A Systematic Review of the Incidence and Prevalence of Long-Term Neurological Conditions in the UK

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Background: Updated, robust estimates of the incidence and prevalence of rare long-term neurological conditions in the UK are not available. Global estimates may be misrepresentative as disease aetiology may vary by location. Objectives: To systematically review the incidence and prevalence of long-term neurological conditions in the UK since 1988. Search Strategy: Medline (January 1988 to January 2009), Embase (January 1988 to January 2009), CINAHL (January 1988 to January 2009) and Cochrane CENTRAL databases. Selection Criteria: UK population-based incidence/prevalence studies of long-term neurological conditions since 1988. Exclusion criteria included inappropriate diagnoses and incomprehensive case ascertainment. Data Collection and Analysis: Articles were included based on the selection criteria. Data were extracted from articles with ranges of incidence and prevalence reported. Main Results: Eight studies met the criteria (3 on motor neurone disease; 4 on Huntington's disease; 1 on progressive supranuclear palsy). The incidence of motor neurone disease ranged from 1.06 to 2.4/100,000 person-years. The prevalence ranged from 4.02 to 4.91/100,000. The prevalence of Huntington's disease ranged from 4.0 to 9.94/100,000. The prevalence of progressive supranuclear palsy ranged from 3.1 to 6.5/100,000. Conclusions: The review updates the incidence/prevalence of long-term neurological conditions. Future epidemiological studies must incorporate comprehensive case ascertainment methods and strict diagnostic criteria.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011