This week "Agência FAPESP" website featured a text on a research about how dream reporting may help diagnose schizophrenia. The research is conducted by Professor Sidarta Ribeiro, a neuroscientist and director of the Brain Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), who is also one of the researchers linked to the RIDC NeuroMat. Schizophrenic patients may present psychosis, loss of contact with reality that causes delusions, hallucinations and incoherent speech, among other symptoms. The diagnosis of these patients, however, can take six months to be closed and can be reviewed several times throughout their lives by different specialists, since there are no biomarkers to attest this mental disorder. "What we measure today to diagnose schizophrenia are the patients' responses in a questionnaire. Although important, this method is highly subjective. Therefore, patients with schizophrenia are treated in a variety of ways, by multiple methods and usually with combinations of drugs", said Sidarta." Agência FAPESP website, 08/2018. (In Portuguese.)
This month RIDC NeuroMat was covered by Pesquisa FAPESP magazine, this time on how comic books gain prominence in science dissemination. "The Arms of Nildo and Rony" is a NeuroMat HQ that guides patients with brachial plexus injury, which is a set of nerves responsible for the communication between the brain and the upper limbs. The story recounts the meeting of a biker, Nildo, who had a motorcycle accident, and a physician doctor, Rony, who was shot in an armed robbery. Both of them damage the brachial plexus and have partial loss of arm movements. "The goal is to inform patients and families about this disease, which leaves sequels even after surgery," explained Antonio Galves, NeuroMat coordinator and scriptwriter of the HQ. "We investigated this disease because it is a good model for studying the plasticity of the human brain." Pesquisa FAPESP magazine, 07/2018. (In Portuguese.)
Research institutions have looked for alternatives to make science more accessible. A work at the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (NeuroMat), located at USP, relies on creativity and chooses Wikipedia as a resource for scientific dissemination. Jornal da USP, 06/12/2018. (In Portuguese.)
Nildo and Rony are the main characters of a special comics book, aiming at providing guidance to patients with a brachial plexus injury and their caregivers. The comics book was produced in the context of ABRAÇO --the NeuroMat Action on the Brachial Plexus Injury. Bruna Caetano, Jornal da USP website, 06/14/2018. (In Portuguese)
Momento USP Inovação has interviewed NeuroMat's director, Antonio Galves, on the research agenda the center has advanced. Galves has commented on the association between neurobiology and mathematics, the main topic areas of the center. According to him, mathematics are key to formulate the questions that neurobiology puts forward and to understand brain functioning. Jornal da USP, 6/6/2018. (In Portuguese)
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