Robotic exoskeletons that allow stroke survivors to regain use of their limbs, 3D-printed replacement body parts, and dozens of other innovations still in schematic design are revolutionizing the treatment of debilitating injuries and nervous system disorders. What all these technologies have in common is that they are modeled after engineering strategies found in nature—strategies developed by a vast array of organisms over eons of evolutionary trial and error.Eugene Goldfield lays out many principles of engineering found in the natural world, with a focus on how evolutionary and developmental adaptations, such as sensory organs and spinal cords, function within complex organisms. He shows how the component parts of highly coordinated structures organize themselves into autonomous functional systems. For example, when people walk, spinal cord neurons generate coordinated signals that continuously reorganize patterns of muscle activations during the gait cycle. This self-organizing capacity is just one of many qualities that allow biological systems to be robust, adaptive, anticipatory, and self-repairing. To exploit the full potential of technologies designed to interact seamlessly with human bodies, properties like these must be better understood and harnessed at every level, from molecules to cells to organ systems.Bioinspired Devices brings together insights from a wide range of fields. A member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Goldfield offers an insider’s view of cutting-edge research, and envisions a future in which synthetic and biological devices share energy sources and control, blurring the boundary between nature and medicine.
Each day Burt Wheeler is plagued by the same question. When did it happen? If he could pinpoint the beginning, then he might begin to make peace with himself. He vividly remembers when the doctor diagnosed Kee, his loving wife of over fifty years, with "Alzheimer-type dementia." But, as hard as he tries, it's impossible for him to determine when his wife's dementia started. He remembers her bout with depression, but that, he thinks, was surely due to her breast cancer. There was their dream vacation to Greece when Kee seemed so tired and indifferent. There were the unopened books, when reading had always been such a source of pleasure to her. And, he recalls, the gradual personality changes with friends, and even with family.
Wheeler started writing this book as a form of self-therapy when he found himself thrust into the role of caretaker to his wife--a role for which he felt unprepared. He wrote in memory of the very special woman his wife had been—a wonderful mother, charming and gracious, as well as a deeply respected psychotherapist. She was also his best friend, and he loved her. So, to some degree, this is a love story—a story about two people who have shared life's ups and downs for over fifty years. It's also about commitment.
In Close to Me, but Far Away, Wheeler provides insight into what a caregiver's day is like, as he shares his most intimate thoughts with us. The book provides a window into the author's personal life as he seeks to confront his own ineptitude and the occasional despair he feels as he deals daily with Alzheimer's. He also touches on the question of what keeps him going through times of exhaustion and frustration. Part of his answer lies in holding tenaciously to memories, and part lies in what he believes is a human's extraordinary capacity to continue plodding along simply because he must. Wheeler also believes in rejoicing in the beauty that can be experienced, and he believes in humor, humor achieved only by distancing ourselves from the events that so deeply engage us. And, of course, there is also the indefinable nature of love.
Alzheimer's is a terrifying and horrible disease, as much for loved ones as for the patient. Those who are caregivers or friends of Alzheimer's patients or caregivers will empathize with Burton Wheeler's story. And some might receive comfort from his words or learn from him. Because Alzheimer's is a disease that could affect anyone, Close to Me, but Far Away is a story that should be read by all.
A child crashes to the ground from the monkey bars head-first. A high school student prepares for months to take the SAT. A grandmother slowly slips away from her family through the deadly progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Whether we realize it or not, the importance of brain health to our daily lives goes far beyond just being able to walk and talk. The Dana Guide to Brain Health offers the first comprehensive home medical reference book on the brain, providing an unparalleled, authoritative guide to improving the fitness of our brains and, ultimately, enriching our lives.
With contributions from over one hundred of the most prominent scientists and clinicians in the United States, The Dana Guide to Brain Health is an extensive and wholly accessible manual on the workings of the human brain. This richly illustrated volume contains a wealth of facts and advice, on simple yet effective ways to take care of our brains; the intimate connection between brain health and body health; brain development from the prenatal period through adulthood; and how we learn, remember, and imagine.
The brain is far too important to be excluded any longer from our daily health concerns. The Dana Guide to Brain Health remedies this oversight with a clearly written, definitive map to our brains that reveals how we can take care of them in order to sustain a long and rich life.
Where is the line between instinct and free will in humans? How far can technology and medicine go to manipulate the brain? With every new discovery about the human mind, more and more questions emerge about the boundaries of consciousness, responsibility, and how far neuroscience research can go. The fledgling field of neuroethics has sought answers to these questions since the first formal neuroethics conference was held in 2002. This groundbreaking volume collects the expert and authoritative writings published since then that have laid the groundwork for this rapidly expanding debate.
Defining Right and Wrong in Brain Science traverses the breadth of neuroethics, exploring six broad areas—including free will, moral responsibility, and legal responsibility; psychopharmacology; and brain injury and brain death—in thirty provocative articles. The scientific and ethical consequences of neuroscience research and technology are plumbed by leading thinkers and scientists, from Antonio Damasio’s “The Neural Basics of Social Behavior: Ethical Implications” to “Monitoring and Manipulating Brain Function” by Martha J. Farah and Paul Root Wolpe. These and other in-depth chapters articulate the thought-provoking questions that emerge with every new scientific discovery and propose solutions that mediate between the freedom of scientific endeavor and the boundaries of ethical responsibility.
