What we do

Leoben Research focusses on medical knowledge for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of impaired mental, cognitive, and behavioural disability

The brain is the most complex and mysterious organ in our body. As the body’s command centre, it influences every aspect of our well-being.

Brain health* is the state of brain functioning across cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioural and motor domains, allowing a person to realize her/his full potential over the life course.

However, disease conditions affecting the brain may severely impair mental, cognitive, and behavioural functioning resulting in chronic disability. They may manifest as congenital or neurodevelopmental disorders (i.e., autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy; epilepsy, etc.); painful conditions (i.e., chronic migraine); cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke; neurodegenerative disorders such (i.e., Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson disease); neuro-infectious or neuro-immunological disorders (i.e., meningitis, HIV-AIDS, neurocysticercosis, cerebral malaria, multiple sclerosis, etc.); neuromuscular disorders (i.e., myasthenia gravis); traumatic injuries; and neoplasms.

Driving Brain Health Research

Because our knowledge regarding brain health determinants, many brain disorders and the impacts of therapeutics and other interventions is incomplete, more research is needed at all levels of science

Basic research

  • Improve understanding of neurophysiology related to brain development and brain health including understanding brain structure, function and disease development
  • Develop tools and assessments to evaluate, quantify and monitor brain health parameters in regards to domains of functioning and disease development
  • Understand the influence and interplay of the multitude of determinants in brain health
  • Understand causes and mechanisms of brain injury, repair and compensation

Intervention research

  • Investigate novel strategies to promote brain health and enhance mechanisms for brain resilience
  • Support the design of prevention strategies and identification of risk factors across the life course
  • Develop efficient and cost-effective pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for neurological disorders

Implementation research, including health systems evaluation

  • Improve the monitoring of interventions, the systematic uptake of research findings and the application of evidence-based strategies in practice
  • Design strategies for implementation that take equity and diversity measures into account

Epidemiological and cost of disease research

  • Acquire representative data on brain development, developmental disabilities and neurological disorders
  • Understand the impact on health systems and the economic cost of neurological disorders
  • Monitor emerging threats to brain health



(*) Optimizing brain health across the life course: WHO position paper. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO; https://creativecommons.org/