Large Gaps Found in Diagnostic Resources for Neurologic Conditions Between High and Low-Income Countries

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Many neurodiagnostic tests are the least available, accessible, and affordable in the lowest-income countries where the majority of the world’s population resides. Closing this diagnostic gap is essential in determining the global burden of neurologic disease and improving outcomes for people with neurologic disorders in the lowest-income settings.Hannah McLane MD, MA, MPH

Original.00132985-201506040-00007.FF2From Neurology Today

Diagnostic testing for neurologic conditions is least available in the lowest-income countries, according to the results of a survey sent to neurologists around the world presented here at the AAN Annual Meeting in April.

And even if tests are available, they are often not very accessible or affordable, according to the findings from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

“Very little is known about the general availability of testing for neurologic disorders, especially in low and middle-income countries,” said Hannah McLane, MD, MA, MPH, a neurology resident at the University of Pennsylvania, who presented the findings. “Even when human resources and technology are available, it’s not clear what proportion of the population have access to neurodiagnostic testing, given the general uneven distribution of health resources in lower and middle-income countries. We identified disparities within countries — especially between public and private — as well as between countries based on the World Bank income group.”

Dr. McLane’s article detailing the results of this research will be appearing soon.