Neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson's disease, dementia* and depression* affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Yet despite decades of neuroscience research and regular advances in innovative health technology, we still know very little about the vast complexity of the human brain, which limits our ability to develop effective ways of helping people with neurological conditions. The National Institutes of Health is working to change this with the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, which seeks to deepen our understanding of how the brain works and improve how we treat, prevent and cure neurological disorders. We are helping the BRAIN Initiative in this endeavor by providing Abbott’s suite of neuromodulation therapies to researchers to aid in the development of new treatments and prevention of chronic pain and progressive movement disorders. New Thinking About the Brain The multi-year, multi-disciplinary BRAIN Initiative brings together government, academia and industry to develop innovative research that will examine how the brain functions, how electrical signals pass across the brain and the genetic underpinnings of disease. This enhanced knowledge will facilitate further understanding of how neurological disorders develop. Much of the existing research on the brain had to be conducted on animals, and it has proven difficult to translate the findings to humans. There's still a long way to go, but innovative health technology has made it easier to study the human brain with noninvasive or minimally invasive tools, such as functional MRI. With better knowledge of how these disorders begin, researchers can better understand how to treat them — and possibly prevent them entirely. How We Help Abbott's neuromodulation technologies — including directional deep brain stimulation (DBS), spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) therapies — have long provided much-needed relief to people living with chronic pain and movement disorders. Now, they're available to help further our understanding of the neurological disorders they treat. A working group convened by the BRAIN Initiative in 2018 came together to formulate a strategic plan to take research through 2025 and to define the research's key areas of focus. One of these areas is human neuroscience, aimed at understanding how the brain functions and using technological advances to diagnose, prevent and treat disorders. Abbott's sophisticated neuromodulation technology can help measure the wiring and function of the human brain to inform how circuit-level disruptions can lead to broader brain disorders. This enhanced understanding of how the nervous system works creates opportunities for improved treatments and more efficient application of technologies. The BRAIN initiative is looking at the continued application of neuromodulation therapies to treat movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, and chronic pain. But research using Abbott's devices might also uncover further applications for this technology across a broader range of brain disorders. These are big goals and big plans. The BRAIN Initiative aims to shed further light on the brain's inner workings in the coming years, providing hope and new options for the millions of people affected by debilitating neurological conditions. We are ready to assist that endeavor. *DBS is not currently indicated for dementia nor depression. Abbott is FDA approved only to offer DBS for essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.