National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) (2022)

Originally National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness. Name changed 1968 to National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke; March 1975 to National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke; and October 1988 to present name.
  • Mission
  • Important Events
  • Legislative Chronology
  • Director
  • Programs


Created by the U.S. Congress in 1950, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has occupied a central position in the world of neuroscience for nearly 60 years.

The mission of NINDS is to reduce the burden of neurological disease—a burden borne by every age group, every segment of society, and people all over the world.

To accomplish this goal, the Institute supports and conducts basic, translational, and clinical research on the healthy and diseased nervous system; fosters the training of investigators in the basic and clinical neurosciences; and seeks better understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of neurological disorders.

The Institute's extramural program supports thousands of research project grants at institutions across the country. Institutional training grants and individual fellowships support hundreds of scientists in training and provide career awards that offer a range of research experience and support for faculty members at various levels. Scientists in the Institute's laboratories and clinics in Bethesda, Maryland, conduct research in the major areas of neuroscience and on many of the most important and challenging neurological disorders. NINDS staff researchers also collaborate with scientists in several other NIH Institutes.

This is a time of accelerating progress and increasing hope in the battle against brain disease. Advances in understanding the nervous system are beginning to pay off in the form of treatments for previously intractable problems such as spinal cord injury, acute stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease, to name a few.

The NINDS vision is:

  • To lead the neuroscience community in shaping the future of research and its relationship to brain diseases.
  • To build an intramural program that is the model for modern collaborative neuroscience research.
  • To develop the next generation of basic and clinical neuroscientists through inspiration and resource support.
  • To seize opportunities to focus our resources to rapidly translate scientific discoveries into prevention, treatment, and cures.
  • To be the first place the public turns to for authoritative neuroscience research information.

Important Events in NINDS History

1950—On August 15 President Harry S. Truman signed Public Law 81-692, establishing the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (NINDB).

1951—NINDB received its first budget of $1,232,253.

1953—The NINDB budget became a line item in the NIH budget.

1953-54—An intramural program of clinical investigation was initiated, including medical neurology, surgical neurology, and electroencephalography. Training programs in neurology and ophthalmology were initiated.

1955—Basic science training grants were initiated.

1956—The intramural clinical investigations program was expanded to include work in ophthalmology.

1957—Training programs in otolaryngology and pediatric neurology began.

Field investigations involving collaborative and cooperative clinical studies began and the initial phase of the Collaborative Perinatal Project was started.

1960—The joint intramural basic research program of NINDB and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was divided and organized into 2 basic research laboratory programs.

1961—First program projects and clinical research centers in stroke and communicative disorders were supported.

1962—Funds were appropriated for professional and technical information assistance. Training grants in neurosurgery and neuroradiology were initiated.

1963—Developmental graduate training grants were initiated.

1965—A head injury research program was established.

1966—The stroke research program was expanded; additional grants for clinical research centers were awarded. An antiepileptic drug testing program began.

1967—Vision outpatient research centers were established. A program of research in neural control mechanisms and prostheses was initiated.

(Video) Benoit Renvoise - NIH - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes

1968—The Institute was renamed the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. The NINDS blindness program became the nucleus of the National Eye Institute.

1969—Research Building 36—dedicated by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) Secretary Robert H. Finch—was occupied by NINDS and NIMH research laboratories.

1971—Programs in applied neurological research (epilepsy, head injury), infectious diseases, and biometry were added to the Collaborative and Field Research Division.

1973—Two new communicative disorders programs began with establishment of an intramural Laboratory of Neuro-Otolaryngology and a section on communicative disorders in the Collaborative and Field Research Division.

1974—Laboratories for neuroimmunology and neuropharmacology were established.

1975—NINDS was renamed the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke (NINCDS).

The Institute reorganized into 6 units for intramural research, fundamental neurosciences, communicative disorders, neurological disorders, stroke and trauma, and extramural activities.

1976—Dr. D. Carleton Gajdusek, chief, Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work on atypical slow viruses.

1979—A neuroepidemiology section and a section of neurotoxicology were established within the Intramural Research Program. NINCDS substantially expanded extramural support of research studies using positron emission tomography.

1982—The Institute's Neurological Disorders Program was replaced by 2 new program units: convulsive, developmental, and neuromuscular disorders and demyelinating, atrophic, and dementing disorders.

1984—NINCDS established the Senator Jacob Javits Neuroscience Awards, which provide research grant support for up to 7 years in the basic and clinical neurosciences and communicative sciences.

A Laboratory of Neurobiology and a Laboratory of Experimental Neuropathology were established within the Intramural Research Program.

1986—A Laboratory of Neural Regeneration and Implantation was established within the Intramural Research Program.

