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March 20, 2017

Bipartisan contingency urges 100 percent funding for NIH brain research

  • Agency
  • Neuroscience

Life Science Daily – U.S. Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) have joined with Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) to champion federal funding for national research on the brain.

Specifically, the group plans to send a letter – which is already available online — to the House Democratic Committee on Appropriations, urging full funding for the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.

Technologies developed through the BRAIN Initiative are expected to help reveal the underlying pathology of a vast array of brain disorders and provide new therapies to treat, cure, and possibly prevent a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions that affect some 50 million Americans.

The congressmen’s letter is written to Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK), and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.

“One in three Americans will have a brain or nervous system disorder sometime in their life and the cost of treating neurological disorders is more than $500 billion each year,” the letter said. “These statistics are grave, and regrettably we do not currently know enough about the brain to begin to meet this health and economic challenge. The BRAIN Initiative seeks to change that.”

The bipartisan request for funding is based on language authorized in Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, an ongoing proposal introduced during several congressional sessions.

Murphy hopes the letter builds upon the goals of the 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law late last year.

“We need more neuroscience research. This shouldn’t be controversial,” Blumenauer said. “Fully funding the BRAIN Initiative will lead to innovative therapies, devices, and cures that will save lives. Let’s get this done.”