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Prioritizing Healthcare Disparities Research: Groundbreaking American Brain Foundation-Funded Awards

Healthcare Disparities Research

Learn how we’re promoting equal access to diagnoses and treatments for brain diseases through our new healthcare disparities research fund

We believe that no one should have to suffer from the neurological diseases and disorders that affect one in six people worldwide. But brain disease disproportionately impacts certain populations in the U.S. That includes Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ+, those in lower socioeconomic groups, individuals living in underserved communities, and others. These same U.S. populations often experience a lack of basic access to healthcare and neurological care, along with other types of severe health disparities. They’re also underrepresented in brain disease research and careers in medicine. To address these issues, we established a new healthcare disparities research fund that will award grants in 2022. Read on to learn how these health equity grants have the potential to bring us closer to life without brain disease.

Next Generation Research Grant in Neurodisparities

Funded by the Hearst Foundation, Eisai Inc., and the American Brain Foundation in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology, this $150,000 scholarship aims to reduce neurological healthcare disparities by fostering research to better understand:

  • How social determinants and bioscience influence brain health
  • The effect of disparities on neurological health
  • Potential interventions to address health disparities
  • How to integrate the impact of social determinants in clinical practice

This scholarship will also support the career development of clinician-scientists with emerging expertise in neurological healthcare disparities. This is a significantly understudied area. The application period for this grant is July 1 to October 1, 2021.

Seed Grant Funding to Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Autism Research

The American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology, present a new seed grant for autism research. The pilot grant aims to provide up to $60,000 in seed funds for research. Its goal is to increase knowledge about autism spectrum disorder in excluded and underrepresented populations.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed in about one in every 54 children by the age of eight. It also occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. But autism research has largely focused on a relatively homogenous group of individuals, giving us an incomplete picture of the disorder and how it affects people across the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, sexuality, and geographical spectrum. Applications for this grant, open from July 1 to October 1, 2021, should therefore focus on studying underrepresented populations around one or more of the following ASD areas:

  • Disease burden: Research toward estimates of ASD incidence and/or prevalence along with neurodevelopmental or neurological comorbidities
  • Risk: Diagnostics and/or biomarkers, including genetics, to better understand ASD risk, and to discern how they intersect with the social determinants of health and structural discrimination
  • Assessments: Evaluation of assessment procedures across different cultures and differential response to treatment
  • Access to care: Exploration of structural barriers that prevent access to neurology evaluations and care, and access to/uptake of therapies
  • Interventions: Examination of the effectiveness of behavioral, educational, or medical interventions in underrepresented populations

The American Brain Foundation believes that one day, we will be able to live life without brain disease—and it all starts with funding research to discover cures. But we cannot do it without the support of our donors. Donate now to support more healthcare disparities research initiatives.