Neurosciences, Psychiatry, and Neurology in France

Trends, Strengths, And Weaknesses


The significance of research in the fields of neurosciences, clinical neurology, and psychiatry cannot be underestimated. These areas are critical for understanding and treating disorders of the brain and the central nervous system, and France plays a significant role in these research domains. In this article, we will explore France’s position on the international stage concerning research in neurosciences, clinical neurology, and psychiatry, highlighting the trends, strengths, and weaknesses in this sector.

France’s Position in Neurosciences, Psychiatry, and Neurology Research

The French National Coordination Committee for Research (CNCR) is responsible for monitoring and evaluating medical research, particularly in the fields of neurosciences, clinical neurology, and psychiatry. It has identified several areas of interest and has worked towards positioning France favorably on the global stage.

Research on the Brain and Central Nervous System

Following oncology, research on the brain and the central nervous system has become the second major thematic area in biomedical research in France. This recognition of the importance of brain research reflects France’s commitment to these critical fields. In 2022, the CNCR initiated an extensive bibliometric study called “Brain Health,” covering neurosciences, clinical neurology, as well as adult and pediatric psychiatry.

Objective of the Analysis

The objective of this analysis is to provide positioning data to measure France’s place and impact in these areas, both at the European and global levels. These data will be used to inform research strategy and prepare for future European project calls, particularly within the framework of the Brain Health partnership (2025-2027). To frame the analysis more precisely, the EBRA classification (European Brain Research Area) was employed to distinguish fundamental research, pathologies, and research tools.

Summary of Initial Results

The initial results of the analysis highlight several key points

International Positioning

In terms of publication volume, France has generally slipped three to four places between 2002-2006 and 2017-2021. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy continue to lead global rankings, while China, Australia, Brazil, Turkey, and South Korea have significantly increased their presence in the field. The Netherlands and Spain have also made their mark in Europe.

Scientific Impact

France maintains a strong position in terms of citations and scientific impact, with impact indicators generally exceeding global and European averages.

Opinion Leaders in Europe

The analysis of the most cited publications globally for the years 2017-2021 identified opinion leaders at the European level, some of whom are French researchers. This recognition enhances France’s position as a major contributor in the field.

Collaboration Networks

The analysis of French publications has identified numerous collaboration networks. These promising collaborations may play a key role in responding to future European project calls.

Clinical Trials

In terms of clinical trials, France ranks among the top five countries in the world for the majority of diseases studied. This underscores the country’s active contribution to clinical research in the fields of neurosciences, neurology, and psychiatry.


France holds a prominent place in the fields of neurosciences, clinical neurology, and psychiatry. While the country may have slipped in terms of publications, it remains competitive in terms of scientific impact and international collaborations. This data is crucial for guiding research strategy and positioning France as a key player in these critical domains.

France is well-positioned to make a significant contribution to advancing knowledge and treatments in the fields of neurosciences and mental health.

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