Summer 2017 Brainy Reading List

Summer is finally here! We have eight brainy book suggestions, all written by members of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI) or prominent neuroscientists, to take to the pool, beach, or wherever you enjoy a little bit of sun:

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The Blitz is On

Earlier this month, the senior vice president of the National Football League’s health and safety policy spoke at a hearing in Washington, D.C., where he was asked if there is a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Jeff Miller replied, “The answer to that is certainly, yes,” moving the ball down the field in a longtime debate among independent researchers, former athletes, and the NFL.

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Ann McKee, M.D.

Alongside Miller stood Dana Alliance member Ann McKee, M.D., whose latest study was just referenced in a story on CTE in the New York Times on Sunday, March 27. At the hearing, McKee presented findings from her ongoing research on the relationships between traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, and contact sports. As director of the Brain Bank for Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, she has been making headlines over the past several years for revealing that “deceased athletes, including at least 90 former NFL players, were found to have had [CTE].”

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National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (January 25-31)

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On Monday, National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week began, sparking local events across the country in an effort to “shatter the myths” about drugs and alcohol, particularly among teens.

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New Cerebrum Article Looks at Biomarkers for Depression

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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Walking Changes May Help Spot Cognitive Decline

Walking is an important part of human development. Everyone, from their first steps to their last, develops their own special stride. For instance, my friends and family say they can point me out from blocks away based on my goofy saunter alone. Walking is so important to humans that the first steps a child takes are celebrated as one of the monumental moments in early childhood development. If a person’s early steps are so crucial to development, it is not surprising that the later, stumbling steps of an older person are also significant.

A recent New York Times article by Pam Belluck, “Footprints to Cognitive Decline and Alzheimer’s Are Seen in Gait,” discusses how changes in an elderly person’s walk can be significant, not only for measuring physical ailments, but also for measuring and testing cognitive impairment. In fact, according to the article, five studies presented at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver provided evidence that changes to an individual’s gait, such as slower and more varied step, can be evidence that his or her cognitive function is also suffering.

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