Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is marking the World Alzheimer's Day that falls on September 21 annually with several awareness programmes. September is also marked as World Alzheimer’s Month for the last seven years.
“HMC has joined with Alzheimer’s Disease International in raising awareness. Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause for dementia,” said Dr Hanadi al-Hamad senior consultant geriatrician, HMC.
It is estimated that within every three seconds, someone in the world is developing dementia and it is becoming a trillion-dollar disease this year. This year’s World Alzheimer’s Month refocuses on challenges and stigma that surrounds dementia.
“The Department of Geriatrics and Department of Psychiatry at HMC has organised awareness events across the country. The events aim at raising awareness and dispelling myths in community, education across the healthcare professionals including those working with emergency services-the first responders, and events to enhance understanding and support for families of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” explained Dr al-Hamad.
She said that this year’s events include awareness sessions for traffic and police departments, emphasising on both awareness of potential risks related to the condition and working on ways to enhance safety.
"Alzheimer's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time. It is the cause of 50-60% of cases of dementia. It pre-dominantly affects people aged 65 and above. Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not part of normal ageing,” the official stated.
Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include disturbance in memory, thinking, orientation, ability to comprehend information, also affecting ones language and judgement. In addition there can be behaviour changes too. These symptoms become severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia is caused by different diseases affecting the brain and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
“We run the memory clinics at Rumailah Hospital under the department of geriatrics. We started with one clinic and it has grown to three now. There we have three clinics in a week. We get patients referred by the Primary Health Care Corporation and other departments of the HMC,” added the official.
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