According to the World Health Organization’s large-scale studies, about a third of the adult worldwide population suffer from a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. If also taken together with neurological disorders, such as dementia and stroke, these “disorders of the brain” account for 13% of the global disease burden. This surpasses both cardiovascular diseases (5%) and cancer (10%). Countries with the highest rate of burden > 650 Disability Adjusted Life Years [DALYs] per 100,000 population included the USA, UK, Russia, and Australia. The annual cost of taking care of patients with neurological disorders in the US alone approaches $400B of which $200B is for Alzheimer patients. We believe that this cost in 10 years could reach to $1T in the US alone. In China 975,000 people die annually from brain trauma alone and the Alzheimer population in the Australasia corridor is rapidly on the rise. Thus, European Union, China, India, Japan and Australia are not immune from such high cost of healthcare despite having 100% government insurance.
About 3 million Australians are estimated to experience symptoms of a mental disorder (ABS 2008). Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) estimates that over $6 billion per annum is spent on mental health-related services in Australia. From the European Brain Council study, it is estimated that the annual cost of brain disease in Europe was 798 billion Euros in 2010. The total estimated worldwide costs of dementia were US$604 billion in 2010 and growing to be a near $1T annually. About 70% of the costs occur in Western Europe and North America. An US government study, the National Comorbidity Study Replication, estimated that serious mental illness accounted for $193 billion in lost earnings.
The G20 World Brain Mapping and Therapeutics was announced initially at the 12th Annual World Congress of SBMT in Sydney, Australia earlier this year but the partnership with EU-Human Brain Project was announced yesterday at the 11th Annual meeting of “the future of Healthcare,” which was held at a one of the most historic venues in Milan/Italy, the Four Seasons, thanks to the AB Medica’s generous sponsorship.
“We are truly delighted to have top European and US scientists in this convention, which is designed to predict the future of healthcare based on advance science/technology and very happy that SBMT now will be closely partnering with EU Human Brain Project,” said Dr. Pantaleo Romanelli, newly elected president of European Chapter of Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics (SBMT), chief medical officer, AB Medica, Milano, Italy, consultant and scientific director, Radio-neurosurgery, CDI, Milano, Italy, visiting scientist, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France.
“SBMT is a world leader in the field and has been the global voice for translational neuroscience. We continue to be on the forefront of pioneering medical research, advocacy as well as global partnership,” said Dr. Kuldip Sidhu, the past president of SBMT, A/Prof. of Stem Cell at University of New South Wales and president of SBMT-Australia.
The European Commission has officially announced the selection of the Human Brain Project as one of its two Flagship projects. The new project will federate European efforts to address one of the greatest challenges of modern science: understanding the human brain. The cost is estimated at 1.19 billion Euros. “Global collaboration is the key to advancing neuroscience to understand the human brain from genes to cognition. It is critical to integrate and coordinate both basic and clinical sciences to bring their insights to benefit the patient,” said Dr. Sean Hill, co-director of Informatics Research at EU Human Brain Mapping Project.
President Obama recently added 100-million-dollars to the FY14 and $200M FY15 budget of the US government as part of the BRAIN initiative. This is an additional new funding for the NIH, DARPA, and NSF. Similarly a recent the Prime Minster of Australia, Toy Abbott, added $200 million dollar to his federal budget in order to combat dementia in addition to substantial more funding for medical research.
“I am glad that our colleague in European Brain Project have understood the importance of collaborating with SBMT, which is a leading edge organization for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics,” said Dr. Babak Kateb, founding chairman of the board of SBMT, president of Brain Mapping Foundation, and research scientist at the Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, Calif., USA. “We believe there is a great need for a global action focused on: 1) more systematic and methodical study of brain in human health in a consortium approach; 2) well-coordinated global response to the rising burden with neurological disorders and global harmonizing of the related policies; 3) well-planned neuro-economical assessment of the future impact of disease, diagnostics and prevention; 4) facilitating translation of technologies across disciplines of science in order to rapidly identify and introduce new generation of therapeutics; 5) unifying global regulations and guidelines on clinical trials and drug/device-combination discovery; 6) establish global partnership and new funding initiatives across academic, educational, industry and non-profit organizations and 7) facilitate integration, translation and commercialization of neurotechnologies such as nanoneuroscience, cellular therapeutics, imaging and advance electronics/devices,” he continued.
Australia is hosting the Group of Twenty (G20) developing nations in November of this year in Brisbane. This is a great opportunity for the heads of states of the G20 Nations to potentially put the G20 World Brain Mapping & Therapeutics initiative introduced by the SBMT and Brain Mapping Foundation on their current and future agenda.
This year SBMT is partnering with Australian American Association, Research Australia, Federal and State governments of Australia in order to hold the first annual G20 World Brain Mapping and Therapeutic summit in Australia.
Date; June 26, 2014