New frontiers in neuroscience: the environment and the brain

New frontiers in neuroscience: the environment and the brain
Lamberto Maffei, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa Italy
Milano, 7 luglio 2015

The environment and the brain are tied by an indissoluble bond.  The brain responds to the various stimuli it receives from the environment; without it, the brain loses function. I will discuss research studies on how the environment in some cases, as we know, can cause disease, but when properly modulated can also become therapy.  In the latter case, the physiological mechanisms include the production of mediators, neurotrophic factors, neurohormones, cytokines, etc., a whole pharmacology of endogenous molecules (Endogenous Pharmacology) that simulate the results obtained by the use of the same substances. I will also illustrate the environmental influences in adolescence, adulthood and senility, with particular reference to the favourable environmental factors during the early stages of senile dementia