Environmental Factors in Parkinson's Disease
Epidemiologist Harvey Checkoway reveals environmental causes of Parkinson's Disease.
Huntington's Disease
Jody Corey-Bloom helps patients and their families understand Huntington's disease.
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Albert La Spada works to uncover the molecular bases of neurodegenerative diseases.
Brain Imaging and Movement Disorders
Novel use of brain imaging techniques aids understanding of movement disorders.
  • Welcome
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  • Brain Blog
Welcome to the Brain Channel, a platform to explore research and ideas on the brain and mind, as well as possible treatments for conditions related to the nervous system.

The workings of the brain define us – what we sense, what we know, who we are. In health, the brain functions marvelously. Our goal is to find out why the brain sometimes lets us down and leads to illness.

We are on the cusp of what promises to be an era of unprecedented progress in neurology. Even with current fiscal constraints and serious concerns about how healthcare will be organized and financed, in the next two decades progress in neurology and neurological science will create important new insights into the brain as we decipher its disorders and discover and apply effective treatments.

One of the most vexing diseases is Alzheimer's. Currently, an estimated 5 million Americans have the disease, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, with 36 million worldwide. By 2050 that number will rise to 115 million worldwide, resulting in a staggering toll on patients and their caregivers.

This is why we created a series on Alzheimer's many aspects -- from neuroanatomy to clinical trials to caregiving. We hope to address other neurological conditions in a similar way in the next few months.

Please join us on this adventure to learn more about the brain and all its possibilities. Check back often for new programs, news and resources. And if you would like to suggest a topic for us to tackle, please send your ideas to brainchannel@ucsd.edu.

William C. Mobley, MD, PhD
Distinguished Professor and Chair,
Department of Neurosciences
Florence Riford Chair of Alzheimer Disease Research
University of California, San Diego


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Watch all the programs in On Our Mind: Alzheimer's Disease.
Mind your P’s and T’s: How tainted drugs revolutionized Parkinson’s research
08/18/2016
In 1982, a man was brought to a hospital in the Bay Area of California in a curious condition.  The man was completely catatonic (immobile), and was frozen into an awkward, statue-like posture.  Doctors initially diagnosed him with catatonic schizophrenia, a sub-type of schizophrenia characterized by rigidity and unresponsiveness. However, this diagnosis did not entirely […]
Alzheimer’s disease: back to the basics & exploring new frontiers
08/11/2016
When my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), I wanted to better understand what exactly was happening in his brain as his memory slowly deteriorated. Perhaps this drive came from innate scientific curiosity, or perhaps burying myself in the gritty molecular details was my attempt at escaping from the emotional gravity of the situation.
Funding Autism Research
08/04/2016
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompasses many developmental disorders that cover a range of symptoms. While some people with ASD might have mild symptoms, others may stand out due to issues with social communication and language, for instance. Fortunately, scientists recognize that we need to accurately identify and treat individuals with ASD, beginning in early childhood […]
To improve your memory, try to get some space.
07/28/2016
Imagine you have a big exam or work presentation at the end of the week. You’ll have to do it all from memory, so you have some studying to do. How should you decide how much to prepare? Do you practice everything once? Twice? More? It’s intuitive (and true) that more repetition results in stronger, […]
NeuWrite reads: Brain on Fire
07/21/2016
As author William F. Allman puts it in his book Apprentices of Wonder: “the brain is a monstrous beautiful mess.” Thanks to the brain, we are who we are and we do what we do. Now can you imagine your brain failing you, turning against you and becoming your worst enemy? That is exactly what […]
#TriggerWarning: Life After Trauma
07/14/2016
At 2:09 am on June 12, 2016, Pulse had a message for its patrons: It’s only eight words, but it gives me chills whenever I read it. Have you ever been anywhere and found yourself with that imperative? Run. Keep running. Or you may die. The shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando claimed the […]