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Joined: 2006/3/15
Posts: 168

 Study: "Born Again" Linked to Brain Atrophy

This article was posted on Foxnews...

Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study
01/10/2012 3:58 PM

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who say they've had a life-changing religious experience are more likely to have a greater decrease in size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain critical to learning and memory, new research finds.

According to the study, people who said they were a "born-again" Protestant or Catholic, or conversely, those who had no religious affiliation, had more hippocampal shrinkage (or "atrophy") compared to people who identified themselves as Protestants, but not born-again.

The study is published online in PLoS ONE.

As people age, a certain amount of brain atrophy is expected. Shrinkage of the hippocampus is also associated with depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

In the study, researchers asked 268 people aged 58 to 84 about their religious affiliation, spiritual practices and life-changing religious experiences. Over the course of two to eight years, changes to the hippocampus were monitored using MRI scans.

The researchers suggested that stress over holding religious beliefs that fall outside of the mainstream may help explain the findings.

"One interpretation of our finding -- that members of majority religious groups seem to have less atrophy compared with minority religious groups -- is that when you feel your beliefs and values are somewhat at odds with those of society as a whole, it may contribute to long-term stress that could have implications for the brain," Amy Owen, lead author of the study and a research associate at Duke University Medical Center, said in a Duke news release.

The study authors also suggested that life-changing religious experiences could challenge a person's established religious beliefs, triggering stress.

"Other studies have led us to think that whether a new experience you consider spiritual is interpreted as comforting or stressful may depend on whether or not it fits in with your existing religious beliefs and those of the people around you," David Hayward, research associate at Duke University Medical Center, added. "Especially for older adults, these unexpected new experiences may lead to doubts about long-held religious beliefs, or to disagreements with friends and family."

The researchers noted other factors related to hippocampal atrophy, such as age, depression or brain size, as well as other religious factors such as prayer or meditation, could not explain the study's findings.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides details onbrain atrophy.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Duke University, news release, May 19, 2011

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

I can furnish the actual link to the article on the website.

 2012/3/18 15:19Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37633
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re: Study: "Born Again" Linked to Brain Atrophy

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who say they've had a life-changing religious experience are more likely to have a greater decrease in size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain critical to learning and memory, new research finds.

Sadly those who would read and believe such things are deeply deceived into a blind-trust in the scientific world-view that is prevalent. Men's trust is in what they can try and proof by test tubes and most are in blind denial of their true condition and the condition of the world at large. Sin is rampant, almost the entire population of the world is trapped in a selfish cycle of sinful indulgence. Almost a quarter of the USA is locked in jails or have been put under some sort of legal rep-emend in their life, this only accounts for those that have actually been "caught".

We should not read or believe such things. For most "true" conversion experiences the opposite is true. I have grown in my knowledge, wisdom and my desire to study has never been more acute. As paul says to the Corithians: "In him we excel in our learning, speaking and wisdom. In Christ is life and all knoweldge and true wisdom.

These sort of articles will grow more prevelant till they state that believing in a Son of God is for the deranged, lunactics and madmen. They will call us all kinds of evil and even the most hideous wicked people on the earth. But take courage brethren we must suffer and endure all things for the sake of Christ and the Gospel and then the end will come!

Marantha Lord Jesus.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/3/18 15:37Profile

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


These sort of articles will grow more prevelant till they state that believing in a Son of God is for the deranged, lunactics and madmen. They will call us all kinds of evil and even the most hideous wicked people on the earth.


I was thinking the same thing. How long before they say that medically speaking professing and believing in Jesus will do you harm so for your own good its unlawful or such....the world will attack those who are in HIM!

I agree its time to be strong in the LORD and to keep our focus daily moment by moment in HIM!!

God Bless

 2012/3/18 15:51Profile

Joined: 2007/5/21
Posts: 132

 The scandal of the Cross by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This came yesterday and I think it's appropriate to post here also,

The scandal of the Cross
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

There was a time when it was true to say of the masses of the people that ... they recognized the truth of the Gospel ... but failed to put it into practice. They may have gone further and objected to its stringent ethical and moral demands. But even then they were paying tribute to it, and merely putting up defenses for their own sin and weaknesses. The gospel in those days was recognized as presenting the highest and the best way of life ... That was once the position. But it is no longer so ... The general attitude towards the gospel has changed completely ... today it is being actively attacked and opposed. Indeed, we have even reached a stage beyond that; it is being ridiculed and dismissed.

