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Parkinson’s disease spreading at an alarming rate, would be doubled by year 2030

Experts on Tuesday said that Parkinson’s disease was spreading at an alarming rate in Pakistan and it is feared that by year 2030, number of patients with neurological, movement disorder would be doubled. The actual number of patients with Parkinson’s disease in Pakistan is unknown but according to an estimate, around 600,000 people suffer from this neurological disorder, they said. The disease was largely under-diagnosed in Pakistan where not only common people but even many physicians were not aware of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the movement disorder, they said. This was said during a press conference held at Karachi Press Club.The event was organized by the Movement Disorder Society of Pakistan (MDSP) and was addressed by eminent neurologists including Dr. Nadir Ali Syed, President MDSP, Prof. Dr. Shaukat Ali, Dr. Naila Shahbaz, Dr. Khalid Sher from Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Dr. Abul Malik and Parkinson’s patient Haroon Bashir.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people and slows down the movement of the person while his or her hands start shaking and trembling. Most people’s symptoms take years to develop, and they live for years with the disease without any significant issue or problem. “A person gets Parkinson’s disease when his or her brain slowly stops producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. With less and less dopamine, a person has less and less ability to regulate his or her movements, body and emotions”, Dr. Syed said adding that although Parkinson’s was not a fatal disease, it could have serious complications for the patients resulting in death.

“Unfortunately, half of these people are not aware that they have a serious neurological issue which can be treated and they can continue leading a normal life,” Dr. Nadir Ali Syed said. Experts added that slowness in walking and other bodily movements, trembling of right or left hand and stiffness in the body were some of the early signs of the disease and added that environmental, genetic, lifestyle and pollutants were some of the factors and reasons behind causing Parkinson’s disease. Another neurologist Dr. Naila Shahbaz said although there is no complete cure available for the Parkinson’s disease, but most of the people with the neurological disorder could live an enjoyable and healthy life through identification of individual symptoms and determining a proper course of treatment.President PSP Haroon Bashir, who is himself a Parkinson’s patient and striving for awareness about the disease for last many year, called for creating awareness about the mental disorder among common people through print and electronic media and urged the government to take steps for the training of neurologists as well as paramedical staff to help in providing care to people living with the neurological disorder.

He said World Parkinson’s Day is observed on April 11 every year, which is also the birthday of Dr. James Parkinson and added that in Pakistan, their society and neurologists support patients with the disease and help them in living a normal and healthy life. Head of JPMC Neurology Department Dr. Khalid Sher said now surgical procedures including Deep Brain Stimulation had been introduced for the treatment of Parkinson’s patient in Lahore and hoped that soon these procedures would be introduced in Karachi.”With the introduction of surgical procedure and medicines, quality of life of such patients would be improved to a large extent”.

‘Courtesy Daily Times Karachi’.

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