India to see sharp rise in movement disorders in coming decade, says expert | The Financial Express

India to see sharp rise in movement disorders in coming decade, says expert

The International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society have chosen 29th November to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jean-Charcot Martin, – Father of modern neurology and to create awareness about Movement Disorders.

India to see sharp rise in movement disorders in coming decade, says expert
A known side effect of amyloid-lowering therapies is the development of amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIAs), including ARIA related to underlying vasogenic edema (ARIA-E). (File)

The number of cases of aging-related movement disorders is set to explode in India in the coming years due to increasing life expectancy and overall changes happening to the general health of people, experts have said ahead of the first-ever World Movement Disorders Day.

The International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society have chosen 29th November to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jean-Charcot Martin, – Father of modern neurology and to create awareness about Movement Disorders.

According to doctors and health experts, movement disorders are a large variety of diseases, which are not acknowledged properly, but are commonly present in the population.

“The recent Covid-19 infections caused a significant immune response in most people, leading to ‘acceleration’ of the aging phenomenon and burning out of normal cells or neurons in the brain. This can possibly lead to an outbreak of aging-related and neuro-degenerative disorders in near future. Combined with increasing life expectancy, this may trigger a major spike in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and Parkinson’s with dementia over the next decade in India,” Dr. Prashanth LK, Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders Specialist, Center for Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders, Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to Dr. Prashanth, there has been a steady increase in patients at our movement disorders clinic over the years.

“In the initial phases, we were mainly seeing patients with Parkinson’s disease. However, with increased awareness and access to social media, the spectrum of movement disorders being witnessed at our clinic has widened now, with various parkinsonism syndromes, drug / medication-induced movement disorders, ataxic syndromes, Chorea, dystonias such as cervical dystonia, task-specific dystonia such as writer’s cramp, and autoimmune movement disorders becoming more common,” Dr. Prashanth added.

Dr. Prashanth LK also highlighted that the primary challenge is creating awareness about movement disorders among the public and at the level of various medical specialties.

“Many patients visit different doctors for months before they get properly referred to a movement disorders specialist. Better awareness about these disorders would increase early diagnosis and treatment. The government also needs to make regulations to support people with movement disorders. Many a times, proper disability benefits are not accessible to patients, as many movement disorders are still not recognized and do not get disability benefits/workspace modifications,” he added.

There is also a lack of systematic epidemiological studies to understand the prevalence of various movement disorders in India.

It is important to increase research on these disorders in the country. Many of these disorders require India-specific research, which would help possible breakthroughs in treatment. Support from various funding agencies and philanthropists would help increase collaborative work in India for treatment of many of these disorders. For example, a disorder like Spinocerebellar ataxia type 12 (SCA12) is almost exclusively found in the Aggarwal community and nowhere else in the world. So, we ourselves need to do research on this India-specific disease, as the probability of Western countries looking for its cure is highly unlikely,” he added.

Meawhile, movement disorders would become one of the major subspecialties of neurology in India over the next few years, according to the doctor.

“About 15-20 years ago, there were only a handful of movement disorders specialists in the country, and that too, concentrated only in bigger cities and major medical institutes. In the last two decades, however, their number has been increasing, and they are now easily available in bigger states. This points towards increasing awareness about movement disorders in the general population and more and more patients looking for access to specialized care. This is going to be the standard norm in the treatment of these diseases in a few years,” he said.

Dr. Prashanth LK also said that creating awareness is the most important factor for improving the level of care for these disorders.

“Most therapies available worldwide for management of movement disorders are also available in India, that too at a lesser cost. Many of these patients require comprehensive care, so there is a need to develop cross-specialty care systems to deliver best options including medications, surgeries, rehabilitative measures, and palliative care. This kind of cross-specialty care can only be implemented in India if awareness levels increase and patients start seeking facilities where such comprehensive care is delivered,” he added.

ALSO READ |

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 29-11-2022 at 12:21 IST