National Academies Press: OpenBook

Discovering the Brain (1992)

Chapter: Proclamation

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Suggested Citation:"Proclamation." Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1785.
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Proclamation

Suggested Citation:"Proclamation." Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1785.
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This page in the original is blank.
Suggested Citation:"Proclamation." Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1785.
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PROCLAMATIONS

No. 6158

Proclamation 6158 of July 17, 1990

Decade of the Brain, 1990–1999

55 F.R. 29553

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The human brain, a 3-pound mass of interwoven nerve cells that controls our activity, is one of the most magnificent—and mysterious—wonders of creation. The seat of human intelligence, interpreter of senses, and controller of movement, this incredible organ continues to intrigue scientist and layman alike.

Over the years, our understanding of the brain—how it works, what goes wrong when it is injured or diseased—has increased dramatically. However, we still have much more to learn. The need for continued study of the brain is compelling: millions of Americans are affected each year by disorders of the brain ranging from neurogenetic diseases to degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer 's, as well as stroke, schizophrenia, autism, and impairments of speech, language, and hearing.

Today, these individuals and their families are justifiably hopeful, for a new era of discovery is dawning in brain research. Powerful microscopes, major strides in the study of genetics, and advanced brain imaging devices are giving physicians and scientists ever greater insight into the brain. Neuroscientists are mapping the brain's biochemical circuitry, which may help produce more effective drugs for alleviating the suffering of those who have Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. By studying how the brain's cells and chemicals develop, interact, and communicate with the rest of the body, investigators are also developing improved treatments for people incapacitated by spinal cord injuries, depressive disorders, and epileptic seizures. Breakthroughs in molecular genetics show great promise of yielding methods to treat and prevent Huntington 's disease, the muscular dystrophies, and other life-threatening disorders.

Research may also prove valuable in our war on drugs, as studies provide greater insight into how people become addicted to drugs and how drugs affect the brain. These studies may also help produce effective treatments for chemical dependency and help us to understand and prevent the harm done to the preborn children of pregnant women who abuse drugs and alcohol. Because there is a connection between the body's nervous and immune systems, studies of the brain may also help enhance our understanding of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Many studies regarding the human brain have been planned and conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and other Federal research agencies. Augmenting Federal efforts are programs supported by private foundations and industry. The cooperation between these agencies and the multidisciplinary efforts of thousands of scientists and health care professionals provide powerful evidence of our Nation's determination to conquer brain disease.

To enhance public awareness of the benefits to be derived from brain research, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 174, has designated the

Suggested Citation:"Proclamation." Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1785.
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decade beginning January 1, 1990, as the “Decade of the Brain” and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.

PROCLAMATIONS

No. 6159

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the decade beginning January 1, 1990, as the Decade of the Brain. I call upon all public officials and the people of the United States to observe that decade with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.

Suggested Citation:"Proclamation." Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1785.
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Page 165
Suggested Citation:"Proclamation." Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1785.
×
Page 166
Suggested Citation:"Proclamation." Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1785.
×
Page 167
Suggested Citation:"Proclamation." Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1785.
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Page 168
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Discovering the Brain Get This Book
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The brain ...

There is no other part of the human anatomy that is so intriguing. How does it develop and function and why does it sometimes, tragically, degenerate?

The answers are complex. In Discovering the Brain, science writer Sandra Ackerman cuts through the complexity to bring this vital topic to the public.

The 1990s were declared the "Decade of the Brain" by former President Bush, and the neuroscience community responded with a host of new investigations and conferences. Discovering the Brain is based on the Institute of Medicine conference, Decade of the Brain: Frontiers in Neuroscience and Brain Research.

Discovering the Brain is a "field guide" to the brain—an easy-to-read discussion of the brain's physical structure and where functions such as language and music appreciation lie. Ackerman examines:

  • How electrical and chemical signals are conveyed in the brain.
  • The mechanisms by which we see, hear, think, and pay attention—and how a "gut feeling" actually originates in the brain.
  • Learning and memory retention, including parallels to computer memory and what they might tell us about our own mental capacity.
  • Development of the brain throughout the life span, with a look at the aging brain.

Ackerman provides an enlightening chapter on the connection between the brain's physical condition and various mental disorders and notes what progress can realistically be made toward the prevention and treatment of stroke and other ailments.

Finally, she explores the potential for major advances during the "Decade of the Brain," with a look at medical imaging techniques—what various technologies can and cannot tell us—and how the public and private sectors can contribute to continued advances in neuroscience.

This highly readable volume will provide the public and policymakers—and many scientists as well—with a helpful guide to understanding the many discoveries that are sure to be announced throughout the "Decade of the Brain."

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