Director's Messages

The nervous system is exceedingly complex and our lack of understanding of how it works stymies our efforts to develop treatments for neurological disorders. The brain, composed of 85 billion neurons and trillions of connections with an equal number of glial, vascular and immune cells, functions as an interrelated web to process information.
Each September, Pain Awareness month gives us an opportunity to reflect on the needs of the millions of people with chronic pain, as well as the research that we hope will better prevent and treat it.
Earlier this summer, NINDS hosted our annual Nonprofit Forum, an annual event in which nonprofit leaders can network with colleagues and engage in discussions with NINDS staff. This year, considerable attention was paid to the emerging field of gene-targeted treatments for multiple neurological conditions.
Today, I am happy to announce that the findings and recommendations from our two-year strategic planning effort for health disparities and equity research are published in a special issue of Neurology.
The annual NINDS Nonprofit Forum, taking place July 24-25, 2023, brings together organizations that represent the many neurological diseases within the NINDS portfolio. It’s a valuable venue for the organizations to collaborate and share lessons learned among themselves; and for NINDS to understand how we can most effectively work with organizations to address research needs and challenges.
From May 31-June 1, 2023, the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NANDS) Council met virtually and in-person in Bethesda, Maryland. NINDS Council members include many talented extramural science and health experts, who contribute technical expertise and an understanding of the needs of the research communities of academia and industry.
On June 12-13, 2023, NIH will host the 9th Annual Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative Meeting.
For over a decade, NINDS has worked to bring increased attention to the importance of scientific rigor and transparency. Now, I am delighted to share that NINDS is launching two new initiatives to further engage the research community in this work.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the symptoms and risk factors of stroke. The latter is so important as most strokes are thought to be preventable with lifelong control of risk factors, especially high blood pressure.
April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, chosen because it is the birth month of James Parkinson, who first identified the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease more than 200 years ago. Since then, we have made considerable progress towards understanding what causes the motor symptoms we most associate with Parkinson’s disease (PD).