1987—NINCDS programs were renamed divisions, reflecting major areas of research interest: communicative and neurosensory disorders; convulsive, developmental, and neuromuscular disorders; demyelinating, atrophic, and dementing disorders; fundamental neurosciences; stroke and trauma; extramural activities; and intramural research.

A Clinical Neuroscience Branch was established within the Division of Intramural Research.

1988—The communicative disorders program became the nucleus of the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. NINCDS was renamed the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

1989—On July 25 President George H.W. Bush signed P.L. 101-58, declaring the 1990s the "Decade of the Brain."

1990—A Stroke Branch was established within the Division of Intramural Research.

1998—NINDS formed 7 planning panels comprising neuroscience leaders. Panel members outlined opportunities for research investment.

1999—NINDS published Neuroscience at the New Millennium: Priorities and Plans for the NINDS, Fiscal Years 2000-2001.

2000—The Parkinson's Disease Research Agenda was developed.

(Video) Dr Petra Kaufmann of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

2001—NINDS celebrated its 50th anniversary with a 2-day scientific symposium, "Celebrating 50 Years of Brain Research: New Discoveries, New Hope."

The Stroke Progress Review Group was created.

The Research Agenda for Epilepsy was developed.

2002—The Report of the Stroke Progress Review Group was published.

2004—The new National Neuroscience Research Center opened.

2007—The NINDS launched a new strategic planning process, in which it convened external panels on basic, translational, and clinical research and on neurological diseases.

2008—The NINDS Division of Extramural Research created an Office of Translational Research and an Office of Clinical Research, each led by an Associate Director.

2009-10—As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, NIH received $10.4 billion to stimulate biomedical research over a 2-year period. NINDS’s share ($400 million) was used to fund existing and peer-reviewed projects, and to support trans-NIH programs that solicited innovative ideas and research projects.

2010—The new NINDS Strategic Plan: "Priorities and Plans for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke" was released.

2011—The NINDS Division of Extramural Research created an Office of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity, headed by a Chief, and an Office of Special Programs in Diversity, led by an Associate Director.

2012—A Pain Health Science Policy Advisor was established in the NINDS Office of the Director to serve as the Designated Federal Official for the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee and to support the expanding programs of the NIH Pain Consortium.

2013—Creation of an Office of Scientific Liaison in the NINDS Office of the Director.

2016—The NINDS Extramural Program was restructured to include the Division of Neuroscience, Division of Extramural Activities, Division of Clinical Research, and Division of Translational Research.

2017—Creation of the NINDS Director of Research Quality position within the NINDS Division of Extramural Activities.

NINDS Legislative Chronology

August 15, 1950—Public Law 81-692 established NINDB "for research on neurological diseases (including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis) and blindness."

August 16, 1968—Public Law 90-489 renamed the NINDB the National Institute of Neurological Diseases.

October 24, 1968—Public Law 90-636 changed the name of the Institute to the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke.

October 25, 1972—Public Law 92-564 established a temporary National Commission on Multiple Sclerosis supported by NINDS.

March 14, 1975—Part 8 of a HEW Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority was amended to change the title of NINDS to the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke.

July 29, 1975—Public Law 94-63 established 2 temporary commissions to be supported by NINCDS: Commission for the Control of Epilepsy and Its Consequences, and Commission for the Control of Huntington's Disease and Its Consequences.

October 28, 1988—Public Law 100-553 changed the name of NINCDS to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

(Video) Know Stroke. Know the Signs. Act in Time

June 10, 1993—Public Law 103-43 added language on Multiple Sclerosis research to the legislative mandate of the NINDS.

November 13, 1997—Public Law 105-78, the Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease and Research Act, added language authorizing increased Parkinson's disease research and training, including research centers.

November 17, 2000—Public Law 106-310, the Children's Health Act of 2000, amended the Public Health Service Act with regard to a wide range of issues affecting children's health. Specifically relevant to the NINDS mission were authorizing provisions for the expansion of autism research, including research centers of excellence, and the establishment of an interagency Autism Coordinating Committee; the establishment of a Pediatric Research Initiative; the development of a pediatric research loan repayment program; the conduct of a national longitudinal study of environmental influences on children's health and development; the study of risk factors for childhood cancers, including malignant tumors of the central nervous system; the support of research with respect to cognitive disorders and neurobehavioral consequences arising from traumatic brain injury; and the expansion and coordination of muscular dystrophy research.

December 18, 2001—Public Law 107-084, the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments of 2001, or the "MD-CARE Act," amended the Public Health Service Act to provide for the expansion and coordination of research with respect to various forms of muscular dystrophy, including the establishment of research centers of excellence and an interagency coordinating committee.

