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All fun and BRAIN games: Looking back on May

May 2023 was a busy month for the BRAIN Unit, from science talks science to hosting the highly anticipated BRAIN games, with primary school attendees from across Cardiff.  Read on to find out more.


Science with a pint: hearts and minds research

On May 5th, BRAIN researchers Professor Anne Rosser and Dr Emma Lane hosted a ‘Hearts and Minds’ event in Radyr Golf Club. Attendees had the opportunity to hear about the latest research and clinical developments in neurological diseases and cardiology and take part in demonstrations. The night saw some amazing talks, including one from Dr John Huish who talked about the history of cardiology. Interventional radiologist, Chris Williams brought a range of stents for attendees to try and deploy, as well as rat brain sections which were stained to reveal dopaminergic transplants – displayed under a microscope!


Exploring the effects of samba on neuroplasticity in Parkinson’s disease

May 13th saw Parkinson’s researchers from Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea come together to host simultaneous events, along with the Wales Research Interest group. One of the events was funded by the Dementia Research Institute and the BRAIN involve group, both based in the Hadyn Ellis Building (HEB) at Cardiff University. Around 100 people with Parkinson’s and their family members came to HEB to hear about the latest research in Parkinson’s disease and see the launch of an all-new samba group for people with Parkinson’s: ‘SParky Samba’.

‘SParky Samba’ aims to develop strong community bonds between those with lived experience of Parkinson’s as well as explore the benefits of Samba percussion in promoting neuroplasticity. It is facilitated by a local Cardiff-based Afro Brazilian percussion band named Barracwda. You can find out more about SParky Samba by following them on Twitter.


Promoting equality and diversity in research

Dr Emma Lane was invited to speak at two events hosted by the Equality Diversion Inclusion in Research (EDIRA) project group on 12th and 19th May. EDIRA aims to create an inclusive research framework, developing guidance using the perspectives of underserved communities and supporting the work of professionals from various Communities of Practice.


Another year, another BRAIN Games for primary pupils

On May 19th, 4 Cardiff primary schools visited two of Cardiff University’s research facilities: Spark and CUBRIC to learn more about brain research and take part in a variety of fun brain-related activities.