Despite the extensive research efforts of academia and the pharmaceutical industry, progress in understanding and treating brain disorders has been disappointingly slow, indicating a need for new paradigms and perspectives. At the same time, the incidence of brain-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and autism continues to grow.
Effective treatment of brain disorders occurring over the lifespan requires a new perspective that incorporates recent research findings demonstrating the central role of nutrition in development, metabolic aspects of aging, as well as the cumulative impact of genes and toxic environmental exposures. While nutrition is a well-recognized factor in supporting brain development and function, the underlying mechanisms are just beginning to be identified.
NSU is the only university in the United States to launch a research Center focused on brain metabolism and the crucial roles of antioxidant and nutritional factors across the lifespan.
To meet this challenge, the B.R.A.I.N. Center at NSU will focus its research efforts on those metabolic pathways which support the unique functions and energy demands of the brain. This focus includes antioxidant requirements as well as the interconnecting pathways that support epigenetic regulation of gene expression.
Leveraging our unique collaborative expertise and combining basic and clinical research projects, the B.R.A.I.N. Center will develop novel nutraceutical and non-nutraceutical treatment approaches for a number of neurological disorders of high concern, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). as well as drug addiction.
Additionally, the B.R.A.I.N. Center will take a leadership role in providing neuro-metabolism and nutrition-related educational programs for healthcare professionals and the public. As illustrated below, this constellation of basic and applied clinical research, drug and nutraceutical development, along with educational engagement, will give the NSU’s B.R.A.I.N. Center a unique role in improving the quality of life for individuals suffering from brain disorders.