Government of Canada Makes History With Unprecedented Investment in Public/Private Partnership for Brain Research

TORONTO, May 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The announcement today by the Government of Canada that it is investing $100 million in Brain Canada to spearhead the country's first ever public/private partnership in neuroscience has "significant historical resonance."

Bill Wilkerson, Co-Founder of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health says the announcement opens a "new era in neuroscientific research aimed squarely at securing new treatments and even cures for brain diseases and injuries."

The announcement has many wide-ranging implications for Canadians - among them:

The economy: The announcement opens a concentrated front for research to promote and protect the cognitive health and sensory capacity of the working population at a time when innovation - a cognitive and sensory function - is key to economic growth and competitiveness.

Public health: Brain science not only answers brain health questions but by resolving conditions such as depression, a brain-based disorder, it will save lives due to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer - the course of which are linked to brain health.

Mental health: In Europe, brain disorders and injuries cost that economy $800 billion Euros a year. The single biggest cost category is mental illnesses.  In Canada, US and Europe, mental illnesses alone consume 4% of the gross domestic product ($1.2 Trillion/yr.)

Children: Brain illnesses and injuries including those relating to trauma can have a profound life-long impact on children from infancy through adulthood, degrading human capital, and shortening life expectancy by 25 years. 70% of all mental illnesses develop in childhood.

Business: Brain disorders are concentrated among men and women in their prime working years. Employers have a strategic stake in advancing brain health to promote and protect the productive capacity and consumer buying power of working families for years to come.

The Government of Canada deserves great credit for taking this step and encouraging businesses, philanthropists and other charities to match this first $100 million and demonstrate that brain health is essential for human betterment across the entire spectrum of disease and injury.

For further information:

Contact: billwilkerson@sympatico.ca, Co-founder, Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health; tel: 905-885-1751