From James Beck, Ph.D., Director of Research Programs This blog is part two in a series of three about the BigBrain. Several weeks ago saw the announcement of a description of a new and highly detailed atlas of the brain, called BigBrain. PDF wrote about how one person, making the decision to donate their brain, has made a significant contribution to science. Indeed, that is true. But what does this really mean for the future of neuroscience … and Parkinson’s research?
This blog is part one in a series of three about the BigBrain. Do you remember the moment of putting on 3D glasses in a movie theater? There was awe and excitement as stories and images that were flat came to life. There was similar excitement yesterday when researchers reported in Science that they have created BigBrain, a high resolution 3D digital image of the brain. To understand the excitement, it’s important to understand that like a 3D movie, this image isn’t simply a flat picture of the brain. It is incredibly in-depth. Have you ever had an MRI? Well… Read More
Would you consider donating your brain for science? A few years ago, Diana Barnwell wrote an article, entitled, My Last Gift. She chronicled her decision to donate her brain … and the complicated issues that arose when making her decision. Studying actual human brains – donated by individuals upon their death, as a contribution to science – is a vital way to understanding neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. After all, the brain is the only mysterious organ that we can’t study during a person’s lifetime. This is why it was so devastating to scientists around the world, particularly those at… Read More