Aga Khan University and the Pakistan Society of Basic and Applied Neurosciences in collaboration with The Science Bridge initiative, the International Brain Research Organization, the Advance Educational Institute and Research Centre, and the Canada Pakistan Research and Development Council has organized the 3rd Annual Neuroscience Meeting, titled ‘Building Bridges Through Neuroscience.
At the meeting, it was discussed that neuroscience research inspecting brain and mechanism that how this supercomputer controls every characteristic of our body and behavior needs to be actively encouraged in Pakistan. The Science Bridge initiative offers opportunities for local neuroscientists to be a part of this global efforts.
Professor Mazhar T Hasan of the Achucarro Basque Centre for Neuroscience explained that mission of The Science Bridge to “promote sustainable scientific collaboration between cultures and nations to realize the working principle of the brain, find treatments and, therapies for different neurological and psychiatric conditions stated in a press release issued by the Aga Khan University.
He told about twin Institutes a new and innovative concept aimed to link research institutes, one in a Western country and another one in an Eastern country, having common goals in basic and applied neuroscience.
Prof. Syed Ather Enam of the Aga Khan University that importance of neuroscience research cannot be exaggerated as more than 50 % of all diseases affect the nervous system and more than 1,000 disorders of the brain and nervous system that should be managed. Around 1 billion across the world are affected by neurological disorders irrespective of age, sex, education or income reported by World Health Organization in 2007.
Prof Naveed Syed, University of Calgary discussed progress in understanding communications between brain cells of a living organism and a computer chip. Neurochip implants could activate artificial limbs, help restore sight or speech after a stroke, or repair nerve cells due to brain disorders, from Parkinson’s disease to Alzheimer’s.
Professor Joshua R Sanes from the Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, explained in another discussion that how retina of eye as complex as any other part of the brain but with several features that facilitate analysis to understand the formation of synapses, the junction between two nerve cells.
Experts at the conference also discussed the status of neuroscience in Pakistan and progress. They agreed on need for public awareness regarding importance of research in understanding basic brain functions and neurological and psychiatric conditions in local South Asian populations.
Experts expressed the hope that neuroscientists find innovative ways to treat and cure many neurological diseases eventually with collective international efforts and East-West collaborations.