When she was 43, journalist and former nurse Cleo Hutton had a severe stroke. Suddenly unable to speak, understand, or even walk, Hutton struggled first to survive and then to regain her physical skills and her independence. Her book Striking Back at Stroke: A Doctor-Patient Journal combines entries from her personal journal with medical and scientific commentary by Louis R. Caplan, an expert in US stroke medicine and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Dana Press published the book in 2003 (11 years after her stroke), and we ran an excerpt of it in our Cerebrum journal, “The War of Rehabilitation.” Here’s a bit from Hutton’s journal:
Genes passed down from generation to generation within families are the main culprit in contracting Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research for the disease is focusing on individual variations of these genes, instead of trying to find a “one size fits all” treatment.
That was part of the message delivered by Richard Mayeux, the Gertrude H. Sergieysky co-director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center. Mayeux’s talk on the role that genetics plays in Alzheimer’s disease last Thursday evening at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan came at an opportune time. November is both National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month and National Epilepsy Awareness Month.
Mayeux, M.D., MS.c., who is also Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Epidemiology and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, has been featured in the New York Academy of Sciences podcast series, Dementia Decoded. His research on genomes aims to understand the differences in gene structure and what it could mean for future treatment.
While epilepsy ranks fourth in most common neurological disorders, there are still common misconceptions about the condition, which can develop at any age. In the US alone, 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime.
With November being “National Epilepsy Awareness Month,” we spoke to Roberto Tuchman, M.D., who is the director of autism and neurodevelopment programs at Miami Children’s Hospital. Tuchman founded the hospital’s Dan Marino Center for children with developmental disorders and gives lectures around the world on the topics of epilepsy, autism, and learning disorders. He is also a Dana Alliance member.
From William Morgan’s sudden insight while staring at the stars that our galaxy must have a spiral shape to Leonardo da Vinci’s deep reimagining of the subject of “The Last Supper,” stories describing “Aha!” moments and acts of genius can awe and inspire. What do scientists know about the minds of geniuses? Can they tell us anything about creativity, perhaps offer some sort of practice to help the rest of us extend our own creative wings?