Can brain lesions explain why some people are driven to a life of crime?

It is the conundrum that has plagued many neurologists for years: Is criminal behavior the cause or effect of brain lesions? Or worse, do these two factors simply exist in the same space but share no common ground? Attempting to find a potential link between the two is necessary for understanding why some people enter a life of crime and what can be done to prevent it.

Perhaps this new research can help. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that criminality typically occurs after a brain lesion. Researchers found that certain neurological diseases damage specific areas of the brain associated with moral decision-making. These lesions could be located in various brain regions, but all of them are somehow involved with either cognition control or empathy.

These findings are implied, but are not conclusive. The authors of the study admit that while their results are interesting, they offer no concrete predictive value. That is, those with brain lesions are not “doomed” to commit crimes.

But: Patients with brain damage are more likely to engage in criminal behavior.

These conclusions, the authors believe, will help society as a whole take important steps toward preventing criminality and – just assuming several steps ahead – determining whether the presence of a brain lesion makes a person legally responsible for their behavior.

Nipping it in the bud

The extreme Left leans heavily on data that suggest a biological or genetic reason for specific behaviors. This removes all sense of responsibility from the person; after all, nothing can be done about something imprinted on one’s genes or found in the brain, right?

But what most of them don’t realize is that while there is a connection between physical function and behavioral patterns, there ARE steps to prevent damage from occurring in the first place.

In terms of brain damage, there are several things that contribute to the risk of decreased mental clarity with daily exposure. The most obvious one is pesticide exposure. Scores of research have concluded that even small amounts of pesticide exposure cause mild to moderate cognitive dysfunction. One such study even concluded that these impairments were “similar to [symptoms] described for Gulf War syndrome.”

The effects are not limited to just one person. There is a generational effect as well. One other study found that mothers who were exposed to organophosphate metabolites (a chemical found in most pesticides) during their pregnancy were more likely to deliver children who would display adverse mental development as they grow older. In fact, the U.N. has even estimated that pesticide exposure has caused the cumulative loss of 13 million IQ points a year due to abnormal brain development.

The best way to decrease these risks is to buy organic food, or better yet, grow your own in your garden. Conscious and deliberate purchasing is key, too. Learn to read nutritional labels and avoid highly-processed foods or crops that are notorious for being sprayed with all those yummy chemical toxins.

Be proactive about this

It is not enough that you avoid certain things that cause brain damage; taking the right nutritional steps to boost mental clarity is similarly important. Your food choices are the most influential variable you can control to achieving overall well-being.

As much as you can, try eating more healthy fats and green, leafy vegetables. Other food items that are great for a stronger brain include kimchi, dark chocolate, and red wine.

Don’t forget to exercise! Nothing is better at preventing brain damage than consistent and daily physical movement. Even a brisk 10-minute walk every day can do wonders for your brain.

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