Cherish your brain
In 2016, 3.8 million Dutch people with brain disorders were registered with their GP. 1.9 million of them have a mental disorder, such as depression, or anxiety and panic disorders. 1.3 million people suffer from a chronic brain disease, such as dementia, Parkinson's disease or epilepsy. This emerged from research by the RIVM on behalf of the Brain Foundation. This means that one in four Dutch people has a brain disorder. This is extremely alarming. All the more so because, in reality, this figure is even higher, because not everyone is seeking help. If you look at the healthcare costs involved, all alarm bells should be sounding in The Hague, where our government resides. According to the Brain Foundation, the cost is more than 25 billion euros per year, or 27 percent of the total healthcare costs in the Netherlands. And the end is not yet in sight.
Also considering that a healthy brain is crucial for good quality of life. It is not for nothing that the brain in a foetus starts to develop in the third week. That is before you can distinguish any of the contours of arms or legs. That is why we are advocating broader acceptance of the field of functional neurology. Too often people are sent away by their doctor with the message that their problem is 'all in their head'. These people, often untreated, are increasingly coming to our clinic. In their search of a better quality of life, they experience that their complaints are downplayed in regular health care.
With their introduction to functional neurology, a new world opens up for them. In functional neurology we do not only look at the brain, but also explicitly at the network of nerve cells, which ensures that information is received, processed and passed on. Disruptions in this network are often the cause of chronic complaints, which people have often been dealing with for years. This means that the problem is indeed ‘all in their head’, as these people have been previously diagnosed. Though not in a figurative sense, but quite literally. Thanks to functional neurology, a growing group of patients is experiencing relief from their pain and complaints, as well as an improvement in quality of life. And that is good news for everyone.
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