For funding to keep pace with the field's progress, researchers work to keep the public aware of their discipline's achievements

When the Society for Neuroscience meets this week in St. Louis, the group's 18,000 members will have their first opportunity to reflect on the first year of the Decade of the Brain, a designation given the 1990s by Congress and President Bush in recognition of the need to better understand mental and neurological disorders. About 50 million people in the United States suffer from such maladies at an annual cost of $305 billion in treatment, care, and lost productivity.

Although those numbers aren't about to shrink, scientists are cheering the field's progress. It's estimated that 90 percent of what is known about the nervous system has been learned during the past 10 years. That knowledge has provided many clues about how the brain works and has firmly established a biological...

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