Tag Archives: Brain Awareness Week

EBC holds Brain Awareness Week event on “Mood and Food: Exploring the gut-brain connection”

Though Brain Awareness Week is still approaching, held next week on March 11-15, the European Brain Council held its annual event early this year, ensuring access to the European Parliament in Brussels and an audience of policymakers and the general public.

This year, the event focused on “Mood and Food: Exploring the gut-brain connection”, examining the connection between mood and food, exploring the relationship between what you eat and how it can affect your mood and daily function.

Host MEP Marian Harkin welcomes the room

Our host, MEP Marian Harkin (ALDE, IE) opened the event with a warm welcome and supportive words for the work of EBC  and like-minded organisations, having hosted a few brain-related events in the European Parliament that day and throughout the week in light of Brain Awareness Week next week, as well as support for the work being done to raise awareness on the subject of brain disorders and brain research.

“I think when we speak about research, sometimes it can be quite narrowly focused or maybe on a particular disease, but the research in this field [gut-brain axis] affects every single one of us here, our families, our communities, in fact, every citizen in the European Union.” Ms Harkin stated, continuing with sharing her own personal interest in the field of research.

“As we are in the European Parliament, it is important also to mention the role that Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe funds can play in prioritizing brain research.”

MEP Jose Inacio Faria (EPP, PT) also joined us for the event, adding that he, too, has an interest in the field and learning more from the speakers. “I always say: what we can spend on prevention we can save on treatment and also ensure healthier citizens.”

EBC Vice-President, Prof. Patrice Boyer, echoed Ms Harkin’s welcome on behalf of EBC and spoke a few words on the current work of EBC and the importance of such awareness raising events. He also alerted the room to the official launch of the EBC Election Manifesto, which was first available that evening and the continued dissemination of the Brain Mission call for Horizon Europe.

Our first speaker was Alejandro Arias Vasquez,  who leads a research group that aims to identify the biological mechanisms underlying the way the brain functions in health and disease, with strong emphasis on neurodevelopmental disorders at Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. Alejandro spoke on the role gut bacteria can play in the risk of psychiatric diseases and described the results of some of the studies he is carrying out to investigate this. He is the coordinator of the H2020 Eat2beNICE consortium on the effects of nutrition and lifestyle on impulsive, compulsive and externalizing behaviours.

Alejandro Arias speaks on his current research on biological mechanisms underlying the way the brain functions in health and disease

“The project I’m involved in is trying to determine, scientifically – with robust evidence – which type of dietary interventions affect your brain. We’re working towards identifying how, for example, restriction-elimination diets work for ADHD, how the Mediterranean diet works for cognitive performance in people 55 years plus, how probiotics affect the risk of aggressive behaviour in adolescents or how nutritional supplements can help people with impulse control problems. These are all very relevant societal problems. And there’s already some interesting data; already testing if you should eat rice, or potatoes, or greens, or maybe reds? The data is out there. We’re still not completely there in order to answer clinically, but the progress is amazing.”

 

Kimberley Wilson wants to encourage the general public to improve understanding of their own brain and how their lifestyles play a role in their brain health

 

 

Our second speaker, Kimberley Wilson, is a nutrition trained Chartered Psychologist, specialising in Whole Body Mental Health.  Kimberley spoke on the need for increased public engagement  in the field of nutrition, wellbeing and how they affect our brain and minds, as well as how we translate research to clinical practice.

“We really need to start getting people thinking about their brains much earlier in life. We need to start engaging younger people in thinking about their brains. It’s not about flat abs, it’s about strong minds. In essence, somehow, we need to make the brain more ‘sexy’. My personal campaign is to engage people with good quality research and to empower people to use their lifestyle factors to improve their brain health.”

Her clinical work looks at the role nutrition and lifestyle play in our mental health, including disordered eating, functional disorders of the gut-brain axis (IBS) and our emotional relationships with food. Her private clinic, Monumental Health, integrates psychological therapy with evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle advice to effectively treat mental health concerns.

It was clear the audience was up for a discussion, with many questions being fielded to the two speakers after both had spoken, with the conversation being led by Prof. Boyer.

