As per a recent survey conducted by Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj (FHVK) to calculate the understanding of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, it is found that forgetfulness is not considered as a disease among youth of India. According to World Alzheimer report 2015, The Global Impact, ‘today over 46 million people are living with dementia, and by 2050 this number will have risen to 13.15 million. In just three years’ time the global economic cost of dementia will reach US$1 trillion. And among the top 10 countries India is at no. 3 position with 4.1 million dementia patients.’ By 2050 68% of all people living with dementia will live in low and middle income groups, hence it is vital to know its understanding among youth.
The FHVK Survey conducted by Dr Madhuri Behari, Consultant, Neurology at Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj (FHVK), aimed to know youth’s perspective towards Alzheimer’s. The sample answers were collected from December 2016-January 2017 wherein 2000 people participated within the age group of 15-40yrs and the findings are:
According to Dr Behari- “every minute someone in India develops dementia and with no known cure on the horizon. The directly attributed cost of dementia treatment may exceed that of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer. A patient not only needs medication but adequate care by family members to deal with the disease. They become more dependent on their immediate family members for survival. It all starts with minor forgetfulness and progresses to a situation where a person is not able to identify their near and dear ones. Loss of visual and verbal memories such as misplacing object and losing way in known surroundings is very common. Imagine a situation when you are 60 or 70 and not able to find your way to home from market or found in an uncomfortable situation.”
The symptoms appear slowly and progress slowly. In most people it starts with memory disturbance especially for recent events, like events that may have happened the same day, what they might have eaten, or where they had gone etc. Some other patients do not recall words, that need to be spoken or the context in which they are to be spoken or their correct pronunciation, Some patients cannot comprehend what is said. Some other patients cannot remember the way inside or outside the house and get lost. They go to kitchen thinking it is toilet, pass urine there without realizing, or cannot recognize the time, get up any time thinking it is morning and go and have bath, they do not know how to wear clothes, and do not recognize their relatives. For them time has become to a standstill. They think that they are what they were when the disease started. So they may think they are only 40 year old and their wife who might have become older, treat them as strangers.
On the findings Mr Sandeep Guduru, Facility Director, FHVK said- ‘While in Asia the number was 22.9 million in 2015 which will grow to 38.5 million in 2030 to 67.2 million in 2050. Today more than 80% people living with dementia live in the G20 countries, in India the numbers of Alzheimer’s patients is expected to double by 2030 and the costs involved will increase three folds. This study was aimed to build a base for comprehensive development of dementia program. And there is urgent need by government and private players to create a program where dementia caring program will be developed.’
It is equally becoming important to use the brain in the form of intellectual activities like brain teasers, Sudoku and other puzzles to prevent brain decline. It is also important for people to continue to do some brain related games and activities for brain. It is said “use it or lose it”.
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