Monday, Feb 17, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Our Staff Reporter
``It is very difficult to care for someone when he does not remember his child's name, does not remember if he has had his meal, and urinates in the dining hall.
Caring for them can be very stressful,'' the former chairperson of the Alzheimer's Disease International, Nori Graham, said, addressing a press conference on the first day of a three-day International Workshop on Dementia and Cognition, ``From Science to Patient'', organised by the Neurosciences India Group.
(Dementia is regarded a disease of the elderly that results in severe memory and cognitive impairment and ultimately in death.
It is caused chiefly by Alzheimer's disease and stroke. In India, the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI), a wing of the ADI, is headquatered in Kochi. The Chennai chapter can be contacted at 26633143.)
Caretakers often suffered greater stress than patients, more so in India where the disease was hardly understood and carried with it the burden of stigma.
It was thus imperative to develop support systems for caretakers and create greater understanding of the disease so families would know how to cope with it, she stressed.
``Dementia does not just strike a patient; it strikes a family,'' the director of the UCLA Alzheimer's Disease Centre, Jeffrey L.Cummings, said.
``But in India, caretakers are routinely criticised for not doing enough for the patients or are charged with harming them. We found a high rate of depression in the main care-givers,'' member of the 10-66 Dementia Research Group, Martin Prince, said, citing findings from the group's studies on care arrangements in developing countries.
The research group was conducting studies in ``16 low-income group countries' to develop ways to diagnose dementia.
``Western parameters cannot be applied in developing countries where there was little or very low education.''
Awareness was also crucial for early diagnosis of the disease
. ``If you have symptoms of severe memory loss, visit a doctor to find out if you have dementia.
Risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and stroke, like smoking, and conditions like diabetes, also seem risk factors for dementia,'' Prof. Prince said.
Methods of early diagnosis, particularly by using brain scans, and treatment for dementia were elaborated on by Martin Rossor, faculty with the Institute of Neurology, London, who specialises in epidemiology.
He, however, pointed out that the medicines were expensive and only ``mildly effective''.
Lamenting on the lack of statistics on dementia in the country, the NSIG chairman, Krishnamoorthy Srinivas, suggested that awareness drives should be combined with research and studies on the disease.
The workshop, which has experts from India and around the globe participating, deals with clinical syndromes and diagnosis, the effect of infections, pharmacological management, and organizing dementia services.
It will end on February 18 with interactive workshops and a public forum.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of