Thank you to all who attended the event and to our partners in organization, the European Dana Alliance for the Brain. For further information on the event, please contact Stephanie Kramer (projects@braincouncil.eu)

 

 

 

BAW’ 19 Event – “Mood and Food: Exploring the gut-brain connection”

One of EBC’s annual activities is to hold an outreach event for Members of the European Parliament and the general public during the Brain Awareness Week (BAW). This global campaign is held in March every year and aims to increase public awareness on the progress and benefits of brain research.

This year we focus on “Mood and Food: Exploring the gut-brain connection”. Join us in the European Parliament in Brussels (JAN 3Q Brasserie) on the 6th of March from 18:00 to 20:00.

This Brain Awareness Week event will focus on the connection between mood and food, exploring the relationship between what you eat and how it can affect your mood and daily function. Held as a reception this year, the event will combine food, informal presentations and discussion with experts in this growing field of research.

This event is kindly hosted by MEPs Marian Harkin (ALDE, IE) and held in partnership with the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS).

We look forward to welcoming our speakers, Dr. Alejandro Arias-Vasquez (New Brain Nutrition Project),  Kimberley Wilson (Monumental Health, NHS Mental Health Trust Governor) and moderator Prof. Patrice Boyer (EBC Vice President).

 

 

 

Registration is now closed*

*Entry is still possible for those with European Parliament access badges

 

 

 

 

 

Registration now open for BAW 2019 event: “Mood and Food: Exploring the gut-brain connection”

One of EBC’s annual activities is to hold an outreach event for Members of the European Parliament and the general public during the Brain Awareness Week (BAW). This global campaign is held in March every year and aims to increase public awareness on the progress and benefits of brain research.

This year we focus on “Mood and Food: Exploring the gut-brain connection”. Join us in the European Parliament in Brussels (JAN 3Q Brasserie) on the 6th of March from 18:00 to 20:00.

This Brain Awareness Week event will focus on the connection between mood and food, exploring the relationship between what you eat and how it can affect your mood and daily function. Held as a reception this year, the event will combine food, informal presentations and discussion with experts in this growing field of research.

This event is kindly hosted by MEPs Marian Harkin (ALDE, IE) and Jose Inacio Faria (EPP, PT) and held in partnership with the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS).

We look forward to welcoming our speakers, Dr. Alejandro Arias-Vasquez (New Brain Nutrition Project),  Kimberley Wilson (Monumental Health, NHS Mental Health Trust Governor) and moderator Prof. Patrice Boyer (EBC Vice President).

CLICK HERE to register your attendance!

BAW 2018 Event Report: “Expanding Brain Research in Europe: Education, Behaviour and Brain Development”

On 15 March 2018, EBC held its annual Brain Awareness Week event at the European Parliament (in Strasbourg, France) in partnership with FENS, EDAB, BBC, University of Strasbourg-Neuropole and the Bureau Grand Est. The event is designed for outreach to the general public and policymakers, to give an insight into the world of neuroscience and communicate just how important the work of neuroscientists is for society. This year’s event was co-hosted by MEPs Anne Sander (France, EPP), Daciana Sârbu (Romania, S&D), and Lieve Wierinck (Belgium, ALDE), who all gave powerful talks about the need for continued support of neuroscience and research, as well as the need for scientists to be empowered to communicate their work to the general public and how their research has an impact on lives. The event was officially opened by co-moderators EBC President Prof. Monica Di Luca and EBC Treasurer Ms Joke Jaarsma.

The first speaker was Prof. Albert Gjedde of the University of Copenhagen. His talk covered “The predictive brain and the future: to boldly go where no one has gone before” which explored how the most fundamental questions about the brain still remain unanswered despite the great advances in neuroscience over the recent years. More than ever before, neuroscientists must engage in efforts to test and apply this novel insight into the key functions of the human brain, as part of neuroscience’s continuing mission to explore the challenges that humans face when their brains age.

The second speaker was Prof. Steven Laureys, Director of the Coma Science Group at the GIGA Research and Neurology Department of the University and University Hospital of Liège, Belgium. He spoke freely to the room on his work in consciousness and coma science, and how understanding consciousness remains one of the greatest mysteries for science to solve. He also made the case for continued but starker support from the EU institutions for science and research, asking for continuity in funding and the work being done- breaking free from project-based restraints, allowing for consistency and longer-term research.

