Movement Disorders Society starts National Parkinson’s Network for better management

The national network on PD is acutely needed as the onset of PD has been found to be much earlier among Indians than in the West.
Representational image for Parkinson's Disease.
Representational image for Parkinson's Disease.File photo

BENGALURU: The Movement Disorders Society of India (MDSI), formed 10 years ago, has now started a National Parkinson’s Network (NPN) to understand the country-specific scenario on Parkinson’s Disease (PD). April 7 is observed as World Parkinson’s Day. “The idea behind the NPN is to have data on PD to plug the gaps in the diagnosis, treatment and management (including palliative care) of this debilitating neurological disorder,” said Dr Pramod Pal, Prof of Neurology and Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders Specialist, NIMHANS. Pal is the founding secretary and is at present the president-elect of MDSI.

The national network on PD is acutely needed as the onset of PD has been found to be much earlier among Indians than in the West. A critical study by neurologists at the PD & Movement Disorders sub-speciality, Department of Neurology at NIMHANS has found that the “mean age of onset of PD among Indians is much earlier (around 51-52 years) in comparison to those in the West, where the average is 58 to 60 years,” said Pal.

India has a “higher number of patients of PD who are younger and develop the disease when many are still working. Many need to discontinue work due to motor disability and also social and workplace stigmatization. The burden of care of PD patients is much higher in India, and unfortunately many patients are misdiagnosed, wrongly treated and have a poor quality of life,” Pal added.

“There are very few epidemiological studies on PD in India. There is a disparity between availability, accessibility and affordability of treatment for patients with PD. More country-specific data on PD is necessary for drafting healthcare policies. There are only a handful of PD societies and there is a dearth of MD specialists in the country,” he said.

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