Targeted Treatment to the Thalamus Can Have Successful Results in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Melanie Karniewich ’25 Brain injuries are becoming more common, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that are asked in the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). One issue researchers are trying to resolve is whether a patient will awaken after a TBI, and if so, how long awakening takes. Assistant professors Sima Mofakham (Department of Surgery and the Department of Electrical … Continue reading Targeted Treatment to the Thalamus Can Have Successful Results in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Neuronal Firing in Thalamus is Key to Restoring Post-TBI Consciousness

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a form of acquired brain disability caused by an external force exerted against the head. The causative trauma is typically severe enough to result in loss of consciousness and the conditions under which consciousness returns remain unclear. Clinical practice uses complex electroencephalography (EEG) activity to predict its return and level, predicated on the assumption that neuronal firing … Continue reading Neuronal Firing in Thalamus is Key to Restoring Post-TBI Consciousness

Selective Striatal Neuron Degeneration in HD Linked to Autophagy Impairment

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that causes the progressive breakdown of neurons over time, resulting in the development of involuntary movements (chorea), psychiatric disorders, and cognitive decline. HD is caused by the dominant mutation of the HTT gene encoding huntingtin, a protein whose normal function is unknown but is linked to projection neuron death in the striatum of the … Continue reading Selective Striatal Neuron Degeneration in HD Linked to Autophagy Impairment

Uncovering the Nuances of Mental Disorders and their Impact on the Brain

Lydia Wang ’26 When referencing common medical conditions, heart disease and high blood pressure are often grouped together, as one usually implies the other. Such groupings—the simultaneous presence of two or more medical conditions—are known as comorbidities. Comorbidities in mental health are common; more than half of individuals with mental disorders have more than one. Their occurrence has been dismissed as coincidence and ignored in … Continue reading Uncovering the Nuances of Mental Disorders and their Impact on the Brain

Working Memory Capacity Is Directly Linked To Processing and Storage

Melanie Karniewich ’25 Memory plays an important role in our brain function, allowing us to register events and remember them for later use. Certain key factors play a strong role in the quality of our working memory capacity, such as processing and storage, problem-solving, and conscious control of what we find fit to remember. Dr. Lauren Richmond, an assistant professor at Stony Brook University, and … Continue reading Working Memory Capacity Is Directly Linked To Processing and Storage

Lack of CLOCK Regulator Protein May Predict Focal Seizure Susceptibility

By Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Focal seizure activity originates at particular foci﹣those being lobes, regions or hemispheres – of abnormal brain tissue and may emanate outward.  Epilepsy is a chronic central nervous system disorder characterized by uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain that triggers recurrent, spontaneous seizures. The majority of new epilepsy cases involve focal epilepsy, in which seizure activity originates in a particular “focus” or … Continue reading Lack of CLOCK Regulator Protein May Predict Focal Seizure Susceptibility

Thalamocortical Associated Brain Injuries May be Linked to Behavioral Changes

Sooraj Shah ’24 The discussion of brain injury, particularly in contact sports such as boxing or football, has grown in importance as more and more former athletes speak out on the lingering effects years after retirement. The discovery of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in 2002 marked the beginning of increased attention and research into traumatic brain injuries (TBI). While CTE was found to spread throughout … Continue reading Thalamocortical Associated Brain Injuries May be Linked to Behavioral Changes

Brawn Before Brains in Early Mammalian Development

Zhifei Zeng ’23 Of all vertebrates, mammals have the largest brains in terms of absolute size and relative to body size. Significant encephalization (an increase in brain size relative to body size) has been observed in the placenta of extant mammals. However, until recently it has not yet been determined when mammalian brains began to increase in size and how they evolved to their current … Continue reading Brawn Before Brains in Early Mammalian Development

MRI Brain Mapping of Glymphatic System May Inform AD Diagnostic

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and form of dementia that causes progressive loss of memory, critical thinking skills, and behavioral capabilities. Among other pathophysiological mechanisms, the disease is characterized by disruptions in the glymphatic system, which is responsible for the facilitation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange driving macroscopic waste and solute clearance. Breakdowns in this clearance … Continue reading MRI Brain Mapping of Glymphatic System May Inform AD Diagnostic

Conditioned Taste Aversion Depends on Long-Term Depression of Neuronal Signaling

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Conditioned taste aversion (CTA) is a learned association, made by humans as well as other animals, between the taste of food consumed and a subsequent period of illness assumed to be caused by said consumption. This period of illness is paired with an aversive stimulus, such as gastrointestinal malaise, and produces visceral distress that encourages the animal to avoid the food in … Continue reading Conditioned Taste Aversion Depends on Long-Term Depression of Neuronal Signaling

The Effect of Electrotherapy on Brains Addicted to Video Games

Ishmam Khan ’25 Although video games may represent a sanctuary from the stresses of daily living, young people, especially teens, are susceptible to becoming addicted to gaming platforms. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) results in an irresistible compulsion to play video games, which may lead to declining mental health and daily function. Currently, one common technique … Continue reading The Effect of Electrotherapy on Brains Addicted to Video Games

Does Ethnicity Influence Memory Recall in Social Settings?

Daphne Siozios ’23 Collaborative learning occurs when a group of individuals works together to remember shared information and events. Not much is known about how the collaborative learning process and a social setting aids memory formation, analysis, and recollection since past research in the field has mainly focused on studying individuals in isolation. Professor Suparna Rajaram at Stony Brook University works to examine the effect … Continue reading Does Ethnicity Influence Memory Recall in Social Settings?