Archive for the ‘The BRAIN Initiative’ Category

The Brain Initiative Holds Promise for Treating Brain Disorders

June 9, 2015

brain1With nearly 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections, the human brain remains one of the greatest mysteries in science and one of the greatest challenges in medicine. In the last decade alone, scientists have made a number of landmark discoveries that now create the opportunity to unlock the mysteries of the brain.

Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued its first research awards for what’s been called America’s next moon shot: the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The BRAIN Initiative is part of a new Presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.

By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain, giving us new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders.

The hope is that the Brain Initiative will result in the development of innovative technologies to capture dynamic pictures that reveal how the brain’s cells and complex circuits interact at the speed of thought. This in turn will enable scientists to transform how we diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, depression and traumatic brain injury.

Sources: National Institutes of Health and AARP

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The “BRAIN” Initiative

September 5, 2013

BRAIN3This past April, President Obama unveiled the “BRAIN” Initiative—a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.

The BRAIN Initiative is short for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. Extending beyond mere mapping of the brain, the BRAIN Initiative is aimed at producing an array of tools that are needed to establish an integrated theory of how a healthy brain functions over an organism’s life. This theory will provide a fundamental framework for interpreting new information on brain science and will change existing paradigms for explaining “who we are.”

It promises to accelerate the invention of new technologies that will help researchers produce real-time pictures of complex neural circuits and visualize the rapid-fire interactions of cells that occur at the speed of thought. Such cutting-edge capabilities will open new doors to understanding how brain function is linked to human behavior and learning, and the mechanisms of brain disease.

According to John Wingfield of the National Science Foundation—one of the key organizations leading the initiative: “When scientists do ultimately figure out how the brain works–however long it takes, this accomplishment will probably be considered the greatest scientific achievement in all of human history.”

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