Here are ten emerging areas of neuroscience that will impact the future of treatments for brain and nervous system which were published as a result of the cutting edge research being presented at the Society for Neuroscience Conference held in Washington DC last week. Top 10 Trends of 2009:
1. Epigenetics leading to new treatment targets: New research highlights the critical interactions of genes and the environment in brain health and development revealing new treatment strategies and potential therapeutic targets for obesity, memory loss, addiction and mental illness.
2. National Neurotechnology Initiative Act: Momentum for this recently introduced legislation which provides $200M a year for federal R&D aimed at accelerating translational neurotech innovation and improving the effectiveness of FDA review process for neuroscience drugs, devices and diagnostics grows.
3. New Sources of Stem Cells: The discovery of new sources of neural stem cells are opening up new avenues and potentially whole new treatment strategies for stroke, vision loss, hearing loss, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS.
4. Deep Brain Stimulation: New clinical research into the use of deep brain stimulation devices for the treatment of neurological diseases and psychiatric illnesses continues to provide new hope to those suffering from drug treatment forms of these illnesses.
5. Addiction advances: New research that clarifies the role of impulsivity in treating cocaine addiction and synaptic plasticity in the control of inhibitory circuits could potentially lead to new treatment strategies for this epidemic impacting over 1.1 billion worldwide.
6. Stress prevention: New research shows that even a few hours of stress can reduce neural connectivity and that chronic stress, in particular early in life, can shrink critical areas of the brain. These findings may lead to new treatment strategies for PTSD and other anxiety-related disorders.
7. Traumatic brain injury advances: Early detection proves important for effective treatment while new research into inflammation may provide new treatments for people with brain injuries and stroke.
8. Get your sleep: More research points to the critical role that a proper night’s sleep plays in the memory consolidation, learning and mental illness further validating the need for effective therapeutics which engender healthy sleep patterns.
9. Discovery tools underpin innovation: New imaging techniques coupled with advances in neuroinformatics, image-based neural circuit analysis, and neural computation are accelerating the pace of neuroscientific discovery beyond what was imagined a decade ago.
10. Neuroscience infiltrates society: From neurofinance, neuroeconomics to neuroesthetics to neuroethics and neurolaw, the influence of neuroscience on society continues to grow.
November 11, 2008
Yesterday, I hosted NIO's annual public neurotech company CEO media tour here in NYC with Uli Hacksell, CEO of Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Ron Cohen, CEO of Acorda Therapeutics and Joern Aldag, CEO of Evotec joining me in hour long discussions with reporters at the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, PharmaWire (Financial Times), Discover Magazine, and Forbes. The discussions were lively and revolved around the impact of the current financial crisis as well as the lack of adequate regulatory resources. The Wall Street Journal picked up on our conversation and posted some of it on the WSJ Health Blog: FDA Delays Take Toll on Neuroscience Drug Developmentposted by Shirley S. Wang.
"The FDA has even the neuroscience crowd scratching their heads.
Some folks from the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group for neuroscience companies, and three of its members stopped by Health Blog HQ today. Our chat really heated up when it turned to the current regulatory environment...(more)
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November 6, 2008
O, The Oprah Magazine, has an article written by Tim Jarvis in the mindwise section this month titled, The Brain Age. The article explores how "cutting-edge neuroscience has escaped from the lab and is suddenly showing up everywhere, changing the way we practice law, go shopping and possibly, fall in love. Tim interviewed me extensively for the article over a year ago and it's nice to see it finally his the newstand in the November issue. In a side bar, Tim asked me to forecast some neuroscientific advancements that would ring with O readers, here are a few I posit:
Neuroentertainment: Current technologies such as video games will merge with future one (such as those involving neural feedback) so gamers might wear EEG-type caps that read their brainwaves and pick up their emotions. Conceivably, story lines would move forward in real time, the plot changing based on each person's response, says Zack Lynch.
Neuroeducation: The more we learn about the neurobiology of learning - how the mind develops, what to make of differences between individual brains - the better we can "sculpt" teaching methods. Lynch predicts educational software will be tailored to students' individual brain patterns to improve math and language acquisition as well as creative thinking.
Neurospirituality: New tools such as real-time FMRI technology, Lynch says, promise to accelerate our capacity to access deeply meditative and spiritual states.
Check out the article as it scans several areas of the neurosociety.
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