Tag Archives: research

“Time matters: A call to prioritize brain health” report launches

Experts call for coordinated public education and research programmes to avert a brain disease crisis

 

Experts are calling for a public health campaign aimed at promoting a ‘brain-healthy lifestyle’ to reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

The campaign should support existing health promotion work by emphasising that “what is good for the heart is generally good for the brain,” they urge.

In a report published by the Oxford Health Policy Forum today, they go on to talk about a ‘window of opportunity’ in midlife where individuals may be able to make the biggest difference to their risk of developing neurodegenerative disease or of delaying its progress.

The public education campaign should be underpinned by a coordinated research programme, which is aimed at developing clinical tests for identifying those at risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases ‒ before signs and symptoms appear. Research to develop new treatments and other tests to facilitate earlier diagnosis must also continue, and health systems must prepare now for the time when such tests are available.

“People need to understand the risk factors that can affect their brain health and what can be done to maintain it and to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases,” said neurologist Professor Gavin Giovannoni from Queen Mary University of London and Co-chair of the author group of a new evidence-based report, Time matters: a call to prioritize brain health.

The report summarises published evidence and the consensus findings of an international multidisciplinary expert group, including clinicians, researchers and representatives from patient advocacy and professional groups.

“Deterioration in the structure or function of nerve cells (neurodegeneration) begins many years before any symptoms become obvious. This means that diagnosis often occurs at a relatively late stage in the disease course, when substantial damage to nerve cells has already taken place,” explained Dr Alastair Noyce, from Queen Mary University of London and Co-chair of the author group.

“We conclude that there is a ‘10–20-year window of opportunity’ in midlife during which people can reduce the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease or delay its progress. We cannot change our genetic make-up, but we can help reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases ourselves by taking exercise, keeping socially active, eating healthily, reducing alcohol intake, stopping smoking and keeping our brains active.”

Neurodegenerative diseases are becoming more common as people live longer, but they are not an inevitable consequence of normal ageing. Worldwide, Alzheimer’s disease affects about 50 million people and Parkinson’s disease affects more than 6.1 million people; these numbers are rising.

“Planning for the healthcare structures of the future has to start now if we’re to avert a crisis,” stressed Professor Giovannoni. “Neurodegenerative diseases pose an enormous socioeconomic and individual burden, and this will continue to grow as the population ages.”

The report sets out a series of consensus recommendations, including:

  • improve public understanding of how to protect brain health through lifestyle measures – such as exercise and a healthy diet
  • prepare for the likely increased demand for genetic testing by those wanting to understand their risk of a neurodegenerative disease
  • provide access to available and effective treatments in a timely manner
  • provide accessible holistic care, including prevention information, treatment options and support
  • conduct research to identify accurate and cost-effective tests for disease detection and diagnosis
  • develop, validate and approve tests, tools and apps for monitoring brain health.

Several professional associations and advocacy groups – including European Brain Council, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Parkinson’s UK and European Parkinson’s Disease Association – have endorsed the recommendations

Welcoming the report, Dr Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Evidence shows that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain, but this message is yet to hit home with the public. Only a third of people think it’s possible to reduce their risk of dementia, and we must do more to empower people with knowledge about the actions they could take to protect their brain health. Alzheimer’s Research UK wholeheartedly supports the timely and important recommendations of this report.”

Representing the European Brain Council, Professor Monica Di Luca echoed the need for action and collaboration: “The European Brain Council has for years been highlighting the importance and cost of brain diseases. This report strengthens the case for governments to prioritise brain health and to prepare for the challenges that healthcare systems will face as the burden of brain disease continues to increase.”

Time matters: a call to prioritize brain health was launched at the European Health Forum Gastein conference (the ‘Davos’ for Public Health) on Thursday 3 October.

Read the full report HERE.

 

Notes to editor

Lead author and Chair, Professor Gavin Giovannoni, and other members of the author group are available for interview.

Professor Gavin Giovannoni is centre lead for neuroscience and trauma at the Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Philip Scheltens, a leading expert in Alzheimer’s disease and Co-chair of the report, is based at the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Netherlands.

Author and Co-chair of the report, Dr Alastair Noyce, is a Clinical Senior Lecturer, at Queen Mary University of London and a Neurology Registrar at Barts. His main research interests are in the area of Parkinson’s disease.

