As research commissioner Philippe Busquin envisages a European Research Area to foster cooperative research in the European Union, the issue of how best to improve scientific organization is exercising the minds of brain researchers, too.

A leading light in the field, Jes Olesen from the Department of Neurology at the Glostrup University Hospital in Glostrup, Denmark, reported in this month's European Journal of Neurology that no less than 35% of the overall burden of disease in the EU is attributable to brain disorders. Considering this, better organization and more funding—to be fair, one third of life science research funding—should be devoted to the brain, Olesen and Matilde Leonardi from Milan's National Neurological Institute Carlo Besta suggest in their article.

The issues of funding and organization of brain research were the also focus of a major conference in Brussels last month. Opening the conference, Busquin made a point of the lack...

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