Okay, pretty much the human condition is having to act with imperfect knowledge. Often we don't even realize that.
But sometimes as is the case with mental health -- the evidence is overwhelming that our knowledge is grossly inadequate while in many ways impressive.
In fact, we have our own National Institute of Mental Health saying the DSM 5 "lacks validity" and that mental health is far behind other areas of medicine in standardization and quality.
Yet what is the area medicine that is more likely to be called upon in a criminal case -- is it cardiology? I don't think so.
It is this very same area of medicine that is so poorly understood and that we use because we don't have anything else. There's a reason why so many of the world's religions and wisdom traditions admonish: Don't Judge.
It's NOT just because they want to be nice people -- although that's a big part of it -- It's that we really don't know.
AND we still have to have safety. In our case -- we really know that we don't know everything when it comes to understanding so much about mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and brain injuries.
We do need to provide the "evidence-based" treatments we do know to those subject to Criminal Justice involvement and we can certainly start with the well-recognized categories of mental illness, developmental disability, and brain injury. Let's start with some of those people most in need -- those in AdSeg in Colorado Jails.
"We are inhabited by as many as ten thousand bacterial species; these cells outnumber those which we consider our own by ten to one and weigh all told about three pounds -- the same as our brain.
"Together, they are referred to as our microbiome-- and they play such a crucial role in our lives that scientists have begun to reconsider what it means to be human." -- Michael Specter
BBC PARKINSON'S DISEASE MAY START IN GUT
Dr Timothy Sampson, one of the researchers at the California Institute of Technology, said: "This was the 'eureka' moment, the mice were genetically identical, the only difference was the presence or absence of gut microbiota.
"Now we were quite confident that gut bacteria regulate, and are even required for, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease."
The scientists believe the bacteria are releasing chemicals that over-activate parts of the brain, leading to damage.
The bacteria can break down fibre into short-chain fatty acids. It is thought an imbalance in these chemicals triggers the immune cells in the brain to cause damage.
Dr Sarkis Mazmanian said: "We have discovered for the first time a biological link between the gut microbiome and Parkinson's disease.
"More generally, this research reveals that a neurodegenerative disease may have its origins in the gut and not only in the brain as had been previously thought.
THE BRAIN-IMMUNE-GUT TRIANGLE:
INNATE IMMUNITY IN PSYCHIATRIC AND NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS
Abstract The communication between the immune and central nervous systems has been known for decades. Although the biological rules and complexity of the neuroimmune axis is yet to be clarified, in the modern era of immunology and clinical neurosciences it has become a dynamically evolving paradigm. . .
Uncovering immunological mechanisms in the context of brain functions emerges as a promising avenue for future therapeutic interventions in various . . . ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, or different mood disorders such as major depression or bipolar disorder.
We propose new perspectives for the pharmacological modification of innate immune cells and their response to inflammatory cues in the brain. A holistic concept of studying the gut-brain-immune triangle is also suggested to bring up novel approaches in immunology, gastroenterology, psychiatry and neurology.