Brain Awareness Week March 14-20, 2011

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Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Every March, BAW unites the efforts of universities, hospitals, patient groups, government agencies, schools, service organizations, and professional associations worldwide in a week-long celebration of the brain. Founded and coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and European Dana Alliance for the Brain, BAW’s sixteenth annual celebration will take place from March 14-20, 2011.

Brain Awareness Week Campaign Headquarters

The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives

745 Fifth Avenue, Suite 900
New York, New York 10151
Tel: +1 212 401-1689
Fax: +1 212 593 7623
E-mail: bawinfo@dana.org

Kathleen M. Roina
Campaign Director
E-mail: kroina@dana.org

Sarah Thompson
Campaign Coordinator
E-mail: sthompson@dana.org

http://www.dana.org/brainweek/

Disclaimer: Neither SARDAA nor SA, assume any legal liability, responsibility nor does inclusion of articles or comments constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed in the blog.

NARSAD (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) Research-News-Publications

http://www.narsad.org/?q=node/555/research-news-publications

Disclaimer: Neither SARDAA nor SA, assume any legal liability, responsibility nor does inclusion of articles or comments constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed in the blog.

Schizophrenia Research Forum

http://www.schizophreniaforum.org/

Disclaimer: Neither SARDAA nor SA, assume any legal liability, responsibility nor does inclusion of articles or comments constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed in the blog.

New Genetic Risk Factor for Both Autism and Schizophrenia

Researchers have uncovered a prominent genetic risk factor for autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. The study, published by Cell Press on Nov. 4 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, reports a small genomic deletion in patients with these neurological conditions. The region includes a gene in which mutations cause a kidney disease (renal cysts and diabetes syndrome, RCAD).

ASDs include a range of neurodevelopmental conditions that are being diagnosed at an increasing rate. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that ASD currently affects 1 in 110 people. The prevalence of schizophrenia, with a diagnostic rate of 1 in 100 to 1 in 20, is similar. ASD and schizophrenia affect males more often than females, and both are thought to have a strong and overlapping genetic component.

“The genetic overlap between ASD and schizophrenia, both of which have a high heritability, has been the focus of several recent studies; however, no single specific genetic cause accounts for more than 1%-2% of cases,” says Dr. Daniel Moreno-De-Luca, the lead author of the study.

Dr. Moreno-De-Luca and colleagues analyzed genomic DNA from more than 23,000 patients with ASD, developmental delay, or schizophrenia. They were looking for DNA duplications or deletions referred to as copy-number variants (CNV). Remarkably, they found the same deletion on chromosome 17 in 24 separate patients. This CNV was absent in 52,448 controls, making the finding statistically significant…..

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Cell Press, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference:
1. Daniel Moreno-De-Luca , Jennifer G. Mulle , Erin B. Kaminsky , Stephan J. Sanders , Scott M. Myers , Margaret P. Adam , Amy T. Pakula , Nancy J. Eisenhauer , Kim Uhas , LuAnn Weik , Lisa Guy , Melanie E. Care , Chantal F. Morel , Charlotte Boni , Bonnie Anne Salbert , Ashadeep Chandrareddy , Laurie A. Demmer , Eva W.C. Chow , Urvashi Surti , Swaroop Aradhya , Diane L. Pickering , Denae M. Golden , Warren G. Sanger , Emily Aston , Arthur R. Brothman , Troy J. Gliem , Erik C. Thorland , Todd Ackley , Ram Iyer , Shuwen Huang , John C. Barber , John A. Crolla , Stephen T. Warren , Christa L. Martin and David H. Ledbetter. Deletion 17q12 Is a Recurrent Copy Number Variant that Confers High Risk of Autism and Schizophrenia. American Journal of Human Genetics, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.10.004

Reported by ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2010)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104154221.htm

Disclaimer: Neither SARDAA nor SA, assume any legal liability, responsibility nor does inclusion of articles or comments constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed in the blog.

Brain: The Inside Story opens at the American Museum of Natural History on Nov. 20

Last night I was lucky to see a preview of the American Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit, “Brain: The Inside Story,” which did not disappoint. Upon entering the exhibit, I was greeted by a mesmerizing artistic installation of brain networks, made of moving lights over bundles of recycled wires. My reaction was that of two competing impulses: to sit on the floor and stare at the installation for several minutes or to rush off and find the nearest disco.

With my interest piqued, I moved on to the rest of the exhibit, which is divided into topics such as the senses, emotions, and language. Each offers a combination of visuals and bite-sized explanations.

For those with kids or with limited attention spans, there are several interactive features to keep people engaged, especially in the latter half of the exhibit. My favorite is in the language section, which measures how we listen to and mimic a foreign language. Participants select a language and then repeat a word into a microphone, following instructions. While my braver colleague selected the less common Urdu language, I confidently opted for Spanish. Sadly, despite eight years of instruction and a semester in Madrid, my pronunciation of “muchacha” measured mediocre at best. (I like to think that background noise may have played a factor in that result.)

After I made a mental note to enroll in a Spanish class next semester, I delved back into the exhibit to find many more captivating features, such as the Stroop Test and a mirror-tracing activity that teaches a new motor skill.

“Brain: The Inside Story” is open from November 20, 2010 through August 15, 2011.

Reported by Ann L. Whitman
Dana Foundation Blog
http://danapress.typepad.com/weblog/2010/11/brain-the-inside-story-opens-at-the-american-museum-of-natural-history-on-nov-20.html

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/brain/

Disclaimer: Neither SARDAA nor SA, assume any legal liability, responsibility nor does inclusion of articles or comments constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed in the blog.

BringChange2Mind Organization

BringChange2Mind.org is a not-for-profit organization created by Glenn Close, the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF), Fountain House, and Garen and Shari Staglin of IMHRO (International Mental Health Research Organization).

The idea of a national anti-stigma campaign was born of a partnership between Glenn Close and Fountain House, where Glenn volunteered in order to learn about mental illness, which both her sister and nephew suffer from.

http://www.bringchange2mind.org/index.php

Disclaimer: Neither SARDAA nor SA, assume any legal liability, responsibility nor does inclusion of articles or comments constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed in the blog.

Glenn Close on mental illness: Say it loud

Making the point that mental illness is a matter for all families, award-winning actress Glenn Close was joined by her sister Jessie and a nephew to give a joint public lecture at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting, this year in San Diego. [see SfN video of the lecture]

One in six adults, one in four families, currently has a diagnosable mental illness, said Close, “and mine happens to be one of them.” After volunteering at Fountain House as a way to learn more about mental illness, she worked with the group to set up BringChange2Mind.org, a national anti-stigma campaign.

Reported by Nicky Penttila
Dana Foundation Blog
http://danapress.typepad.com/weblog/2010/11/glenn-close-sfn-draft.html

Disclaimer: Neither SARDAA nor SA, assume any legal liability, responsibility nor does inclusion of articles or comments constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed in the blog.