Brain games: Celebrating pioneering neuroscience research in Manchester

Brain Health DayMade up of billions of interconnected neuronal cells, our brain is what makes us who we are. Keeping our most complex organ healthy is key to our wellbeing, yet one in six of us will be affected by a neurological condition in our lifetime. However, world-leading neurological research right here in Manchester is improving our understanding of these conditions and pioneering new methods for their treatment.

Manchester Central Library recently hosted Brain Health Day, a showcase of ground-breaking brain research that takes place at the Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre on disorders such as stroke, dementia, brain tumours and more. The event gave a chance for anyone to hear about this research, discover more about how the brain works, and ask questions of leading scientists.

Members of the public of all ages attended sold-out talks from experts and healthcare professionals and engaged with interactive stalls, brain games and activities, attendees were even able sign up to participate in research themselves.

Due to widespread interest, Research for the Future were able to register 50 people who wished to to learn more about and take part in research. Furthermore, the team at the Innovation Agency were able to carry out 62 tests on people for Atrial Fibrillation and High Blood Pressure, two known causes of stroke. Their efforts led to the identification of three individuals displaying symptoms of these conditions, who were subsequently referred to their GPs.

Highlights from the event included a recital of his poem ‘Find Me’, from renowned poet Lemn Sissay OBE, describing the emotional impact of a stroke on its survivors. Visitors were also able to see what the brain looks like under a microscope, how magnets are being used to spot early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and heard about how brain tumours start and spread.

Co-Director of the Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre and Professor of Neuroscience at The University of Manchester, Professor Stuart Allan, said: “Conditions that affect the brain have a major impact on society. We need to all work together to find out what most affects the quality of life of those with neurological disease. In doing so we can then find the new treatments and care pathways urgently required. The Brain Health Day provides a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of these important issues and engage with the wider public across Greater Manchester.”

For those who were unable to attend, recordings of the talks will be available on the Stroke IMPaCT and Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre websites in the coming weeks.

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