New Podcast: Dementia Decoded

dementiadecoded

Starting last week (April 23), the New York Academy of Sciences began airing weekly episodes of the new podcast series, Dementia Decoded. Sponsored by the Dana Foundation, the five-part program aims to educate the public on topics such as the history of Alzheimer’s disease, prevention, risk reduction, diagnosis, and care. The episodes also feature different specialists in the field, including our very own Dana Alliance members: Richard Mayeux, M.D., Reisa Sperling, M.D., and Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D. (Tanzi was just acknowledged by TIME Magazine as one of the world’s top influential figures of the year for his work on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.)

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“TIME 100″ Recognizes Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D.

Last week, Time Magazine published its annual list of the world’s most influential pioneers. We are pleased to announce that Dana Alliance member, Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., has been deemed a “TIME 100” honoree for his leading research on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Tanzi currently serves as Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium, Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as head of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project.

From left, Rudy Tanzi, with Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, in a photo from the Rockstars of Science series that first ran in GQ magazine in 2009.(Geoffrey Beene Gives Back/GQ)

From left, Rudy Tanzi, with Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, in a photo from the Rockstars of Science series that first ran in GQ magazine in 2009.(Geoffrey Beene Gives Back/GQ)

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Brain Quiz Show Tonight

A signature event of Brain Awareness Week is the Brain Bee, which tests high school students’ knowledge of neuroscience in a live Q&A competition.  Students compete in local competitions, which lead to a national competition in Maryland in March, and then on to the International contest, which this year is taking place in Cairns, Australia in August.

Thanks to our friends at Brainfacts.org, I’ve recently learned of another neuroscience quiz show, this time in the undergraduate arena. The Center for Biomedical Neuroscience (CBN) Brain Bowl “includes three rounds of short answer questions that get more difficult with each round. The final round is a complex ‘challenge’ question, where teams can wager points they have accumulated in the previous rounds.” This year’s competing universities are Trinity University, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Texas at Arlington.

If you’re curious to see what it’s all about, check out the livestream tonight at 7 p.m. CST (8 p.m. EST). You can also read more about the competition on the UT Health Science Center website.

-Ann L. Whitman

Brain Awareness Week Recap: Thanks for a Great Week!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the 20th anniversary of Brain Awareness Week! We are always inspired by our partners’ creativity and thrilled by the growing interest in neuroscience around the world. This year we had more than 740 registered events in 50 countries and 41 US states (plus Puerto Rico), whose outreach programs reached hundreds of thousands of people. After last week’s busy (and fun!) schedule, it’s nice to take a moment to reflect on some of the highlights from Brain Awareness Week 2015.

First place winner, Moie Uesugi

First place winner, Moie Uesugi

To kick off the week, we announced our two winners of this year’s Design a Brain Experiment competition for US high school students. Of the many ambitious and creative submissions we received, projects by Moie Uesugi and Christian Gonzalez were awarded first and second place, respectively. Uesugi, a senior at Bard High School Early College Queens in New York City, proposed a new treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Gonzalez, a freshman homeschooled student from Harvest, Alabama, focused on a cure for multiple sclerosis. I see bright futures for both these students! Continue reading

Dreamweavers

Despite enormous strides in our understanding of the brain over the last few decades, lectures and panel discussions featuring neuroscientists regularly conclude with the following admission: the more we learn, the more we realize how far we are from definitive answers. In a Brainwave discussion between actor Jake Gyllenhaal and neuroscientist Moran Cerf on the impact of dreams, that often-repeated refrain was reaffirmed as the duo waxed philosophical and queried each other on various aspects of what Freud called “the road to the unconscious mind.”

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