New Chemical Compound to Reduce the Adverse Side Effects of Neural Implants

Jorge Pincay ’20 Over the years research in neuroscience has led to the development of brain implants, called microelectrodes that can help restore essential motor and sensory functions. This technology has become beneficial for those that suffer from head injury and neurodegenerative disease. The limitations of this technology lie within the immunological response that comes about shortly after implantation. This immune response, which is governed … Continue reading New Chemical Compound to Reduce the Adverse Side Effects of Neural Implants

Neurons that Help Us Forget

Nicole Zhao ’20 Imagine having the ability to never forget. This would come in handy if one needed to memorize a textbook or lecture slides for an exam. However, being able to remember every single moment of your life in snapshots does have its drawbacks. This is exactly what happened to a man known as subject S. who was known for his unforgettable memory in … Continue reading Neurons that Help Us Forget

Eating Junk Food Leads to Blindness

Ellie Teng ’21 A case report presented a 14 year old male adolescent with “fussy” eating habits feeling fatigued. Scientists from Bristol Medical School and the Bristol Eye Hospital performed tests that showed anemia and low levels of vitamin B12 but the patient was otherwise well. At 15, he was suffering from hearing loss and not long after, deteriorating vision. He was referred to an … Continue reading Eating Junk Food Leads to Blindness

The Genetic Role of Left-Handedness

Ellie Teng ’21 90% of the population are right- handed, so what is different about individuals who are left- handed? Handedness was previously known to be partially affected by the genome; twin studies showed that genes account for about 25% of the variation in handedness. Researchers at the University of Oxford sought to connect the genetic difference to areas of the brain that control language. … Continue reading The Genetic Role of Left-Handedness

New Role for Bardet-Biedl Syndrome Proteins in Neuronal Function Loss

Priyanshi Patel ’22 Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS) is a rare genetic condition that causes retinal degeneration, kidney failure, obesity, and cognitive impairment. BBS is a genetically heterogeneous, autosomal recessive disorder that is characterized by early-onset retinal degeneration, obesity, and cognitive impairment. In a recent investigation, scientists from the University College London and the University of Vienna were able to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that … Continue reading New Role for Bardet-Biedl Syndrome Proteins in Neuronal Function Loss

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