Freezing the Hunger Nerve and Incivility in the Workplace | Your Fantastic Mind: Ep. 7

Freezing the Hunger Nerve and Incivility in the Workplace | Your Fantastic Mind: Ep. 7


♪♪ Welcome to
“Your Fantastic Mind”. I’m Jaye Watson. This is a show
where we explore the mysteries and the science
of the amazing human brain. The epidemic of
obesity in America is worse than ever. The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention reports almost 40% of
adults are obese. The highest rates ever
recorded in the United States. No surprise,
diet products and plans are a $70 billion
industry, with 45 million Americans
going on diets every year. Some experts say fewer than
5% keep that weight off. But what if you could
quell that hunger signal? Not be hungry anymore. Long enough to lose
the weight for good. Here is what happened
when a group of people had their hunger
nerve frozen. Hi, Jaden.(Jaye)
Melissa Donovan takes care
of brand new babies
in a job that
never stops.
Oh, you’re sweet, baby.(Jaye)
A single mother.
Donovan has been
dieting on and off
since the third grade.I definitely
would turn to food. Like, I like
celebrating with food, and when I’m bored,
I eat food. And at the
nurse’s station, people bring us food
to show us love, and we eat their food.(Jaye)
If there’s a diet,
odds are, she’s done it.
(Melissa)
Usually my problem was,
I could lose it by doing,
like, a cleanse,
or a Whole30,
or a, you know,
sugar detox.
And then I would
gain it right back.
I can gain 10, lose 20,
gain 25, easily.
I was kind of giving
into the circumstance
that I was just gonna
be that plus-size girl.
And I didn’t wanna be, but
I was like, all of the sudden, I’m just, you know,
Trey’s mommy, who’s just overweight. And I didn’t wanna
be that person. But I was like, well,
I guess it’s just inevitable.(Jaye)
What Donovan didn’t
know was that
on the other side of the
Emory Johns Creek Hospital,
was a doctor who would
change her life.
My day job, I was using
interventional radiology to freeze nerves for
the treatment of pain.(Jaye)
Interventional radiologist,
Dr. David Prologo,
was helping patients end
debilitating nerve pain
with cryoablation.A several decades
old process
in which hollow needles cooled
by thermally conductive fluids
are placed
close to a nerve.
(Dr. Prologo)
It’s freezing of the nerve.
We know from treating pain
that if we get a probe close to the nerve and
we drop the temperature, the nerve stops sending whatever signals
it was sending. In most cases, pain.(Jaye)
So, Prologo, who is
also board-certified
in obesity medicine,
had an idea.
One of the things that causes
people to quit their diets is hunger. And we know that
that hunger signal is transmitted
through a nerve. And so, the interventional
radiology skill set allows me to get to
that nerve safely, through the skin,
with image guidance.(Jaye)
Dr. Prologo is talking
about the vagus nerve,
which runs from the
brain to the belly.
And among its many duties,
is alerting the brain
to when the stomach
is full and empty.
(Dr. Prologo)
The vagus nerve projects
these hunger signals
to the brain stem.The brain stem then
processes them
and sends them to the higher
centers in your brain
that process pleasure.For survival purposes,
when our stomach is empty,
our vagus nerve sends a signal
to our brain to seek food,
so that we don’t die.(Jaye)
Prologo says those hunger
signals can be relentless
on calorie
restricting diets.
Especially for
overweight people.
A restricted calorie diet
for a person who is lean is easier to tolerate than
a restricted calorie diet for a person
who’s overweight.Making the change is hard.Maintenance is not.If we can get the people
past the point
where it’s hard to
restrict calories,
then the hunger signal is
much easier to deal with.
There’s paper after
paper after paper,
very famous paperswritten in the
“Journal of American
Medical Association”,
showing how, no matter
what diet a person is on, their success or failure
depends on attrition. Meaning that we can compare
the Atkins Diet, to Ornish, to the South Beach Diet,
to a Keto Diet. And the people who
are gonna succeed aren’t in one of
those buckets. The people who
are gonna succeed are the people who
stay on the diet.(Jaye)
– In Dr. Prologo’s case,
his motivation to help
people lose weight
comes from a deeply
personal place.
