Today the National Institutes of Health announces two transformative projects supported by the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative: The BRAIN Initiative® Cell Atlas Network (BICAN) and the Armamentarium for Precision Brain Cell Access.
BRAIN News Spotlight
NIH BRAIN Initiative launches projects to develop innovative technologies to map the brain in incredible detail
In the human brain, 86 billion neurons form more than 100 trillion connections with other neurons at junctions called synapses. Scientists are now working on an ambitious effort to develop technologies to map these connections across the brain, from mice to humans.View Spotlight Article
With today’s powerful imaging tools, neuroscientists can monitor the firing and function of many distinct neurons in our brains, even while we move freely about. They also possess another set of tools to capture remarkable, high-resolution images of the brain’s many thousands of individual neurons, tracing the form of each intricate branch of their tree-like structures.
Each year, the initiative celebrates some standout and especially creative examples of such advances in the “Show Us Your BRAINs! Photo & Video Contest. During most of August, I’ll share some of the most eye-catching developments in our blog series, The Amazing Brain.
Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative have developed a way to genetically insert a type of light receptor into neurons. The new technique enables the researchers to suppress the neuron’s activity using pulses of light. While researchers have previously used light to control the activation of neurons, the ability to inhibit the activity of neurons represents a powerful tool that can be used to better understand the workings of neural circuits in the brain.
In the diagnosis of disease, doctors often need to take tissue samples and process them for examination under a microscope. Millions of such biopsies are performed in the U.S. every year. But these pose many challenges. Biopsies may damage healthy tissue. Conventional histology techniques used to examine the samples can require extensive processing and take days.
NIH-funded study identifies brain cells that form boundaries between discrete events.
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is diagnosed after an individual has tried several types of treatment for depression and their symptoms haven’t improved. The effectiveness of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment for disorders such as Parkinson’s disease has led researchers to investigate whether it could also work for psychiatric disorders such as TRD. However, depression varies significantly among individuals, and studies on DBS for TRD have also produced variable results. This points to a need to personalize DBS treatment for individuals with depression.
Study sheds light on potential for long-term, at-home use of deep brain stimulation as a treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders
Atlas and cell census represent the initial products of the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network
By Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., and Walter Koroshetz, M.D., director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
In the News
The BRAIN Initiative Alliance (BIA) aims to spread the word about BRAIN-funded scientific advancements. Visit the BIA website for up-to-date news coverage about the impact of BRAIN Initiative research.
The BRAIN Blog
The BRAIN Blog covers updates and announcements on BRAIN Initiative research, events, and news. Hear from BRAIN Initiative trainees, learn about new scientific advancements, find out about recent funding opportunities, and more.