Cerebrum Spring 2021


B Y T H E N U M B E R S $ 0 How much it costs to become a Brain Awareness Week partner. 30 countries have joined together to participate in a study to trace a possible path from Covid-19 to neurodegen- erative diseases, particularly dementia. 8 75 is the percentage of people predicted to get 1664 the year English physician Thomas Willis published his Anatomy of the Brain , which ushered in the era of modern neuroanatomy. hallmarks of environmental exposures detailed in a study that chart the biological pathways through which pollutants contribute to disease.

BRAIN IN THE NEWS Links to brain-related articles we recommend

> New York Times: What Can Covid-19 Teach Us About the Mysteries of Smell? > New York Times: Alzheimer’s Prediction May Be Found in Writing Tests > Nature: How gut microbes can drive brain disorders > Science Daily: How a single gene alteration may have separated modern humans from predecessors > Star-Ledger: How telehealth strengthened its grip on future of our medical care > New York Times: Can Zapping Our Brains Really Cure Depression? > Washington Post: A brain researcher on what Freud got right > NBC News: Exclusive look at NIH investigation into Covid ‘long haulers’

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The number of studies and articles listed (as of March) when the word “brain” is searched on PubMed.gov, the website of the National Institutes of Health national library.


Philip Seeman , M.D., Ph.D., a molecular neuropharmacologist who discovered the importance of the dopamine D2 receptor in 1974, showing that the schizophrenia drugs of that era— which were widely used but poorly

Alzheimer’s disease in an artificial intelligence program that measured writing test results.

understood—targeted this brain receptor — A Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives member while at the University of Toronto, Seeman’s was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his research on dopamine receptors and their involvement in diseases such as schizophrenia, Parkinson's, and Huntington’s disease. The company he founded, Clera Inc., developed small-molecule therapies for schizophrenia and other dopamine-related brain diseases. Paul Garfinkel, staff psychiatrist with the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada, said that before Seeman’s research, “our theories about what causes schizophrenia were primitive and blaming. They blamed the mother or the family dynamic. His studies showed there’s a biology to this brain illness that’s nobody’s fault.” l

20,000 neuroscientists are represented by the Feder- ation of European Neuroscience Societies ( FENS ) across 33 countries. Their mission is to advance neuroscience education and research.

Unlike your genome, which you can’t do much about except blame your parents and grandparents, your microbiome is potentially modifiable. And that gives great agency to patients. That’s really exciting.”

— John Cryan , Ph.D., a neuroscientist at University College Cork in Ireland



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