Intended for healthcare professionals

Brain Health

What is brain health, why is it important, and how can we better prevent and treat brain disorders to improve health across the world?

With the number of people aged 60 years and over expected to grow worldwide to 2 billion by 2050, the burden of brain dysfunction and neurological diseases is set to dramatically increase. Over the coming decades, governments will face increasing demand for treatment, rehabilitation and support services for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease and other dementias, schizophrenia, and depression.

These analysis articles, written by leading international experts, outline the definition of brain health, analyse the impact of major neurological disorders on brain health, and discuss how these disorders might be treated and prevented.

What is brain health and why is it important?
Yongjun Wang and colleagues discuss the definition of brain health and the opportunities and challenges of future research

Alzheimer’s disease beyond amyloid: strategies for future therapeutic interventions
Jiong Shi and colleagues discuss recent evidence of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and new development strategies

Precision biomarkers for mood disorders based on brain imaging
Identification of biomarkers could facilitate earlier diagnosis and better treatment, say Runsen Chen and colleagues

A new dawn of preventing dementia by preventing cerebrovascular diseases
Yuesong Pan and colleagues discuss the relation between cerebrovascular diseases and impairment of cognition, with an emphasis on a chance to prevent dementia by preventing cerebrovascular diseases

New era of personalised epilepsy management
The trial and error approach to epilepsy treatment has not changed for over a century but machine learning and patient derived stem cells promise a personalised and more effective strategy, argue Patrick Kwan and colleagues

Rethinking monogenic neurological diseases
Studies on monogenic diseases can provide valuable insights into the mechanisms of other neurological disorders, say Wan-Jin Chen and colleagues

Improving brain health by identifying structure-function relations in patients with neurosurgical disorders
Use of new technology to map which parts of the brain control different functions is leading to better treatment of patients with neurosurgical disorders, say Liwei Zhang and colleagues

Decoding the brain through research—the future of brain health
David Z Wang and colleagues look at the latest advances in brain research and how they might affect treatment of brain disorders

Promoting global collaboration for brain health research
Liping Liu and colleagues discuss the challenges of global collaboration for brain health research and promising future opportunities for improvement of brain health worldwide

This collection of articles was launched at the Chinese Stroke Association annual conference on 10 October 2020, Beijing, China. The collection, including open access fees, was funded by China's National Science and Technology Major Project.

The BMJ commissioned, peer reviewed, edited, and made the decision to publish these articles.