Baltimore's Brain Gain

African American brains remain “the submerged part of the iceberg” in neuroscience.

A new effort launched in Baltimore this week aims to fill this “gaping hole in medicine:” understanding how brain diseases manifest among African Americans, a hugely underrepresented demographic in neuroscience.

Schizophrenia risk, for example, can be predicted with 20% accuracy among European descendants, but less than 5% among African Americans.

Based at the nonprofit Lieber Institute for Brain Development at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, this new effort also partners with Baltimore’s black clergy to foster trust in a project where brains are donated by next of kin.   


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