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Author Topic: What are the consequences of brain surgery to remove the amygdala?  (Read 2764 times)

Offline rossala

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April 2016


Dear Friends,

First of all, nice to talk with you.

You probably know about 100.000+ scientific PUBMED articles talking about amygdala and its pivotal role in anxiety, panic, bipolar, PTSD, depression, and many other “stress” and “dissociative” disorders and/or symptoms.

I studied them because of my illness (very severe/resistant Agoraphobia + Bipolar, since 2008).

Last month I went in Asia to do a Gamma Knife surgery and remove my right amygdala (about 2 cubic centimetres 20% bigger then normal.. and left one).

Despite 20+ years of literature I am one of the first making this innovative treatment.

Maybe this fact can interest the community.


My best greetings from Tuscany.

Ross
« Last Edit: 22/04/2016 00:44:38 by chris »


 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Amygdala.
« Reply #1 on: 18/04/2016 09:50:46 »
Have there been any noticeable effects?
 

Offline exothermic

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Re: Amygdala.
« Reply #2 on: 18/04/2016 22:41:04 »
A Gamma Knife surgery and remove my right amygdala (about 2 cubic centimetres 20% bigger then normal.. and left one).

Stereotactic radiosurgical bilateral amygdalectomy for anxiety disorder & bipolar? Yikes.... I hope the benefits outweigh the risks! Good luck.
 

Offline eeyore

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Re: Amygdala.
« Reply #3 on: 20/04/2016 23:50:37 »
Bipolar disorder can be a serious and life threatening illness - having significantly increased risk of suicide. I am frankly appalled to see the forum moderator allow this anecdotal and very questionable account simply plopped down here with no further comment. As if it were advice about fixing one's car.

But then we are talking about the way this is handled in England, aren't we?  I say that at the risk of being accused of "incivility" since human lives are in the balance against the feelings of hizzoner the "hero member".

One would at the very least expect some mention of "Bipolar UK" which is a good starting point to learn about the many treatment modalities available in the UK... and how to get real help.

Which certainly seems to be better advised than traipsing off to somewhere in Asia to be an experimental subject for ablation of one's amygdala by a gamma knife.

For instance, they are doing deep brain stimulation with inserted electrodes in the frontal lobes in the US. Patients are reporting acceptable relief of profound depression out to 3 years and counting.
 

Offline rossala

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Re: Amygdala.
« Reply #4 on: 21/04/2016 22:39:12 »

Dear Ophiolite,

actually is too soon to see results because the Gamma Knife treatment (about 500.000 patients did it in last 25 years) is a radiosurcical treatment that use Cobalt60. This mean that cerebral tissue spend about 12-18 months to necrotize/destroy.

The advantage of this tecnique is that you don't need anesthetic, there is no risk of hemorrhage and death, and also infections. This is the reason always more people choose this non-invasive surgical tecnique compared to traditional open skull. The day after surgery I was out with friends normally eating and talkin in the restourant. GK people usually can go back to their routine/work after 24h of surgery, unthinkable with old surgery :)

To answer to exothermic I treated only right amygdala (the most involved in panic/stress feelings) and not both amygdalae. The most common risk is to have headache during first 3-5 months, actually fortunately I don't have headache in these first 45 days.

However, I will keep you updated.

Ross
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Rossala, thank you for the more detailed information. I hope things progress well for you and that you experience at least some alleviation of your symptoms. I look forward to those updates.

Rgds,
O.
 

Offline eeyore

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I see in the British Journal of Psychiatry (Vol. 180 Issue 3) That the yearly cost of treatment for Bipolar disorder to the NHS is estimated at 199  megaPounds per year with an estimated indirect cost of 1770 megaPounds to society. Therefore the results of your treatment have stunning implications on the future of Britain's health and welfare.

So do keep us informed of your progress and may it be as successful as you hope it to be.

May I ask - in round figures - what was the cost of this procedure?
« Last Edit: 22/04/2016 19:00:17 by eeyore »
 

Offline rossala

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Dear Eeyore,

I think you are right, pharma industry takes billion dollars (only concerning neurological disorders) but this is not my point of interest. What fascinates me, after reading 50.000+ amygdala articles, is that a large spectrum of behavior disorders like emotional, stress, bipolar, dissociative, depressive, .. have the little amygdala as major epicentre.

Main and common drugs problems:

- “collaterals”: usually the liver, sex performance, numbing effect, etc.. quality of life in general.

- “chemical/homeostasis imbalance”. This second is less obvious than it seems. When you pump up serotonin in your body all other hormones/neurotransmitters change in consequence. This is really upsetting you and dangerous for your body and mind. You have to try SSRI to understand..

In general these drugs act too much extensively and all the body is negatively affected while the zone to treat is just a few centimetres. It’s a strange idea.. like setting fire to the whole forest to kill just on wolf..

Moreover.. as humorous end.. they don’t work in most of cases. Give a look to government statistics:
nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/file_148014.pdf
nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/file_148027.pdf
these two examples are about panic, and agoraphobia: only 20-25% of people get minimal adequate results (notice, they don't heal completely..)

So, when I read that my disorders regarded just 2-3 cm3 of brain (we have 1500cm3 brain..) I decided to do it, considering my severe life impairments, 8 years of drugs and therapies failure.

