Archive for 2017

Five common myths about the brain―and the truth behind them

Here are five common myths about the brain – and the truth behind them. 1. You only use 10 percent of your brain False! Techniques that allow scientists to see brain activity like positron emission tomography (PET) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) show that we use every part of our brains throughout the day. 2. People can be right-brained or left-brained While certain specific tasks, like understanding syllables in words, do involve one side … Read More

Understanding frontotemporal dementia

For the past 10 years, I have had the privilege of leading a support group for family caregivers of persons with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and related disorders. The group’s creation was based on an observation among our clinicians at the OHSU Aging and Alzheimer’s Clinic that the typical Alzheimer’s Disease support group did not always meet the needs of families dealing with FTD. A closer look at the hallmark symptoms of frontotemporal degeneration will help … Read More

Caregiver corner: Pleasant Events tool can aid overtaxed caregivers

A demoralizing effect of Alzheimer’s disease and similar dementias is the gradual loss of ability to engage in enjoyable and meaningful activities. This loss affects the whole family and can lead to depressive symptoms in the care recipient with dementia. Overtaxed family caregivers know that activity engagement is important, but they often tell me they are exhausted and can’t think of another activity. To address this concern, Teri and Logsdon (1991) developed the Pleasant Events … Read More

Meet the minds behind NW Noggin, a K-12 neuroscience outreach program

At 8 a.m. in an eastern Washington elementary school gymnasium, Bill Griesar, Ph.D. ’01, is in a situation that would make anyone else sweat. Dr. Griesar has brought his group of neuroscience outreach volunteers – undergraduate and graduate students hailing from OHSU, Portland State University and Washington State University Vancouver – to Davenport, Wash., to teach schoolchildren about brains and neuroscience. But he has just discovered that the pipe cleaners used to construct neuron models … Read More

Taking a seat at the table as an advocate for science

Our first meeting on Capitol Hill was in the office of Senator Jeff Merkley.  I was seated across from a staff member with expertise in health policy and next to neuroscience department chairs and researchers with distinguished careers.  Alissa Ortman, Outreach Manager for Society for Neuroscience (SfN), introduced us: “Here are the neuroscientists.” The first several times I heard her say it, my stomach dropped. I was there as an Early Career Policy Ambassador and … Read More

New research looks at the influence of race and emotional context on face perception

Reports by some media outlets and community outreach organizations that track and document police violence demonstrate that more than any other demographic group, young black males may be at a particularly heightened risk of fatal police encounters. The underlying causes for the reported violent interactions between police and black individuals are likely dependent on a number of factors. To shed light on the issue, one approach taken by psychologists and neuroscientists has been to investigate … Read More

Celebrating our ROSE Award winners

We’ve all experienced those magical moments when someone makes your day – by treating you like family, by looking out for your well-being, by making that extra effort that transforms a small act into a big difference. OHSU’s ROSE Award honors these experiences and celebrates the exceptional acts of service excellence that make our workplace a community. We recognize these individuals for providing acts of compassion, dedication, tenacity, generosity, communication, and leadership, among others. The … Read More

A strong neuroscience program is about to get stronger—meet leaders and researchers at the forefront

Today, neuroscience at OHSU is poised for dramatic growth, driven by emerging areas of research strength in the fields of neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration and a planned investment of at least $100 million. Led by long-time campus leaders and new luminaries, the university is doubling down on its quest: contribute in a major way to understanding the mystery between our ears and, above all, improve brain health. Leadership On the faculty since 1982, Dennis Bourdette, M.D., F.A.A.N., chairs neurology in the … Read More

Meet Patricia O’Shea, Brain Resource Center volunteer

It’s Volunteer Week here at OHSU. This interview was originally published in 2015, but Patricia O’ Shea is still here and going strong! She has been volunteering since 2010 and as of April 2017 has put in over 820 hours of volunteer time. Thank you so much for your continued dedication! Patricia O’Shea volunteers at our Brain Resource Center and is an active member of our Brain Research Awareness and Information Network (BRAINet). Why did you … Read More

April Spotlight: Neuroradiology and the fMRI exam

April is host to Neurodiagnostic Week, a time to honor and celebrate the contributions of our neurodiagnostic professionals. Our Neuroradiology department is an integral part of the diagnostic evaluation process and collaborates with all OHSU clinical and medical teams including but not limited to neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, ENT surgery, orthopedic surgery, and vascular surgery. One of the most advanced techniques we use is a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) exam. This exam is tailored to the location of the … Read More

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