Insomnia and Other Brain Disorders Affect More than a Third of EU Population
Insomnia, dementia, anxiety, and depression affects nearly 165 million European people, or roughly 38 percent of the EU population, a new study reveals.
"Mental disorders have become Europe's largest health challenge of the 21st century," the study's authors told The Telegraph.
Some big drug companies, however, are backing away from funding research on how the brain works and affects behavior -- ultimately putting the responsibility on governments and health charities to fund the research.
"The immense treatment gap ... for mental disorders has to be closed," Hans Ulrich Wittchen, director of the institute of clinical psychology and psychotherapy at Germany's Dresden University and the lead investigator on the European study, told The Telegraph.
"Those few receiving treatment do so with considerable delays of an average of several years and rarely with the appropriate, state-of-the-art therapies," Wittchen added.
A three-year study led by Wittchen covered 30 European countries -- the 27 European Union member states plus Switzerland, Iceland and Norway -- and a population of 514 million people.
Wittchen's team looked at about 100 illnesses covering all major brain disorders, including anxiety, depression, addiction and schizophrenia, as well as major neurological disorders including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.