An initiative to uncover the mysteries of brain function received significant support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is recommending that the project be funded for $4.5 billion over the next 12 years. A news report from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) indicates that a federal report released by NIH states that the money will be necessary to fully implement the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.

The federal funding would be released over 10 years beginning in fiscal year 2016. The NIH already announced an investment of $40 million in fiscal year 2014, and President Obama has made a request for $100 million for NIH’s component of the initiative in his fiscal year 2015, according to the APTA news report.

An NIH news release notes that the initiative will focus on seven major efforts: determining the roles of different brain cell types in health and disease, generating brain “circuit diagrams,” producing a dynamic picture of brain function, linking brain activity and neural circuit dynamics to behavior, creating a framework for understanding mental processes, developing technologies to understand brain disorders, and integrating findings to discover “dynamic patterns of neural activity.”

Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, NIH director, says, “As the Human Genome Project did with precision medicine, the BRAIN Initiative promises to transform the way we prevent and treat devastating brain diseases and disorders while also spurring economic development.”

Collins adds, “While these estimates are provisional and subject to congressional appropriations, they represent a realistic estimate of what will be required for this moon shot initiative.”

Source: APTA