700,000+ have brain disorders
One in three people in Europe is likely to be affected by some sort of brain disorder in their lifetime and EU member states must work together to tackle this serious health issue, a major conference in Dublin will be told this week.
In Ireland alone, over 700,000 people live with a brain disorder, which covers conditions from dementia, depression and Parkinson's to acquired brain injuries.
The estimated cost of treating such conditions in Europe in 2010 was €800 billion.
The conference, Healthy Brain: Healthy Europe - A new horizon for brain research and healthcare, aims to encourage EU member states to develop complementary strategies to help combat these disorders.
Speaking ahead of the conference, the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, said no European country alone had the expertise or resources necessary to tackle all of the big questions in this field.
"We are making progress, but by working together, we can do even more," he said.
He added that the European Commission and the Irish Presidency 'want to promote the development of coordinated strategies to tackle brain research and healthcare across Europe'.
However Dr Reilly's comments come shortly after it was revealed that over 160 patients in Ireland are on waiting lists for brain surgery for six months or more.
According to the latest figures from the Department of Health, there are currently 452 patients awaiting inpatient or day case neurosurgery in Beaumont and Cork University Hospitals, the two neurosurgery centres. Of these, 164 are waiting more than six months for operations, while 288 are waiting up to six months. (See more on this story here)
The conference on brain disorders takes place at the Convention Centre in Dublin today and tomorrow. Delegates will include policy makers, health professionals and patient organisations.
[Posted: Mon 27/05/2013]