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The value of treatment for brain disorders – new report

3 July 2017 Lucy Eberhard

EBC VoT policy white paper coverBrain disorders can be highly disabling and they are also remarkably common, affecting one in three European citizens during their lifetime.1 The big question for policy makers trying to minimize disability from brain disorders is where to focus their limited resources.

The Value of Treatment for Brain Disorders policy white paper was launched by the European Brain Council (EBC) in Brussels on Thursday 22 June 2017.2 It makes policy recommendations based on in-depth case studies in nine disease areas: schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Parkinson’s disease, restless leg syndrome and stroke.

Professor David Nutt, President of the EBC, introduced the document and highlighted examples of best practice which demonstrate that interventions can be cost-effective and lead to better outcomes.

Speakers representing a cross-section of disease areas highlighted the importance of:

  • prevention and screening
  • timely diagnosis
  • early intervention
  • patient education and empowerment
  • seamless and coordinated care.

In his closing remarks, Professor Nutt reminded delegates that the “brain is still a bit of a mystery”. He urged those responsible for budgets to invest as much as possible into basic research to complement translational and clinical trials.

This policy white paper represents the culmination of a 2-year collaborative research project by the EBC, and brings us a step closer to improving the standards of care for people with brain disorders across Europe.


1. Wittchen HU, Jacobi F, Rehm J et al. The size and burden of mental disorders and other disorders of the brain in Europe. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2011;21:655–79. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2011.07.018.

2. European Brain Council. The Value of Treatment for Brain Disorders, June 2017. Available from: https://www.braincouncil.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/EBC-VoT-White-Policy-Paper.pdf (Accessed 3 July 2017).

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