Canada to fund up to $100M in brain research

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The Canadian Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, has announced that the government will invest heavily in neuroscience research by creating the Canada Brain Research Fund.

"One in three Canadians will face a neurological disorder, injury, or psychiatric disease, at some point in their lives," said Aglukkaq. "This investment will strengthen Canada's position as a world leader in research in the identification and treatment of brain disorders."

The brain disorders that the research will focus on include: depression, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, schizophrenia, addictions, post-traumatic stress, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

The new fund will provide up to $100 million to the Brain Canada Foundation, which will then work to find donors and partners who will match this amount, effectively doubling the investment. The foundation will raise the matching funding through private donations and charitable contributions. This funding will go toward research to explore different brain disorders to determine what they may have in common, according to the government.

Brain Canada will use the funding for three types of grants aimed at collaboration and accelerating the pace of discovery:

  • Funding teams of scientists that have the best proposals for producing progress in understanding and treating brain diseases;
  • Investments in technologies that will allow the sharing of research knowledge and innovative ideas, and encourage collaboration between disciplines; and
  • To fund trainees for a period of two to three years to support a new generation of neuroscientists.