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February 27, 2007
One Billion Affected by Neurological Disorders Says WHO
A report released today from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that neurological disorders, ranging from epilepsy to Alzheimer disease, from stroke to headache, affect up to one billion people worldwide. Neurological disorders also include brain injuries, neuroinfections, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease. 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 and other dementias. Neurological disorders affect people in all countries, irrespective of age, sex, education or income. The report recommends a series of simple but effective actions. It argues for greater commitment from decision makers, increased social and professional awareness, strategies that address stigma and discrimination, national capacity building and international collaboration.
NOTE: This report specifically excludes psychiatric illnesses (follow link: What are neurological disorders) which would boost this number by another billion. This means that brain-related illnesses impact nearly 2 Billion people worldwide. Based on this new data I estimate that the global economic burden of brain illnesses now exceeds $2 Trillion a year.
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