The Society for Neuroscience is conveniently holding its annual conference here in my hometown of San Diego this week. Earlier this afternoon, US Representative Patrick Kennedy gave a very honest and personal speech on how brain illnesses have affected his family, including his father’s (Senator Ted Kennedy) death from brain cancer, his own struggles with Bipolar disorder, and family members who have succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Rep. Kennedy is also very passionate about the struggles many US military service members face with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). He accurately notes that there really isn’t a national organized effort on solving major brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and TBI, and that ‘political science’ and neuroscience need to work together on a national plan that has political backing.
It will be interesting to see how Patrick Kennedy’s new brain advocacy endeavor, www.moonshot.org, evolves over the next year.