Med­i­cal ex­perts call for launch of China’s brain project

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG HONGYI in Shanghai


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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.