– I’ll be honest. I’ll tell the story that
I don’t think I’ve told to anyone else,
and it’s a true story. I watched my mom, who was overweight for
the majority of my life. I’m sure she wouldn’t,
uh, be embarrassed that I’m sharing that.And I knew her to be
an extremely strong
and persistent person with
a will of steel, right?
But she could not
stay on a diet.
I got to see it
from the inside.
From a person that
I knew was strong.
And so, this message
that people cannot make the transformation
from overweight to lean because they’re weak
could not possibly be right if we’re talking
about my mom.I see people like
my mom every day now.
And when they tell the story of
how difficult it is for them,
how impossible it is for
them to stay on a diet, I want them to know,
I believe you. I believe you.(Jaye)
Dr. Prologo took evidence
from previous studies
of cryoablation
and presented them to the FDA
for a new application.
A new use for
the procedure.
To freeze part of
the vagus nerve.
Prologo calls it the
C.A.T.C.H. Procedure,
Cryoablation To
Curb Hunger.
The FDA approved
a pilot study.
The first participant to
sign up, Melissa Donovan.
I thought I was there for,
like, three minutes. I was there for,
like, 30. We bring them
into the CT suite, and we give them some sedation,
lay them on their belly. We take a small probe, which is about the
size of a pen tip,and we advance that
through their back
to this region where the
esophagus meets the stomach.
That’s where the
vagus nerve lives.
We freeze for
two minutes.
And, um, we let it thaw
for a little bit,
and then we
take that out.
We put a band-aid
over the site,and we recover them
from the sedation
and send them
on their way.
(Jaye)
Dr. Prologo says the small
section of the vagus nerve
that is frozen
eventually regenerates.
It regenerates at about a rate
of one millimeter per day, which is really slow. So the distance of
the vagus nerve would take about
a year to regenerate. Woke up, went home,
and didn’t feel anything. I never had pain. Never had any
kind of discomfort.I called Dr. Prologo the
next day and I was like,
“Was this a
placebo effect?
“Did you just pretend like
you were gonna go in
“and freeze something“and you didn’t
really do anything.”
And he was like, “Why?
What’s the deal?” And I was like,
“I just forgot to eat.” I was like,
“I’m obsessed with food.”(Jaye)
Just like that,
Donovan got off the seesaw
she’s been on for
most of her life.
I didn’t feel hungry. Um, and really was like,
I don’t need to eat, but I should eat, right?I should stop to eat
right now.
I didn’t think
it was real.
I thought maybe I’d
made it up in my head.
Um, I would order the
same amount of food
that I was
used to ordering.
So, I could eat
a whole burger,
and I could eat a
whole side of fries,
or I could eat
three sushi rolls.
It won’t let you.
Like, it– your body will tell you
to stop eating. That you’re really full.(Jaye)
Donovan was one of 20 people
in the pilot study.
Participants were not
given any guidance on diet,
calorie restriction, exercise,
or lifestyle changes.
What we did measure
was impact on hunger. So we took all of the patients
who underwent the procedure and at each of
the follow up points, seven days after the procedure,
45 days after the procedure, 90 and 180, we gave them
a questionnaire, asking them to compare
their hunger levels to pre-procedure rates. And more than 95%
of the patients are reporting
decreased hunger. So what we can do with
that decreased hunger is what’s exciting
about this.(Jaye)
Six months post-procedure,
95% of participants felt their
appetite was less than before.
50% had cut 460 calories
a day from their diet.
47% were eating 500
fewer calories a day.
And 24% had cut a whopping
1,000 calories a day
from their diet.18 out of 20 people
did lose weight.
Anywhere from
3 to 30 pounds.
And something else…
this group began moving.
With 84% of patients reporting
increases in physical activity.
Dr. Prologo says intervening
in a physical way
can dramatically
impact a mentally
and physiologically
difficult journey.
