Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical 2nd ed
The primary purpose of this project has been to produce a comprehensive, electronic introduction to current-day neuroscience in a didactic form useful for upper-level premedical students, entering medical students, and graduate students in a wide variety of countries, with an emphasis on economically developing countries. The Supervisory Editors and the authors, in their international distribution, reflect our intention to recognize the growing interest in neuroscience and expertise across the world.
Neuroscience Addresses Medical and Public Health Problems, Worldwide Neuroscience research provides basic discoveries about how the brain works and how it controls behavior and how its disruption can result in neurological and psychiatric disorders. These discoveries are of relevance for improving multiple outcomes that span from health (i.e., how to maximize cognitive performance and optimize well being) to education (i.e., how to use knowledge from neuroscience on how the brain learns to improve the delivery of education). Neuroscience broadly defined also offers pivotal components of both medical education and the delivery of medical services. For example, depression and schizophrenia – once viewed as purely “behavioral” problems – are now candidates for neurochemical/neuropharmacological treatments. Similarly addiction, which was once viewed as a condition of moral weakness, is now recognized as a disease of the brain with impairment in specific brain circuits. Degenerative conditions such as neurosyphilis, HIV-associated dementia, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer can now be delayed by science-based treatments. Coma and persistent vegetative state are approached by manipulating brain mechanisms responsible for arousal. Indeed, as neuroscience explores the etiology of disease – the complex interplay between biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors – it is increasingly valuable in understanding an array of diseases. A recent report by the Surgeon General, in the USA, cites several such diseases: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, early onset depression, autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anorexia nervosa, substance use disorders, and panic disorder, among many others.
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