Beginning in 2008 the EBC launched a series of Annual Multidisciplinary Forums designed to involve all those with a stake in brain research in the building of a European research strategy towards tackling the major brain diseases.

Each multidisciplinary forum focuses on one major disease and in particular, neglected areas of that disease. The two first multidisciplinary Forums were devoted to Parkinson's disease and Depression. The next Forum will focus on Schizophrenia, one of the most devastating mental diseases that affects around 1% of the European population. The goal of these Forums is to raise awareness of the research and resource requirements for making further progress in understanding brain diseases and improving patients' prospects.

The meetings reflect the broad constituency of the EBC and include scientists and physicians who carry out the research as well as politicians, policy-makers, industry representatives, representatives of health policy think tanks and opinion leaders.

Each forum opens with an analysis of the burden and cost of the disease in Europe. Experts in the field will then summarise recent progress in both basic and clinical science, to illustrate how goal-oriented research will lead to understanding of basic disease mechanisms which can then be translated into effective therapies. There will be an opportunity for the audience to question the experts, and patients will also describe the many disease states which are still insufficiently treated, and to which more research needs to be dedicated.

The latter part of the forum will be devoted to an analysis of the necessary research steps that need to be taken next, as well as to the delineation of research programmes which integrate the basic and clinical neurosciences.

The EBC anticipates that, due to its unique format, the annual forum will make an important contribution to the development of much-needed, disease-oriented, integrated brain research programmes in Europe.