Funding for brain study: an excellent first step

    TORONTO, Oct. 10 /CNW/ - Prime Minister Harper announced yesterday that,
if re-elected, the Government of Canada will fund a major study on
neurological diseases over the next four years. The members of Neurological
Health Charities Canada (NHCC) applaud the leadership and foresight
demonstrated by making this a key platform issue and encourage all parties to
demonstrate similar support for the millions of people living with chronic
brain diseases, disorders and injuries across Canada.
    The health, social and economic burden of brain disorders is massive. A
2002 report released jointly by the World Bank, the World Health Organization
and Harvard School of Public Health, found that, when considered in terms of
death and disability (DALYs), the current burden of brain disorders outweighs
that of cancer and cardiovascular conditions combined. And, as our population
ages, the problem will only get worse.
    A Canadian population-based study of brain disorders can serve as the
first step in developing a comprehensive national brain strategy - one that
recognizes the unique value of the human brain, considers the complexity and
collective impact of brain disorders (neurological and psychiatric), and
guides increased investments in research, universal access to services and
supports, access to the most effective medications and treatments, and key
economic issues including income security and genetic discrimination.
    The magnitude of the problem cannot be understated. We need a
comprehensive brain health strategy urgently. We celebrate the recent
announcement and encourage all political parties to develop a strategic
approach to the looming health, social and economic crisis that brain
disorders present.

organizations that represent people with chronic, often progressive, brain
diseases, disorders and injuries in Canada. NHCC's role is to provide
leadership, evaluating and advancing new opportunities for collaboration
specific to advocacy, education and research projects, related to brain
health. For more information, visit

    NHCC Members: ALS Society of Canada, Alzheimer Society of Canada,
Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation, Epilepsy Ontario, Huntington
Society of Canada, March of Dimes, Mood Disorders Society of Canada, Multiple
Sclerosis Society of Canada, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, NeuroScience Canada,
Ontario Federation of Cerebral Palsy, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation,
Parkinson Society Canada, Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of
Ontario, Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada.

For further information:

For further information: NHCC Media Contact: Shannon MacDonald, (416)
512-8642 office, (416) 725-1237 cell,

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