December 19, 2006—Public Law 109-416, the Combating Autism Act of 2006, amended the Public Health Service Act to expand and coordinate research activities with respect to autism spectrum disorders through the Centers of excellence and to establish the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.

October 8, 2008—Public Law 110-361, the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments of 2008, reauthorizes programs at NIH with regard to muscular dystrophy, and designates the previously established research centers of excellence as Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers.

March 30, 2009—Public Law 111-11, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which includes text of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, authorizes the NIH Director to: coordinate paralysis research and rehabilitation activities at the NIH; establish consortia in paralysis research; and establish networks of clinical sites that will collaborate to design clinical rehabilitation intervention protocols and outcome measures on paralysis.

September 26, 2014—Public Law 113-166, the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research and Education Amendments of 2014, reauthorizes and extends the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments (MD-CARE) of 2008. The bill adds cardiac and pulmonary function to the research areas covered by the Wellstone Centers, add members to the Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee, and specifies twice-yearly meetings of the Committee.

December 13, 2016—Public Law 114-255, the 21st Century Cures Act, establishes the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot and NIH Innovation Projects, to carry out the BRAIN Initiative®, Precision Medicine Initiative, cancer research, and regenerative medicine. The law provides $1.5 billion for the BRAIN Initiative through FY 2026 from a special account established in the Treasury from which the funds will be transferred once appropriated.

Biographical Sketch of NINDS Director WalterJ.Koroshetz,M.D.

Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D. became the NINDS Director on July 29, 2015 after having served as the NINDS Deputy Director since 2007. As Director, Dr. Koroshetz oversees an annual budget of $1.6 billion and more than 1100 scientists, physician-scientists, and research administrators.

At the NIH, Dr. Koroshetz has held leadership roles in a number of NIH and NINDS programs including the NIH’s BRAIN Initiative, the Traumatic Brain Injury Center collaborative effort between the NIH intramural program and the Uniformed Health Services University, and the multi-year work to develop and establish the NIH Office of Emergency Care Research to coordinate NIH emergency care research and research training. Before joining NINDS, he served as Vice Chair of the neurology service and Director of stroke and neurointensive care services at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He was a professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and led neurology resident training at MGH between 1990 and 2007. Over that same period, he co-directed the HMS Neurobiology of Disease Course with Drs. Edward Kravitz and Robert H Brown.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Koroshetz graduated from Georgetown University and received his medical degree from the University of Chicago. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Koroshetz trained in neurology at MGH, after which he did post-doctoral studies in cellular neurophysiology at MGH with Dr. David Corey, and later at the Harvard neurobiology department with Dr. Edward Furshpan, studying mechanisms of excitoxicity and neuroprotection. He joined the neurology staff, first in the Huntington’s Disease (HD) unit, followed by the stroke and neurointensive care service. A major focus of his clinical research career was to develop measures in patients that reflect the underlying biology of their conditions. With the MGH team he discovered increased brain lactate in HD patients using MR spectroscopy. He helped the team to pioneer the use of diffusion/perfusion-weighted MR imaging and CT angiography/perfusion imaging in acute stroke.

Active in the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Dr. Koroshetz chaired the professional organization’s Public Information Committee, led the AAN’s efforts to establish acute stroke therapy in the US, founded the Stroke Systems Working Group, and was a member of the AAN Board of Directors. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in October 2015.

NINDS Directors

NameIn Office fromTo
Pearce Bailey19511959
Richard L. Masland19591968
Edward F. MacNichol, Jr.September 1, 19681973
Donald B. TowerMay 31, 1974February 1, 1981
Murray GoldsteinDecember 23, 1982October 1, 1993
Patricia A. Grady (Acting)September 1993August 31, 1994
Zach W. HallSeptember 1, 1994December 31, 1997
Audrey S. Penn (Acting)January 1, 1998July 31, 1998
Gerald D. FischbachAugust 1, 1998January 31, 2001
Audrey S. Penn (Acting)February 1, 2001August 31, 2003
Story C. Landis September 1, 2003September 30, 2014

WalterJ.Koroshetz (Acting)

October 1, 2014July 28, 2015
WalterJ.KoroshetzJuly 29, 2015Present

Major Programs

The Institute is organized into 5 divisions: The Division of Neuroscience, the Division of Extramural Activities, the Division of Clinical Research, the Division of Translational Research, and the Division of Intramural Research.