As science races toward a future that is marked by startling new possibilities for our bodies and minds, Defining Right and Wrong in Brain Science is the definitive assessment of the ethical criteria guiding neuroscientists today.
Though we have other distinguishing characteristics (walking on two legs, for instance, and relative hairlessness), the brain and the behavior it produces are what truly set us apart from the other apes and primates. And how this three-pound organ composed of water, fat, and protein turned a mammal species into the dominant animal on earth today is the story John S. Allen seeks to tell.Adopting what he calls a “bottom-up” approach to the evolution of human behavior, Allen considers the brain as a biological organ; a collection of genes, cells, and tissues that grows, eats, and ages, and is subject to the direct effects of natural selection and the phylogenetic constraints of its ancestry. An exploration of the evolution of this critical organ based on recent work in paleoanthropology, brain anatomy and neuroimaging, molecular genetics, life history theory, and related fields, his book shows us the brain as a product of the contexts in which it evolved: phylogenetic, somatic, genetic, ecological, demographic, and ultimately, cultural-linguistic. Throughout, Allen focuses on the foundations of brain evolution rather than the evolution of behavior or cognition. This perspective demonstrates how, just as some aspects of our behavior emerge in unexpected ways from the development of certain cognitive capacities, a more nuanced understanding of behavioral evolution might develop from a clearer picture of brain evolution.
The connection between mind and brain has been one of the most persistent problems in modern Western thought; even recent advances in neuroscience haven’t been able to explain it satisfactorily. Historian Larry Sommer McGrath’s Making Spirit Matter studies how a particularly productive and influential group of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French thinkers attempted to solve this puzzle by showing the mutual dependence of spirit and matter. The scientific revolution taking place at this point in history across disciplines, from biology to psychology and neurology, located our mental powers in the brain and offered a radical reformulation of the meaning of society, spirit, and the self. Tracing connections among thinkers such as Henri Bergson, Alfred Fouillée, Jean-Marie Guyau, and others, McGrath plots alternative intellectual movements that revived themes of creativity, time, and experience by applying the very sciences that seemed to undermine metaphysics and religion. Making Spirit Matter lays out the long legacy of this moment in the history of ideas and how it might renew our understanding of the relationship between mind and brain today.
Neurofilaments was first published in 1983. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Neurofilaments are fibrous organelles that serve as one of the main structural elements of neurons. Synthesized in the perikaryon ,or nerve cell body, neurofilaments are transported along the axon, where they help to maintain the neuronal architecture. Recent research has shown that neurofilaments are biochemically distinct from other kinds of cellular filaments and that they play a special role in the health and functioning of neurons. Although their existence has been recognized for over a century, scientists have only recently started to apply the methods of cellular and molecular biology to the study of neurofilaments, aided by the use of the electron microscope. The study of neurofilaments has raised a number of interesting biological questions with implications for our understanding of neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and neurology. This book is the first to provide, in one place, reports by specialists on the most significant areas of research on these neuronal organelles.
The book opens with a historical background to current research, followed by chapters dealing with the neuronal cytoskeleton; the biochemistry of neurofilaments; neurofilaments of the mammalian peripheral nerve; the functional role of neurofilaments in axonal transport; the metabolism of neurofilaments; experimental models of abnormal neurofilamentous pathology; and the relation of these abnormal structures to Alzheimer's disease. Editor Charles Marotta's closing chapter surveys current and future neurofilament research.
The Physiology and Pathology of the Cerebellum was first published in 1958. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The development of electrical methods of recording activity in the nervous system has greatly augmented our knowledge of cerebellar physiology. Now, for the first time in a single volume, this new information has been related to facts derived from older methods of investigation. Previously unpublished reports of experiments conducted at the Institute of Physiology, University of Pisa, Italy, also are included.
The authors, an American clinical neurologist and an Italian neuro-physiologist, have collaborated to provide a comprehensive review of cerebellar physiology and a survey of the clinical symptomatology of cerebellar disorders and the pathology of the cerebellum.
Part II is devoted to the human cerebellum as studied in the clinic. Where anatomical and physiological observation may shed light upon obscure clinical findings, the laboratory data are related to the clinical investigations. The disorders and diseases affecting the cerebellum are systemically reviewed. The book is illustrated with 61 halftones and 124 line drawings.
Even in this information age, it is a daunting task to find clear, concise, and credible sources for essential medical facts. And for those dealing with the symptoms of often serious neurological disorders, finding trustworthy and straightforward information is gravely important.
Treating the Brain is precisely what has been missing for non-specialists. Focusing on the most common neurological conditions, it provides accurate, reliable information to patients, caregivers, and health practitioners from the neurologist whose professional text informs neurologists worldwide.. Walter G. Bradley, one of the nation’s foremost neurologists and the editor of the leading neurology textbook Neurology in Clinical Practice, navigates the complexities of the brain in highly accessible language. Treating the Brain is the definitive resource for patients, offering a coherent and up-to-date understanding of what physicians know about the brain. In the United States alone, one-quarter of all new consultations between patients and their family physician is a result of a neurological problem. Using case histories as examples, Treating the Brain explains the neurological examinations and tests and clinical features, causes, and treatments available for Alzheimer’s disease, migraines, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and other frequently diagnosed neurological disorders.
For anyone who has ever had a neurological symptom, from a headache to tingling hands, and for anyone with a personal interest in how the brain works in health and disease, Treating the Brain will prove to be a valuable, easy-to-read source of a wide-range of information.
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