Decoding the Brain’s “Low Fuel” Signal

The human body is an efficient model to explore the popular theory of supply and demand.  When you physically exert yourself, your bioenergetic “supply” is down, so you feel hungrier as your system “demands” more food.  In much the same way, the neurons in your brain are busy firing action potentials, and their bioenergetic fuel quickly gets used up.  So, how do these neurons signal that they need more energy?Continue reading

Your Brain Breathes Too by Knowing Neurons

Your Brain Breathes Too

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.  A recent article published in Neurotoxicology suggests that those of us who live in urban environments are much more likely to experience cognitive decline with age.  The culprit?  Air pollution.Continue reading

From Turkey Comas To New Disease Treatments

Crystallography

Neurodegenerative disorders, like Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease, are devastating.  As you can imagine, witnessing the slow and progressive loss of a loved one’s mental and emotional states is an extremely painful and heartbreaking experience.  Currently, there are no cures for neurodegenerative diseases, and the drugs that are available only alleviate symptoms, without slowing the progression of the disease.Continue reading