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PDF Comments on BRAIN Initiative: Promising for Scientific Discovery and People with Parkinson's Disease

Earlier today, President Obama announced the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, a $100 million dollar partnership that seeks to understand all facets of the brain, so we can better tackle diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.  Robin Elliott, Executive Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), attended the announcement and has issued the following statement:

“President Obama’s announcement of the BRAIN Initiative, an historic moment I was fortunate to witness, has set a moonshot challenge for the country: improving our understanding of the human brain and then using this understanding to chase the cure for Parkinson's and other brain diseases.

"We applaud the President’s commitment to research as described today, and look forward to seeing the details.
“The BRAIN Initiative is a significant event for American brain science, linking the expressed commitment of a determined President with the credible optimism of great scientists.  Its creation makes it clear that improving our understanding of the brain is not just a great investment in public health; it is also good business sense for the United States economy.  'The question is not, can we afford to invest in better understanding of the brain?,' President Obama asked today; 'it's, can we afford not to?’
“At the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, in our role of serving the nearly one million people in the United States living with the disease, we believe the overall picture for the Parkinson’s disease community is encouraging – even exciting. 
“The overall strategy of the BRAIN Initiative is clear: to use the resources of the federal government and private sectors to find out more than we know now about how the brain works – specifically, how the various parts connect with one another, and in what patterns.  All of this could have exciting implications for finding the solution to Parkinson's disease. 

“We support in particular, the President's commitment to making the BRAIN Initiative a partnership between federal research agencies and private scientific organizations, and urge him to expand this commitment to include patient advocates - as my own organization has done.
This is particularly true in light of April, which is recognized as Parkinson's Awareness Month, a time when we must remember that those affected each day by Parkinson's disease are critical to finding better treatments at a faster pace.”

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PDF is preparing additional information on how this announcement impacts the Parkinson’s disease community. For further information, browse the fact sheet below released by The White House, as well as a community statement from the Parkinson's Action Network, the voice of the Parkinson's community in Washington, DC.

Browse White House Fact Sheet

Read Parkinson's Action Network Statement

Source Date: Apr 02 2013