Brain illness is far more common than is generally perceived and has serious effects on the lives of many people, in terms of limitations on activity and restrictions on participation. The cost of brain diseases in Europe is similar to the combined costs of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Brain disorders are a prominent burden in elderly people.
The EU research system remains a collection of national research and innovation systems, which can benefit from cooperation: this gap also applies to brain research. Increased European coordination in neuroscience is needed, since this challenge will transcend the capacities of individual Member States, and should benefit from an all-encompassing European system.