Neuroscience, Mini Brains, and Your Health

“All the best models are the ones that you can improve in complexity to get closer and closer to the reality.”

The idea of a brain in a dish may sound like science fiction to some but scientists are becoming more and more adept at creating cortical organoids in the lab. The organoids are models of what is happening in utero as the brain forms. Being able to study this kind of human development not only opens new insights into neurological conditions but raises ethical questions.

Alysson Muotri, director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program, gives a look at how his lab is using these organoids to model specific conditions, treat disease, and explore fundamental brain mechanisms. Learn what the limitations, future projections, and ethical concerns are surrounding this exciting science.

Watch Re-constructing Brains in the Lab to Revolutionize Neuroscience – Exploring Ethics

Drug Wars: A New Hope

Why do some people develop addictions and others don’t? Does that provide insight in how to mediate addictive responses and behaviors? Join The Scripps Research Institutes’ Olivier George as he talks about his research and shares insights into how the brain responds to a variety of drugs, both illicit and prescription – as well as alcohol and nicotine – and new directions in developing novel therapies to reduce compulsive drug use and abuse.

Watch Drug Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – Finding New Therapies to Fight Drug Addiction with Olivier George – Saturday Science at Scripps Research

Lessons Learned in a Career of Schizophrenia Research

8232Michael Green, neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, has been fascinated with the human brain, behavior and mental illness since his undergraduate days. In particular, his research focuses on schizophrenia, a chronic brain disorder that affects about 1 percent of the population.

In this UCLA Faculty Research Lecture, he describes how his lab uses discoveries in psychology and social neuroscience about normal brain functioning to inform his schizophrenia research. And now, Green and his colleagues are moving into new territory, studying the causes of social isolation among people who do not have schizophrenia.

You’ll learn about the tools they use such as functional MRI, that measures and maps brain activity, and EEG, that detects electrical activity in the brain, and how they do research to answer questions about social isolation in the general public.

Watch The Human Social Brain: How It Works and How It Goes Awry in Schizophrenia and the General Population

Alzheimer's Disease – Neuroimaging, Caregiver Concerns, and Residential Care

Continuing our in-depth look at Alzheimer’s disease, On Our Mind examines the patient experience as well as the impact of the disease on families and communities. Learn more with our newest installments:

27760Neuroimaging Advances for Alzheimer’s Disease
What insights can new imaging techniques give us not only to the biology of the disease but the efficacy of new therapies?

27760Caregiver Concerns: Wandering, Home Safety and More
Six in ten people with dementia will wander. Learn how to create a home environment that facilitates safety.

27760Residential Care and Alzheimer’s Disease
Making the residential care decision can feel overwhleming. Learn how residential care has changed and the impact of care with dignity.

The Brain Channel’s flagship series On Our Mind takes a closer look at Alzheimer’s disease. Join Dr. William Mobley as he meets with those on the front lines of this disease to discuss current and potential therapies, testing, clinical trials, neuropathology, public policy and so much more.

Watch all of the Alzheimer’s Disease programs.

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On Our Mind – Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease - On Our Mind An estimated 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and that number will continue to rise. The impact will be felt not just in the homes of the diagnosed but by their caregivers, their loved ones, their communities, and beyond.

The Brain Channel’s flagship series On Our Mind is endeavoring in the next few months to take a closer look at Alzheimer’s disease. Join Dr. William Mobley as he meets with those on the front lines of this disease to discuss current and potential therapies, testing, clinical trials, neuropathology, public policy and so much more.

Online now:

1761Agenda: Alzheimer’s Disease Cure and Care
There are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss how we can better manage this disease from a public policy standpoint.


1761Stem Cells and Alzheimer’s Disease
Can stem cells be a weapon in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease? Larry Goldstein, PhD director the the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program, joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss how stem cells work and what possibilities they may unlock.


1761The Anatomy of Memory
How do we create and store memories? Larry Squire PhD joins William Mobley MD, PhD to dissect these processes and how we might use this knowledge to aid in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.


1761The Role of Synapses in Memory
Roberto Malinow, MD, PhD joins William Mobley MD, PhD to discuss his recent study where memories were not only erased but restored in rats. Learn how findings of this study could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.


Stay tuned to the Brain Channel for new installments in this informative series.