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Walz Applauds President's Call for Innovative Brain Research

Press Release

Location: Mankato, MN

Today, Congressman Tim Walz applauded President Obama's announcement of a new research initiative designed to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain and help find ways to treat, cure, and prevent debilitating brain disorders such as Alzheimer's, TBI, and epilepsy.

"Disorders of the brain can be absolutely devastating, not only to the person afflicted, but to their friends and family as well," said Walz. "We as a nation must do all we can to ensure our scientists and researchers have the tools they need to find ways to prevent, treat, and cure these disorders. Doing so will create a better future for us, our children, and our grandchildren, and I'm pleased the President took this important step today."

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, announced by the President today, will accelerate the ability of scientists and researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought.

"The proposed BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative will coordinate basic science with imaging technologies to address fundamental biological processes related to brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Ronald Petersen, Director of the Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Chair of the National Alzheimer's Project Act.

This brain-mapping will further our understanding of how we record, process, use, store and retrieve information and will shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior and should be seen as an encouraging step for Minnesotans affected by Alzheimer's.

"For the 200,000 Minnesotans living with Alzheimer's and their care partners, it's encouraging to see the federal government take this step," said Susan Spalding, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association Minnesota-North Dakota. "Dedicating funding as well as the time and efforts of our scientific community will be critical as we move toward a future without this disease."

"As a daughter of a woman who lost her life to this devastating disease I am grateful that the President has come forward to release this new initiative. We need to do something to stop this disease. I watched as my mother (Isabel), an educator, slipped away from us. This initiative offers us some hope, where we have had none," said Anne Heinemann Holland, of Rochester, Minnesota.

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