May 9, 2007
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
Phone: (973) 972-3000
Neuroscientists from Across North America Gather at UMDNJ to
Report the Latest Developments in Neuro-Protection and Neuro-Repair
NEWARK — Diseases and injuries to the central nervous system limit the daily activity of one in five Americans, with an estimated cost of $400 billion. Neuroscientists, who are interested in developing therapies and cures for neurological diseases and injuries to the brain and spinal cord, will highlight emerging discoveries during a three-day symposium at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey from Sun., May 13, to Tues., May 15. The event will be held at the Delta Dental Conference Center in the UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School, 50 Twelfth Avenue, Room B-963, in Newark.
The symposium, entitled Neuroprotection and Neurorepair: Pharmacology to Stem Cells, is being coordinated by the Office of Research at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and directed by faculty members in the Department of Neurology and Neurosciences at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. The presentations at this symposium will communicate advances in understanding and developing cures for devastating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, retinal diseases, neonatal brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy and radiation-induced brain damage.
A keynote address entitled “A Success in Drug Development by Academia: Uncompetitive/Fast Off-Rate (UFO) Drug Therapy for Neurodegenerative Disorders of Excitotoxicity and Protein Misfolding - Memantine and Beyond,” will be delivered by Dr. Stuart Lipton, of the Burnham, Salk, Scripps Research Institutes and the University of California at San Diego on Sun., May 13, at 8 p.m.
During this symposium, neuroscientists from prestigious medical institutions from across the U.S. and Canada will discuss therapies for rescuing, protecting and healing the nervous system using pharmacological and stem cell therapies. Topics across basic and clinical Neuroscience to be discussed include:
· Advances in treating multiple sclerosis;
· Protective roles of growth factors and cytokines;
· Role of resident stem cells in replacing damaged brain cells;
· Potential of transplanted neural precursors to promote repair;
· Molecular interventions that protect and repair the central nervous system:
· Use of progesterone to prevent spinal cord damage after injury;
· The importance of physical rehabilitation for retaining new cells and for retraining neural circuits.
This symposium brings together experts working in both brain protection and repair to highlight the hope that current research brings to patients and their caregivers.
“Significant new therapies are on the horizon for neurodegenerative disease as a direct consequence of insights gleaned from Neuroscience research,” said Dr. Steve Levison, professor of neurology and neuroscience at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and program director of the symposium. “Furthermore, our view of the capacity for rebuilding neural circuits is also changing with the realization that new neurons are being generated on a daily basis by resident stem cells in select regions of the brain.”
According to Dr. Levison, “We are certainly seeing a paradigm shift in terms of the capacity for repair from resident stem cells of the central nervous system and there are many promising new clinical trials to preserve brain cells using pharmacological approaches.”
Researchers from esteemed institutions including Harvard, the University of California San Diego, the University of California San Francisco, Johns Hopkins, Merck Research Laboratories, the University of Rochester, the University Wisconsin and the University of Calgary will present their latest findings at what promises to be an event of unqualified academic excellence.
Continuing education credits are available. To view the agenda for the symposium, visit http://njms.umdnj.edu/research/symposium/index.cfm
UMDNJ is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,700 students attending the state’s three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates a University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, plus University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and an addiction services network.