The final speaker was Prof. Gaia Novarino, neuroscientist who investigates the genetic and molecular basis of neurodevelopmental disorders at IST Austria, and spoke on how scientists work to find treatments for pediatric neurological disorders. Neurodevelopmental disorders affect millions of individuals from very young ages, and are often refractory to treatments, and despite decades of intensive research disorders such as autism and epilepsy remain poorly treatable. However, in the last years, researchers have found that autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy and mental retardation are often caused by tiny mistakes in the patient’s DNA; genetic information, therefore, may retain the key to reveal potential
treatment options.

A discussion with the audience follow the speakers, and was a great display of interest and curiosity from the full room. Attending neuroscientists and MEPs alike posed questions to our three speakers, the panel and discussants Prof. Roland Pochet and EBC Vice-President Prof. Patrice Boyer.

EBC would like to thank all its partners and collaborators for making this Brain Awareness Week 2018 outreach event an excellent success, as well as all the attendees who took the time out of their day to travel to the Parliament to make the event. We also extend a special thank you to all MEPs that attended the event and took part in the lively discussion.

The full programme with speakers biographies and abstracts can be found here
The event was livestreamed here

Brain Awareness Week 2018: Expanding brain research in Europe – Education, Behaviour and Brain Development

On 15 March 2018, EBC will once again hold an event at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the occasion of Brain Awareness Week 2018. Based on our highly successful outreach event at the Parliament last year, which included a good showing of policymakers, researchers and the general public who openly interacted with each other and the speakers during the hour of open discussion following the presentations, we will bring a similar event to Strasbourg once again.

This event is organised in cooperation with the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB), the Belgian Brain Council (BBC), with support from Neuropôle de Strasbourg and Le Bureau Europe Grand Est.

Co-hosted by MEPs Anne Sander (France, EPP), Daciana Sârbu (Romania, S&D) and Lieve Wierinck (Belgium, ALDE), the event will focus on the continued need for expansion of brain research in Europe, this time with specific focus on education, behaviour and brain development. The speakers list consists of highly-lauded scientists from the various fields of expertise: Prof. Albert Gjedde –  University of Copenhagen, Prof. Steven Laureys – University of Liège and Prof. Gaia Novarino – FENS Kavli Scholar, Institute of Science and Technology Austria.

Please see the Save the Date below for further information, and CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!

The event will take place in the European Parliament, Room LOW N3.3 from 10:00-12:00.

 

BAW 2018 Invitation – FINAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brain Awareness Week 2018 (12-18 March)

Brain Awareness Week is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research organised
by the Dana Foundation. Every March, partner organizations worldwide work together to celebrate the brain for people of all ages. Past activities have included open days at neuroscience labs, exhibitions about the brain, lectures on brain-related topics, social media campaigns, displays at libraries and community centers, and classroom workshops – to name a few.

In 2017, EBC held two Brain Awareness Week events: a lunch debate at the University Foundation in Brussels followed by an outreach event at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Both events were highly successful, with a good showing of policymakers, researchers and the general public who openly interacted with each other and the speakers during the hour of open discussion following the presentations.

EBC, thus, looks forward to repeating the outreach event at the European Parliament, Strasbourg, again in 2018. Read more about the event HERE.

 

NEW VIDEO: Brain Awareness Week Outreach Event, Highlights

EBC has just released another video on its YouTube channel, a highlights video of the EBC outreach event held on 16th March 2017 at The European Parliament in Strasbourg. The outreach event was titled: “Expanding Brain Research in Europe: A Societal Need?” and was held in the framework of Brain Awareness Week 2017, a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Every March, BAW unites the efforts of partner organizations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages.

Key speakers gave presentations on the topic of brain research from their individual standpoints. The speakers included: Monica Di Luca (Vice President of EBC, and President of FENS), Marion LeBoyer (Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Paris) and Ann Little (President of The European Federation of Neurological Associations, EFNA, deputising for Joke Jaarsma. MEPs Ann Sander and Momchil Nekov hosted the event.

