“I would there were no age between sixteen and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting…” The old shepherd’s thoughts from Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale resonate centuries later when we consider examples of stereotypical teenage behavior
We are another year older, perhaps a little wiser, and probably more forgetful. Indeed, making memories is quite a process in the brain: specific synaptic connections are strengthened and new proteins are synthesized. But as we age, the synapses that make up our memories, such as those in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, start to
I live in Los Angeles and it’s unfortunate, but true, that the brown cloud of smog hanging over our city is as much an icon of LA as the Hollywood hills. My morning bike commute is spent sucking on the tailpipes of my fellow Angelenos, and it turns out this doesn’t just make me cranky.
Sleep deprivation has become a badge of honor in our modern society. Competitions break out in coffee shop lines over who is functioning on the least number of Zzzzzs and living the most fast-paced life. Bragging rights come with ordering the eye-opener with a triple shot of espresso. Close our eyes and we risk missing
The human brain contains roughly eighty-six billion (~10^10) neurons, each of which forms approximately ten thousand (10^4) synaptic connections with other neurons. Therefore, on average, there are one hundred trillion (10^14) synapses in the brain! Maintaining the health of these synapses is essential for proper brain function and higher cognitive functions like learning, memory, and
While I was growing up, I remember my parents and teachers saying, “Your brain is like a sponge.” Of course, I didn’t understand what they meant, but as cliché as this statement is, it actually reveals a lot about children’s amazing abilities to absorb and remember impressive amounts of information. From new words and concepts,
Mitochondria are frequently implicated in several human disease states. From neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder, to metabolic conditions like diabetes and obesity, energy abnormalities are seen in diverse illnesses. In fact, mitochondrial dysfunctions have also been shown to be involved in Parkinson’s disease, Down syndrome, heart failure, and even cancer. What
Humans normally have 23 pairs of chromosomes, but sometimes an error during cell division causes there to be an abnormal number of chromosomes. One of the most common chromosome abnormalities in humans is Down syndrome (DS). In most cases, this occurs when there is an extra copy of chromosome 21, which is called Trisomy 21.
We often fail to appreciate the small and precise functions of our motor system. How effortless and smooth our movements are when getting up from a chair! How quick and fine our movements are when driving a car! These coordinated voluntary movements can be attributed to a region in the brain called the basal ganglia,
What do you do when you take a break from work? In your leisure time, what is something that you routinely find yourself doing? What is your default solution to the eternal problem of boredom? What if I told you that your choice of leisure time activity is linked to how you may handle memory
Your brain is able to store massive amounts of memories throughout your lifetime. There are cases, however, in which this ability progressively degrades and eventually disappears, giving way to problems with thinking, reasoning, and remembering. When these symptoms occurs faster than normal aging, it is termed dementia. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form
Based on the recent statistics, one in eight individuals over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, and for every 68 seconds that pass, yet another individual in the United States develops the disease. The pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease has long been established as the presence of amyloid plaques, aggregates of the amyloid-β peptide. The