Our aim was to evaluate Wikipedia page visits in relation to the most common neurological disorders by determining which factors are related to peaks in Wikipedia searches for these conditions. Millions of people worldwide use the internet daily as a source of health information. Wikipedia is a popular free online encyclopedia used by patients and physicians to search for health-related information. The following Wikipedia articles were considered: Alzheimer"s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Dementia; Epilepsy; Epileptic seizure; Migraine; Multiple sclerosis; Parkinson"s disease; Stroke; Traumatic brain injury. We analyzed information regarding the total article views for 90 days and the rank of these articles among all those available in Wikipedia. We determined the highest search volume peaks to identify possible relation with online news headlines. No relation between incidence or prevalence of neurological disorders and the search volume for the related articles was found. Seven out of 10 neurological conditions showed relations in search volume peaks and news headlines. Six out of these seven peaks were related to news about famous people suffering from neurological disorders, especially those from showbusiness. Identification of discrepancies between disease burden and health seeking behavior on Wikipedia is useful in the planning of public health campaigns. Celebrities who publicly announce their neurological diagnosis might effectively promote awareness programs, increase public knowledge and reduce stigma related to diagnoses of neurological disorders.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Cost of Illness
Nervous System Diseases*/pathology
Nervous System Diseases*/therapy
Reproducibility of Results
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