NIO sent out this press release in response to the WHO Report on Neurological Disorders in order to shed light on entire scope of the problem we face.
Neurotechnology Industry Organization: WHO Report Underscores, Underestimates Impact of Brain-Related Illness
Group calls on industry, political, investment leaders to address growing problem
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – February 27, 2007 – NIO, the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, today announced that a new World Health Organization (WHO) report which estimates that one billion people worldwide suffer from neurological disorders is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to measuring the global impact of brain-related illness. According to NIO, when psychiatric illnesses including addiction, attention disorders, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and sleep disorders are incorporated, the number of people affected by brain disorders reaches nearly two billion, almost 100 million in the U.S. alone. The group estimates the global economic burden at $1 trillion per year.
“We applaud the WHO’s efforts to shed light on the very real and serious problem of worldwide neurological disorders,” said NIO Executive Director Zack Lynch. “Despite the large and growing unmet markets, massive economic cost, and untold human suffering, there are few effective treatments that delay, prevent and cure chronic neurological and psychiatric diseases.”
According to NIO the 500 companies worldwide focused on diseases of the brain, face fundamentally different investment requirements, research and development challenges, and regulatory milestones than other life science organizations. Despite significant hurdles, the industry is working to accelerate the development of new treatments by leveraging converging technological breakthroughs across biotechnology, information technology, nanotechnology and neuroscience.
“As the global population ages, the burden of brain-related illness will continue to grow,” said Lynch. “The WHO report recommends a number of personal and political actions to help address this burden. NIO also calls upon the diverse neurotechnology companies across the medical device, diagnostic and drug development spectrum, as well as research institutions and advocacy organizations to work together and with legislators and regulators to accelerate investment, improve the clinical development process, and deliver effective treatments to individuals suffering worldwide.”
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