NIH invests $70 million in brain research

New National Institutes of Health funding will go toward neural dust, autism, Alzheimer’s, stroke and brain-related conditions.
By Bernie Monegain
11:57 AM
NIH brain neural dust

The National Institutes of Health announced its third round of grants to support the goals of the BRAIN Initiative, bringing its total investment in the project to just more than $150 million.

BRAIN is an acronym for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. President Obama launched the BRAIN Initiative in 2013, as a large-scale effort to help researchers find ways to treat a wide variety of brain disorders.

In this latest round of funding, more than a hundred new awards, totaling some $70 million, will go to more than 170 investigators working at 60 institutions.

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Projects include proposals to develop computer programs to help researchers detect and diagnose autism and Alzheimer’s disease from brain scans, build a cap that uses ultrasound waves to precisely stimulate brain cells, create a “neural dust” system made of tiny electric sensors for wirelessly recording brain activity, improve current rehabilitation technologies for helping the lives of stroke patients, and study how the brain reads and speaks.

“In only three years we’ve already seen exciting new advances in neuroscience research come out of the BRAIN Initiative,” Walter Koroshetz, MD, director of NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said in a statement.

Joshua Gordon, MD, director of NIH's National Institute of Mental Health, added that this year more projects than in the past will be based on human data, including efforts to fine-tune brain simulation for treating mental illnesses.

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