The world-leading clinical neurology journal, The Lancet Neurology, has published an editorial covering the White Paper on Sex, Gender, and the Brain: Towards an Inclusive Research Agenda. The Women’s Brain Project (WBP) commissioned Economist Impact to investigate the economic rationale for greater investment in research into sex and gender differences in neurological diseases. The WBP provided expert counsel and guidance in the delivery of this project.
The editorial sets the context for this pioneering research, highlights the key findings of the White Paper and outlines the accompanying Call to Action document. It also highlights next steps of the project to generate new data.
According to the [conceptual] frameworks [set out in the White Paper], earlier diagnosis and treatment could potentially reduce the mortality and disability, consequently reducing health-care costs and enabling people with neurological disorders and caregivers to contribute more through paid work to a country’s economy. If more diverse populations are included in research and clinical trials, treatments could be optimised, in terms of efficacy and side-effects, for the people who will use them outside of the trial setting.
“It is a privilege and an honour for this groundbreaking research to be highlighted in The Lancet Neurology. The White Paper is the first phase of a research programme to create a modelling framework that quantifies the economic implications of sex and gender differences in brain diseases, and to build an evidence-based case for investment,” said Dr Antonella Santuccione Chadha, Co-founder and pro-bono CEO of WBP.
“WBP is committed to working with all stakeholders to transform the clinical trial landscape and offer the right treatment to the right patient at the right time for all brain conditions. I’m delighted to see that The Lancet Neurology also highlights our Call to Action document, which outlines specific actions for governments, policymakers, researchers, the pharmaceutical industry, drug regulators, healthcare professionals, as well as putting the patients and caregivers front and centre,” said Dr Maria Teresa Ferretti, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of WBP.
As a follow-up to the White Paper, WBP plans to develop a robust economic model to estimate costs and potential savings. The initial pilot will focus on one geography for one or two selected neurological conditions.
Better understanding of sex and gender differences in neuroscience and neurology has the potential to lead to earlier and more reliable diagnosis and more effective prevention, treatment, and disease management, which together will reduce the impact of these conditions on individuals, families, societies, and economies.
The overarching goal of WBP is to transform the state of medical treatments and drug development through sex and gender factors as a gateway to precision medicine and care.
WBP is committed to furthering the knowledge base through its plans to establish the Research Institute for Sex and Gender Precision Medicine.