Time matters: a call to prioritize brain is published by Oxford Health Policy Forum CIC, a not-for-profit community interest company registered in England and Wales (Registration number: 10475240).

A full copy of the report is available at www.oxfordhealthpolicyforum.org

Preparation of the report was funded by educational grants from Biogen and F. Hoffmann-La Roche, who had no influence on the content.

 

About neurodegenerative diseases

Neurodegeneration is a consequence of disease-related processes in the brain that result in a loss of function of the nervous system.1 Neurodegenerative diseases are long-term progressive conditions that cause a decline in brain health and result in premature age. Age is the strongest risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases,2 and these diseases are becoming more common as people are living longer.

The two most common neurodegenerative diseases are Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Some, but not all, neurodegenerative diseases are causes of dementia. Dementia is the fifth highest cause of death and the number of global deaths is predicted to double over the next 20 years.3

The financial cost of neurodegenerative disease to society is considerable, both in terms of direct (e.g. medical) and indirect (e.g. sick leave) healthcare costs and in the significant loss of workforce hours. The global costs of dementia have increased from US$604 billion in 2010 to US$818 billion in 2015.3,4 The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that, by 2030, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will be responsible for 1.2% of the total deterioration in health-related quality of life.5

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia.6 It involves the progressive loss of specialised cells in the brain (neurons) that affect behaviour, memory and cognition, which significantly and progressively impacts a person’s ability to maintain the activities of daily living.7,8 More than 520,000 people in the UK have dementia caused by AD; worldwide, AD affects about 50 million people.7,8

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is caused when brain cells stop producing ‘dopamine’, a chemical that controls movement.9 Symptoms can include an altered way of walking, a stooped posture, tremors and small handwriting.9 In the later stages it is characterised by balance problems which often result in falls. The number of people diagnosed with PD in the UK is around 145,000; worldwide, PD affects more than 6 million people.10

 

  1. Mattson MP, Magnus T. Ageing and neuronal vulnerability. Nat Rev Neurosci 2006;7:278–94.
  2. Livingston G, Sommerlad A, Orgeta V et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. Lancet 2017;390:2673–734.
  3. Prince M, Wimo A, Guerchet M et al. World Alzheimer report 2015: the global impact of dementia, 2015. Available from: https://www.alz.co.uk/research/world-report-2015 (Accessed 15 January 2019).
  4. Wimo A, Guerchet M, Ali GC et al. The worldwide costs of dementia 2015 and comparisons with 2010. Alzheimers Dement 2017;13:1–7.
  5. World Health Organization. Neurological Disorders. Public health challenges Switzerland: WHO, 2006. Available from: https://www.who.int/mental_health/neurology/neurological_disorders_report_web.pdf (Accessed 15 January 2019).
  6. Cummings JL, Cole G. Alzheimer disease. JAMA 2002;287:2335–8.
  7. World Health Organization. Dementia fact sheet, 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia (Accessed 6 February 2019).
  8. Alzheimer’s Research UK. Dementia Attitudes Monitor – Wave 1 Report 2018, 2019. Available from: https://www.dementiastatistics.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Dementia-Attitudes-Monitor-Wave-1-Report.pdf (Accessed 6 February 2019).
  9. Sveinbjornsdottir S. The clinical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. J Neurochem 2016;139:318–24.
  10. Dorsey ER, Elbaz A, Nichols E et al. Global, regional, and national burden of Parkinson’s disease, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study 2016. Lancet Neurol 2018;17:939–53.

 

Media relations

Chris Mahony, Interim Faculty Communications Executive (Medicine and Dentistry)

Marketing and Communications Department, Queen Mary University of London

T: 0207 8825315

E: c.mahony@qmul.ac.uk

13th European Paediatric Neurology Society (EPNS) Congress

On 17-21 September 2019, the European Paediatric Neurology Society (EPNS) – one of EBC’s newest members – will hold its 13th Annual Congress in Athens, Greece.

EPNS is a society for physicians with a research or clinical interest in Paediatric Neurology. With more than 1,500 members, the EPNS is a thriving and growing society which continues to play an important role in and beyond Europe by promoting training, clinical care and scientific research in the field of Paediatric Neurology.

For further information, please visit the EPNS 2019 website. To register, follow this link.

