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Year in Review: American Brain Foundation 2020

2020 Year in Review

Celebrating what you’ve helped us accomplish over the last year, and looking forward to what’s to come

The American Brain Foundation is inspired by the dedication of the brain disease community to pursue life without brain disease. This was a particularly challenging year. But we’re inspired by efforts to virtually unite in advocacy, place neurological diseases on the national stage and more.

Here’s what you’ve helped us accomplish in 2020:

Taking Commitment to Cures Virtual

Because of COVID-19, we transitioned our in-person gala to a virtual event to celebrate outstanding researchers, patients and advocates. Our Commitment to Cures gala stayed true to raising funds for brain disease research. Because of you, the virtual gala was a success. We were proud to spotlight neurologists, researchers, advocates and patients like Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money, actor Emilia Clarke, hockey legend Sidney Crosby, and many others. Learn more about each of this year’s winners on our Awards page.

Supporting 29 Scientists with Next Generation Research Grants

Through the funding of our generous donors, we awarded new grants to 12 outstanding early-career investigators studying brain diseases and disorders, in addition to 17 existing grantees. In partnership with the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), we invested in a broad range of outstanding research projects, from  swallowing disorders in Parkinson’s patients. Your support helps us launch promising research careers that will one day find a cure for brain disease.

Spotlighting Neurological Disorders in USA Today

We put brain disease in the national spotlight with two articles featured in USA Today’s Future of Personal Health publication. Our Board Chair, David Dodick, MD, FAAN, shared breakthroughs in research and treatment and how they offer hope to those with brain diseases and disorders. We also worked with experts to share five ways to keep people with Alzheimer’s Disease safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because we elevated brain disease discussion to a national level, we reached a wider audience to raise awareness for these diseases.

Speaking Honestly about Lewy Body Dementia at Robin’s Wish Event

Our vice chair Susan Schneider Williams opened up about her late husband Robin Williams’ fight with Lewy body dementia at our Robin’s Wish Event, a discussion about the Robin’s Wish film and a behind-the-scenes look at what went into its creation. While fostering an honest dialogue about LBD, Susan and the American Brain Foundation worked to create the LBD Research Fund that invests in research to discover a biomarker and improve diagnoses for this devastating disease.

Establishing the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fund

This year, the American Brain Foundation established the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fund to help raise awareness about TBI and fund much-needed research. In the United States, approximately 2.87 million people experience a TBI each year. Our efforts were amplified by This Hits Home director Sydney Scotia, who selected the fund as a preferred charity. Her award-winning documentary unveils the devastating long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries that survivors of intimate partner violence often face.

With everything you’ve helped us accomplish in 2020—in the face of a pandemic and a changing virtual world—we cannot wait to continue this work in 2021 with the brain disease community by our side.

Dear American Brain Foundation Reader,

We hope the articles you’ve been reading have increased your understanding of individual brain diseases and disorders, how they are all connected, and their impact on millions of people across the world.

The American Brain Foundation provides this content free of charge in an effort to raise awareness of these devastating diseases. Will you support this valuable resource by making a gift today?

Our work is made possible by gifts from readers like you. Your gift will help us build awareness, fund critical brain research, and find treatments and cures for brain diseases.

Please consider making a gift today to support this work.

The American Brain Foundation team