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Letter from the Editor

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2020 - Spring


The Body and The Mind issue offers insights into research about the brain at Yale and Yale School of Medicine. What makes it work, and why do conditions and diseases interrupt its healthy and orderly function?

Writing this, the first wave of COVID-19 is receding, leaving behind over 100,000 dead, tens of millions unemployed, and an unknown level of damage to both national and global economies. Furthermore, the nation has been contorted by a spasm of outrage unseen since the 1960s, sparked by the graphic murder of a black man on a widely shared video. It is not an understatement to claim that we live in uncertain times.

As a partial response to the demands that COVID-19 has placed on all of us, this issue of Yale Medicine Magazine is being published online.

The current issue—planned long before COVID-19 struck—focuses on developments in Yale’s neuroscience programs. Progress in neuroscience and neurology has been slow owing to a number of technological and ethical hurdles including absolute prohibitions against performing certain experiments involving the brain, difficulty measuring molecular activity, and the blood-brain barrier. Over the last few years, that has begun to change.

To capture this progress, our theme is “the body and the mind.” This gets at the long-held and deeply felt popular misconception that “the mind” is something other than a physiological organ, an entity separate from the body. One of the longest-held promises of science has been to fully explain the brain’s functions—and science is, having developed the proper tools, finally beginning to deliver.

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