Raising Brain Research Awareness

A version of this post written by my colleague Amy O'Connor originally appeared on LillyPad US.

Today marks the start of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign launched by the Dana Foundation in 1995 to increase public awareness of the process and benefits of brain research. The initiative turns 20 this year, and its work remains as crucial as ever.

Worldwide, 47.5 million people have dementia, with 7.7 million new cases every year. Alzheimer’s disease contributes to 60-70 percent of those cases. Alzheimer's places a huge physical, psychological, social, and economic burden on people with a diagnosis, caregivers, and family members. It also has a significant economic impact, with the global costs of dementia projected to rise to as much as $1 trillion by 2050.

These numbers illustrate the need to come together to advocate for more research dedicated to the brain. Neurological research continues to be incredibly complex work, but with 93 medicines in clinical trials and approval phases, hope looms large. 

More than 400 leading researchers agree we can prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025 – but only if we make critical investments and reforms. This includes sustaining and improving the innovation ecosystem and supporting collaboration between public and private research organizations. Together, we can work to ensure that breakthrough research makes it out of the pipeline and into the hands of the people who will benefit from it the most.