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Panel plans 620 clinics to treat dementia patients

April 13, 2012
Memory clinics in district hospitals will now use a questionnaire-based “Mini Mental State Examination” (MMSE) test to diagnose dementia among the elderly.
With the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that about 3.7 million people in India are suffering from dementia with this number set to double in the next 20 years, the Planning Commission’s working group on health for the 12thFive Year Plan, has proposed setting up of 620 such memory clinics manned by people trained by experts from the Alzheimer’s Related Disorders Society of India.
These clinics, the Commission said, will allow the benefit of early detection of memory disorders and for planning the right type of prognosis.
The Commission document said, “Memory loss among elderly is commonly ignored and does not get diagnosed at right times leading to aggravated conditions by the time it is detected. This is mainly because of lack of knowledge and also lack of facilities.”
It added, “There are many methods to diagnose, however, the common evaluation is done through a small questionnaire which looks into the cognitive memory in terms of long and short time happenings, occupational, recollection and time periods which gives a fair picture on severity of the memory impairment. However, the examination where this test is conducted needs to be established in each geriatric ward of all district civil hospitals of India.”
The expert group has also suggested that the ministry organize bi-annual training of doctors on the nuances of dementia and its treatment trends.
The Commission has said caregivers, family members of patients have always had horrible stories to share, when it comes to managing patients with dementia by even doctors. The doctors, who are little aware of dementia, often complicate the treatment procedures. The ministry is also planning to set up four Regional Centres of Excellence to look exclusively into dementia- related ailments.
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Categories: Public Health
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