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About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
Follow me on Twitter at @neurorev
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May 30, 2008

Write Congress Today in Support of the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act

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Posted by Zack Lynch

NNTI%20graphic.pngWith the recent introduction of the National Neurotechnology Initiative (NNTI) Act in the House (H.R. 5989) and the Senate (S.2989) earlier this month, the time has come to ramp up a national grassroots campaign in support of the NNTI and I would like to ask for your help. It is imperative that we get a substantive amount of Congressional support as quickly as possible as we are targeting Congressional hearings prior to the August break.

Take action: We need to flood Congressional fax machines and mail boxes with individual letters of support from key constituents like you over the next four weeks. I urge you to visit NIO's Take Action webpage

Here you can download sample letters to customize and send. Full instructions appear on that webpage, as well as a link to help access your representatives' contact information and fax numbers.


Spread the word:
Because of limited resources and an aggressive legislative schedule, it is absolutely vital that we build a network of support for this bill. Please forward this appeal along with a personal note of support to your network of contacts and ask that they express their support to Congress and share with their networks as well. Please forward onto co-workers, board members, researchers, clinicians, nurses, patients, advocacy groups, friends, family, anyone with a stake in elevating therapies and cures for brain related illnesses.

We need your help - and ten minutes of your time - to secure Congressional support for newly introduced legislation designed to dramatically accelerate new treatments for brain and nervous system injuries and illnesses. This legislation stands to significantly improve the lives of more than 100 million Americans. Take 10 minutes to protect your future brain.

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May 29, 2008

Wall Street Journal Goes with Neuroeconomics-focused Personal Finance Columnist

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Posted by Zack Lynch

money%20brain.pngThe Wall Street Journal hired Jason Zweig, a senior writer and columnist for Money magazine, to be its new personal finance columnist. Zweig is also currently a guest columnist for Time magazine, and he was the mutual funds editor for Forbes before joining Money magazine in 1995. He is the author of the recently published Your Money & Your Brain: How The New Science Of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich (Simon & Schuster, 2007), which looks at how neuroscience can be applied to investing.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuroeconomics

The Neurodevice Revolution Continues Unabated

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Monkey.pngThe NYTimes reports in Monkey's Control A Mechanical Arm with Their Thoughts that two monkeys learned how to feed themselves with the use of robotic arms, which were attached to electrical sensors in their brains that transmitted signals to control movement. "The more we understand about the brain, the better we'll be able to treat a wide range of brain disorders, everything from Parkinson's disease and paralysis to, eventually, Alzheimer's disease and perhaps even mental illness," said the device creator.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodevices

May 16, 2008

Extensive Article on the Brain Industry in Conde Nast Portfolio

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Posted by Zack Lynch

DED.pngDavid Ewing Duncan, columnist at Conde Nast Portfolio, writes the most comprehensive article on the neurotech industry written to date in a major publication. The Ultimate Cure comes complete with overviews of neuropharma and neurodevice treatments in development, detailed discussions with Casey and I about NeuroInsights, NERV, NIO, and the NNTI, as well as great interviews with many of my favorite characters from across neurotech including Don DeBethizy and Sam Barondes.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry

May 15, 2008

Yet Another Reason to Exercise and Eat Right

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Posted by Zack Lynch

A new study suggests that heavy adults have higher rates of psychiatric disorders. Using data from a national health survey of more than 40,000 Americans, researchers found that obese adults were up to twice as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions as normal-weight adults.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues

NINDS Cooperative Program in Translational Research Update

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Posted by Zack Lynch

NINDS.png I spoke with Joe Pancrazio yesterday who brought me up to speed on the the NINDS Cooperative Program in Translational Research. The program is intended to catalyze the development of partnerships between basic and clinical investigators, and to stimulate agreements between the academic and industrial sectors, so that translational research in neuroscience can flourish as a cooperative, iterative process leading to new and effective interventions for neurological disorders. The program in Translational Research is implemented through three coordinated cooperative agreements mechanisms, and NINDS program staff will have a significant, although not dominant, role in the planning and execution of the supported activities. It is intended for the extramural research community to use the translational research initiatives flexibly and creatively, and in whatever combinations are necessary, to achieve the most rapid and effective development of clinical interventions for neurological disorders. NINDS is the only neuroscience institute that participates in this program, although other institutes have some kind of translational activities.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodevices

May 14, 2008

Neurotheology Rising - The Neural Buddhists

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Posted by Zack Lynch

shutterstock_2149425.jpgDavid Brooks continues his quest to discuss everything in terms of neuroscience. This week in The Neural Buddhists he declares, "Just as 'The Origin of Species' reshaped social thinking, just as Einstein’s theory of relativity affected art, so the revolution in neuroscience is having an effect on how people see the world.

He goes on, "This new wave of research will not seep into the public realm in the form of militant atheism. Instead it will lead to what you might call neural Buddhism." The implications of which he suggest will be the following. "First, the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships. Second, underneath the patina of different religions, people around the world have common moral intuitions. Third, people are equipped to experience the sacred, to have moments of elevated experience when they transcend boundaries and overflow with love. Fourth, God can best be conceived as the nature one experiences at those moments, the unknowable total of all there is."

