National Institutes of Health to sponsor joint Symposium
The Advocacy has just received news that the National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a group within the US National
Institutes of Health, is to be a sponsor of a joint International
Symposium in 2010. Titled “Brain, Blood and Iron: Advances in the Cell
Biology of Neurodegeneration,” the 2010 symposium in the US will bring
together our diverse community of researchers, clinicians and patients.
The two-day symposium will address the causes of brain cell death in neuroacanthocytosis and neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. The organizing committee -- headed by Dr. Ruth H. Walker (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NYC) and Professor Susan Hayflick (Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR) -- will convene world-leading experts in these diseases and in biological systems to explore these rare diseases.
Recent advances in NA research include the identification that a malfunction of autophagy (the body’s process that removes dangerous materials from cells) may be related to brain cell death in NA and NBIA. Discussion at the Fourth International Symposium in the UK identified this as an area of potential relevance to the field, given the potential functions of affected protein in membrane transport. The US symposium will offer the first opportunity for experts in autophagy to study these syndromes.
“I am delighted that the NINDS has determined that these rare diseases merit its support," Dr. Walker said. "This meeting provides a unique opportunity for experts in diverse fields to share information. This will also be an excellent opportunity for junior scientists to become involved in the field, as we plan to provide scholarships to facilitate their involvement."
Support for the symposium will be shared by the Advocacy for Neuroacanthocytosis Patients and the NBIA Disorders Association in Germany, Italy and the United States.