The claim today is that it is something which no educated, reasonable person can possibly accept and believe. It is placed in the category of folklore and superstition ... All this can be proved, it is contended, by the advance of knowledge, the result of scientific discovery, and the light which psychology has thrown on human nature and its strange behaviour. Certain aspects of the moral teaching of the gospel are accepted and praised, though some would even reject that, but as for the central claims of the gospel ... all these things are rejected with contempt and sarcasm ... Salvation is to be found, according to the modern man, in the full use of the human capacities and powers which can be trained by knowledge and education. Man must save himself; man can save himself ... And if anyone ventures ... to say that the gospel is the only hope for mankind ... he would be roared at as a lunatic or a fool.

Nevertheless, that is precisely and exactly what we assert today, as Paul did so long ago.... We do not hesitate to state that the only hope for men is to believe the gospel of Christ.

The Plight of Man and the Power of God, pp. 76-9

 2012/3/18 16:05Profile

Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1364
Lakeland FL

 Re: The scandal of the Cross by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Post such as this cause me to reflect about how the progressive/liberal movement is able to establish itself philosophy of life on society. In some cases it is a good thing but in many cases it is not a good thing.


 2012/3/18 16:11Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re: The scandal of the Cross by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

In mortuary college I immediately lost all my professor's respect when I was put on the spot and asked if I believed Jesus Christ was divine. I don't remember how the topic of religion was initiated, but it came down to that question being poised to me in front of about 20 students. When I said I did, the professor folded his arms and frowned at me.

"Mr. West, I expected more from you," he said. I was his poster child for professional academics and decorum before this. That one admission brought it all down, and I was avoided from there on. The respect was gone.

The world thinks you're a bigoted idiot if you confess Christ before men - especially within the scientific community. But didn't Jesus Himself clue us in before the fact? This "shrinking brain" nonsense article is just another furthering of the perceived foolishness (this time, literally!) the unconverted have of the converted.

Paul Frederick West

 2012/3/18 16:17Profile

 Re: The scandal of the Cross by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

I read this 'story' when it first came out some months ago on a News forum and it's a total fabrication.

Back in the 70's, a young woman that attended the college, worked in a rest-home facility with elderly-retired Pastors. Having worked in Nursing Home facilities prior to college, she was totally amazed that these men of GOD still had their wits about them, though their bodies of course were going the way of all flesh. These men had given their lives to the study of His Word - and it showed.

Since then, there is much evidence that we now have new diseases. Alzheimers and a few other diseases that can stike at any age, were not known back in the old days. Senile dementia was always a possibility that the old folks dealt with but never to the degree that we've seen since just after the 70's. All of these newer diseases have been shown to be "environmental". Pesticides, alluminum, viral-bacterial and fungal cocktail diseases and a whole host of other environmental neuro-type toxins that we didn't see back 40 yrs ago.

Over the ages - GOD's Word has promised and has been proven to strengthen one's mind. His Word is true truth and the more one studies it, the more the proof of it's promise to us of a sound mind indeed.

Years back, one of the popular News magazines pointed the blame of the environmental polution that this world has experienced on Christians. Nothing new under the sun since Nero blamed the Christians for burning Rome.

The world is in the hands of the evil one - the father of lies.

 2012/3/18 16:21


These kind of articles are to be expected and more so as we move towards a day where there will be all out war against the saint's. May I just say that is is not a political thing, its a spiritual war.

Before I came to Christ I had read two or three books of no consequence. I had little interest in anything outside of serving my own flesh. After coming to Christ a whole new world opened up before me. As I soaked in the word of God and had the Lord coursing through my veins I became more intellectually curious about all things. It was as if my brain had been a dead battery and suddenly I was jump started into life.

People across the board assumed I was an educated person but I was not, I had left school at the age of 16. I thank God for the wisdom that He pours into His children. I thank God for a renewed mind. I thank God for all of those things. Before Christ I had a vocabulary that included a curse word roughly every fourth word. I had never written anything, had certainly never written any articles or poetry, yet the Lord opened all of that up and it is a beautiful thing. Now, if serving the Lord and believing His word is to be counted as foolishness in and of itself, please count me as a fool for Christ. I would rather be a fool in Christ that a wise-man in the world........bro Frank

 2012/3/18 16:23

Joined: 2006/8/10
Posts: 536


snippet from the article:

"compared to people who identified themselves as Protestants, but not born-again."

Commentary by me:
Now what sort of Christian, Protestant no less, says they are not born-again? They need to read John chapter 3 where Jesus tells Nicodemus that unless a person is born-again they cannot enter the kingdom of God.

 2012/3/18 16:44Profile

Joined: 2010/4/19
Posts: 447


I love these kinds of articles, they give me encouragement that the coming of the Lord is very soon.

"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." -Psalm 110:1

In other words:

"Have a seat Son, let this nonsense go on for awhile and We'll wrap it up with them and all their wisdom, You will trample on their heads. Yes Son, have a seat and relax..."

 2012/3/18 16:51Profile

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