AIDS is a relatively minor plague compared to the epidemic of dementia that will
occur around the world in the coming decades, said leading brain researcher
Prof. Richard Frackowiak on Wednesday. He was speaking at a symposium on brain
research at the Fifth Presidential Conference at Jerusalem’s International
Frackowiak told the overflowing audience that the
future of brain research lies in the creation of a hospital database to contain
complete records of all brain-disease-related patients from around the world. If
available to all researchers and scientists, this information would improve
“Dementia is a disease that is going to be like a
plague in our aging population,” said Frackowiak.
“It’s going to be worse
than AIDS – much worse, economically, personally. Each of you undoubtedly has
someone who is already losing their memory or developing some other neurological
The British-born scientist – director of clinical neuroscience
and head of the neurology service at CHUV University Hospital in Lausanne –
conducts research on the functional and structural architecture of the human
brain in health and disease.
He is also codirector of the Blue Brain
Project with Prof. Henry Markram. The project aims at building a virtual
model of the human brain, neuron by neuron, so that scientists will better
understand the hundreds of different brain diseases, from Alzheimer’s to
schizophrenia, and develop effective ways to treat them.
part of a panel also composed by narrator Prof. Eilon Vaadia, director of the
Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University,
Yadin Dudai, a leading neurobiologist at the Weizmann Institute of
Science, Markram, a neuroscientist at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology
and Hebrew University Prof. Idan Segev, a leading participant in the project and
an expert in computational neuroscience.
In the afternoon physicians and
scientists examined the future of medicine, including personalized medicine and
A Health Page feature on the scientific sections of the
conference will appear on Sunday, June 30.