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The global burden of neurological, neuropsychiatric, substance-use and neurodevelopmental disorders in low- and middle-income countries is worsened, not only by the lack of targeted research funding, but also by the lack of relevant in-country research capacity. Such capacity, from the individual to the national level, is necessary to address the problems within a local context. As for many health issues in these countries, the ability to address this burden requires development of research infrastructure and a trained cadre of clinicians and scientists who can ask the right questions, and conduct, manage, apply and disseminate research for practice and policy. This Review describes some of the evolving issues, knowledge and programmes focused on building research capacity in low- and middle-income countries in general and for brain and nervous system disorders in particular.

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