BRIGHT Open Day at Keneba Field Station

A Participant Open Day for the Brain Imaging for Global Health (BRIGHT) project was held at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM Keneba field station on Tuesday 10th April 2018. Over 70 mothers, fathers and infants were welcomed at the event representing every village from which the study has recruited participants.

The BRIGHT project is a multi-disciplinary study led by researchers from Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at LSHTM, University College London, Birkbeck, University of London, Kings College London, and Cambridge University Hospitals. Permanent staff are based both in UK and The Gambia assessment sites.

The BRIGHT study team and some of the participants

The BRIGHT project aims to understand early brain development by studying a cohort of 200 infants recruited in West Kiang, The Gambia, and 60 infants recruited in Cambridge, England. Mothers are recruited and assessed in pregnancy, while infants are assessed at regular intervals between birth and their 2nd birthday. Assessments include functional brain imaging tasks, eye tracking, behavioural tasks, questionnaires, anthropometric measurements and biological samples, in order to comprehensively measure infant development.

As part of the event, several workshops were offered, during which participants were given the chance to creatively explore how babies use their brain during daily tasks. The team led by Sam McCann guided participants through activities focused on the brain, the technology used to collect data in BRIGHT and the importance of mental health. The mental health focused workshop was particularly successful and very engaging.

The BRIGHT Participant Open Day was a huge success. Feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly supportive reporting that they had learnt a lot.