Medical experts call for launch of China’s brain project
Neurobiologists and mental health experts are urging China to boost its brain science development which will help a large number of patients suffering from cranial nerve or mental diseases.
According to Yang Xiongli, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China’s brain project will help with understanding how the brain can be protected and simulated.
He said the advancement of brain science will be a long and arduous task which requires researchers to implement a long-term development strategy.
In early 2013, the United States administration launched a science research initiative called BRAIN ( Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) that aims to support the development and application of innovative technologies that can create a dynamic understanding of brain functions. Asian nations like Japan, South Korea and countries in the European Union have also started their own brain projects in recent year.
“China has prepared its own ‘brain project’ for three years, and the overall framework of the project is now established as a result of thorough discussion among brain scientists. However, key scientifi questions and detailed research plans remain to be further elaborated,” said Yang at a seminar on promoting China’s brain project in Shanghai.
“For example, China has a large number of patients with neurological disorders. We could establish a comprehensive database that covers a variety of brain diseases. Based on the database, we could carry out cutting-edge studies,” he added.
Yang’s view was echoed by other experts. Xu Yifeng, president of the Shanghai Mental Health, said that China could first embark on more research about brain protection as it will provide a good foundation upon which to further brain science development. He also noted that such development will help in the exploration of new ways to handle conditions such as schizophrenia, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Right now, educational activities are used to help autistic children. The development of brain science may yield the possibility of effectively treating the disease instead,” Xu added.