Parkinson’s research in Nigeria

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In an effort to highlight under-represented populations within the Parkinson’s community world-wide, today we will look at some recent research that has been conducted in the central African republic of Nigeria.

Nigeria is a nation of more than 200 million people. Despite a lower general life expectancy rate, the country does have a large Parkinson’s community. In an effort to help those individuals, local researchers are conducting studies – both preclinical and clinical. 

In today’s post, we will review some of that research and discuss a clinical trial being conducted in Nigeria.

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Nigeria. Source: Britannica

Nigeria has been called the “Giant of Africa”, and for good reason.

Between 1990 and 2019, the population of Nigeria surged from 95 million to 201 million.

It currently sits around 220 million and it is on track to increase to over 400 million by 2050 (when it will overtake the USA as the world’s third most populated country). All of these people – who speak over 500 different languages/dialects – live in an area of 923,769 square kilometres (356,669 sq mi).

That is equivalent to the triangular area of land between Chicago, New York and Atlanta in the US:

Source: Quora

The country boasts the largest gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa, with a GDP of approximately $450 billion – making it the 29th largest economy in the world (Source). The sizeable GDP is mainly driven by finance, transport, infrastructure, tourism, and a large abundance of crude oil.

Source: Guardian

With such a large economy and significant resources at hand, improving health care has become a key goal for Nigeria. It currently spends only 3% of its GDP on health (compared to 16% in the US – Source). And this is unfortunately reflected in a high infant mortality rate (74/1000 live births), high maternal mortality rate (560/100 000 live births), and low life expectancy (<53 years – Source).

Interesting, but what does this have to do with Parkinson’s?

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