What is the NeuroDiseaseMonitor?
The NeuroDiseaseMonitor is the first database that comprises comprehensive, accurate and long-term data on the characteristics of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of the monitoring is to better understand the disease and its temporal and spatial extent as well as the risk factors and to enable a long-term observation of the disease development. It is built up and maintained by the German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).
Why Monitoring Neurodegenerative Diseases?
Neurodegenerative diseases, especially dementia will be one of the leading medical and societal challenges of ageing populations.
Cognitive decline in higher ages is not a newly discovered phenomenon, but it is growing in importance, as an increased number of people reach higher ages, in which the incidence of dementia is becoming more likely. So, dementia is not any more a rare disease and there is a high and growing need of monitoring dementia to fill the gap in epidemiologic research in Germany.
Therefore, it is required to have a timely, comprehensive and accurate monitoring system, to enable a deeper research on causes, determinants and trends of neurodegenerative diseases. That is important in many aspects and different subgroups of the population will benefit directly and indirectly of the monitoring:
Researchers will have access to reliable data, which they can use to provide better estimates, to promote research to risk factors and to identify differences among demographic characteristics. Next to that they can use the different data to estimate future developments of the number of affected persons. The forecasts are particularly important for policy makers’ of social and medical service provision in the near and far future.
In addition, economic actors, for example pharmaceutical firms, medical engineering or care service providers are interested and in need of data for their planning. Furthermore, health agents like physicians, nurses, care givers and, last but not least, the patients themselves and their relatives will profit from the monitoring.
By the year 2050 the number of people with dementia will increase by two to three million persons. The quite huge range of one million affected persons is due to the uncertainty of future developments. There are still open questions, for example, how life expectancy with or without dementia will develop or how possible future preventive interventions take effects.
The NeuroDiseaseMonitor builds the basis for an advancing, to be updated and long-term observation of the development of neurodegenerative diseases, which will be highly relevant for future generations of every age.