The event was highly successful, with a good showing of MEPs, policymakers, researchers and the general public who openly interacted with each other and the speakers during the hour of open discussion following the presentations.

The full presentations from each speaker will be available to watch soon.

* For more information about the Value of Treatment (VoT) for Brain Disorders research project, click here: http://bit.ly/2qhvsv4

* To read EBC’s Call to Action, click here: http://bit.ly/1mX7pPX

 

Brain Awareness Week: Outreach Event, Strasbourg (16.03.17)

What is Brain Awareness Week?

The global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research

Brain Awareness Week unites the efforts of partner organizations from around the world in a week-long celebration of the brain every March. Partners organize creative and innovative activities in their communities to educate and excite people of all ages about the brain and the promise of brain research.

Brain Awareness Week was founded in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. EBC partner, The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) joined the celebrations in 2006, administering the grants that the Dana Foundation reserves for participating European organisations.

“Now in its 22nd year, Brain Awareness Week continues to flourish because of participation of partners from around the globe, like FENS, and their commitment to educating the public about the importance of brain research and its critical role in helping people lead healthier, more productive lives.” – Edward Rover, Chairman, The Dana Foundation & The European Dana Alliance.

Find out about Brain Awareness Week in France here.

As part of Brain Awareness Week, EBC, in collaboration with The Dana Foundation, The Belgian Brain Council, The European Psychiatric Association (EPA) and The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), organized an outreach event at the European Parliament, Strasbourg on 16 March 2017. The title of the event “Expanding Brain Research in Europe:  A societal Need?” was in parallel to the Lunch debate organized in Brussels on 14 March 2017. The goal of the event was to target MEPs and other decision makers interested in the fields of health, research and innovation. The event was hosted by MEP Anne Sander and MEP Momchil Nekov

          

The event at Strasbourg consisted of three presentations given by guest speakers: Monica DiLuca, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Milano and Vice President of EBC,  Marion Leboyer, M.D., Ph.D. is currently Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Paris Est (UPEC) in France and Anne Little,  President of The European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) and Executive Director of The International Bureau for Epilepsy.

The event was highly successful, with a good showing of policymakers, researchers and the general public who openly interacted with each other and the speakers during the hour of open discussion following the presentations.

The abstracts of each presentation are below:

Monica DiLucaBrain Research in Europe: Our Challenge for the Future

Brain diseases represent a considerable social and economic burden in Europe. With yearly costs of about 800 billion euros and an estimated 179 million people afflicted in 2010, brain diseases are an unquestionable emergency and a grand challenge for neuroscientists. Considering the costs of brain diseases for the European society, and considering that these costs will increase considerably in the coming years due to the ageing European population, one way of curbing this increase and possibly decreasing the costs is via intensified research. Thus, strong basic research in neuroscience and the development of a strong European platform for neuroscience is needed to face brain diseases, which nowadays represent a societal emergency in European countries.

 

Ann Little— Putting neurology patients at the heart of research

Patients should be involved in helping to shape priorities for research that is ultimately carried out for their benefit. A growing body of evidence suggests that involving patients in research improves the relevance, quality and speed of that research. Furthermore, including patients as top level priorities in order to close the gap between what researchers want to research and what patients want researching is likely to be beneficial for all research.

The Value of Treatment project initiated by the European Brain Council is one excellent example of patient participation in research. The project addresses the burden of disease and the issues in the current healthcare system, and proposes evidence-based and cost-effective solutions to achieve high value for patients. By describing (“mapping”) the patient journey in full detail (by both patients and health care professionals), treatment gaps have been identified which will be addressed in the policy recommendations resulting from this project.

Marion Leboyer— Supporting research in psychiatry in Europe: A major societal issue

Mental disorders represent the single greatest economic and social burden on European society. The cost of mental disorders (excluding dementia and other organic brain disorders) in 2010 was estimated at €461 billion. This is the lowest current estimate for this figure, as it does not take into account the large additional costs associated with having co-occurring mental and physical disorders.

