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BRAIN Initiative​

Categories: Brain Injury, Research

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is a large, public/private research program started by President Barack Obama in April 2013 to improve understanding of the human brain and the causes and consequences of numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, including traumatic brain injury.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), encompassing ten individual institutes and centers, plus the National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Intelligence Advance Research Projects Activity work in collaboration with universities, philanthropic organizations, experts in the scientific community, and patient advocates to establish the program’s vision and goals and continually re-evaluate the current priorities.

The NIH BRAIN Initiative is managed by the NIH Centers and Institutes (ICs) whose research portfolios address the Initiative’s goals: the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Eye Institute, National Institute on Aging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. These 10 ICs contribute funds to a common pool to support the program. So far, NIH allocated $46 million in FY 2014 and $81.4 million in FY 2015 to the BRAIN Initiative.

Among the first priorities is “to develop a dynamic picture of the brain that shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space.” Such a picture is expected to help researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders.