Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Brain and Behavior

Postoperative Delirium and the Uncertainties of Anesthesia

By Abbey Anderson | November 4, 2016 | Comments Brain

Each year, millions of Americans undergo surgery with anesthesia safely, with little risk and few negative side effects. Whether for an invasive medical procedure or routine dental work, anesthesia is administered regularly to patients across a broad age spectrum. However, questions are now being raised about the effects anesthesia may... Read more

Pumpkin is (Sorta) the Spice of Life. But Why?

By Robert Press | September 23, 2016 | Comments Pumpkinspice

As our seasons get ever more bizarre in duration, behavior, and intensity—last year, much of the east coast’s dreams of a white Christmas were dashed hard against the rocks of a December 25th so warm you could break out your board shorts and drive with the windows down—the annual creep... Read more

Aromatherapy: How Essential Are Those Oils?

By Sally Sapega | July 20, 2016 | Comments Aroma

Aromatherapy—the therapeutic use of essential oils—has been shown to have a positive impact on a variety of physical and emotional conditions. A recent study showed that the level of anxiety of women in labor decreased after exposure to orange essential oil. Another showed that lavender helped an elderly population with... Read more

Getting our Heads Around Talking about Alzheimer’s

By Stephanie Simon | June 24, 2016 | Comments image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2016-06-24/26fe233f8da94bf4bee1548b9e2842b7.png

A missed credit card payment. Forgetting why you entered a room. Misplacing your keys. Not being able to remember someone’s name. Sound familiar? Probably. Reason for alarm? Probably not. These types of “slips” typically fall into the category of normal cognitive decline. Cognitive abilities are the mental skills you need... Read more

The Data and Scientists Behind Beautiful Images

By Karen Kreeger | May 20, 2016 | Comments Art in Science Tischfield May 2016

As Nancy Speck, PhD, chair of the department of Cell and Developmental Biology, mentioned in a past blog post on the annual Perelman School of Medicine Art in Science Competition, “anyone can generate data, but not everyone can make pictures.” At the time, she was commenting on Amanda Yzaguirre, a... Read more

Mind Over Matter: Mental Health Conditions in Bariatric Surgery Patients

By Abbey Anderson | April 20, 2016 | Comments image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2016-04-20/ca1b08f085c74f628861500c55f162ae.png

Many would argue that more attention needs to be paid mental health issues in the United States. In recent months, this topic has been picking up steam with attention from the Chicago Tribune in an article that stresses the need to end mental health stigma. More pop culture-focused outlets are... Read more

“Penn Village” Sets up Camp Again at 2016’s Philly Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 15, 2016 | Comments Headphones

The Philadelphia Science Festival kicks off on April 22, and Penn Medicine will again play a leading role in the sixth annual city-wide event that showcases science and technology from all corners of the Delaware Valley. The Festival packs more than 90 events into nine days at diverse locations across... Read more

How Childhood Poverty Affects the Brain

By John Shea | March 18, 2016 | Comments Farah

The general findings that cognitive neuroscientist Martha J. Farah, PhD, reported at the beginning of her recent talk on Penn’s campus were grim: the poorer you are, the more depressed you are; a child’s IQ is related to family income; psychological well-being and intelligence both depend on the brain; low... Read more

The Importance of Making Connections

By John Shea | February 19, 2016 | Comments Lessthanthree_large

At first thought, the upstairs café and bar at Penn’s World Café Live might seem an unlikely site for a presentation by a professor whose specialties are marketing, psychology, and neuroscience. After all, the building also houses WXPN, the University’s FM radio station. Musical groups both famous and up-and-coming come... Read more

Penn Leads the Way in Alzheimer’s Research and Care

By Lee-Ann Donegan | November 19, 2015 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/15111920/cf64eca2-2c15-4446-ad80-5a4c6f1ed885.png

It’s an exciting time in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research, declared a recent CNBC.com article. Enhanced investment in research has led to new and improved treatments for cancer and other common illnesses, with Alzheimer’s perennially lagging in both available treatments and federal funding. But leading researchers, those at Penn among them,... Read more