With sufficient investment, mental health research could address the burdens in Europe, especially through research on prevention of mental disorders in young or at-risk populations, on improvement of understanding of causes, on developing new tools for diagnosis and innovative therapeutic strategies, thus promoting positive mental health in the general population. Such approaches have been advocated by the European Parliament and the European Commission, and Prof. Leboyer will outline the most pressing mental health research that takes advantage of Europe’s infrastructure and research strengths, including the EU ROAMER project.


On the evening before the outreach event, 15 March, a networking cocktail reception was also held by EBC member, The European Psychiatric Association (EPA) at their Strasbourg Headquarters.

      

 

A video containing the highlights of the event can be found on the EBC Youtube channel, and shared below:

Brain Awareness Week: Lunch Debate (14.03.17)

What is Brain Awareness Week?

Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Founded in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, BAW unites the efforts of partner organizations from around the world in a week-long celebration of the brain every March. Partners include universities, hospitals, K-12 schools, advocacy groups, government agencies, service organizations, professional groups, and affiliates.

During BAW, partners organize creative and innovative activities in their communities to educate and excite people of all ages about the brain and the promise of brain research. Activities are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations.

The Dana Alliance invites all organizations to join the growing ranks of partners worldwide. By being a part of this global effort, partners add their voice to the message of hope that brain research brings—a message that will have even greater impact when delivered in concert with thousands of other voices from around the world.

As part of Brain Awareness week, EBC organized a lunch debate, held at The University Foundation, Brussels on 14 March, 2017. The subject of the debate was “Expanding Brain Research in Europe: A societal Need?”

 

The main objectives of the event were to:
  • Highlight the growing societal need to expand brain research in Europe, and provide an open forum for policymakers and relevant stakeholders to discuss and debate on the subject.
  • Provide a forum for discussion of all stakeholders involved in order to raise awareness and create ways of collaboration, as well as encouragement for all sides to act.
  • Recognize brain disorders as social and economic burdens, and that the expansion of brain research is vital.
  • To start a conversation and work in alignment with the EU institutions relevant to health and research.

EBC Executive Director Frédéric Destrebecq introduced and moderated the event, which involved a panel of three guest speakers, each addressing the subject from their own standpoint: Hilkka Kärkkäinen, President of Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe (GAMIAN)-Europe spoke about Research in Mental Health and the patient’s involvement, reminding us that the patients themselves are also experts; Alexander Schubert, Executive Director of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) spoke about the challenges to innovation in brain research.

                               

Lars Kristiansen, Executive Director of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) addressed the societal impact and the need to strengthen brain research in Europe; Stéphane Hogan, Head of Sector for Neurosciences at the European Commission Directorate-General for Research & Innovation ‎(DG Research) finished with a presentation on the work of The European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation, giving us the policymakers’ perspective and response.  The presentations were followed by contributions from the audience and general discussion among panelists and audience members.

                 

The event proved to be highly successful with insightful presentations, interesting discussion,  and great networking opportunities during the walking lunch that followed.

(Left to right: Lars Kristiansen, Alexander Schubert, Hilkka Kärkkäinen, Frederic Destrebecq and Stephane Hogan)

Find out about Brain Awareness Week in France here.

European Multiple Sclerosis Platform event – Can Real World Data Advance Equity of Health Care in Europe? 7 March 2017

EBC is pleased to support an event being organised by the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform on 7th March 2017 from 11.00 – 12.30 at the European Parliament, Brussels (room ASP A3E2) during Brain Awareness Week. 

 

 

 

 

The event, titled: “Can Real World Data Advance Equity of Health Care in Europe?” will address topics including:

  • Time matters: the ‘Brain Health‘ policy initiative driven by health care providers, health economists and patient advocates
  • For the benefit of patients and society: could real world data become the co-driver of regulatory and reimbursement decisions?

Poster

Programme 

If you would like to attend, please email Cristiano Pisani, External Affairs Assistant, EMSP – assistant@emsp.org

Please register by Wednesday 1st March 2017.

If you do not hold a pass that allows you access to the European Parliament, please include the following information in your email to Cristiano:

  • FULL NAME
  • FULL WORDING OF YOUR COMPANY
  • FULL WORDING OF YOUR POST WITHIN YOUR COMPANY
  • DATE OF BIRTH
  • NATIONALITY
  • NATIONAL ID (or passport) NUMBER
  • ADDRESS

 

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