Peering into Neuroimaging and Neuroanatomy

Written by Amanda Ng Ren Hui

Edited by Oh Sher Li

Over the course of recess week this semester (Semester 2, AY2016/17), two fascinating workshops on neuroimaging and neuroanatomy were held. The neuroimaging workshop introduced several common imaging techniques with a focus on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), while the neuroanatomy workshop served as a brief look into parts of the nervous system and their general functions.

Several highlights during the workshop included seeing the MRI machine in action (thank you Stevia and Caroline), and seeing how the parts of the neural system actually look like from silent mentors and preserved brains and spinal cords. (Not exactly for the faint of heart.)

Continue reading “Peering into Neuroimaging and Neuroanatomy”

Understanding Neuroanatomy and Neuroimaging

Are you interested in Neuroscience but unsure about where to start? Do you find research papers about Neuroscience intimidating because of all the jargon and technical terms?  A great way to start your journey is to understand the basics of Neuroanatomy and Neuroimaging – and here’s a chance for you to do just that!

The Internal Events Directorate has specially prepared some resources, in preparation for two workshops we’ll be having this coming week – a Neuroanatomy workshop and a Neuroimaging workshop!

Click here to access the materials we’ve prepared for you!

Deep Brain Stimulation – A Debate

Written by Sarah Low

Edited by Oh Sher Li

On the 10th of February 2017, we held our first Seminar Session, in the style of a friendly debate and discussion, on the topic of Deep Brain Stimulation, namely:

Should Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) be used as the main treatment option for neurological diseases?

Deep Brain Stimulation, also known as DBS, is a surgical procedure during which a neurostimulator is implanted (also known as a ‘pacemaker for the brain’) into the area just under the collarbone. Electrodes extending from the neurostimulator are then placed at specific areas of the brain (known as DBS targets). When stimulated, the electrodes affect the corresponding nerve signals directly, and so may reverse the symptoms of the patient. The intensity of the electrical pulse is adjustable, and as such, any stimulation-induced side effects are reversible. While DBS is invasive in that surgery is required, DBS does not damage the brain tissue in any way.

picture1

Source: NorthJersey.com

Continue reading “Deep Brain Stimulation – A Debate”

Welcome Tea 2017

Written by Oh Sher Li

Edited by Ng Hui Lian

On 21 January 2017, we held our first event of the year – our Welcome Tea. This was also the first event organised by our pioneer batch of exco. Activities planned for the day included icebreakers, a debate and an introduction of our plans for the year. The icebreakers enabled the participants to familiarise themselves with one another, which set the stage for the intense debate session – an opportunity for everyone to experience the Research, Present, Debate structure that will be implemented for the interest group’s future seminars.

The debate of the day was centred around the question: “Is the use of placebos justified?” Participants brought up many strong points both for and against placebos. From analysing the definition of a placebo to considering medical ethics, each side explored the significance of placebos in science and medicine, but also emphasised the importance of compassion and humanity in both treatment and research.

One of the arguments that I found memorable was that of the impact on families of those who had signed up as research subjects in the hope of receiving viable treatment, but who had received placebos instead. In such situations, are there alternatives to giving people “false hope”, perhaps by using older forms of drugs instead of placebos as a control? Nevertheless, the historical significance of placebos in medicine and scientific research can hardly be disputed.

Although the debate seemed heated with participants from each stand enthusiastically putting forth their points of argument, it ended with all participants on good terms, and some of us even had lunch together after the event! On behalf of the exco, I would like to thank everyone for coming down on a Saturday morning especially for this event, and for participating with such vigour, as your enthusiasm was what truly made this event a success.

img_2834

One of the participants, Kimberly, explaining her team’s points