Brain disorders are becoming more prevalent over time and are threatening not only the quality of life of millions of European citizens but are also creating major challenges for the EU’s capacity to achieve the goals of its Europe 2020 strategy on economic growth and job recovery.
In this project led by the European Brain Council, the following research questions were addressed to examine the best options for optimizing research and care for brain disorders:
- What is the scale of current unmet needs in healthcare in Europe? What is the size of so-called “treatment gaps”, not only within the provision of medicines and medical devices, but also within health care systems and services? Considering obstacles such as misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, inadequate treatment, limited access to care due to country healthcare infrastructure or unaffordable access to care and pricing including therapies, reimbursement and social safety net cutbacks and non-adherence: what are the socio-economic benefits of targeting these gaps (e.g. avoidable costs)? What have we learned from the “Patient Journey” or the patient care pathway analysis? What about the potential benefits of seamless, coordinated care combining effective team care and patient-centred care planning?
- What is the added value of the Value of Treatment study? What are the new research developments in early intervention to improve [primary and secondary] prevention and treatment, knowing that, as of today, there is no cure?
- How can we ensure that evidence built from robust research can have an impact on policy? What are the priorities for policy making in the current context of health systems reforms (articulating their impact investment social return) while continuing in investing in health (“health is wealth”) and legislation implementation?
There is still no cure for most brain disorders; hence, it is necessary to focus on risk reduction, preclinical and early detection and diagnosis, and timely intervention. Primary and secondary prevention strategies remain essential (available diagnostic tools for neurological disorders and routine mental health screening).
More research is needed to understand the causes but also the progression of brain disorders and to develop new treatments that do not only symptomatically improve the condition but may modify, i.e. slow down, or even stop their course.
Click here for more information about the project on the website of the European Brain Council.