Event Report: “Brain Research in Europe: Shaping FP9 and Delivering Innovation to the Benefit of Patients” & Brain Mission launch

Last Monday and Tuesday, 23-24 April 2018, EBC held the two-day event “Brain Research in Europe: Shaping FP9 and Delivering Innovation to the Benefit of Patients” at the University Foundation in Brussels. The event was organised in three different sessions: “FP9 and Missions”, “The Value of Innovation” and “European Brain Research: Shifting Gears and Going Global”. The full programme booklet can be found here, and below is a recap of the two fruitful days.

The event aimed to bring together leading healthcare stakeholders and policymakers to address key questions in the domain of research, such as how the upcoming 9th Framework Programme can accelerate brain research across Europe, what measures can be taken in order to stimulate the development of new central nervous system drugs for treating brain disorders, and what can be done to address the concerns of patients.

FP9 & Missions

In view of the upcoming FP9 proposal, a wide range of independent experts provided recommendations on mission oriented research and how to gain the most out of EU-funded innovation programmes.  Recommendations to double the budget of the next Framework Programme have resounded across institutions: The “Lab – Fab – App” report, written under the leadership of Pascal Lamy, the European Parliament, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for Budget Günther Oettinger. Additionally, Prof. Mariana Mazzucato provided guidance on how research and innovation can address global challenges in the recently released report “Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the European Union”. In light of these recommendations, the session “Missions and FP9” aims to facilitate dialogue amongst experts on the mission oriented approach of the European Commission and how the next Framework Programme can boost therapeutic innovation.

Keynote speaker Prof. Andrea Renda kicked-off the first session, giving an insightful presentation on Mission-Oriented Research and Innovation Policy in the EU. He explored EU research as it stands now, and where it could be winning and/or losing. Furthermore, he shared all the different programmes available and supportive of the brain, and called for continued collaboration.

EBC President Prof. Monica Di Luca called for the Brain to be recognised as a Mission, launching the EBC Brain Mission, which calls to ‘understand, fix and enhance’, referring to understanding the brain as the space race of the 21st century. The full Mission can be read HERE.

Newly appointed Director-General of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Jean-Eric Paquet, addressed the audience, giving insight into what’s ahead as the work to shape the next Framework Programme begins, speculating on how a mission-oriented approach could pan out.

The Value of Innovation

Developing effective treatments to improve the lives of those affected by brain disorders is extremely challenging. Despite decades of publicly and privately funded brain research, there is currently no treatment available to cure a wide range of mental and neurological conditions. What is more, research efforts do not always translate into tangible results for patients. In view of this, and in the light of the high burden that brain disorders impose on European society, the session on “The Value of Innovation” aimed to empower healthcare experts and stakeholders to present their views on issues that hinder therapeutic innovation and discuss potential solutions.

The session was introduced by EBC Treasurer Joke Jaarsma, and the morning began separated into the perspective of various stakeholders: patients, research, regulators and industry. These perspectives were shared by Hilkka Kärkkäinen (President, GAMIAN-Europe), Jacobo Santamarta Barral (Young Person’s Network at the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform), Prof. Sebastian Brandner (UCL Institute of Neurology), Dr. Marisa Papaluca (Senior Scientific Advisor, European Medicines Agency) and Dr. Christoph von der Goltz (Lundbeck).

A panel session followed, bringing in further stakeholder perspectives, with a discussion from payers, industry, researchers and policymakers. The panel was made up of Menno Aarnout (Executive Director, Association Internationale de la Mutualité), Matthias Wismar (Senior Health Policy Analyst, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies), Nathalie Moll (Director-General, EFPIA), Prof. Colm O’Morain (Past President, Alliance for Biomedical Research in Europe) and Jaroslaw Waligora (Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission). The panel discussion was moderated by Dr Alexander Schubert (Executive Director, ECNP) and Margaret Walker (Executive Director, EUFAMI).

European Brain Research: Shifting Gears and Going Global

The third session drew focus to global initiatives and the potentials to increase collaboration at the international level, and aimed to provide an overview of the current global brain research initiatives and to allow experts to present their perspectives on how to further enhance cooperation at global level.

Many initiatives aimed at supporting brain research and improving the allocation of research funds were launched at global level in recent years. These efforts have the potential to significantly strengthen collaboration across disciplines and can therefore make a lasting difference for patients and scientists.

