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Sunday Sep 25, 2016

Lack of support from family leads to increasing rates of Alzheimer’s in Pakistan

Lack of support from family leads to increasing rates of Alzheimer’s in Pakistan

KARACHI: Over one million people in Pakistan suffer from Alzheimer’s as a result of not receiving support from family members, said neurosurgeon Dr Abdul Malik.

“The tradition of the joint family system is dying in Pakistan and several elderly people are facing mental ailments such as Alzheimer’s because they are left alone,” said Dr Malik.

Professor Ejaz Vohra said the average age has increased in Pakistan, thus the number of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise. Professor Vohra added that due to a lack of awareness about these mental ailments such patients are not receiving proper care from their families, society or the government.

Alzheimer’s disease is progressive mental deterioration due to generalised degeneration of brain in the elderly. Dementia can even be caused after a stroke, which is not Alzheimer’s,” Professor Dr. Vohra maintained.

Health expert and psychiatrist Professor Iqbal Afridi gave a detailed presentation on “Psychiatric Issues in Alzheimer’s Disease” and informed that with control and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses of the elderly people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, their quality of life can be improved to a large extent.

Several other senior health experts including Professor Dr. Iqbal Afridi, senior neurologist Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui, eminent diabetologist Professor Dr. Zaman Shaikh, Professor Dr. Arif Herekar, Brig. (rtd) Dr. Shoaib Ahmed, Dr. Amanat A Mohsin and Dr. Abdul Malik attended the consultative meeting that was organised by Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN), Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation (NARF).