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 Encephalitis Syndrome (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is said to be a disease of unknown etiology, though the disease is essentially brain inflammation, which is encephalitis.** ME nonetheless affects well over 1 million Americans each year and over 17 million people worldwide. Patients 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:
- Fostering basic, applied and translational research using the newest and most innovative electrical 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.