early teen years and evidence has suggested that it has the potential of predisposing individuals to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. Intermittent explosive disorder is not diagnosed unless a person has displayed at least three episodes of impulsive aggressiveness.

Individuals with IED have reported that once they have released the tension that built up as a result of their rage, they feel a sense of relief. Once the relief wears off, however, some people report experiencing feelings of remorse or embarrassment. While IED can be extremely disruptive to an individual’s life, as well as to the lives of those around him or her, IED can be managed through proper treatment, through education about anger management, and possibly through the use of medication.

Signs and Symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

There are a variety of symptoms that people who have intermittent explosive disorder will display based upon individual genetic makeup, development of social skills, coping strategies, presence of co-occurring disorders, and use or addiction to drugs or alcohol. The following are some examples of various signs and symptoms that a person suffering from IED may exhibit:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Physical aggressiveness
  • Verbal aggressiveness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Physically attacking people and/or objects
  • Damaging property
  • Road rage

Physical symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Chest tightness
  • Palpitations
  • Tingling
  • Feelings of pressure in the head
  • Tremors

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Feeling a loss of control over one’s thoughts
  • Racing thoughts

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Feelings of rage
  • Uncontrollable irritability
  • Brief periods of emotional detachment    more

Functional neurologic disorder/conversion disorder


Functional neurologic disorder — a newer and broader term that includes what some people call conversion disorder — features nervous system (neurological) symptoms that can’t be explained by a neurological disease or other medical condition. However, the symptoms are real and cause significant distress or problems functioning.

Signs and symptoms vary, depending on the type of functional neurologic disorder, and may include specific patterns. Typically, this disorder affects your movement or your senses, such as the ability to walk, swallow, see or hear. Symptoms can vary in severity and may come and go or be persistent. However, you can’t intentionally produce or control your symptoms.

The cause of functional neurologic disorder is unknown. The condition may be triggered by a neurological disorder or by a reaction to stress or psychological or physical trauma, but that’s not always the case. Functional neurologic disorder is related to how the brain functions, rather than damage to the brain’s structure (such as from a stroke, multiple sclerosis, infection or injury).

Early diagnosis and treatment, especially education about the condition, can help with recovery.



Signs and symptoms of functional neurologic disorder may vary, depending on the type of functional neurological symptoms, and they’re significant enough to cause impairment and warrant medical evaluation. Symptoms can affect body movement and function and the senses.

Signs and symptoms that affect body movement and function may include:

  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Abnormal movement, such as tremors or difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty swallowing or feeling “a lump in the throat”
  • Seizures or episodes of shaking and apparent loss of consciousness (nonepileptic seizures)
  • Episodes of unresponsiveness

Signs and symptoms that affect the senses may include:

  • Numbness or loss of the touch sensation
  • Speech problems, such as the inability to speak or slurred speech
  • Vision problems, such as double vision or blindness
  • Hearing problems or deafness
  • Cognitive difficulties involving memory and concentration    more

Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder


Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder is relatively common. About four to eleven percent of the population will experience this disorder at some point in their life. This disorder is also comorbid with anxiety and depression. About fifty percent of people also suffer with these comorbid disorders.

DSM criteria

A. one or more physical complaints (e.g. fatigue, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal or urinary complaints).

B. Either 1 or 2:after appropriate investigation, the symptoms cannot be fully explained by a known general medical condition or the direct effects of a substance (e.g. a drug of abuse, a medication)

when there is a related general medical condition, the physical complaints or resulting social or occupational impairment is in excess of what would be expected from the history, physical examination, or laboratory findings

C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important area of functioning.

D. the duration of the disturbance is at least 6 months.

E. The disturbance is not better accounted for another mental disorder (e.g. another Somatoform Disorder, Sexual Dysfunction, Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Sleep Disorder, or Psychotic Disorder).

F. The symptom is not intentionally produced or feigned (as in Fictitious Disorder or Malingering).

Associated Features

The symptoms of this disorder vary from person to person. The most common symptoms associated with this disorder are mostly physical complaints. These include:

  • pain
  • fatigue
  • appetite loss
  • various gastrointestinal problems

The characteristic that defines this disorder is that although the person complains, no evidence can be found that these physical symptoms actually exist. Even with lab test and exams by doctors, no physical signs can be supported to prove that the person actually has these symptoms.   more