Eric Francisco

3 posts

Problems with concussion testing in sports

Most currently available concussion tests rely on baseline scores. At the beginning of the season, athletes complete an assessment to establish their baseline cognitive health. When an athlete sustains a head injury or shows symptoms of a concussion, a trainer or coach administers the test again and compares the two sets of scores. If the post-injury scores are substantially lower than the baseline results, athletes are removed from play.

At first glance, this approach seems reasonable. Everyone's brain is different, so by comparing a potentially concussed individual to that individual's


TBI, TBI severity and dementia: what is the relationship?

There has been enormous speculation recently about how repetitive concussions could lead to dementia and/or early Alzheimer’s (or Alzheimer like symptoms). Loss of brain function with repetitive blows to the head does not seem like it would be debatable, but many hesitate to take a stand on it because of “lack of evidence”. After all, it could just be coincidence that people get dementia in their late 40s or early 50s after a long career in a sport or activity that repetitively causes glial damage without having time


Caffeine: The World's Oldest Nootropic

The effects of caffeine on brain function and how to measure it.
Though media outlets often portray 'biohacking' as a hightech, modern trend, people have been searching for ways to improve their brain function for centuries.

Back in the 1400s, Arabian monks first noted the energizing and mood-enhancing effects of hot drinks made from the beans of the coffee tree. However, caffeine - the chemical responsible for coffee's stimulating effects - was not identified until 1819, when the German chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge isolated it from coffee. Since this discovery,