Brain/Pharma Ads

After viewing “The Secret Life of the Brain,” I feel that I will, at some point, make more of an effort to improve memory function by keeping my brain active.  Word puzzles/games are supposed to be very good at keeping multiple areas of the brain functioning, so as I get older it would certainly be beneficial to do that.  I cannot say that I will be making any instantaneous changes, but this tour certainly gave me a deeper insight to the brain.  Unfortunately I have never taken an anatomy course, so my understanding of the brain was limited before viewing this virtual tour.  I had heard of all of the parts of the brain before at one time or another, but I will admit that I was very ignorant to the majority of their functions.  I knew that the frontal lobe regulated reasoning, but I was unaware about its connection with the limbic system being such a large part of emotion.  For me that would probably be the “fun fact” that I took from the tour.  I would say this is a good example that the truth can be made visible, but only to a point.  This tour simplifies the actual appearance of the brain, which, if seen in real life would appear significantly different to this diagram.  However, diagrams are meant to simplify the real thing, and this tour does do a good job of explaining each various area of the brain.  So, as a visual itself it is not a truthful representation of the brain, but as a diagram it truthfully describes the real thing.

Advertisement Link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w06gQqYWTW4

Product:  Stelara

This advertisement for Stelara does not immediately give a checklist of symptoms of the illness, but it does state that it is for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.  Psoriasis is pretty cut-and-dry, so the symptoms do not interpellate the viewer as much as the fact that you only need four doses per year after two starter doses.  The ad also states that in a medical study, 7 out of 10 patients that used Stelara saw up 75% clearer skin at 12 weeks, and 6 of 10 saw their psoriasis as “minimal” or “gone” at 12 weeks (no typo, so if it was the same study they are contradicting themselves).   

As somebody who suffers from psoriasis (although not moderate-severe), I was very interested in what this ad had to say because it is very difficult to control psoriasis flare-ups during certain seasons.  However, with the very few symptoms of red, itchy, flaky, or scaly skin comes many side effects.  There were eight side effects including cancer, seizures, and infections that can cause brain damage.  The commercial promises that Stelara can help to reduce your plaque psoriasis and let you go on living your life without worrying about your skin.  This is evident in the ad through the use of various visuals of a woman appearing happy as she is preparing for a large family photo.  She seems to evoke a high level of confidence and is smiling, whereas one can assume somebody with severe psoriasis would not be as happy.  The advertisement actually shows minimal skin outside of the woman appearing in a purple dress at the end, which I found interesting.  Psoriasis is very common on the elbows, so I would guess it is showing that you can wear short sleeves and not have to worry about visible psoriasis.  As somebody with only mild psoriasis, I can say that I would much rather keep some red patches on my skin than risk brain injury or death, but perhaps this ad is attractive to some people.

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