Brain Injury Revisited

By John Shea | October 14, 2015 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/15101415/effa1c03-253c-41e8-afa2-dc60d57aced6.png

Image by Graham Perry This summer, one of the National Football League’s most honored linebackers, Junior Seau, was inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame -- posthumously. The Dallas Morning News described him as “probably the most dynamic player of his era.” But only Seau’s family attended the induction: the... Read more

Repairing Shorts In the Brain’s Electrical Circuitry

By Lee-Ann Donegan | July 1, 2015 | Comments

A “short” in the brain’s electrical circuitry is implicated in many neurological and psychiatric disorders, including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, attention disorders and major depression to name a few. How? “In many ways the brain resembles a large-scale computer network, with hubs and connections that communicate information, divvy up demanding processing... Read more

2015 Philadelphia Science Festival Recap (Slide Show)

By Karen Kreeger | May 15, 2015 | Comments

The fifth annual Philadelphia Science Festival is now a happy memory for all who participated, yet the creativity, as well as knowledge of science that Penn Medicine faculty, staff, and students shared with the public, will last until the next festival. Penn Med took part in many activities all over...

Penn Medicine at the 2015 Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 9, 2015 | Comments 2014 Carnival Penn village tents

Penn Medicine will again play a leading role in the fifth annual Philadelphia Science Festival, a citywide collaboration showcasing science and technology every spring. The Festival packs more than 100 events into nine days at locations across the region, including restaurants and breweries, parks, libraries, and museums. Read more

Beginner Brain Science (Slide Show)

By Karen Kreeger | March 30, 2015 | Comments NGG class and grad students 1

NGG class and grad students 1“What has a brain?” asked Patti Murphy, a doctoral student in the lab of Michael Granato, PhD, a professor of Cell and Development Biology. “Sharks!” “Humans!” “Dinosaurs had really little brains!” came the enthusiastic replies from the first-graders in Leonor Jimenez’s science classroom at Independence Charter School, a Philadelphia school known for its cultural diversity, advanced curriculum, including science at early grade levels, and dedicated teachers and parent volunteers. This is the second year that grad students in the Penn Neuroscience Graduate Group (NGG) conducted a two-day neuroscience outreach program for elementary school students in Philadelphia. Read more

Year in Review: A Look Back at 2014!

By Steve Graff | December 31, 2014 | Comments

Before we ring in the New Year, the Penn Medicine department of Communications is taking a look back at 2014, a year filled with more breakthroughs in medical research, growth at the Penn Medicine campus, and philanthropic support. This year, we took a different approach and put together a year...

The Trend: More than a Twitter Sidebar

By Robert Press | December 5, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14120517/ef8774b6-3264-4137-8771-02f4522ceb1c.png

I've always found one of the most fascinating aspects of social media to be its Hemingway-like quest to pack as much information into as small a space as possible. What started with Xanga and LiveJournal — two of the many longform blogging platforms us angsty teenagers of the early 2000s... Read more

Geroscience? Much More Than a Reaction to the “Silver Tsunami”

By Karen Kreeger | November 25, 2014 | Comments Geroscience The Seven Pillars of Aging

Geroscience is essentially an interdisciplinary field at the crossroads of aging and age-related diseases. Read more

Using Neural Tissue Engineering to Restore Brain Function and Form Bionic Connections

By Lee-Ann Donegan | November 19, 2014 | Comments Cullen neuron.axon image November 2014

Restoring Brain Connections using Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks (TENNs): Micro-TENNs are miniature preformed capsule-like constructs (shown above) that consist of neurons spanned by long axon tracts. These are grown outside the body and mimic the anatomy of axon pathways in the brain. They can then be implanted in the brain... Read more

Forget Me Not

By Greg Richter | October 14, 2014 | Comments DSC_9129

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fourth leading cause of death among African Americans. Once patients have the disease, there is no treatment available that can stop its progression. The Penn Memory Center seeks to change that. Last month, the Penn... Read more

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