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Unlocking The Brain: Are We Entering A Golden Age Of Neuroscience?

Brain science is entering what some researchers say may be a golden age, gaining important new insights into the workings of the brain — even as brain disorders, from autism to Alzheimer’s to mental illness — are increasingly recognized as a worldwide scourge affecting over a billion people and growing rapidly. 

That’s the monumental gamble of Obama’s BRAIN initiative — and other major neuroscience efforts now getting under way around the world. They’re not trying to solve philosophical questions. They’re responding to the growing realization that brain disorders — from autism to mental illness to dementia — are a worldwide scourge, affecting at least a billion people.

“The global cost from brain disorders is about $2.5 trillion, and will go up more than double over the next two decades,” says Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “So policymakers look at these numbers and say, ‘Oh my God, we have got to begin investing to make sure we don’t incur those kinds of costs.’ ”

 

Source: commonhealth.wbur.org

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