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How the American Brain Foundation Supports Research

Supporting brain disease research through funding

Bringing together like-minded organizations and donors to support brain disease research

The American Brain Foundation is driven to support research and find cures for brain diseases and disorders. Since 1992, we’ve been connecting researchers and donors to improve the lives of the one in six people who live with brain disease and their loved ones.

Why do we commit to studying the whole brain? Our philosophy of “cure one, cure many”  stands at the forefront of everything we do. Because brain diseases are interconnected, we take a whole-brain approach to understanding and combating them. When researchers make a breakthrough in one type of brain disease, it has the potential to inform and positively impact other areas of research. We believe that when we cure one disease, we will cure many.

Our research partners and donors are what fuel our mission. They allow us to promote and fund research across the whole spectrum of brain diseases and disorders.

Research Partners

We believe in the power of working together. Because all brain diseases and disorders are related, we partner with leading organizations that fight different diseases of the brain and nervous system. Our founder and research partner the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and our advocacy partner the American Brain Coalition (ABC) help lead the charge.

The American Brain Foundation has a partnership with the American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest professional association of neurologists. As of 2019, more than 250 researchers received scholarships and funding through the Foundation. These grants helped them establish lifelong research careers to find cures. Indeed, 85 percent of them went on to secure funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other entities. In 2019 alone, Foundation-funded research addressed 12 brain diseases and neurological conditions, a number that continues to grow each year.

We also work with disease-specific foundations in support of research. For example, since 2010, the American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Foundation of America have supported the American Brain Foundation’s Susan S. Spencer, MD, Clinical Research Training Fellowship. The award aims to launch a new generation of patient-focused epilepsy clinician scientists. By pooling resources and reducing the administrative burden, we are able to ensure that the majority of funding goes to researchers and their work.


Our donors’ contributions make our mission possible. Their support allows the American Brain Foundation to fund research that bridges the study of diverse brain diseases and disorders. By uniting donors and researchers, we are able to make an impact on the lives of patients with brain disease and their caregivers.

Giving can take on many different forms, but all donor support is vital for defeating brain diseases and finding cures. From one-time donations to monthly giving as a part of our Brain Squad, to legacy gifts and donor-advised funds, the Foundation offers many different ways to get involved and make a lasting difference.

Through collaboration with our research partners and the generosity of donors, the American Brain Foundation continues to work toward understanding and curing brain diseases and disorders. We dedicate ourselves to the belief that when we cure one, we will cure many diseases. Join us in imagining a future without brain disease.