Neuroscience and the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus

In February 2010, when speaking at an OHSU Brain Awareness Lecture, Earl discussed the critical importance of neuroscience research and announced the formation of a Congressional Neuroscience Caucus. 

Co-Chaired by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the aim of the Caucus is to build awareness of the intrinsic role brain research plays in understanding ourselves and our society, to help communicate the progress and the benefits of this research, and promote changes in federal policies to support neuroscience research.


About the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus

The brain is the last great frontier of medical science; increased focus is required as neuroscience is at a historic turning point. A continuous stream of advances is shattering long-held notions about how the human brain works and what happens when it doesn’t. These advances are also reshaping the landscapes of other fields, from psychology to economics, education and the law.

These advances come at a critical time -- currently one in three individuals is afflicted with a neurological or psychiatric disorder. There are more people with brain disorders than all cancers and heart problems combined. And as society ages, this number will increase exponentially as will the cost to the healthcare system, the economy, and society.

These problems are the leading cause of disability, resulting in more hospitalizations and long-term care than all other disorders combined.  From autism to Alzheimer’s, neuroscience research is the only way to stem this growing epidemic. It is a looming disaster that is hanging over the heads – and brains – of the boomer generation.  Only through research will the causes, cures, and ultimately prevention of neurological and psychiatric disorders be found. By unlocking the secrets of the brain, this research will doubtlessly improve our lives.


What Do Members Support?

  • Policies that encourage support for funding of quality neuroscience research.
  • Policies that enhance translation and dissemination of discoveries to maximize the medical and societal benefits of research.


What Does the Neuroscience Caucus Do?

The Congressional Neuroscience Caucus develops and promotes legislation that will further advance neuroscience research; sponsoring briefings and information sessions on neuroscience research and findings; collaborating with patient advocacy, physician, and research organizations to build awareness; and distributing congressional communications and information such as Dear Colleagues and Congressional Record statements.


For more information concerning Earl's work and views regarding the Neuroscience Caucus, please contact the office.