The price we pay

A study in an issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine focussed on autism spectrum disorders. A paper in that issue authored by a public health economist, Dr. Michael Ganz, used a rich variety of sources to determine the societal costs of autism. In today’s dollars: $3.2 million/autistic individual/lifetime. $35 BILLION overall, in…

A recommended book about “neuro-plasticity”

The Brain That Changes Itself (2007) by Normal Doidge, M.D. This interesting book chronicles some of the stories of the men and women who have ushered in the new “brain plasticity” revolution in neuroscience. As we repeatedly emphasize in this blog, the brain is no longer viewed by neuroscientists as a machine that is hard-wired…

For “chemobrain” et alia: think “brain fitness training”

If you have this personal history of cancer and chemo- or radiation-therapy, or know someone or are treating someone who has lived it, you might seriously consider enrolling (them) in a serious “brain fitness program”. That is ESPECIALLY the case if memory or other cognitive losses have been noted after either chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.…

Does exercise make kids smarter?

That’s the claim of a lead article in an issue of Newsweek many years ago. The authors cite interesting evidence from a study conducted at an outstanding brain plasticity-oriented neuroscience research institute at the University of Illinois, where investigators have found that the kids with the fittest bodies are the kids with the fittest brains.…

Kids in car seats. Unintended consequences.

I’m in Queretaro, Mexico this week, visiting a world-class Neuroscience Insitute that is a part of the great Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I am struck by the beautiful, happy children in the 17th-and 18th-Century old city center where my wife and I are staying. We’ve seen many children out in this beautiful, old city…