A Focus on Parkinson's Disease and the European Society
European Brain Council launches annual forum
Beginning in 2008 the EBC will launch a series of Annual Multidisciplinary Forums designed to involve all those with a stake in brain research in the building of a European research strategy towards tackling the major brain diseases.
Each multidisciplinary forum will focus on one major disease and in particular, neglected areas of that disease. The first multidisciplinary forum will be devoted to Parkinson’s disease and the European society, and the goal in each case will be to raise awareness of the research and resource requirements for making further progress in understanding that disease.
The format of these meetings will reflect the broad constituency of the EBC by including politicians, policy-makers, industry representatives, representatives of health policy think tanks and opinion leaders as well as the scientists and physicians who carry out the research.
The hope is that those researchers will emerge from the forum newly motivated to work together towards a roadmap for improving treatment, and that other stakeholders should have had a chance to listen to and voice their opinions on that roadmap, so that they may fully support it as it goes forward.
Each forum will open with an analysis of the burden and cost of the disease in Europe, following on the recent studies carried out by the EBC and the Swedish company Stockholm Health Economics into the Cost of Disorders of the Brain in Europe, Resource Allocation to Brain Research in Europe and the Consensus Document on European Brain Research.
Experts in the field will then summarise recent progress in both basic and clinical science, to illustrate how goal-oriented research will lead to understanding of basic disease mechanisms which can then be translated into effective therapies. There will be an opportunity for the audience to question the experts, and patients will also describe the many disease states which are still insufficiently treated, and to which more research needs to be dedicated.
The latter part of the forum will be devoted to an analysis of the necessary research steps that need to be taken next, the delineation of research programmes which integrate the basic and clinical neurosciences and an analysis of the European research landscape.
Finally, outstanding European neuroscientists or very prominent patient representatives will round up each forum with the Annual EBC Lectures, which the Council intends should quickly be recognised as a highly prestigious lectureship.
The EBC hopes that, having been fully integrated in the process, patients and their representatives should get the assurance they seek that the pursuit of this roadmap will meet their needs and be to their benefit. Active and influential patient groups will therefore adopt that agenda and support it with all the means at their disposal, as will policy-makers, opinion leaders and all other stakeholders who take part in the forum.
The EBC anticipates that, due to its unique format, the annual forum will make an important contribution to the development of much-needed, disease-oriented, integrated brain research programmes in Europe.
For further information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org