Series Combats Disorders: First Up, Epilepsy

caveat logo.JPGPeople with epilepsy were once thought to be possessed by demons or evil spirits. Dubbed “the sacred disease,” epilepsy was profoundly misunderstood for centuries, even after the disorder was explained to be of human origin. So why is it, so many years later, that epilepsy is still not fully understood? And why is there still so much stigma attached to a disorder which affects approximately one in 26 people in the United States?

Caveat NYC, BraiNY, and the Epilepsy Foundation are attempting to eliminate that stigma. Last week saw the first part of a three-part event series, titled “A Lot On The Mind: Epilepsy.” Held at Caveat at 21 A Clinton St. in Manhattan and open to the public, tickets are $15 each. Each event in the series is hosted by Stephanie Rogers, a Ph.D. candidate at New York University and an adjunct instructor at Fordham University. The series focuses on educating and demystifying misconceptions on epilepsy, autism, and Huntington’s Disease.

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Stephanie Rogers. Photo: Caveat NYC

Rogers, whose sister suffers from untreatable epilepsy, began by showing slides that explained the origins and causes of epilepsy. They include brain infection, head trauma, brain tumor, and stroke, as well as a genetic link. However, as Rogers explained, the cause of epileptic seizures remains a mystery in many patients. Continue reading

#BrainWeek 2019 Sticker Design Contest Winners

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We are pleased to announce the winners of our second annual Sticker Design Contest for Brain Awareness Week! The designs we received this year demonstrated creative talent and enthusiasm for the brain from people around the world. Out of five finalists, the first-, second-, and third-place winners have been chosen by the public through an online survey.

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First place winner Leonor Castro Caldas Braga

Leonor Castro Caldas Braga from Lisbon, Portugal, created the first-place design, which will be printed on thousands of stickers to be distributed for Brain Awareness Week, March 11-17, 2019. Braga is a 15-year-old student, whose mother, Margarida Castro Caldas Braga, has been a Brain Awareness Week partner at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa for several years, and received the e-mail announcing the contest. Continue reading

How Our Brains Respond to Gratitude

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which means that along with spending time with our families and overeating turkey and side dishes, many of us will think at least a little bit about what we are thankful for in our lives. Whether that be our aforementioned families, our careers, our educations, or something more tangible such as the discounted items we can buy on Black Friday, the holiday unofficially requires us to gives thanks for something before we dive into the mashed potatoes. Is there, however, something more to giving thanks than simply assuaging grandma at the dinner table?

As it turns out, there is. Studying the effects of gratitude on the brain is nothing new–studies on the topic seem to have begun in the early 2000s–and the results appear to remain consistent regardless of the methodology used. In short, having gratitude has positive effects on us psychologically and neurologically, so we should probably try to be more thankful throughout the year instead of waiting for November. Continue reading

2 Days Left to Vote for Your Favorite Sticker Design!

There are only two days left to vote for your favorite Brain Awareness Week 2019 sticker design! The winner will be featured on the 2019 Brain Awareness Week sticker used by partners across the US.

We have narrowed the choices to five wonderful designs and now it’s up to you! Cast your vote now through November 16.

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Our top five finalists are Leonor Braga, Joni Lahr-Moore, Luis Orazi, Brenda Ramos, Abby Salinero. Take a look at their designs and pick your favorite!

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The winners will be announced on November 26, so stay tuned!

– Amanda Bastone

SfN18: Celebrating Women in Science Luncheon

Guest post by Kayt Sukel 

Type “self-promotion” into the search field of Dictionary.com and you’ll be rewarded with the following definition:

self-pro·mo·tion, noun, plural noun: self-promotions

  1. the action of promoting or publicizing oneself or one’s activities, especially in a forceful way.

“she’s guilty of criminally bad taste and shameless self-promotion”

Dr. Yasmin Hurd speaks during the Celebration of Women in Neuroscience luncheon. Photo courtesy of Fiona Randall

Yasmin Hurd, the Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience and the director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, said it’s a definition that can make you take a step back.

“The word for me is a bit of a problem,” she said, as part of the panel discussion regarding the art and science of effective self-promotion at the Celebration of Women in Neuroscience luncheon at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting this week. “Did I get asked to present today because of my criminally bad taste? I hope not!” Continue reading

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