A call for disability inclusion that must be heeded – Neuropsychiatric Rehabilitation: Reimagining Care for a Billion People | 30 December 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • This article explores the crucial role of novel rehabilitation approaches in enhancing the lives of individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders.


  • GS2: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes; Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions and Bodies constituted for the Protection and Betterment of these Vulnerable Sections


  • Despite December's International Day for Persons with Disabilities, the need for transformative solutions for the 1.2 billion individuals affected by neuropsychiatric disorders persists. This article delves into the importance of innovative rehabilitation services and the potential of scientific advancements in improving quality of life for this vast population.


  • Burden of Neuropsychiatric Disorders: From childhood conditions like autism and ADHD to adult mental health issues like depression and schizophrenia, neuropsychiatric disorders significantly impact daily life and quality of life. The staggering numbers – 317 million children and 970 million adults globally – highlight the urgency for effective rehabilitation solutions.
  • Rethinking Rehabilitation: Traditional, narrow-minded views of rehabilitation as disability-specific leave many underserved. We must shift towards multidisciplinary, multicomponent services that address the diverse spectrum of neurological and mental health needs across the lifespan. This requires:
    • Community awareness: Building understanding that disability can be treated, even reversed, and encouraging proactive access to rehabilitation.
    • Professional development: Enhancing training and empowering professionals like physiotherapists, psychologists, and caregivers to provide holistic care.
    • Multidisciplinary models: Creating service paradigms that integrate different specialties for comprehensive support.
  • Harnessing Scientific Advances: Exciting new technologies like non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) offer promising avenues for rehabilitation:
    • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS): Proven effective for depression, OCD, and various other conditions, from Parkinson's tremors to post-stroke spasticity.
    • Functional Magnetic Stimulation (FMS): Shows potential in treating pain, spasticity, and incontinence.
    • Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (TES): Offers portable, bedside treatment for memory, mood, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
    • Transcutaneous Auricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation (tA-VNS): Holds promise for managing depression, migraine, and long COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Collaboration is Key: With 80% of people with disabilities residing in developing countries, achieving the UN's vision of inclusive development necessitates global collaboration. Governments, public and private sectors, and individuals with disabilities must work together to:
    • Invest in research and development: Support further advancements in NIBS and other rehabilitation technologies.
    • Improve accessibility: Ensure equitable access to quality rehabilitation services for all.
    • Promote inclusivity: Create a society where individuals with disabilities can fully participate and thrive.

Way Forward:

  • By embracing innovative approaches, harnessing scientific advancements, and fostering collaboration, we can reimagine neuropsychiatric rehabilitation and create a world where everyone, regardless of ability, has the opportunity to live a fulfilling life.

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