About NCRI

Our primary mission is to promote and conduct basic, applied and translational research with aim of advancing the fundamental knowledge of brain impairment in neurological diseases.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke,* there are more than 600 disorders of the central nervous system (neurological disorders) affecting an estimated 50 million Americans each year, contributing to 6.3% of the total Global Burden of Disease (WHO, 2014) with a projected 12% increase by 2030. Neurological disorders (disorders of the central nervous system) cause over 12% of total deaths globally. Over 85% of these deaths are caused by cerebrovascular disease. Neurological conditions which cause considerable disability and burden to patients include neurocognitive disorders, neuroinfections, and neurological sequelae of infections (poliomyelitis, tetanus, meningitis, encephalitis, pertussis, malaria, etc.), tumor and developmental disorders, problems associated with nutritional deficiencies (such as iodine deficiency, diabetes mellitus, etc.) and neurological effects of injuries (accidents, poisoning, falls, fires, unintentional and intentional injuries).

While neurological disorders such as Migraine Syndrome, Alzheimer’s Disease, Lyme Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and epilepsy are more well-known, other neurological disorders are no less debilitating. For example, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Syndrome (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is said to be a disease of unknown etiology, though it is brain inflammation, which is encephalitis.** ME nontheless affects well over 1 million Americans each year and over 17 million people worldwide. Patients with ME/CFS often report that symptoms of ME–unrelenting, exhaustive fatigue and cognitive impairment- are the most debilitating aspects of the disease. Yet, less attention in the literature has been paid to underlying brain responses in cognitive impairment as reductions in cognitive performance are considered to be a sign of fatigue. To improve health and well-being for these patients, the NCRI conducts research designed to facilitate general understanding of the illness, which will lead to new treatment options and clinical applications that go far beyond palliative care.

NCRI was founded in 2014 to promote several definitive goals including:

  1. Fostering basic, applied and translational research using the newest and most innovative neuroimaging techniques helps to acquire new information that is critically important to defining relationships between symptoms and brain activity. This information will aid us in gaining new insights in discovery of disease mechanisms, and developing disease-modifying treatments, monitoring treatment progress, and obtaining more meaningful and sustained health outcomes.
  2. Conducting classification research to help identify and differentiate among similar clinical entities based on group differences in brain functioning as measured by neuroimaging methods. This line of research also seeks to establish neural mechanisms involved in various neurocognitive disorders to be distinguished from neuropsychiatric comorbidities.
  3. Conducting preclinical research, to develop and validate models predicting how the brain may react to multiple repeated insults in everyday life, to better understand how these insults affect cognition, and to practice prevention whenever possible, helping people know when to seek treatment. A number of cognitive deficits may be halted or even reversed if caught early on.
  4. Facilitating greater awareness in both medical community and general public as to the latest neuroscientific methods, findings, and treatments of neurocognitive diseases.

The NCRI is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization

* The National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) fails to list any iteration of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease, etc. in its list of neuro disorders. NINDS does not list the disease.

**The definition of encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. If this inflammation goes beyond a certain point, the person will die from the encephalitis (inflammation) alone.


 About the Founder

Marcie Zinn

Dr. Zinn's current research has focused on the neurocognitive aspects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The experimental studies she conducted involved CFS patients and neurologically healthy controls. Utilizing a combination of cognitive testing and quantitative electroencephalographic (qEEG) measurement, she examines the role of the entire cortex in the pathogenesis of CFS. More specifically, Dr. Zinn is concerned with how CFS patients self-regulate their motivation, thought patterns, and overall behavior. A second line of research involves developing relevant test instruments designed specifically for this clinical population. Current tests were developed for other neurological patients including patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and other neurological groups, but no tests of executive function have ever been developed for the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Therefore, relevant test development is one major aspect of her goals. Her research stems from the hypothesis that the cortex can be conceptualized as a set of brain network dynamics whereby the integrity of networks are dependent on every part of the network. For example, as in other types of networks, if one part of the network ceases to function well, the entire network is affected. Dr. Zinn hypothesizes that network models can be developed to examine the clinical spectrum of cognitive impairment in all patients with neurocognitive disorders. Confirmation of these hypotheses has potential implications for a vast number of neurological diseases including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, and depression. Dr. Zinn's overall mission is to study the quantification of cognitive impairment within a complex systems framework for characterizing neurological diseases thereby adding to our fundamental knowledge of cognition, brain, and nervous system.

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