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NIH Highlights Advanced Imaging .pdf

Original filename: NIH Highlights Advanced Imaging.pdf
Title: https://www.pharmamedtechbi.com/publications/the-gray-sheet/42/
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Related Articles: 4

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NIH Highlights Advanced Imaging,
Neurostim Technologies In Funding
By Sue Darcey / Email the Author
Regulatory & Policy News / Word Count: 824 / Article # 01160328010 /
Posted: March 23 2016 5:10 PM

Executive Summary
Further development of medical technologies to advance brain disease
diagnoses, treat spinal cord injuries and manage pain without the use of
addictive opioids would be key beneficiaries if additional funding from
Congress for the National Institutes of Health comes through, NIH head
Francis Collins told appropriators.

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and other NIH leaders
promised delivery on a 10-point checklist of medical advances – many involving
new uses of medical devices – within the next 10 years, but only if Congress
increases funding for the agency.
Collins made the case for more funding to House appropriators on March 16.
Among the technologies he described to the House Appropriations Labor, HHS,
Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee are advanced imaging tools,
electrical stimulation systems to bypass severed spinal cords, and transcranial
magnetic stimulation to control pain.
Collins also discussed at the hearing further planned work at NIH on the Precision
Medicine Initiative
and on the Obama administration's cancer “moonshot”
. (See "FDA Funding Proposal Includes Cross-Cutting Oncology Focus,
Disappoints Budget Advocates" — "The Gray Sheet," Feb. 10, 2016.)

Senate Panel Passes
Breakthrough Device, Other
Measures; FDA Funding Debated
“The Gray Sheet” Mar. 10, 2016
FDA Funding Proposal Includes
Cross-Cutting Oncology Focus,
Disappoints Budget Advocates
“The Gray Sheet” Feb. 10, 2016
Device Center Secures $3 Million
More In Budget Agreement;
Boosts For NIH, Cybersecurity
“The Gray Sheet” Dec. 18, 2015
Cognitive Neurostim Devices:
Promises, Unknowns Explored
At FDA Workshop
“The Gray Sheet” Nov. 24, 2015

Topics Covered in
this Article
Click a keyword for related
General Topics
translational research
Research & Development
Medical Devices
Diagnostic Imaging
Monitoring Equipment




Page 2 of 3

Congress Appears Poised To Give NIH Funding Boost
President Obama requested a 2.5%, or $825 million, increase for NIH in FY 2017
over the agency’s $33.1 billion-enacted 2016 level. But that actually would amount
to “a $1 billion cut in discretionary funding” for NIH, Subcommittee Chairman Tom
Cole, R-Okla., told Collins. NIH received a last-minute infusion of $2 billion in
funding for FY 2016 thanks to a budget agreement passed by Congress on Dec. 18,
making the President’s request for the agency in 2017 seem more like a haircut.
(See "Device Center Secures $3 Million More In Budget Agreement; Boosts For
NIH, Cybersecurity" — "The Gray Sheet," Dec. 18, 2015.)
Both the House and Senate now seem poised to lavish at least another $2 billion on
NIH for 2017. As Cole told Collins at the March 16 hearing, “I’ve talked to the
chairman of the full committee, and the ranking member, and this committee is not
going to cut $1 billion in discretionary funding from the NIH – it’s not going to
happen.” He also said House Republicans are considering spending “$8 billion
beyond” Obama’s spending request on NIH.
Similarly, Sen. Lamar Alexander, D“This committee is not
Tenn., chair of the Senate Health,
going to cut $1 billion in
Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP)
Committee that authorizes funding for
discretionary funding from
NIH, said at a March 9 hearing that he is
the NIH – it’s not going to
dedicated to authorizing a “surge of
happen,” says House
funding for NIH.” (See "Senate Panel
Passes Breakthrough Device, Other
Subcommittee Chair Tom
Measures; FDA Funding Debated" —
Cole, R-Okla.
"The Gray Sheet," Mar. 10, 2016.)
Alexander’s spending increase at NIH
would be targeted toward supporting
programs such as the administration's Brain Research through Advancing
Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative
, the Precision Medicine
Initiative, and the cancer moonshot.

BRAIN Initiative
Collins told the committee that advanced imaging tools such as diffusion tensor
imaging, also known as diffusion-weighted MRI, has the capability of comparing all
the wiring in a normal brain to that of a diseased brain. As the technology is further
developed and scientists learn more about circuits in the brain associated with
motor function and memory, for example, “We will be able to diagnose conditions
earlier, and have new targets to explore for prevention and treatment of conditions
like autism, prescription drug addiction, traumatic brain injury and schizophrenia,”
Collins said.
The NIH Director explained that the BRAIN initiative was conceived as an effort that
would result in advanced technology that initially could be used to measure brain
circuitry and later move into other applications, such as identifying individuals at
high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The 12-year budget for the BRAIN initiative was proposed at $4.5 billion, starting
with $46 million in 2014, “then ramping up to something like $400 million [annually],
which we hope to get to in the next year or two,” Collins said.




Page 3 of 3

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
NIH researchers, particularly at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, are looking
into another technology advance, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as a
method to control chronic pain, NIDA Director Nora Volkow said at the March 16
FDA has already cleared several TMS devices to treat depression. (See "Cognitive
Neurostim Devices: Promises, Unknowns Explored At FDA Workshop" — "The
Gray Sheet," Nov. 24, 2015.) The products work by applying external
electrostimulation to the head. Volkow said that as part of NIH’s overall search for
alternatives to opioid-based painkillers, some government and private researchers
are examining how TMS can be used to intercede with nerves in the brain that
control pain.
Scientists have already found “an electrical current can inhibit certain areas of the
brain, and stimulate others” that are connected to the sensation of pain, Volkow
said, and NIH wants to continue with this work to treat chronic pain.
Other tantalizing technologies that would be advanced by additional NIH funding,
Collins said, include a safe and effective artificial pancreas to help diabetics
manage glucose levels, electrical stimulation devices that have undergone “proof-of
-concept” studies at NIH for paralyzed individuals suffering spinal cord injuries, and
“new technologies, just invented in the last couple of years … that now decode the
process by which individual immune cells attack and destroy healthy tissue.”
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or
electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, click here or call
+1 (908) 547-2200 .
Printed by Mr. Norm Rabin, Maetrics LLC

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