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“Brain Awareness Week” Events Scheduled in Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Nationally recognized experts on brain function, cognitive impairment, neuroscience, and music will take part in Winston-Salem’s celebration of Brain Awareness Week 2006, an international series of events.

Brain Awareness Week is March 13-19, with local events planned for Thursday through Saturday. Events will be held in 57 countries by more than 1,700 organizations. The week is designed to highlight the wonders of the brain and nervous system, to focus national and international attention on the progress in and benefits of neuroscience research, and to help people of all ages and backgrounds understand more about the “universe between their ears.”

The local events will include public programs on preventing memory failure in our aging population, how musical experiences affect the brain, and family fun with neuroscience.

Panelists taking part in the local programs include experts from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Peter Perret, conductor emeritus of the Winston-Salem Symphony and an author and consultant on the subject of music and learning.

The local celebration is co-sponsored by a group of students at Wake Forest University School of Medicine known as the “Brain Awareness Council” and by Targacept Inc. The graduate and post-doctoral students on the council represent several medical school disciplines, including neuroscience, neurobiology and anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, and medical genetics. The group has presented programs at area schools for several years, and is integrally involved in the planning and execution of the Brain Awareness Week events.

“This will be a great opportunity for members of the community – adults and children alike – to learn more about how the brain operates and take part in some fascinating and fun activities,” said Don deBethizy, president and CEO of Targacept, a biopharmaceutical firm based in the Piedmont Triad Research Park in Winston-Salem.

“Finding ways to prevent or cure brain diseases is a primary goal of neuroscience research. There is an extraordinary amount of research being done on the brain and central nervous system in the region, and Brain Awareness Week is a great way to bring that knowledge to the general public,” said Dwayne W. Godwin, Ph.D., associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist and secretary of the western North Carolina chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

The local activities begin Thursday March 16 at 4 p.m. with a panel discussion on “Preventing Memory Failure in our Aging Population: Why, When and How.” Panelists will review the progression of cognitive decline from age-associated memory impairment to mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease, and examine possible lifestyle interventions and advances in treatments with neuroprotective agents. The free program will take place at the Piedmont Triad Community Research Center Auditorium, 115 South Chestnut St.

On Friday March 17 at 7 p.m., a program will be presented titled, “Got Music? How Musical Experiences Affect the Brain.” Three experts in neuroscience and music will discuss how music is processed in the brain, how music can potentially alter the brain, and music’s relationship to learning. The location for the free program is Babcock Auditorium, Hawthorne Road and Eden Terrace at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

On Saturday March 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, 360 N. Liberty St., will host “Brain Power! Family Fun with Neuroscience.” The event will feature brain games, sensory illusions, memory tests, “make a neuron,” real brains, and the biology of reading. This fun, interactive brain expo will include hands-on activities and displays for toddlers through elementary age students. Admission to the Children's Museum is $6 per person, and parking is free.

Attached is a detailed listing of local activities for the week.

This is the 11th year that Brain Awareness Week programs have been held globally. The awareness week was founded by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and is also supported an initiative of the Society for Neuroscience. For more information on global Brain Awareness Week activities, go to http://www.dana.org/brainweek/.

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Media contact: Mark Wright, (336) 716-3382, mwright@wfubmc.edu; Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.


Winston-Salem Brain Awareness Week Activities

Thursday, March 16, 2006, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Preventing Memory Failure in our Aging Population: Why, When and How

In the U.S., more than 117 million people are over age 40; 45 million are over 60, and 34 million age 65 or older. Most are at substantial risk for memory impairment from many causes as they age. Panelists will review the progression of cognitive decline from age-associated memory impairment to mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease, and examine possible lifestyle interventions and advances in treatments with neuroprotective agents.

Panelists:
• P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.B., B.S., Director of Psychiatry Clinical Trials, Duke University Medical Center
• Mark Espeland, Ph.D., Professor of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
• Stephen R. Rapp, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist
• W. Jack Rejeski, Professor of Health and Exercise Sciences, Wake Forest University
• Jeff Williamson, M.D., Section Head, Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist
Moderator:
• Geoffrey C. Dunbar, M.D., Vice President, Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs, Targacept, Inc.

Location: PTCRC Auditorium, 115 South Chestnut St., Winston-Salem, N.C.
Cost: Free admission and free parking
More info: Debra Perret, (336) 480-2226

Friday, March 17, 2006, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Got Music? How Musical Experiences Affect the Brain

Featured Speakers:
• Peter Perret, Conductor Emeritus of the Winston-Salem Symphony, Consultant and Author
o "Music, Mind, and Learning"
• Jonathan Burdette, M.D., Associate Professor, Neuroradiology, WFU School of Medicine
o "Of Conductors and Cats"
• Don Hodges, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Director of the Music Research Institute at UNC-Greensboro
o "What's Going On in There? Peeking into the Musical Brain"


Location: Babcock Auditorium, Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Enter from Hawthorne Road and Eden Terrace.
Cost: Free admission and free parking.
More info: Jennifer Kiger, jekiger@wfubmc.edu, or Debra Perret (336) 480-2226

Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Brain Power! Family Fun with Neuroscience

Brain Games. Sensory Illusions. Memory Tests. Make a Neuron. Real Brains. Biology of Reading.
This fun, interactive brain expo will feature hands-on activities and displays for toddlers through elementary age students. Bring the family and come discover Brain Power!

Location: Children's Museum of Winston-Salem, 360 N. Liberty St.
Cost: Children's Museum admission is $6 per person. Free parking.
More info: Debra Perret, (336) 480-2226, or Children’s Museum, (336) 723-9111.

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