Research

Researcher seeks better ways to care for people post-concussion

The research surrounding concussions has been a heavy topic of discussion and strides are being taken to incorporate research findings into clinical and practical care of people post-concussion. This attempt to provide evidence-based care to our athletes was recently punctuated at the the Sports and Health Research Program Stakeholders Board Meeting, organized by the Foundation for the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington DC. In attendance were several NIH funded investigators, NIH program officers and representatives … Read More

Meet Helen Richardson, BRAINet chair and volunteer

In celebration of Volunteer Week, OHSU Brain Institute volunteers are “taking over” the blog to share their unique perspective. Helen Richardson is the Chair of the BRAINet Board. Why did you become a volunteer for OHSU? I’ve always been fascinated by the brain. When I discovered BRAINet, I knew it was an organization I wanted to be part of. Getting to learn about current research from those doing the work and then being able to … Read More

Meet Patricia O’Shea, Brain Resource Center volunteer

In celebration of Volunteer Week, OHSU Brain Institute volunteers are “taking over” the blog to share their unique perspective. First up: Patricia O’Shea, who volunteers at our Brain Resource Center and is an active member of BRAINet. Why did you become a volunteer for OHSU? I attended some of the first Brain Awareness events, back when they were held at OMSI. I’ve always been a very curious person with a strong interest in neuroscience. I … Read More

Of molecules and minds: 5 things we learned at BRAINet

The Brain Research Awareness and Information Network (BRAINet) is the volunteer outreach organization of the OHSU Brain Institute. Each month, they come together for a lecture luncheon. March’s special guest was Eric Gouaux, Ph.D. Here are five things we learned about Dr. Gouaux and his research: 1. As a Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator for the Vollum Institute, Eric Gouaux’s lab studies the molecular principles underpinning the structure and function of chemical synapses. 2. He has been awarded … Read More

Workplace freedom and support improves sleep

About 25-30% of U.S. citizens report insufficient sleep, which is associated with workplace errors, crashes, disease, and even early mortality. With co-authors from the Work, Family, and Health Network, I recently published our findings in the journal Sleep Health. In short, we found that a workplace program to reduce work-family conflict resulted in increased employee sleep a full year after the study started. This was measured with “sleep watches” that determine sleep periods through wrist movements. … Read More

What can birds tell us about the human brain?

If you spent any time toasting in the new year, and found difficulty getting your words to come out clearly, do not worry — you are not alone. In a study published last month, Claudio Mello, Andrey Ryabinin, Devin Owen and myself — all from the OHSU Department of Behavioral Neuroscience — found that songbirds that drink alcohol experience difficulty in singing as well. More than 500 media outlets across the world — including National … Read More

Drink to your health — once again

’Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry! And perhaps a few of those seasonal sips will be of the adult variety. So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that a study published in December 2013 by OHSU researchers got a bit more coverage in recent weeks. The study, whose senior author was Kathy Grant of the OHSU Brain Institute and OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center, found that moderate drinking may help boost … Read More

The connection between the brain, sleep and dementia

Last week, I talked about ongoing research on how sleep “deep cleans” your brain, as well as my participation in the National Geographic Channel’s documentary Sleepless in America. Meanwhile, our team of OHSU researchers, along with colleagues at the University of Rochester in New York, are plunging ahead with the story of the brain, sleep and dementia. We recently published an article in the journal Annals of Neurology that showed that the “brain cleaning system” is impaired in the aging … Read More

Sleepless in America — and the science behind it

There’s nothing quite like that feeling in your head after a long night of…no sleep. Your head feels disorganized, foggy, fuzzy, jumbled. Like it’s full of sludge left over from the night before. That’s maybe because it is. My colleagues and I have made some recent discoveries about what happens to the brain during sleep. In essence, we’ve found that the brain’s cells shrink during sleep in order to open up the space between them. That … Read More

Neuroscientists go to Washington — as advocates for science

This last March, I had the opportunity to join fellow neuroscientists from around the country in an effort to increase political awareness of scientific research during the Society for Neuroscience Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C. The group was made up of about 45 Society for Neuroscience members, including graduate students, post-doctoral fellows (like myself), faculty members, SfN staff and senior SfN leaders. Combined, we met with more than 75 congressional offices over the course … Read More

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