Parkinson's Disease: New Developments
Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease.
The Mind and Methods of V.S. Ramachandran
V.S. Ramachandran discusses his fascinating career & scientific process.
Chemistry of the Brain
Jean-Pierre Changeux reflects on the brain, bacteria, and consciousness.
Darlene Shiley: A Caregiver's Journey
Darlene Shiley discusses caregiving, palliative care, and loss.
  • 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

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


Watch all the programs in On Our Mind: Alzheimer's Disease.
Grad Gloom: Mental Health & Grad School
Ah, February. That time of year when the winter starts to feel long…really long. The holidays are over and now it’s just the long slog toward spring. In grad school, this time of year can be especially difficult – long hours working to make up for lost time during break, grant deadlines creeping, and for […]
Dawn of the DREADD
[En Español] There are few things I find more satisfying than a good acronym, and DREADD  or Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by a Designer Drug has got to be my favorite.  The name is just so evocative.  Whenever I think about DREADDs, I find myself picturing some sort of Star Wars villain; maybe due to […]
Life (™), the Game
I emerged from the haze of 2015’s consumer season with “FitBit”, one of the biggest names in wearable technology, staring at me from my bank statement. Turns out, my brother’s job, like many others, has monthly competitions, awarding prizes to the employee averaging the most daily steps. Never one to be beat, my sister in law requested one for the holidays, which […]
Did Epigenetics Save Luke Skywalker from the Dark Side? A Neurobiological Perspective on Darth Vader
Good versus Evil It’s less than a week before Christmas, and just a few short days away from opening night of The Force Awakens (Episode VII of the THIRD and final Star Wars trilogy). The Christmas season (coincidentally also the season of blockbuster releases) is ripe with distinctions between “naughty” and “nice”, from children who […]
Who wants to be an astronaut?
Originally posted on NeuWrite San Diego:
Sensory deprivation. Cultural isolation. Physical confinement. Throw in relearning every menial task for microgravity, the lack of privacy and the disturbed sleep-wake cycle, and you can be sure your life will never be the same (1,2). Yeah, the job description for being an astronaut is a little intense. Especially since you also need…
What’s Your Damage, Yoda?
Even if you haven’t seen the Star Wars films (yes, those people do exist and yes, it’s rude to yell at them until they watch them), you probably know three key things about Jedi Master Yoda: he’s small, he’s green, and he talks funny. Specifically, he switches around the order of some of his words; […]