An Introduction to Diffusion Tensor Imaging

An Introduction to Diffusion Tensor Imaging

When we look up to see the sky crossed by a white trace, we can follow the white vine of water-vapor to its seeding source, the burning engine of a jet. What if we could similarly trace the thread-like connections of the brain? Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a technique for imaging the brain that allows us to describe the structures of the brain’s connections by contouring the diffusion, or directional movement, of water.

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Improving Clinical Outcomes of Lumbar Fusion for Osteoporotic Patients

Improving Clinical Outcomes of Lumbar Fusion for Osteoporotic Patients

Picture yourself building a skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles with nothing but titanium-reinforced I-beams and concrete that is so brittle, even the slightest touch could make the foundation shatter. This is analogous to what spine surgeons are facing when patients with osteoporosis are in need of spinal fusion and/or fixation from trauma, degeneration, or spinal stenosis.

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Gene Mutations that Cause CIP

Gene Mutations that Cause CIP

Although the idea of and experiences associated with pain leave people with negative perceptions of it, feeling pain is essential for human survival. The experience of pain within the human body serves as an “alarm system,” and allows humans to recognize, react to, and in the future, avoid stimuli that create pain in the first place. Nociception is the process through which the sensory nervous system senses and perceives painful stimuli, which then allows for the triggering of appropriate reactions.

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The Use of Tryptophan to Treat Depression

The Use of Tryptophan to Treat Depression

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a mental disorder of complex etiology. Synthesized with the amino acid tryptophan, the neurotransmitter serotonin is involved in mood regulation; specifically, decreased levels have been shown to contribute to an increase in symptoms of depression. In an attempt to challenge the status quo, current interventions for MDD must be explored, identifying the specific effects neurotransmitters have on depression, and determining how tryptophan could potentially be used to treat depression.

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Harnessing Meditative Practices as a Way to Strengthen Brain's Resilience

Harnessing Meditative Practices as a Way to Strengthen Brain's Resilience

From Tibetan monks to your everyday layman, anyone can reap the benefits of meditation. Various forms of meditation can be a useful tool for both pre- and post-operative therapy and can be used as a form of buffing the brain through cognitive “housekeeping,” or as a preventative measure that can be accessed and practiced by anyone.

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NTD and TCS: Malformations of the Spinal Cord in Children and Adults

NTD and TCS: Malformations of the Spinal Cord in Children and Adults

One of the most common and life-threatening birth defects are known as neural tube defects (NTDs). These defects are categorized by an opening in the spinal cord or brain during development. Additionally, a less common spinal cord disorder also occurs in adults called adult tethered cord syndrome. This may go undiagnosed until adulthood when pain, sensory, and motor problems occur in a patient’s back.

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