We’re all familiar with stress and the potential effects it may have on our minds and bodies. Stress can be caused by numerous factors including fatigue, depression, and fear. The effects vary in levels of intensity but often involve unusual weight changes, headaches, and irritability. Many stress-reducing techniques, such as exercise, meditation, and yoga are available to … Read More

Have you ever considered that Veritaserum, the powerful truth serum from Harry Potter, might exist? Chemists and pharmacologists actually had Professor Snape’s potion ingenuity and synthesized amobarbital: a widely used truth serum in psychological therapy. However, amobarbital is merely a member of the barbiturates, a group of drugs famous for their depressing effects on the central nervous … Read More

Is it possible to enter a dream state whenever we’d like? Neuroscientists at UC Berkeley can send a sleeping mouse into the land of dreams. Their study showed that an optogenetic switch (on/off switch for neurons) implanted into nerve cells of the brain’s medulla can activate or inactivate neurons. With neuronal activation, the sleeping mice entered REM sleep within seconds. REM sleep is a dream … Read More

A research team, including senior author David Glanzman of the Integrative Biology and Physiology and Neurobiology departments at UCLA, has found that early Alzheimer’s patients may be able to restore lost memories by reestablishing connections between neurons in the brain. Neurons are long cells that are essentially weaved together in a neural network. Messages are sent from … Read More

Obesity is a major health problem in the United States, and more than one-third of US adults are considered obese. Obesity is linked to conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer, which are many of the leading causes of death in the United States. Understanding the mechanisms behind fat gain and loss can … Read More

Alzheimer’s is one of the most common diseases that people develop as they age. As a neurodegenerative disease, it is an irreversible brain disease in which memory and overall brain function slowly deteriorate and are destroyed altogether. However, a 2014 study from Stanford may prove the exact opposite—that Alzheimer’s can be reversed. A type of immune cell called microglia … Read More

Alzheimer’s disease is a genetic brain disorder that eventually leads to the destruction of brain cells. In the early stages of the disease, the brain’s synapses, or connections between brain cells, are destroyed. The current notion is that the elimination of these connections is what leads to memory loss in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. … Read More

The sheer complexity of neurons in the nervous system keeps them from fully recovering from injuries. As a result, patients who seriously damage their nervous system may suffer permanent consequences and require lifelong assistance. For example, injury to the brachial plexus nerve network can paralyze muscles in the upper torso, and compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous … Read More

The next time you find yourself reaching for that midnight snack even when you’re not hungry, don’t blame your lack of willpower! Blame your brain. When a lack of a hormone—glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1)–was found in a group of mice, researchers discovered that the mice ate more and chose to eat food heavy in fat. Vincent … Read More

For those of you who are 21 and over, you may have heard that a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away. For those who are younger, my sincerest apologies—you’ll have to settle with apples for now. It has become a well-known fact that drinking wine in moderation can keep you heart-healthy since … Read More

Radiation therapy is a treatment option for patients with brain cancer. Its purpose is to destroy the brain tumor or attempt to stop its growth. Radiation is usually used on tumors that are unable to be surgically removed.  However, radiation is unable to differentiate between tumor cells and healthy brain cells and causes damage to both. Radiation therapy … Read More

Back to top