Statistics of Common Brain Disorders

Alzheimer Disease

Alzheimer disease is one of the leading causes of death and one of the most costly diseases in the U.S. AD is the 6th leading cause of death overall in adults, and 5th for adults age 65 years or older. Currently, about 5.4 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with AD, a number that has doubled since 1980. Since there are increasing numbers of adults living into old age, and with the advent of the baby boomer generation, this number is expected to be as high as 16 million by the year 2050. The total spending by Medicare and Medicaid for individuals diagnosed with AD was about $130 billion in 2011. This figure will undoubtedly rise with our aging population.

Attention Deficit Disorder

In the U.S., 6.4 million children under the age of 17 years, or 11% of children, have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Since more boys are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD than girls, of children in the U.S., 13.2% of all boys and 5.6% of all girls have carried this diagnosis. The costs of this illness are between $36 and $52 billion per year in the U.S. alone, including direct treatment, other health care costs due to the higher injury rate among affected individuals, and the costs of lost productivity and wages for affected adults.


Epilepsy affects about 2.3 million adults and about ½ million children in the U.S. Approximately 1 in every 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy in their lifetimes. Around 150,000 new diagnoses of epilepsy are made each year in the U.S. Since most epilepsy is treated with medication, or other medical interventions, and causes lost earnings and diminished ability to be productive, the estimated total cost of epilepsy in the U.S. is $15.5 billion annually.

Mood Disorders

During any 12 month period, approximately 10% of the adult population will experience a mood disorder of some kind. Of these, 45% will be diagnosed as severe. For adults, the average age of onset is 30 years, and the lifetime prevalence is 50% higher in women than men. For children and adolescents, age 8 through 18 years, the prevalence rises from 3% between ages 8-11 to as high as 14% for ages 13-18. In children, the gender difference is more striking than in adults, with a lifetime prevalence of 18% in females and 10% in males. The costs for caring for individuals with any psychiatric disorder was estimated to be $58 billion dollars in 2006.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis affects many more females than males. The most recent data demonstrates an increasing female to male incidence ratio. About 250,000 to 350,000 people in the U.S. currently have MS, making it the most common debilitating neurological disease in young people. Because the onset of symptoms is at a younger age, the cost of treatment for an affected individual over a lifetime is higher than for other diseases. The total cost for treatment is over $7 billion per year, rising recently because new treatment modalities are costly.

Parkinson Disease

Parkinson disease currently affects as many as one million people in the U.S. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed each year. Of these, about 4%, or 2,400 people per year are diagnosed when they are under 50 years old. Because the disease has direct as well as indirect costs due to lost earnings and inability to work, the estimated cost of PD is almost $25 billion per year in the U.S.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The prevalence of PTSD is estimated as 3.5% of adults in the U.S., with severe PTSD recognized in 36.6% of the affected people. That means 1.3% of Americans have severe PTSD. The average age of onset is 23 years old. For military personnel, the economic costs are about $4.3 billion for disability compensation alone. Medical care was estimated to be $2 to 3 billion per year and rising.


Schizophrenia is one of the top 10 debilitating disorders in developed countries. In the U.S., about 1.1% of the population has this disease. That means about 2.2 million Americans are affected. The costs for care and the long term loss of productivity are approximately $62.7 billion per year. Since most new diagnoses are made during the ages of 15 and 30 years, notably at higher ages in females, this lifelong disorder has long term treatment costs, including hospitalizations and medications.

Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI is diagnosed in approximately 1.4 million Americans every year. Of these, the majority are treated and released, however, there are about 50,000 deaths and 235,000 hospitalizations each year. 5.3 million Americans have long-term disability due to a TBI. The annual combined costs of TBI are over $76.5 billion.