Brains on Tap: Researchers Head to Brewery for Parkinson’s Talk
Grab a cold one, pull up a chair and learn about brain health research in a relaxed format – that’s the idea behind Brains on Tap, a series of discussions hosted by Kent State’s Brain Health Research Institute and other partners.
The talks are an effort to take brain health research to the public and explain it in an accessible manner so that anyone can understand, said Michael Lehman, director of the Brain Health Research Institute (BHRI).
The first Brains on Tap will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, at Bell Tower Brewing Co., 310 Park Ave., Kent.
Brains on Tap was a discussion series originated by the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. When talk turned to bringing the in-person series back, post-pandemic, it was decided that the BHRI would take the lead on planning and hosting the events, Lehman said, as part of the institute’s commitment to community outreach.
This month’s topic will be “Parkinson’s Disease and Exercise: Biking to Retrain the Brain,” presented by Angela Ridgel, Ph.D., associate director of Kent State’s Brain Health Research Institute and professor of exercise science and physiology, and Aasef Shaikh, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine and a staff neurologist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
Since 2006, Ridgel has been researching the impact of tandem cycling on Parkinson’s patients and has received a patent for a therapeutic cycle she developed to help ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, known as the Speed Manipulated Adaptive Rehabilitation Therapy (SMART) Cycle. Read more about Ridgel’s research.
Shaikh and Ridgel are currently partners in a four-year grant funded by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, to create a third version of the SMART Cycle.
For their presentation, Shaikh will talk about Parkinson’s from a clinician’s perspective and Ridgel will discuss the impact of exercise on Parkinson’s.
Ridgel said the discussions are “very layperson friendly,” and are set up in a similar format to TED Talks.
Brains on Tap is presented in partnership with the BHRI, the Northeast Ohio Medical University, and WKSU/Ideastream Public Media. The talks are expected to take place quarterly.
Jeff St. Clair, WKSU radio host and reporter, will serve as emcee for Wednesday's event. The discussions are expected to be broadcast later as part of the Sound of Ideas, Ideastream Public Media's weekday morning news and information program focusing on Northeast Ohio.