Author: This Is Your Brain producer

Blaring music, incessant traffic, those early-morning lawn mowers — you know they’re bad for your sanity, but for your brain? Dr. Mathias Basner, an expert on the effects of noise on health, explains what goes on in your body when it’s subjected to prolonged high-decibel exposure, including irreversible hearing loss, cognitive decline, even heart attacks. Fortunately, there are some practical ways to protect yourself — and to reduce your own “noise footprint.” Dr. Phil Stieg: Exposure to noise is an underappreciated public health hazard. Many people understand that loud noise can affect our hearing, but few understand how dangerous it is for…

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented loss — of loved ones, of social interaction, and of our entire way of life. Dr. Richard Friedman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains why the anguish we feel is normal — and how specific coping strategies can help minimize the potential impact on brain health during periods of adversity. Dr. Philip Stieg: The COVID crisis has created an extraordinary amount of loss for people around the world. Loss of loved ones who have died, loss of connection with friends, family, loss of jobs, daily routines, dating and mating, and the ability to…

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The COVID crisis is causing many more people to call their doctors with headache complaints. When is it time to stop self diagnosing your headache and to see a headache specialist? Dr. Louise Klebanoff, a leading neurologist and headache expert, explains why the right diagnosis can make all the difference in conquering most headaches. Hear about lifestyle changes and a range of medical approaches from nutraceuticals to Botox, plus the promising new CGRP therapy for migraines. Dr. Philip Stieg: Almost 80% of us will experience a tension headache in our lives. 28 million Americans experience migraine headaches, which can be a chronic…

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How do elite athletes, some barely out of their teens, manage life in a fishbowl? Dr. Lani Lawrence, sports psychologist for the New York Giants, explains how the pros learn to cope with social media and news pressures and still find their way into “the zone” where they can excel.Dr. Philip Stieg: In the best of times, it takes good coaches and sports psychologists to help players keep their performance, discipline, and morale at the highest levels. There are important lessons we can learn from amateur and elite athletes and how they cope with the constant pressure to succeed and how…

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Parkinson’s Disease patient Elizabeth Larsen gives a deeply honest view of her Deep Brain Simulation (DBS) surgery to control her tremors. We learn what it feels like to have electrodes in the brain and what happens when patients want to change their tremor management software program.Dr. Stieg: I’d like to welcome back our guests, Dr. Michael Kaplitt, Vice Chair of Research and Professor of Neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and his patient, Elizabeth Larsen. In our previous episode, Dr. Kaplitt gave us a very clear understanding of what people need to know about Parkinson’s. His patient, Elizabeth shared how Parkinson’s increasingly impacted her quality of…

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From mild resting tremors to freezing, stiffness, and loss of motor control, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease progress relentlessly over time. Dr. Michael Kaplitt, Director of the Movement Disorders Program at Weill Cornell Medicine, along with his patient Elizabeth Larsen, explore how quality of life can erode over the years — and when it’s time for a life-changing surgical option.  Dr. Stieg: About 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s disease and every day that number continues to grow. Right now there is no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are newer treatments helping patients achieve a much greater quality of life and scientists around…

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