New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS): Prof (Dr) Rajinder K Dhamija, Head of Neurology Department, Lady Hardinge Medical College, on Tuesday said that national policies and programmes specifically targeting epilepsy, neuro infections, dementia and neuro-degenerative diseases need to be worked out by the government. He was addressing a webinar organised by ASSOCHAM on 'Graceful Ageing,' with a view to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease to mark World Alzheimer Day.
Dhamija said that neurological diseases and mental disorders are becoming a serious public health crisis and are emerging as major challenges for health care systems across the world. The webinar was addressed by a galaxy of doctors, speakers from the industry and neurology experts with the objective to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease (AD), various forms of dementia and related mental disorders and disseminate knowledge/wisdom to promote healthy living with the focus on prevention and wellness.
Noting that neurological disease warrants urgent prioritisation of programmes centred around prevention and treatment, Dhamija cautioned that unless preparation, planning and urgent steps for treatment and long-term care of an increasing population of neurologically affected people are initiated, this grim situation will put tremendous pressure on India's healthcare system. He called upon the medical fraternity including scientists, researchers and civil society to create awareness about brain health and assist government agencies and NGOs in providing treatment and prevention of neurological disorders.
Sharing his perspective on AD, Dr Shamsher Dwivedee, Chairman Neurosciences and Director Clinical Services, Vimhans Nayati Super Specialty Hospital, highlighted how there is an overall neglect of the brain as a part of general health awareness whereas it is one of the most important organs for healthy living. "Brain performance needs closer assessment by general physicians, family members, friends, and colleagues to pick brain maladies early."
Sailesh Mishra, Founder and President, Silver Innings Group and Founder, A1 Snehanjali Assisted Living Elder Care Home, said "Government and Civil Society need to support in establishing, scaling, and evaluating dementia-friendly initiatives to foster societies where people with dementia and their caregivers can meaningfully participate. We all can together make dementia inclusive society."
Asserting that it is painful to see your loved ones not recognizing you, Dr Ritu Rana, Heading Mission-Health, HelpAge India, stated that while AD can be quite difficult to deal with, care together with love and affection can help the patients live with dignity.
Dr Suvarna Alladi, Professor of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, termed dementia as a common brain disease among older people with loss of memory being a major problem which might lead to agitation, suspicioun and other distressing behavioural problems. Thus it is very important to consult a doctor in the early stages of the disease, so that the best can be done for persons with dementia.
Anil Rajput, Chairman, ASSOCHAM CSR Council, said that mental health is just as important as physical health, and shared his secret of healthy living - ikigai, the age-old Japanese ideology which is key to happy and purposeful living.
Sharing his mantra for graceful ageing, Rajput said that the elderly need to believe that their contribution to the society is invaluable and that they themselves need to hold on to their passion for living. The youth should not miss the opportunity to learn from those who have already trodden the path you are trying to create with greater vigour and vitality.
"It is very important to follow a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet, daily exercise regime and sufficient sleep to facilitate a healthy aging process. Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol levels strictly need to be regulated and kept under control- Complications of these disease frequently are the causes of Mild Cognitive impairment which might lead to dementia in the elderly other then Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases," said Dr Rajesh Kesari, Founder and Director Total Care Control, Delhi-NCR.