Neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide1 and the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for approximately 9 million deaths per year2. The global toll of neurological conditions now exceeds that of all other diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases.3 As global populations continue to grow and age, the impact is set to increase. The World Health Organization estimates that half of the worldwide economic impact of disability will be due specifically to brain-related conditions by 2030 if we do not change this trajectory.4
Neurological conditions have been the most complex to understand and treat, and the impact of these conditions is creating new challenges for health systems, economies, patients, caregivers and their families across the globe. To drive effective change and tackle the societal burden head on, data generation is essential to provide a clear and measurable understanding of the global and local burden of disease across the world.
To address these challenges and make a meaningful impact, we have committed to a journey of discovery that involves collaborating with equally passionate advocates, coalitions, institutions and industry.
Last year, we partnered with the Economist Impact to develop a report called
Economist Impact – Neurological conditions remain a low priority for most countries despite the significant social and economic consequences.
70% of the global burden of neurological disorders are in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but only 28% of these countries have neurological policies with specific plans outlined by governments to manage neurological conditions.
Economist Impact – In 2020, the total cost of neurological disorders in Europe was $1.06tn, equivalent to the cost of heart diseases, cancer and diabetes combined.
Economist Impact – Expanding access to interventions can reduce the economic impact of neurological disorders on individuals and families, carers, employers and wider society.
Based on the findings of the Economist Impact report it became clear that more data is needed combined with a collaborative, multi-sector approach.
We are now building the foundation with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) on the Brain Health Collaborative – a multi-year effort to develop a holistic view of the current and future burden of brain health conditions, helping to fill the data gap on the health and economic impact around the world.
The Brain Health Collaborative hopes to bring together influential organisations from a range of different sectors including tech, philanthropy, health and research and professional medical societies. Together, this group will play a vital role in gathering the evidence needed to turn the tide on understanding the impact, innovation and value involved in managing neurological conditions.
The Brain Health Collaborative was launched at an event in October 2022, where IHME hosted
Simona Skerjanec, Head for Neuroscience and Rare Diseases, Global Product Strategy at Roche, also spoke at the event and shared her thoughts on why we are building the foundation with IHME and are part of the Brain Health Collaborative:
Making a meaningful impact across neuroscience requires committing to a journey of discovery that involves collaborating with equally passionate advocates, coalitions, and academic, institutions and industry. We believe that through strong collaboration we can find solutions to tackle the greatest challenges in neuroscience today.
Our hope is to create a tomorrow where neurological conditions no longer limit human potential – to preserve what makes us who we are.
World Health Organization. Launch of first WHO position paper on optimizing brain health across life. [Online]. Available at:
World Health Organization. Brain Health. [Online]. Available at:
Global, regional, and national burden of neurological disorders, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Available at:
Mathers C. D., Loncar D. (2006). Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030. PLoS Med. 3:e442. 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030442
Economist Impact. The value of action: mitigating the global impact of neurological disorders. [Online]. Available at:
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