We would never have someone
come into us with heart disease who says, “I’ve smoked
for ‘X’ number of years, “and I ate steaks
every, day, “and now I’ve got
heart disease, we would never
say to them, “Well, you better get
your head together “and overcome this
heart disease.” Never. We think of a way to
intervene onto their body and reverse their
heart disease, and treat them
and help them. Yet, when an obese
person comes in, we tell them to just
kinda gut it out.(Jaye)
Prologo believes that
freezing the vagus nerve,
quieting that hunger
signal for about a year,
gives people time to
change their bodies
and their lives.(Dr. Prologo)
We just need it to be
out of the way long enough
so that these folks
can get over here,
and eating healthy
and exercising
and living well is fun.So when the nerve regenerates,
they’re already over here. They don’t need to
make a change anymore. It’s making the change
that’s hard. We wanna help people
make the change.(Jaye)
It’s been a year
for Melissa Donovan.
(Melissa)
I’ve lost, um, somewhere–
a little more than 30 pounds.
Probably, uh,
three sizes down.
Mm-hmm. And haven’t gained
any of it back.(Jaye)
She says she notices
hunger signals
now that her vagus nerve
has regenerated,
but they’re no longer
debilitating.
That frozen year freed her
from her yo-yo diets.
She has a new lifestyle.A new life.All done.
You’re perfect. You’re perfect. Wanna go back to mommy? This procedure is not
available to the public yet, but Dr. Prologo says it
will be in the near future. ♪♪Leonardo da Vinci’s painting,
“The Last Supper”,
reminds us of
that saying, “A picture is worth
a thousand words.” Well, that’s
especially true when it comes to
remembering something. Researchers at the
University of Waterloo, in Canada, say that drawing
is a powerful influence on our memory, and can
be especially useful for older adults and
even those with dementia.Researchers had participants
draw quick pictures.
Four second drawings
of words in a list,
such as truck and pear.Well, the people who drew
pictures remembered them better
than when they wrote the
word out multiple times.
Creating the drawings
was also more effective
than imagining
the items
or viewing pictures
of the words.
Researchers also found
that drawing helps people remember even more
complex words. People who were given a minute
to draw an image of a spore were more likely
to remember itthan people who were asked
to write out the definition.
Now, younger people were
better than older people at remembering the words
that they wrote out, but there was no difference
between the two groups as far as the words
they had drawn.Researchers asked 13 people
diagnosed with dementia
to either draw or write
60 words that were read aloud.
The results showed a
massive memory benefit
for words that had been drawn
rather than written. Now, in some cases,
the patient’s drawings look like scribbles,
but it doesn’t matter. Because drawing ability
has nothing to do with memory performance. Even those of us who can
only draw stick figures can get memory benefits,
and here’s why.Retaining new informationtypically declines
as we age,
because of deterioration
of critical brain structures
involved in memory,
such as the hippocampus
and frontal lobes.However, visual-spatial
processing regions of the brain
involved in representing
images and pictures
remain mostly intact
in normal aging
and in dementia.Drawing makes use
of brain regions
that are still preserved,and could help people
experiencing memory impairment.
These findings will likely
lead to new interventions and therapies to help
dementia patients, and all of us, hold on
to valuable memories. ♪♪(Jaye)
So many of us spend
a lot of our lives
rushing from
one obligation to the next
and, often times,
sleep isn’t a top priority. But a new study says that
when it comes to children and sleep, it can impact
whether or not they’re overweight
in adolescence.In the study, published
in the journal, “Sleep”,
researchers at
Penn State University
analyzed data
for over 2,000 children,
in 20 cities,from the Fragile Families
& Child Wellbeing Study.
Researchers analyzed
the children’s sleep routines,
and found that only
a third of the children
between 5 and 9 years old,many from low income
or minority families,
consistently stuck to
age appropriate bedtimes
and sleep routines.Children who had no bedtime
routine by 9 years old
slept less and had
a higher body mass index
by the age of 15.Body mass index, or BMI,
is an estimate of body fat
based on
height and weight.
And their poor sleep habits
continued into adolescence,
with them getting less sleep
than is recommended
for their
developing brains.
Among the third of children
who had optimal bedtimes
and sleep routines
between 5 and 9,
well, their body mass index
was lower at 15 years old.
And their good
sleep habits continued.
A study from
Penn State last year
showed that giving kids
screen time before bed
led to about an hour less sleep
and a higher BMI.
