Integrative Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary endeavour to build unified models of the brain from the various disciplines within the neurosciences. It is an effort to break down the boundaries and encourage a freer exchange of information across disciplines and scales. The highly jargonised world of science can often mean that findings from one area of science are completely incomprehensible to another. However, it is crucial that efforts are made to consolidate the knowledge from various streams within the brain sciences. From the micro-scale findings to the macro-scale findings, integrative neuroscience deeply informs clinical research and practice. It means that when a patient is diagnosed with a brain disease, we can typify the genetic, neurological, social and environmental influences on his/her condition. It is a form of diagnosis and treatment that has never existed before.
While two brains may perform the same function, the way in which they do it is never the same. Statistically it is almost impossible for the underlying connections of any two brains to be exactly the same. What does this mean? Well, it means that no two brains react to the same actions or events in the same way. You may jump out from a hiding place and scream “boo” at your best friend who freezes in fright, while someone else might react more aggressively. Similarly, if you administer a neuroactive drug to two different people, the effects can be dramatically different. That is why some patients who are prescribed medication for a brain disorder may get better, while other patients may have little or no reaction to the same drug. You will often find that Psychiatrists, neurologists and other clinicians will personalise treatments for patients. Whether the treatment is behavioural, cognitive or pharmacological, nearly all treatments must be personalized. These treatments can only become better when more people share their experience and knowledge of personalized medicine. So what is your story?