Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Neurodegenerative Diseases

Brain Injury Revisited

By John Shea | October 14, 2015 | Comments image from

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...

A Unified Front in Penn Neuroscience

By Lee-Ann Donegan | February 26, 2015 | Comments IMG_1530

There’s a lot of construction going on around here. While this is not unusual, there seems to be an avalanche of new buildings opening lately, from Penn Medicine University City to the Pavilion for Advanced Care to the Henry Jordan Center for Medical Education. Now, add to the list the... Read more

Focus on Rare Diseases is Common at Penn Medicine

By Karen Kreeger | February 6, 2015 | Comments Rare Disease Day Logo 2015

Penn Medicine has been at the forefront of rare disease research for decades, and these efforts – as well as many of its other research and clinical milestones -- are being honored this year as part of the Perelman School of Medicine’s 250th anniversary celebration. Read more

Advancing Neurotrauma Care—and Research—at Penn’s New Pavilion for Advanced Care

By Lee-Ann Donegan | January 12, 2015 | Comments

As we look toward the opening of our new Pavilion for Advanced Care (PAC) and the transition of our trauma center from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, throughout the month of January, the News Blog is highlighting some of the latest news and... 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

Designs and Redesigns

By John Shea | November 10, 2014 | Comments Cover

With the Fall 2014 issue of Penn Medicine, we unveiled a redesigned magazine. Graham Perry of NCS Studios remains our designer, but he and his colleagues have introduced a new look to our pages. Many photos are now run larger; the body text has changed; most articles are now set... Read more

How a Fish-Killing Natural Product Opens Doors to the Basics of Cell Metabolism

By Karen Kreeger | October 1, 2014 | Comments Blair Rotenone pic Oct 14

Rotenone exposure is also associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in humans, but the exact mechanism is unknown. In fact, rotenone is used to induce a rodent model of PD. Mitochondrial abnormalities have been well documented in PD patients, often coinciding with elevated markers of oxidative stress. Despite this evidence, not much is known about how nerve cells die because of the stress. Read more

Whole Genome Sequencing of Amish Families Reveals Complexity of Bipolar Disorder

By Karen Kreeger | September 16, 2014 | Comments Lonestar

Perelman School genetics professor Maja Bucan, PhD, told me of her deep appreciation for the work going on at the clinic: “From my first visit to the clinic [Clinic for Special Children], I knew I wanted to be part of their team as a collaborator.” Read more

Two Diseases Can’t Keep ACC Patient off His Bike

By Steve Graff | September 8, 2014 | Comments Photo (2)

Abramson Cancer Center patient Marc Barag started training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer about two years ago—he just didn’t know it. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and enduring 96-hour sessions of chemotherapy, Barag decided to jump on an exercise bike he spotted on the infusion center floor one day to... Read more

Making the Summer Count

By Karen Kreeger | August 15, 2014 | Comments SUIP_Poster Session_1

Every summer, the news is filled with profiles of summer student programs, and those that are aimed at increased participation by minority students in STEM are no exception. The Summer Undergraduate Internship Program at Penn Medicine is one such program. Read more

A Picture Really is Worth 1000 Words

By Karen Kreeger | August 1, 2014 | Comments Talamas winning image 2014

The winners of the Penn Medicine 2014 “Art in Science" can certainly make pretty pictures with fancy microscopes, but there is also a rich story of scientific inquiry behind each. Read more

2014 Philadelphia Science Festival Recap

By Karen Kreeger | May 20, 2014 | Comments

It’s only been a little over two weeks since the end of the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival, but the inspiration, as well as love and knowledge of science that Penn Medicine faculty, staff, and students shared with members of the public, will last far into the next year.

Lab Week 2014

By Karen Kreeger | May 8, 2014 | Comments Lab Week 2014 Rock Your Pride logo

Late last month Penn Med observed Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, a time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the 600-plus lab professionals in more than 30 laboratories across the health system.

Cycling for Rare Diseases

By Karen Kreeger | May 1, 2014 | Comments image from

The first annual Million Dollar Bike Ride is finally here. On Saturday, May 3, 2014, close to 500 riders and many other volunteers and family members will gather at Highline Park on Penn’s campus to raise funds for and awareness about rare diseases. Read more

Sleep the Night Away with Penn Med Scientists at the Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 29, 2014 | Comments PSF sleep blog post image

Sleep -- elusive to some, mysterious to all -- is the topic of a special event at Franklin Institute’s Fels Planetarium on Wednesday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. called Sleep: A Bedtime Story, part of the signature programs on the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival schedule.

An Outdoor Kickoff to the Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 23, 2014 | Comments Sci Fest logo outside

Head outdoors this weekend with Penn Medicine to kick off the fourth annual Philadelphia Science Festival.The weather for Saturday and Sunday is predicted to be 0% showers, with highs in the upper 60s and low 70s. Join Penn Medicine faculty, students, and staff at two of the city’s most spectacular...

Penn Medicine at the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 4, 2014 | Comments PSF 2011 Carnival Dry ice

PSF 2011 Carnival Dry icePenn Medicine will again play a starring role in the 4th annual Philadelphia Science Festival, a citywide collaboration showcasing science and technology every spring. Read more

Beyond the Ivory Tower: Penn’s Neuroscience Grad Students Reach Out During Brain Week, and Beyond

By Karen Kreeger | March 18, 2014 | Comments NGG KidsJudge 2013 Synpatic Land

Philadelphia is a cerebral city this spring. To start, every March, Brain Awareness Week brings together institutions worldwide to celebrate the brain. Read more

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