- The proposal for a memory clinic had been put forth by state health minister Deepak Sawant and has now been implemented across government hospitals in Maharashtra.
- Under the memory clinic initiative, patients affected with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are treated in the geriatric ward in the district hospitals in the state.
- But the numbers of patients affected with these two mental conditions are on a rise, across the state. That is the reason, why Maharashtra’s health minister, Dr Deepak Sawant had suggested that memory clinics be started. This suggestion has been implemented by the state government and is in progress.
- This proposal was earlier mooted in the legislative assembly by Dr Deepak Sawant.
Dementia, also called major neurocognitive disorder, is a general term used for a decline in cognitive functioning severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Dementia is not a disease itself; instead, it is a group of symptoms caused by other conditions that have damaged an individual’s brain.
Under the memory clinic initiative, patients affected with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are treated in the geriatric ward in the district hospitals in the state.
But the numbers of patients affected with these two mental conditions are on a rise, across the state. That is the reason, why Maharashtra’s health minister, Dr Deepak Sawant had suggested that memory clinics be started. This suggestion has been implemented by the state government and is in progress.
In accordance with this initiative, ‘memory clinics will be started at district hospitals in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Thane, Jalgaon, Satara, Sangli, Aurangabad, Amravati, Nanded, Beed, Solapur, Sindhudurg, Latur etc,.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Nitin Bhalerao, state in-charge for mental health, said, “People are prone to get forgetful as they get older. Elderly people start having memory problems, but, it turns into a matter of concern when they begin to forget their own name and address.”
He added, “These memory clinics have been started in order to detect the signs and symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in patients, as early detection and treatment can make a vast difference. These clinics have garnered a positive response from the people.”
Dr Bhalerao further said, “It’s been a month since its inception and we have registered 1,028 during this duration. These patients have been diagnosed by psychiatrists at the hospital, and prompt and effective treatment has been started to help address their condition. Just because we have witnessed so many cases, we cannot say that patients with mental health condition are growing by the day. We are seeing more patients now due to better awareness in society. These disorders are mainly witnessed in senior citizens who have crossed the age of 60.”
He elaborated saying, “The memory clinic is targeted towards this age group. At this clinic, when a new patient is brought in his overall medical history is taken into account. And all the necessary tests are done, if the patients present the key signs and symptoms of this condition. Treatment is then started upon them; they are counselled by psychiatrists and also informed on what measures they can take to have control over the progression of this condition. As these patients are more prone to sleep problems, psychiatrists also teach the patients to yoga and pranayama to help them improve their sleep.”
He concluded saying, “If dementia is detected early, then we can keep a check on the progression of the disease, we can help stop the disease from progressing in its severity.”