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Studie unterstreicht weltweit wachsende Belastung durch neurologische Erkrankungen

von NFI Redaktion

The global prevalence of neurological diseases such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and meningitis has significantly increased over the past 30 years due to the growth and aging of the world population, as well as increased exposure to environmental, metabolic, and lifestyle risk factors. According to a recent analysis from the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2021 published in The Lancet Neurology journal, an estimated 3.4 billion people were living with a neurological disorder in 2021. This analysis suggests that the overall burden of disabilities, diseases, and premature deaths caused by neurological diseases has increased by 18% over the past 31 years, with around 443 million years of healthy life lost in 2021 compared to around 375 million in 1990.

While the absolute number of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) attributable to neurological diseases has increased due to the aging and growing population, the rates of DALYs and deaths caused by neurological diseases have actually decreased by about a third (27% and 34%, respectively) worldwide since 1990, mainly due to improved awareness, vaccinations, and global prevention efforts for diseases such as tetanus, meningitis, and stroke. The top 10 causes of neurological health loss in 2021 were stroke, neonatal encephalopathy, migraine, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetic neuropathy, meningitis, epilepsy, neurological complications in preterm births, autism spectrum disorder, and nervous system cancer. The neurological consequences of COVID-19, such as cognitive impairment and Guillain-Barré syndrome, ranked 20th and were responsible for 2.48 million lost years of healthy life in 2021.

The study also highlighted the rapid increase in diabetic neuropathy cases, which have more than tripled globally since 1990 and reached 206 million in 2021. This increase is consistent with the rise in global diabetes prevalence. Dr. Liane Ong, Co-Senior Author from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, USA, emphasized the importance of addressing neurological diseases through effective prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care strategies.

The study supports the WHO’s Intersectoral Global Action Plan for Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders 2022–2031 (IGAP) and aims to reduce the impact and burden of neurological diseases and improve the quality of life for people with neurological disorders. Over 80% of neurological deaths and health damage occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), highlighting the need for targeted interventions and greater investment in research and health care infrastructure to address the growing burden of neurological diseases worldwide.

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