The brain is the most complex human organ. It provides and controls virtually every function of the body, ranging from rational thinking, emotions, heart beat, breathing, food and fluid intake, sleep or sex. In a vision of high quality of life and wellbeing, keeping our brain functioning and healthy is a clear prerequisite. Disorders of the brain are extremely complicated to analyse, diagnose and treat in comparison to other diseases. These brain disorders – to name just the
most common ones: depression, Alzheimer’s/dementia, schizophrenia, stroke, migraine, sleep disorders, Parkinson’s disease, pain syndromes (back pain, in particular), addiction to alcohol and other substances- give rise to a far higher level of disability, including admissions to hospitals and nursing homes, than is widely recognised. Health economists have calculated that brain disorders amount to ca. 45% of the annual health budget of Europe, totaling around €800
billion every year.