The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on November 2, 2018 to increase funding of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative by $220 million.
This additional funding represents a 50 percent increase in spending over the year prior, for a total of $400 million in 2018, when factoring in the support of the 21st Century Cures Act, and the congressional appropriations process. Over 100 research institutions and 500 investigators from a wide-range of fields such as psychology, optogenetics , biophysics, data science, bioluminescence, imaging, genomics, nanotechnology, bioinformatics, optoelectronics, engineering, medicine, and neuroscience.
Over 200 new awards will be granted to support a wide range of innovative brain research in effort to address neurological and psychiatric disorders including depression, autism, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, and traumatic brain injuries.
The NIH hopes to find new treatments for pain that are non-addictive to address the growing opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a majority (63.1%) of the drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2015 involved opioids. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimate that 40 percent of the U.S. opioid overdose fatalities in 2016 involved prescription opioids.
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Founded five years ago in 2013, the BRAIN Initiative supports neuroscience research to help find innovative treatments for brain diseases and disorders. Recently, BRAIN Initiative-funded researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science were part of a global team that made history by discovering a new type of human brain cell, the rosehip neuron. With the additional funding, BRAIN initiative seeks to accelerate our understanding of the human brain through applied innovative technologies and cutting-edge scientific research.
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