I thought to DBS treatment, but it’s too dangerous and experimental surgery. A Gamma Knife treatment costs 8-to-15k USD in Europe or Asia. Multiply x5 in USA.

My Best Greetings from Italy. Ross
 

Offline puppypower

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If the amygdala is used for regulating emotions, doesn't its removal impact all emotions? Isn't this treatment sort of like having your foot removed, because one gets severe foot cramps? Surgery may solve the foot cramping problem, but one will also lose all the other uses for the foot. I suppose, if the foot cramps were very severe, such that you can't walk, run or balance on that foot, you may not know or remember what you miss.

In my opinion, modern medicine is not just about the caring for the sick, but it is also about the needs of a big business. As a business they need to constantly come up with new goods and services so the industry can grow.

Quote
The terms ‘manic–depressive illness’ and ‘bipolar disorder’ are comparatively recent, and date back from the 1950s and 1980s respectively. The term ‘bipolar disorder’ (or ‘bipolar affective disorder’) is thought to be less stigmatizing than the older term ‘manic–depressive illness’, and so the former has largely superseded the latter. However, some psychiatrists and some people with bipolar disorder still prefer the term ‘manic–depressive illness’ because they feel that it reflects the nature of the disorder more accurately. 

Bi-polar sort of PC sanitized the term; manic-depression. It made the condition warmer and fuzzier so more people will want to participate. The deception foundation was laid to make it more socially acceptable for people to buy goods and services from more types of medical vendors. Manic depression was limited to psychiatrists, while bi-polar means surgeons get to profit. One can also buy home remedies in health food stores.
 

Offline rossala

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Italy, 12 May 2016

Hi friends!

It’s Month 2.

I have good news to share.

- My immune system is better now. I passed about 1 months with some little mouth inflammations, a bit high white globes and headache, as expected after GK. Since 1 week I have no more headache and mouth inflammations, white globes now are ok. It seems (and I hope) the inflammatory period is finished.

- On the other side I confirm my senses empowerment but I am starting also to feel less general anxiety and stress-bipolar. I’m starting watching things with a bit more objectivity. I don’t know about agoraphobia because I didn’t try to make extra car travels or change safe external zones for now, this will be the last improvement I expect because it’s the most hard part, so.. I am talking about anxiety and stress in the normal house/family/city living. I feel a bit less stressed but also more positive and trusty in the future.

- About identity I am doing some changes and in last 2 weeks I made beautiful thoughts that maybe are clearing my minds in-depth. I am writing a big diary describing everything and these are some most significant sentences I wrote and I share with you.


I observe that my anxiety/stress/dissociative disorder is made of three main internal conditions: 1) coming of unexpected bad thoughts (suffering); 2) control and suppression of bad thoughts (tiring); 3) the absence of bad thoughts (enjoying). Awareness on those moments can be important to solve the problem.
[..]
(this is what I wrote on a group of self-help)
I love to be here, surrounded by kind people. I sit now. Watching myself inside is like watching a landscape. On the side of the river I breathe and wait, until serenity and freedom will return to flow in front of me.
[..]
(this is what I wrote about my past problems)
I’d like to forgive everyone that hurt me. And to ask forgiveness to everyone who suffered for my fault. Tonight I understood one thing: chronic illness leads to stress, stress leads to irritability, irritability can lead to hate without knowing it. I hated too much these years.. I invented an aphorism, just to keep it always in mind - “If you hate a person you are on the way of hating everyone.” - This could be a restarting point for a healing path. ♥
[..]
I think serenity is the best, enduring happiness come from there. There’s a difference between happiness and pleasure: pleasure it's short, rare, powerful, it can consume you, happiness is long, frequent, and beautiful, it charges you to live your life in wellness.
[..]
(last sentence I wrote yesterday to the self-help group, a quote from Gibran)
For brave and visionary: “ The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. ” (the prophet, Gibran) - for me this means that the deep hole created along these years is only the cradle in which my awareness and my serenity will reborn. I wish it to all of us.


As expected, my mind is changing and I hope returning the one when I was 27 (before the illness), in those times I was a quite calm and normal social person. Quite optimistic.

I continued also studying the amygdala and I see that from literature it’s considered the epicentre of all stress-anxiety-dissociative disorders like emotional/behavioural disorders.

In sum, just to simplify, Amygdala is a sort of prehistoric brain that has a collaboration with cognitive brain in normal people.. but when this little zone become abnormally “hyperactive” it takes ruling the brain due to it’s pivotal zone and multi-connection with brain above and autonomic organs below. Goleman (1996) called this process “hijacking” of the cognitive brain by the limbic system, and in particular amygdala. In those disorders the equilibrium between "reactive" and "cognitive" neurons changes in favour of reactive neurons, with well known consequences.

Amygdala is what we have in common with fishes and lizards. It’s inheritance of violent and mortal jungle living of our ancestors. This is the reason that when amygdala take predominance of our brain we regress and go back to rude feelings and behaviours. These days, I started calling my amygdala: the Munga-Munga. :)

Well..
I hope everything will continue this way, and to give you other good news next month.

Ross

PS. Oh, forgetting: in June I’ll have first MRI after GK treatment (every 3 months for 1st year), so I will see technically how my right 1.8cm3 amygdala necrotization is going..
 

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