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What is a neurological disease?

By September 13, 2011Home_buttons, Share Hope

Neurological Conditions

  The most common misconception regarding neurological conditions is the belief that they are equivalent to mental illnesses. This is untrue. There are many cases in which memory and cognition are unaffected by a neurological condition. People affected by neurological conditions tend to become disabled in other ways, where symptoms are sometimes visible and other times invisible. The symptoms of a neurological condition are relative to the region of damage to the central nervous system.  

What are neurological conditions?

Neurological conditions are diseases and disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, eyes and nerves throughout the body. They refer to a dysfunction in one or several areas of the nervous system, which lead to a number of difficulties in the nervous system either immediately or progressively over time. Some of these challenges include problems with mobility, mental tasks (such as learning and memory), basic functions (such as swallowing and breathing), or emotional changes in mood. There are also many invisible symptoms that could occur such as chronic pain. In the worst cases, a neurological deficit can lead to a shortened life expectancy, however not all neurological conditions are fatal.

Facts about neurological conditions:

  • Neurological conditions are a leading cause of disability in the world
  • Over an estimated 1 billion people worldwide are affected by neurological disease and disorders
  • Over 6.8 million die every year as a result of neurological diseases and disorders
  • European economic cost of neurological diseases are estimated to be over 139 billion euros.
  • As many as 9 out of 10 people suffering from epilepsy in Africa go untreated
  • 10 million people in the United Kingdom alone suffer from neurological conditions
  • Approximately 50 people are diagnosed every hour in the United Kingdom
  • Over 8 million people in the United Kingdom are affected by neurological conditions and manage tasks
  • Over 1 million people in the United Kingdom are disabled by neurological conditions
  • 600,000 people in the United Kingdom are newly diagnosed each year
  • Approximately 350,000 people in the United Kingdom require daily assistance
  • Approximately 200,000 children have an acquired brain injury
  • Approximately 25% of people between 16 and 64 years of age suffer from a chronic neurological disability
  • Approximately 33% of disabled people living in residential care (nursing homes) have a neurological condition
  • 17% of consultations with a medical practitioner are a result of neurological symptoms
  • 10% of emergency visits to hospital are for neurological complications
  • 19% of hospital admissions require a neurologist or neurosurgeon to treat the neurological condition.
  • Approximately 850,000 people in the United Kingdom are carers of someone with a neurological condition.
  • Neurological diseases and disorders affect people of all ages
  • The impact of neurological disorders requires urgent attention in both developed and developing countries.

*These numbers are rising.


More on Neurological Conditions:

  The most prevalent neurological conditions are Stroke, Epilepsy, Dementia, Head Injury, Headache, and Multiple Sclerosis.  The prevalence of different neurological illnesses varies. There is little support for a systematic collection of data for neurological conditions as a whole.  However, a study done in London, United Kingdom of 13 general practices, suggested that of a population of 100,230 people that were registered with one of the practices in the UK, 27,657 of them reported manifesting a neurological illness following the onset of a neurological disorder.  Neurological disease prevalence of the highest reported age band was between ages 30-39; additionally, the highest reported ethnicity was Caucasian in UK demographics. The results of this study were published in Brain, a peer-reviewed journal of Neurology.


Neurological diseases and disorders are some of the most devastating illnesses one can suffer from; they significantly affects not only sufferers, but their families and caregivers as well.  There is an increasing prevalence of neurological conditions in older aged people, particularly dementia.  Many neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Ischemia/Stroke, are some of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Please see the list of neurological disease and disorders for other neurone, or nerve cell, affecting diseases.

Movement for Hope recognises all neurological diseases and disorders and will raise ongoing awareness and support for each of them.