Free Press Journal

Don’t give a damn: 91% of youth don’t take forgetfulness seriously


New Delhi: As per a recent survey conducted by Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj (FHVK) to calculate the understanding of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, it is found that forgetfulness is not considered as a disease among youth of India.

According to World Alzheimer report 2015, The Global Impact, ‘today over 46 million people are living with dementia, and by 2050 this number will have risen to 13.15 million.

In just three years’ time the global economic cost of dementia will reach US$1 trillion. And among the top 10 countries India is at no. 3 position with 4.1 million dementia patients.’ By 2050 68% of all people living with dementia will live in low and middle income groups, hence it is vital to know its understanding among youth.

The FHVK Survey conducted by Dr Madhuri Behari, Consultant, Neurology at Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj (FHVK), aimed to know youth’s perspective towards Alzheimer’s.

According to Dr Behari- “Every minute someone in India develops dementia and with no known cure on the horizon. The directly attributed cost of dementia treatment may exceed that of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer.

A patient not only needs medication but adequate care by family members to deal with the disease. They become more dependent on their immediate family members for survival. It all starts with minor forgetfulness and progresses to a situation where a person is not able to identify their near and dear ones.

Loss of visual and verbal memories such as misplacing object and losing way in known surroundings is very common. Imagine a situation when you are 60 or 70 and not able to find your way to home from market or found in an uncomfortable situation.”

The symptoms appear slowly and progress slowly. In most people it starts with memory disturbance especially for recent events, like events that may have happened the same day, what they might have eaten, or where they had gone etc.

Some other patients do not recall words, that need to be spoken or the context in which they are to be spoken or their correct pronunciation, some patients cannot comprehend what is said. Some other patients cannot remember the way inside or outside the house and get lost.

They go to kitchen thinking it is toilet, pass urine there without realizing, or cannot recognize the time, get up any time thinking it is morning and go and have bath, they do not know how to wear clothes, and do not recognize their relatives. For them time has become to a standstill. They think that they are what they were when the disease started. So they may think they are only 40 year old and their wife who might have become older, treat them as strangers.