Each year, the University of New Hampshire’s Global Education Center awards competitive grants for faculty to enhance their international engagement and development. The Center recently selected Dr. Daniel Seichepine, assistant professor of psychology and neuropsychology, to receive one of the International Development Grants.
Seichepine will use the grant to travel to Paraná, Brazil, this spring to hold a weeklong course on neurodegenerative disorders at the Irati campus of the Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste. A clinical neuropsychologist, Seichepine will teach undergraduate students about Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease found in athletes, veterans and others who’ve experienced repetitive brain trauma.
Dementia currently affects 47 million people across the globe, and this number is expected to reach more than 130 million by 2050. Increasing age is the single greatest predictor of developing dementia, and Seichepine says Brazil has a rapidly aging population.
“The U.S. has seen our average lifespan increase by five years over the past four decades, compared to an increase of 13 years in Brazil,” Seichepine says. “Given this rapid increase in aging, Brazil is on the verge of a significant rise in dementia and the impacts it brings to healthcare and the economy.”
The Universidade Esadual do Centro-Oeste is a public university that is home to about 9,500 undergraduate students. Like UNH Manchester, its psychology program offers courses and research opportunities in neuroscience and neuropsychology. Seichepine worked with Plinio Toni, professor of neuropsychology and director of the Universidade’s Laboratory of Neuroscience, to develop his project proposal. While most courses at the Universidade are taught in Portuguese, Seichepine’s lecture will be part of Toni’s Clinical Psychology course which is being offered through their “English as a Medium of Instruction” program.
Seichepine’s primary goal is to create research collaborations and study abroad opportunities for students in the neuropsychology programs at both UNH Manchester and the Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste.