All potentialities in the development of brain sciences must be realized in Cuba

All potentialities in the development of brain sciences must be realized in Cuba
Fecha de publicación: 
18 April 2022
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Havana, April 18 (RHC)-- The state of neurosciences and neurotechnologies in our country was the focus of a new meeting between Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and Cuban academics, an exchange led by Deputy Prime Minister Inés María Chapman Waugh and attended by the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya.

Some of the strategic objectives of the development of neurosciences and neurotechnologies in Cuba are to generate products and services of neurotechnologies with high added value, and to contribute to mitigate the effects of population aging with the introduction of these in all their facets, but the truth is that, more than "objectives", they are becoming a reality.

The progress of these "brain sciences" on the island is always surprising, although their founders insist on emphasizing less on what has been done and more on what remains to be done and on the enormous potentialities that have been created as part of Fidel's luminous conception that Cuba must be a country of women and men of science.

Summarizing the wide-ranging debate held, as usual with scientists, Díaz-Canel said that the session had been a great contribution, but if anything was clear, he said, that there is much to work on and organize in everything that is being done to realize all the potential that the country has in this field.


Doctor of Science Mitchell Joseph Valdés Sosa, member of the Cuban Academy of Sciences and director of the Neurosciences Center, was in charge of the presentation of what we are doing in a discipline in which there is -he said- a worldwide explosion of research, with the accelerated development of cognitive, social and affective neurosciences, neuroinformatics, neuro-physics, brain mapping, neuro-genetics, neuro-pharmacology, and many other areas.

"Neurotechnologies are beginning to develop today as biotechnology did in the 1980s," said the iconic scientist, who along with his brother Pedro Antonio and a host of other neuroscience luminaries, both in Havana and in other provinces, have been predicting these processes, unstoppable in the face of the revolutionary force of these sciences and technologies.

"In the last decade there has been an increase of more than 200 percent in the number of patents in these disciplines, as a result of increased investments and the acceleration of innovation," he added.

In Cuba, meanwhile - he further noted - in 2020 the National Neurosciences and Neurotechnologies Program was approved, taking the positive experiences of the National Program for the Creation of a National Platform for Research plus Development (R&D) in Neurotechnology and the Cuban Program for Brain Dysfunctions and Brain Mapping (2019).

He recalled in this regard that the program is made up of 27 R&D plus innovation projects involving 24 institutions from Biocubafarma, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Education. The program itself involves more than a dozen centers, national groups and networks.

Dr. Valdés Sosa made a tour of some of the Cuban neurotechnological products, such as Audix, Infantix, Estereoflex, Neuroplanus and NeuroEPO; and commented, among other issues, on the international collaboration we have in these sciences, such as the Cuba-China-Canada Brain Project.

The Director of the Neurosciences Center analyzed in the dissertation the strategic objectives of the development of Neurosciences and Neurotechnologies in Cuba, as well as the main problems they have and the proposed solutions.

He approached each topic from a holistic point of view and assuming that, in this field, Cuban scientists "we have to be part of the solutions and not part of the problems".


Arguing results and practical needs to be solved by neurosciences and neurotechnologies in Cuba, Doctor of Sciences Francisco Calixto Machado Curbelo, Second Degree Specialist of the Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery and member of the Academy of Sciences, highlighted the country's capabilities to incorporate neuromonitors in intensive care wards.

In acute and critical care, he said, it is vital to provide neurological follow-up to the patient. When atrial fibrillation occurs, there is cerebral hypoxia, he exemplified, and we have to "see it".

In intensive therapies around the world, however, doctors are "blind" to what is happening in the brain, and this type of equipment should be part of the Cuban monitoring panels in those rooms.

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