Global Collaboration for Brain Disease

Unfortunately, most of us have seen loved ones who have suffered the effects of a brain abnormalities such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. According to the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) we spend $400 billion per year on mental health patients, half of which goes solely to those plagued by Alzheimer’s. In other countries such as China, as many as 975,000 citizens die each year from brain trauma, and despite health insurance coverage these patients cannot escape the costs of healthcare. All signs point to global cooperation to dramatically downsize the devastating effects of brain disease worldwide.
Leaders from around the world are currently working toward a solution. President Obama added $100 million to FY14 and doubled that amount for the following years budget as part of the BRAIN initiative. This is great news for the NIH, DARPA, and NSF who now have new funding for increased scientific brain research. The new Prime Minister of Australia also added to Australia’s federal budget for dementia patients to the amount of $200 million. Budgets are expanding for an important reason, seeing as understanding human brain function is one of the greatest challenges we face in science today.
Partnering organizations such as SBMT (Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics) and the E.U. Human Brain Project provide great strides into translational science and now Australia will be hosting the 2014 Group of 20 developing nations. SBMT is the world’s leader in studies of translational neuroscience. As stated by Dr. Sean Hill, (Co-Director of Informatics Research at E.U. Human Brain Mapping Project) “Global collaboration is key to advancing neuroscience and understanding genes to cognition.”  (
So what does this mean for our future? Well if we can globally harmonize our policies pertaining to neurological disorders and increase the commercialization of effective therapeutics across the globe then we might begin to see big changes in brain wellness as a whole. Mapping changes in the progression of brain diseases would also be a useful way of turning Big Data into assessable future predictions and possible cures when tracking symptoms and digression in patients with these major disorders. Results from predictive analytics could be one key factor in determining future cures for our planet. Tools such as “the Cloud” that can store excessive amounts of data are already being used by some medical facilities right now. These high-tech tools will begin to make great changes in the way we are able to turn stored data into predictions. What an amazing way to change the world of medicine and disease. (2014