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

Anti-NMDAR Autoantibodies Disrupt Ionotropic Receptor Signaling

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are ligand-gated ion channels whose signaling enables higher-order functions, such as learning and memory, throughout the brain. They are activated by glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and are dynamically distributed across synaptic and extrasynaptic sites. The obligate composition of these protein receptors includes two subunits known as GluN1 paired with combinations of spliced regulatory … Continue reading Anti-NMDAR Autoantibodies Disrupt Ionotropic Receptor Signaling

Immunomodulatory Therapies Improve Long-Term Visual Outcomes Amid Optic Neuritis Preceding Late-Stage MS

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Optic neuritis (ON) is a condition involving inflammation of the optic nerve that can cause its demyelination, or the destruction of the fatty tissue known as myelin that insulates and protects nerves. Although relatively rare, ON first manifests in young adulthood and can cause diminished visual acuity or blurriness, poor pupillary constriction, ophthalmalgia (eye pain), and the inability to see out of one … Continue reading Immunomodulatory Therapies Improve Long-Term Visual Outcomes Amid Optic Neuritis Preceding Late-Stage MS

Dopamine Circuits: Investigating Relationships Between Dopamine Dysregulation and Midbrain Circuits

Daphne Siozios ’23 Dopamine (DA) is a behavioral neuromodulator that controls the function of the central nervous system through a variety of roles from memory processing and perception to learning and habit formation. The mesolimbic DA pathway, which travels specifically through the midbrain, has been linked to neural deficits caused by a lack of dopamine neurons in the striatum. While research regarding DA’s dysregulation has … Continue reading Dopamine Circuits: Investigating Relationships Between Dopamine Dysregulation and Midbrain Circuits

Presence of Social Supports Counteracts Physical Brain Changes Associated with Dementia

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are neurodegenerative dementias that cause progressive loss of memory, critical thinking skills, and behavioral capabilities that typically worsen with age. However, certain older adults with significant degrees of ADRD-associated pathologies are not as vulnerable to the age- or disease-related physical changes in the brain that precede the development of dementia. These adults are classified as “cognitively … Continue reading Presence of Social Supports Counteracts Physical Brain Changes Associated with Dementia

Early Bird or Night Owl? Circadian Preferences May Include Short-Term Memory and Cognition

Joyce Chen ’23 Circadian rhythms are notably known as the body’s master clock. They regulate important physical and behavioral effects within the body by reacting to light and darkness. Interestingly, an individual’s preference for being an early bird or a night owl is determined by circadian preference, also known as chronotype. Chronotype impacts the desire for earlier or later sleep by combining circadian rhythms and … Continue reading Early Bird or Night Owl? Circadian Preferences May Include Short-Term Memory and Cognition

Antipsychotics May Increase Risk of Dementia in Schizophrenic Patients

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder characterized by disorganized behavior, lack of emotional expression, and thoughts and experiences dissociated from reality. Patients who present such symptoms have elevated levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ hormone responsible for mediating pleasure and stimulating neurons to carry out vital functions like concentration and motor control. Patients with schizophrenia are prescribed antipsychotic medications, which block binding … Continue reading Antipsychotics May Increase Risk of Dementia in Schizophrenic Patients

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