Division of Neuroscience:

  • Plans and directs a program of extramural and collaborative research and training in neuroscience, including: fundamental cellular, molecular and systems neuroscience; developmental neurobiology, developmental disorders, neurogenetics, stroke, traumatic injury to the brain and nervous system, neurodegenerative disorders, brain tumors, development of prosthetic devices to restore function to the damaged nervous system; convulsive disorders, including epilepsy, infectious and immune disorders of the brain and nervous system, and disorders related to sleep mechanisms;
  • Maintains surveillance over developments in these program areas and assesses the national need for research in the cause, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the brain and nervous system;
  • Determines program priorities and recommends funding levels for programs to be supported by grants and contracts;
  • Collaborates NIH-wide on national research efforts related to these program areas; and
  • Consults with voluntary health organizations and with professional associations in identifying research needs and developing programs to meet these needs.

The Division of Neuroscience is organized into work groups known as “program clusters,” structured around critical, cross-cutting scientific topics that hold great promise for advancing knowledge and reducing the burden of neurological disease. The current scientific clusters are:

Repair and Plasticity


  • To understand mechanisms of plasticity in the healthy nervous system and to explore implications for repair.
  • To develop interventions to modify the course of injury and disease progression, and improve functional outcome in individuals following injury to the nervous system.
  • To understand the course of degeneration and repair following spinal cord injury and brain injury on timescales ranging from seconds to years.
  • To develop interventions to permit spinal cord tracts to regrow past an injury site and establish functional connections distally.
  • To understand the role of endogenous neurogenesis and to promote development of stem cell biology to repair the nervous system.
  • To promote the development of neural prosthetic devices designed to restore function after neurological injury or disease.

Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience


(Video) What is National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

  • To encourage and support research on higher brain functions and the neural systems that mediate them, including neural plasticity, memory, cognition, movement, attention, regulation of the wakefulness-sleep cycle, food intake, body weight, sensory perception, and neuropathic pain.
  • To support the understanding of the homeostatic regulation of cyclic and appetitive behaviors such as sleep, feeding, and drinking.
  • To support the understanding of peripheral and central mechanisms of neuropathic pain and pain perception, and the development of strategies to alleviate chronic pain.
  • To support and evaluate non-invasive functional imaging research such as PET (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging).
  • To support and investigate the neural mechanisms of sensory and motor circuits that can be compromised by disease or injury.
  • To support and evaluate novel tools and methodologies for system approaches.
  • To support translational research of rehabilitative strategies and technology-driven therapeutics for neural dysfunction.

Channels, Synapses, and Circuits


  • To initiate and support basic and translational research on ion channels, transporters, and pumps implicated in neuronal function and disease.
  • To advance basic and translational research in mechanisms of synaptic transmission, development, and plasticity, including research on function and dysfunction of the neuromuscular junction.
  • To support basic, translational, and clinical studies in epilepsy and epileptogenesis.
  • To implement the epilepsy benchmarks.
  • To support research on the pathogenesis and treatment of inherited/acquired neuropathies, muscular dystrophies, and other neuromuscular disorders, including myasthenia gravis.
  • To promote the development of new methodologies for basic research, including genetic models, high-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins, optical recording, neuroimaging, and neuroinformatics tools.



  • To promote investigation of the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of neurogenetic or neurological disorders.
  • To promote efforts to identify genes and susceptibility loci for neurological diseases.
  • To promote investigation of the mechanisms by which genetic variants cause or contribute to risks for neurological disease.
  • To develop gene-based assays, diagnostics, and therapeutics for neurological disorders.
  • To develop cutting-edge tools and resources for neurogenetic research.
  • To promote basic and translational research in neurogenetics and genomics.
  • To investigate the genetic basis of normal neural development, function, and perturbations that can lead to neurological disorders.
  • To promote and assist in the training of neuroscientists in molecular medicine.
  • To educate the scientific and lay communities in the ethical, legal, and social issues in neurogenetics.
  • To engage patient voluntary and advocacy groups in partnerships to promote research in neurogenetics.

Neural Environment


  • To promote basic and clinical research on mechanisms of disease in nervous system disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, prion disease, CNS infections, and neuroAIDS.
  • To promote translational research, the development of diagnostics and of therapies that will prevent, arrest, or reverse neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, prion diseases, CNS infections, and neuroAIDS.
  • To encourage studies on the role and functions of glial cells and cell cross-talk in stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, prion diseases, CNS infections, and neuroAIDS.
  • To foster studies on vascular mechanisms of neurological disorders; vascular development in the central nervous system (CNS); and the role of microvascular endothelia, extracellular matrix, and cells of hematopoietic origin within the CNS.
  • To expand studies on the mechanisms of blood-brain and brain-CSF barrier functions and of cell migration (and/or trafficking) into the CNS in stroke, immune disorders, brain tumors, and CNS infections.
  • To encourage the development of animal models and assay systems that allow the study of neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, prion diseases, CNS infections, and neuroAIDS
  • To promote the study of biomarkers for vascular, tumorigenic, and immune diseases of the nervous system such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, prion diseases, CNS infections, and neuroAIDS.



