The European Brain Council is a unique organisation bringing together pan-European bodies representing neurologists, basic neuroscientists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, neuro-pharmacologists as well as patients federations and relevant areas of industries. In consequence, the EBC has to deal with many different aspects induced by brain disorders, be it the diseases themselves, research, treatment or improved quality of life of patients.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. Dementia, which is not a specific disease but an overall term that describes a group of symptoms¹, is characterized by a decline in memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities. Ultimately, dementia leads to a loss of independence and an increasing need for support by others.²

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that progresses in stages, beginning with a long silent phase before symptoms occur. With a rapidly ageing population, it is a growing public health concern worldwide.³

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Major depressive disorder (simply known as clinical depression or just depression) is a mental disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression is characterized by extended periods of low mood. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can negatively affect a person’s personal life as well as sleeping, eating habits, and general health decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

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A4-Depression-Disease-Fact-Sheet (1)


Migraine (together with Tension-Type Headache and Medication-Overuse Headache) is the most common, burdensome headache disorders and the most relevant from a public health perspective. These three disorders affect men, women and children in every part of the world, including over half of Europe’s adults.¹ However, headache disorders remain under-diagnosed and under-treated throughout Europe. In terms of funding and research, despite its prevalence, headache is often overlooked by key decision-makers.²

Migraine is a primary headache disorder, probably with a genetic basis. Activation of a mechanism deep in the brain causes release of pain-producing inflammatory substances around the nerves and blood vessels of the head. Why this happens periodically and what brings the process to an end in spontaneous resolution of attacks is uncertain.³

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Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the motor system and has variable non-motor components including cognitive and autonomic changes.¹

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are mainly caused by loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain but exactly why dopamine-producing cells become lost is unclear. The Parkinson’s has different symptoms, but the most common are tremor, muscle rigidity and slowness of movement.

Currently there is no treatment available to slow down or reverse the disease. The goal of the treatment is to reduce symptoms with as few side effects as possible.

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Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder in which individuals experience episodes of ‘psychosis’ which involve symptoms such as hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions (false ideas), disordered thoughts and problems with feelings, behaviour and motivation. In many people symptoms recur or persist long-term, but some people have just one episode¹. It first affects people in the age range of 15-35 years². Most commonly it begins in late adolescence and the early twenties, with later onset in women¹.

Schizophrenia is widely misunderstood with many people believing that those affected have a split or dual personality, which is not the case. The media have also exaggerated the likelihood of violent behaviour amongst schizophrenia patients; a patient is far more likely to be the victim of violent crime than the perpertrator³.

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