Brain Awareness Week March 2012

During Brain Awareness Week there will be public lectures by leading neuroscientists and clinical neurology experts happening in a number of centres around New Zealand. The following events have a Parkinson’s focus. For more details please see www.brainweek.co.nz/events.

Saturday 10 March, 10.30am

Associate Professor John Reynolds, Deputy Director, Brain Health Research Centre, Head of Translational Neuroscience in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago Medical School will speak about "Teaching the brain to overcome neurological disease."

Ongoing, collaborative research at the University of Otago is providing exciting new insights into normal brain learning mechanisms and how these can be applied to the treatment of neurological conditions. Dr John Reynolds will review highlights of recent work including research into the mechanisms of stroke and Parkinson’s and some potential new avenues of treatment that are in development at Otago.

Monday 12 March, 10:00am - 12noon

University of Auckland neuroscientist Associate Professor Debbie Young will discuss her research work and outline the hope that gene therapy offers for Parkinson’s and many other neurodegenerative conditions.

Saturday 17 March, 10.30am

Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie, Lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago will speak on “Shedding light on Parkinson’s”

Saturday 17 March, 2.00pm

Dr Tracy Melzer, MRI Physicist, New Zealand Brain Research Institute
"Parkinson’s: insights through new technology"

Currently there is no diagnostic test that can confirm Parkinson’s. The recent progression of MRI, or brain imaging, has however provided scientists and clinicians with hope that insights into Parkinson’s will soon be provided through the imaging’s new technological advancements. Dr Tracy Meltzer is carrying out a PhD research project at the NZ Brain Research Institute (formerly the Van der Veer Institute) investigating these advancements. He will outline his progress to date.


Saturday 17 March

Brain Day - there are a number of lectures, discussions and workshops on the theme of "Brain Fitness"

3.00pm - Discussion "When muscle control goes wrong - Parkinsonism", with Professor Barry Snow, Susan Yoffe (Essential Tremor Support Group) and Dave Mitchell (NZ Dystonia Patient Network)

See the Centre for Brain Research website for the full programme www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/faculty/cbr/brainweek/brainweek2012/brainday2012.aspx

Saturday 24 March, 12.15pm

Author Ann Andrews – Author of "Positively Parkinson’s"
This event takes on an interview format followed by a public question and answer segment.