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Dementia: A Complex Syndrome

Context:

Recently, Dementia India Alliance (DIA), a non-profit organisation, launched a national dementia support line and DemClinic, an online memory screening clinic.

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Dementia: A Complex Syndrome
  2. Challenges in Treatment
  3. Global Impact of Dementia

Dementia: A Complex Syndrome

  • Dementia is a syndrome stemming from various diseases, leading to the gradual destruction of nerve cells and harm to the brain.
  • It invariably results in the decline of cognitive function, affecting memory, reasoning, and daily life.
Identifying Signs and Symptoms
  • Early Behavioral Changes: Alterations in mood and behavior can manifest even before noticeable memory issues.
  • Memory Impairment: Common symptoms encompass forgetfulness, especially regarding recent events, and misplacing or losing items.
  • Spatial Confusion: Dementia may lead to disorientation, even in familiar surroundings, and incidents of getting lost while walking or driving.
  • Temporal Disorientation: Losing track of time becomes prevalent among those affected.

Challenges in Treatment

  • Lack of Cure: Currently, there exists no cure for dementia.
  • Supportive Care: The focus lies on offering substantial support to individuals grappling with dementia and their caregivers.

Global Impact of Dementia

  • Sheer Numbers: Over 55 million individuals worldwide live with dementia, with a striking 60% residing in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Rising Cases: Annually, nearly 10 million new dementia cases emerge.
A Public Health Priority
  • WHO’s Recognition: The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges dementia as a crucial public health concern.
  • Comprehensive Response: The Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017-2025, endorsed by the World Health Assembly, furnishes a comprehensive framework for action.
Monitoring Progress
  • Global Dementia Observatory: To facilitate tracking the global dementia action plan, WHO introduced the Global Dementia Observatory (GDO), a data hub aggregating country-specific data related to 35 key dementia indicators spanning the action plan’s seven strategic domains.

-Source: The Hindu


 

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