It has been stated by the World Health Organization that neurological disorders are one of the greatest threats to global public health. Brain disorders (mental and neurological disorders) currently represent 35% of Europe’s total diseases burden and as such levy a considerable financial impact.
On the 19 – 20 November 2018, representatives from 21 COST Actions met with policy makers and stakeholders active in the field of European Brain Research in Brussels, Belgium for COST Connect -The future of European brain research.
Above: Attendees of COST Connect – The future of European brain research
COST Connect events are highly interactive workshops that provide open spaces for attendees to grow their ideas and build stronger research networks. The thematic nature of the events encourages networking and dialogue between participants with the aim of reducing duplication of activities.
Discussions during ‘The future of European brain research’ focused on many areas including better data analysis and integration, public education and ethics. Participants assessed various aspects of innovation in the field and improvements to policy impact. Individuals brought forward questions that they would like addressed during the event before the overall group shortlisted 8 for further exploration:
- Do we need a more systemic approach to neurological diseases?
- Do we understand how the building blocks of the brain work?
- Can mental health disorders be described by a finite number of phenotypes?
- Do we need expert – made guidelines for cell-culture/animal research? Disease markers.
- What does brain research need to answer to transform from physician centric to user/patient centric healthcare?
- How to make the outcomes of COST Actions sustainable in order to implement results in patient care at EU level?
- What are the barriers to innovation? How to achieve data sharing research exchange across EU brain research?
- Database – Where to go? How to combine? Which info to share?