Global Advocates Join Forces on Neurological Care

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International and regional organisations are taking a stand for the billions of people living with neurological conditions.

A new patient-driven initiative, OneNeurology, now unites stakeholders from across the globe in making neurological health a policy priority. In particular, the group is keen to see the World Health Organization and Member States prioritize neurological health. The initiative, founded by the European Federation of Neurological Associations and the European Academy of Neurology, fosters international partnerships towards collective public health goals.

The timing is apt.

Neurological disorders such as dementia, stroke and Alzheimer’s now impact nearly one-sixth of the world’s population. In 2016, neurological disorders were the leading cause of disability globally – and the second leading cause of death; stroke being the number one cause of death among neurological disorders.

And as the global population ages, prevalence increases. People over the age of 65 are more likely to have a neurological condition. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are now among the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Meanwhile, neurological diseases levy a serious economic burden. In Europe, the cost of neurological disorders reached €798 billion in 2010.

Despite the global burden that neurological conditions impose, however, access to services and support falls short. Almost all people living with neurological disorders report feeling affected by stigma, according to a survey by the European Federation of Neurological Associations. And 74% say they don’t receive adequate or appropriate treatment because their medical professional doesn’t believe the severity of their symptoms.

Meeting the needs of these patients requires a greater commitment from decision makers, increased awareness and international collaboration. And the advent of OneNeurologly could mark an important step forward.

The organisation’s launch coincides with the World Health Organization’s 10-year intersectoral Global Action Plan on Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders. The action plan, which addresses gaps in care for people with neurological disorders, will be adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2022 and then implemented at country level.

To learn more about the OneNeurology initiative and its partners, visit www.oneneurology.net.