brain

There's news today that the late, great comedian Robin Williams had Parkinson disease. We may never know whether that influenced his decision to take his own life. But I thought I'd take this opportunity to let you know a bit more about the disease - in particular the depression that can accompany it - and the resources available in Rhode Island.

The state health department has announced more funding for a home visiting program for families and children at risk. The Healthy Families America program aims to prevent child maltreatment before it starts.                                                        

For babies, healthy brain development is like a tennis game. A caregiver "serves" up an interaction, like a facial expression, a coo, or a word, and the infant "returns" that serve, imitating the expression or sound.

I reported recently on the growth of brain science in Rhode Island, mentioning some of the many scientists, doctors, and institutes involved and some of the diseases they're hoping to tackle.

But of course, as with any story, I learned much more in the course of my reporting than I was able to include. Here are a few more neuroscience highlights in the Ocean State:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This month, the University of Rhode Island launched a new neuroscience research institute, where researchers will focus on fighting Alzheimer’s and other diseases. It’s the fourth such program to hang out a shingle in the state. This growing community could eventually help more Rhode Islanders battle some of the most debilitating diseases.

(Neurons firing)

This is what it sounds like when you think about opening and closing your hand.

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