WASHINGTON, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed an amendment today offered by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS) and the lead neuroscience research advocate in Congress, that encourages the Department of Defense to continue its work on the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative.
The Fattah Initiative – which won bipartisan support and was signed into law by Obama – calls on the White House “to establish, through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), an interagency working group to coordinate Federal investments in neuroscience research.” Under the working group all federal research on the brain – including brain development, brain injury and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and post traumatic stress, will for the first time be coordinated under one office.
Given the number of troops suffering post traumatic stress syndrome and traumatic brain injury the amendment calls on the Department of Defense to play an active role in the neuroscience working group. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates 233,000 of the 1.7 million traumatic brain injury sufferers are either veterans or former Department of Defense employees. And according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, one in six Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
Fattah said, “We have a long way to go when it comes to understanding the complexity of the brain and we owe it to our soldiers to do everything possible to ensure they receive proper medical treatment for their invisible injuries. A coordinated effort by all federal agencies will result in scientific breakthroughs. Study of the brain, brain disease, and brain injury must be a national priority.”