Neuroscience

Night Owl? It's In Your Genes.

May 8, 2017
Ed Yourdon / Flickr

Deep sleep is something that is more and more important as we age. New research shows that it's an important part of keeping a healthy memory, and that listening to pink noise might help in that process.

During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Dr. Eric Dyken, a neurologist and director of the University of Iowa's Sleep Disorder Center. 

In addition to talking about pink noise, Dr. Dyken also talks about new research showing there is actually a gene that could determine whether you're an early riser or a night owl. 

John Finn / Flickr

Recent research funded by a grant from National Institute of Mental Health at the University of Houston reveals children who experience inadequate or disrupted sleep are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders later in life. To pinpoint these cognitive, behavioral and physiological patterns of emotional risk, the researchers are temporarily restricting sleep in 50 pre-adolescent children between the ages of 7 and 11.

Emily Woodbury

Andrew Duarte was only 31 years old when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. One of the biggest questions he had was, “What can I expect?”

“And there’s not really a good answer for that,” he says.

Today on Talk of Iowa - living with Parkinson’s disease. Host Charity Nebbe sits down with two Parkinson's patients and a clinical researcher to talk about recent developments in Parkinson’s research and find out what it’s like to live with the disease.

Clay Masters

When it comes to Daylight Saving Time in the spring, there are two camps of people - the ones who hate it and the ones who don't mind. Iowa Public Radio Morning Edition host Clay Masters says he doesn't necessarily hate the time change, but it isn't his favorite time of year. 

"When I started hosting Morning Edition, I knew the hours I was signing up for," he laughs. "It took some conditioning."

Frankieleon / Flickr

While Lucy and Ricky Ricardo were filmed sleeping in separate twin beds back in the 1950s, not sharing a mattress is seen as a sign of a troubled marriage.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with sleep doctor, Dr. Eric Dyken of the University of Iowa Sleep Disorders Center, fielding several questions about the benefits and drawbacks to sharing a room with a sleeping partner.

Flickr / Jim Best

A new paper from the University of Iowa has found that parents tend to talk to sons and daughters differently after an injury.

Research shows boys are more prone to injury than girls. Elizabeth O’Neal, a Ph.D. candidate at UI’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, says a contributing factor could be the way children are socialized after an injury.

Sunny / Flickr

CPAP machines, used to assist those struggling with problems like sleep apnea, may not be as effective across the board as once thought. In fact, the machines can be dangerous or even fatal for patients who experience heart failure or those who suffer from muscular dystrophy.

Flickr / dierk schaefer

Researchers at Iowa State University say they’ve found a link between insulin resistance and risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Insulin regulates blood sugar throughout the body. In brains of Alzheimer’s patients, blood sugar use tends to be lower in areas that generate memories, especially regarding times, dates, names and facts.

According to a new study by ISU’s Auriel Willette and Barbara Bendlin from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, insulin resistance may not only predispose someone to Alzheimer’s, but it also affects a cognitively normal person’s memory function.

Health and Human Services Department, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging / Wikipedia Commons

How many hours of sleep do you think you need a night? New research shows that you may want to err on the side of more, not less. Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that high amounts of the chemical amyloid are linked with disrupted sleep patterns.  

Markus Spring / Flickr

Preventing security leaks in information systems can be a frustrating endeavor that often leads back to a simple question: why do people violate the rules when they know of the dangerous consequences?

In order to answer that question, Dr. Qing Hu, a Union Pacific Professor in Information Systems at Iowa State University, decided to go straight to the source: the brain.

Emily Woodbury

March is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) awareness month. TBI has been called a silent epidemic. In many cases, resulting injuries are not visible to others, and it affects more than 95,000 Iowans.

Courtesy of Robert Waggoner

In his new book, author Robert Waggoner argues that lucid dreaming is not only useful, but also simple to learn.

cobalt123 / flickr

Epilepsy affects millions; and yet, the cause of the neurological disorder is in most cases is unknown.

Also unknown are the details of the leading cause of death from epilepsy, what medical professionals call "sudden unexpected death from epilepsy" or SUDEP. Recently, University of Iowa neurologists have been chosen to join only 8 other groups around the world to study SUDEP.

Ed Yourdon / Flickr

Most people consider themselves either a night person or a morning person. What if you're sleepy all day long?

