“From Neurodegeneration to Brain Health: An Integrated Approach”
Scientific conference brings together researchers looking to improve our understanding of brain disease and for news ways to think about it.
The Case Brain Health Collaborative
University Hospitals Neurological Institute
Case Western Reserve University
On October 25-26, nearly 200 people assembled at the Wolstein Research Building on the Case Western Reserve University campus. They were participating in a conference that explored the current state of understanding of neurodegeneration and the broader issue of brain health.
Assembling from research universities and medical centers across the United States and Canada, 22 speakers addressed topics ranging from the biophysics of protein folding and mitochondrial dynamics, to neuroimaging, cognitive change with aging, and health behavior change at the community level. The talks were grouped into sessions that ended with panel discussions, which were generally lively because they reflected the broad range of interests of the attendees.
A highlight of the conference was the first presentation: a keynote address by Nobel Prize laureate Stanley Prusiner. He spoke about the role of prions in all forms of neurodegeneration, and although Dr. Prusiner did not stay for the entire conference, the panel discussions revealed that the subject of prions was never far from people’s minds (no pun intended).
Another exceptionally interesting element of the conference was an evening dinner presentation at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. Starting with an exhibit of neurological tools of the last 100 years (lobotomy, anyone?), the evening’s presentation included room-size projections of neuroimages, short videos of intergenerational community activities and talks exploring the most current innovations in neuroscience. A year in the planning, the conference was successful on many levels.13 Official