MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI) had two state senators stop by for a tour, one from West Virginia and the other from Ohio.
Sen. Ryan Weld, from West Virginia, and Sen. Frank Hoagland, who represents southeast Ohio, met with RNI employees and received insight on some of the groundbreaking work that they are doing in the field of neuroscience. One of those innovations is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), which they’re studying in hopes of treating addiction and drug cravings.
RNI and the state senators said the tour was important because it was helping to develop a much-needed relationship. Dr. Clay Marsh the vice president and executive dean for health sciences at WVU Medicine said the addiction problem in both states is bad.
“This is really about a collaborative opportunity between two bordering states where their populations are having a tremendous amount of problems from the opioid epidemic and from the issue with suicides and overdose,” Marsh said. “We believe that working together collaboratively, we can be better than working separately so I think this was a really amazing day to look at how we can partner in the right way.”
Marsh said the problem is larger than the two states but that this collaboration could help them be part of the solution for curing drug addiction everywhere. They have amazing people at RNI, Marsh said, who are changing the study of the brain and they’re doing so with a world-class facility.
Sen. Frank Hoagland, from Ohio, said that he thought the collaboration would be extremely positive because he said it would mean that they are working faster toward finding a solution. He compared the infancy of the collaboration and its potential to the birth of a child.
“It’s like look we’ve got a new child that’s coming in right now, all we’ve got to do is just feed it and take care of it and we’ll get it going and it’s going to end up taking care of itself,” Hoagland.
Other than TMS for treating addiction, some of the other research that RNI will be looking into is treating aging and chronic pain with brain stimulations.