New Delhi: Ekatwam – an NGO that seeks to improve the lives of epilepsy patients – on Tuesday urged the government to frame and implement a national program to deal with epilepsy.
It said that there was a need for a policy akin to the successful anti-polio program.
Health ministry estimates say India has over 12 million people suffering from epilepsy. The global figure is more than 50 million.
“There is an urgent need to frame and implement a national policy to control and treat this disorder,” Adosh Datta, Secretary of Ekatwam, told reporters here.
Speaking on the occasion, Manjari Tripathi, professor of neurology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, said: “Despite such high prevalence of the neurological disorder in India, the awareness concerning it is quite low.
“A person with epilepsy is just like a person who has headache or asthma, which is episodic too. But the stigma faced by people with epilepsy is huge, impacting marriage, education and jobs,” said Tripathi.
According to medical science, 70 percent of the seizures can be controlled with medication. But the treatment gap remains as high as 75 percent in India, especially in rural and remote areas.
The colour of our eyes or the straightness of our hair is linked to our DNA, but the development of Alzheimer’s disease isn’t exclusively linked to Genetics, suggest new research.
In the first study published about Alzheimer’s disease among identical triplets, researchers found that despite sharing the same DNA, two of the triplets developed Alzheimer’s while one did not.
The two triplets that developed Alzheimer’s were diagnosed in their mid-70s, said the paper published in the journal Brain.
“These findings show that your genetic code doesn’t dictate whether you are guaranteed to develop Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Morris Freedman, head of neurology at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.
“There is hope for people who have a strong family history of dementia since there are other factors, whether it’s the environment or lifestyle, we don’t know what it is, which could either protect against or accelerate dementia.”
All three, 85-year-old siblings had hypertension, but the two with Alzheimer’s had long-standing, obsessive-compulsive behaviour.
The research team analyzed the gene sequence and the biological age of the body’s cells from blood that was taken from each of the triplets, as well as the children of one of the triplet’s with Alzheimer’s.
Among the children, one developed early onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 50 and the other did not report signs of dementia.
The research team also discovered that although the triplets were octogenarians at the time of the study, the biological age of their cells was six to ten years younger than their chronological age.
In contrast, one of the triplet’s children, who developed early onset Alzheimer’s, had a biological age that was nine years older than the chronological age.
The other child, who did not have dementia, of the same triplet showed a biological age that was close to their actual age.
“The latest genetics research is finding that the DNA we die with isn’t necessarily what we received as a baby, which could relate to why two of the triplets developed Alzheimer’s and one didn’t,” says Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva, senior author on the paper and researcher at the University of Toronto’s Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases.
“As we age, our DNA ages with us and as a result, some cells could mutate and change over time”.
With additional funding, researchers could further explore the interaction between genetics and environment in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and the impact of environmental factors in delaying the onset of this disorder. (IANS)