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Brain Expo to educate, elaborate on cerebral health

Published 10:50pm Monday, March 11, 2013

MADISON – The Brain Health Expo at James Clemens High School will focus on the body’s most complex organ.

On March 14, the expo’s numerous exhibits and demonstrations will show relaxation techniques, mental stimulations, brain exercises, videos about the human body and cooking preparations for brain-healthy foods, like fish, vegetables and whole grains.

The public can tour from 5 to 6:20 p.m. Dr. Paul Nussbaum, clinical neuropsychologist and author of “Save Your Brain,” will speak at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Biomedical science teacher Leah McRae spearheaded the expo after dealing with difficult circumstances of relatives’ deaths from neurological diseases and brain cancers. Her immediate family members suffered with Parkinson Disease, depression, brain cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Researching the disorders, McRae gained better understanding of causes, symptoms and potential treatments. “I’m intrigued by all anatomical and physiological processes … within the human body,” McRae said.

Practically all James Clemens teachers and organizations are collaborating on the expo. Teachers are facilitating, but students are running it. McRae has assembled instructional tools to demonstrate neurotransmission and nerve impulse conduction.

Keynote speaker Nussbaum is president of Brain Health Center Inc. and an adjunct professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. For 25 years, Nussbaum has cared for patients with dementia, head injury and neuropsychiatric disorders.

McRae’s class for human body systems used stop-action animation for a video montage showing processes by the cell’s organelles. Staff from Madison Hospital Emergency Department will discuss the importance of wearing a helmet during sports events.

YMCA volunteers will teach yoga and meditation techniques. A track coach and students will demo cardiovascular exercises.

“I believe if we start now with many of Dr. Nussbaum’s suggestions, we may prolong or avoid certain brain disorders,” McRae said. As an educator, McRae wants James Clemens students to realize the need for collaboration.

During March 14-15, about 240 fourth-graders from Heritage and Mill Creek elementary schools will visit the expo, along with 388 seventh-graders from Liberty Middle School.

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