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WORLD
February 24, 2007 | William C. Rempel, Times Staff Writer
THE official end of the notorious Cali cocaine cartel came late last year here with little more commotion than the rap of a judge's gavel. The Colombian drug lords Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, 63, and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, 67, entered guilty pleas and were ushered off to federal prison for the next 30 years -- no Miami Vice-like dramatics, no bodies riddled with gunfire in the manner of Medellin rival Pablo Escobar.
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HEALTH
April 25, 2014 | Valerie J. Nelson
Far older than most of the regulars at his weekly South Bay swing-dancing class, the World War II veteran invariably shuffles in, sidles up to his instructor and unwittingly gives voice to a scientific truth: "I'm here for my anti-aging therapy and happiness treatment. " Dancing has long been lauded as a great physical workout, yet research has increasingly shown that social dancing, such as swing, a lively, improvisational style that requires rapid-fire decision-making in concert with a partner, is also beneficial to both mind and spirit.
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NEWS
December 16, 1996 | DAVID FERRELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For seven years, Scott Stokes conducted his own reckless inquiries into the physiological effects of pot. "I woke up to get high, and I got high to go to bed," recalled the 19-year-old from El Toro, who broke his marijuana habit only after he was arrested two years ago for burglarizing a head shop. "If I didn't have it, I would . . . start sweating, and when I'd breathe deep I'd get into these weird breathing patterns. "People say that marijuana is not addictive, but it's extremely addictive."
SCIENCE
April 15, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
In the netherworld that lies between death and full consciousness, some grievously injured or ill patients will remain suspended indefinitely. But others, given time, will eke their way out of the twilight and toward recovery. Accurately predicting which group an apparently vegetative patient falls into could bring comfort, solace and sometimes hope to their families--and also to the patients involved, who may wish to convey they are still "in there," or may feel pain that is not being addressed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 2000 | KENDALL S. POWELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"Have you ever tried to read a newspaper with one hand?" asked Leslie McClellan. The 68-year-old man from Gainesville, Fla., knows that it's truly an exercise in frustration. Reading a newspaper is just one of life's daily activities that is a challenge for the two-thirds of the 4 million American stroke survivors who are left physically impaired. (Former President Gerald R. Ford suffered what was called a small stroke Wednesday, but doctors said he does not seem to be significantly impaired).
OPINION
October 18, 2013 | By Robert M. Sapolsky
There's a phrase that has haunted America for decades, one fraught with failure: "Breaking the cycle of poverty. " Despite the ongoing efforts of government and a host of private foundations, income inequality continues to grow and the poor are ever more likely to remain poor. Many factors favor the rich getting richer while the poor stagnate. The wealthy benefit from economies of scale, as the best prices and lowest interest rates are more readily available to those who least need them.
SCIENCE
May 16, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom.
The tamping rod that blew through Phineas Gage's brain 163 years ago damaged only a small portion of his brain, but it disrupted a much larger proportion of his neural connections, UCLA researchers reported Wednesday. The finding, based on imaging of Gage's skull, may help explain the behavioral changes he endured following the accident. Phineas P. Gage was a construction supervisor for the Rutland and Burlington Railroad. On Sept. 13, 1848, he was working at a site near Cavendish, Vt. He had drilled a hole in a rock that was to be removed then filled the hole with blasting powder.
HEALTH
March 1, 2010 | Melissa Healy
Leonardo da Vinci took them, as did Napoleon Bonaparte, Johannes Brahms and Winston Churchill. You could probably use one right now. Midday naps have long been touted as a good thing, lowering blood pressure and driving down the risk of heart attack. And if you snooze long enough, researchers have now found, they also permit your memory banks to do their filing, leaving your brain cleared and ready to learn in the latter half of the day. UC Berkeley psychology professor Matthew Walker and colleagues put 39 young adults through a demanding learning task and tested on it at noon.
NEWS
June 13, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
You can't sleep.  You've tried counting sheep, drinking warm milk, maybe even taking medications like Benadryl or sleeping pills.   Maybe next you should try cooling your brain. According to research presented Monday at Sleep 2011 , the annual meeting of the Associated Profession Sleep Societies, cooling the brain and can reduce the amount of time it takes people with insomnia to fall asleep -- and increase the length of time they stay that way. To achieve "frontal cerebral thermal transfer," as the cooling is called, researchers Dr. Eric Nofzinger and Dr. Daniel Buysse of the Sleep Neuroimaging Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine outfitted 24 people --  12 with insomnia, and 12 without -- with soft plastic caps.  The caps had tubes for circulating water at neutral, moderate or maximum "cooling intensity.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2011
Projectfresh: Conscious Capitalism and the Brain Where: Downtown Independent Theater, 251 S. Main St. When: 7 p.m. Tuesday Price: $10 Info: (213) 617-1033; projectfresh.eventbrite.com
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | Steve Lopez
I'm generally not an alarmist about earthquakes. As a California native, I've experienced my share of small to moderate reminders that our fair state is fractured from head to toe and we're all standing on broken plates. But the shaking is putting me on edge lately. I find myself wondering if I should buy earthquake insurance, or why my dog is cocking his head as if he knows something I don't. This is partly because there's been more rocking and rolling than usual, and partly because of what we're learning about how shamefully unprepared we are for a Big One. And now I have more cause for concern.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Jason Wells
The mother of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old Oakland girl declared brain dead by multiple neurologists more than three months ago, insisted Thursday that her daughter was "asleep" and "blossoming into a teenager. " Jahi was declared brain-dead Dec. 12 after complications during surgery three days earlier to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula at  Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland. At least three neurologists confirmed that Jahi was unable to breathe on her own, had no blood flow to her brain and had no sign of electrical activity in her brain.
