Contribution of non-communicable neurological disorders and neurological injuries to the total disease burden has more than doubled between 1990 and 2019.
Stroke caused 6,99,000 deaths in India in 2019, which was 7.4% of the total deaths in the country, it said.
The burden of non-communicable neurological disorders was increasing in the country, mainly due to ageing of the population, the paper noted.
“Stroke, headache disorders, and epilepsy are the leading contributors to neurological disorders burden in India,” it said. High blood pressure, air pollution, dietary risks, high fasting plasma glucose, and high body-mass index were found to be the leading contributors among the known risk factors for neurological disorders burden.
These neurological disorders include non-communicable neurological disorders (stroke, headache disorders, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, brain and central nervous system cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron diseases, and other neurological disorders), communicable neurological disorders (encephalitis, meningitis, and tetanus), and injury-related neurological disorders (traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries).
The paper found that the burden of many neurological disorders vary substantially across the States.
NITI Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul speaking about the findings explained that this paper presented a comprehensive perspective of the burden of neurological disorders over the last 30 years, and systematically highlights the variations between the States.
“Several government policies and initiatives are in place to address the burden of neurological disorders across India, however, more focused efforts are required for the planning of specific neurology services in each State. There is a need to address the shortage of trained neurology workforce, and strengthen early detection and cost-effective management of neurological disorders in the country to deal with their growing burden,” he said.
Stating that neurological disorders contributed 10% of the total disease burden in India, Balram Bhargava, director general, Indian Council of Medical Research, noted that there was a growing burden of non-communicable neurological disorders in the country, which was mainly attributable to ageing of the population.
Prof. Lalit Dandona, director of the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative and senior author of this paper, explained that the study based on collaboration with leading neurology experts in India provided policy-relevant insights into the trends of neurological disorders across the States.
“While the burden of infectious neurological disorders has fallen in India, this burden is higher in less developed States. On the other hand, the burden of neurological disorders related to injury is higher in more developed States. Among non-communicable neurological disorders, stroke is the third leading cause of death in India, and dementias are the fastest growing neurological disorder. These and other findings in the paper have important implications for planning to reduce the growing burden of neurological disorders in India.”
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