The top 10 neuroscience trends of 2007
13 November 2007
The Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) has announced the top ten
emerging areas of neuroscience that will impact the future of treatments for
brain and nervous system.
According to NIO, the trade association that represents the 500 companies
worldwide developing treatments for the brain and nervous system, the US
economic burden of brain-related disorders has reached more than $1
trillion, highlighting the acute need for continued neuroscience research
and therapeutic development.
"Advances across a wide spectrum of neuroscience research are making
possible the development of more effective treatments for the nearly 100
million Americans and 2 billion people worldwide that currently suffer from
brain-related illnesses," said Zack Lynch, Executive Director of NIO.
Top 10 trends of 2007
- Advancing discovery tools underpin innovation: beyond biochips and
brain imaging, recent advances in neuroinformatics, image-based neural
circuit analysis, and neural computation are accelerating the pace of
neuroscientific discovery beyond what was imagined a decade ago.
- Neuroimmunology leading to new treatment targets: the discovery that
immune molecules play a crucial role in shaping neuronal connections
opens up new treatment targets for Alzheimer's, autism, ALS,
Parkinson's, schizophrenia, and nerve injury.
- National Neurotechnology Initiative: momentum for the new $200M/year
federal R&D initiative aimed at accelerating translational neurotech
innovation and improving the effectiveness of FDA review process for
neuroscience drugs, devices and diagnostics grows.
- Neurodevice interfaces improve prosthetics and treatments: advanced
brain-machine interfaces (BMI) enable the severely handicapped to
independently compose e-mails and operate a TV in their homes. Other
neurodevices provide functional stimulation for the treatment of pain,
Parkinson's, obesity, and psychiatric disorders.
- Addiction advances: new research clarifies the role of drugs on
sleep, cocaine's potency, and the brain changes that occur due to abuse
leading to new treatment strategies for this epidemic impacting over 1.1
- Normal aging brain gets more attention: more research and
development is being focused on thinking impairments that only partially
limit independence and quality of life for senior citizens, adults and
school aged children. Neurosoftware will penetrate nursing homes and
schools, as brain fitness software becomes new first-line treatment
- Regenerating the spinal cord: new experimental therapies in
development could open the doors for research to improve treatments for
people with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, stroke, and other
severe movement disorders
- Prevention evidence grows: you are what you eat; smoking is as bad
as we thought; and new studies reveal the effects of environmental
substances on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and others.
- Emotional disorders research advances: new research continues to
link neurogenesis to treatment of depression. A better understanding of
PTSD should lead to new treatment regimes.
- Neuroscience infiltrates society: from neuroeconomics to
neuroesthetics to neuroethics and neurolaw, the influence of
neuroscience on society continues to grow.
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