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Year in Review: The American Brain Foundation 2022

At the American Brain Foundation, we are committed to spreading awareness, sharing educational resources, and supporting research across the full range of brain diseases and disorders. As we near the end of 2022, we’re taking time to reflect on all the ways readers like you helped us put our mission into action over the past year—from awareness and education to fundraising and research. 

Below, we highlight some of the things we’ve accomplished this year with the support of our donors, partners, and researchers.

Announced Our 2022 Cure One, Cure Many Award for the Early Diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia

Earlier this year, we announced the recipients of our 2022 Cure One, Cure Many Award: Owen A. Ross, PhD, Pamela J. McLean, PhD, and Bradley F. Boeve, MD from Mayo Clinic. Their research goal is to identify a blood-based biomarker to aid in the early diagnosis of Lewy body dementia (LBD), the most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.

Currently, LBD can only be definitively diagnosed with a brain autopsy after death, so identifying a biomarker (an avenue for early diagnosis) is crucial. Investigations into LBD also have implications for other brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 

This $3 million, multi-year research award was offered in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and the American Academy of Neurology. Our 2022 award recipients have extensive experience in Lewy body disorders and have assembled a team of experts across a range of disciplines, including colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania (Dr. David Issadore) and the University of North Texas Health Science Center (Dr. Sid O’Bryant).

Awarded 18 New Next Generation Research Grants

In 2022, the American Brain Foundation funded 29 Next Generation Research Grants, 18 of which were for new research projects from promising early-career researchers. With the support of our donors, these grants support innovative investigations from the next generation of clinical neuroscience researchers, laying the groundwork for new discoveries and advancements in diagnosis and treatment. 

Our 2022 Next Generation Research Grant recipients are researching a wide range of brain diseases, including ALS, epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia, and many others.

Our 2022 Commitment to Cures Gala Raised Over $874,000 for Brain Disease Research

In bringing people together to support brain disease research, our 2022 Commitment to Cures event raised an incredible $874,727 to fuel new advancements in the field. During the gala, we recognized people who have made a significant impact in brain disease advocacy and research:

  • Seth Rogen & Lauren Miller Rogen received the Public Leadership in Neurology Award. Their organization Hilarity for Charity supports families dealing with dementia and provides education, funding, and in-home relief for caregivers. 
  • Susannah Cahalan received the Ambassador Award for her work sharing her experience with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis through her New York Times bestselling memoir, Brain on Fire, and for her ongoing public advocacy to spread awareness about brain disease. 
  • Dr. Stephen L. Hauser received the Scientific Breakthrough Award for his 40+ year commitment to advancing our understanding of the genetic basis, immune mechanisms, and treatment of multiple sclerosis.

If you missed the gala in April, you can watch the full virtual event here. We are looking forward to another incredible Commitment to Cures Gala in 2023!

Launched Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

New in 2022, the American Brain Foundation now offers peer-to-peer fundraising! Peer-to-peer fundraisers allow you to appeal to friends, family, and your extended network to rally support for brain disease research. 

These personal campaigns are a great way for individuals to make a difference by spreading awareness and sharing stories about the impact of brain disease. You can start an ongoing fundraiser, or create a personal fundraising campaign for your next birthday or special event.

Announced a New Research Initiative on Understanding Neuroinflammation

Our upcoming Cure One, Cure Many Award will focus on understanding neuroinflammation and its effect on the formation, symptoms, progression, and treatment of brain disease. The Cure One, Cure Many Award prioritizes research in a series of important but understudied areas. This new award will work to convene patient organizations and neuroscientists to address the urgent need for research in neuroinflammation.

Neuroinflammation is a crucial underlying mechanism in a number of brain diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, ALS, migraine, and others. Better understanding the connection between neuroinflammation and brain disease has the potential to make a wide-ranging impact. 

Spread Awareness About Brain Disease Through Educational Events With Researchers

One of the Foundation’s priorities is spreading awareness about brain disease. Throughout 2022, we carried out this commitment by offering a range of webinars featuring researchers and brain disease experts.

These virtual events covered the latest advancements in brain disease research and often provided actionable information for attendees. Topics included: Understanding Caregiving and How to Support Caregivers, Knowing the Signs and Symptoms of Brain Disease, Concussions in Sports, Receiving a Brain Disease Diagnosis, and more. 

You can view all of our upcoming events here.

As we reflect on our 2022 accomplishments, the American Brain Foundation also looks forward to continuing these efforts in the year ahead. In partnership with our supporters, we believe that all efforts—large and small—can make an incredible impact and take us one step closer to life without brain disease.

The American Brain Foundation knows that when we find the cure to one brain disease, we will find cures to many others. Learn more about the brain disease research we fund, or donate today to support the cures and treatments of tomorrow.