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Camb Q Healthc Ethics ; 28(4): 708-724, 2019 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31526431


The microbiome is proving to be increasingly important for human brain functioning. A series of recent studies have shown that the microbiome influences the central nervous system in various ways, and consequently acts on the psychological well-being of the individual by mediating, among others, the reactions of stress and anxiety. From a specifically neuroethical point of view, according to some scholars, the particular composition of the microbiome-qua microbial community-can have consequences on the traditional idea of human individuality. Another neuroethical aspect concerns the reception of this new knowledge in relation to clinical applications. In fact, attention to the balance of the microbiome-which includes eating behavior, the use of psychobiotics and, in the treatment of certain diseases, the use of fecal microbiota transplantation-may be limited or even prevented by a biased negative attitude. This attitude derives from a prejudice related to everything that has to do with the organic processing of food and, in general, with the human stomach and intestine: the latter have traditionally been regarded as low, dirty, contaminated and opposed to what belongs to the mind and the brain. This biased attitude can lead one to fail to adequately consider the new anthropological conceptions related to the microbiome, resulting in a state of health, both physical and psychological, inferior to what one might have by paying the right attention to the knowledge available today. Shifting from the ubiquitous high-low metaphor (which is synonymous with superior-inferior) to an inside-outside metaphor can thus be a neuroethical strategy to achieve a new and unbiased reception of the discoveries related to the microbiome.

Comportamento/fisiologia , Encéfalo , Microbiota , Transplante de Microbiota Fecal , Humanos , Metáfora
Prog Brain Res ; 217: 187-205, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25725916


Neurological and neuropsychological aspects of folk music and traditional dance have been poorly investigated by historical and scientific literature. Some of these performances could be indeed the manifestation of latent pathological conditions or the expression of liberation rituals. This chapter aimed at analyzing the relationships between traditional dance, folk music, and neurological and psychiatric disorders. Since ancient times, dance has been used in the individual or collective as treatment of some diseases, including epilepsy and movement disorders (dyskinesia, chorea, etc.). Dionysia in Ancient Greece, St. Vitus dance in the Middle Age, tarantism and other traditional dances of southern Italy and of non-Western countries might be credited as curative rituals of these neurological and psychiatric conditions. During the nineteenth century, dance was also used for the treatment of psychiatric patients; the relationship between dance and insanity could also be reflected in classical ballets and music of that period. Nowadays, neuropsychiatric manifestations could also be evidenced in modern dances (mass fainting at rock concerts, flash mobs); some ballroom dances are commonly used for the rehabilitation of patients suffering from neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions. Interdisciplinary research on these subjects (ethnomusicology and cultural anthropology, clinical neurology and dynamic psychology, neuroradiology and neurophysiology, and socioneurology and neuromusicology) should be increased.

Dança , Transtornos Mentais/fisiopatologia , Música , Doenças do Sistema Nervoso/fisiopatologia , Dança/história , História do Século XV , História do Século XVI , História do Século XVII , História do Século XVIII , História do Século XIX , História do Século XX , História Antiga , História Medieval , Humanos , Transtornos Mentais/história , Música/história , Doenças do Sistema Nervoso/história
Neurotoxicology ; 33(4): 652-9, 2012 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22285145


Behavioral toxicology is an important discipline of toxicology that traces its roots back to the origin of psychology. A parallel development can be traced for behavioral toxicology and psychology, in that both were focused on the mind or behavior, as distinct from neurology, that recognized the brain as the ultimate target. Ancient physicians and non-medical authors incidentally described the effects of neurotoxic agents on mood. In the last two centuries, experimental psychology, behaviorism and behavioral pharmacology further developed the observation of behavior with scientific methodology. During the Industrial Revolution exposure to neurotoxicants became widespread in the western world and the consequent "psycho-organic syndrome" was likely to affect a large part of the working population. Occupational Medicine met behavioral toxicology in the 1960s. The assessment of the effects of exposure on behavior was achieved with specific tests for motor and cognitive functions, and computer technology could be used to control and analyze behavioral experiments. The contribution of this discipline became further important in the identification of early adverse effects, also from environmental and dietary exposure. The detection of behavioral changes can precede the detection of neural changes, which makes the assessment of behavior especially suitable for risk assessment. Neurobehavioral methodology has further developed in the latest years towards a global and integrated approach to the different life stages of individuals, from early life to old age.

Comportamento/efeitos dos fármacos , Neurociências/história , Síndromes Neurotóxicas/história , Doenças Profissionais/história , Toxicologia/história , Exposição Ambiental/história , História do Século XVII , História do Século XVIII , História do Século XIX , História do Século XX , História do Século XXI , História Medieval , Humanos , Testes Neuropsicológicos/história , Síndromes Neurotóxicas/diagnóstico , Síndromes Neurotóxicas/etiologia , Síndromes Neurotóxicas/psicologia , Doenças Profissionais/diagnóstico , Doenças Profissionais/etiologia , Doenças Profissionais/psicologia , Exposição Ocupacional/história , Pinturas
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21887135


This paper briefly describes how the electrical stimulation, used since antiquity to modulate the nervous system, has been a fundamental tool of neurophysiologic investigation in the second half of the eighteenth century and was subsequently used by the early twentieth century, even for therapeutic purposes. In mid-twentieth century the advent of stereotactic procedures has allowed the drift from lesional to stimulating technique of deep nuclei of the brain for therapeutic purposes. In this way, deep brain stimulation (DBS) was born, that, over the last two decades, has led to positive results for the treatment of medically refractory Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. In recent years, the indications for therapeutic use of DBS have been extended to epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome, psychiatric diseases (depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder), some kinds of headache, eating disorders, and the minimally conscious state. The potentials of the DBS for therapeutic use are fascinating, but there are still many unresolved technical and ethical problems, concerning the identification of the targets for each disease, the selection of the patients and the evaluation of the results.