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People behind the PhDs 01: Ezra Smith – mental health issues, how normal 3-3

People behind the PhDs 01: Ezra Smith – mental health issues, how normal 3-3

Dr. Ezra Smith studies concussions and the “common cold” of mental illness depression at Colombia University’s Psychophysiology Laboratory led by Dr. Jürgen Kayser.

Listen to the episode in 3 parts

Part 1 m4a mp3Part 2 m4a mp3Part 3 m4a mp3

People behind the PhDs 01: Ezra Smith – Preview

In this episode, we talk about what led Dr. Smith into academia and researching concussions and the normalcy for humans to deal with mental health issues.

  • 6% of the population at any given time suffers from depression
  • 15% of the population has a chance of dealing with major depression the course of their lifetimes
  • 50% of the population has a chance of having a psychological disorder over the course of their lifetime (anxiety disorders, drug abuse, depression, psychosis, cognitive disorders, developmental disorders, personality disorders)

Ezra’s specialty is the practice and science of clinical neuropsychology: he works one-on-one with patients living with depression, anxiety, psychosis, and neurodegenerative disorders, and he also studies the pathophysiology of these disorders with an eye towards identifying preclinical biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets.

According to the website Hope for Depression, the effects of depression worldwide include:

  • Affects over 300 million people worldwide, regardless of culture, age, gender, religion, race or economic status.9
  • Is one of the most debilitating conditions on the world, with severe depression rated in the same disability category as terminal stage cancer.10
  • Is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.11

9World Health Organization, Media Centre, Depression Fact Sheet, Updated February 2017.
10World Health Organization. The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 update. Available at
11World Health Organization, Media Centre, Depression Fact Sheet, Updated February 2017.

More info at:

Music by Kate SC


Theta-Band Functional Connectivity and Single-Trial Cognitive Control in Sports-Related Concussion: Demonstration of Proof-of-Concept for a Potential Biomarker of Concussion


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