Press releases

Semaine du Cerveau 2015 (Brain Awareness Week 2015): 16–22 March

11 Mar 2015 | By INSERM (Newsroom) | Uncategorized

The 16th edition of Brain Awareness Week will take place in France and in 62 countries around the world from 16 to 22 March 2015. Throughout this week, members of the public can meet researchers from Inserm to gain a better understanding of the brain and learn about the latest research developments in this area. This week will enable the public to better understand how the brain works and what happens when it malfunctions, to discover techniques for exploring it, and to learn about the new technologies used to “repair” it.

The inaugural conference, “Comprendre et manipuler le cerveau par la lumière” (Using light to understand and manipulate the brain), will be held in Paris:

on Monday 16 March at 6:30 pm in the auditorium of the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (ICM), Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital, 47 Bd de l’Hôpital, Paris 13th Arrondissement

Registration: gro.etutitsni-mci@uaevrecudeniames

In the company of:

Roland Salesse, coordinator of Brain Awareness Week

Alexis Brice, General Manager of the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (ICM)

Jean-Marie Laurent, President of the French Federation for Brain Research (FRC)

Researchers from Inserm will be involved in many regional events organised in over 32 towns and cities in France:

See the complete programme on the French Neuroscience Society website

Etienne-Hirsch-portraitEtienne Hirsch

Director of Aviesan’s Thematic Institute for Neurosciences, Cognitive Sciences, Neurology and Psychiatry, sets out the challenges for brain research


What are the scientific challenges for brain research?

Our nervous system is made up of 100 billion neurons, which are interconnected by millions of kilometres of connectors (the axons). The number of contacts formed between the neurons is of the order of 10,000–100,000 billion.

The main challenge for the neurosciences is to analyse and integrate the complexity inherent to all levels of the nervous system’s organisation, so as to understand the neural basis for the higher cognitive functions and behaviours.

What are the medical challenges for brain research?

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that diseases of the nervous system represent over a third of all diseases in wealthy countries. In Europe, 380 million people are directly affected by these diseases. Thus 23% of healthy life years are lost following brain diseases, as well as 50% of life years in poorer health.

Understanding the causes, mechanisms and physiopathological processes underlying neurological and psychiatric and sensory organ diseases is therefore an essential step in developing symptomatic or curative treatments for these diseases.

Press Contact

Sur les sujets de recherche en lien avec le cerveau – Inserm
Gabrielle Mérite / Juliette Hardy 01 44 23 60 73 rf.mresni@esserp

Sur les événements de la semaine du cerveau – Société des neurosciences
Alexia Belleville 06 62 10 33 69 rf.secneicsoruen-eteicos@ellivelleb.aixela