Report by the Spanish Foundation for the Brain on the social impact of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders.

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A thorough knowledge of the socioeconomic scope of neuromuscular disease is essential for managing resources and raising social awareness. Our group reviewed current data on the epidemiology, mortality and dependence rates, and socioeconomic impact of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neuromuscular diseases in Spain. We also recorded how neurological care for these patients is organised. Neuromuscular disorders are a very heterogeneous group of diseases, and some are very rare. These disorders account for between 2.8% and 18% of the total motives for a neurological consultation. In Spain, prevalence and incidence figures for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are similar to those in other countries; however, figures for patients with other neuromuscular diseases are not known. Since the diseases are chronic, progressive, and debilitating, they cause considerable disability and dependence, which in turn directly affects healthcare and social costs associated with the disease. The costs generated by one patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Duchenne disease have been calculated at about 50 000 euros per year. Neuromuscular disease shows aetiological, diagnostic, and prognostic complexity, and it requires multidisciplinary management. Follow-up for these patients should be entrusted to specialised units.
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Dependence, Dependencia, Economic impact, Enfermedades neuromusculares, Epidemiology, Epidemiología, Esclerosis lateral amiotrófica, España, Impacto económico, Neuromuscular diseases, Spain