NUI Galway Neuroscientists Participate in Brain Awareness Week

Mar 13 2012 Posted: 17:00 GMT

As part of ‘Brain Awareness Week’ which took place globally last week, staff and students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster organised a public information exhibit in the Galway City Museum.  The exhibition saw many members of the public and local schools visiting to learn more about how the brain and nervous system work. 

The exhibit consisted of interactive stations where visitors could learn more about the nervous system in a hands-on way, including tests of hand-eye coordination, visual perception, left/right handedness, creativity and many others. Visitors also had the opportunity to learn more about the brain and about brain disorders, with the aid of information posters prepared by the staff and postgraduate students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster, which is part of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES).

Dr John Lynch, Neurology Department, Galway University Hospital, delivered a short talk on the brain to secondary school students, while Dr David Finn, Pharmacology and Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, gave a presentation on pain and its treatment. 

Neuroscientists have the daunting task of deciphering the mystery of the very complex machine that is the brain: how as many as 100 billion nerve cells are produced, grow, and organise themselves into effective, functionally active systems that ordinarily remain in working order throughout a person’s lifetime.  The more than 1,000 disorders of the brain and nervous system result in more hospitalisations than any other disease group, including heart disease and cancer. Approximately 180 million Europeans are thought to suffer from a brain disorder, at a total cost of almost €800 billion per annum. Ongoing research within NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster aims to advance understanding of the brain and nervous system, and identify new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

Dr Una Fitzgerald, lead organiser of the exhibit, said: “We hope that this event has succeeded in educating the public about the brain and nervous system, and increasing awareness of brain disorders and the need for further research in this area.”  

NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster acknowledges funding from the Dana Foundation and the NCBES which made the event possible.


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