The new Scientific American Mind has just arrived and has a number of fantastic freely available features articles online.
One of the most interesting articles is about post-accident brain treatments, used in the hours and minutes following severe injury, to protect the brain and minimize the chances of long-term cognitive problems.
The best hope for improved healing lies neither in new medications, which have been disappointing so far, nor in exotic fixes involving stem cells and neural regeneration, which are at least a decade away, researchers say. Rather the biggest gains will likely result from advances in emergency room and intensive care practices that curtail the secondary damage from TBI. The methods include slowing the brain‚Äôs metabolism with cooling techniques, removing part of the skull to relieve intracranial pressure and injecting an experimental polymer ‚Äúglue‚Äù to repair damaged brain cells.
Other articles discuss mild traumatic brain injury and the role of emotional disturbance in the following impairments, deep brain stimulation, the difficulty of making life changing decisions after our 20s, and intelligence throughout the animal kingdom.
Link to latest SciAmMind.