Mark Norman Francis / Flickr

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that those who worked close to windows slept better and longer than those who didn’t. Dr. Eric Dyken, a sleep expert, says this has to do with our bodies' circadian rhythms.

Wellcome Images (Creative Commons)

A new class of compounds has been shown to protect against brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

University of Iowa researcher Dr. Nancy Andreasen has been trying to answer that question for most of her professional career. She talks with Ben Kieffer today on River to River

chandrika221 / flickr

The drama of mood swings, impulsiveness and bizarre behaviors during adolescence
can take a toll on both teens and their parents.

Penn State

Procrastination - a problem for many of us at the workplace and at home; and now, a study shows it’s a problem at bedtime, too.

Steve Harris

Thanks to new legislation, a definition of dyslexia will now be included in the Iowa Code.  The neurological condition, which often runs in families, causes individuals difficultly with learning to read, write and spell.

The law is the result of strong advocacy from a number of groups, including the parent-lead, grassroots organization Decoding Dyslexia. DD aims to bring attention to educational intervention for dyslexic students.

chandrika221 / flickr

The drama of mood swings, impulsiveness and bizarre behaviors during adolescence
can take a toll on both teens and their parents. Neuropsychiatrist and bestselling author Dr. Daniel Siegel says that there is a lot of misinformation about this developmental period.

“There are common myths that we all hear about…that are actually not only wrong, they’re misleading and in some ways they’re disempowering.  So by learning the truths you can actually understand things as they actually are and then do something about them.”

Fredler Brave

Technology, culture and economics writer Nicholas Carr’s most recent book "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains" was a 2011 Pulitzer Prize nominee. He speaks with host Ben Kieffer about why he doesn't have a smartphone and how the internet is changing our society.

U.S. State Department

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell has made a career out of crafting compromise. First in the U.S. Senate, then later brokering peace in Northern Ireland, and finally tackling peace in the Middle East.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Mitchell about Syria and Iran. He’ll also share his views on what is driving the hyper-partisan atmosphere in Washington.

Stephen Hampshire

The criminal brain has always held a fascination for neuroscientist James Fallon.  A few years ago, he inadvertently discovered his brain scan perfectly matched a pattern that he’d found in the brains of serial killers. Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Fallon.

Daniel Foster

Not only are the days getting colder, but they are also getting darker. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with sleep doctor, Dr. Eric Dyken, about the effect of darker nights on your sleeping habits. They also discuss the correlation between sleep and dementia, a new study that shows the brain clears our harmful toxins while you sleep, and how sleep plays a role in diabetes risk.

Dr. Dyken is the Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Ars Electronica / flickr

Do you ever wonder why, at a loud party, you are able to comprehend what the person next to you is saying? It’s not because they are louder… It’s due to your brain’s ability to filter and hone in on certain stimuli.

Today on River To River, we focus on the science of the brain with three prominent neuroscientists visiting Iowa. Host Ben Kieffer talks with them about their research on the sense of sound and gets their thoughts on the latest brain-science news.

Mojave Desert / flickr

For this News Buzz version of 'River to River' we hear about legally blind Iowans and gun permits, astronaut Clayton Anderson will join the Iowa State University faculty, the Cyclone/Hawkeye game is tomorrow, and hear about superstitions on this Friday the thirteenth.

Sleep and Noise

Jul 5, 2013
flickr / RelaxingMusic

Do you have a sound or noise that helps you fall asleep? It turns out that sound plays a big role in brain activity and brain wave synchronization even while you're sleeping. Join host Ben Kieffer to explore the role of noise in good and bad sleep. The guest is  Neurologist Dr. Eric Dyken of the University of Iowa Sleep Disorders Center.  Our sleep doctor will also answer your questions.  

Recently, President Obama unveiled an expansive research initiative intended to redefine how we understand the human brain. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks brain science with Daniel Tranel, director of a unique Iowa registry that tracks patients who’ve experienced brain damage, the Iowa Neurological Patient Registry. Ben also talks with a brain trauma survivor, his wife, and the therapy manager for the non-profit, On With Life. They explore what it is like to live day-to-day after an unexpected brain injury.

Flickr / Luciana Christante

Is National Napping Day on your calendar? Neurologist Dr. Eric Dyken--"The Sleep Doctor"--returns to "River to River" to talk discuss napping.  He'll also give some sleep advice as we go into daylight saving time this weekend.

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