  • To stimulate basic, translational, and clinical research on the mechanisms of neurodegeneration underlying a wide range of disorders including Parkinson's disease and parkinsonian disorders, vascular cognitive impairment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related motor neuron disorders, Huntington's disease, frontotemporal dementia, essential tremor, and Alzheimer's disease in partnership with the National Institute on Aging.
  • To promote the development of representative models of human neurodegenerative diseases to support discovery research and therapy development.
  • To encourage gene discovery and population-based genetic and epidemiological studies of neurodegenerative disorders in order to elucidate their causes and natural history, and to identify biomarkers.
  • To promote the development of advanced research technologies necessary for achieving new breakthroughs in neurodegeneration research.

Division of Extramural Activities

  • Advises the Director on issues related to policy and procedures related to the Institute's extramural programs;
  • Represents the Institute Director as required in extramural relationships;
  • Coordinates program planning in the extramural areas;
  • Provides technical support activities, including technical merit review of grant and contract applications and proposals, and grants and contract management services;
  • Provides coordination, support, and staff services for committee management;
  • Manages the operations of the National Advisory Council on Neurological Disorders and Stroke;
  • Co-directs the analysis working group with OSPP; and
  • Directs the office of rigor and reproducibility.

The Division of Extramural Activities also includes the Scientific Review Branch, the Grants Management Branch, the Administrative Services Branch, the Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity, and the Office of Training and Workforce Development.

Scientific Review Branch


  • Directs and carries out the scientific and technical merit review of grant applications, cooperative agreements, and contract proposals including program projects and center grants, clinical trial networks, translational research initiatives, research training and career development awards, and conference grants;
  • Originates and coordinates policies and procedures of review committees and NINDS special emphasis panels; and
  • Conducts the search for individuals to serve as members of initial review groups; and Organizes scientific and technical merit review meetings.

Grants Management Branch


  • Participates with the Associate Director for Extramural Activities in the development of Institute policies on the business management of research grant programs;
  • Develops guidelines, procedures, and internal controls to ensure proper and continuing implementation of NINDS and other applicable policies, including those from NIH and HHS;
  • Is responsible for the business management of Institute grant programs including negotiation of awards;
  • Responsible for awarding functions and the signing of awards;
  • Provides fiscal and administrative policy review of grant applications;
  • Provides liaison with other components of NIH and officials of grantee institutions; and
  • Maintains files on all grants, fellowships and cooperative agreements.

Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity


  • Represents NINDS at all levels of NIH in matters pertaining to NINDS workforce diversity;
  • Develops and implements specific funding opportunities (individual and institutional) and works across the NINDS specific portfolio to promote inclusion;
  • Develops and implements training and career development programs and activities to facilitate the creation of a diverse scientific workforce in the neurosciences;
  • Initiates conferences, workshops, symposia, and professional development activities to enhance diversity in the neuroscience workforce;
  • Oversees research education partnerships across NIH, scientific societies and research institutions;
  • Conducts outreach to diverse stakeholders to promote the research mission; and
  • Coordinates with NINDS intramural efforts to raise awareness about diversity and recruit diverse staff members.

Office of Training and Workforce Development


  • Develops and implements training and career development programs and activities to facilitate the creation of a future scientific workforce in the neurosciences;
  • Develops and implements initiatives, specific funding opportunities (individual and institutional), conferences, workshops, symposia, and professional development activities to more efficiently and successfully produce clinician-scientists;
  • Evaluates training and career development programs to ensure their effectiveness; and
  • Oversees research education granting mechanisms and outreach activities to enhance the pipeline of students at all levels into the scientific workforce.

Administrative Services Branch (ASB)


  • Advises the Division of Extramural Activities Director and Division Directors/Office Chiefs of NINDS extramural programs on matters relating to the general management and administration of NINDS extramural programs;; and
  • Provides advice on the effective organization of the extramural program.

Division of Clinical Research:

  • Guides the development and implementation of investigator-initiated clinical trials across all age groups to test the safety and efficacy of innovative treatments for neurological disorders and stroke and to compare the efficacy of existing treatments;
  • Provides guidance and leadership to NINDS-funded extramural networks that implement clinical trials in neurological disorders and stroke;
  • Promotes epidemiological studies of the natural history and early markers of neurological disorders and stroke, to elucidate the causative path leading to the disorders and to stimulate the search for new treatments and prevention strategies;
  • Develops research initiatives aimed at reducing health disparities in neurological disorders;
  • Promotes research that focuses on how clinical research outcomes can be translated into clinical practice;
  • Provides oversight and serves as a resource to the Institute and to the investigators, to ensure proper level of patient safety monitoring; organizes Data and Safety Monitoring Boards to oversee patient safety and scientific integrity of clinical research;
  • Promotes sharing of clinical research data through use of common data elements and archiving of public use datasets from NINDS-funded clinical trials;
  • Participates in the Institute's efforts to develop a cadre of physician investigators who will contribute to clinical research in the future; and
  • Provides expertise in statistics and clinical trial design to the Institute and to clinical investigators.

