My Power To Will

I've become a bit obsessed with the idea of a "will" center in the brain, and the endogenous neurochemicals associated with it. Obviously it's never as simple one location in the brain for any complex behavior - but there are circuits that have a lot to do with the conscious impulse to perform a physical act, which in a lot of ways is the foundation for the link between our thinking and behavior. Maybe it's where each conscious decision is made at its most fundamental level?

Today's surreal science fiction-esque phenomenon du jour is the newly diagnosed (and, of course, medicated) condition called Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS as it's commonly referred.

In relation to a prior post, I was not surprised to find that:

"Certain medications may worsen RLS in those who already have it, or cause it secondarily. These include: anti-nausea drugs, certain antihistamines (often in over-the-counter cold medications), drugs used to treat depression (both older tricyclics and newer SSRIs), antipsychotic drugs, and certain medications used to control seizures."

It would surely be interesting to see the numbers of people with "RLS" that are on or have taken anti-depressants. My own (totally unsubstantianted) theory is that the effect of leaving dopamine and/or serotonin in their synapses (as is the goal of reuptake inhibitors) may be creating some kind of feedback loop of movement circuits. These circuits were the result of willed impulses originally, but are now on a highly uncomfortable auto pilot, where the individual can no longer consciously inhibit these looped movements.

It is also noteworthy, that certain medications for RLS have also been used to treat Parkinson's patients. Also of note are the bizarre side effects of Mirapex, a new RLS drug:

"Several unusual adverse effects of this medication may include compulsive gambling, hypersexuality, and overeating"

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