A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, The brain and behavioral research foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering, as my mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.
100% of all donor contributions for research are invested in our grants to scientists leading to discoveries in understanding causes and approving treatment of mental health disorders in children and adults.
Since 1987 the brain and behavior research foundation has awarded more than $394 million in over 5,700 NARSAD grants to more than 4,700 scientists around the world. The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is the nation’s top non-governmental funder of mental health research grants. -Source
What They Fund
Their model encourages new and innovative research in that we are able to support new ideas from bottom up generated by scientists.
Examples include the early support for optogenetics, deep brain stimulation, for treatment-resistant depression, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and rapid-acting antidepressants.
Each of these important breakthroughs received initial key support from grants provided by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
100% of every dollar donated for research is invested in their research grants. The operating expenses are covered by separate foundation grants.
How They Do It
The foundation funds the most innovative ideas in neuroscience and psychiatry to better understand the causes and develop new ways to treat brain and behavior disorders.
These illnesses include:
Addiction-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Impact and Credentials
Beginning in 1987, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation was providing seed money to neuroscientists to invest in “out of the box” research that the government and other sources were unwilling to fund it. Today, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is still the leading, private philanthropy in the world in the space.
They believe they’re better treatments and advancements come from scientific discovery.
They only fund scientists whose research is reviewed and recommended by their all-volunteer, world renowned scientific counsel representing every major discipline in brain and behavior research.
The $394+ million in grants awarded by the Foundation since 1987 has resulted in over $3.9 billion in additional research funding for these scientists.
To date more than 4,700 scientists in more than 55O institutions have received over 5,700 grants around the world. -Source
New Brain Cells Are Generated In Adults
Depression has long been associated with a reduction in the neurotransmitter, serotonin. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are commonly prescribed to people to boost this chemical to improve depressive symptoms.
In 2013 NARSAD Grantee Kirsty Spalding, PhD and a team at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm were able to quantify the number of new neurons produced in adult brains. Using a specialized technique to carbon date the birth dates of neurons in the human hippocampus, which controls memory and learning and plays a role in the development of depression, Spalding was able to quantify the new numbers of neurons produced.
Spalding noted that over 33% of neurons are renewed throughout life with nearly 1400 new neurons being produced daily as an adult – – with a rate that declines only slightly with age. The research gives support to the concept that neurons are integral to cognitive functions throughout life, suggesting that this process could be modified to treat psychiatric illnesses.
Possible New Biologic Depression Treatment Target Identified
NARSAD Grantee Marina Picciotto, PhD, along with her research team at Yale, believe that different neurotransmitter – – acetylcholine – – may be more critical in causing depression. Her research suggests that the disruption of acetylcholine– – not serotonin – – may be the underlying cause of depression. Her theory is that while targeting serotonin concentrations may treat symptoms for some patience, evaluating and pursuing disruption of acetylcholine may be a method to treat the underlying cause of depression. Additional research will evaluate whether medications targeting acetylcholine are more useful in treating depression and are more effective than those who do not respond to SSRIs. -Source
NARSAD Young Investigator Grants
NARSAD Young Investigator Grants cover a broad spectrum of mental illnesses and serve as catalyst for additional funding, providing researchers with proof of concept for their work.
Young Investigator Grants Provide each scientist with up to $35,000 per year for two years totaling $70,000 to enable promising investigators to either extend research fellowship training or begin careers as independent research faculty. The Brain & Behavioral Research Foundation awarded the first NARSAD Young Investigator Grant in 1987. The goal of the YI program is to help researchers launch careers in neuroscience and psychiatry and gather pilot data to come apply for larger federal and university grants. Since 1987, they have awarded more than $243 million in young investigator Grande’s around the world. -Source
With the success of nonprofits like BBR Foundation, other non-profits have emerged to help fund additional research to develop better treatments and even cures within our lifetime…
LifeInSight Biotherapeutics Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
More than bringing awareness, LifeInSight Biotherapeutics was established to fund collaborative research designed to optimize treatments for mental illness and substance use disorders, much like The Brain & Behavioral Research Foundation.
In 2016, a team of elite scientists from some of the most prestigious medical universities in the country formed an alliance to develop such treatments. This alliance allows them to more closely collaborate and integrate their research efforts among each of their universities programs. The collaboration would greatly assist with their research efforts and speed the process of developing treatments, or cures, for these mental health disorders.
These universities have now achieved sufficient scientific and technological advancements to declare that within our lifetime, we will improve treatments for mental health disorders, and the only resources lacking are monies to fund their cooperative research and development.
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