28th February, 2010

Last updated: 28 February 2010


The brain is arguably the most important organ we have and so, in the run up to Brain Awarness Week, we thought we should dedicate this edition of Science Cafe to our nogin.

To give us an overview of what our brain can do, Professor Frank Sengpiel, director of Cardiff Neurosciences Centre, joins the programme with some fascinating insights.

Wales has some leading neuroscientists and presenter Adam Walton has some fun talking to them. He learns from Professor Julie Williams the latest pioneering work at Cardiff University to understand what might cause Alzheimer's and other dementia related illnesses. Julie is Professor of Neuropsychological Genetics at Cardiff University and she led the team that last year made the biggest genetic discovery in Alzheimer's disease for more than a generation.

Adam also talks to Professor Linda Clare at Bangor University about a recent study involving cognitive rehabilitation for people with dementia. The University's School of Psychology has been conducting a three-year trial for the Alzheimer's Society and results revealed this week give a very positive endorsement of the therapy.

We understand so much more about the way our brain functions thanks to the application of new technology and brain imaging and Clare MacKay, a senior research fellow at Oxford University, joins the programme to talk about her work in this field. She explains that neuroimaging is an exciting and rapidly evolving science with lots of possiblities.

During Brain Awareness Week (15 - 21 March 2010), Cardiff University's Cardiff Neurosciences Centre is running a number of events for audiences which incorporate patient groups, charities, policy makers and interested members of the public to highlight neuroscience research taking place within the University and its relevance for society. In collaboration with the School of Biosciences and the MRC Centre for the Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, these events form part of the global campaign, which seeks to increase the public understanding and awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. For more information click here.

Heart Survey

Last week's programme reported on a new website aimed at recording people's attitude towards their risk of heart disease. It's been set up by Cardiff University's Department of Care and Public Health and includes a risk calculator for people over the age of 45. If you want to take part in the survey, click here to access My Heart Risk.

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