Division of Translational Research:

  • Supports the discovery and development of therapeutics and diagnostics for treatment of neurological diseases and stroke, thorough a broad range of grant programs and contract resources;
  • Implements and manages science policies, training, and program activities related to translational research including the Blueprint Training in Neurotherapeutics Discovery and Development for Academic Scientists, and the NINDS Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP)
  • Implements and oversees the NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) program;
  • Supports the design, development, implementation, and management of research activities and technologies with broad applicability to neuroscience and stroke; and
  • Implements and oversees the NINDS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.

Division of Intramural Research

A full description of the NINDS Division of Intramural Research can be found at

Additional information on NIH neuroscience programs, including programs sponsored by the NINDS, is available at

(Video) The mission of NINDS and current initiatives


What questions do you ask during a neurological assessment? ›

Examples of specific subjective questions for the older adult include the following:
  • Have you ever had a head injury or recent fall?
  • Do you experience any shaking or tremors of your hands? ...
  • Have you had any weakness, numbness, or tingling in any of your extremities?

What is the rarest neurological disorder? ›

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder. It affects about one person in every one million per year worldwide; in the United States there are about 350 cases per year.

What is the number 1 neurological disorder? ›

1. Headache. Headaches are one of the most common neurological disorders—and there are a variety of different kinds of headaches, such as migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.

What is the most useful test for diagnosing neurological issues? ›

MRI. This test uses a combination of large magnets, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body. Electrodiagnostic tests, such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV). These tests evaluate and diagnose disorders of the muscles and motor neurons.

How does neurologist test for nerve damage? ›

Electromyography, or EMG, is used to diagnose nerve and muscle disorders, spinal nerve root compression, and motor neuron disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. EMG records the electrical activity in the muscles. Muscles develop abnormal electrical signals when there is nerve or muscle damage.

What is the most common treatment for neurological conditions? ›

Medication therapy, which is often the primary treatment. Care for stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions. Physical or occupational therapy for rehabilitation from neurological conditions. Minor diagnostic procedures such as myelography (imaging of spine) and spinal tap.

Can stress and anxiety cause neurological symptoms? ›

Specifically, researchers believe that high anxiety may cause nerve firing to occur more often. This can make you feel tingling, burning, and other sensations that are also associated with nerve damage and neuropathy. Anxiety may also cause muscles to cramp up, which can also be related to nerve damage.

Can neurological problems be cured? ›

Physicians cannot cure many neurological disorders, but rehabilitation can assist in treating symptoms and the restoration of daily functioning.

What are the 5 steps in the neurological assessment? ›

It should be assessed first in all patients. Mental status testing can be divided into five parts: level of alertness; focal cortical functioning; cognition; mood and affect; and thought content.

Can blood tests show nerve damage? ›

A variety of blood tests may be performed to determine the cause of nerve damage. These tests may look for high blood glucose levels, diabetes onset, vitamin deficiencies, etc.

What kind of doctor treats nerve damage? ›

Neurologists are specialists who treat diseases of the brain and spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles. Neurological conditions include epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's disease. Dr.

What disease causes the brain to slowly deteriorate? ›

Degenerative brain diseases include types of dementia like Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia.

What neurological disorders are genetic? ›

While most neurological conditions are not inherited, some, like Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease to name a few, may run in families.
Neurological Conditions
  • Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Huntington's Disease.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Parkinson Disease.
  • Strokes.

What are the 3 common degenerative diseases? ›

Common chronic and degenerative conditions that can lead to disability include: multiple sclerosis. arthritis. Parkinson's disease.

What is the purpose of neuro-psychiatric exam? ›

What is the neuro-psychiatric exam? The neuro-psychiatric exam is used to examine the psychological functioning, adaptability, and mental stability of the applicant. It is also a way to assess whether the applicant is fit for the job or not. It is consists of two parts- the written and the oral interview.

What do neuropsychiatrist do? ›

Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry is defined as a medical subspecialty committed to better understanding links between neuroscience and behavior, and to the care of individuals with neurologically based behavioral disturbances.

