Next week several hundred neuroscientists, medical experts, entrepreneurs, and policy makers will gather in Los Angeles to discuss the impact of brain research advances and neurotechnology breakthroughs during the annual World Congress for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics.
These breakthroughs range from external brain stimulation devices, to emerging methods to detect Alzheimer’s and dementia long before the appearance of symptoms, to internal brain prosthetics that help control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Another major breakthrough that is accelerating the pace of brain research is the falling cost of sequencing the human genome. As we described in this article, the cost of whole genome sequencing will probably fall to less than $300 in the next several years, making it viable for millions of people to know substantial information about their individual genetic makeup.
Lack of Brain Industry Standards is a Stumbling Block
A stumbling block that will need to be addressed in the lack of agreed standards between brain industry professions, and even within professions. As an example, after 100 years there still isn’t a standardized way to describe specific areas of the human brain, or how memory tests are administered.
A lack of standards makes it much more difficult to glean useful insights from research and data when “short term memory” doesn’t have an agreed upon definition, or when EEG recordings are dependent on the placement and number of electrodes.
Professional conferences like this one can begin to address industry standards, but it will likely take a cross-discipline, international effort over several years to move researchers and medical companies to a coherent standards approach.
More information and registration: 12th Annual World Congress for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics