To optimize the brain health of every citizen across the lifespan.
Build a new paradigm of collaboration and unleash science and technology to optimize brain health and prevent brain disease.
The Burden of Brain Disorders
The US Congress declared the 1990s the Decade of the Brain, ushering in an era of global attention and investment in brain research. The declaration followed a growing recognition that brain diseases, disorders, and injuries, when considered as one grouping, are exacting a terrible toll on individuals, their families, caregivers, and society—and on our labour market and the economy. Compromised brain health underlies mental, neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, and neurocognitive disorders and directly impacts 1 in 3 people world-wide. As a leading cause of illness and of disability, these disorders significantly reduce human capabilities and productivity. By one estimate, the cost to the global economy is currently between $2.5 trillion USD and $8.5 USD trillion per year.
While much progress has been made in the decades since the 90s, we do not yet have a theory for how the brain functions as one interconnected system, nor do we have an understanding of the etiology of the estimated 800 brain diseases and disorders. We are still focused on a deficit or health care model, where treatments (where there are treatments) mostly address symptoms at crisis points and at a later stage, and not root causes. The consequences of this approach can be seen in myriad impacts on society; from disability or trauma preventing the affected individuals and family caregivers from fully participating in society, to untreated mental illnesses resulting in homelessness and even incarceration.