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22nd Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Sept. 12-16, 2009, Turkey

cause of sickness absence from work and permanent withdrawal from the labour market. Poor mental health can account for more than 40% of all long-term disability claims. Premature retirement on the grounds of poor mental health is also increasing (McDaid, 2008). In the EU, work-related costs due to mental health problems are more than 2.5 times greater than those associated with cardiovascular disease: The total costs of absenteeism and premature retirement due to mental health disorders in the EU-25 (plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) were 136.3 billion in 2007, including 99.3 billion for depression and anxiety-related disorders (McDaid, 2008).

Furthermore, mental disorders are common in older people and represent a barrier for active ageing (Jan-Llopis & Gabilondo, 2008): Poor physical health and functional limitations are central to the concerns of many older people and often intertwined with poor mental health. In the EU, 10󈝻% of those over 65 suffer from depression, and over 5 million people have dementia (about 1.1𔂿.3% of the population). The prevalence of Alzheimers disease is expected to rise dramatically with an ageing population, because it affects about 2% amongst 65󈞱 years olds and about 22% amongst those 85󈟅 years. In addition, older people are the group with the highest suicide rates in Europe (18.75 per 100000).

Preventing and managing mental health problems and helping reintegrate people back into work through a range of medical and psychosocial measures is essential. Positive mental health is an integral part of the well-being of people, and mental disorder prevention and treatment have been shown to bring about health, social and economic development (Jan-Llopis et al., 2005).

New discoveries in brain research

Over the last years, our understanding of the brain has increased dramatically. Advances in brain imaging, the mapping of the brains biochemical circuitry and b

Contact: Sonja Mak
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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