NIH Releases Report on BRAIN Initiative

On June 5, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a report outlining the long-term scientific vision of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative. The BRAIN initiative, launched last year by President Obama, aims to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain.

The report was drafted by the Advisory Committee to the Director’s BRAIN Working Group and includes details for $4.5 billion in new federal funding over 10 years beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2016 to achieve seven primary goals. So far the BRAIN initiative has received $40 million in FY 2014 and President Obama has requested $100 million for FY 2015 in his budget.

The seven goals are:

  • Identify and provide experimental access to the different brain cell types to determine their roles in health and disease.
  • Generate circuit diagrams that vary in resolution from synapses to the whole brain.
  • Produce a dynamic picture of the functioning brain by developing and applying improved methods for large-scale monitoring of neural activity.
  • Link brain activity to behavior with precise interventional tools that change neural circuit dynamics.
  • Produce conceptual foundations for understanding the biological basis of mental processes through development of new theoretical and data analysis tools.
  • Develop innovative technologies to understand the human brain and treat its disorders; create and support integrated brain research networks.
  • Integrate new technological and conceptual approaches produced in the other goals to discover how dynamic patterns of neural activity are transformed into cognition, emotion, perception, and action in health and disease.

PAN will continue to follow the progress made by the BRAIN Initiative as it has immense impact on the progress toward better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.

For more information, read the NIH press release here.

Read the full report here.

Date originally posted: June 13, 2014.