Neurological Disorders

News: A recent study published in the ‘Lancet Global Health’ is the first comprehensive analysis of India’s neurological diseases burden from 1990 to 2019. The study is a part of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019, which was published by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative. India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative is a joint initiative of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) along with other public health institutions.


  • Neurological disorders contribute 10% of the total disease burden in India.
  • There is a growing burden of non-communicable neurological disorders in the country, which is mainly attributable to the ageing of the population.
  • The contribution of non-communicable neurological disorders to total DALYs (disability adjusted life-years) in India doubled from 4% in 1990 to 8·2% in 2019, and the contribution of injury-related neurological disorders increased from 0·2% to 0·6%.
  • DALY, a time-based measure that combines years of life lost due to premature mortality and years of life lost due to time lived in states of less than full health, or years of healthy life lost due to disability.
  • While communicable diseases contributed to the majority of total neurological disorders burden in children younger than five years, non-communicable neurological disorders were the highest contributor in all other age groups. While the burden of infectious neurological disorders has fallen in India, this burden is higher in less developed states.

Neurological Diseases:

  • Stroke, headache disorders, and epilepsy are the leading contributors to neurological disorders burden in India. Among non-communicable neurological disorders, stroke is the third leading cause of death in India, and dementias are the fastest growing neurological disorder.
  • Headache is the commonest neurological disorder affecting 1 in 3 Indians, and is often neglected in terms of public health priority.
  • Migraine affects females more than males, greatly affecting adults in the working age population.
  • Among the known risk factors for neurological disorders, burden, high blood pressure, air pollution, dietary risks, high fasting plasma glucose, and high body-mass index are the leading contributors.