The Philippines has recently become a first-time host and member to global neuroscience network BrainConnects at the 9th Neuroscience International Symposium held by the Institute for Neurosciences at St. Luke’s Medical Center-Bonifacio Global City.
With the theme “Bridging Brains, Enriching Minds,” the three-day symposium gathered clinicians, researchers and experts in the fields of neuroscience, neurology, engineering, clinical psychology, robotics, and applied physics with the aim of spurring innovation among various disciplines.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III commended the institute’s move towards further collaboration during a symposium on Oct. 23 to 25.
“The Philippines’ participation to the BrainConnects network is a huge step for neurosciences in this country,” said Duque who graced the event as the guest of honor.
Established in 2014, BrainConnects is a network of researchers seeking to enhance the cognitive and mental wellbeing of the prevalent aging population in the Asia Pacific region through neuroimaging, neurologic and cognitive sciences and engineering technology.
SLMC-INS officially signed onto the network this year as the Philippines’ representative alongside institutes and groups from Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. At present, it has become a local research hub for neuroinformatics.
“The elderly immensely contribute to our society as family and community members and as active participants in the workforce. Unfortunately, many older adults are at risk of developing mental and neurological disorders, along with other health problems,” said Duque.
The network held BrainConnects 2019 on the symposium’s first leg. With the Philippines as a renowned Special Interest Group for Neuroinformatics in Aging under the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, the 6th Annual BrainConnects Meeting featured presentations on neuroimaging methods, diagnosis and prevention of cognitive disease and maintenance of brain health.
Its second leg, Brain Trauma 2019, featured experts from the Brain Trauma Foundation in the US.
INS head for Global City and organizer Dr. Lina Laxamana said the key to moving forward is collaboration and research.
INS overall head and organizing chairperson Dr. Ma. Socorro Martinez said SLMC has the adequate patient count and advanced technology for translational research.
“We could harness the knowledge gained from basic neuroscience research and clinical trials to develop techniques or tools that address medical needs designed to improve neurological treatment outcomes, especially in diseases affecting the aged population—therefore completing the cycle of research from lab to bed,” she said.
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