On 23rd February 2015, the European Parliament Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain, co-ordinated by the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) and Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) was officially launched in Brussels. MEP Marian Harkin, who was co-chairing the event, stressed the fact that today, research, funding and public awareness regarding brain disorders don’t match the burden they represent.

This interest group will particularly focus on four topics: stigma, quality of life, research and patient involvement, and will be destined to be a “working-shop rather than a talking-shop” Audrey Craven – EFNA President – said, emphasising EFNA’s pro-active strategy.

Neurological and chronic pain disorders are becoming more and more frequent among populations: 1 in 3 Europeans are affected by a brain disorder and 1 in 5 by chronic pain.

With regard to these figures, MEP Darciana Sarbu insisted on the need of preventive measures as well as greater investment for research and patient involvement, to improve patients’ wellbeing but also to lessen the impact on economy and health systems across Europe – the cost of brain disorders reaches an estimated amount of 800 billion Euro in Europe each year.