Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Update on: White House Announces Brain Mapping Initiative

This article comes from Dr. Mark Willenbrigh Substance Matter: Science and addictions.

Whew! Long drought! I was caught a bit off guard by the response to Jane Brody's column about Inside Rehab, which generated a lot of inquiries and new patients for Alltyr! All good things, plus opening the new office in downtown St. Paul and many other activities have left me a bit overwhelmed. Today's blog is written by Ian McLoone, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Behavioral Health. Ian has been working with me learning about clinical work, as well as helping with Alltyr Clinic and other activities. He's going to be a regular contributor to Substance Matters.
White House Announces Brain Mapping Initiative
President Obama announced on Tuesday plans to invest more than $100 million to develop and fund technology to map the human brain. The project, titled “Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies”, or BRAIN Initiative, aims to improve our understanding of the human brain and, according to the White House, uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.”
Being hailed as the next Human Genome Project, the ambitious initiative will direct $50 million to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), $40 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and another $20 million to the National Science Foundation (NSF). In addition, several private sector foundations and institutes have pledged significant contributions, each with specific goals in mind.
Cori Bargmann of Rockefeller University and William Newsome of Stanford University will lead the NIH working group. They will be tasked with creating specific plans, goals, a time frame, and cost estimates for the project moving forward. Of course this begs the question: what goals or plans would blog readers like to see addressed in this process? Is this initiative too ambitious, or not ambitious enough, given its size and scope? Leave your comments after the jump.

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