Microglial Activation Promotes AD-Affiliated Plaque Formation

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. The disease is characterized by the extracellular aggregation of beta (β)-amyloid plaques. These buildups gradually interfere with proteostasis, the regulation of protein synthesis and degradation, and decrease levels of neurotransmitter signaling between neurons. However, the failure of microglia – … Continue reading Microglial Activation Promotes AD-Affiliated Plaque Formation

High salt intake can lead to autism-like symptoms in infants

Joyce Chen ’23 Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1% of individuals worldwide. Although there has been extensive research done on ASD, its primary cause remains unknown. Scientists believe that it is the result of a wide variety of heritable and environmental factors. However, recent research has indicated that an altered gut microbiome caused by a poor diet can lead to … Continue reading High salt intake can lead to autism-like symptoms in infants

Brain Imaging May Prevent Obesity and Linked Psychological Behaviors

Sooraj Shah ’24 Obesity rates in the United States, approaching almost 70% for men and 62% for women, are concerning, especially since obesity is associated with several other conditions such as heart attacks and diabetes. While the classic solution is exercise and proper diet maintenance, the ability to predict and prevent obesity has become a topic of research. A study led by Dr. Anat Biegon, … Continue reading Brain Imaging May Prevent Obesity and Linked Psychological Behaviors

Stressful life events affect hormone levels in children undergoing puberty

Joyce Chen ’23 Puberty is a physiological developmental process that every child undergoes during their preteen years. It occurs through the production of a wide variety of hormones within the body. Specifically, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are involved in initiating an upregulation of hormonal changes, leading to the secretion of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Recent research indicates that … Continue reading Stressful life events affect hormone levels in children undergoing puberty

D-Serine Infusion Mitigates Neuronal Losses Preceding Temporal Lobe Epileptic Attacks

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of both focal epilepsy – the recurrence of seizures in one hemisphere of the brain – and drug resistant epilepsy. The disease is characterized by neuronal cell death in Layer 3 (L3) of the medial entorhinal area (MEA), the internal region of the temporal lobe constituting memory and higher-order cognitive functioning. Recent studies … Continue reading D-Serine Infusion Mitigates Neuronal Losses Preceding Temporal Lobe Epileptic Attacks

Presynaptic Inhibition of GABAA Receptors Possible in Thalamocortical Circuits

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 A number of neurodegenerative disease processes, including those of temporal lobe epilepsy, GABA-transaminase deficiency, and traumatic brain injury, involve disruptions to the signalling pathway of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Conventional understanding divides the ability of GABA to block neural signaling into ‘presynaptic inhibition’ – involving suppression of glutamate release,  an excitatory counterpart neurotransmitter – … Continue reading Presynaptic Inhibition of GABAA Receptors Possible in Thalamocortical Circuits

Priming of long-term memory from initial experience alters future learning

Joyce Chen ’23 One of the most fascinating things about the brain is its malleability. When humans learn, whether it be in the classroom or from an experience, the brain produces new neurons so that the information can be recalled in the future. This is a process known as neuronal plasticity. Although there is plenty of research surrounding this area, there is still much more … Continue reading Priming of long-term memory from initial experience alters future learning

Differences of Cognitive Offloading Usage among Individuals Performing Short Term Memory Tasks

Sooraj Shah ’24 Recalling a lot of information at one time is possible, but not feasible. Writing information down on a paper during a class or in the grocery store, for instance, are ways to reduce the strain of memorization within an individual. This concept is further defined as cognitive offloading, which can assist in overcoming the cognitive restraints in mentally retaining information. A study … Continue reading Differences of Cognitive Offloading Usage among Individuals Performing Short Term Memory Tasks

Lower reaction levels in mothers to their child result in insensitive parenting

Joyce Chen ’23 A mother’s greatest task is to provide a nurturing environment for her child to grow, blossom, and thrive in. The absence of maternal love in a child’s life will cause a strain on the bond between the mother and her child. These neglectful mothers, also known as high-risk mothers, have insensitive reactions to their children’s needs. They rarely respond to their children’s … Continue reading Lower reaction levels in mothers to their child result in insensitive parenting

Circadian rhythm directly influences muscle performance in Olympic swimmers

Joyce Chen ’23 Organisms have a specialized inner clock known as the circadian rhythm, which is regulated by the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus of the brain. Throughout the day, circadian rhythms in the body have direct control over physiological functions, including muscle strength and flexibility. Despite its relevance, there is a lack of research on the effects of circadian rhythms on Olympic athletes. … Continue reading Circadian rhythm directly influences muscle performance in Olympic swimmers

Effect of Mutation in NMDA Receptor Proteins resulting in Neurological Disorders

Sooraj Shah ’24 Neurological disorders affect 25 million people in the United States, which makes the study of NMDA receptors increasingly important. NMDA receptors are key contributors to regulation of memory and behavior in the human brain. NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor proteins are transmembrane proteins, and are in a subset of Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which contain 4 helices, the most significant of which is the … Continue reading Effect of Mutation in NMDA Receptor Proteins resulting in Neurological Disorders

Disturbances in Circadian Clock Linked to Increased Susceptibility of Brain Tumors

Simran Kaur ‘20 All living organisms have circadian rhythms, an approximately twenty-four cycle that ensures the appropriate timing of important physiological functions such as digestion and sleep. Glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) that are involved in the formation of aggressive brain tumors are stimulated by altered circadian clocks. Clock genes are responsible for the oscillation of gene expression within the day and can behave as both … Continue reading Disturbances in Circadian Clock Linked to Increased Susceptibility of Brain Tumors