Neuroscience research in Ghana

Brain model (image by Agbajogu Emeka)

Neuroscience deals with the study of the structure and functions of the nervous system and its disorders. The brain, which is part of the nervous system, regulates many activities such as reasoning, speaking, walking and learning. Some of the disorders of the brain include dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, depression, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain.

Diseases related to the nervous system such as stroke are among the top causes of death in Ghana. This health issue calls for extensive research by trained neuroscientists to generate experimental and clinical data to support and direct healthcare interventions.

A recent systematic review published in the Metabolic Brain Disease journal has identified that there are limited data on experimental and clinical neuroscience research in Ghana. The study reviewed about 127 research articles published by authors affiliated to Ghanaian institutions from 1995 to 2015. Most of the research work identified by the authors were mostly hospital or community based surveys. Neurocognitive impairments in non-nervous system disorders, depression and suicide, epilepsy and seizures, neurological impact of substance misuse, and neurological disorders were among the most active research areas.

Based on the findings of the study, the authors recommended that “future investigations should focus on the following specific areas where information was lacking: large-scale disease epidemiology, effectiveness of diagnostic platforms and therapeutic treatments, and the genetic, genomic and molecular bases of diseases”

Authors of the study were Emmanuel Quansah of the School of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Ghana; and Thomas Karikari of the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK.

Read more: Neuroscience-related research in Ghana: a systematic evaluation of direction and capacity

Digital Reporter: Aaron Amankwaa, Editor

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