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Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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February 27, 2007

One Billion Affected by Neurological Disorders Says WHO

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Posted by Zack Lynch

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.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: NIO


1. Terence Perring on March 16, 2007 9:55 AM writes...

Hello there,
I have a problem which is driving me insane and is very
unsettling/exhausting. Most mornings I wake up early and cant get back to
sleep. What does happen is this; every time I start to get near to dozing
I have this terrible 'start' in which there feels like an electric shock in
my head followed by a red dot in front of my eyes. This happens 30-50 times
until I can stand it no more and have to get up. The stronger the 'start'
the darker and more focused the red dot. Sometimes it is really intricate,
like a spirograph drawing, way beyond my capabilities to just 'imagine'.
others it is scruffy and jagged. The other morning it looked as if someone
had thrown a tomato on the wall. The dot stays in my sight for about 2-6
secs and then vanishes. At this time there is a sudden feeling of
heat/electricity in my hands and arms which lasts for about 6 secs in which
the severity is once again, reative to the intensity of the start. Then my
heart races because of the shock. If it is a small start, the dot is large
and pink and I can see through it. These last in my sight for over a
minute. Its scaring me! what the heck is going on. My GP is not interested
at all. Please can you help me by replying? Thanks, Terry.

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