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Home » Spring Behrouz: The Dynamic Future of Neuroscience (Full Transcript)

Spring Behrouz: The Dynamic Future of Neuroscience (Full Transcript)

Neuroscientist Dr. Spring Behrouz discusses The Dynamic Future of Neuroscience at TEDxJacksonville conference (Transcript)

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: the-dynamic-future-of-neuroscience-by-spring-behrouz-at-tedxjacksonville


We start in the future. The year is 2034. Alex has just come home. It’s his birthday, he turns 61 years old today. He comes home and before he puts his keys into the door to open the door, he remembers something. He lets his arms dangle to his side for a moment. No shaking, no resting tremor. Moves his arms up and down. No rigidity, no signs of Parkinson’s disease. He remembers when his mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when she was just 50 years old, much younger than he is today. And he remembers her frustrations with simple tasks like putting the keys in the door or even dressing herself.

He also remembers the day that he found out that he, just like his mom, carries a genetic mutation that makes it more likely for him to get the disease. Now, he shakes it off, opens the door, and goes inside and a loud noise of “Surprise!” greets him as his friends and family cheer and celebrate his birthday. His wife hands him a glass of champagne and everyone raises a toast, “To Alex!” He smiles to himself. Another year gone, and no sign of Parkinson’s disease. The drugs are working. He secretly raises a toast to the warriors, the champions, who changed his fate.

Now, let’s rewind, 10 years. The year is 2024. The new Parkinson’s disease drug has just received FDA approval after showing great promise in clinical trials. Not just in masking the symptoms of the disease, like the previous drugs, but actually stopping the progressive degeneration. This drug is nothing short of a miracle taking less than ten years; usually, the time line of drug development is long, over 15 years, and even then, a very high failure rate. This time, it was much faster.

This time, there were tools that predicted interactions and successes and avoided a sea of failed studies and negative data. Alex is still asymptomatic, but brain scans show there’s already some degeneration in his brain. He starts treatment immediately to avoid further damage.

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