The human brain is by far the most complex system we know. Our brains receive and interpret countless signals from our environment and from our own bodies every second to make us conscious of our world. All of this is achieved by an organ that weighs only 1.3-1.4Kg in the adult, yet co-ordinates the activity of 100 billion nerve cells.
Understanding the brain is one of the greatest intellectual challenges of our time. The potential impact such understanding would have on preventing and treating nervous system disorders makes it a challenge worth taking on.
Mental disorders and neuro-degeneration have wide-ranging and long lasting impact on individuals, carers, families and communities. Mental ill-health can affect people of all ages. Ageing populations, such as ours, are prone to stroke and cognitive decline and dementia.
Neuroscience has made tremendous strides in recent years and, perhaps for the first time, we are in a position to say that through concerted and vigorous research effort there are real possibilities to understand and develop interventions for many major brain diseases.
Further information can be found on the MRC website or visit the websites of any of the participating Research Councils.