What is neuro exam in Pnpa? ›

Neuro-Psychiatric Examination analyzes the adaptability, psychological, and mental stability of a certain applicant before entering PNP. It is the most crucial phase of the recruitment process of the BJMP, BFP, and other departments of the PNP.

How do you know if you have permanent nerve damage? ›

The signs of nerve damage

Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. Feeling like you're wearing a tight glove or sock. Muscle weakness, especially in your arms or legs. Regularly dropping objects that you're holding.

What is the newest treatment for neuropathy? ›

New Treatment

An extremely important recent FDA approval was just announced authorizing spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. We expect this to help the lives of thousands.

Does an MRI show nerve damage? ›

Does an MRI scan show nerve damage? A neurological examination can diagnose nerve damage, but an MRI scan can pinpoint it. It's crucial to get tested if symptoms worsen to avoid any permanent nerve damage.

What are the top 5 neurological disorders? ›

Some of the most common neurological disorders include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.

What are 2 diseases a neurologist treats? ›

Some of the most common neurologic disorders a neurologist may treat include:
  • Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease).
  • Brain injury, spinal cord injury or vascular malformations.
  • Cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations.
11 Jan 2022

What are the main causes of neurological disorders? ›

The specific causes of neurological problems vary, but can include genetic disorders, congenital abnormalities or disorders, infections, lifestyle or environmental health problems including malnutrition, and brain injury, spinal cord injury or nerve injury.

What neurological disorders cause panic attacks? ›

C (central nervous system): Head trauma, even when mild, can trigger anxiety and other psychological symptoms. Anxiety is also seen with chronic or progressive neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barre.

What chemical in the brain causes anxiety? ›

Epinephrine/Norepinephrine Norepinephrine is responsible for many of the symptoms of anxiety. These hormones and neurotransmitters are responsible for the adrenaline and energy that is pumped through your body when you're stressed or anxious, and cause changes like rapid heartbeat, sweating, etc.

Can anxiety damage the brain? ›

Summary: Pathological anxiety and chronic stress lead to structural degeneration and impaired functioning of the hippocampus and the PFC, which may account for the increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and dementia.

What foods are good for neurological health? ›

Foods linked to better brainpower
  • Green, leafy vegetables. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. ...
  • Fatty fish. ...
  • Berries. ...
  • Tea and coffee. ...
  • Walnuts.

What are the top 10 neurological diseases? ›

Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have provided a brief overview.
  • Acute Spinal Cord Injury.
  • Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Ataxia.
  • Bell's Palsy.
  • Brain Tumors.
  • Cerebral Aneurysm.
  • Epilepsy and Seizures.

How can I repair my nervous system? ›

A balanced, low-fat diet with ample sources of vitamins B6, B12, and folate will help protect the nervous system. Make sure that your diet contains lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Drink plenty of water and other fluids. This helps prevent dehydration, which can cause confusion and memory problems.

What does a neurologist do on your first visit? ›

During your first appointment, a Neurologist will likely ask you to participate in a physical exam and neurological exam. Neurological exams are tests that measure muscle strength, sensation, reflexes, and coordination. Because of the complexity of the nervous system, you may be asked to undergo further testing.

What does a full neurological exam consist of? ›

A neurological (neuro) exam consists of a physical examination to identify signs of disorders affecting your brain, spinal cord and nerves (nervous system). Neurological examination is the best way for healthcare providers to check the function of your brain and nervous system.

What is the most sensitive indicator of neurologic change? ›

Consciousness is the most sensitive indicator of neurological change; as such, a change in the LOC is usually the first sign to be noted in neurological signs when the brain is compromised.

What cream is good for nerve pain? ›

Nervive Pain Relieving Cream is formulated with maximum strength levels of Lidocaine HCL and Menthol to block nerve pain signals. Feel the non-greasy pain relieving cream start working in less than 5 minutes.

Is walking good for neuropathy? ›

Exercise. Regular exercise, such as walking three times a week, can reduce neuropathy pain, improve muscle strength and help control blood sugar levels. Gentle routines such as yoga and tai chi might also help.

Does neuropathy affect your eyes? ›

Optic neuropathy patients often experience pain in the face and eye socket. A general loss of peripheral vision. Pain inside the eyes.

How long do damaged nerves take to heal? ›

If your nerve is bruised or traumatized but is not cut, it should recover over 6-12 weeks. A nerve that is cut will grow at 1mm per day, after about a 4 week period of 'rest' following your injury. Some people notice continued improvement over many months.

Do you need surgery for nerve damage? ›

The pain, tingling, numbness and other discomforts of peripheral nerve disorders can often be treated successfully with physical therapy and other nonsurgical methods. But in some cases, surgery offers the best chance of lasting relief.

