Oct. 24, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Oct. 22, 2014 | Science Insider
Companies looking to sell "brain games" describe their activities as having the ability to improve memory, processing speed, problem-solving, and even, in some cases, to stave off Alzheimer’s disease. The science behind this was recently called into question by the Stanford Center on Longevity in Palo Alto, California, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, that stated the scientific studies cited in advertisements are “only tangentially related to the scientific claims of the company and to the games they sell.”
- Read about SfN- and American Brain Coalition-hosted Congressional briefing which featured SfN member Adam Gazzaley talking about brain plasticity and his findings that a computer game, NeuroRacer, has a positive impact on the ability to multitask.
Oct. 15, 2014 | Washington Post
In response to NIH Director Francis Collins statement to the Huffington Post, “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready,” the Washington Post ran a FactChecker story stating the statement was misleading.
Articles of Interest
Oct. 20, 2014 | Science Daily
New research sheds light on ketamine’s mechanism of action as a treatment for depression. In an NIH trial, a single infusion of ketamine reversed anhedonia in treatment-resistant depressed bipolar disorder patients faster and independent of other anti-depressant effects.
- Learn more about ketamine’s use as a treatment for depression on BrainFacts.org.
Oct. 21, 2014 | Medical Xpress
A new implantable brain sensor made of graphene is transparent across a large spectrum of light, allowing researchers to use it in tandem with traditional imaging diagnostics.
- Learn more about the BRAIN Initiative’s focus on neurotechnology development.
Oct. 20, 2014 | BBC News
New research from the University of Copenhagen found higher levels of serotonin reuptake transporter during winter in people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), suggesting that lower levels of serotonin contribute to the disorder.
- Learn about mood disorders at BrainFacts.org.
Oct. 22, 2014 | Slate
Author David Shiffman discusses the all too common excuse of politicians claiming, “I’m not a scientist,” to avoid answering basic and important policy questions. Being a policymaker requires making decisions on a variety of important subjects outside of your primary area of expertise. Voters wouldn’t tolerate this excuse if applied to any other discipline, yet the politicians appear to be using this line successfully to distance themselves from experts crucial for solving many of our country’s most important problems.
- Watch SfN’s advocacy webinars to learn how Congress impacts your science and why you should meet with your member of Congress.
Oct. 22, 2014 | Speaking of Research
Jeffrey Kahn, the Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy and the Deputy Director for Policy and Administration at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, visited UW Madison to discuss the use of monkeys in medical research. During his comments, Professor Kahn objected to research based on utilarianism on the grounds that it is unfair to consistently harm one group (non-human animals) for the benefit of another (humans). Author Dario Ringach says, “The notion that pure utilarianism forms the basis for an ethical defense of biomedical research is incorrect. It’s perplexing to hear him state that utilitarianism is how the system is set up…because it’s not.’
- Learn about the animal research process by visiting BrainFacts.org.