Schizophrenia, depression, epilepsy, dementia, alcohol dependence and other mental, neurological and substance-use (MNS) disorders constitute 13% of the global burden of disease ( Table 1 ), surpassing both cardiovascular disease and cancer . Depression is the third leading contributor to the global disease burden, and alcohol and illicit drug use account for more than 5% (ref. 2 ). Every seven seconds, someone develops dementia , costing the world up to US$609 billion in 2009 (ref. 4 ). By 2020, an estimated 1.5 million people will die each year by suicide, and between 15 and 30 million will make the attempt . The absence of cures, and the dearth of preventive interventions for MNS disorders, in part reflects a limited understanding of the brain and its molecular and cellular mechanisms. Where there are effective treatments, they are frequently not available to those in greatest need. In 83% of low-income countries, there are no anti-Parkinsonian treatments in primary care; in 25% there are no anti-epileptic drugs . Unequal distribution of human resources — between and within countries — further weakens access: the World Health Organization's European region has 200 times as many psychiatrists as in Africa . Across all countries,
Nature – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 6, 2011
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