WASHINGTON – US cooperation with Israel on brain research is an opportunity to
find solutions to serious disorders such as Alzheimers, autism, epilepsy and
bipolar, US Congressman Chaka Fattah, fresh off a visit to Israel, told The
Jerusalem Post Tuesday.
“What’s important is to note how this
relationship portends a gigantic opportunity for the world to get ahead of these
diseases and disorders,” he said. “The reality is that if we can get people
working together, then we can solve these problems.”
congressional district is in Pennsylvania, was in the Israel to keynote
BrainTech Israel 2013, Israel’s first international brain-tech
In his address, he reiterated the US’s staunch commitment to
neuroscience research and discussed the ongoing development of President Barack
Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, launched last spring. The Initiative plans to invest
$110 million in 2014 toward human brain research.
That’s money well
spent, said Fattah, who serves as the ranking member on the House Subcommittee
on Commerce, Justice and Science.
“The US can benefit because we spent
$205 billion on Alzheimers care alone,” he said, “and another $500 billion on
mobility from strokes or neuro-related disorders.”
Next to the US and the
EU, Fattah believes Israel is the most important partner for that cooperation,
and he will host a meeting in Washington in November for major players from all
three to further cooperation.
“There are two areas where Israel has a
singularly extraordinary level of capability,” Fattah said. “One is
machine-brain interfaces, [and the other is] therapeutics.”
Israel’s research and innovation in the field, he said one of the keys going
forward is increasing international cooperation.
“I’m very interested in
having an open-source classification of brain disease and disorders to be a
world standard, so there’s a uniform definition,” Fattah said. “Through
agreements countries could expand their bases for clinical trials, helping
medical studies progress. These are the real tangible opportunities for us to