The session began with a welcome from Prof. Patrice Boyer, EBC Vice-President, and went on to an introduction on the global initiatives launched with the support of the European Commission by Dr Karim Berkouk, Acting Head of Unit, Non-communicable diseases and the challenge of healthy ageing, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission.

This continued to examples of existing and potential collaboration, bringing together Dr. Ari Ercole representing the International Initiative for Traumatic Brain Injury Research (InTBIR) – concrete example of existing international collaboration and the work being done at the global level; Prof. Philippe Ryvlin, Co-Chair, Joint Task Force for Epilepsy Advocacy Europe, International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) – exploring why epilepsy should be the next global initiative and the value of international collaboration and expanding to a more global level; and Dr. Helena Ledmyr, Head of Development & Communications, International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF)– introducing INCF as an organization and platform for neuroinformatics and the value of international cooperation.

Heads of global networks then gave insight into the scope and function of their organizations and how they are collaborating and cooperating both across Europe and worldwide. This included Prof. Philippe Amouyel, Chair, EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), Chris Ebell, Executive Director, Human Brain Project and Dr. Hella Lichtenberg, Senior Scientific Officer, ERA-NET Neuron.

The session was summed up and concluded by Prof. Wolfgang Oertel, EBC Vice-President, highlighting the vital need for collaboration on the brain.

We would like to thank everyone that was in attendance of the two-day event and for helping provide fruitful discussion.

Addressing the major burden on those living with brain conditions and the costs for European society requires an intensified research effort and the creation of novel solutions. The target of our proposed Brain Mission will be to decrease this enormous burden through better understanding of the physiology of the brain and disease states, relevant prevention strategies, as well as more generally, an increased awareness of the brain and its diseases.

Continued commitment to basic neuroscience research has advanced our understanding of the nervous system, with Europe successfully leading this effort designed to increase our understanding of the brain, as well as the practical and clinical application of this knowledge.

Engagement of the scientific and clinical community at all levels is required in order for the European population to benefit from discoveries and for advances in basic neuroscience to be translated into new diagnostic tools and treatments for brain disorders.

It is imperative now for the brain community to step up and call for the continued recognition of the brain and for the recognition of its importance in the upcoming Framework Programme (FP9). Help spread the Brain Mission far and wide and let’s continue to commit ourselves to advocating for the brain and for the 179 million people across Europe living with brain disorders.

 

See: BRAIN MISSION

Brain Research in Europe: Shaping FP9 and Delivering Innovation to the Benefit of Patients

On April 23-24 2018, EBC will hold a two day event focused on the shaping of the 9th Framework Programme, Innovative medicine and global initiatives. The event will take place in 3 separate sessions: FP9 & Missions, “The Value of Innovation” and “Brain Research: Shifting Gears and Going Global”

Investments into research and innovation have delivered unprecedented results for patients across Europe. Publicly and privately funded innovation schemes in the EU empowered researchers to accelerate scientific discovery, increase the understanding of non-communicable diseases and improve healthcare services. Yet despite the progress that was achieved in recent decades, there is currently no effective treatment to cure a wide range of mental and neurological conditions. What is more, the complexity of many brain disorders hinders researchers in their efforts to develop innovative healthcare interventions.

In 2018, the European Commission is expected to submit proposals for a mission-oriented and impact-focused 9th Framework Programme. In view of the preparations for the forthcoming EU research scheme, the European Brain Council (EBC) aims to bring attention to the current barriers that affect therapeutic innovation and facilitate an exchange of views on how the post-2020 Framework Programme can make a real difference for patients living with brain disorders.

The event, which consists of three individual sessions, will allow leading healthcare stakeholders and policymakers to address key questions in the domain of research, such as: how can the 9th Framework Programme accelerate brain research across Europe? What measures can be taken in order to stimulate the development of new central nervous system drugs for treating brain disorders? What can be done to address the concerns of patients?

Programme - Brain Research in Europe - 23-24 April

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.

 

Main Conclusions and Action Points of the 4th EBC Board Meeting & 2nd General Assembly

EBC Board Meeting #4 and General Assembly #2
22nd – 23rd November 2017
University Foundation
Rue d’Egmont, 11 – BE-1000 Brussels

Last week EBC held its final Board Meeting and General Assembly of 2017. It was a full two days starting with the Digital Health event at the European Parliament, and leading into the election of the new Executive Board on the evening of the 22nd (results below). The day continued over the EBC Board Dinner, which  served as a continuation for the event held prior and included three speakers on eHealth.

