Written by: Jon Zhang ‘24
Edited by: Meehir Dixit ‘24
Obesity has emerged as a worldwide public health issue. According to the WHO, over 1.9 billion adults were overweight or obese in 2016, almost tripling since 1975 . The rise in obesity stems largely from industrialization and urbanization, as individuals around the globe consume more calorie-rich foods and lead less active lifestyles.
Written by: Devin Juros ‘23
Edited by: Pradyut Sekhsaria ‘24
In the mid-1990’s, a loving, polite, and warm grandmother, Kitty, suffered a series of small strokes and was diagnosed with vascular dementia, a condition of inadequate blood flow to the brain . Beyond progressively losing her short-term and long-term memories (she could only recognize her family), Kitty’s personality changed drastically as she became aggressive and paranoid. This lasted for several years, until one day she was transported to the hospital for a urinary tract infection, and Kitty suddenly seemed to “wake up”, regaining many of her past memories and her past personality that had seemed permanently destroyed. For a few hours, Kitty was able to hold lively conversations with her family, reminiscing about the past. Then, as quickly as this rush of lucidity had entered Kitty, it left; leaving her in a semi-consciousness state to pass within the next few days. Kitty’s case is an example of terminal lucidity, a fairly rare recovery of memory and mental clarity by terminally ill patients shortly before they depart. What can terminal lucidity tell us about the brain and the progression of diseases that disrupt our memory and cognitive faculties?
Written by Josephine Chen '24
Edited by Saradha Miriyala '23
Music therapy, a psychological treatment involving music as a mode of interaction and conveying emotions, has been demonstrated to improve the quality of life for people with mental disorders. This treatment has shown to decrease symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and dementia in clinical settings. Still, studies are being conducted to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating music therapy into the treatment of mental disorders.
Written by: Jon Zhang ‘24
Edited by: Meehir Dixit ‘24
Over 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), a crippling cognitive condition that inhibits important mental functions and interferes with daily life .
Despite widespread knowledge of its symptoms, little else is understood about AD. Along with having no cure, causes and strategies to slow the disease’s progression remain largely unknown. Tragically, individuals are forced to watch as their loved ones slowly succumb to the deteriorating effects of mental decline, withering away into shadows of their former selves.
Written by Sarah Wornow ‘23
Edited by Geat Ramush ‘23
An estimated 3.8 million concussions occur annually as a result of professional or recreational sports . Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury, and the impacts of sustaining a concussion, including amnesia and loss of brain function, can last a lifetime . Diagnosing a concussion can be a time-consuming process that usually involves a physical exam, cognitive testing, and an MRI or CT scan . Even with various diagnostic tools, many sports concussion tests are unreliable and leave many concussions undiagnosed . Part of this inaccuracy could be a result of most diagnostic tests (besides imaging tests) relying on the patient’s accounts of their symptoms, which could lead to an inaccurate description of the injury present.
Written by Alexander Pralea '24
Edited by Angelina Cho '24
In 2014, Apple and Facebook made headlines by announcing that health coverage for female employees would from then on come with a perk: mature oocyte cryopreservation, more commonly referred to as egg freezing and storage . Many critics lauded this move, arguing that the companies’ support of egg freezing better enabled women to take control of their fertility at their own pace. This landmark policy, however, has raised its own questions, namely whether sky-high expectations regarding elective egg freezing have exceeded the still evolving scientific evidence.
Written and Illustrated by: El Hebert '22
Edited by: Ashely Nee '22
Molecular biology brought us the vaccines that offer protection against Covid-19, but human scientists are a bit late to the party. In the adaptive immune system - the cellular army called upon by vaccines - your own personal genetic reshuffling apparatus runs constantly. And it has a very peculiar history.
Written by: Esha Kataria ’24
Edited by: Raymond Del Vecchio ’24
On February 27, the FDA approved a third vaccine for COVID-19, a single-shot dose by Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The J&J vaccine has its differences from the Modern and Pfizer vaccines, both biologically and logistically. This article will explore those differences while maintaining that no one vaccine is better than the other; they all provide the same protection and thus, we must not discriminate between them.
Written by: Shreya Rajachandran ‘22
Edited by: Naphat Permpredanun ‘24
He was found face-down on a wooden bed, under a pile of volcanic ash during the excavations of the Collegium Augustalium in Herculaneum in the 1960s. The young man - around 20 years old - was a member of the elite class, possibly the guardian of the building he was found in. Like many bodies found in Herculaneum and Pompeii from the 79 CE explosion of Mount Vesuvius, the remains of the young man were incredibly well-preserved, allowing researchers insight into his lifestyle and status . Normally, the remains found at this site are mainly skeletal because the heat of the eruption vaporizes any tissue . However, by using a scanning electron microscope, scientist Pierpaolo Petrone and his team discovered a vitrified neural system and brain in the remains of the young man they found in the Collegium, documented in their study “Preservation of neurons in an AD 79 vitrified human brain."
Written by: Melinda Li '22
Edited by: Katiana Soenen '24
If you’ve ever felt dizzy or faint after standing up quickly, you’ve probably experienced a brief instance of orthostatic hypotension, commonly known as a “head rush”. Although the unpleasant effects of a head rush only last for a few seconds, orthostatic hypotension is a serious problem for spinal cord injury patients, many of whom are not able to maintain a stable blood pressure when switching positions (1).