Lack of awareness leading to rise in cases of Parkinson’s, say docs
NAVI MUMBAI: On World Parkinson’s Day on Wednesday, doctors said that a lack of awareness about the disease was causing a steady rise in the number of cases across the globe.
Parkinson’s Disease affects certain nerve cells in the brain that play an important role in motor functions of the body which are then either lost or die.
Experts said it has been estimated that 6.3 million people suffer from this disease worldwide. In India, around 150 people of every one lakh, suffer from disease.
“I get 10 new cases every week and there is definitely a rise. There is no specific reason known but 90 % of the cases are because of natural factors, while 10 % are genetic. However, it is not a lifestyle disease,” said Dr Pawan Ojha, a neurologist from Fortis Hospital in Vashi.
Primary symptoms include tremors, loss of balance, stiffness, walking problems, slow movement and lack of blinking. Secondary symptoms include memory loss, constipation, sleep disturbances among others. It occurs more commonly in men than women and mostly to people above 60 years.
“Usually people tend to ignore such symptoms, regarding them as old age. However, if left untreated these non- motor symptoms get converted to the motor symptoms,” said Dr Ojha.
The main impediment in managing the disease comes from the lack of awareness, said doctors. Although 40% to 50 % of Parkinson’s disease patients have depression at some stage of their lives, by the time it is diagnosed it becomes too late for treatment.
“It is essential to treat their depression otherwise the conditions does not improve,” said Vashi- based psychiatrist Dr Niraj Ravani.
“Advances in diagnosis and treatment have changed the outlook for these patients and if diagnosed and treated at the right time, 80 % patients respond well to the treatment,” he added.