Dementia: 5 memory clinics help in early diagnosis

Dementia: 5 memory clinics help in early diagnosis

Five ‘memory clinics’ are operating in and around Mangaluru, to help in an early diagnosis of dementia and also to provide end-to-end solutions on managing memory loss.

She was speaking at the World Alzheimer’s Day programme organised at the Town Hall on Saturday.

“In addition, these clinics are also training the caregivers,” said Dr Prabha Adhikari, founder of KMC Nava Chaithanya, a daycare centre for senior citizens, promoting active ageing.

According to the Indian Chapter of the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) guidelines, the memory clinics established at the KMC Hospital, Attavar, the Yenepoya Medical College Hospital, Deralakatte, the Department of Psychiatry in KSHEMA, Deralakatte, the Department of Psychiatry at the AJ Institute of Medical Sciences, the Priya Diabetes Clinic and the Spoorthi Trust, Kodialbail, have multidisciplinary teams to support patients with dementia as well as their families.

Need for tests

Dr Adhikari, who is also vice president of the People’s Association for Geriatric Empowerment (PAGE), said that in these memory clinics, patients are not just screened for memory testing but also face many psychological tests. These tests are conducted as 10% of dementia is curable if diagnosed early, she added.

“People with dementia are not mad. Their brain is living in the moment and in the past,” she explained.

Dr Adhikari also appealed to psychiatrists to adhere to the ARDSI guidelines by maintaining a registry of patients with dementia. “This is important as the dementia journey last about 8 to 10 years. Maintaining records and regular auditing of medications also help in improving the quality of services,” she pointed out.

Figure 8 and Alzheimer’s

Yenepoya University registrar Shreekumar Menon recollected an article which stated that retracing a huge figure of eight drawn on the ground improves memory capacity.

Dr Adhikari, endorsing the fact, said that exercise was good for brain stimulation. She said that elderly people at her KMC Nava Chaithanya effortlessly follow the figure eight without losing their balance. She added that as in Western countries, the figure eight should be drawn in front of every house.

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