Volume 6, Issue 4 (April, 2002)


Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.

Here is what you will find in this issue:

1. What's New on the Neuroscience for Kids Web Pages
2. Neuroscience for Kids Page of the Month
3. Brain Awareness Week - Summary
4. Missing the Bull's Eye
5. Media Alert
6. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
7. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in March. Here are some of them:

A. March Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. May NeuroCalendar
C. The Hard Facts of Motorcycle Crashes
D. Moody Brains
E. BAW Letter from President G.W. Bush
F. UW Brain Awareness Week Open House
G. Up Front About the Frontal Lobe
H. Childrens' Headache Drawings Help Neurologists

In March, 30 new figures were added and 101 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Page of the Month" for April is the "Sushi Applet" at:

Don't worry...the Sushi Applet is not about eating raw fish! Rather, the Sushi Applet allows you to explore the brain in three dimensions by moving your mouse over various sections. Once you enter the site, you will see a "Reset" box, a "Refresh," three brain sections in different planes and three rows of buttons. I think it is most useful to click on the left-most button in the top row and click on the "g2" button in the middle row. If you want color, click on the "fc" button. There are no labels on any of the images, but the Sushi Applet is a fun way to explore the anatomy of the brain. See how many brain structures you can identify!


I hope you enjoyed Brain Awareness Week (BAW) this year. I was busy in Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, this year. On March 5, 320 students from local schools came to the University of Washington for the 2002 BAW Open House. Students were treated to an interactive assembly by the Pacific Science Center/Group Health Cooperative Brain Power Team and then participated in activities at exhibits sponsored by researchers, clinicians and staff of laboratories and patient support groups. For photos and more information about the open house, please see:

BAW Organizers in Portland put together a great program this year. The Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) invited me to speak with about 300 K-12 teachers on March 10. OHSU also partnered with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to create a "Brain Fair" with interactive exhibits for museum visitors. I teamed with David Heil (former host of "Newton's Apple") for "Brain Games" presentations for OMSI visitors on March 10 and 11.

I also visited several local schools to talk with students about the brain. Each Wednesday in March, I taught an afterschool enrichment class called "Brain 101" at one school. During Brain 101, the students learned about a) the structure and function of the brain; b) how neurons communicate with each other; c) the senses and memory and d) strategies for good brain health. I would be happy to share the materials I used to teach this class. Just send me an e-mail ( to ask for this material.


Lyme disease was first discovered in 1975 after a mysterious outbreak of arthritis in children who lived near Lyme, Connecticut. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted to humans via tick bites. It affects the skin first, then the joints, the nervous system and, if untreated, other organs.

One of the classic signs of Lyme Disease has been thought to be a rash in the shape of a bull's eye pattern: white in the middle, red on the outside. However, a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (March 19, 2002) concludes that only a few people develop this rash in the early stages of Lyme Disease. In fact, of the 118 patients studied, only 9% developed a bull's eye rash; 59% of the patients had a red rash and 32% of the patients had a rash that was redder in the center.

Lyme disease, especially in the early stages, can be treated with antibiotics. Spring is on its way and ticks are becoming active. So be on your guard against Lyme disease!

For more about Lyme disease, see:


Smith, R.P., Schoen, R.T., Rahn, D.W., Sikand, V.K., Nowakowski, J., Parenti, D.L., Holman, M.S., Persing, D.H., Steere, A.C., Clinical Characteristics and Treatment Outcome of Early Lyme Disease in Patients with Microbiologically Confirmed Erythema Migrans, Annals of Internal Medicine, 135:421-428, 2002.


A. The cover article of Newsweek magazine, March 11, 2002, is titled "The Mystery of Schizophrenia." The March 25, 2002 issue of US News and World report also has an article about schizophrenia.

B. "Risk-Free Babies," Newsweek, March 11, 2002, page 58; a genetic screen done on an embryo to avoid familial Alzheimer's disease.

C. "Is Your Doctor Too Drowsy?" in the March 11, 2002 Time Magazine. Is your surgeon sleep-deprived?

D. "Hybrid Vaccine Protects Mice from West Nile Virus" in the March 2002 issue of Scientific American.

E. "Augmented Reality: A New Way of Seeing" in the April 2002 issue of Scientific American.

F. "Neuroscience in the Cinema" by Heather L. Stewart and Eric H. Chudler in the March 2002 (pages 76-81) Science Scope; using "Hollywood" films to teach concepts about the brain and nervous system.

G. "State of Grace," in the March 25, 2002 issue of People magazine (pages 100-112); Michael J. Fox talks about his life with Parkinson's disease.

H. "The Biology of...Panic," in the April 2002 issue of Discover magazine.


A. Every year 27 million people in the US benefit from pain relief, sedation and unconsciousness from anesthetics. ("Count to 10", by Lisa Melton, Scientific American, February 2002.

B. Approximately 1 in every 1,000 people in the US has the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis. (Science News Vol 161, January 5, 2002, page 4.)

C. Between 1987 and 1997, the number of people in the US being treated for depression more than tripled, from 1.8 million to 6.3 million, while those taking antidepressants doubled. (JAMA as quoted in TIME, January 13, 2002 Been Down So Long by Sanjay Gupta, MD.

D. Approximately 600,000 people in the US have a stroke every year, and 167,000 die from it. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. (Statistics from the American Heart Association.)

E. Huntington's disease, an incurable, untreatable inherited illness, affects 30,000 people in the US, slowly killing their brain cells and eroding muscle coordination, memory, judgment, and emotional stability. (Discover magazine, January 2002)


To remove yourself from this mailing list and stop your subscription to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter, send e-mail to Dr. Eric H. Chudler at:

Your comments and suggestions about this newsletter and the "Neuroscience for Kids" web site are always welcome. If there are any special topics that you would like to see on the web site, just let me know.


Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.

"Neuroscience for Kids" is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center of Research Resources.