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The Brain Initiative

Baylor and Texas Children’s team presents major advances in treating OCD at a Congressional briefing

A team of neuroscientists and neurosurgeons from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital recently made groundbreaking advances in treating patients suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). These findings were presented at the bipartisan Congressional Neuroscience Caucus briefing on June 14, 2023 by Dr. Nicole Provenza, a postdoctoral fellow at the Baylor College of Medicine training under Dr. Sameer Sheth, professor at Baylor and the director of the Cain Foundation Labs for Pediatric Neurology Research located in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.

A major highlight of the briefing was hearing from a person living with a neurological disorder on the real-world applications of advanced brain research. Living true to the core tenant of National Institute of Health (NIH)'s BRAIN Initiative, “Accelerating Discovery Toward Cures,” Katie participated in the briefing to share how cutting-edge neurotechnologies are changing her life. Katie, who participated in a BRAIN Initiative® study led by Dr. Wayne Goodman, professor, and D.C. and Irene Ellwood Chair in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, were given an opportunity to present their lived experience and perspectives on the advances made possible by this initiative.

Katie and Dr. Provenza shared the incredible story of Katie’s recovery from debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) using deep brain stimulation. Her story was a moving demonstration of how research supported by the BRAIN Initiative® can yield life-changing therapies for individuals with brain conditions. While she still lives with OCD, Katie can now function independently and enjoy activities with her family that were impossible before her treatment.

The caucus, in partnership with the American Brain Coalition, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Dana Foundation, and the Simons Foundation, hosted this Congressional briefing to highlight the groundbreaking research supported by the Brain Research Through Innovative Neurotechnologies® Initiative, or The BRAIN Initiative®, by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Co-chaired by representatives from both political parties, the caucus sought to raise awareness about the millions of Americans afflicted with neurological disorders or mental illnesses and the incredible advances in new therapies made possible by support from NIH’s BRAIN Initiative®, to address them.

Read NIH’s BRAIN blog to learn more.