BraYn stands for “Brainstorming Research Assembly for Young Neuroscientists”, and is an initiative which aims to create a congress specifically intended for young researchers under the age of 40 working in the field of Neuroscience. The main goal of the BraYn initiative is to organize a scientific conference attracting different laboratories across Italy and Europe where young researchers, especially PhD students and junior postdocs, can share their knowledge, skills and ideas to establish new collaborations between different research groups. We believe that the BraYn conference will boost the number of connections between laboratories across Italy and Europe, this improving the chance for potential collaborations. At the same time, by hosting and involving neuroscientists from abroad, our goal is to make the BraYn conference a flagship event for young European researchers.
Neuroimaging consists in using various techniques to image the structure, function, or physiology of the nervous system. It is subdivided into two main approaches: Structural imaging, which deals with the structure of the nervous system and the diagnosis of a large-scale intracranial disease (like tumors, multiple sclerosis lesions, stroke) and injuries (like traumatic brain injury); Functional imaging, which is used to diagnose metabolic diseases (like Alzheimer) and for neurological and cognitive psychology research as well as building brain-computer interfaces. The most commonly used techniques for neuroimaging are Computed tomography (CT), Diffuse optical imaging (DOI), Event-related optical signal (EROS), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), arterial spin labeling (ASL), Magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), Positron emission tomography (PET), Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and cranial or functional ultrasound imaging. In this session, we will discuss the use of the mentioned techniques, both alone and in combination, to help in understanding and/or detecting various aspects of neurological diseases.
Neuroinflammation describes the inflammatory response initiated in the central nervous system (CNS) by resident cells or triggered by infiltrating immune cells. Furthermore, in neurodegenerative disease it is evident that neuroinflammation is a key player in central nervous system dysfunction. The neuroinflammation session is mainly devoted to basic and clinical research in multiple sclerosis (MS), Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) and other inflammatory disorders of the CNS which have a significant impact on the lives of young adults. Even though the scientific discoveries of recent decades have improved the therapeutic approach of those disease, there are still open questions. The aim of the present session will be to explore the pathogenic mechanisms, the role of immune system in the autoimmune response, the roles of genetics and environment in the development of neuroinflammatory disease and examine options within the patient-centered approach. This and other aspects will be debated in the present session.
Neuro-oncology is an emerging field of investigation that studies nervous system tumors. As many of them can cause severe nervous system damage, neuro-oncology represents a trending research area in neuroscience, which may identify the molecular mechanisms involved in tumor pathogenesis. This would ultimately lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of life-threatening diseases such as glioma, medulloblastoma. These topics will be discussed in depth during the session.
Paediatric neuroscience is a branch studying neurodevelopment and its disorders. The session will focus on biological mechanisms underlying developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, including genetic disorders and their management and treatment implications.
Neurodegeneration is a key aspect of a large number of diseases characterized by progressive damage of the nervous system, which leads to irreversible neuronal death such as, but not limited to, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), tauopathies narcolepsy, depression and psychiatric disorders. PD is a slowly progressive syndrome that begins insidiously, gradually worsens in severity, and usually affects one side of the body before spreading to involve the other side. Rest tremor is often the first symptom recognized by the patient. But the illness sometimes begins with bradykinesia, and in some patients, tremor may never develop. AD is the most common type of dementia and it is an irreversible, neurodegenerative and progressive central nervous system disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and, eventually, other mental abilities. During the BraYn conference we will be updated on the more recent advances in the field.