Swedish Queen Silvia visited the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on Tuesday and interacted with doctors to understand the treatment provided to the dementia patients admitted at the apex medical institute.
The visit came at a time when the AIIMS New Delhi and AIIMS Jodhpur signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) with Sweden in the areas of healthy ageing and dementia care.
"We are grateful to the Queen of Sweden that she came to AIIMS. AIIMS-New Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur, and Sweden have signed MOI. Under this MOI, collaboration would take place through an innovation center and help in further strengthening the efforts in finding innovative solutions for affordable and accessible healthcare in India," said Doctor Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS.
"The key focus of this initiative will take place in innovations in treating people with dementia and innovative solutions on training programs to ensure the quality of life for people with dementia in both nations. The other important issue of this initiative includes the treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Cardio-Metabolic Disorder," he added.
Experts say that dementia is not only a disease of brain and forgetfulness but also involves various other domains of cognition like language, emotions, mood, personality, behavioral issues and in advanced stages it even affects daily activities like bathing, toileting, washing and transferring.
The department of Geriatrics at AIIMS is engaged in multiple cutting edge Research in dementia cases.
"We are working on the prevention of dementia in subjective cognitive declined person, which is the earlier recognisable state of dementia through computer-based therapy using Artificial Intelligence (AI), diet and physical therapy," said Dr Prasun Chatterjee, professor of Geriatrics at AIIMS.
Prof Chatterjee said that the prevalence of dementia in India is increasing day by day considering the growth of the elderly population in the last decade. As per the 2015 data, there are about 4.4 million people living with dementia in India. According to data published in 2016, people spent about Rs 23,000 crore which is out of pocket expenditure for the treatment of dementia in India.
Prof Chatterjee noted that the figure is expected to get double by 2030.
"Due to lack of awareness and social stigma, a person with dementia visits the expert in the later stage when actually nothing much can be done. Furthermore, qualified manpower and doctors in dementia care are scanty in the country. In India, we have less than 100 geriatric experts," Prof Chatterjee said.
( With inputs from ANI )