Monday, November 20, 2017

The relationship between schizophrenia and autism

I mentioned that I attended an academic conference last weekend. At the stage, I saw some representative researchers presenting novel finding regarding psychiatry.

One of the things which attracted my attention was an attempt to distinguish autism from schizophrenia. These mental disorders are frequently misdiagnosed. Furthermore, not a few psychiatrists still believe these are the same disorder.

Autism was founded by Kanner in 1943. It is believed to be originated from subtle brain damage before the birth. Thus, patients with autism must present psychopathology in their childhood. In contrast, schizophrenia usually emerges at their adolescent. Recent studies claim there is a prodromal state for years before the definitive onset. Nonetheless, the idea that schizophrenia is a congenital disease is not supported by most psychiatrists.

The presenter was an AI researcher. And he reviewed massive brain images of the patients either schizophrenic, autistic, or normally developed control. He believed there were some mechanical differences found in brain MRI images between schizophrenia and autism.

Not surprisingly, his first study resulted in a complete failure. Interpersonal, and interinstitutional, differences were more magnificent than difference among diseases in the human brain images.

However, he never abandoned. He improved the algorithm of the image reading AI to eliminate such artifacts. After all, he could show three clusters on a two-dimensional graph. Thus, schizophrenic tendency and autistic tendency are distinguishable to some extent.

At least, he proved that these two mental disorders are different, albeit sharing some abnormalities, from the point of brain anatomy. It is a remarkable work, in my opinion.

Psychiatry has many rooms for further research. It is why it fascinates me.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Kurobe Kyokoku

I visited Toyama prefecture for attending an academic conference last weekend. After participating it, I visited Kurobe Kyokoku.

I planned to walk through Alpen Route which is a famous highland in Toyama prefecture. But the bus was out of service due to heavy snow. Therefore I visited Kurobe Kyokoku instead.

It snowed for the first time this year according to a tour guide.

I rode a trolley from Unazuki onsen for more than one hour. The scene was fantastic.

It was very cold. The view was cover with full of snow.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The price of iPhone X revealed

iPhone X deserves only 357.5 USD while it is sold for 999 USD, according to recent reports.

International Business Times: True cost of the iPhone X revealed

Soon after launching of a new model of iPhone, some experts are eager to calculate the material cost of the new product. According to them, the seller's margin of iPhone X is higher than that of iPhone 8 by about 25%.

But it is not surprising. It is usually seen that luxury goods cost more than its true value. One of the reasons is advertisement fee, and another is investment paid by the developer.

Most providers reduce the price of a gaming console as low as possible. The initial price of PlayStation series was said to lower than its material cost. It is because providers have to make their products spread to many users for selling software afterward. In contrast, iPhone is already common. Although iPhone is recognized as a gaming device by many users, Apple has no need to discount it.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Forced naked walk

This is another scandal in which a woman coercively did a sexual service in high society.

The unidentified brunette strutted down the isle of a call centre in Warsaw, Poland, with suited salesmen line up on either side of the office cheering her on.

An unidentified woman was forced to walk without any clothes at an office building in Warsaw, Poland. Her performance was observed by many salespersons wearing a business suit.

This female Polish employee was rewarded for her act, according to the media. And the purpose was to elevate the morale of salespersons.

International Business Times: Female employee forced to parade naked in office to boost morale of salesmen in Wolf of Wall Street-style stunt

After the video of the scene became spread through social media, this woman quitted the job.

Several opinions are possible to judge this event. Some claim it was conducted based on her own will. But others guess some kind of coercion might work to persuade her to such a shameful task.

In my opinion, the decision maker is quite stupid for his idea that a strip show could raise the motivation of salespersons. Indeed, some men are fond of seeing a strip show. They can enjoy it in some particular spaces. However, even professional strippers do not allow viewers to record their performance to broadcast it on the social media.

I am not a strict feminist. But, seeing such news, I have to consider there is still widespread discrimination against women's right and dignity on business field.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Korean nurses are forced to perform sexy dance

A Korean hospital is under fire scandal for its outdated performance.

