Cerebrum Winter 2020


BY THE NUMBERS 1 in5 adolescents have harmed themselves to sooth emotional pain at least once, according to a review of three dozen surveys in nearly a dozen countries. 10 seconds is the amount of time it takes for nicotine from a cigarette to fill your lungs, surge through your bloodstream, and enter your brain. 20 is the percentage of Americans who suffer anxiety disorders.

27,000 people from around the world attended the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago in October. 400,000 people around the world have brain implants. Most are for Parkinson’s. 24,000,000 Americans suffer from sleep apnea and don’t know it, and many who do know don’t get treatment.

25 is the percentage of all adults in Britain who take prescription medication for pain, anxiety, depression, or insomnia, and half of those people had been taking the drugs for a year or more. 200 drug trials have failed in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. 500 mentally ill people in New York City call 911 every day.


MARGARET LAWRENCE, Pioneering Psychoanalyst Margaret Lawrence, pediatrician and child psychologist, passed away at the age of 105 on Dec. 4, 2019, in Boston. Lawrence was primarily raised in Vicksburg, M.S., and resolved to become a doctor after learning that her older brother had died in infancy. As an adult, she attended Cornell University in the 1930s as an undergraduate but was denied acceptance into their


Peter Frates, the former Boston College baseball player who helped make the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge go viral, died on

Dec. 9, 2019, at the age of 34 in his Beverly, M.A., home. The 2014 internet challenge was intended to spread awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and to encourage donations to research. It involved a person who was nominated being recorded having a bucket of ice water dumped on his or her head and then posting the video to social media, while also nominating at least three other people to take part. While not the creator of the challenge, Frates’ participation helped make it go viral, which led to the ALS Association receiving over $115 million in donations. Frates, who had ALS himself, also raised awareness about medical costs, revealing that about $70,000 to $95,000 a month was needed for treatment. About $77 million of the money raised by the challenge was used for research that led to the discovery of the NEKI gene, which contributes to the disease and may give scientists guidance in developing treatment drugs. l

medical school. After this rejection, Lawrence applied to Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she was accepted and was the only woman of color in her class of 104 students. Having completed a pediatric residency at Harlem Hospital and then receiving her master’s in public health from Columbia, Lawrence went on to serve as chief of developmental psychiatry services for infants and children at Harlem Hospital for over 20 years and later opened up a private psychiatric practice in Rockland County, New York. l


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