Along Newell Drive on the University of Florida campus, at the bottom of a rare steep slope in Gainesville, stands an imposing, six-story structure in which minds of great intelligence study the mind, hoping to make life better — or longer — for those suffering from mental illness or injury.
More specifically, research in the 200,000-square-foot building, the McKnight Brain Institute, focuses on memory loss from age or injuries to the brain or spinal cord; brain tumors; drug addiction; and diseases that cause brain degeneration, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.
Developing solutions for these general categories and their multitudes of sub-problems is a Rubik’s Cube of colossal proportion, and research is further complicated, experts say, by the secrets of their causes and even the brain itself.
“The brain is the least understood organ in the human body. I consider it the last frontier of medicine,” Dr. Tetsuo Ashizawa, the institute’s executive director, wrote to Our Town in an email. “In the next decade, further inventions of new technologies, discoveries of new neurobiological mechanisms, and integration of different disciplines and knowledge will advance neurosciences to open the mystery of the brain little by little.”
Read the full story in Our Town magazine.
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