Category

Alzheimer’s

Red, red wine

Alcohol is our best-studied neurotoxin. You can pickle a brain in booze. At somewhat lower concentrations that are quite easily achieved in drinking humans, ethanol alters synaptic spines and their plasticity, greatly reduces the complexity of neuronal interconnections, ultimately kills… Continue Reading →

What’s in your DNA?

James B. Watson, the genetics pioneer, is the first individual in the history of the universe to have his DNA completely sequenced. In a statement that testifies to his infectious enthusiasm for nerd science (for which, if you’ve had a… Continue Reading →

Memory restoration in a bad brain

There are now a number of published studies that have revealed that the progression of Alzheimer’s-like pathologies can be slowed down by housing mice or rats in enriched (vs impoverished) environments. I’ll discuss this growing body of literature supporting the… Continue Reading →

A brain fitness graduate comes home

A couple of weeks ago, Jerry Emmons shared his story with Posit Science. It seems that the 84-year-old was spending much of each day re-living old, painful World War II memories. He had been the only survivor in his crew… Continue Reading →

West Nile virus is also on the list

In Caldwell, Idaho, on the Snake River in Western Idaho, Dr. Carolyn Rees tells us that she was at ground zero during a West Nile Virus epidemic “leaving many people with post-encephalitic brain damage”. A review of the research literature… Continue Reading →

Understanding other brains

Alan Towers wrote an instructive, poignant comment about the difficulty that he had understanding that his schizophrenic son could not be EXPECTED to “make sense”, if sense was defined by the standards that applied for Alan, or for the wider… Continue Reading →

As if the damn headache wasn’t bad enough…

About two weeks ago, I read a research report in one of our best fundamental neuroscience research journals, Nature Neuroscience, that documented neurological consequences of migraine headaches in a mouse model. This is one of those animal models of a… Continue Reading →

Acetylcholine Release Amps Up Brain’s Plasticity

I met yesterday with a former doctoral student, now a professor at the University of Texas in Dallas, Michael Kilgard. As a research fellow in my UCSF laboratory, Dr. Kilgard studied the conditions under which acetycholine enables brain plasticity—showing among… Continue Reading →

New Eye Test Can Detect Early Alzheimer’s

I wrote recently about some things that can increase or decrease amyloid beta protein in the body, and how the protein plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease. Now, scientists are working on an eye test that scans for amyloid beta… Continue Reading →

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