Lack of aware­ness lead­ing to rise in cases of Parkin­son’s, say docs

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT FOR NAVI MUMBAI - Sang­hami­tra Sen­gupta sang­hami­tra.sen­[email protected]­dus­tan­

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.

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