Brain Health Breakthroughs:
 Good News for Service Members, Students and Seniors

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Center for BrainHealth founder and chief director. Dr. Sandra Chapman, UC Berkeley's Dr. Mark D'Esposito, and retired U.S. Navy SEAL, Lt. Morgan Luttrell, led "Brain Health Breakthroughs: Good News for Service Members, Students and Seniors" at the inaugural Congressional Neuroscience Caucus briefing co-chaired by Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, on Thursday, March 19, 2015 in Washington D.C.

Helping spur the important discussion of our nation's brain health and the objectives necessary to make headway were two of the brain health movement's most stuanch supporters, Congressmen Earl Blumenauer and Pete Sessions.

"There is no more important area of inquiry and involvement than dealing with the many facets of neuroscience," said Rep. Blumenauer. "It touches every single family... neuroscience disorders are the leading cause of disability [and yet, n]euroscience actually is one of the few areas we haven't been able to show the remarkable progress that we've seen fighting cancer, or heart disease... It's not for a lack of trying and it's not because there aren't some good things going on, and more that we can do."

Fellow Texan, Rep. Pete Sessions affirmed the "incredible strides [we] have taken to improve cognitive brain performance in former members of our military, as well as students and seniors" and his pride in having "such an innovative and cutting-edge facility in the 32nd Congressional District."

After being introduced by Rep. Sessions, Dr. Chapman didn't waste any time, sharing the latest cognitive neuroscience discoveries, which reveal there are ways to improve brain health in people of all ages and stages. She went on to share the tremendous efforts Center for BrainHealth researchers have taken to improve cognitive brain performance in service members and veterans, students and seniors, with great focus on the Center's high performance cognitive training program designed to enhance brain processes such as mental flexibility, innovation, problem-solving, reasoning and strategic thinking.

As brain health among military service members has risen to the forefront of our national discourse, advanced reasoning skills in American students continue to fall behind those of other developed countries, and cognitive brain performance peaking, on average, in the early 40s of healthy adults, no cause is going to be more globally urgent, more beneficial, nor as staggeringly complex as discovering ways to build healthy brain function.

Speakers included:

Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., is the Founder and Chief Director of the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas, Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair, and Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. She is actively studying and discovering informative pathways to improve brain function and cognitive performance in health, injury and disease. As a cognitive neuroscientist with more than 40 funded research grants, Chapman collaborates with scientists around the world to solve some of the most important issues concerning the brain and its health.

Mark D’Esposito, M.D. is a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology and Director of the Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. Brain Imaging Center at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Director of the Neurorehabilitation Unit at the Northern California VA Health Care System and Adjunct Professor of Neurology at UCSF. He has authored over 300 research publications as well as six books on the topics of behavioral neurology and cognitive neuroscience.

Lt. Morgan Luttrell is a retired United States Navy SEAL. After nine combat deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, he enrolled at The University of Texas at Dallas to pursue an advanced degree in applied cognitive neuroscience.

This is one briefing in a series of Congressional Neuroscience Caucus Briefings that seek to promote a better understanding of how the brain develops, functions, and ages. The Caucus also seeks to raise awareness about the millions of Americans afflicted with neurological disorders or mental illnesses.

Watch the full briefing here:

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