Dear Parkinson's Disease Community,
What a wonderful way to kick off Parkinson’s Awareness Month! This morning, along with other leaders in the Parkinson’s disease and neurological community, I attended a White House event where President Obama announced a bold new research initiative, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The BRAIN Initiative ultimately aims to help researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and prevent many diseases of the brain, including Parkinson's. We are very excited about this cross-agency, collaborative focus on brain research. As our community knows all too well, so much is unknown about how the brain functions at a healthy state and what is occurring when the brain fails to function properly. We are very hopeful that the Initiative can answer questions and create tools that will be directly applicable to our understanding of, and better treatment for, Parkinson's disease.
The BRAIN Initiative will be a collaborative effort of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The funding details will be laid out in the president's 2014 proposed budget, expected to go to Congress on April 10, but we understand that NIH, DARPA, and NSF have collectively agreed to invest approximately $100 million of Fiscal Year 2014 funds to jumpstart this exciting new effort. In addition, the NIH is establishing a working group to determine the goals for this initiative and create a plan for achieving these goals.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done to unlock the mysteries of the brain and we applaud the president and these government agencies for taking this ambitious step. As always, PAN will be working with Congress and these three agencies to ensure this new initiative is successful.
For information about the BRAIN Initiative, see
Thanks for all of your support.
Amy Comstock Rick
Date originally posted: April 2, 2013.