The study shows
it’s time to slow down and prioritize sleep. The habits we put in place
for our children in childhood follow them
when they grow up. Most of us lead
busy lives. So busy, we can’t recall
everything we do at our jobs in a single day. But one thing
we don’t forget is when someone
is rude to us. Or snarky,
which is sharply critical, cutting, snide. Research is showing that
rudeness in the workplace impacts our brains
in profound ways.At the North DeKalb
Senior Center…
(Karin Zarin)
Your brain loves novelty,
and the more you do
things differently,
the happier
your brain will be. Like, “Whoo!
Somethin’ new.”(Jaye Watson)
…Karin Zarin
is leading a class
called Ageless Grace.This class is about fun, but it’s also tapping
into your cognitive, um, development.
Your balance, agility.Upper body strength.(Jaye)
At 70 years old…
We’re also stimulating
our internal organs.(Jaye)
…Zarin seems pretty
ageless herself.
♪ Splish splash
I was takin’ a bath ♪
(Jaye)
Zarin, who says she works
to live a mindful life…Give it all you got.(Jaye)
…was drawn to sign up
for a study
about personality
and decision.
Whatever she expected,
it was not this.
(telephone ringing)Hey, you were supposed to
message me 20 minutes ago. I don’t have time
to waste unnecessarily. Please let me finish.
Don’t interrupt me. See if you can salvage
this session, okay? I was absolutely appalled
that somebody would be so rude, and I said under my breath
to Rich, you know, “That’s your boss?”(Jaye)
Zarin would come to learn
she was part of a study,
examining the impacts
of incivility
or rudeness
in the workplace.
So Karin came in as one of our very first
research participants.(Jaye)
University of Florida
Doctor of Business student,
Dr. Richard Kuerston,
along with researchers
at the University of Maryland
and Emory University,
were digging deeper into
an area of great interest
for researchers
over the past few decades.
Don’t interrupt me, and I’ll get done
as much as I can.(Jaye)
How workplace rudeness
impacts us.
Workplace incivility or
rudeness is defined as…
It is not hostility,
abuse or violence.
It’s subtle.I’m not sure what you
were trying to do in that report,
but it didn’t work.(Jaye)
And most of us
have experienced it
at one time or another.So you thought it was a
good idea to do it that way. So we found that rudeness causes people to be
less productive. They’re less effective
at problem solving. People who are exposed
to rudeness are less creative. Uh, they’re less helpful. Then just turn left
into this room.(Jaye)
Kuerston and his team
recruited volunteers
via social media.Their goal was to recruit
everyday people.
Not to study studentsor other common
research participants.
(Rich)
It just took a while.
(Dr. Dave)
Okay, whatever.
Just…
(Jaye)
More than 60 people,
ranging from their 20’s
to their 70’s,
signed up.
When they arrived,
all received instructions
from a neuropsychologist
named Dr. Dave Cameron
through what they thought
was a FaceTime call.
Half received instructions
from a neutral Dr. Dave.
A lot of people have
trouble with this. If you do make a mistake,
just keep going and do the best you can.(Jaye)
Half got rude Dr. Dave.
A lot of people have
trouble with this, but if you make
another mistake,(sighs)
just keep going.
Do the best you can, okay?(Jaye)
Zarin was in
the rude group.
She didn’t get the
paperwork ahead of time. She didn’t get
to do it, so…(Jaye)
He tells her she forgot
to bring paperwork
that had been
emailed to her,
which is not true.(Dr. Dave)
Because you didn’t follow
the instructions in the email
and complete the
paperwork ahead of time,
I don’t have
a whole lot of time.
I know you’re probably just
here for the gift card, but…
(Jaye)
You can see Zarin
is not quite sure
what’s happening at first.Okay.She doubts herself……and imagines that maybe
she did overlook an email
she was supposed
to bring in.
(Dr. Dave)
Don’t interrupt me,
and I’ll get done
as much as I can.
My assistant can always
answer any questions
Great.you might have afterwards.(Jaye)
Zarin is stunned.
I was just- I was shocked
that I was gonna have to be a part of something that was being led
by someone like that. So, you said– I know. It’s–(Jaye)
She apologizes for
missing the email
for the paperwork.And then…We will– we’ll just-
we’ll just go forward.(Jaye)
…after all of that,
she takes 90 minutes
of various assessments,
usually given to people
with mild cognitive
impairment.
