Maybe neuroscience needs ‘malbrain’ to complement cell biology’s ‘cancer’ in the public mind…***

Shane O'Mara

Previously, I wondered why there was no hue-and-cry over the huge disinvestment in

brain research over the past decade, and why, by comparison, cancer research does well.* ‘Cancer‘ is understood by the public at large, by the political establishment, by the pharmaceutical companies and a host of other stakeholders as a single-word issue of great and pressing concern to all members of society. There is no such counterpart word available for the diseases of the brain.Neurodegenerative disorders” doesn’t work – it has too many syllables, and misses too many of the other brain disorders that are not neurodegenerative in nature (such as attention deficit disorders or addictions). “Dementia” doesn’t work either. This word refers to a constellation of differing conditions, most of which arise as a result of aging (some of which have to do with memory, judgment, attention and perception; others to do with…

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Author: Shane O'Mara

Neuroscientist

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