Patrick Kennedy Addresses Brain Research in Dublin
Patrick Kennedy, former Rhode Island congressman and son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, delivered the keynote address at “Healthy Brain: Healthy Europe,” a conference devoted to brain health and research, held in Dublin at the end of May.
Since publicly acknowledging his struggles with addiction, depression and bipolar disorder in 2006, Kennedy has become a strong advocate for mental health awareness. While in Congress, he was the co-author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act, signed into law in 2008, which provided millions of Americans with better access to mental health care.
He is the co-founder of One Mind for Research, a nonprofit organization that strives to bring together the governmental, corporate and scientific communities in the U.S. in order to collaboratively further mental health and brain injury research.
The Dublin conference drew scientists, policy-makers, advocates and health care professionals from across Europe. Its aim was to promote awareness and to encourage the EU countries to further develop and collaborate on strategies for combatting brain disorders – from neurogenative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, to mental health and acquired brain injuries.
Highlighting the possibility of collaboration between the U.S. and the E.U., Kennedy declared “We need to work to build this alliance on brain research across the Atlantic.”