Neurological pathologies, the main global cause of health problems

Neurological pathologies, the main global cause of health problems

Pathologies that strike the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s type dementia but also migraines or the consequences of a stroke, are now the main global cause of health problems, according to a large study published Friday.

According to this work, published in the Lancet Neurologyit is therefore no longer cardiovascular pathologies, but those of a neurological nature in the broad sense, which cause the most harm to people still alive.

In 2021, 43% of the world’s population – or 3.4 billion people – were affected by a neurological disorder, according to this study carried out by hundreds of researchers under the aegis of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) , a reference organization for health statistics.

This level would be much higher than current estimates and would mean that these disorders have jumped by more than half since 1990.

Researchers see this, among other things, as a consequence of the aging of the population, especially since the vast majority of neurological disorders cannot be cured and therefore potentially persist for years until death.

By far, strokes cause the most disability and health problems. According to the study, they have caused the entire population to lose 160 million years of healthy life – an indicator supposed to go beyond simple life expectancy to take into account the real situation of people. worldwide.

This is followed by neonatal encephalopathy, a form of pathology which, as its name indicates, affects a child from birth, Alzheimer’s type dementias, then the neurological consequences of diabetes. Meningitis and epilepsy are next in the ranking.

As for the neurological after-effects of Covid, which notably constitute one of the aspects of long Covid, they appear in twentieth place.

In terms of mortality, neurological problems killed more than eleven million people in 2021, according to the study. Here we remain below the toll of cardiovascular diseases – 19.8 million – which are often more quickly fatal.

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