Key figures

1 person in 8 in Europe is concerned by diseases of the nervous system (Alzheimer and Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, brain tumours, paraplegia, depression, etc.). With the aging of the population, this number will increase even more.
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Sources : OMS, EBC (European Brain Council), INSERM, Institut du Cerveau – ICM, FRC (Fédération pour la Recherche sur le Cerveau), UNAFTC (Union Nationale des Associations de Familles de Traumatisés Crâniens et cérébro-lésés).


It represents a mean 2% of body weight, but consumes 20% of the oxygen that is used. It is composed of about 100 billion nerve cells that communicate through the innumerable contacts they form with each other. It is an extremely complex organ that remains to be discovered!


1/3 of the European population – 179 million persons – is affected by at least one brain disorder. The pathologies of the nervous system represent 1/3 of the human cost of diseases in Europe. All the diseases and disorders of the nervous system and brain cost about 800 billion euros in Europe, in 2010, with a mean:

  • 37 % in costs of direct care
  • 23% in direct non-medical costs
  • 40% in indirect costs


  • Dementia affects 1 person in 14 starting at age 65, and 1 person in 6 after 80 – it affects 35.6 million patients world-wide
  • Alzheimer disease is the most frequent cause of dementia and is at the origin of 70% of the cases
  • It affects about 900000 persons in France3, more than 4.9 million persons in Europe2 and around 25 million persons world–wide
  • These figures should double from now to 2030 to reach 80.78 million
  • In France, with 220000 new cases each year, the number of patients should exceed 1.3 million in 2020 due to the increase in life expectancy
  • It affects 1 person in 20 starting at age 65, and more than 1 person in 8 after 80
  • Out of 25 patients, 15 are women and 10 men
  • The mean cost for a demented person per year was more than 16500 €, in 2010, in Europe and cost more than 480 billion each year world-wide
  • Institut du Cerveau – ICM researcher work to discover how to make an early diagnosis and bio-markers (INSIGHT study)

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  • 2nd most frequent neurological disease after Alzheimer disease
  • 2nd cause of motor handicap originating in the brain in the elderly
  • It affects more than 150000 persons in France, more than 1.2 million persons in Europe and more than 6.3 million persons world-wide
  • 8000 new cases develop each year in France3 where 1 to 2% of the population are concerned after age 65, with a peak frequency around 70
  • The mean cost per person and per year was more than 11000 €, in 2010, in Europe
  • Institut du Cerveau – ICM researchers hope to discover new therapeutic targets to slow neurodegeneration and discover molecular markers for the early detection of the disease, to better prevent its evolution and the appearance of symptoms.

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  • It concerns about 430000 persons in France (1 person in 1000), more than 2.6 million persons in Europe and about 50 million individuals world-wide, 80% of whom are in developing countries
  • About 33000 new cases are recorded each year in France
  • The disease begins before the age of 18 years in 75% of cases
  • It confers a 2 to 3 times greater risk of premature death compared to the rest of the population
  • 30 to 40% of patients do not respond favourably to pharmaceutical agents
  • The mean cost per person and per year was more than 5200 €, in 2010, in Europe

Institut du Cerveau – ICM researchers seek to develop tools for the prevention and reduction of seizures.

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  • 1st cause of acquired motor handicap in adults
  • 2nd cause of dementia (after Alzheimer disease)
  • 2nd cause of mortality in the world (about 10% of deaths), 3rd cause of mortality in developed countries
  • 2nd cause of death after age 60, and 5th cause of death between age 15 and 59
  • Each year more than 13000 cases are recorded in France, about 1.3 million cases in Europe and more than 15 million victims in the world, 6 million of which are fatal
  • A stroke occurs every 4 minutes in France and every 5 seconds in the world
  • More than 1 in 3 of them are fatal (and more than 1 in 3 leave severe sequellae causing permanent invalidity)
  • Among survivors, about 60% recover functional independence, whereas about 40% have important sequellae, compromising their autonomy in daily living
  • The mean cost per person and per year was about 21000 €, in 2010, in Europe
  • Institut du Cerveau – ICM researchers seek to improve the process of functional recuperation in the brain and post-stroke rehabilitation.

