Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Grant Activity: Current Activity Impacting Communities

Roundup of Recent Stories about the Brain

How electroconvulsive therapy’s troubled past has colored its modern use
By: Elana Gordon
February 16, 2017
Elyse Hunt hit rock bottom last summer. She had pummeled deeply into an already serious depression, leaving her bedridden and contemplating suicide. And one point, the condition left her hospitalized.
"I was ready to go," she recalled, from her Hampton, Virginia home.
Ten years had passed since a doctor diagnosed her with severe depression with psychosis. From the start, she engaged in therapy and then became a volunteer mental health educator. But by age 29, she relapsed. The medications, she says, had stopped working and she had developed a form of treatment-resistant depression. 
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Listening to the brain to reveal damage and disease
By: Max Green
February 16, 2017
Imagine you're standing on a busy city street corner with cars rushing past, there's traffic exhaust in the air, the cement is hot beneath your feet, there's a dog barking in the distance and people are shuffling by.
All those sights, sounds and smells are all around you, the brain never stops working to make sense of all that sensory information. Our eyes take in a lot but scientists say we process what we hear faster than what we see, and sound has a powerful effect on the nervous system.
Fourteen-year-old Addison Zehren says she began to notice that power in the days after she hit her head while swimming. She didn't know it at the time, but when Addison miscalculated her distance from the side of the pool and swam head first into the wall, she suffered a concussion. That trauma changed the way her brain processed sensory input.
Read the full story here
Let him eat cake: Reframing life after a suicide attempt
By: Paige Pfleger
February 9, 2017
Michael Bohannan-Calloway was diagnosed with cancer in January 2010. Doctors told him it was treatable but incurable. Looking for guidance, Bohannan-Calloway turned to a cancer support group.
"It was there that I decided to share some of my fears about dying, about life, about being a gay male almost 50 years old and not having any legacy," Bohannan-Calloway says. 
They encouraged him to chip away at his bucket list, and he decided they were right — he would begin working towards getting his Ph.D.
Nearly four years later, Bohannan-Calloway's life changed drastically over a period of 72 hours. First, the university he was attending told him that a year's worth of research and writing had to be scrapped. Secondly, he was in an abusive relationship that he was trying to end. And thirdly, because of all of the stress, his cancer came back after years in remission. 
Read the full story here