Author Archives: Anna

Intensive care

To be able to help others you have to take care of yourself sometimes. Today has been one of those days. I have stayed at home resting and relaxing. Thought a little about autumn among other things. I do not like when it is getting cold since I like to go training outdoors. I have had a week off exercise and now I am focusing on Hässelbyloppet. Running is freedom. As much as internet freedom.

To cheer myself up, and motivate myself, I found this song. I get energy from music. How do you refuel your batteries when they are discharged?

First autumn day

Today was my very first feeling of autumn. Little cold, leaves on the ground and a dark evening. I lit my candles when I got home. There are no apples this autumn since the flowers this spring were destroyed due to cold weather. I cannot make apple pie. I hope it will be a beautiful autumn. It can be cosy to go for walks and watch all different colours on the trees. In particular when my sweetie is with me. It was difficult for me to find some suitable music for right now. My first thought was the composer Puccini. Then I got reminded of the three tenors: Plácido Domingo, José Carreras och Luciano Pavarotti. Let’s celebrate autumn with this song.

Yesterday

Yesterday was Friday the 13th. An unlucky day in Western countries. It would be interesting to know where it derives from. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday. I know that certain airlines don’t have the row 13, and that some hotels don’t have room number 13. In South America it is not Friday but Tuesday the 13th.

In a month, Sunday the 13th of October, I have a new challenge. Hässelbyloppet. I have participated several times, and it is a nice Sunday excursion. I sure do hope that it will be a pleasant day like Tjejmilen was. Today is sunny, and I will soon go for training. I am not aiming for running fast, only to stay in shape. My yoga jogging.

Generations and gene scissors (CRISPR-Cas)

When I moved from Norway to Sweden, it was mainly to stay closer to the place where I am grown up. I have noticed among friends that it is rather common to return home at my age. To study in the teens, move from home, discover the world by eg travelling and other adventures, and then move closer to parents. In 2010 when I returned, my mother had started to show memory loss. This last decade has been rather tough for me and my family since Alzheimer’s disease is affecting family and relatives.

Unfortunately, I am not into neuroscience research anymore. But, during these years I have thought a lot about how to help within Alzheimer research. Theoretical research instead. I started to write, and my book “Generationer” was finally printed last year. There is a genetical component contributing to the disease. However, it should be noted that most probably, genetics is not the only factor contributing to developing memory deficiency. It is a complex interplay between genetics and environment. You can carry a vulnerable gene, but the disease will only display if you are exposed to a certain milieu.

So called gene scissors are available today. Currently, there is a lot of information available about CRISPR-Cas and gene therapy where methodology has made huge progress during the last decade. CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. With genetic scissors it may be possible in the future to permanently modify genes in living cells and organisms to correct mutations at precise locations in the human genome in order to treat genetic causes of disease.

Of course there are many ethical aspects to consider before experimental attempts. Harper JC and Schatten G asked this important question in a review.

Are we ready for genome editing in human embryos for clinical purposes?      Eur J Med Genet. 2019 Aug;62(8)

Slow, slow progress is needed since we are talking about the human genome, but it should be emphazised, to see somebody close suffer makes me want to contribute to more understanding. I end today’s writing with some music. Music is definitely good for the brain.

Different brain regions

At an age of approximately 23 years old, I got interested in learning about the brain. The brain is complicated, and therefore, very interesting. When I ended my PhD studies in 2004, I concluded:

“This scientific journey has not only given the possibility to investigate the neurobiological actions of ethanol and nicotine, but also, it has given me the wonderful opportunity to learn, at least a little, about the organ that controls our body functions and shapes our thoughts, hopes, dreams and imagination.”

Since that day I defended my thesis, I have had that phrase in my mind. Today, I update my knowledge now and then within the neuroscience field. Not only drug dependence, but also within various dementia diseases where memory loss is the main symptom. My mother suffered from memory loss and passed away this spring. I miss her. Yesterday, I went to the countryside and arrived rather late. It was dark and some rain. But also the very first time this year I saw autumn moonlight. We did something scary. I found a torch, and my sweetie and I walked to church.

There actually are ghosts were I am grown up. When I was little, I was told that three white dressed ladies walk in the garden, and that I should let them stay in peace. Do you have a ghost story to be told?