Category Archives: Neurological Disorders

November 15

From symptoms to biology: shifting definitions of Alzheimer’s disease

As a neuroscientist studying Alzheimer’s, I’m reminded of its far-reaching impact each time a barista, cashier, or Lyft driver makes small talk by asking what I do for a living. Unfortunately, this devastating disease needs no introduction. Considering its ubiquity, it’s surprising that a debate broke out recently among leaders in the field over the […]

August 16

The Plastic Brain: Neurotransmitter Switching

What comes to mind when you think of the word “plastic”? For me, this word conjures images of water bottles and tupperware. So in my high school psychology class, when we were told that our brains are “plastic”, I was pretty confused. However, we soon learned that the word “plastic” can be used to describe […]

August 09

The Power of Neuroscience Compels You!

[En español] Last February the Vatican announced that it was offering an exorcism training course* for priests. At first I thought it was a great way to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the release of the wonderful horror classic The Exorcist, but as it turned out, this initiative was in response to an alarming rise in […]

July 05

Where does Alzheimer’s disease begin?

Sometimes I forget what day of the week it is, where I put my keys, or when a friend’s birthday is- but I never stop to wonder if these brief moments of forgetfulness are normal or a sign of something more serious. For many, occasional short-term memory loss is a normal part of getting older, […]

June 28

Zika: Predicting the long-term effects of an unrelenting virus

Summer is upon us, and with that comes much-anticipated vacation travel. As you pack your bag with sunblock, clothes that haven’t seen the light of day since your trip last year, and that sci-fi novel that has been sitting on your nightstand since February, don’t forget what might be the most important item: bug spray. […]

June 07

We Shall not Repeat the Evil: The Destructive Power of the Atomic Bomb

A Memorial to Peace Every August 5th at 8:15 A.M., a resonant bell loudly rings throughout Peace Memorial Park to mark the anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing. As the bell rings, thousands of plaintive guests sit and reflect upon the proof of mankind’s inhumanity, and for a minute a siren booms across the healing […]

April 06

THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC: A SOBERING VULNERABILITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

Opioids are a class of powerful psychoactive drugs that are often prescribed for pain relief, but can produce an intense euphoria that has proven remarkably addictive.  Opioid use disorder, a diagnosis characterized by compulsive opioid use and withdrawal, affects or has affected approximately 3 million Americans and 16 million people worldwide.  According to the Centers […]

January 25

Instant Gratification: Weighing the Psychological Benefits and Costs of MDMA Use

Can a pill exist that brings instant happiness without any negative side effects? Probably not.

September 14

What’s the Deal with Migraines??!!

You’re sitting at your desk, hard at work, and suddenly you see a strange spot of bright light, outlined by a brilliant spectrum of reds and blues, hover over your computer screen. You blink and look around, trying to figure out whether the image is coming from the screen or from outside the window. You […]

September 07

It’s Like Uber, but for Neurologists

Automation is one of the engines of modernity, and what it should or could be is one of our society’s central discussions. However, when we discuss automation, it is never as a change that affects everyone in our community, but instead as one targeted at certain groups. Manufacturing workers on the assembly line have been […]