Press Conference Line Up Announced for Neuroscience 2008
For immediate release.
PRESS CONFERENCE LINE-UP ANNOUNCED FOR NEUROSCIENCE 2008
New scientific findings to be presented on addiction, traumatic brain injury, newborn brain development, stem cells, stress, itch, and more
WASHINGTON, DC — A wide range of emerging new research findings about the brain, nervous system, and related disorders will be presented in press conferences at Neuroscience 2008, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) and the world’s largest source of emerging news on brain science and health. To be held November 15–19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, the meeting is expected to draw more than 30,000 scientists from around the world.
“Neuroscience 2008 will offer an exciting look at significant new advances in brain research, from basic cellular understanding to behavioral research affecting human health,” said Eve Marder, PhD, president of SfN. “Scientists around the globe are making significant progress understanding brain function and health. As always, every new discovery reveals new mysteries about how the brain works, as seen in the wide array of science highlighted at Neuroscience 2008.”
Neuroscience 2008 hosts a working press room and offers resources for reporters covering the meeting, including complimentary registration. Information and registration is available at www.sfn.org/pressroom.
Press events will be held from 8 a.m., Sunday, November 16, through 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 18. Topics include:
Why Can't I Forget My Last Fix? Memory and Addiction
New knowledge of the powerful effects of addictive drugs on brain systems involved in learning and memory, emotions, and insight will be covered, as well as the biological underpinnings of addictive behaviors. New animal research findings show that innate impulsiveness plays a role in triggering drug addiction relapse, and that medications such as those used for hyperactivity may prevent relapse.
Surviving Birth: Toward Advances in Infant and Preemie Care
New studies will explore growing understanding of early brain development and the potential to improve neonatal outcomes: new opportunities to diagnose potential long-term brain disorders; ways to mitigate dangers of anesthesia use on newborns; and new evidence from animal studies that steroid compounds, used in treatment for premature labor and birth, may cause brain cell death in infant mice.
New Insights into Traumatic Brain Injury
Studies will report new, more effective ways of detecting and determining the severity of mild traumatic brain injury, which affects 10–20 percent of soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. A potential treatment for the swelling that occurs as a result of brain trauma will also be presented.
What’s Next for Stem Cell Therapies?
Findings will address new sources and uses of neural stem cells, including some with the potential to restore cells damaged by disease or disorder, including stroke, vision loss, hearing loss, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Sleep to Remember: Remember to Sleep
Research will be released shedding new light on the role of sleep in promoting learning and memory: Learning and memory problems caused by sleep disturbances may take weeks to overcome due to a drop in new brain cell birth; chemical conditions during sleep are identified that promote long-term memory storage; and there is new evidence of the benefits of a short daytime nap to improve creative thought.
Stressing Out Our Brains
Research will report new evidence that a wide range of stressful experiences change the physical structure and function of the brain, potentially affecting child development, adult brain wiring, and cognitive performance.
What Makes Us Itch?
Got an itch? How your brain processes the itch sensation — and how well scratching relieves it — may depend on the source of the itch, according to new findings. This and other recent itch research is providing new insight into the overlooked neurobiology of itch, which, when chronic, substantially impairs quality of life.
Additional press conference topics include:
• Decisions, Decisions: How Do We Make Thousands of Daily Choices?
• Love Is in the Air: The Neurobiology of Attraction, Sex, and Smell
• Epigenetics: How Does the Environment Influence the Brain's Genetic Program?
• Building the Brain: What Can Go Right?
Other meeting highlights show the interplay between brain research and global culture, politics, and society:
• Renowned choreographer Mark Morris will deliver the annual “Dialogue between Neuroscience and Society” presentation, discussing the brain’s control and understanding of movement and rhythm, as well as how observers experience and integrate the sensory and emotional impact of dance.
• The annual Public Advocacy Forum will feature a bipartisan group of policy leaders who will discuss the post-election outlook for science policy, including former Director of the National Institutes of Health, Harold Varmus, PhD; the Hon. John Porter, former Member of Congress (R-Ill.) and chairman of Research!America; and Wendell Primus, PhD, Special Advisor to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Neuroscience research makes a significant difference in people’s lives because consequences are severe for families and societies when the brain goes awry. In the United States, more than 1,000 disorders cause more hospitalizations than any other disease group, including heart disease and cancer. Neurological illnesses affect more than 50 million people annually, and cost more than $460 billion. Mental disorders, excluding drug and alcohol problems, strike 44 million people at a cost of $148 billion. The World Health Organization estimates up to one billion people worldwide are affected by neurological disorders, and 6.8 million die every year from them.