Damage to neural tissue is one of the leading causes of death and permanent disability in the world and also presents one of the greatest challenges in current medical care. The consequences of neurological disease and injury can be devastating, not only causing death but also imposing long-term disabling burdens on victims both emotionally and financially. Neural tissue damage can be broadly classified into diagnoses with the highest incidence and prevalence: stroke, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, and neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) comprise Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, amongst others. Estimates for epidemiological data for the world and the United States are assembled in the table below. Traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), and neurodegenerative disease (NDD) cause significant neural damage to millions of people each year, and therapies to restore neural function or repair damage to neural tissue remain elusive.
Estimates of epidemiological data for neurological diseases and injuries. Incidence refers to the number of people affected by the disease or injury each year, and incidence refers to the number of people living with the residual effects of the condition.
* Incidence is based on presentations for emergent care. Prevalence not reported for TBI due to vast variance in degree and classification of ongoing symptoms from an acute event.
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