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Neurodegenerative diseases in the workplace

Hundreds of thousands of working-age Europeans suffer from neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Stephen Hawking

Image by courtesy of NASA

With an increase in retirement age and in life expectancy, the number of both NDD patients and carers of working age is expected to increase in the coming decades.

Patients, carers and their employers face numerous challenges in the workplace. The Equal Treatment Directive requires em­ployers to accommodate disabled employees.

The EU supports research on NDD diagnosis and treatment and helps coordinate Member States’ research through ‘Joint Programming Initiatives’. The European initiative on Alzheimer’s and other dementias aims for early diagnosis, sharing of best practice and improved knowledge.

The European Parliament has repeatedly emphasised the importance of addressing the challenges of NDDs in research, social and health policies. MEPs have called for promotion of flexible employment policies for people with chronic neurological disorders.

NGOs call for awareness-raising, improved diagnosis and better access to support services for patients and carers.

Read the complete briefing here

Prevalence and cost of NDDs in Europe (2010)

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