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Acetylcholine

Summary
– Acetylcholine is not often talked about but is a necessary excitatory neurotransmitter
– Acetylcholine interacts with gonadal hormones, thyroid hormones and several neurotransmitters
– Acetylcholine is important for energy, memory, attention, regulation of muscle contraction and much more.
– Choline is necessary to make acetylcholine
– Tyrosine is necessary to make acetylcholine
– Too much acetylcholine contributes to anxiety and irritability, too little contributes to anhedonia

Internet, Gaming, and Gambling Addiction

Video games, online gambling, online shopping and pornography all have the potential to become problematic
Social media also has an addictive quality that can cause withdrawal and exacerbate mood disorders and/or addictions
What Makes a Video Game Addictive
High Score
Beating the Game
No Ending to the Game – i.e. Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs)
Role Playing
Novelty/Discovery
A good portion of World of Warcraft is spent exploring imaginary worlds, and Minecraft is spent designing new worlds
Relationships
Acceptance
A place to anonymously try out different personas

Like other addictions, internet addiction can have physical, social, financial and emotional consequences
In our digital age, it is highly unlikely that people can completely unplug.
Similar to other behavioral addictions like eating and sex, it is necessary to identify the motivations behind the internet use
Additionally, by its very rewarding nature, internet addiction will cause neurochemical imbalances which can lead to depression and apathy.

Mindfulness and Self Regulation for Children and Adolescents

Objectives
– Core Mindfulness
– Walking the Middle Path
– Distress Tolerance
– Emotion Regulation
– Interpersonal Effectiveness
– Mindfulness Exercises
– DBT Games and Activities
Core Mindfulness
– Three States of Mind
– Reasonable: School Brain, scientist, robot
– Emotional: What your heart says
– Wise: The logical choice that makes you as happy as possible

– Example: Animal rescue
– Example: Extracurricular activities

The Impact of Gut Health For Mental Health and Relapse Prevention

Objectives
– BREIFLY review the findings from the research identifying the connection between the brain and the gut
– Differentiate gut health from proper nutrition
– Identify signs and consequences of poor gut health
– Explore the bidirectional relationship between the brain and the gut (second brain)
– Identify promising alternative approaches to treating mood (and other) disorders.
Overview
– Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world according to the World Health Organization. The effectiveness of the available antidepressant therapies is limited.
– Data from the literature suggest that some subtypes of depression may be associated with chronic low grade inflammation.
– The uncovering of the role of intestinal microbiota in the development of the immune system and its bidirectional communication with the brain have led to growing interest on reciprocal interactions between inflammation, microbiota and depression.
– The intestinal microbiota: A new player in depression? Encephale. 2018 Feb;44(1):67-74