The National Institutes of Health has announced its first wave of investments totaling $46 million in fiscal year '14 funds to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The funding will enable more than 100 investigators in 15 states and several countries to work on developing new tools and technologies to enhance understanding of neural circuit function and capture a dynamic view of the brain in action. It is anticipated that these new tools and this deeper understanding will ultimately catalyze new treatments and cures for devastating brain disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease. The sum total brain disorders and diseases are estimated by the World Health Organization to affect more than one billion people worldwide. "The human brain is the most complicated biological structure in the known universe. We've only just scratched the surface in understanding how it works or, unfortunately, doesn't quite work when disorders and disease occur," says NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D, in a release. "There's a big gap between what we want to do in brain research and the technologies available to make exploration possible. These initial awards are part of a 12-year scientific plan focused on developing the tools and technologies needed to make the next leap in understanding the brain. This is just the beginning of an ambitious journey and were excited about the possibilities."