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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

97 crore people across the globe grappling with mental health issues


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The rise in the number of cases of people suffering from mental health issues has become a worrisome trend. People are getting physically and mentally disabled because of a range of neurological problems like brain stroke, dementia, migraine, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and brain injuries. And with the increase in the population of senior citizens, this problem is exacerbating everywhere.

According to the Global Disease Project, around 97 crore 70 lakh people are suffering from 12 kinds of mental health issues. There has been reported an increase of 48% in these diseases since 1990. And as the brain is an extremely complex organ, unravelling its foundational secrets has been tough, and the difficulties being faced to discover the treatments of some illnesses creates an atmosphere of despair.

Private Sector has spent 3.48 lakh crore rupees from 1998 to 2017 in order to conduct research for old age’s disease, Alzheimer’s, but a breakthrough could not be achieved, and due to this failure, many drug companies either stopped their research on neuroscience or reduced its scale.  On the other hand, many big drug companies have shown considerable interest in neuroscience research, and have pushed it further with a lot of techniques.

There have also been changes in the field of brain science due to the effective use of technologies like optogenetics to understand the functioning of animals’ brains, and the development of small 3D brain models using organoid technologies, and the use of bio-markers helps to gauge whether a disease will get weakened or strengthened. Data inspection is also proving to be helpful to understand the biological factors behind mental health issues.

The UK Bio-bank can track thousands of people from one or more generations, and this would help to reach the root-cause of mental issues like depression. Researchers have shown keen interest in knowing the internal activities of the brain. The most interesting and noteworthy fact which was revealed this way was that how the brain is similar to plastic, and gives birth to new neurons during a human’s lifetime. This revelation will lead to the paths towards the treatment of many mental health issues, including neuro-immunology, which involves targeting the brain’s immune cells.

Along with this, in order to replace damaged genes with effective genes, the testing of gene therapy is underway.

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