National Neurological Conditions Surveillance System (NNCSS)

Brain on circuit board
What is the National Neurological Conditions Surveillance System?

Neurological disorders and conditions have substantial and sometimes devastating consequences for millions of people of all ages across the United States. In 2016, to help address this problem, Congress authorized Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to initiate development of a National Neurological Conditions Surveillance System (NNCSS). CDC has received appropriated funds for NNCSS starting in fiscal year 2019.

NNCSS is an integrated system that uses state-of-the-art data sources, tools, and analytic methods to track the epidemiology of neurological conditions. The aim of the system is to derive actionable and timely information to increase understanding of neurological conditions and catalyze research into causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

As part of releasing NNCSS’s initial multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) prevalence estimates, CDC has produced two technical reports—one for each of MS and PD—that describe the methods used to identify cases (i.e., people with the disease) within data sources available to CDC for national surveillance, and that present national prevalence estimates for 2019 by select demographic and geographic characteristics. These reports have been identified as Influential Scientific Information and are undergoing independent peer review.

This report provides an overview of CDC’s progress in developing and implementing surveillance for neurological conditions. In the first stages of the project, NNCSS has focused on estimating prevalence and mortality for two test conditions—Parkinson’s disease (PD) and multiple sclerosis (MS)—and developing an approach that can be used for surveillance of a wide range of neurological conditions.