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UTHealth experts will explain how to stay mentally sharp at a free public forum April 13

Photo of UTHealth researchers (Photo by UTHealth)
UTHealth researchers will share tips on how to keep that “grey matter” fit at a free forum. (Photo by UTHealth)

Your brain may stop developing in your 20s but there are ways to keep it sharp over the course of your life, according to brain experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

They will discuss the keys to mental sharpness at a free, open to the public, panel discussion from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 13 at the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center at 7440 Cambridge St. To register, visit the 2019 Neuroscience Public Forum page.

Now in its 24th year, the UTHealth Neuroscience Research Center’s annual public forum is held in conjunction with Brain Awareness Week. This year’s theme is “Maintaining Brain Health Across the Life Span.”

“We’re going to cover the whole spectrum of brain health from the young years to the elderly years and everything in between,” said John “Jack” Byrne, PhD, director of the Neuroscience Research Center, June and Virgil Waggoner Chair, and professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

If you have young children, you will learn how to foster their intellectual development, he said. There will also be advice for people entering their golden years.

“The purpose of the forum is to inform the public about advances in brain research and understanding brain disorders,” said Byrne, noting the brain has been described as one of the final frontiers in science because much about it remains a mystery.

Often compared to a vast computer network, your brain is comprised of billions of nerve cells, or neurons, which relay information throughout the body.

The 2019 panel of UTHealth experts include:


Thomas D. Meyer, PhD, associate professor, director of Psychological Intervention & Research Program on Mood Spectrum Disorders, and co-director of the UTHealth Brain Collection for Research in Psychiatric Disorders at McGovern Medical School


Jennifer Beauchamp, PhD, RN, associate professor, Nancy B. Willerson Distinguished Professor in Nursing, and director of the UTHealth Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences Biobank at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth

Summer Ott, PsyD, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at McGovern Medical School and director of the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute Concussion Program

Joy Schmitz, PhD, professor, Louis A. Faillace, M.D. Professor, and director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addictions at McGovern Medical School

Paul Schulz, MD, professor, Umphrey Family Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases, Rick McCord Professor in Neurology, and director of Dementia and Memory Disorders Center at McGovern Medical School and an attending physician at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center

The panelists will take questions from audience members. The annual Neuroscience Public Forum is one of the largest public neuroscience outreach events held in Houston, allowing hundreds of members of the Houston community to interact with scientists and clinicians as well as view demonstrations and displays related to brain function and health.

The UTHealth Neuroscience Research Center supports a broad range of basic scientific research, which aims to uncover the fundamentals of brain function and activity, to clinical and translational projects, which aim to define, treat, and prevent brain-related disorders. 

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