Brain Health Expo Educates and Entertains Visitors
Samuel Merritt University (SMU) hosted a Brain Health Expo —“Get to Know Your Brain!” — on Saturday, March 16. The event was free and open to the public, with hands-on activities and lectures about the many facets of the human body’s most complex organ.
Associate Professor Dr. Barbara Puder, founder of the SMU Brain Awareness Program and organizer of the event, kicked off the Expo with a welcome and a presentation about “Your Amazing Brain,” which gave a general overview of brain areas and their functions, and emphasized keeping your brain healthy by doing mentally challenging activities yourself throughout your lifetime for optimal brain health.
The event at the Health Education Center featured informative talks by guest speakers: “Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury” by Dr. Michael DeRosa, chair of the Physician Assistant Program; “Ways to Help Your Brain Remember,” by Occupational Therapy Professor Dr. Guy McCormack; and “Stress Effects and Practical Stress Reduction” by Dr. Frank Staggers Jr., medical director of the Berkeley Addiction Treatment Center.
During the daylong event, attendees visited an “Inside the Brain” lab, where they viewed and touched a real human brain and spinal cord. OT students were on hand to answer questions and provide information about the specimens.
The Bechtel Room was filled with other hands-on exhibits and informational displays about subjects including brain protection, Parkinson’s disease and sleeping positions. Students presented their work and discussed their findings with visitors.
“This event was a fun, educational way to instruct the community about the brain and nervous system, and provided helpful suggestions on ways to keep the brain healthy and active throughout a lifetime,” said Puder.