Parkinsons disease and the ageing Indian population
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a common degenerative disorder of Central Nervous System where Dopamine producing cells are degenerated causing loss of muscle function, leading to tremors, rigidity, slow movement and impaired balance.According to a study, India has 7 million elders afflicted with Parkinson’s.Treatment options available for Parkinson’s disease include medication and surgery to manage its symptoms. However, medications are seldom effective, when the patient in question is suffering from Advanced Parkinson’s disease. A debilitating movement disorder that is chronic and progressive, PD affects people over 65 yrs with tell- tale symptoms which continue and worsen over time. This implies that the average increase in the human life span leaves the population more vulnerable to Parkinson’s. With average life span of Indians going up by 5 years in the last decade (Union Ministry & Family Healthcare Statistics-2014) and projected to increase by 19% by 2050 (United Nations Population Division India), the disease burden of India is expected to increase tremendously. This will lead to enormous strain on the economy as well as the healthcare services of the country which is still struggling to cater to the people across geography & socio-economic strata of the country.
NH RTIICS has pioneered the treatment of Advanced Parkinson’s Disease in Eastern India through brain pacemaker surgery for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and has been offering this treatment for the last five years. For advanced cases, Deep Brain stimulation (DBS) is one of the effective treatment techniques which involves computer-guided placement of two electrodes into the brain that are connected to a pacemaker placed just below the collarbone. The pacemaker stimulates the sub-thalamic nucleus on both sides through the electrical leads and hence is called a brain pacemaker. It provides electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain to control abnormal rigid movements associated to the disease thus making a significant improvement in the overall management of the condition. Gita Sen, an octogenarian who has been operated successfully at NH RTIICS, is one of the oldest person in the world to have undergone DBS surgery.
Dr Sujoy Sanyal, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, NH Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, is a well- known expert of this technique in Eastern India. NH RTIICS is equipped with state-of-the-art operating rooms, dedicated neurosurgical intensive care unit and also has established neuro-rehabilitation program for post-operative patient care. Recently, on the occasion of World Parkinson’s Day, (NH RTIICS) organized an interactive session between patients and doctors on various aspects of Parkinson’s disease and advancements in treatment techniques available.