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  • The most frequent inflammatory, auto-immune, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system in young adults
  • 1st cause of severe handicap of non-traumatic origin in 30-year olds
  • It affects about 80000 persons in France (1 person in 8), more than 540000 persons in Europe and about 2.8 million persons world-wide
  • Out of 25 patients, 15 are women and 10 are men
  • The mean cost per person and per year was about 27000 €, in 2010, in Europe
  • Each day, the teams of the Institut du Cerveau – ICM seek to develop solutions to promote remyelination

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  • A rare, incurable, rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease, it is the cause of a progressive motor handicap leading to paralysis and death within 2 to 5 years after the first symptoms
  • Represents 1/3 neuromuscular disorders
  • It affects about 8000 persons in France (1 person in 1000), more than 100000 persons in Europe and close to 120000 persons world-wide, for about 320 new cases each day
  • 1350 patients are followed at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, 430 of whom are among the 1000 new cases recorded every year in France
  • The researcher at the Institut du Cerveau – ICM try to better understand this rare disease in order to find therapeutic targets to stop its rapid progression and prevent the symptoms

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  • They represent 2% of all cancers
  • They affect more than 240000 persons in Europe
  • Gliomas represent 50 to 60% of primary tumours
  • 5000 new cases of primary malignant tumours in the brain, among which 2500 to 3000 new cases are diagnosed each year in France
  • 2nd cause of cancer in children, after blood cancers such as leukaemia
  • The most frequent brain tumours are metastases – secondary tumours – derived from tumours elsewhere in the organism
  • The mean cost per person and per year was 216000 €, in 2010, in Europe
  • The researchers of the Institut du Cerveau – ICM develop means and tools to identify the different types of tumours and develop the most effective treatments possible according to the type of tumour.

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  • Depression, suicide, schizophrenia, maniaco-depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders, affective disorders, addictions, bipolar disorders, OCD, autism, dementia
  • 450 million persons are affected world-wide
  • 165 million persons, i.e. 38% of the population, are affected by mental disorders in Europe
  • A disorder of the young: 75% of cases appear before age 25
  • Psychiatric problems affect 1 adult in 4
  • Mental diseases: 2nd reason to stop working and 1st cause of invalidity in France 3, it represents more than 60% of the cost of brain diseases
  • Decrease the disorders and treat the psychiatric pathologies is one of the priorities of the Institut du Cerveau – ICM

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  • A frequent mental disorder and one of the principal causes of invalidity
  • Depression affects 400 million persons world-wide and 10 million in France
  • Maniaco-depression affects 600000 in France
  • Close to 1 person in 5 has suffered or will suffer from depression during his life
  • 800000 deaths from suicide each year world-wide
  • Suicide is the 2nd cause of death in 15-29-year-olds
  • The risk of a suicide attempt is multiplied by 21 during depressive episodes
  • 5 to 20% of depressed patients commit suicide


  • 21 million persons affected world-wide – for about 7 persons in 1000
  • 6000 persons affected in France
  • Out of 21 persons affected, 9 are women and 12 are men


61.3 million persons are affected in Europe alone and 4 million in France


5 million persons are affected by psychotic disorders and 33.3 million by affective disorders in Europe


15.5 million persons are affected in Europe and 1.5 million in France


60 million persons affected world-wide


  • Affect about 2% of the French population
  • 4th most frequent psychiatric disorder after phobias, addictions and depression


  • Autism affects 60000 persons in France, half of whom were children – infantile autism
  • PDD – pervasive developmental disorders affect 100000 young people under 20 years of age in France, 30000 of which have infantile autism


Affects 35 million persons world-wide


Each year in France, more than 1000 persons are victims of spinal cord trauma, 9 or more in 120000 persons are affected by cranial traumas, 10000 of which are severe causing sequellae and incapacitating handicaps

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  • Affects more than 3.7 persons in Europe with more than 120000 cases each year in France, 10000 of which are severe with sequellae and incapacitating handicaps
  • 1st cause of mortality in 15-25-year olds and 1st cause of severe handicap in those under 45


  • Each year, 1000 victims in France and up to 500000 victims world-wide
  • Confers a 2 to 5 times greater risk of premature death
  • 9 in 10 result from trauma, and 1 in 10 from disease or degeneration.