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Source: Thailand Medical News  Oct 04, 2019  2 years ago
Medical Professionals Call For Action To Avert Growing Brain Disease Crisis.
Medical Professionals Call For Action To Avert Growing Brain Disease Crisis.
Source: Thailand Medical News  Oct 04, 2019  2 years ago
Medical and Healthcare professionals are calling for more actions not just in the UK but also globally as the number of incidences neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease are spiraling out of control globally. Neurodegenerative diseases are becoming more common as people live longer, but they are not an inevitable consequence of normal ageing as what most people think. Worldwide, Alzheimer's disease affects about 180 million people and Parkinson's disease affects more than 12.7 million people; these numbers are rising. Asian countries including Thailand are witnessing a rise in such numbers. The UK Medical organizations are calling it a Brain Disease Crisis.

Contrary to a fallacy that most people think that these diseases start in old age, the actual process starts to occur in the early middle-age ie 30s upwards but the symptoms are only visible in old age.

Queen Mary University of London published a report for its Oxford Health Policy Forum, which goes on to mention about a 'window of opportunity' in midlife where individuals may be able to make the biggest difference to their risk of developing neurodegenerative disease or of delaying its progress.

The UK medical professionals are calling for a public health campaign aimed at promoting a 'brain-healthy lifestyle' to reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The campaign should support existing health promotion work by emphasising that "what is good for the heart is generally good for the brain," they said.

The global public education campaign initiative should be underpinned by a coordinated research programme, which is aimed at developing clinical tests for identifying those at risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, before signs and symptoms appear. Research to develop new treatments and other tests to facilitate earlier diagnosis must also continue, and health systems must prepare now for the time when such tests are available.

Neurologist Professor Gavin Giovannoni from Queen Mary University of London and Co-chair of the author group of a new evidence-based report, Time matters: a call to prioritize brain health, commented in an exclusive interview with Thailand Medical News, "Individuals need to understand the risk factors that can affect their brain health and what can be done to maintain it and to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases. The report summarises published evidence and the consensus findings of an international multidisciplinary expert group, including clinicians, researchers and representatives from patient advocacy and professional groups.”

Dr. Alastair Noyce, from Queen Mary University of London and Co-chair of the author group further commented to Thailand Medical News, "Deterioration in the structure or function of nerve cells (neurodegeneration) begins many years before any symptoms become obvious. This means that diagnosis often occurs at a relatively late stage in the disease course, when substantial damage to nerve cells has already taken place," "We conclude that there is a '10-20-year window of opportunity' in midlife during which people can reduce the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease or delay its progress. We cannot change our genetic make-up, but we can help reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases ourselves by taking exercise, keeping socially active, eating healthily, reducing alcohol intake, stopping smoking and keeping our brains active."

Professor Giovannoni further stresses,"Planning for the healthcare structures of the future has to start now if we're to avert a crisis. Neurodegenerative diseases pose an enormous socioeconomic and individual burden, and this will continue to grow as the population ages."

The Queen Mary University of London report sets out a series of consensus recommendations, including:
  • Make better public understanding of how to protect brain health through lifestyle measures—such as exercise and a healthy diet
  • Preparedness for the likely increased demand for genetic testing by those wanting to understand their risk of a neurodegenerative disease
  • Support access to available and effective treatments in a timely manner
  • Make accessible holistic care, including prevention information, treatment options and support
  • Initiate research to identify accurate and cost-effective tests for disease detection and diagnosis
  • Develop, validate and approve tests, tools and apps for monitoring brain health.
Several overseas health organisations are also supporting the many UK professional associations and advocacy groups, including European Brain Council, Alzheimer's Research UK, Parkinson's UK and European Parkinson's Disease Association have endorsed the recommendations.

Various news studies show that neurodegenerative diseases can be prevented by adopting a more cautious and healthy lifestyle when one is young.Thailand Medical News will be providing more such studies and details in the coming weeks.

For for details of the report, follow the link: https://www.oxfordhealthpolicyforum.org/reports/brain-diseases/brain-diseases-report


Feb 05, 2020  2 years ago
Source : Thailand Medical news