Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Neurodegenerative Diseases

The Memory Café: A “Safe” Place to Socialize

By Sally Sapega | August 22, 2016 | Comments Memory cafe connie and betty mitchell

At a recent event at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, a group of people sat around four tables, each with Egyptian artifacts as its centerpiece. Museum educators went from table to table explaining – in a highly entertaining fashion – what each artifact signified in ancient... Read more

Scaling a Tall Peak

By Lee-Ann Donegan | August 12, 2016 | Comments image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2016-08-12/b9639e191730491395bdd51e8c19e402.png

In June, the world mourned the loss of American boxing great Muhammad Ali, who long suffered the effects of Parkinson’s disease (PD). While too late for Ali, the Penn community of clinicians and researchers are hard at work finding new ways to detect the disease so that the next generation... 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

A Visit from the Nobelists

By John Shea | June 1, 2016 | Comments 6a0168e81dfe9c970c01b8d1f0db3c970c

Michael Brown delivers the graduation address What does Stanley B. Prusiner, MD 1968, have in common with Michael S. Brown, MD 1966, besides graduating from the Perelman School of Medicine? Both are members of an exclusive and celebrated group -- recipients of the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. In... 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

The Invisible Wound

By Sally Sapega | March 16, 2016 | Comments Ben cropped

"People look at me and say, ‘You don’t have the right to say you have a disability.’” Ben Richards, US Army Major (Ret) Nine years ago, a suicide car bomber in Iraq smashed into the armored vehicle in which Ben Richards and his men were riding. Although the blast wave... Read more

Bad Breakdown: How Essential Fatty Acids Put Up With Free Radicals

By Karen Kreeger | February 10, 2016 | Comments Radical

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids play an important, yet complicated, role in brain growth and disease, more and more research is showing. These are the same “essential” fats touted in ads for everything from baby formula to supplements to protein bars. They’re essential because the body needs them for maintaining... Read more

Super Bowl 50: A Conversation about Concussions

By Lee-Ann Donegan | February 3, 2016 | Comments Eagles_fb

(L to R): Penn Neurosurgeons William Welch, MD and John Lee, MD; Penn primary care physician, Bill Duffy, MD, with Pennsylvania Hospital primary care physician and Eagles team doctor, Gary Dorshimer, MD, on the field at an Eagles game It’s hard to believe that a mere 10 years ago concussions... 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...

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

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