Lecture Notes

Disease and the Brain

Why are we interested in the brain?  Why is there a whole major on this?

Diseases List 'Off the top of My Head'

  • Diseases of NT Systems
    1. Schizophrenia
    2. Depression
  • Diseases of Neural Degeneration
    1. Alzheimer's
      • Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type
      • Diagnosed as memory loss with inability to complete activities of daily living
      • A "discovered" disease due to an aging population
      • Macroanatomy:  Degeneration of higher cortices
      • Microanatomy: Amyloid plaques and tangles
      • About 50% of those with early AD have been found to have mutations in the amyloid precursor protein
    2. Lou Gehrig/ALS
  • Diseases of the Basal Ganglia
    1. Huntington's
    2. Parkinson's

Plasticity and Disease

  • Diseases of Deafferentation
    1. Multiple Sclerosis
    2. Phantom pain/central pain
  • Diseases of Vasculature
    1. Stroke
    2. High blood pressure? (Something to think about)
    3. Migraine
  • Diseases and Neural Dynamics
    1. Language Specific Learning Deficit
    2. Epilepsy-Dostoyevsky to Neil Young; Saul becoming Paul on the road to Damascus; hyper-excitability leading to spreading waves of excitation in the brain.

Association of Structure and Function

  • "Cerebellar Patient"
  • Motor
    1. Stumbling gate
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Pitch discrimination
  • Language ability
  • Tactile perception

Deficits are not Trivially Localizationist

Deficits of NT systems (depression, schizophrenia)

Phantom Limb