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Brown to host conference on advances in neurotechnology
Date:5/30/2008

Brain Science. "Devices that connect to the nervous system are already helping those with paralysis to move again, those with blindness to see and those with deafness to hear."

This year's format will pair patients and specialists in the following disciplines: cochlear (ear) implants and retinal (eye) prosthetics; spinal cord injuries; deep brain stimulation; and paralyzed rehabilitation. The moderator is Joe Palca, science correspondent for National Public Radio.

"The scientific efforts to change human lives for the better will be demonstrated by this panel of scientists along with actual individuals who live with that science every day," said Eli Y. Adashi, M.D., dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown. "That's where current research in the neurosciences stands today. It is obliterating boundaries between biology and technology."

Kennedy has introduced a bill the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act that aims to accelerate the development of new and safer treatments for Americans living with a brain-related illness, injury or disease.

"Tens of millions of Americans are suffering from a brain-related disorder," Kennedy noted. "The brain is too complex an organ to simply look at piece by piece, disease by disease. We need to study the whole brain. I believe by connecting and coordinating neuroscience research across federal agencies, eliminating duplication and creating greater efficiencies, we will improve the quality of our research and accelerate discoveries, thus saving lives."

The keynote address will be given by Col. Geoffrey Ling, M.D., a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and a professor and vice chair of the Department of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Ling's research focuses on brain and spinal cord injuries, particularly those relevant to the military. His address is titled "Restoring the Injured Warfighter."

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Contact: Richard Lewis
richard_lewis@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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