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Year in Review: American Brain Foundation 2021

2021 Year in Review

We’re proud of the progress the Foundation has made to support brain disease research and are looking forward to what comes next

2021 has been a big year for the American Brain Foundation. With the support of our donors, we accomplished so much in the name of brain disease research. We did all this despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. We went from raising money and awareness at our virtual Commitment to Cures gala to establishing our Cure One, Cure Many program that funds research for multiple brain diseases and more. In sum, this is what you helped us achieve over the past year.

Here are some of our biggest accomplishments from 2021:

Supporting 25 Scientists through Next Generation Research Grants

To start, we awarded nine new grants to researchers whose projects span a spectrum of brain and nervous system diseases. This was in addition to our 16 Next Generation Research Grant recipients of years past. Our Next Generation Research Grants, made possible through the support of our donors, fund and support innovative investigations by the best and brightest early-career researchers.

This year, for the first time ever, we held the Next Generation of Brain Disease Research: Meet the Researchers Working to Find the Cures of Tomorrow event. Hosted by ABF Board chair David Dodick, MD, FAAN, the event featured a few of our grant recipients. They discussed their research projects and what they hope to achieve. If you missed it, read a recap and watch the full event.

Leading the Way to Cures Through the Cure One, Cure Many Program

We launched our Cure One, Cure Many program this year, which supports breakthrough research in brain disease. It provides large-scale, catalyst funding to the world’s top researchers who are pursuing the most innovative, cross-cutting approaches to finding diagnoses, treatments and cures for brain disease. The program targets research topics that cut across multiple disease areas. The focus for 2022 is Lewy body dementia, which shares biological similarities with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

2022 Cure One Cure Many Award: Improving Diagnosis for Lewy Body Dementia

Established in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and the American Academy of Neurology, the American Brain Foundation’s 2022 Cure One, Cure Many award seeks to accelerate progress in the diagnosis of Lewy body dementia (LBD). LBD is the most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of this award is to attract the best minds in brain disease research to find a biomarker, or diagnostic test, for LBD. Read more about this incredible award.

Other Cure One, Cure Many Program research topics include:

Advancing Our Understanding of Migraine

In August, we officially announced the establishment of the Goadsby Headache Research Fund, which supports innovative research projects by scientific investigators to advance our understanding of migraine and develop treatments. It also supports research that addresses health disparities in the areas of headache and migraine. These include the evaluation of health services, access to care and treatments, quality of care, implementation of therapies, physician performance, and patient adherence.

Ensuring Everyone Has Access to Diagnoses and Treatments

Through our Health Disparities Research Fund, we are fostering research to reduce neurological health care disparities. Grants will be awarded in 2022 and include our Next Generation Research Grant in neurodisparities. There will also be a seed grant funding to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in autism research. Learn more about these funds.

Supporting Research to Understand the Neurological Effects of COVID-19

Our COVID-19 & the Brain Fund supports research on the effects of COVID-19 on the brain and nervous system. The fund will accelerate research to meet the need to understand and treat the effects of COVID-19 on the brain. It will also promote collaboration between researchers through shared data and research. Specifically, we seek to support scientific and policy research on the neurologic effects of COVID-19 on communities of color. We also seek out policy initiatives to ensure equitable treatment.

Raising Over $200,000 at Commitment to Cures

On April 21, 2021, we held our largest annual fundraiser, Commitment to Cures, virtually for the second year in a row. The event celebrated and honored the researchers, scientists, and advocates on the frontlines of the fight against brain diseases and disorders. The evening also honored awardees including Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Cindy McCain, and Khloé Kardashian for their public awareness and philanthropic efforts, and the inspiring stories of those affected by brain disease. Learn more about the awardees on our Awards page.

Bringing Brain Research to You

Finally, the Foundation has focused on sharing education and information about brain disease. On top of this, we brought the latest research updates to our donors, as well as the public at large. In 2021, we hosted more webinars than ever, featuring top neurologists and detailing topics spanning the brain and brain research. Some highlights include Healing the Brain After Loss, Humanism in Neurology, and Cure One, Cure Many: The Case of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Keep an eye out for more webinars to come as we continue to provide resources in the coming year.

What an incredible year of accomplishments made possible by our donors. We cannot wait to continue this work in 2022, supported by a community of people who, like us, envision life without brain disease.

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.