In the Sacred Heart Hospital of Hallym University, several nurses were forced to make a dance wearing a seductive costume in front of many officials. They were requested to make a sexy face while performing, according to a whistleblower.

International Business Times: 'Humiliated' nurses forced to perform erotic dance for top officials by South Korea hospital

After a series of video footage was uploaded to Facebook, broad criticism emerged on the governance of the hospital. Korean Nurses Association called for an investigation into the hospital. And the Ministry of Employment and Labor confirmed an inquiry. It is possible responsible persons are summoned to the court.

I do not believe this kind of humiliating customs is usually conducted in South Korea. On the other hand, also in Japan, similar events were often performed until late 20th century. I myself have never met such an event, fortunately. It is obviously outdated and reminding gender inequality.

I do not care about some ladies fond of performing sexy dance. But once forced, it is nothing than violation of the human right.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The end of Macbook

I bought a MacBook last year, as I mentioned in this blog. It was very cute and fascinating.

My past entry: MacBook early 2016 has come
My past entry: Second impression on MacBook 2016 model

However, it became bad recently. Now, I am seriously considering to drop it.

A few months ago, I encountered a trouble with battery charging. It occurred in a foreign country. Therefore, It was very annoying to fix it. Finally, SMC reset resolved the problem.

My past entry: Mac battery charge troubled

Today, similar trouble began again. I inputted the command of SMC reset (Control+Shift+Option+Powe switch) repeatedly. But it took a long time before the system recovered. Even now, battery charging temporarily stops at random.

At the same time, the luminance of the display changes autonomously with a very rapid interval. I disabled the option of the automatic modification of the luminance. But it did not work. Perhaps, the machine misrecognized as the power supply is unstable.

Furthermore, the mouse pointer disappears all at sudden on the Windows. Windows on Bootcamp had been properly working so far. But now, it attempts to update the system coercively despite the fact of the exhausting battery.

These troubles occurred at the same time this week. Of course, I lose some documents I was writing when the trouble emerged.

Enough is enough. This Mac is no more reliable as a business tool.

It is truly disappointing the Mac became crippled only one year after purchasing. Although I loved this device, I should decide to scrap it and replace it with another machine.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Psychopathology of mass murderers

Every day, mass murder cases occur in the US, according to the media, although most of them were not reported. From the sense of ordinary people, such criminals look insane. In reality, however, only one-fourth of mass murderers are diagnosed as psychotic or other severe mental disorders.

Independent: Are mass murderers always insane? Researchers don't think so

The prevalence rate of schizophrenia, a representative psychotic disorder, is approximately one percent. Statistics about mood disorders is under broad discussion. Some researchers claim soft bipolar spectrum is seen in one person in every ten. Nonetheless, the vast majority of citizens have no particular mental disorders.

Dr. Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University, showed the data of 350 mass murderers. Among them, two-thirds of subjects had no severe mental disorders, while 22 percent had psychoses. Others are categorized to mood disorders or other psychiatric dysfunction.

This proportion seems reliable for my knowledge and experience. The majority of mass murderers are not psychotic. In contrast, patients with serious psychotic symptoms are often difficult to conduct deadly crimes.

On the other hand, many mass murderers have biased thought, distorted cognition, or difficulty of regulating their emotion. Such phenomena can be called as psychiatric symptoms. But, it is another issue whether they should be treated as mentally disordered. Anders Behring Breivik who committed a mass shooting in Norway was suspected of delusional disorder for his extreme ideology. But this possibility was denied by psychiatric examination. And Breivik himself did not want to be treated like a delusional disorder.

The broad definition of mental disorder makes this issue complicated. DSM-5, the newest diagnostic manual includes antisocial personality disorder, conduct disorder, and kleptomania. Many psychiatrists are doubtful for these disorders to be treated as a psychiatric disease. Indeed, the majority of all criminals matches the criteria for antisocial personality disorder, since they have broken the law.

In my sense, it is good that only severe mental disorders are discussed in this context. Different from personality trait, they are well known among psychiatrists as mental disorders which are treatable. We should be deliberate to discuss other diagnoses than them in the context of the cause of the crime and criminal responsibility of the suspect.