Canadians urgently need action on brain health

Brain conditions – brain illnesses, disorders and injuries – are one of the leading causes of disability in Canada and, indeed, worldwide. One in three Canadians (10 million) will have a brain condition in their lifetime – whether from birth, early childhood, young adulthood, middle age or as seniors.

2018 Change-Maker
award winners

Enrico Quilico
Shaunacy De Jong

See more details about these extraordinary individuals here.

NHCC urges all political parties and candidates to support action on brain health now.

  • Recommendation #1:  Create a Canadian Brain Council to lead unprecedented collaboration throughout the brain health community;
  • Recommendation #2:  Support Canadians living with brain conditions, families and caregivers;
  • Recommendation #3:  Test a new model of integrated health and support care services.

Health care and health research have not been significant points of discussion during the federal election campaign, however, the major parties have some promises in their platforms. Please see the NHCC summary and the links to the platforms below.

NHCC Summary of Party Promises

Party platforms

More information about why our recommendations are so important:  Action Plan for Brain Health: Driving research to action

See additional background:

NHCC recommendations summary

Canadian Brain Council potential model

Disability income security and support models

NHCC supports Canadian Brain Research Strategy

Brain health research is critical in understanding the brain, one of the greatest and most urgent scientific challenges of our time. One out of three Canadians will be affected by a brain or nervous system illness, disorder or injury in their lifetime. They need better diagnoses, prevention and effective treatments.

The Canadian Brain Research Strategy – developed by Canadian neuroscience leaders – can be an integral part of NHCC’s vision of an overall Canadian Brain Council  to spur unprecedented collaboration in research and healthcare service delivery.

See more information about the Canadian Brain Research Strategy and how you can have input into the Strategy here.

NHCC celebrates Royal Assent of Accessible Canada Act

Brain conditions are the largest cause of disability worldwide with one in three Canadians affected by a brain or nervous system illness, disorder or injury, including mental health conditions, within their lifetimes.

NHCC celebrates the Royal Assent of the Accessible Canada Act (June 21, 2019) and congratulates all of those who helped make the legislation a reality.  See more details about the Act at: Making an accessible Canada for persons with disabilities

In our recommendations for changes to the proposed federal Accessibility Act, NHCC stressed the importance of  flexibility to ensure benefit for people living with brain conditions.  See NHCC recommendations and full submission here.

Federal budget 2018 – NHCC analysis

NHCC is pleased that two issues for which we have been advocating were part of the federal government’s commitments in the 2018 budget tabled February 27. The first is a major investment in science and research. The second is a step toward establishing a national pharmacare program.  The budget also included funding for more support for people affected by dementia and autism spectrum disorder. See details here.

Canada needs an Action Plan for Brain Health now

NHCC urges the Government of Canada to immediately commit to developing a Canadian Action Plan for Brain Health to improve the lives of millions of Canadians living with brain conditions and their families.

The ground-breaking National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions clearly identified what it means to live with a brain condition in Canada right now. Learn how a brain condition is affecting one individual right now: Meagan’s Story

Quick facts from the Study

  • Unemployment among Canadians living with brain conditions is 12 times higher than the general population.
  • Canadians living with brain conditions use more health care services than those without a neurological condition or even those with other chronic conditions.
  • Half of all recipients of home care or in long-term care facilities have a brain condition.
  • Forty percent of children with brain conditions have limited educational opportunities.
  • Caregivers are essential to the well being of people living with brain conditions but caregivers often develop their own health problems including high levels of stress.
  • Without appropriate interventions, health care costs will increase significantly as will the overall impact on the Canadian economy.
  • By 2031, the number of Canadians with brain conditions will increase, and the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease and traumatic brain injury is expected to double.

An Action Plan is needed now

The burden of brain conditions will only increase unless we take action now.  See more details on the National Population Health Study page and in the Study report: Mapping Connections: An Understanding of Neurological Conditions in Canada