The two days of meetings continued the following day with the General Assembly, which produced an exciting amount of fruitful feedback and discussion of EBC’s current and planned activities moving forward. The main outcomes are shared below.

Main Conclusions and Action Points: 

Delegates to the Board and General Assembly of the European Brain Council (EBC) met on 22nd-23rd November to elect a new Executive Board, discuss current issues on EBC’s agenda and decide on the future direction of the organization. On this occasion, the following decisions were adopted:

Election of the new Executive of EBC

  • The following Officers were elected by the Board:
    • President: Prof. Monica di Luca
    • Vice-Presidents: Prof. Wolfgang H. Oertel
      Prof. Patrice Boyer
    • Treasurer: Joke Jaarsma

Overall Conclusions and Core Actions

  • EBC’s progress with regard to various projects and advocacy issues was discussed and endorsed:
    • The “innovation agenda” under which EBC will initiate work towards a revision of the EMA-guidelines, (2) respond to the consultation on Supplementary Protection Certificates and (3) continue the GOLUP-campaign, was confirmed.
    • The establishment of the “Value of Treatment” project in a continued fashion was approved. Delegates also looked forward to developing new case studies and/or carrying on disseminating the results and outcomes of the VoT white paper published in June.
    • EBC’s plan to apply for Horizon 2020 calls was positively received, particularly those related to brain research coordination and health technology assessment.
    • Plans for organizing an event in view of the 9th Framework Programme for Research, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of including “Brain research” specifically as one of the missions, were positively received.
  • A few policy documents, submitted for consideration, were endorsed:
    • The “Digital Health Society Declaration”
    • The statement “Prioritising patient safety and public health across Europe post-Brexit”
    • The “Call to Action on Migration and Health”
    • The “Call to Action to enhance labour opportunities for people with chronic diseases” (with an accompanying letter to be provided to the European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA) which authored the document)
    • The joint statement on “medical training and professional development for patient safety”

1st HBP Curriculum workshop series, 21 June – 19 July 2017

 

From 21 June – 19 July, the Education Program Office of the Human Brain Project will organize its 1st HBP Curriculum workshop series. The HBP Education Programme offers various transdisciplinary educational opportunities, including workshops, advanced schools as well as an annual student conference. Please check this page regularly for programme news and updates, as well as further information about the HBP Education Programme.

The first workshop of the HBP series will be held from 21-23 June 2017 at The European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience (EITN) in Paris, France:

1) ICT for non-specialists

Working on the frontiers between neuroscience and ICT, or medicine and ICT requires basic knowledge in the field of computer science. This workshop complements the online course ICT for non-specialists and provides practical insights into ICT research for young investigators interested in the subject without an ICT background, who require some basics for their research. Lectures and seminars will be accompanied by practical work and open discussion rounds. Experts in various areas of ICT will be available on site.

Workshop Structure:  Lectures > Seminars > Practical work > Discussion sessions > Social event

For more information click here.

From 3-7 July 2017, two workshops will take place in Innsbruck, Austria:

2) Understanding the brain: Neurobiology for non-specialists

Taking place from 3-5 July 2017, at the Medical University Innsbruck, Austria, the aim of this interactive workshop is to provide practical insights into basic and translational neuroscience research for interested non-specialists. The topics addressed range from essential neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, over IPS cells, to networks and behaviour. Plasticity and modulation of networks and signal transmission under physiological (like learning and memory) and pathological situations (like addiction, epilepsy or neurodegeneration) will form an essential part.

Workshop Structure: Lectures > Discussion sessions > Hands-on tutorials > Lab visits > Social event

Lectures and tutorials will be accompanied by lab visits, practical work and an open discussion round. Experts in functional neuroanatomy, neurobiochemistry, neuropharmacology and psychiatry from Medical University Innsbruck (Austria), the Allen Institute for Brain Science (USA) and the Human Brain Project (HBP) will be available on site.

For more information click here.

