Neurological Health Charities Canada or NHCC, of which the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada is a founding member, has just released a very important study—the first of its kind—detailing the impact of neurological conditions, including TS, on the estimated 3.6 million Canadians directly affected by them. Among the dramatic highlights of the study are revelations that Canadians affected by neurological conditions:
- Are five times more likely to experience unemployment than the general population;
- Use healthcare services more than those affected by other chronic conditions;
- Make up over half of those in home care or long term care facilities; and
- Are twice as likely to report symptoms of depression than those without such conditions.
As well, over a third of the 177,000 Canadians who participated in the study reported that their family had experienced a financial crisis in the last year. If they had caregivers, those caregivers were twice as likely to experience distress than those caring for individuals without a neurological condition. The study also projected a two-decade spike in cases of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and Parkinson’s disease, as well as traumatic brain injury. Says the NHCC:
The study provides rich new information about neurological conditions in Canada. It also highlights remaining knowledge gaps and identifies areas, which, if addressed, could significantly reduce the negative impacts of neurological conditions on individuals, families, health care systems and society.
Says Dr. Tamara Pringsheim, who sits on our Professional Advisory Board and is responsible for the Canadian Guidelines for the Evidence-Based Treatment of Tourette Syndrome,
The National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions is unique in that it represents a collaboration between so many groups and individuals (e.g. patients, advocacy groups, health care leaders, researchers and other key stakeholders). The information generated from this important study has paved the way to help us improve neurological care and to guide future research needs in Canada and beyond.
We look forward to that future as we face the challenges of today in our Tourette community. For more information and to read the study report, click here.