Thursday, April 07, 2011

Electroconvulsive Therapy

First developed in 1938, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for years had a poor reputation with many negative depictions in popular culture. However, the procedure has improved significantly since its initial use and is safe and effective. People who undergo ECT do not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
ECT is usually considered only after a patient's illness has not improved after other treatment options, such as antidepressant medication or psychotherapy, are tried. It is most often used to treat severe, treatment-resistant depression, but occasionally it is used to treat other mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Before ECT is administered, a person is sedated with general anesthesia and given a medication called a muscle relaxant to prevent movement during the procedure. An anesthesiologist monitors breathing, heart rate and blood pressure during the entire procedure, which is conducted by a trained physician. Electrodes are placed at precise locations on the head. Through the electrodes, an electric current passes through the brain, causing a seizure that lasts generally less than one minute.
Scientists are unsure how the treatment works to relieve depression, but it appears to produce many changes in the chemistry and functioning of the brain. Because the patient is under anesthesia and has taken a muscle relaxant, the patient's body shows no signs of seizure, nor does he or she feel any pain, other than the discomfort associated with inserting an IV

A typical course of ECT is administered about three times a week until the patient's depression lifts (usually within six to 12 treatments). After that, maintenance ECT treatment is sometimes needed to reduce the chance that symptoms will return. ECT maintenance treatment varies depending on the needs of the individual, and may range from one session per week to one session every few months. Frequently, a person who underwent ECT will take antidepressant medication or a mood stabilizing medication as well

I'm off for ECT myself  for the next few weeks - wish me well.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Rigs I Have Worked On #8 - Scott Platform

The Scott installation comprises two separate platforms each supported by steel
jackets interconnected by two separate bridges. The two platforms are the drilling and
process platform DP, and the utilities and quarters platform UQ.

The DP platform comprises an eight-leg jacket supporting an integrated deck housing
process train, gas treatment, flare boom, drilling facilities and derrick. The UQ
platform comprises a four-leg jacket supporting an integrated deck housing utilities,
living quarters, lifeboats, helideck, power generation and exhaust structure.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Sensory Homunculus

The sensory homunculus is the familiar textbook caricature of a human being spread out improbably over the surface of the brain. It depicts how much space the brain allocates to our different body parts when it comes to feeling out the world around us. Its wildly uneven proportions are generally thought to arise in response to the activity of sensory neurons feeding information to the brain


Orpheus, look back into
The crawling darkness at the DVD
Player I trail on its power cable
And the cable parts, gnawed by rats, and it
Falls behind into the dark,
It's a DVD player, it's been there
For at least a year, in the open shed
Rain, heat, bugs, rats have had their way with it
And now it has been taken back from the
Underworld. Redemption has been made
And I, as the place I
Will not go, the place I stored all the stuff
From before, from that which is Underworld

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Rigs I Have Worked On #7 - Piper Bravo

The Piper Bravo is a North Sea oil production platform originally operated by Occidental Petroleum (Caledonia) Ltd. It was built to replace the Piper Alpha platform, which was destroyed by a fire and subsequent series of explosions in 1988. It is located approximately 120 metres from the wreck buoy marking the remains of its precursor (at 58°27′35″N 0°15′04″E).
The field is now owned by Talisman Energy and has recently undergone an upgrade to accept gas from the Tweedsmuir North & South discoveries 52 km to the south.