Obama unveils $100M brain research plan

Posted at 11:40 AM, Apr 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-02 11:40:31-04

(CNN) — President Obama on Tuesday will unveil a $100 million initiative to research the human brain, in hopes of unlocking further understanding of brain disorders.

The initiative, dubbed Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or BRAIN, “aims to help researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury,” the White House said.

The funding will be made available in fiscal year 2014.

The White House said the funding is in line with a promise the president made earlier this year to increase levels of research.

Obama, in his State of the Union address in February, said, “If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas,” and alluded to scientists “mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s.”

The funds to study the brain will come from the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.

The research will involve both federal research agencies and private partners.

“The BRAIN Initiative will accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought,” the White House said.

The aim is that these new technologies will unlock the mysteries of the brain — how it process information, and how the brain is linked to behavior.