Tuesday, April 2, 2013

White House Announces Brain Mapping Initiative

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.


  1. I am looking forward to updates on the Brain Mapping Initiative. To me this is like John F. Kennedy’s Initiative to put a man on the moon.

    Finally we have measuring devices such as the CT Scans. EEG, MRI and Functional MRI who can provide this research should also developed new devices that would make our measurements more precise and refined. At the time, many people complain "we can put a man on the moon, but we can on end world hunger, or poverty, or peace and so on.

    Like any new development, a good example was the Wright brothers' inventing and building the first sustainable "heavier-than-air" human flight. No many people at the time saw the practicality of such device. I have many colleagues laugh at me as they do not see the use of such development like mapping the brain.


Comments are welcome.