Brain diseases & disorders

Deep brain stimulationA permenent device for deep brain stimulation (green with yellow tip) is implanted deep in the brains of Parkinson's disease patients. (Credit: Coralie de Hemptinne, UCSF)

There are hundreds of brain diseases and disorders, ranging from developmental disorders such as dyslexia and autism to traumatic brain injuries and addiction; from psychiatric disorders such a bipolar and schizophrenia to neurological and degenerative disorders such as epilepsy, stroke, dementia and multiple sclerosis to cancer. Together, they pose an enormous burden for society and the healthcare system. Indeed, many of them are still impossible to prevent, treat or cure.

This burden was recognized by President Obama when he launched the U.S. Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative (See "Brain Initiative") in 2013. The goal is to develop powerful new brain research tools that will help scientists understand how normal brain function and how this breaks down, and ultimately lead to much-needed treatments. Some of these new tools are already here. Advances in genetics allow us to pinpoint the genetic glitches that cause certain disorders, and engineers have created implantable devices that stimulate the brain and alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and depression. And connections are increasing between psychiatry, and clinical and basic neuroscience, which is likely to accelerate progress toward better treatment and management of brain diseases and disorders in the coming decades.

Creating a Perfect Brain Storm

Brainbow neurons
Sep 16, 2016

Nations around the world are making unprecedented investments in brain research. How will each one leave its mark—and what could they achieve together?

Solving the Puzzle of Alzheimer’s Disease

Amyloid plaques
Sep 15, 2016

In a roundtable discussion, three leading scientists in the fields of neuroscience, brain imaging and cell biology weigh in on what it will take to find a cure for Alzheimer's and related neurodegenerative disorders.

Spotlight Live: Zika Virus and the Brain

Spotlight Live: Zika Virus and the Brain
May 26, 2016

On May 26, The Kavli Foundation had a live webcast with neuroscientists Arnold Kriegstein, Guo-li Ming and Hongjun Song about Zika's effects on the brain, plus what it’s like to do emergency research.

A Roundtable with the Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience

Oct 01, 2015

Loren Frank and Roger Nicoll, co-directors of Kavli IFN, discuss their new institute at the University of California, San Francisco, which aims to tackle the hardest problems in neuroscience.

A Roundtable with the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute

Oct 01, 2015

By integrating neuroscience, engineering and data science, the new Kavli Institute at Johns Hopkins University aims to fuel new discoveries about how the brain functions. A discussion with Director Richard Huganir and Co-director Michael Miller.

The Nose Knows

KITP Deputy Director Greg Huber, neuroscientist Anne-Marie Oswald and biologist Venkatesh Murthy. Photo Credit: Matt Perko
Jul 29, 2015

Collaboration among international scientists at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics is helping to resolve questions about the sense of smell.

Microbiome and Neuroscience: The Mind-Bending Power of Bacteria

Gut lining
Jan 08, 2015

Our bodies are home to a vast ecosystem of microbes – the microbiome – that has a powerful effect on the brain. Three researchers, Tracy Bale, Christopher Lowry and Sarkis Mazmanian, discuss the emerging gut-microbiome-brain connection and whether microbes may help us treat brain disorders.

Spotlight Live: The Microbiome & the Brain - A New State of Mind

Jan 08, 2015

On January 15, neuroscientist Christopher Lowry discussed the emerging science, that's connecting the microbiome – the community of microbes that inhabit the body – with brain health including whether we can treat common brain disorders through the gut.

2014 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience: A Discussion with Brenda Milner, John O’Keefe and Marcus E. Raichle

Sep 07, 2014

The winners of the 2014 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience – Brenda Milner, John O’Keefe and Marcus E. Raichle – discuss what led them to study memory and cognition and the challenges they faced in getting their discoveries about the brain accepted.

Evolution: What’s Uniquely Human About the Human Brain?

Brain Evolution
Jul 07, 2014

Three geneticists – James Sikela of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, James Noonan of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale, and Daniel Geschwind of UCLA – discuss how their field is revolutionizing the study of human brain evolution.


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