Anjelica Huston Urges Family Communication About Brain Disorders

On July 12, Oscar(TM)-winner Anjelica Huston inaugurated an innovative traveling exhibit on a topic with deep personal meaning for her — the brain and its disorders — at the Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building.

“BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head” explores the development, geography and function of the human body’s most essential and fascinating organ. In the process, the exhibit also makes brain-based diseases and disorders easier to understand.

Because Ms. Huston has family and close friends who have struggled with dyslexia and myriad brain-related illnesses, the internationally acclaimed actor and director is committed to helping demystify and destigmatize all brain-based conditions.

“Whether we’re talking about dyslexia or depression, Alzheimer’s or anxiety disorders, it’s important for people to know that brain-based conditions have a physical cause and that treatments are available,” said Ms. Huston, who said she is “excited to be participating in this groundbreaking effort.”

“By talking openly and honestly in our families about these conditions, we can help remove the stigmas that have become associated with them,” she said.

A Groundbreaking Exhibit using virtual reality, video games, optical illusions and interactive displays, “BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head” is a hands-on, up-close and personal look at how the brain functions and how it, like other parts of the body, can sometimes malfunction.

“‘BRAIN’ is an exciting educational experience that parents will want to share with their children,” said the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Science, J. Dennis O’Connor. “From the moment visitors walk into the exhibit — right through the electrical workings of a recreated functioning brain — they will be amazed by this groundbreaking presentation of important scientific information.”

The exhibit was made possible by Pfizer Inc. and was produced by BBH Inc. in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health.

“The National Institutes of Health is delighted to be playing a role in this innovative, interactive exhibit at the Smithsonian. ‘BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head’ will provide a first-hand opportunity for millions of adults and children across the country to learn and understand more about the brain, one of science’s most exciting and challenging fields of research,” said Ruth Kirschstein, M.D., acting director of the National Institutes of Health, which is celebrating 50 years of brain research this year.

“BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head,” will travel to 15 major science centers and natural history museums nationwide on a five-year tour through January 2007.

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