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Dementia is a syndrome caused by disease of the brain, usually of a chronic or progressive nature, in which there is disturbance of multiple higher cortical functions, including memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement. Consciousness is not clouded. Dementia mainly affects older people: only 2% of cases start before the age of 65 years. After this the prevalence doubles with every five-year increment in age. Dementia is one of the major causes of disability in later life.


Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting both sexes and all ages, with worldwide distribution. The term is also applied to a large group of conditions characterized by common symptoms called "epileptic seizures", which may occur in the context of a brain insult that can be systemic, toxic or metabolic. These events (called provoked or acute symptomatic seizures) are presumed to be an acute manifestation of the insult and may not recur when the underlying cause has been removed or the acute phase has elapsed.

Headache disorders

Headache is a painful feature of a relatively small number of primary headache disorders, some of which are widespread and are often life-long conditions. Headache also occurs as a characteristic symptom of many other conditions; these are termed secondary headache disorders. Collectively, headache disorders are among the most common disorders of the nervous system, causing substantial disability in populations throughout the world

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis affects around 2.5 million people worldwide: it is one of the most common neurological disorders and cause of disability of young adults, especially in Europe and North America. There is a lack of epidemiological studies from Asia where the prevalence is reported to be low, though, with the availability of more neurologists and magnetic resonance imaging, a larger number of patients are being diagnosed. Although some people experience little disability during their lifetime, up to 60% are no longer fully ambulatory 20 years after onset, with significant implications for their quality of life and the financial cost to society.

Neuro infections

Infectious diseases that involve the nervous system affect millions of people around the world. They constitute the sixth cause of neurological consultation in primary care services and are reported globally by a quarter of WHO's Member States and by half the countries in some parts of Africa and South-East Asia. Neuro infections are of major importance since ancient times and, even with the advent of effective antibiotics and vaccines, still remain a major challenge in many parts of the world, especially in developing nations

Neurological disorders associated with malnutrition

In low income countries, inadequate amounts of food (causing conditions such as child malnutrition and retarded growth) and inadequate diversity of food (causing deficiency of vital micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals or trace elements) continue to be priority health problems. Malnutrition in all its forms increases the risk of disease and early death. Nearly 800 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. Malnutrition affects all age groups, but it is especially common among poor people and those with inadequate access to health education, clean water and good sanitation. Most of the malnutrition-related neurological disorders are preventable.

Pain associated with neurological disorders

Pain can be a direct or an indirect consequence of a neurological disorder, with physical and psychological dimensions that are both essential for its correct diagnosis and treatment. Pain — acute and chronic — is a major public health problem that poses significant challenges to health professionals involved in its treatment. Chronic pain may persist long after initial tissue damage has healed: in such cases, it becomes a specific health-care problem and a recognized disease. Adequate pain treatment is a human right, and it is the duty of any health-care system to provide it.

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder of insidious onset, characterized by the presence of predominantly motor symptomatology (bradykinesia, rest tremor, rigidity, and postural disturbances). It is also associated with a diversity of non-motor symptoms, which, together with late-onset motor symptoms (such as postural instability and falls, freezing of gait, speech and swallowing difficulties), are presently one of the most difficult challenges the treating physician is faced with when dealing with patients with a long duration of the disease.


Stroke is one of the main non communicable diseases of public health importance. After coronary heart disease and cancer, stroke is the most common cause of death in most industrialized countries. In general terms, stroke is a sudden neurological deficit owing to localized brain ischaemia or haemorrhage. Most strokes are attributed to focal occlusion of the cerebral blood vessel (ischaemic stroke) and the remainder are the result of rupture of a blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke).

Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults around the world and is involved in nearly half of all trauma deaths. Many years of productive life are lost, and many people have to suffer years of disability after brain injury. In addition, it engenders great economic costs for individuals, families and society. Many lives can be saved and years of disability spared through better prevention.

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