Cerebrum Summer 2020


BY THE NUMBERS 14 million people are projected to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease by 2050. Presently, that number is 5.8 million. 18.6 percent is the increase in antidepressant prescriptions filled in the U.S. from February 16 to March 15. 85 percent of people in a national survey have not heard of the term “aphasia,” a language disorder more common than Parkinson’s, MS, or cerebral palsy. 214 patients, or more than a third in Wuhan, China— where the pandemic started—had neurologic manifestations of the coronavirus. 8,000 steps (roughly four miles) a day helps brain health and may increase your odds of a longer life . ISSUE: Probiotics , which are manufactured mixtures of "good bacteria" that help digest food, have become a growing multibillion-dollar industry. Whether they work was the focus of a recent 60 Minutes segment on the microbiome. During the past 10 years, studies have linked the gut microbiome to a range of complex behaviors, such as mood and emotion, appetite and satiety, and even learning and memory.

Links to brain, mental health, and neuroethics articles we recommend:

> Washington Post: The journey from scientific breakthrough to a life-changing cystic fibrosis drug > Washington Post: She fell more than 30 times. For three years, doctors couldn’t explain why. > Star-Ledger: Living in a ‘toxic’ world raises risk for Alzheimer’s > Scientific American: A Tsunami of Dementia Could Be On Its Way > Tech Crunch: With an ex-Uber exec as its new CEO, digital mental health service Mindstrong raises $100 million > National Geographic: For autistic youths entering adulthood, a new world of challenges awaits > Raleigh News & Observer: Doctors can prescribe a video game for kids with ADHD after landmark FDA decision > The Atlantic: 30 Years Ago, Romania Deprived Thousands of Babies of Human Contact > The American Scientist: The Argument for Music COVID-19 Related > New York Times: Why Am I Having Weird Dreams Lately? > Washington Post: ‘ A minute later, she forgets.’ Pan- demic brings new challenges when a loved one has dementia. > Wired: What Does Covid-19 Do to Your Brain? > NBC News: Her father’s delirium was a first sign of coronavirus. He’s not the only one. > New York Times: Is the Pandemic Sparking Sui- cide? > Associated Press: Pandemic threatens to deepen crisis in mental health care > Star-Ledger: Autism may make it tricky for some to tolerate masks > Scientific American: From Headaches to ‘Covid Toes,’ Corona Virus Symptoms are a Bizarre Mix

The new normal I don’t know anyone right now that’s not having depression-like symptoms. It’s “

hard to keep going when our brains are constantly on fight or flight. It makes people really tired. If you’re having trouble concentrating or getting out of bed, it’s not abnormal. It’s an evolutionary response to a threat. — Luana Marques, psychologist, Harvard Medical School; president, Anxiety and Depression Association of America .


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