The Use of Focused Ultrasound for Enhanced Delivery of Gene Therapy Across the Blood-Brain-Barrier

Jorge Pincay ‘20 Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease that results in the degradation of nerve cells in the brain over time. This disease is the result of a DNA mutation — a cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) trinucleotide repeat expansion– that occurs in the gene that encodes for the huntingtin (Htt) protein. This repeat expansion causes a highly toxic form of the Htt protein … Continue reading The Use of Focused Ultrasound for Enhanced Delivery of Gene Therapy Across the Blood-Brain-Barrier

A Vaccine for Alzheimer’s?

Nicole Zhao ’20 Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that destroys memory and thinking skills (1). When the disease was classified by Dr. Alzheimer in 1906, he noticed that the brain tissue of his patient with early-onset Alzheimer’s was riddled with amyloid-β plaques and tangles. Tangles are jumbled bundles of fibers inside neurons that disrupt the ability of neurons to communicate with each other … Continue reading A Vaccine for Alzheimer’s?

Long-Term Use of These Drugs May Increase Risk for Dementia

Nicole Zhao ’20 A diagnosis of dementia is often accompanied by fear, anxiety and the need to fulfill a bucket list before the condition robs you of life. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning which includes thinking, remembering and reasoning (1). These losses then manifest in a change of behavior such as the inability to communicate, change in personality, and eventually the loss of … Continue reading Long-Term Use of These Drugs May Increase Risk for Dementia

The Relationship Between the Brain’s Energy and Weight Gain in Children

Mariam Malik ‘22 Around 32% of adolescents and children are overweight or obese in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health, and childhood obesity has become a major problem in the U.S. Co-authors Christopher Kuwaza of Northwestern University and Clancy Blair of New York University School of Medicine hypothesized that there is an inverse relationship between brain development and fat disposition in terms … Continue reading The Relationship Between the Brain’s Energy and Weight Gain in Children

A Future for Paralysis Patients: Nerve Transfer

Shrey Thaker ‘22 Many years ago, the thought of paralysis was bleak and often had negative consequences for the patient’s mental state. However, because of the research of Dr. van Zyl and her group, young adult patients may have a hope of regaining their lost motor abilities. Often times, paralysis is caused by a severe infraction on spinal integrity, leading to a loss of nerve … Continue reading A Future for Paralysis Patients: Nerve Transfer

Mapping the Network of Biology: Connectomics

Shrey Thaker ‘22 Since the discovery of DNA and its structure, a common goal of many scientists has to unravel and explore biology through manipulation of its inherent maps. At one point, mapping the human genome was considered  key to understanding human life. However, the driving force behind a human being’s unique existence is their extraordinary neural capabilities. Today, the cartography of science strives further: … Continue reading Mapping the Network of Biology: Connectomics

Effects of Dopamine in Value-Based Learning

Allan Mai ‘20 Dopamine is a neurotransmitter with implicated functions involving value-based learning. Researchers have discovered that dopamine signals reward prediction and incentive motivation when the brain is actively utilizing its decision making and value-based learning functions. Additionally, dopamine receptors in the brain can be divided into two groups, D1 and D2, which have opposite functions in terms of reward related and aversion related behaviors. … Continue reading Effects of Dopamine in Value-Based Learning

Effects of GVS Signals on Cognitive Functions

Allan Mai ‘20 The hippocampus and striatal circuits play essential roles in spatial navigation. This task is completed by integrating information from the environment as well as intrinsic input from the vestibular system which is responsible for balance. Scientists are trying to modify the interaction of the hippocampus and striatal circuits by using the galvanic vestibular system (GVS), and researchers from the German Center for … Continue reading Effects of GVS Signals on Cognitive Functions

Molecular Differences in Alzheimer’s Disease Between Male and Female Patients

By Nicole Zhao ‘20  Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes memory, cognitive  and behavioral problems (1). In the United States, approximately 5.5 million people live with Alzheimer’s with two-thirds being women (2). Although  Alzheimer’s treatments are heavily researched, the impact of sex on the molecular level of the disease has not been explored. In this article, sex refers to the physiological and biological … Continue reading Molecular Differences in Alzheimer’s Disease Between Male and Female Patients

The Effect of Different Herbal Extracts on the Potential Prevention of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Kavindra Sahabir ‘21 An estimated 24 million people worldwide are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. A major causative factor in the onset and progression of these diseases is the formation of misformed alpha-synuclein proteins, which aggregate and cause major problems in the nervous system. Thus, in developing strategies to combat these diseases, researchers must look for ways to block the … Continue reading The Effect of Different Herbal Extracts on the Potential Prevention of Neurodegenerative Diseases