- Over 40 lakh people suffer with Alzheimer in India
- Of 200 dementia patients in Gurgaon hospital, 53 patients were suffering from Lewy Body Dementia
- Doctors advocate focus on rarer forms of dementia;
With the World Alzheimer’s Day being observed on September 21, focus is back on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia with efforts made to raise awareness on these neurodegenerative diseases. In India, over 40 lakh people suffer from this disease and the more disturbing part is that around 70% of them are not aware or conscious of this condition. While Alzheimer’s disease which is the commonest form of dementia receives most of the focus, doctors at Paras Hospitals Gurgaon emphasize on the importance of focusing on other types of dementia.
An expert in the field of dementia with clinical experience of over 35 years, Dr Vijay Chandra, Senior Consultant, Neurology, at Paras Hospital Gurgaon sheds light on the scenario, “In our hospital we are seeing some surprising recent trends. Traditionally, number of patients presenting with Alzheimer’s disease has been high. However, of the 200 dementia patients we received in recent times, we found increasing number of patients being diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), with 53 patients suffering from the disease. Mild cognitive impairment and depression comes a close second with 41 and 43 people suffering from it respectively. In all the types of Dementia, men were leading in the number of patients presented at our hospital”.
LBD is a progressive brain disorder in which abnormal protein deposits called Lewy bodies build up in critical areas of the brain which regulate behaviour, cognition, and movement. LBD is a complex disease and a patient suffering from the disease has problems with thinking, remembering, moving, sleeping and shows changes in behaviour, vivid hallucinationis a significant complain. The need seems to be to have reasonable focus on treatment and management of lesser known forms of Dementia.
“It is getting more and more important for healthcare facilities to have separate departments focusing on mental health diseases. Apart from having a neurology department, our hospital has a dedicated Dementia Clinic which is treating hundreds of patients since its inception. With a dedicated clinic we are able to focus more on learning about, treatment and management of other forms of dementia and at the same time are able to provide best possible treatment options to the patients. The other forms of dementia such as Mild cognitive impairment and depression can develop further and take up complex forms. Prevention and delaying progression in such cases remains of prime importance,” said Dr Vijay Chandra
As the world celebrates World Alzheimer’s Day, apparently other forms of dementia need to be given equivalent focus. More research and scientific studies are required to observe changing trends and identifying better treatment options for the patients. Dedicated facilities and research centres and adequate funding are some of the basic requirements that would encourage medical breakthroughs in this direction.