The ambitious new initiative must incorporate practical clinical advances that could help unlock answers to Alzheimer’s disease
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama Administration today announced an ambitious new initiative to map the human brain. The Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative – modeled after the Human Genome Project – is designed to develop new tools and technologies that will, in the long term, help to unlock answers to Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders.
George Vradenburg, Chairman and Co-Founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s and member of the 21st Century Brain Trust – a coalition of four non-profits working to validate mobile applications for self-tracking cognitive change – released the following statement in reaction to today’s announcement:
“We applaud this new attention to neuroscience tools and technology as it serves as a critical inspiration and incentive to young researchers to enter this critically important field of research. The brain is the 'last frontier' of biomedical science and has not received the attention and resources needed to match its importance to the health of tens of millions of Americans. In the planning of this new initiative, we urge that practical clinical advances in Alzheimer’s be included as one meaningful goal of this effort.
We urge the Administration and Congress not to lose sight of the grave and growing global health, fiscal and economic impact of Alzheimer's that exists today -- not in the long term. We continue to urge the Administration and Congress to redouble their commitment to the national goal they set for the nation of stopping Alzheimer's by 2025 and to respond to the urgent need for the additional, essential research resources required to achieve that national goal.”
Meryl Comer, President of the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer’s Initiative and a member of the 21st Century Brain Trust added:
“A brain mapping project of this vision and scale, not unlike the Human Genome Project, has the long-term potential to rewire basic brain science, turbo-charge clinical research with new data sets and ramp up wireless methodologies using new technologies. It can ignite the passion of next generation scientists, help erase the stigmas of all brain disease, and give our generation, which lives in fear of Alzheimer's, hope that one day our brain span will match our lifespan.
Our ask to the Administration is not to decouple a long-term vision from concrete initiatives like NAPA that, with adequate funding, can make a world of difference now.”
USAgainstAlzheimer's is a 501(c)(4) national advocacy campaign and advocacy network committed to stopping Alzherimer's by 2020. An independent non-profit organization working in partnership with the Alzheimer's community, USAgainstAlzheimer's works to stop the disease by advancy policies that support research for a cure. For more information about USAgainstAlzheimer's, please visit: http://www.usagainstalzheimer's.org.