February 2, 2015 |
Every Sunday night after she steps out of her shower, 16-year-old Emma texts a nude selfie to her boyfriend. He has promised to destroy it within five minutes. Michael, 18, knows about the dangers of drinking and driving, but figures a couple of beers won't put him over the edge. After an evening of partying with friends, he tucks himself behind the wheel of the 1989 Honda Civic he borrowed from his brother. The police pick him up 30 minutes later for erratic driving. Alice, 14, who goes to a school for the academically talented, texts until 4 in the morning instead of studying for tomorrow's midterm science exam.
February 1, 2015 |
A CLINICAL neuropsychologist testified yesterday that charter school founder Dorothy June Brown has mild brain damage consistent with early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Barbara Malamut's testimony contradicted that of three court-appointed mental-health experts who took the stand earlier in the week during a competency hearing to determine whether Brown, 77, is fit to stand retrial for allegedly defrauding four schools of $6.3 million and conspiring with other administrators to conceal the crimes.
January 22, 2015 |
Years of "chair shots," "flying head butts," "facebreakers," and "cobra clutch slams" have left former professional wrestlers with long-term brain injuries to which the sport's dominant circuit has continuously turned a blind eye, two ex-wrestlers allege in a proposed class-action suit filed in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs in the suit filed late last week - who include a cross-dressing Italian who wrestled under the name Skull von Krush - say Stamford, Conn.-based World Wrestling Entertainment encouraged them to take risks it knew could permanently affect their well-being while offering them no health or disability insurance.
January 19, 2015 |
The darkened room at Drexel University contains a 120-inch projection screen, a bunch of high-end 3-D glasses, and a custom-built computer with enough memory to make your laptop seem like a toaster oven. State-of-the-art equipment, in other words, for racing through a fantasy world to gun down virtual foes. Andrew R. Cohen and Eric Wait use it for something they find much more interesting: traveling through the brain of a mouse. The Drexel engineers and their colleagues have applied video-game technology to let biologists analyze and watch movies of the formation of brain cells - though the phrase "watch movies" hardly does it justice.
January 3, 2015 |
Everybody knows it's really hard for smokers to quit. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania think a quick brain scan could someday make quitting easier - or at least more effective. In a recent study, they found that certain changes in the brain, visible using technology that measures brain activity, predicted better than anything else now available which smokers would quickly relapse - that's most of them - and which might be able to quit without much more than a pep talk.
December 7, 2014 |
For decades, researchers have been seeking a blood test that could diagnose a concussion and tell whether it is severe enough to cause lasting brain damage. In a big step toward that holy grail, University of Pennsylvania scientists have found that a blood protein called SNTF surged and stayed elevated in professional hockey players with persistent concussion symptoms, but not in players who recovered within a few days. "These results show that SNTF has promise as a blood biomarker for sports-related concussion," said Robert Siman, a research professor of neurosurgery at Penn and lead author of the study in last month's Journal of Neurotrauma.
December 1, 2014 |
Tim Lynch has a theory about why he beat the brutal brain cancer glioblastoma. Even with intensive treatment, the average survival is about 15 months. As the tumor grows, it destroys the very abilities that define people as human - thinking, feeling, communicating. Brittany Maynard, who at age 29 became the face of the right-to-die movement, was so determined to cut short the inevitable horror that she ended her life with a lethal prescription this month in Oregon, 10 months after her glioblastoma diagnosis.
November 16, 2014 |
Chances are good you won't finish this article - at least not before you check your e-mail, send a text, or follow a tweet. As technological distractions beep and ping their way into our consciousness, plenty of evidence shows that multitasking can pump up anxiety levels, increase errors, reduce attention spans, and affect working memory. According to a study by Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, the typical office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after a distraction.
November 2, 2014 |
One woman has devoted her career to understanding the brain of an animal that measures just 1 millimeter in length. Another explores the brains of creatures with billions of neurons, whose ability with languages sets them apart from all other living things. The two will have the chance for a pretty interesting conversation in April. Cornelia Bargmann, who studies the brain of a type of roundworm, and Elissa Newport, a prominent expert on how humans learn language, are among nine new winners of awards from the Franklin Institute, given each year to recognize achievement in the sciences and engineering.
October 24, 2014 |
Is she dead or isn't she? Jahi McMath, 13, was declared brain-dead in December after her heart temporarily stopped during a tonsillectomy in Oakland, Calif. The tragedy drew national attention when the girl's mother, Nailah Winkfield, persuaded a judge in January to allow her to remove the body from the hospital, still on life support. The mother brought the girl to New Jersey, where the law allows a family to refuse to remove life support from brain-dead patients for religious reasons.