Arctic Peoples and Beyond: research opportunities in neuroscience and behaviour.
Duffy L, Bult-Ito A, Castillo M, Drew K, Harris M, Kuhn T, Ma Y, Schulte M, Taylor B, van Muelken M.
Int J Circumpolar Health. 2007 Jun;66(3):264-75.
OBJECTIVES: Arctic and northern peoples are spread across Alaska, Canada, Russia and the Scandinavian countries. Inhabiting a variety of ecosystems, these 4 million residents include Indigenous populations who total about 10% of the population. Although Arctic peoples have very diverse cultural and social systems, they have health issues related to environmental impacts and knowledge/treatment disparities that are common to other minority and Indigenous peoples around the world. Research that explores the neuroscience and behavioural aspects of these health disparities offers challenges and significant opportunities. As the next generation of neuroscientists enter the field, it is imperative that they view their contributions in terms of translational medicine to address health disparities. STUDY DESIGN: A workshop was designed to bring neuroscientists together to report on the current directions of neuroscience research and how it could impact health disparities in the North. This workshop produced research recommendations for the growth of neuroscience in the North. METHODS: On May 31, 2006 the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, the Arctic Division of AAAS and the University of Alaska co-sponsored a workshop entitled "Arctic Peoples and Beyond: Decreasing Health Disparities through Basic and Clinical Research." Also, the role and goals of the International Union for Circumpolar Health (IUCH) were presented at the meeting. RESULTS: A set of recommendations related to research opportunities in neuroscience and behaviour research and ways to facilitate national and international partnerships were developed. CONCLUSIONS: These recommendations should help guide the development of future health research in circumpolar neuroscience and behaviour. They provide ideas about research support and informational exchange that will address health challenges.