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No Shortage of Dementia

There is a growing regional shortage of neurologists in parts of the U.S., even as…

  • August 6, 2017

There is a growing regional shortage of neurologists in parts of the U.S., even as the number of Americans with dementia continues to grow, according to the Alzheimer’s Association and Neurocern Inc.

New data reported at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2017) in London, multiple regions of the United States have been revealed as neurology “deserts” due to a projected chronic shortage of neurologists, and a rapid rise in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia cases.

Twenty states were identified as dementia neurology “deserts” with a current dementia population of 1,638,800, which is projected to reach 2,068,000 by 2025.

Wyoming, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and Oklahoma were revealed as the five states with the most significant projected gap between the available neurology workforce and the health needs of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2025.

“Our data highlights the importance of neurology education for clinicians, enabling them to have a more positive impact on people with dementia and their families,” said Dr. Anitha Rao, co-founder of Neurocern, Inc. “We should see these ‘deserts’ as opportunities for innovation, collaboration and progress.”

Neurocern Inc. in their research concludes that primary care providers and other licensed clinicians in dementia neurology “desert” states may require additional training and education to make up for the projected lack of neurologists.

“This intriguing study highlights several issues, including the clear inequality that exists across the United States in distribution of health resources and specialist knowledge to diagnose and treat brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s,” said Beth Kallmyer, MSW, Vice President of Constituent Services at the Alzheimer’s Association.

These 20 dementia neurology “deserts” are found in Wyoming, Mississippi, North Dakota, Maine, South Carolina, Idaho, South Dakota, Delaware, Oklahoma, Alabama, Iowa, Montana, Arkansas, Kansas, Hawaii, Vermont, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nevada and Kentucky.

This is a problem that needs to be solved, giving our aging population bringing a rising need for dementia care.

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