April 20, 2020

Hello,

Although in some places the restrictions on leaving the house are easing up, many of us are still spending most of our time at home these days. How might that be affecting your brain, and what can you do about it? I think you’ll be interested in reading this blog post on those topics from our CEO, Dr. Henry Mahncke.

Best regards,

Jeff Zimman
Co-founder
Posit Science


Tired of Videoconferencing? This Might Explain Why
There’s a new thing called “Zoom fatigue,” named after the videoconferencing app Zoom. That’s because so many people have noticed they feel exhausted after conducting their work and social life online (on Zoom and other apps) instead of in person—even when it’s the same work or social interaction. Why is that, and what does it have to do with how the brain works? Find out.

The Danger of Long-Term Spaceflight on the Brain
Although medical specialists have long known that long-term spaceflight affects the human body, recent studies have focused attention on the astronaut brain. A recent study examined astronauts who had spent an average of 171 days on the International Space Station, hoping to find evidence in the brain for vision-related issues many long-term astronauts notice. What they found is that their brains showed a series of changes. Learn more.

Baby Cells in the Adult Brain
In a striking new study, researchers have found that damaged cells in the adult brain can revert to an embryonic state. That allows them to repair themselves by re-growing connections and establishing themselves, once again, as healthier mature cells. Learn more.

New Hope for Severe Depression?
A pilot study conducted at Stanford may provide hope for people who suffer from severe depression. In the study, researchers tested a new type of magnetic brain stimulation on 21 people with treatment-resistant depression and found that it relieved symptoms in 90% of them—a much higher rate than other therapies. Learn more.

How Coronavirus Affects the Brain
New information suggests that the coronavirus can affect the brain. One study, for example, showed that 36.4% of the patients they examined had neurological symptoms. These can be as benign as a temporary loss of taste and smell to serious issues like stroke. Learn more.

New Approaches to Alzheimer’s Treatments
Finding a treatment for Alzheimer’s has been, to date, remarkably unsuccessful. Is that because researchers have put too many eggs in the wrong basket? Kenneth Kosik, an Alzheimer’s researcher from the University of California at Santa Barbara, outlines five different research targets that might bear fruit. Learn more.

Book of the Month
The Idea of the Brain: The Past and Future of Neuroscience (2020)
By Matthew Cobb
How does the brain work? For millennia people have pondered this question with limited understanding. Even today, with our superior knowledge and tools, our understanding of the brain and its processes is far from complete. In The Idea of the Brain, Matthew Cobb traces how people have thought about the brain over time, and how they often compare it to the technology of the day—from a hydraulic system to a supercomputer. What does this mean for future conceptualizations of the brain? Learn more or buy on Amazon.