And he so aptly ends with, "We’re in the middle of a scientific revolution. It’s going to have big cultural effects." I think Brooks will be a fan of The Brain Wave when it is released next May.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotheology

May 13, 2008

Another Reason to Eat Right and Exercise

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Being obese can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 80 percent, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues

May 12, 2008

National Neurotechnology Intiative Act Introduced in Both House and Senate

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Posted by Zack Lynch

NNTI%20HR%205989.pngI am extremely happy to share that the NNTI was introduced into the House and Senate last week! This is a major milestone for the industry and for those suffering from brain-related illnesses.

BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES INTRODUCE BILL TO BATTLE BRAIN-RELATED ILLNESS

National Neurotechnology Initiative Act seeks to accelerate development of new treatments for brain and nervous system ailments

SAN FRANCISCO & WASHINGTON, D.C., May 7, 2008 – A bipartisan team of prominent members of both houses of Congress introduced today the National Neurotechnology Initiative (NNTI) Act, a bill designed to foster new discoveries and accelerate the development of new and safer treatments for the one in three Americans living with a brain-related illness, injury or disease.

Championing the NNTI, Senators Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI 1st) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 18th) have called upon Congress to reverse the growing economic burden generated by brain-related illness, which has reached $1.3 trillion per year in the U.S. due to healthcare costs and lost income.

"The sheer numbers speak for themselves: There are 100 million Americans suffering from a brain-related illness, with an enormous economic burden that continues to grow as the population ages," said Zack Lynch, Executive Director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization. "For a modest investment, Congress has the opportunity to streamline research efforts, accelerate the development of new treatments, promote innovation by small businesses and have a meaningful impact on the lives of those suffering from devastating diseases and injuries.”

Designed to increase the speed at which discoveries reach the market, the NNTI employs targeted increases in funding to improve Federal research coordination and ease bottlenecks that inhibit the development of treatments for brain-related illnesses. The bill accomplishes these goals with less than 4 percent of the total Federal neuroscience research budget - $200 million – and reflects a more balanced disease-cost to research-dollars-expended ratio.

“With nearly one in three Americans suffering from some kind of neurological illness, disorder, or injury, I believe it is time we take a serious look at how we approach and fund research into neuroscience and neurotechnology,” Senator Domenici said. “Neuroscience dovetails nicely with the work I’ve long advocated for greater research on the brain and nervous system disease and disorders, particularly in relation to mental health. This new legislation, I believe, offers an excellent vehicle for us to make greater advances in this area.”

"While our ability to understand how the brain works grows each day, our ability to understand and repair brain illnesses remains limited," said Senator Murray. "For the millions of Americans that suffer from a brain-related illness, and the thousands of Americans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD, a new federal commitment to research and treatment can't wait. This bill will place a premium on sharing the information researchers gain everyday and will support ongoing but underfunded programs at NIH.”

“With so many Americans suffering from brain-related illnesses, it is crucial for us as a society to maximize our efforts and continue learning about the many facets of the brain, leading to a healthier life for all Americans,” said Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

“The time has arrived to offer a serious and comprehensive legislative approach to help the countless Americans struggling and living with brain and nervous system illnesses,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “To not act on this important issue is to relegate millions of our citizens to second class status and a lifetime of disabilities. This legislation would develop a comprehensive federal response to research and treatment for brain related diseases. I urge my colleagues to join us in this most noble endeavor.”

Download and Read NNTI Act (H.R. 5989 / S. 2989)

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May 2, 2008

The Future of Neurotechnology and Beyond at CIMIT next week

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Posted by Zack Lynch

CIMIT.png

Join me this Tuesday from 4-6 in Boston when I speak at the weekly CIMIT forum at MGH on the The Neurotechnology Industry: 2008 and Beyond. I will explore trends driving the development of next generation drugs, devices and diagnostics for the brain and nervous system including trends in public and private financing, public policy initiatives and technologies. Joining me in the second hour will be Steven Schiff, MD, PhD, Director, Penn State Center for Neural Engineering will be presenting, Towards Model Based Control of Epileptic Seizures. Steven Schachter, MD, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Neurotechnology Program Leader, CIMIT will be moderating the event. Click here for a podcast about the event. Click here to read more about this Forum. As an aside Steve Schacter and I are hosting a CIMIT/NIO Epilepsy Innovation Forum in Boston on Wednesday which will bring together over 50 of the leading neurodevice focused epilepsy researchers, entrepreneurs and investors. Should be fantastic day!

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Neurotech Industry Conference 2008

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Posted by Zack Lynch

2008NeurotechConference.jpg

Next week is our 3rd annual Neurotech Industry Investing and Partnering conference. We are hosting it in Boston this year and to our pleasant surprise the event is nearly sold out. There is a fantastic line up of nearly 50 neurotech executives who will be sharing how their drug, device or diagnostic will reshape their marketspace. I'm definitely looking forward the meeting and networking with the other attendees from across commercial neuroscience as well. Hope to see you there.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry