BRAIN Initiative Sets High-Priority Research Areas
September 18, 2013
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the nine initial areas of focus for high-priority brain research as part of the FY 2014 funding within the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative announced by President Obama in April 2013.
The nine areas as selected by the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) working group are as follows:
-- Generate a census of brain cell types
-- Create structural maps of the brain
-- Develop new, large-scale neural network recording capabilities
-- Develop a suite of tools for neural circuit manipulation
-- Link neuronal activity to behavior
-- Integrate theory, modeling, statistics and computation with
-- Delineate mechanisms underlying human brain imaging technologies
-- Create mechanisms to enable collection of human data for scientific
-- Disseminate knowledge and training
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D.,Ph.D., accepted the recommendations from the ACD and the working group will continue to develop a longer-term scientific plan, which is expected to be delivered in June 2014.
“We’re excited to see the BRAIN Initiative moving forward and look forward to opportunities for our community to be engaged with this initiative, said Epilepsy Foundation President and CEO Phil Gattone. “As the Epilepsy Foundation focuses on accelerating new therapies and treatments for the more than 2 million people living with epilepsy, we appreciate the efforts of the NIH to provide work that could be the foundation for advances in epilepsy care.”
The BRAIN initiative is an important step to increase that investment in neurological and epilepsy research. During more than 40 years of service, the Epilepsy Foundation and its generous supporters have channeled more than $50,000,000 into epilepsy research.
The Epilepsy Foundation has been a continued champion of the National Institutes of Health, and supports funding for a cure and better treatments for epilepsy. Each year the government spends $30 billion on medical research at the National Institutes of Health. Yet just ½ of 1% is spent on epilepsy. Funding is needed to make progress against epilepsy and improve health outcomes. As the 2012 Institute of Medicine report Epilepsy Across the Spectrum noted, epilepsy is the fourth most prevalent neurological disorder, yet "gets less funding than the other neurological disorders when adjusted for prevalence."
For more information on the BRAIN Initiative, visit their website.