Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
: 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 147-

Addressing problems of dementia in India

Sanjeev V Thomas 
 Editor, Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, Room 1409, Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum - 695 011, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev V Thomas
Editor, Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, Room 1409, Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum - 695 011

How to cite this article:
Thomas SV. Addressing problems of dementia in India.Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2011;14:147-147

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Thomas SV. Addressing problems of dementia in India. Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Feb 24 ];14:147-147
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Every year, September 21 st is globally observed as World Alzheimer's Day in order to highlight the special problems of people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their care givers. AD and other degenerative diseases that affect the cognitive functions in the elderly compromise the quality of life for more than 24 million people across the world. A recent estimate indicates that their numbers are increasing rapidly as one new case is added every 7 seconds. [1] It also forecasts that in the next two decades, the incidence of dementia is expected to rise three times faster in India and other developing countries when compared to developed countries. The need for early and precise diagnosis of AD has become more urgent as the opportunities for early intervention with disease modifying therapy are emerging. CSF biomarkers such as Ab42 and Tau could possibly facilitate early diagnosis of AD or differentiation of AD from other dementing illnesses. A variety of structural imaging techniques based on volumentry, region of interest analysis and voxel-based morphometry are under evaluation as potential biomarkers of AD. The Indian Academy of Neurology has responded to the increasing demand for expertise in this field by setting up a new subsection on cognitive neurology. This section would serve as a platform on which members with interest in dementia and other cognitive disorders could meet, discuss or share research and experience. This issue of the journal carries an article on the epidemiology of dementia in North India. This study as well as the others published from India have estimated the prevalence of dementia in older persons to range from 1.5 to 5%. The burden of dementia in India is rapidly gaining colossal status. We need to address the various issues related to dementia. As neurologists, we need to device methods to detect dementia in the early stages and facilitate the care of the patients without compromising their social integration. We need to get involved in clinical trials for the potential medicines that could reverse or retard the progress of the condition. Precise risk factors and predictors for dementia in India need to be ascertained. The role of uncontrolled hypertension and other vascular risk factors needs to be addressed further. Neurologists also need to be closely interacting with professionals from clinical psychology, sociology, rehabilitation and public health in order to facilitate the long-term care of persons with dementia.

The Academy is holding its 19th annual meeting in Pune from 22 nd to 25 th September 2011. The duration of the annual meeting has been increased this year in order to provide more time for the various subsections to present their works. Pune is one of the largest 10 cities in India. It was the capital of Maratha Empire and is today the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Pune also has a long tradition of neurology practice in India. The organizing committee and the academic program committee have organized a great event for all of us.


1Ferri CP, Prince M, Brayne C, Brodaty H, Fratiglioni L, Ganguli M,et al. Global prevalence of dementia: A Delphi consensus study. Lancet 2005;366:2112-7.