Welcome to BrainBug: Reports From Substantia Nigra

My name is Andy Weatherwax. I am a retired business owner, a poet, musician and sculptor. And I have a BrainBug.

This site, BrainBug.com, will serve primarily as an outlet for my creative work. If you dig in a bit you’ll notice that much of my work, these days, is inspired by Parkinson’s disease (PD), with which I was diagnosed in 1999. That said, this site, BrainBug.com, will serve primarily to raise awareness of PD through my work – poetry, music, essays, and so on.

I hope you enjoy your time at BrainBug.  Metta.

BrainBug: A Brief History

In the mid 1990’s I merged my company, WaxWorks Interactive, with a small web design firm. We called the company BrainBug. After a series of mergers and acquisitions, we sold the company and closed it’s doors. I took the name back and started a new BrainBug (v2.0), a successful digital marketing consultancy. A few years later, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease—BrainBug  3.0. Is life too weird or what!

What is Substantia Nigra?

Substantia Nigra
Among other things, dopamine produced in the substantia nigra helps control movement and balance.

Substantia nigra, literally meaning “black substance” refers to a small region in the brain stem, just above the spinal cord. It is one of the centers that help control movement.  Cells within the substantia nigra produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for transmitting signals from one nerve cell to another within the brain. Among other things, dopamine produced in the substantia nigra helps control movement and balance, and is essential to the proper functioning of the central nervous system.  Loss of dopamine causes critical nerve cells in the brain to fire out of control, leaving people unable to direct or control their movement in a normal manner. Parkinson’s disease is the direct result of the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra.

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brain [breyn]
1. the part of the central nervous system enclosed in the cranium of humans and other vertebrates, consisting of a soft, convoluted mass of gray and white matter (with a splash of black substance) and serving to control and coordinate the mental and physical actions

bug [buhg]
1. any microorganism, especially a virus
2. a defect or imperfection, as in a computer program, or plan; a glitch
3. a person who has a great enthusiasm for something; a craze or obsession

noun, possessive
1. slang, a progressive, chronic neurological disorder for which there is no cure (see Parkinson’s disease) combined with an intense desire to write (see Hypergraphia)


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