Older Persons Vulnerable To Dementia, Parkinson Disorders


Older persons vulnerable to dementia, parkinson disorders

ISLAMABAD,(UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd july,2016) : Health experts on Friday claimed that 10 to 20 per cent of all 60 to 80 years of old people suffer from at least one of stroke, dementia, and Parkinson disorders in life.

According to them, the incidence of neurological disorders, such as those associated with stroke and dementia, is projected to increase at a rate that could overwhelm healthcare systems. They said the prevalence of a number of neurological conditions increases with age, including parkinson, the most common brain diseases affecting an ageing population.

They noted that brain diseases are the most frequent cause of disability worldwide, and that the disease burden could be avoided if more effort and resources are put toward prevention. "We have made great strides forward in the diagnosis and therapy of neurological diseases, appalling inequalities exist in the availability of treatment possibilities," experts said.

They said many people across the globe either have no access or insufficient access to neurological care. In wealthy countries, there are an average of three neurologists per 100,000 inhabitants whereas in low-income countries the figure is just 0.03. Medical Health expert, Dr Wasim Khawaja from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said that additional to healthy eating and getting sufficient exercise, brain fitness is also important for old age people.

He said while age and genetics pose great risks for stroke and dementia, managing high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels through diet and exercise can cut chances for brain disorders like Alzheimer's disease by three times. He said a balanced diet with a lot of leafy vegetables, fruits and fish keeps cholesterol values low, thereby helping to minimize risks.

Dr Khawaja urged old age people to remain socially active, engage in social and leisure activities by volunteering, traveling, or joining social activities. He said that brain health should be treated as one of the highest level healthcare priorities.

Neurologists are the advocates of brain health and need to take the leading role in advancing new approaches in stemming the scourge of neurological disease. He said that the aging population has major social, health, and economic consequences and urged for more focus in the expansion of prevention programmes and in suitable healthcare structures instead of viewing an ageing population solely as a burden. Dr Sharif Astori from Federal Government Poly Clinic (FGPC) said that brain health will be among the most important determinants of social and economic well-being of older persons in the future. He said that diseases affecting the brain are the most frequent causes of handicaps today throughout the world.

"A good share of the disease burden would be avoidable if we are more devoted to prevention." He said that age and genetic predisposition may remain the biggest risk factors for strokes and dementias but there are also factors that everyone can influence.

"For instance, high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels already occurring in middle age increase the risk of later contracting Alzheimer's by two to three times," he said. World Federation of Neurology (WFN) has designated July 22 as annual World Brain Day on which the WFN's 119 national member groups have arranged a number of activities to raise awareness of brain health.