In this week post I will present to you the case of Phineas Gage, an American railroad worker whose case change drastically the knowledge of the frontal lobes (you can see one of his pictures below). The famous picture of Phineas Gage, holding the metal bar that pierced is skull. From neuroscienze.net This incredible story… Continue reading What happens when a metal bar gets stuck between our cheek and forehead?
Following up on last week’s new theme (have a look here if you missed it), today I will introduce to you a new area of the brain: the amygdala. The amygdala is an almond-shaped cluster of nuclei located deep and medially within the temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans (see picture… Continue reading How can we start fearing something even before consciously realising it?
In my last week’s post (if you missed it, have a look here), while I was talking about how the first studies on memory started and the animal model used, I mentioned a particular structure of the brain called hippocampus. Since I have been mentioning different areas of the brain also while I was presenting… Continue reading Why is the hippocampus important in memory formation?
Coming back to my last semester of my last year of Master’s in Neurobiology, today I will talk about memory and in particular about the first pioneer studies by the neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate Erik Kandel, that wanted to study memory from a neurophysiological point of view and that demonstrated how learning leaves traces in… Continue reading How did we start to study memory?
Today I will briefly present to you the quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) that I used for my master thesis to verify the genic expression of some genes of interest (such as c-FOS, a marker gene for neuronal activation, or CGRP, have a look here for a brief explanation of why I elected… Continue reading What is the qRT-PCR?
As I have anticipated last week (have a look here to figure out some of the new therapeutic targets for migraine), the main character of my master thesis in Neurobiology is the kynurenic acid (KYNA), one of the neuroactive compounds produced during the metabolism of tryptophan, an amino acid used in the biosynthesis of proteins.… Continue reading How did I study the effects of KYNA on migraine?
Since last week I started talking about the most common drugs used to treat the migraine symptoms, this week I would like to talk about the new targets that are started to be addressed for the treatment of migraine. As a matter of fact, thanks to the most recent intuitions on the aetiology of migraine,… Continue reading Which are the new therapeutic targets for migraine?
For this week's post I decided it is time to go back to the story of how I ended up doing a PhD in Germany and I will start talking about my Neurobiology master thesis, outlining in the SRF the medical problem that lead researchers, and my lab, working on it. By the beginning of… Continue reading What is migraine?
This week I will take a break from the “brain facts” category and, consequently, from the description of the different neuromodulators our brain use (you can find a quick description of what a neuromodulator is here and a description of serotonin, oxytocin, adrenaline and dopamine by clicking on their names) to talk about a “news… Continue reading What is the CAR-T therapy?
Following up on my neuromodulators topic (have a look at my previous posts about serotonin and oxytocin), today I will talk about the “stress” or “fight-or-flight” hormone: adrenaline. Experiencing a stressful event usually triggers the release of adrenaline, the “stress hormone”, that in turn produces well-orchestrated physiological changes. The stress response begins in the brain,… Continue reading What is the “fight-or-flight” response?