Earlier this week, the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) announced the launch of the Brain Health Mission, a collaborative initiative that aims to address the global crisis of brain disorders and present solutions.
The mission brings together governments, healthcare providers, advocates, healthcare professionals, researchers and individuals interested in improving brain health to make prevention, earlier diagnosis, and enhanced treatments, a reality—an EAN press release details. This new initiative was announced at the recent European Brain Health Summit (9 May 2023, online).
The release notes that neurological disorders combine to form the leading cause of disability worldwide, and the second biggest cause of death, posing a “significant threat” to public health.
As such, the Brain Health Mission aims to ensure a basic understanding of brain health is available to the public through all stages of their lives; inform public health strategies that can make a meaningful and long-term impact on brain health; and boost the workforces of healthcare professionals within neurology and mental health to ensure patients and those affected by brain disorders receive the care and support they need.
To achieve these objectives, effective prevention, early detection, and intervention strategies, as well as investments in research, innovative treatments, and integrated healthcare systems, are essential, the release continues. The mission therefore seeks to promote a holistic approach to brain health and aims to educate individuals on healthy habits that support brain health, such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, and social engagement.
The Brain Health Mission invites everyone—including medical and scientific organisations, universities, research institutes, foundations, and individuals—to support and contribute to the initiative. The release further details that the mission is governed by an inclusive structure that provides representation for all partners and contributors, including a steering committee, a core working group and administration personnel provided by the EAN.
“The Brain Health Mission is about working together to create a brighter future for us all,” said Paul Boon (Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium), president of the EAN. “We invite you to join us on this journey towards healthy brains.”
The Brain Health Mission has already undertaken several activities, including hosting virtual and in-person summits; running educational programmes; promoting public awareness and understanding of brain health; fostering research on brain health; mapping the availability of care for brain disorders worldwide; and hosting public events to promote healthy habits that support brain health, the release states.