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Thread: Brain disease that affects moral behavior

  1. #1

    Brain disease that affects moral behavior

    Following up on the New Republic article posted by Monkfish, I thought I would post an article from the same magazine on a devastating neurological disorder known as Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) that destroys a portion of the brain that affects moral behavior, resulting in loss of compassion and loss of inhibition.

    FTD is ugly. It blunts compassion and it lowers inhibition, leaving patients spouting racial slurs in public and cheating on their spouses. When self-control and self-restraint go, patients are left unlike themselves. It tends to hit earlier than Alzheimer’s, usually between someone’s 40s or early 60s, and there’s a large genetic component. Family history is the only known risk factor for the disease—it’s inherited in a third of all cases.

    “In the lab, researchers will ask patients in the early stages of this disease 'Is it okay to laugh at someone who fell down?' or 'Is it okay to steal a wallet?' or 'Is it okay to speed on the highway?" and usually they will be able to say 'No, that’s wrong.' But the fact is, outside in everyday life, they’re doing these things anyway,” Wanucha told me. “What that says to me is that they may still understand right or wrong, but they don’t care on an emotional level. They no longer care about the impact of their behavior on other people. They no longer care about how their behavior reflects back on them through other people’s eyes." Of course, this ability to step back and reflect on our actions—to see them as others see them—is one thing that separates us from most, if not all of our primate relatives. It's part of what makes us who are we.

    “Because of brain damage, they’ve lost this ability that they used to have to apply this emotional, intuitive knowledge about how they should act and put that into practice,” she went on. “I think that’s an important distinction to make because someone with FTD is not choosing to act this way, and these people—who used to be teachers, artists, athletes—can get into a lot of personal, legal, or financial trouble if others don't take responsibility and look out for them."

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/1...or-your-memory


    I know people with Alzheimers, but not with FTD. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for their family members.

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    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    The power of the Holy Spirit would still override such things because it belongs to the realm of the flesh. As long as the person is capable of controlling his actions at all, meaning he shies away from immediate danger like fire, jumping off a cliff etc. That belongs to the realm of insanity rather than weakness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
    The power of the Holy Spirit would still override such things because it belongs to the realm of the flesh. As long as the person is capable of controlling his actions at all, meaning he shies away from immediate danger like fire, jumping off a cliff etc. But that belongs to the realm of insanity rather than weakness.
    Tell that to a beautiful Holy Ghost filled family I know who are dealing with this exact thing. We have to be careful when we start saying such specific "advice".

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  7. #4
    What a terrible thing to endure.

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    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lista View Post
    Tell that to a beautiful Holy Ghost filled family I know who are dealing with this exact thing. We have to be careful when we start saying such specific "advice".
    The same power can also heal people's minds, by faith. Allowing the Holy Spirit to override the flesh may be more difficult when there is a large physical problem present but it is not impossible. Again it involves faith.

    Turning off the mind completely and only being aware according to the human spirit is also possible. Not in terms of interacting with the world to any large degree but in terms of finding calm and equilibrium.

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  11. #6
    This is quite true. Most serial killers had two things in common: A head injury, and an abusive childhood.

    Also, brain "medications" such as SSRIs, meds for Parkinson's, etc.....can all turn the most moral person into an addict, a monster, and spiral the person into all sorts of "addictions". They had to pull a Parkinson's medication off the market because it was creating gambling addicts and sex addicts. We also know that due to a genetic mutation, 10% of people on SSRIs for depression, cannot metabolize the drug, and people then go into suicidal/homicidal ideation (or "akathesia").

    That's one reason I tell people to be very cautious when ministering to people on an SSRI who is exhibiting strange behavior....you could be just spinning your wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by njtom View Post
    Following up on the New Republic article posted by Monkfish, I thought I would post an article from the same magazine on a devastating neurological disorder known as Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) that destroys a portion of the brain that affects moral behavior, resulting in loss of compassion and loss of inhibition.

    FTD is ugly. It blunts compassion and it lowers inhibition, leaving patients spouting racial slurs in public and cheating on their spouses. When self-control and self-restraint go, patients are left unlike themselves. It tends to hit earlier than Alzheimer’s, usually between someone’s 40s or early 60s, and there’s a large genetic component. Family history is the only known risk factor for the disease—it’s inherited in a third of all cases.

    “In the lab, researchers will ask patients in the early stages of this disease 'Is it okay to laugh at someone who fell down?' or 'Is it okay to steal a wallet?' or 'Is it okay to speed on the highway?" and usually they will be able to say 'No, that’s wrong.' But the fact is, outside in everyday life, they’re doing these things anyway,” Wanucha told me. “What that says to me is that they may still understand right or wrong, but they don’t care on an emotional level. They no longer care about the impact of their behavior on other people. They no longer care about how their behavior reflects back on them through other people’s eyes." Of course, this ability to step back and reflect on our actions—to see them as others see them—is one thing that separates us from most, if not all of our primate relatives. It's part of what makes us who are we.

    “Because of brain damage, they’ve lost this ability that they used to have to apply this emotional, intuitive knowledge about how they should act and put that into practice,” she went on. “I think that’s an important distinction to make because someone with FTD is not choosing to act this way, and these people—who used to be teachers, artists, athletes—can get into a lot of personal, legal, or financial trouble if others don't take responsibility and look out for them."

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/1...or-your-memory


    I know people with Alzheimers, but not with FTD. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for their family members.

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  13. #7
    You have to pray for total restoration and healing of the brain before any headway can be reached.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
    The same power can also heal people's minds, by faith. Allowing the Holy Spirit to override the flesh may be more difficult when there is a large physical problem present but it is not impossible. Again it involves faith.

    Turning off the mind completely and only being aware according to the human spirit is also possible. Not in terms of interacting with the world to any large degree but in terms of finding calm and equilibrium.

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    FresnoJoe (08-23-2015)

  15. #8
    My (former) best friend sustained two very bad head injuries and as a result, just really couldn't keep it together as a Christian. She tried an SSRI which literally put her in a psych ward. It was the worst experience she ever had in her life. But in all honesty, she loved God with all her heart, but really just could not walk out her salvation in any meaningful way, and numbed her pain with alcohol.

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    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    That's your personal opinion, that the Holy Spirit cannot override impulses stemming from brain damage. Or drugs taken involuntarily, meaning the person isn't taking them in order to get the resulting effect.

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  19. #10
    What on earth are you talking about? I said:
    You have to pray for total restoration and healing of the brain before any headway can be reached.
    I guess you either misunderstood my point or you think what I said was radically different than you saying that healing was needed. Which is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
    That's your personal opinion, that the Holy Spirit cannot override impulses stemming from brain damage. Or drugs taken involuntarily, meaning the person isn't taking them in order to get the resulting effect.

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    FresnoJoe (08-23-2015)

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