Trillion-dollar brain drain

Enormous costs of mental health problems in Europe not matched by research investment.

Brain disorders cost Europe almost €800 billion (US$1 trillion) a year — more than cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes put together. That’s the conclusion of a report1 commissioned by the European Brain Council that provides the most comprehensive assessment of the financial consequences of mental ailments so far.

The report’s authors argue that these enormous costs — which exceed the entire gross domestic product of the Netherlands — mean that research into brain disorders receives disproportionately little funding compared with other diseases. They call on politicians and funders to step up support for basic research on these conditions, which are so costly because they often require long-term care and erode the productivity of those affected for years or decades…


by Kerri Smith

Nature News

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