Support research for brain disorders both locally and on a national scale
To boost autism awareness right here in Bradford County, big blue ribbons have been tied to lampposts in Towanda. April is National Autism Awareness Month. It's a fitting time to support President Obama's proposal to fund the BRAIN initiative.
President Obama has asked Congress for $100 million to fund the launch of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, which seeks to unravel the brain's functions down to the cellular level. The objective is to better understand how the brain functions and to seek cures for autism, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and other brain disorders, along with ways to treat traumatic brain injuries.
The initiative would use some of the nation's greatest science resources, including the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation, and call upon a vast array of expert researchers in the private and public sectors.
Discoveries from the research could help to relieve human suffering worldwide, while maintaining the nation's lead in brain research and pharmaceuticals.
The project will require a large investment. But as noted by the Alzheimer's Association, total payments in 2013 for health care and long-term care for victims of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia will total about $203 billion, about $142 billion of which will come from Medicare and Medicaid.
Members of Congress from both parties should ensure funding for the initiative.