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A project of the King Baudouin Foundation A prospective project about the impact of brain sciences on a society with an ageing population, up to 2025.

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Presentation on theme: "A project of the King Baudouin Foundation A prospective project about the impact of brain sciences on a society with an ageing population, up to 2025."— Presentation transcript:

1 A project of the King Baudouin Foundation A prospective project about the impact of brain sciences on a society with an ageing population, up to 2025

2 Part of the initiative ‘Mijn Bijzonder Brein’/‘Mes Neurones et moi’: a portfolio of projects aimed at improving the link between Brain Science and society. Grey matters: a prospective exercise, involving top experts, decision-makers and stakeholders at Belgian level. Health Project of the King Baudouin Foundation

3  To sensitise key actors - involved in ageing- related projections and policies - to the possible impacts of brain science developments;  To foster the dialogue between experts, stakeholders and decision-makers on this topic;  To stimulate those responsible to integrate these reflections in their projections and actions. Objectives

4 Project team Alain Wouters(Project leader - methodology) Peter Raeymaekers(Scientific adviser - writer) Karin Rondia(Scientific adviser - writer) Myriam Van Espen(Stakeholders/Decision-makers) Brigitte Duvieusart (Project leader - coordination KBF) Greet Massart (Assistant KBF)

5 A well documented & time-tested approach to conduct anticipative strategic reflection enabling informed decisions & actions by various actors. Characteristics: Outside-in logic Multi-perspective approach Uncertainties explicit Participative process (& common language) Shared Context for ‘robust’ options Method: - scenario thinking

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8 Medical applications: Diagnosis: New technologies, ‘objective’ diagnosis, early diagnosis … Treatments: New medicines, cell therapy, deep brain stimulation, gene therapy, new revalidation patterns, intelligent environments … Synthesis of the interviews

9 Prevention: General action: - prevention of atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, smoking -nutritional measures: avoiding toxic substances and bringing in the protective ones Specific action on the brain: -constitute a stock of neurons early in life -refrain loss of synapses through appropriate stimulation -higher education -physical exercise -prevention of depression and learn to cope with stress Synthesis of the interviews

10 The broader picture: Three main factors which influence further innovations: financial resources (funding – both in the public private sector), man-power, inappropriate regulation and ethical concerns in the public. Synthesis of the interviews

11 The broader picture: Role of the media: There are big expectations in the public about neurosciences. But much of it is hype and unappropriated hopes What is the image of the seniors carried by the general opinion? One of a numerically important category of baby boomers, with high political and financial power. But also… Synthesis of the interviews

12 The broader picture: Role of the media: the image of ageing is mainly one of deficiencies at the level of the society : “A big societal problem” at the level of the individual : loss of performance, productivity, creativity….  this negative image is taken for granted by seniors  there is discrimination against seniors (ageism)  solution seeking through medication Synthesis of the interviews

13 The broader picture: Biomedical logic : -Much investment in biomedical research -New medical treatments mainly symptomatic -Much investment in technological equipment in hospitals (incentive logic) -Poor recognition of intellectual acts  Increase of costs  Less efforts directed towards other needs Synthesis of the interviews

14 The broader picture: Which other needs ? - Social measures for today’s patients - Scientific non-medical research - Preventive measures at individual level - Preventive measures at societal level - Education - Address the “end-of-life” question Synthesis of the interviews

15 Extent of potential dysfunction-related needs Extent of expectations related needs Societal framing of ageing Underlying financial logic/choices Individual and societal capacity to adapt to complexity Availability of external compensating means to deal with deficiencies Level of understanding of intrinsic mechanisms contributing to successful ageing Level of multidisciplinarity in neuroscience Societal perception of neuroscience Nature of family structure and social fabric EU vision and planning for ageing population Something (disaster) changing priorities Driving Forces

16 Key Uncertainties

17 Extent of potential dysfunction-related needs Extent of expectations related needs Societal framing of ageing Underlying financial logic/choices Individual and societal capacity to adapt to complexity Availability of external compensating means to deal with deficiencies Level of understanding of intrinsic mechanisms contributing to successful ageing Level of multidisciplinarity in neuroscience Societal perception of neuroscience Nature of family structure and social fabric EU vision and planning for ageing population Something (disaster) changing priorities Key Uncertainties

18 Level of understanding in neurosciences (of intrinsic mechanisms contributing to successful ageing) High level of usefulness Low level of usefulness Deficient bio-physical entities - Biomedical logic - Focus on technology, physical body, organ function Belgian societal framing of the ageing process Whole persons with different needs - Active ageing/preventive logic - Focus on cognitive function, cognitive environment, whole body wellness

19 To explore possible scenarios on the impact of neuroscience developments on a society with an ageing population, up to 2025; To reflect on policy implications including public health, employment, social affairs & economic development. Scenario thinking

20 Societal framing of ageing process Level of understanding in brain sciences

21  brain sciences form a big part of successful ageing  brain sciences mainly produce solutions to treat ailments  performance of body and brain function is main driver  enhancement products based on outcomes of scientific findings are flooding the market (product product)  EU-vision and -policies shape Belgian thinking  external shocks contribute to changed priorities in favor of neuroscience 1

22 Societal framing of ageing process Level of understanding in brain sciences

23  brain sciences form a big part of successful ageing  brain sciences produce solutions towards active and healthy ageing  medical and non-medical brain research are equivalently organised and funded  focus is on prevention systems (education, health …)  availability of new total ‘wellness’ offerings  man-computer interface is focused on maintenance and stimulation of cognitive function 2

24 Societal framing of ageing process Level of understanding in brain sciences

25  brain sciences do not contribute substantially to successful ageing  external shocks disfavour the development of brain sciences  embedded processes are at the basis of intelligent environments (use knowledge about the emotional and affective needs of elderly)  individual is enabled to function in his/her social environment (relational focus)  existing brain sciences are mainly contributing towards the enhancement of life quality 3

26 Societal framing of ageing process Level of understanding in brain sciences

27  Progress in brain sciences is disappointing (remains in ‘it’s infancy’) and does not contribute substantially to successful ageing  frustrated scientists (still in search of ‘Rosetta stone’)  expectations and hopes (‘magic pill’) are much higher than what brain sciences can deliver  curative medicine of neuro- and psychiatric ailments is low  higher need for and reliance on social support mechanisms 4

28 Societal framing on ageing process Level of understanding in brain sciences


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