3)  New horizons in clinical neuroscience: Brain medicine for non-specialists

Taking place from 5-7 July 2017, at the Medical University Innsbruck, Austria, the aim of this interactive workshop is to deepen and complete the online course on brain medicine for non-specialists with the most recent advances in research of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Lectures and tutorials by international experts will report the state of the art of research and treatment of brain diseases. Representatives of the Allen Institute for Brain Science (AI, USA) and the Human Brain Project (HBP, Europe) will present novel avenues for exploiting large biological data sets for future classification of brain diseases, which may lead to new strategies for developing therapeutics.

Workshop Structure: Lectures > Discussion sessions > Hands-on tutorials > Social event.

Hands-on examples for using the tools developed by the Allen Institute and the HBP will be made available.

For more information click here.

From 10-12 July 2017, the Education Program Office of the Human Brain Project will organise a further Curriculum workshop on Research, ethics and societal impact under the title:

4) Responsible research: How to deal with animals and ICT in science – an ethical approach

Taking place from 10-12 July 2017 at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, this Workshop aims to provide the participants with insights on ethical aspects of the use of ICT and animals in science and research. Designated discussion rounds will provide the possibility for participants to interact with faculty and deepen the understanding of the topics addressed.

Workshop Structure: Lectures > Discussion sessions > Team based learning – group works > Lab visits > Social event

For more information click here.

From 17-19 July 2017, the final workshop will be held at Villa Toskana in Leimen, Germany, titled:

5) Intellectual property rights, translation and exploitation of research: Entrepreneurship in Neuroscience

This “hackathon” style workshop completes and complements the online course on Intellectual Property Rights, Translation and Exploitation of Research. Students will work in small groups around joint applied research ideas in Neuroscience that the students will offer and conceive by themselves. The participants will study how to advance their ideas from the lab to market, understand the needs, the target population, patentability options and how to build a business model. Finally they will present their ideas to industry and academy experts. The workshop is a hands on unique experience of diving into the entrepreneurial world, learning how to advance the science into the next step…

Workshop Structure: Lectures > Mini-Workshops > Group presentations > Discussion sessions > Lab visit > Social event

For more information click here.

 

Application for the workshops:

This workshops are open to the whole student community and early post-docs upon application. Applications from young female investigators are highly encouraged. Application is required as space may be limited. Applicants selected for participation will be informed within two weeks after the application deadline. There is no registration fee. Seven travel grants will be available upon request (European students only). Accommodation can be provided for 30 students (first come, first served). Note: The workshop is a supplement to the online course ‘HBP Curriculum – Research, ethics and societal impact‘. It is recommended for workshop participants to attend the online course as a basis for the workshop. During the workshop, participants will have the possibility of taking an exam about the content of the HBP online course ‘HBP Curriculum – Research, ethics and societal impact‘. Application deadline: 1 June 2017

 

Irish Brain Council launch their inaugural position paper (06.03.17)

Brain conditions affect over 1.1 million people in Ireland but investment in
research into these conditions remains behind cancer and cardiovascular
research with a critical need for targeted funding to support research into
brain conditions in this country.

This was the central message of the Neurological Alliance of Ireland & Irish
Brain Council conference “Brain Research in Ireland: Investing in All Our
Futures”  held in the Science Gallery Dublin on 7th March as part of events
to mark National Brain Awareness Week

The event saw the launch of the inaugural position paper by the Irish Brain
Council, outlining their agenda to advocate for and promote investment in
research and improved access to services and treatments for Irish people
with brain conditions.

Speakers at the conference included the head of research and analytics from
the Irish Department of Health and the guest speaker, Frederic Destrebecq,
Executive Director of the European Brain Council Members of the Irish Brain
Council who are leading specialists in clinical and neuroscience research in
Ireland also spoke on the day and the event was chaired by Mags Rogers,
Executive Director of the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, the national
umbrella for patient organisations.

Delivering the opening address, Mags Rogers Executive Director of the
Neurological Alliance and Secretary of the Irish Brain Council said “Brain
conditions are the greatest medical challenge of our time. With the Irish
Brain Council, we have a united voice across basic and clinical research and
including patient organisations to bring a national focus to brain
conditions with the aim of promoting investment in research, treatment and
services. We’ve seen the sea change in outcomes for conditions here in
Ireland because of a focused drive and investment in research and treatment.
This is what we are calling for on behalf of Irish people with brain
conditions”.

The event attracted over 150 attendees from the fields of research, clinical
practice and patient organisations.

You can download the inaugural position paper of the Irish Brain Council here.

Article courtesy of the Irish Brain Council.