Because of breakthroughs like those of the Human Genome Project, and the development of new scientific tools and techniques, we may be on the cusp of discovering new treatments for a number of brain disorders. But this will not happen without strong and consistent federal investment in basic science research, that helps scientists uncover new ways to slow or reverse the onset of brain diseases. Without federal funding, most basic scientific research would never occur.
Pharmaceutical and medical device companies depend on government-funded basic research that provides the essential foundation for them to produce the therapies, devices, and treatment approaches that can slow or reverse the course of disease.
Basic research has driven the discovery of genes and proteins involved in learning and memory that are helping us to understand disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and intellectual disability.
Without proper investment and sustained support, it will take much longer to make the critical discoveries that can lead to pioneering medical advancements in these and other areas in the years to come.
Funding neuroscience research now will reap benefits for citizens across the U.S. and propel our nation forward. The promise of this new revolution in neuroscience is profound, securing our ability to someday alleviate suffering and enhance our true potential.
Editor's note: Richard Huganir is professor and director of the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, as well as president of the Society for Neuroscience
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