HealthDay News — President Obama will ask Congress to commit $100 million in his fiscal 2014 budget to fund a 10-year research initiative to map the human brain.

The goal of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is to accelerate the development and application of new technologies to help record and map neurotransmission and complex neural pathways, and ultimately to find ways to treat, cure and prevent neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer disease, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.

“This initiative has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of neural circuits, providing the fundamental knowledge that is critical for developing treatments for a host of neurological and psychiatric disorders,” David Fitzpatrick, PhD, scientific director and chief executive officer of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, in Jupiter, Fla. said in a statement.

Continue Reading

The BRAIN initiative includes key investments to start research and will include organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.

Strong academic leadership has been selected to define detailed scientific goals and a multi-year plan for achieving these goals. Key private sector parties will also be involved in the initiative, including the Allen Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Kavli Foundation and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, under the direction of the President, will explore the ethical, legal, and societal issues pertaining to the research initiative.