Islamabad:Health expert on “World Alzheimer’s Day” observed on Thursday stressed raising media awareness to manage progressive neurological disorder that is the most common cause of dementia among the 60 and above age population and raised serious concerns that by the year 2030, 78 million people will be living with dementia.
Talking to a TV channel, Chairman Institute of Psychiatry WHO Collaborating Centre, Rawalpindi Medical University Prof. Asad Tamizuddin Nizami said like rest of the world, the aging population was increasing in Pakistan, where the number of people above 60 years of age would increase by 2050. He added that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease was likely to increase also in society as it was a disease of elderly people, adding, that mostly the disease was linked with aging and contrary to the perception it could be prevented through remedial measures. He said Alzheimer’s disease has been found to be affecting 50% to 60% of people with dementia, adding, that symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia have a broad similarity between them.
These include declining short-term memory or forgetting events that have happened recently. He added that we can manage dementia only by looking for early symptoms of dementia, identifying its types, excluding reversible causes of dementia, and rationalizing laboratory investigation and neurological imaging. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are going to be a major issue as our life expectancy rises, he added.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects short-term and long-term memory, emotions, mood, behaviour and language of the patient, he informed, adding further that the disease makes doing usual tasks like cooking, cleaning, and driving difficult for patients, and with symptoms worsening over time, he explained. Replying to a question regarding the prevention of Alzheimer’s, he said that a good early education of children also had an effect in preventing or eradicating the disease. The rapid increase in the number of PWDs shows that the world is aging fast, resulting in a huge global impact of dementia on societies globally, he mentioned.
“Dementia is a global health priority, but progress towards its understanding and treatment in low and middle-income countries has been slow, despite rapidly aging populations, he added.