Advocacy and Action

Everyone can play a part in shaping the future of Parkinson’s. You can take action and advocate for legislation that affects the lives of those living with Parkinson’s. The Parkinson’s Association will keep you informed about action you can take at a local or state level, while the Parkinson’s Action Network will keep you informed about the actions of the federal government.

California BRAIN Initiative (CalBRAIN)

Senate Bill 836 establishes the Cal-BRAIN Project—a research program to complement the efforts of the BRAIN Initiative. It is designed to expand and accelerate brain research in California, and to harness its potential to create jobs and industries of the future and improve human health.


In April 2013, the Obama Administration unveiled the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative—a collaborative project that will map the activity of every neuron in the human brain with a proposed investment of more than $300 million per year for ten years. This research effort has the potential to be a major driver of new industries and jobs in biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and information technologies. It may also act as a catalyst for major breakthroughs in brain-related diseases, injuries and illnesses such as Alzheimer’s which is projected to cost California over $30 billion a year by 2030.

Research universities, foundations, philanthropies and major companies in California are already supporting this focused endeavor to accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will create jobs and industries of the future while improving lives.

A recent major research initiative, the Human Genome Project, returned $141 dollars to the U.S. economy for every dollar invested, according to the 2011 Battelle Memorial Institute study. Another study by the 2009 National Bureau of Economic Research on the broader economic impacts of research and development showed a $2.50 to $3 return for every dollar invested.


Much like the Human Genome Project, Senate Bill 836 represents a generational opportunity to build an economic foundation for California designed for the 21st Century. SB 836 provides invaluable assistance to research that has the potential to transform our understanding of the human brain. This knowledge could provide the keys to unlocking the mysteries behind brain-related injuries, illnesses, and diseases, as well as technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and information technologies.

If achieved, these discoveries could lead to major advances in human health, improving our quality of life and reducing the costs of care. It could also plant the seeds for new and expanded industries in California, create new, high-paying jobs, and increase economic opportunity.


The budget for the State of California has been approved and includes $2 million for the Cal-BRAIN Project.

For further information, please view the entire fact sheet by clicking here.