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Deep Brain Stimulation and Alzheimer's Disease

Submitted by alanhu on Thu, 02/21/2019 - 23:40

Alzheimer's disease is a disease that destroys memory cells and affects mental functions. Alzheimer’s disease is derived from the increase in the buildup of amyloid plaques. Amyloid plaques cause disconnections between nerve cells. The disconnections can alter and affect a person’s thinking, memory and behavior. Scientists believed that if the plaques are removed then the memory cells would not be destroyed. Deep brain stimulation was attempted to see if it would help with Alzheimer's, especially with the plaques. The devices were implanted into the fornix, which is a fiber bundle between the hippocampus and hypothalamus. The use of deep brain stimulation increased glucose metabolism. After the testing, it was found that the increase in glucose metabolism had no effect on the disease. Therefore, the use of deep brain stimulation was not a good option as an alternative.

Deep Brain Stimulation Does not work For Alzheimer's

Submitted by alanhu on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 09:23

Alzheimer’s disease is derived from the increase in the buildup of amyloid plaques. Amyloid plaques cause disconnections between nerve cells. The disconnections can alter and affect a person’s thinking, memory and behavior. Deep brain stimulation was attempted to see if it would help with Alzheimer's. The devices were implanted into the fornix, which is a fiber bundle between the hippocampus and hypothalamus. The use of deep brain stimulation increased glucose metabolism. After the testing, it was found that the increase in glucose metabolism had no effect on the disease. Therefore, the use of deep brain stimulation was not a good option as an alternative.

DBS and Parkinson’s Disease

Submitted by alanhu on Tue, 02/19/2019 - 14:22

In the article “Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation in patients with Parkinson’s Disease” (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180828104023.htm) by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, scientists found another way to mitigate the effects of the disease. Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement and causes tremors. Through deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, which is responsible for motor processes and cognitive process such as decision making. Electrodes were used to stimulate the basal ganglia and the nerve tract that is connected. The stimulation allowed the scientists to see that there is another neural pathway that is responsible for unwanted tremors and cognitive effects. The publishing date of this article is back in August of 2018. The study that was conducted did have some important discoveries but it is still fairly new. If there is too much stimulation, it might have worse effects. Therefore, I would not recommend this intervention yet due to its novelty.

Mossy Cells Control Epilepsy

Submitted by alanhu on Tue, 02/19/2019 - 09:43

Mossy cells are fibers that contain unmyelinated fibers, which are found in the hypothalamus. Scientists are attempting to find if the mossy cells are linked to epilepsy. In order to do this an optic fiber was placed inside of a mouse. Mossy cells respond to light, which the scientists have control over with a switch. The deactivation of the light lead to the mice having epileptic seizures throughout the brain. The hippocampus is important for spatial recognition and for long term memory. Though there are mossy cells spread throughout the brain, the majority of the mossy cells reside in the hippocampus.

Theory of Mind

Submitted by alanhu on Mon, 02/18/2019 - 22:35

The theory of mind is interesting, it shows that what we understand is different from others, our minds are distinct. For example, if you ask a four year old what is inside a box of crayons, the child would answer that there would be crayons inside the box. When you go to open the box of crayons it is reveals that there are band aids inside the box. The child would then go to understand that there would be band aids inside the box of crayons. If we ask the child what other children would think would be inside the box of crayons, they would say that band aids are inside the box of crayons. If you were to ask an older person the same question, they would reply that another person would believe that there would be crayons inside the box of crayons.

 

Electronic Toys and Infant Language Development

Submitted by alanhu on Mon, 02/18/2019 - 19:54
 

Infants were used as subjects in this experiment. Infants were used to determine if electronic toys have an effect on language development. Infants were split into two groups with their parents. One group played with their infants with traditional toys that did not have a screen on them. While the other group, had toys that had a digital screen. The researchers focused on a specific part of the brain, the broca’s area. The broca’s area is located in the prefrontal cortex which is focused on language and speech development. If there was any damage to the broca's area it would lead to aphasia. Aphasia is the loss of the ability to produce language. The infants that were playing with the digital toys had a slower development of language compared to the group of infants who were playing with toys without a screen.

Comparing Two Panels (17)

Submitted by alanhu on Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:05

Observations:

The four pictures put together on the left picture is bigger than the four pictures put together on the right. The pictures on the right are brighter than the pictures on the left. The sun on the left pictures appear to shine uniformly on the plants. Whereas the plants on the right have certain parts of the plants being lit up by the sun. The angles on both sides are different from one another. The plants that were being photographed were the same in both figures for “A, B and C” but for picture “D”, the images of the flowers were different. The font on the pictures on the right side is bolded and darker than the pictures on the font on the left side. There are no gaps on both of the figures. The order of the pictures is correct on both of the figures. 

Inferences:

The sizing for the images on both the figures were miscommunicated which resulted in different sizing between the two. The lighting in both the figures are different due to the different times of day the person went to photograph the plants. The sun shining on the whole plant uniformly and only on some parts are due to the time of day the person went to take the picture. The time of day affects where the sun is being positioned in the sky. The angle differences are due to the photographer. The difference in figure D may be due to the plant not being there at the time the person was there. Or the person may be confused by the description of the flower since both flowers are similar in color. The differences in the font may be due to the resizing of the images as a whole. Or due to the figures on the right side being bolded to make the font more visible.

 

Blood Pressure and Brain Volume

Submitted by alanhu on Thu, 02/14/2019 - 17:21

A correlational study was conducted in attempt to see if blood pressure and brain volume are correlated. A MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure volume of the brain along with the blood pressure. Younger individuals presented a lower brain volume. The findings were concerning due to the fact that the participants were healthy. Which lead to the questions of if there were any other indications that could lead to a lower brain volume. The study that was conducted was a correlational study and we have to keep in mind that correlation does not cause causation. Though the brain is important to the body because all functions are based off the brain. The brain is part of the central nervous system (CNS) and the CNS is important for integrating information that is obtained and use it. The gray matter that is developed in the brain is where the neurons are housed and if having less of the gray matter could affect daily functions.

Circadian Rhythm and Mental Health

Submitted by alanhu on Wed, 02/13/2019 - 12:12

The CNS plays a role in the time we wake up. There are several genes that are involved in circadian rhythm. The retina in the eye is used to see how much light there is in the environment. The light is used to let the body know what time of day it was. Scientists believe that “night owls” are at a higher risk for mental diseases such as schizophrenia, yet there is no significance evidence that support this claim. A correlational study was conducted with the experiment participants to see whether they were a “morning or a evening person”. The body clock cycle is longer than 24 hours and the eyes are used to set the body on track with the 24 hour cycle. Though our bodies are influenced by our diets and what we do on the daily with artificial light. The light from screens affects the hormone level and core body temperatures on the sleep and waking patterning.

LSD and Brain Signaling

Submitted by alanhu on Wed, 02/13/2019 - 09:23

There wasn’t much knowledge on what LSD does to the brain. Using an MRI, scientists observed how LSD can change the brain. Participants of the experiment were either given the drug or a placebo. Then a comparison between the two was made. Scientists examined the and compared the connectivity between the two brains. The CNS was looked at which includes the brain and the spinal cord. It was found that there was more information being sent between the thalamus to the posterior cingulate cortex. There was a decrease of information being sent to the temporal cortex. Depressive orders were found to have a high level of signaling between the thalamus and the temporal cortex. Since it was found that LSD can slow down the signaling to the temporal cortex, LSD might be considered as a medication for depressive disorders.

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