India has the second highest number of people with dementia
Hypertension has been linked with early damages to brain leading to higher chances and risk of a patient developing dementia
Around 13% Pune men are suffering from hypertension, and at a risk of early onset of dementia.1
Dementia is a general term for conditions like memory loss, impaired judgment, and loss of brain cells which affects daily functioning, and affects over 41 lakh Indians. 2
INVC NEWS Pune,
While hypertension or high blood pressure links with diseases like diabetes and heart diseases are well established, doctors are now finding that it also leads to other conditions like dementia. Supporting earlier researches further, a recent International study revealed that early brain damage is caused by hypertension, which canlead to early onset of dementia.
MRI scans of people aged as young as 40 to 65 years revealed that those who suffered from hypertension but had no previous history of dementia revealed early signs of damage in the white matter of the patient’s brain, which increases chances of dementia.
“Dementia is a term for a group of symptoms like memory loss, impaired judgment, confusion, reduced concentration, behavioural changes, apathy or withdrawal which affects daily functioning. Other than family history, high cholesterol, smoking, and drinking are important risk factors and all these cause hypertension. With modern day lifestyles which include sedentary life, unhealthy dietary practices, anxiety and stressed work life, alcohol and tobacco consumption, hypertension has almost become a common feature. In fact, over 13% of Pune men between the age of 15 to 49 years are suffering from hypertension”, said Dr. Pratibha Yogesh Walde, Consultant Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune.
Normal blood pressure is usually around 120/80 mmHg, and border line is 130-140/90-100. Anything higher than this is hypertension.High blood pressure exerts a great pressure on the brain altering its functional characteristics, which can trigger early onset of dementia, and can further lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
“It is already being reported that India has the second highest number of people with dementia, which is estimated to be 41 lakh people. This is expected to double by 2035. Cases are under-reported and under diagnosed as not many are aware of the disease. While one of the basic ways to prevent dementia is to manage its causative factors, it is essential to have a psychiatric evaluation done if one experiences memory problems or thinking skills” added Dr. Pratibha.
Dementia is a condition generally marked with 5 stages, the first being when no impairment is detected, while in later stages severity of impairment increases. Generally, its diagnosis takes a long time which includes memory tests and imaging studies.
While there does not exist any permanent treatment and prescription drugs cannot yet prevent or reverse dementia, modifying risk factors seem the best way out.