Sipilä JOT

Finland is a relatively small genetic isolate with a genetically non-homogenous population. Available Finnish data on neuroepidemiology of adult-onset disorders are limited, and this paper describes the conclusions that can be drawn and their implications. Apparently, Finnish people have a (relatively) high risk of developing Unverricht-Lundborg disease (EPM1), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Spinal muscular atrophy, Jokela type (SMAJ) and adult-onset dystonia. On the other hand, some disorders, such as Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) and Wilson's disease (WD), are almost absent or completely absent in the population. Valid and timely data concerning even many common disorders, such as stroke, migraine, neuropathy, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, are unavailable, and there are virtually no data on many less-common neurological disorders, such as neurosarcoidosis or autoimmune encephalitides. There also appear to be marked regional differences in the incidence and prevalence of many diseases, suggesting that non-granular nationwide data may be misleading in many cases. Concentrated efforts to advance neuroepidemiological research in the country would be of clinical, administrative and scientific benefit, but currently, all progress is blocked by administrative and financial obstacles.

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