Category Archives: Neurodegenerative disorders

June 23

A Genetic Identity Crisis: Mosaicism in the Brain

We carry with us every day trillions of copies of one of the best stories ever written: the human genome. Carefully drafted and edited over 4 billion years, our genome contains all the information necessary, and then some, for making a human being from scratch. Often we think of this recipe book as a monolith: […]

April 21

The Genetic Curse of Fatal Insomnia

Not being able to fall asleep when you want to is frustrating. No matter how tired we are, we all have nights when we just can’t fall or stay asleep. The role of sleep in our everyday health is critical, which is no more apparent than the day after one of those sleepless nights when […]

August 12

Bridging the Gap Between the Brain and Communication

What is your preferred mode of communication? For many of us, we feel comfortable speaking, writing, or typing to share our thoughts and connect with others. Our practiced texting thumbs and typing fingers have allowed us to document written language with incredible speed. In some cases, however, patients may find themselves with the inability to […]

December 31

Life After Death(?): From Strokes to Sci-Fi

Death is not a singular event, as implied when we refer to the “time of death” or “moment of death”. It is a relatively long, drawn out, active process: these terms merely simplify and provide a hard boundary. Not everything in the brain (or the rest of the body) dies at the same time, at […]

October 22

The 2020 Time Vortex and other Tales of Perception

As we approach the end of 2020, I feel time warp as I think back to the early Spring… When I was quarantined in my home, the days seemed to rush past, but I still felt stuck in a huge temporal abyss.  Looking back at that time, I don’t sense the normal pattern of memories […]

October 08

It’s about time

About a day To you, Earth probably seems like a fairly stagnant entity. Sure, we are currently dealing with rising global temperatures as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, but in your day to day world, those changes probably seem quite small. Over the history of life on Earth, however, so many things that we […]

April 16

Get Your Head Out of the Game

“Dr. Pellman is not a neurosurgeon, he’s not a neuro-anything. He’s a rheumatologist.”  -League of Denial, 2013 When faced with the task of investigating concussions in football, the National Football League (NFL) did not choose a neurologist to head the committee; they did not choose a neurosurgeon: they chose a rheumatologist. The documentary “League of […]

February 06

What’s my (brain) age again?

What does it mean to age? Is it a purely time-based process, with each passing moment bringing our bodies along an invariant trajectory of decline? Or is it a function of our behavior, dependent on our daily activities and the damage inflicted upon ourselves over time? Clearly, there is a bit of truth in each […]

June 20

Exosomes: Helping you stay in touch with your trillions of closest friends.

[En español] There are roughly 37.2 trillion cells in the human body. That’s nearly 5 thousand times the total number of people on the entire planet, and all these cells must somehow work together to make you “You.” Each cell has a set role to play in keeping you healthy and functioning, but how do […]

June 06

Speech Synthesis from Brain Activity

[En español] The existing technology that assists people with speech disabilities is reliant on brain-computer interfaces which translate eye and facial muscle movements into words. However, this translation is limited in speed – approximately 10 words per minute, which is considerably lower than the rate of naturally produced speech (150 words per minute). The process […]