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Health Agencies Update
June 20, 2001

Brain Disorders: International Ills

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JAMA. 2001;285(23):2966. doi:10.1001/jama.285.23.2966-JHA10005-3-1

Citing the lack of attention paid to neurological, psychiatric, and developmental disorders in the developing world, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a plan detailing methods for dealing with the challenge.

Effective treatments often exist, said the IOM, but go unused, partially because the disorders are rarely diagnosed. The burden from epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and stroke could be lessened considerably by recognition and treatment, according to the report. As part of the solution, the IOM called for the extension of primary care to deliver services for brain disorders; the creation of education programs for health care professionals, who may be unaware of the problem; and the implementation of "best practice" guidelines or, where resources are limited, the use of "component practices."

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