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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Millions have neurological disorders

28th February 2007

As many as a billion people worldwide have neurological disorders ranging from epilepsy to Alzheimer's, from stroke to headache, according to a recent report from the World Health Organisation (WHO).


And neurological disorders, which also include brain injuries, neuroinfections, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, kill an estimated 6.8 million people globally every year, it said.

The report, Neurological disorders: Public health challenges, reveals that of the one billion people affected worldwide, 50 million suffer from epilepsy and 24 million from Alzheimer's and other dementias. Neurological disorders affect people in all countries, irrespective of age, sex, education or income.

In Europe, the economic cost of neurological diseases was estimated at about €139 billion (£93 billion) in 2004, according to an article in the European Journal of Neurology.

"Access to appropriate care is difficult for many people with neurological disorders, their families and caregivers," WHO said, calling for the integration of neurological care into primary health care.

"Despite the fact that highly effective, low-cost treatments are available, as many as nine out of 10 people suffering from epilepsy in Africa go untreated. Health systems need to be strengthened to deliver better care for people with neurological disorders," said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.

The report blamed inadequate health delivery systems, lack of trained personnel, the absence of essential drugs and prevalence of traditional beliefs and practices.



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