How do you stop neuropathy from progressing? ›

These changes can include:
  1. Losing weight.
  2. Exercising.
  3. Monitoring blood sugar levels.
  4. Not smoking.
  5. Limiting alcohol.
  6. Making sure injuries and infections don't go unnoticed or untreated (this is particularly true for people who have neuropathies of diabetes).
  7. Improving vitamin deficiencies.
17 Jan 2020

What are the 5 steps in the neurological assessment? ›

It should be assessed first in all patients. Mental status testing can be divided into five parts: level of alertness; focal cortical functioning; cognition; mood and affect; and thought content.

What does a neurological assessment include? ›

There are many aspects of this exam, including an assessment of motor and sensory skills, balance and coordination, mental status (the patient's level of awareness and interaction with the environment), reflexes, and functioning of the nerves.

What do you look for in a neurological assessment? ›

A thorough neurologic assessment will include assessing mental status, cranial nerves, motor and sensory function, pupillary response, reflexes, the cerebellum, and vital signs.

What questions will you ask a neurologist on function of brain? ›

What questions you will ask a neurologist on function of brain?
1 Answer
  • How does alcohol cosumption affect the brain?
  • Which part of brain is responsible for creativity?
  • How do we get fits ?
28 Feb 2022

What does a neurologist do on your first visit? ›

During your first appointment, a Neurologist will likely ask you to participate in a physical exam and neurological exam. Neurological exams are tests that measure muscle strength, sensation, reflexes, and coordination. Because of the complexity of the nervous system, you may be asked to undergo further testing.

What neurological disorders cause eye problems? ›

Types of Neuro-Visual Disorders
  • Optic Neuropathies. Damage to the optic nerves can cause pain and vision problems, most commonly in just one eye. ...
  • Optic Neuritis. ...
  • Giant Cell (Temporal) Arteritis. ...
  • Chiasm Disorders.

What is the most sensitive indicator of neurologic change? ›

Consciousness is the most sensitive indicator of neurological change; as such, a change in the LOC is usually the first sign to be noted in neurological signs when the brain is compromised.

How do neurologists treat nerve pain? ›

Multimodal therapy (including medicines, physical therapy, psychological counseling and sometimes surgery) is usually required to treat neuropathic pain. Medicines commonly prescribed for neuropathic pain include anti-seizure drugs such as: Gabapentin (Neurontin®). Pregabalin (Lyrica®).

How much does a neurological exam cost? ›

On MDsave, the cost of a Neurology Established Patient Office Visit ranges from $106 to $396.

What a neurologist can diagnose? ›

Neurologists are specialists who treat diseases of the brain and spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles. Neurological conditions include epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's disease.

How are neurological disorders diagnosed? ›

Tests and investigations
  1. Blood tests. You may have blood tests to check many things. ...
  2. Neurophysiology. Clinical neurophysiology is an area of medicine concerned with testing the electrical functions of the brain, spinal cord and the nerves in the limbs and muscles. ...
  3. Brain and spine scans.

What will a neurologist do for dizziness? ›

In a general sense, vertigo-associated disease is commonly treated using vestibular blocking agents or VBAs. These include medications such as antihistamines (promethazine or betahistine), benzodiazepines (diazepam or lorazepam), or antiemetics (prochlorperazine or metoclopramide).

What does a neurologist do for stroke patients? ›

These physicians know the symptoms and signs found in stroke patients and the detailed differential diagnosis of stroke subtypes. They are very familiar with the symptoms, signs, and diagnosis of other neurological disorders. They are knowledgeable about stroke recovery and rehabilitation.

How do I prepare for a neurologist appointment? ›

Prepare for Your Neurologist Visit
  1. Write down your symptoms and other health information, including medications, allergies, previous illnesses, and your family's history of disease.
  2. Make a list of your questions.
  3. Have your previous test results sent to the neurologist, or take them with you.
2 Aug 2022

Why would a neurologist order an MRI of the brain? ›

Neurologists and other healthcare providers order brain MRIs for several different reasons, including helping diagnose new neurological conditions based on certain symptoms or to monitor existing conditions. Some of the conditions a brain MRI can help diagnose or monitor include: A blood clot in your brain.


1. NINDS Funding Opportunities to Build an Educational Resource on the Principles of Rigorous Research
2. NINDS Biomarker Q&A Webinar
3. Stroke Awareness Month Q&A with NINDS
4. Rahilla Tarfa - NINDS Graduate Student - "The Single-Most Important Thing is to Keep Being Curious"
5. Neurological Complications of COVID-19 and NINDS Clinical Research by Dr. Avindra Nath
6. Webinar - NINDS Interdisciplinary Team Science RM1

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