Decade of the Brain
S. J. RES.


Mr. Riegle (for himself, Mr. Domenici and Mr. Weicker) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee JOINT RESOLUTION To designate the decade beginning January 1, 1990, as the "Decade of the Brain". Resolved by the Senate and Home of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, Whereas it is estimated that 50,000,000 Americans are affected each year by disorders and disabilities that involve the brain, including the major mental illnesses; inherited and degenerative diseases; stroke; epilepsy; addictive disorders; injury resulting from prenatal events, environmental neurotoxins and trauma; and speech, language, hearing and other cognitive disorders; Whereas it is estimated that treatment, rehabilitation and related costs of disorders and disabilities that affect the brain represent a total economic burden of $305,000,000,000 annually; Whereas the people of the nation should be aware of the exciting research advances on the brain and of the availability of effective treatment of disorders and disabilities that affect the brain; Whereas a technological revolution occurring in the brain sciences, resulting in such procedures as Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, permits clinical researchers to observe the living brain noninvasively and in exquisite detail, to define brain systems that are implicated in specific disorders and disabilities, to study complex neuropeptides and behavior as well as to begin to learn about the complex structures underlying memory; Whereas fundamental discoveries at the molecular and cellular levels of the organization of the brain are clarifying the role of the brain in translating neurophysiologic events 'into behavior, thought and emotion; Whereas molecular biology and molecular genetics have yielded strategies effective in preventing several forms of severe mental retardation and are contributing to promising breakthroughs in the study of inheritable neurological disorders, such as Huntington's disease, and mental disorders, such as affective illnesses; Whereas the capacity to map the biochemical circuitry of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators will permit the rational design of potent medications possessing minimal adverse effects that vrill act on the discrete neurochemical deficits associated with such disorders as Paxkinson's disease, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease; Whereas the incidence of neurologic, psychiatric, psychological and cognitive disorders and disabilities experienced by older persons will increase in the future, as the number of older persons increases; Whereas treatment for persons with head injury, developmental disabilities, speech, hearing and other cognitive functions is increasing in availability and effectiveness; Whereas the study of the brain involves the multidisciplinary efforts of scientists from such diverse areas as physiology, biochemistry, psychology, psychiatry, molecular biology, anatomy, medicine, genetics, and many others, working together toward the common goals of better understanding the struc- ture of the brain and how it affects our development, health and behavior; Whereas studies of the brain and central nervous system will contribute not only to the relief of neurologic, psychiatric, psychological, and cognitive disorders, but also to the management of fertility and infertility, cardiovascular disease, infectious and parasitic diseases, developmental disabilities and immunologic disorders, as well as to an understanding of behavioral factors that underlie the leading, preventable causes of death in this Nation; Whereas the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology has been awarded to 15 neuroscientists within the past 25 years, an achievement that underscores the excitement and productivity of the study of the brain and central nervous system and its potential for contributing to the health of humanity; Whereas the people of the Nation should be concerned with research into disorders and disabilities that affect the brain, and should recognize prevention and treatment of such disorders and disabilities as a health priority; and Whereas the declaration of the Decade of the Brain will focus needed goverm-nent attention on research, treatment and rehabilitation in this area: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Cnngress assembled, That the decade beginning January 1, 1990, hereby is designated the "Decade of the Brain", and the President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon all public officials and the people of the United States to observe such decade with appropriate programs and activities.