Jul

13

The recovery position for someone who has had a seizureThere is some very interesting work being done to uncover the causes of epilepsy.

A laymen wonders, given the prevalence of automated trading, if seizure-like "symptoms" can result from algorithmic programs that start to resonate or oscillate around triggered price levels. And if resonant behavior amongst the machines can be induced by crafty humans with proper tuning forks:

“Nothing has moved in the last 20 to 25 years,” said Wim van Drongelen, professor of neurology at the University of Chicago Medical Center. “There have been a lot of new anti-convulsant medications, but that one-third of patients who do not respond to medication has remained the same. My conclusion from that is that apparently all the new medications that have been developed address more or less the same type of epilepsy. In this context, epilepsy is comparable to cancer - there’s not just one type of cancer, and there’s not just one type of epilepsy, there are multiple types.”……………….."

The research team, led by Jennifer Dwyer, “injected” a small amount of current into their model and simply let it run. The neurons in their computerized cortex quickly fell into a pattern of oscillation that replicated what one would typically observe in an EEG recording. But the higher resolution afforded by the model allowed the team to figure out why networks of neurons fall into oscillation patterns. The answer was not a coordination of electrical spikes, as was theorized, but a more subtle fluctuation pattern of the cell’s electrical baseline: resonance."“

This gets at the idea that one of potential mechanisms that could start seizures could be resonance,” van Drongelen said. “Think of the Tacoma bridge, where resonance did lead to extreme large fluctuations and in the end the bridge was destroyed.”

Read more here.


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