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Over 42% world population have neurological disorders: WHO study

Rise in brain diseases has also been linked to increase in premature deaths, 80% of which is in third world countries

By Web Desk
March 24, 2024

A new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that out of the 8 billion world population, 3.4 billion people have a neurological condition, Medical News Today reported.

This means that 42.5% of the world's population has a neurological disorder.

The study, published in the Lancet Neurology, further found that nervous system disorders are the leading cause of disability in people.

The rise in brain diseases has also been linked to an increase in premature deaths, mostly found in third world countries due to limited neurological healthcare facilities.

Since 1990, deaths and disabilities caused by brain disorders has increased by 18%.

The authors have listed top 10 neurological illnesses including stroke, neonatal encephalopathy, migraine, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, diabetic neuropathy, meningitis, epilepsy, neurological complications due to preterm birth, autism spectrum disorder and nervous system cancer.

Diabetic neuropathy, which is a type of nerve damage that occurs due to high diabetes is the fastest growing brain illness and has increased three-folds since 1990.

According to the study, an increase in nerve illnesses can also be due to COVID-19, as statistics have showed that COVID-19 had led to long-term cognitive impairment and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Dr David Merill, director of the Pacific Neuroscience Institute’s in California, said, "Our health-related behaviours make a difference. We can lower our risk of developing chronic neurologic conditions like dementia through optimizing our lifestyle-related behaviours. That includes regular exercise, socialising, cognitive stimulation, and a healthy diet."