Nervous system disorders the world's leading cause of disease burden

A major new analysis by the US-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has found that conditions affecting the nervous system, such as strokes, migraines, and dementia, have surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of ill health worldwide. Over 43 percent of the global population, or more than 3.4 billion people, experienced a neurological condition in 2021, a higher number than previously estimated. The increase in cases of these conditions is mainly driven by population aging and growth. The study analyzed 37 different neurological conditions across 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2021.

The quickest-growing condition was nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy from soaring cases of diabetes. Most of these conditions have no cure. But
there are ways to lessen the risk, including reducing rates of high
blood pressure, diabetes and alcohol consumption, the researchers said. They
called for much more to be done to prevent, treat and rehabilitate the
disorders, which disproportionately affect poorer countries. “The
worldwide neurological burden is growing very fast and will put even
more pressure on health systems in the coming decades,” warned study
co-author Valery Feigin. (Source: The Lancet Neurology, 3/14/24)