KARACHI – In a major development, Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN) in collaboration with Neurology Awareness & Research Foundation (NARF) has launched national guidelines for the diagnosis and management of Parkinson’s disease.
The launching ceremony held at a local hotel was largely attended by neurologists from across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, prominent neurologist and the main author of the guidelines, Dr Nadir Ali Syed, said Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, after Alzheimer’s disease.
He said that though the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in people older than 60 years was approximately 1.4 per cent its burden is likely to increase in the years to come as many countries, particularly those in Asia, face an ageing population.
Elaborating, he said that an estimated 600,000 people are suffering from the Parkinson’s disease and about 1,755,841 are undiagnosed-prevalence of the Parkinson’s disease in Pakistan, which affects over six million persons globally.
With a total population of nearly 4.5 billion, almost 65pc of the world’s poor people are living in Asia with more than 900m people below the poverty line, he deplored, saying that Parkinson’s care is further ignored due to overwhelming majority was suffering from infectious diseases because of lack of clean water and sanitation.
Recent crises of devastating earthquakes, tsunamis and the loss of limited health care facilities will further deprive Asia from managing a disabling disease like Parkinson’s, he cautioned, saying that as a result of the region’s aging population, the old-age support ratio in Asia has decreased from 12 in 1980 to 9 in 2013 and is expected to be less than four in 2050.
As a matter of fact, the old-age support ratio is expected to decrease globally, with the highest decline rates in the least developed countries, he said, adding that low old age support ratios are expected to have significant economic and social consequences, including negative impact on pension schemes, which will affect the care of elderly people affected with chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s.
He said that six of the most populous countries are in Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Japan) and the number of PD patients in these counties is expected to increase from 2.57m in 2005 to 6.17m in 2030. As such, it has been estimated that the number of individuals suffering from PD in the world will double by the year 2030, he concluded.