Health conditions and health care

Dementia and neurological conditions

Neurological disorders are diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, in other words, the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves and peripheral nerves. Long-term neurological conditions carry a significant burden to the individual, their families and carers, the NHS, and society as a whole. Some neurological conditions are life-threatening, with many severely affecting an individual’s quality of life. These disorders include Alzheimer disease and other dementias, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy as well as Parkinson's disease.

Dementia has been named the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century; however, it is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. Recent research published in The Lancet identified nine potentially modifiable risk factors which, if eliminated, might prevent more than a third of cases of dementia. These factors include low educational level in childhood, hearing loss, hypertension, obesity, smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation and diabetes(1).

Prevalence of diagnosed dementia has been rising in Southwark as well as nationally. In 2015-16 prevalence of dementia among residents age 65 and over was estimated at 4.5%, which is statistically similar to the national and London averages of 4.3% and 4.5% respectively. Dementia-related emergency hospital admissions are also rising with admission rates in Southwark significantly higher than the national and London averages.

Southwark Public Health together with key partners and stakeholders have produced a number of documents identifying the local population needs. This list will be updated as and when the new information becomes available.

Southwark JSNA reports

Other local plans and strategies

External resources

(1) Livingston et al, Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet, 2017.

Page last updated: 16 September 2021

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