HEALTH
March 28, 2014 | By Lily Dayton
Starting in her 30s, Barbara Schulties began suffering from debilitating headaches, which she describes as "someone taking a hot poker to my eye. " Besides excruciating head pain, the Santa Cruz resident lists a host of accompanying symptoms: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty focusing and hypersensitivity to light, noise and even wind on her face. "I can't spell," she says, describing a typical headache. "It's very hard for me to visualize words. " Like 12% of people in the U.S., and 1 out of 3 women over a lifetime, Schulties suffers from migraine disorder, an inherited condition that affects the regulation of nerve signals in the brain.
SCIENCE
March 27, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Brain tissue samples from children with autism look markedly different than the brain tissue of other kids, researchers say. The physiological differences could explain many of the well-known symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, and they suggest that the developmental problems that lead to autism begin before birth. A group of scientists from around the country obtained frozen cubes of brain tissue from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center . The cubes, measuring one or two cubic centimeters, were taken from children ages 2 to 15 who had died.
SCIENCE
March 26, 2014 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.
When one of us takes in another's face, it's like a party in the brain. Signals dart from region to region as we piece together the eyes, the mouth, the emotional expression, the degree of attraction or fear we may feel, the memory of a familiar feature or mannerism. New research has found that, by listening in long enough to an individual's brain as he or she gazes at many faces, one can sketch a pretty good facsimile of an unfamiliar new face that person is seeing. Using the same technique, one might one day be able to reconstruct a facial image called to someone's mind by memory, or even seen in a dream.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- Oakland has reached a $4.5-million settlement with a Marine veteran who suffered brain damage when a police officer shot him with a beanbag projectile during an Occupy Oakland protest, the city announced Friday. Scott Olsen, 26, who served two tours in Iraq,  suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury on Oct. 25, 2011, when Oakland police tried to disperse a crowd near City Hall. Olsen said he was standing still and behaving peacefully when he was struck.
OPINION
July 20, 2012
Re "Head case puzzle," Opinion, July 15 Robert M. Sapolsky highlights the paradox between biological causes of abnormal behavior and the issue of assessing moral and legal responsibility. After 40-plus years in psychiatry, I have found that the most useful pathway is to accept the paradox, following John Stuart Mill's advice: While ultimately our will is not free, for the sake of an orderly society, it is necessary to act as if it were. Pragmatically, I interpret this to mean that when the biological causation is extraordinary (major brain damage or an acute cerebral infection)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Times Television Critic
"Brains on Trial," Thursday and Sept. 19 on PBS, offers a two-part look at "how brains work when they become entangled with the law. " That is not the John Agar 1950s sci-fi flick it might first sound like, but a look at how recent research into neuroscience and brain mapping changes our understanding of basic questions of human reliability, memory and bias among witnesses, juries and judges. These epistemological problems, pondered by philosophers since time immemorial, are no less difficult today; if anything, they are complicated by new knowledge.
SCIENCE
March 12, 2014 | By Amina Khan
NASA's elderly Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter flipped into “safe mode” on Sunday after an unexpected computing glitch caused the spacecraft to switch from its main computer to its backup. The 8-year-old satellite, which left Earth in August 2005 and entered Martian orbit on March 10, 2006, has lived well beyond its primary two-year science phase, so perhaps the occasional "brain fart" is understandable. Tasked with searching for signs that water flowed on Mars for a long period of time, it's been sending Earth detailed information about seasonal and longer-term changes on our rust-hued neighbor . In fact, it has returned more data than all other interplanetary missions combined, according to officials at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, which manages the mission.
WORLD
March 10, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa - Athlete Oscar Pistorius used expanding bullets that mushroom on impact and cause maximum tissue damage when he shot his girlfriend to death, a pathologist testified Monday in a South African court. One of those bullets penetrated Reeva Steenkamp's head and broke up in her brain, causing a catastrophic injury, and another hit her right hip, shattered a hip bone and broke into small pieces in her body, said pathologist Gert Saayman, who conducted the autopsy.
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