A condition
that’s often a precursor
to Alzheimer’s Disease.Sensors monitor her pulse
and heart rate.
The results of the studyshow how dramatically
rudeness affects us.
Turns out that rudeness
doesn’t just impact our productivity at work, or our willingness
to help other people, or our problem solving skills. It turns out that rudeness
can actually impact our ability to attend to multiple things
at the same time. And it also turns out
that rudeness causes us to be
more impulsive.(Jaye)
Out of all the assessments
they completed,
participants exposed
to rudeness
were consistently slower
and less accurate
on the Ericksen Flanker Task.A cognitive test designed
to evaluate attention.
They also engaged
in riskier behavior
using the Balloon Analogue
Risk Task
that measures impulsivity
in decision making.
(Kuerston)
For example,
if you’re making
cost benefit decisions
at work,
that’s a big deal.If you’re evaluating
treatment options for a patient,
that’s a big deal.(Jaye)
Kuerston and his
collaborators hypothesize
that people act
more impulsively
because they’re distracted.Zarin admits she was.And you’re ruminating
about it and thinking about it,
and wondering, could I have done it
differently? And why was that person
so rude to me? Did I set them off?
Was it me? In the back of our mind, in the RAM of our
neurological computer,we’ve got some small
program running
in the background
that is trying to interpret,
what was that?Why did that happen?
And what does that mean?
(Jaye)
In Zarin’s case,
she was doing assessments
for the study.
But in real life,
rudeness has a cost.
(Kuerston)
Dispensing a prescription
is not a complex activity.
But if incivility impacts
our ability to attend to the task of dispensing
prescription, then maybe we dispense
25 milligramsinstead of
.25 milligrams.
If incivility
impacts attention,
then there’s potential for
an air traffic controller
to not be able to attend to
all the different variables
that she or he
has to worry about.
(Jaye)
Rudeness can have
devastating impacts,
as evidenced by a study in
the journal, “Pediatrics”,
where medical teams
participated
in a training simulation
with a preterm infant.
If you have an observer
who just makes offhand comments that are this
low intensity behavior,they found that a
disproportionate
amount of time,
the NICU teams failed
to work together as a team.
They found that the
NICU teams broke down, uh, in terms of
their teamwork. They stopped sharing
information.And, ultimately, in
these diagnostic exercises,
they often failed to
identify a very serious
medical condition
that would lead to
the death of an infant in a real world scenario.(Jaye)
Studies on rudeness
in the workplace
are particularly common
in business schools
because rudeness
is a big cause
of employee turnover
and reduced effort
at work.
And it’s costly.One study found that a
single rude incident
cost a system $25,832
per year
in reduced effort,
time wasted worrying,
avoidance of
a rude coworker,
HR interactions,and, eventually,
employee turnover.
(Kuerston)
So, for example,
if you’re walking
into your office
and the person
at the front desk
is really rude to you,and then you go
interact with clients on a different floor, we know that the impact
of that preliminary exposure to rudeness,
it follows you.(Jaye)
People who witness rudeness
between other people
suffer the same impacts.Rude emails do the same.And, yes,
all the incivility
we see on social media
these days
is having the same effect
as well.
Dr. Kuerston and Karin Zarin
met after the study
and watched the video
together.
I was just-
I was shocked. Plus, I was feeling like
you were maybe gonna be
disappointed in, I was wasting
your time too. And I-I was feeling bad
about that. Sure. Sure.
Were you confused at all? No, I just thought you
worked for a horrible person.(laughing)(Jaye)
Zarin laughs,
knowing it wasn’t real.But in the workplace,rudeness is a reality
for most of us.
So, one of our bigger
concerns is that, uh, rudeness is increasing. Okay.(Jaye)
Kuerston and his team
have landed more funding
from the University of Floridato keep studying rudeness.It may be an unavoidable part
of working with other people,
but results of rudeness
are real and far-reaching.
I’ll call you
in a couple of hours when we’re both done. See if you can salvage
this session, okay? So the next time
you’re tempted to respond to that rude email in kind, maybe think again. That’s gonna do it
for us this week. See you next time on
“Your Fantastic Mind”. ♪♪

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