Brain Awareness Week Kicks Off March 15-21, 2004
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NR-05-04 (3/4/04). For more information, please contact Dawn McCoy at (202) 462-6688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK KICKS OFF MARCH 15-21, 2004
WASHINGTON, DC March 5, 2004 — Brain Awareness Week, which raises public awareness and creates interest in brain and nervous system research, takes place this month in classrooms, laboratories, and lecture halls across the nation.
Sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, the effort involves more than 1,700 partnerships that include scientists, patient advocates, and members of health-care organizations who organize educational events emphasizing the importance of basic neuroscience research to the health and well-being of the American public. Activities during the week of March 15-21 include classroom visits, laboratory tours, lectures, and exhibits. This year’s events will mark the ninth annual Brain Awareness Week (BAW).
Many BAW activities are aimed at elementary, junior high, and high school audiences and serve to develop a budding interest in neuroscience among young people. School-age children often decide to study neuroscience in college after attending BAW events.
Society for Neuroscience members also have branched out to wider audiences, holding evening lectures for members of the public and visiting nursing homes to speak about the latest advances in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease research.
The BAW campaign also serves to inform legislators about the importance of supporting neuroscience research, investing in higher education, and contributing to technological developments to combat diseases of the brain and nervous system. To accomplish this, neuroscientists meet with their legislators to discuss the many benefits of this research. Aiding the effort this year is a new series of newsletters called Brain Research Success Stories, which tell the story of how biomedical research has led to improvements in patient care and how much more can be accomplished with strong federal funding.
The BAW campaign includes an International Brain Bee, sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Program in Neuroscience, in which regional winners compete for a first prize. High school students from North America and abroad travel to the University of Maryland in Baltimore to compete in the final competition.
Students, who use the Society for Neuroscience book Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System to study for the Brain Bee, answer questions about neurotransmitters, learning and memory, aging, addiction, the senses, sleep, and stress. The Brain Bee tests students’ knowledge of research breakthroughs for treating diseases including depression, stroke, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, and schizophrenia.
Last year, about 30 local Brain Bees took place around the country. Winners of the local competitions compete in the final rounds and visit Washington, D.C., and the National Institutes of Health.
For more information about Brain Awareness Week events, please visit the Society for Neuroscience Brain Awareness Week Web page at:http://www.sfn.org/baw, and the Dana Alliance page at: http://www.dana.org/brainweek/.