‘Rising Life Expectancy makes India vulnerable to Parkinsonism’

It was a first of its kind get-together where the patients suffering from an ailment had not only the opportunity to interact with the global specialists of the disease but also educated themselves on the various aspects of the same.

Written by Ashok Kumar(IndianExpress.com) | New Delhi | Published: February 16, 2009 6:09:23 pm

It was a first of its kind get-together where the patients suffering from an ailment had not only the opportunity to interact with the global specialists of the disease but also educated themselves on the various aspects of the same.

The occasion was the 2nd Asian and Oceanian Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Congress (AOPMC) and the 7th International Symposium on Asia Pacific Parkinson’s Association (APPA). The convention was a unique platform where internationally renowned experts in ‘Movement Disorders’ and Neurologists shared their professional experience and the expertise with the patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Hosted by the Department of Neurology,All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS),the three day conference aims to create awareness and to address the key issues in the management of Parkinson’s disease from the perspective of patient,caregiver,clinician and the researcher.

Speaking on the sidelines of the symposium,Prof Madhuri Behari,Head,Department of Neurology (AIIMS) calling the symposium a first of its kind initiative,said,Parkinson’s disease effects about 8-9 lakh patients in India every year and educating people through such seminars can help us fight the ‘disorder’ more efficiently.

“This ailment comes with the ageing. The situation in India becomes more serious with the fact that now life expectancy for Indians is 67 years,which makes the larger portion of our society vulnerable to this disease,Behari added.

Dr. Sumit Singh,who is currently,looking after headache & neuromuscular clinic at AIIMS and is also the organizing secretary (AOPMC),differentiating Parkinson’s disease from other serious ailments said,“It (Parkinson’s disease) is not curable but is only controllable,with proper drugs and operations.”

Talking about prevalence of the lack of knowledge about the Parkinson’s disease,Dr Singh highlighted the gap between the limited awareness and ignorance. He expressed hope that this kind of a conference can educate people and can help them anticipate the disease. “At present the treatment of Parkinson’s disease is very expensive and there is no Government help available to the patients to mitigate the expense,” Singh clarified.

Mrs Indira,Nursing Dean,Narayana Medical College & Hospital,Nellore termed Parkinson’s disease as a type of an ailment where the patient has to live with the disease.

“Parkinsonism is a destructive disease. It is slowly reducing our activities and the patient is not able to talk or drink properly. Unlike serious diseases,like Cancer or the Heart diseases,it is challenging to handle the patient with Parkinsonism as the caretaker has to understand his/her needs. Patients suffering from Parkinsonism cannot even express themselves,” Indira explained.

Sakshi Sharma and Kanika,students of physiotherapy from Haryana want to use the platform to gain some knowledge about the patients. “We as professionals would be required to deal with the patients,and the workshop available here would teach us the positive approach to handle the same,” they said.

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