Category Archives: Drugs

August 17

Zika: Has this virus lost its bite?

Do you live in a generally cool, dry place and rarely think about mosquitoes? Was last year’s Zika outbreak of little personal concern? You may not have the option of staying carefree for much longer. The Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito is already enjoying widespread breeding grounds as temperatures steadily rise across the globe, indicating that […]

January 19

Through the Looking-Glass, and What the Brain Sees There

  She complained of recurrent attacks during which she feels that her body is growing larger and larger until it seems to occupy the whole room. “I feel,” she said, “that I have got so big that if I put out my hand I could touch the far wall.’ Less frequently, she feels that she […]

May 26

Happiness comes from within

[En español] ‘Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be’ – Abraham Lincoln. Happiness comes from within. More specifically, from the brain. Surely I am biased when I say the nervous system is incredibly interesting, but I am not the only one who thinks this. The public’s fascination with the brain most likely […]

January 28

Dawn of the DREADD

[En Español] There are few things I find more satisfying than a good acronym, and DREADD  or Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by a Designer Drug has got to be my favorite.  The name is just so evocative.  Whenever I think about DREADDs, I find myself picturing some sort of Star Wars villain; maybe due to […]

August 06

The Appeal of a Limitless Mind

Editor’s Note: With the much-anticipated debut of the Limitless TV show closing in, it’s clear that cameos of Bradley Cooper (and animated sequences of NEURONS FIRING!!!) will be spicing up the Fall TV lineup. From the trailer, it looks like the show will be just as exciting and scientifically questionable as the movie—giving NeuWrite the perfect opportunity to re-post our original musings on Limitless, […]

July 16

Truly Blissful Brains

[En Español] It’s not uncommon for beverage advertisements to make far-fetched claims. Coca Cola “calms jumpy nerves,” Vitamin Water is “nutritious,” and Gatorade will turn you into Michael Jordan. Within the past few years, a new brain-branded league of products has entered the beverages aisle, creating conflict within a neuroscientist like me. While I’m excited […]

April 23

Am I addicted to coffee?

Recently over coffee, my friend told me that scientists have been doing drug research wrong for years. He was referring to an article about the effects of social environment on drug taking. In the article, the author criticizes scientists, government, and media for portraying drug addiction without accounting for causes of drug addiction outside of […]

December 12

A (Not So) Brief History of Psychedelic Science

Psychedelics* (i.e. chemicals that reliably produce altered states of consciousness characterized by sensory distortion and changes in cognition) have been subject to human ritualistic, therapeutic, and recreational use for millennia.  Their profound perceptual effects have the potential to elucidate countless mysteries of human neurobiology, illuminating the sensitivity of our conscious experience to stereotyped, chemically-induced changes. […]

October 16

Lithium: Wonder Drug? Part II

Note from the author: This post is dedicated to my biology nerds out there.  If you follow my Gene-of-the-Week posts (and you should because they’re the weirdest), you know that I often get lost in the cellular and molecular details of life, and it’s totally overwhelming.  I wrote this post specifically to discuss the mechanisms […]

October 02

Lithium: Wonder Drug? Part I

I’m so happy ’cause today I’ve found my friends They’re in my head What comes to mind when you hear the word lithium? A drug used to manage life-threatening mood disorders? A potentially deadly toxin? A chemical found in trace amounts in many compounds in nature? (Or maybe just the Nirvana song?) Any of these […]