NIH Funding Awarded for New Brain Injury Research

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November 28, 2019
Edward Smith

NIH Funding Awarded for New Brain Injury Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced that they were releasing a new wave of funding for research regarding neuroscience, such as traumatic brain injuries. For years, there has been an increasing push to develop new diagnostic and treatment tools for those who suffer a head injury. This is because TBIs have the potential to lead to complications that can impact someone for the rest of their life. The consequences of a serious head injury can make it hard for someone to complete their education, hold down employment, and maintain relationships with family members and friends.

This is what makes the most recent wave of funding from the NIH so important. The new list of awards comes from an initiative developed by the National Institutes of Health called BRAIN, which stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Technologies. The results of these NIH-backed studies may change the way doctors and medical scientists treat brain injuries.

A Renewed Focus on Treating Paralysis Following a TBI

According to information published by the NIH, there is going to be a focus on helping individuals who have been paralyzed following a traumatic accident. The brain is responsible for transmitting motor signals to the rest of the body. Nerves leave the brain, travel down the spine, and exit to the rest of the body. Damage to these nerves anywhere along this path might lead to paralysis.

The NIH announced they are going to fund more than 180 new BRAIN initiative applications. In total, there are funding more than $400 million worth of projects. Some of these projects focus on helping individuals who have been paralyzed communicate more easily with those around them. Communication is a major challenge for people who have been paralyzed. If individuals who suffer serious spine or brain injuries are able to communicate with those around them, this may improve their quality of life.

Regaining Dexterity Following a Stroke

The NIH also announced that it is going to fund projects that may help people regain dexterity following a stroke. A stroke is a blood clot in the brain that causes neural tissue to die. Unfortunately, these tissues rarely regenerate following a stroke. Those who suffer a brain bleed following a blow to the head are at risk of developing a stroke.

In this study, researchers are going to analyze the brain in real-time. By studying neural circuits and specific nerve cells termed glia, scientists are hoping to collect information on the signals that travel through the brain’s various neural circuits. The team hopes that this data will help them provide more treatment options for those who have suffered a stroke. The ability to regain motor function following a traumatic brain injury can improve someone’s quality of life significantly.

Success Following the NIH BRAIN Initiative

This new wave of funding provided by the NIH and the BRAIN Initiative hopes to add to an already impressive legacy. The initiative was launched back in 2013. It already has a long and impressive track record of developing new diagnostic and treatment tools for countless neurological injuries and illnesses. Prior research successes have helped people suffering from Parkinson’s, seizure disorders, spinal cord injuries, and TBIs.

Last year, there were multiple successful research projects funded by the BRAIN initiative. One of the projects programmed a computer to mimic a person’s speech using signals coming from the human brain. Another research project used specialized imaging to watch neurons signal other brain cells in real-time. It will be exciting to see what new results come from this year’s BRAIN Initiative research projects. There are multiple research studies looking at developing new options for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. This massive research organization provides hope for millions of families all over the world.

San Francisco Brain Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a San Francisco Brain Injury Lawyer. This new NIH funding should spur new research in diagnosis and treatment plans for brain injuries. Individuals who have suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of another person or entity should contact me at (800) 404-5400 and/or (916) 921-6400 to receive free, friendly legal guidance and advice.

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Attribution of Photo: The image used at the beginning of this article was located first on Pixabay & has been shown here with the guidance of the Creative Commons License.

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