Brain Research: Symposium in Berlin, BMBF, on January 12, 2016

Leading European neurologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists will meet at a symposium ‘How to reinforce the interactions between scientists, clinicians and the society in the field of brain research?’ on January 12th, 2016.

According to estimates by the WHO, more than one billion people suffer from diseases of the brain and the nervous system. © Thinkstock/cosmin4000

The experts will discuss how to improve research collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists and how to involve patients in research activities. Representatives from patient organizations will also be present.

The presidents of the European Academy of Neurology and of the European Psychiatric Association, Günther Deuschl and Wolfgang Gaebel will highlight the clinical perspective. The president of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, Monica di Luca, will present the basic researchers’ view. Donna Walsh, Executive Director of the European Federation of Neurological Associations, and Raluca Nica of the Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks – Europe will explain how the lay organizations in the field of neurology and psychiatry work with the basic scientists and the clinicians to fight neurological and psychiatric disorders. The connection to policy making bodies will be illustrated by Mary Baker, immediate past president of the European Brain Council.

Excellent research

One of the key-elements of ERA-NET NEURON is the support of excellent research. Since 2008 research grants of more than 80 million euros were provided for multinational projects in various areas of research into brain function and its disorders. More than 300 research groups from Europe, Canada, and Israel pursue their research plans in 76 funded consortia. The output from these consortia in terms of enhanced knowledge and improved diagnostic measures and therapies is impressive.

They are invited by ERA-NET NEURON, which creates a strategic platform to address brain disorders that impose a particularly high burden of disease. According to estimates by the World Health Organisation, more than one billion people suffer from diseases of the brain and the nervous System. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) chairs the ERA-NET NEURON in which 25 ministries and funding organisations across Europe, Israel, Turkey and Canada have joined forces to support basic, clinical and translational research in the diverse fields of disease-related neuroscience.

With a new joint transnational call launched on January 11, 2016, BMBF together with its international partners in the ERA-NET NEURON and the European Commission, supports research in the area of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. In total around 20 million euros are allocated to this funding initiative. Violent insults to the head and body can result in complex injuries to the brain or spinal cord with a broad spectrum of symptoms and severe disabilities. The impact on afflicted persons and their families can be devastating. The initiative aims to increase our understanding of the disease and help develop better diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative measures.