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Archives - December 2014
Posted 12/30/14 12:00:00 AM

The spinal cord is responsible for communication between the brain and the central nervous system, which is the command center for our body’s actions. It’s what allows us to pick up a toothbrush and apply some toothpaste when we think, “time to brush our teeth”.

It’s what allows us to roll our eyes when a patient (or doctor) says something idiotic. That’s why damage to the spinal cord often results in paralysis much like the case of Derek Fidyka, a man who became paralyzed and lost sensation from the chest down after getting stabbed in the back repeatedly in 2010. The attack left him with a seven millimeter gap in his spinal cord.

While spinal cord damage is generally believed to be permanent for the two to three million who suffer from it world-wide, 40-year-old Fidyka is now walking again, thanks to a first-of-its-kind procedure that used “nose” cells to repair spinal cord injuries.

The olfactory system,

Posted 12/11/14 12:00:00 AM

For the last six decades, it’s been widely accepted that clinical depression stems from various combinations of biological, psychological and environmental influences---it’s treated as an emotional disease connected to the brain.

Scientists have also observed that the brains of people who suffer from depression are markedly different from those who do not.  

There are certain neurotransmitters, primarily serotonin, which tend to be deregulated for people who have clinical depression, also known as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), but there aren’t many answers as to why these areas of the brain differ in depressed people.

Dr. Turhan Canli, an integrative neuroscience associate professor at Stony Brook University, has stirred up a bit of controversy in the science community after making claims that depression may have less to do with brain chemistry, and more to do with a viral or bacterial infection, the Huffington Post report