Seminar on Dementia at BMU

KARACHI: Dr. Rooma Habib from Department of Neurosciences spoke on dementia and its diagnosis at a seminar organized by Baqai Medical University Hospital recently.  She discussed at length the types and pathophysiology of various types of dementias and made special reference to a useful test called the MMSE (Mini-Mental State Examination).

Prof. Arif Herekar, who chaired the session elaborated on the usefulness of MMSE and diagnosing Dementia especially at the bedside. Talking about the various causes of pseudo and genuine dementias he opined that it is important to diagnose Dementia early.  

Although there's no specific investigation to confirm the presence of Alzheimer's disease except autopsy, simple memory loss is a very important part of Pseudo Dementia and may eventually evolve into Alzheimer’s in just a few cases. Depression and other psychological conditions can mimic Dementia.  Forgetfulness is a common factor and should be taken as normal if mild. Progressive memory loss with super aided cognitive decline is a very strong pointer towards an ensuing Alzheimer’s. In short, Dementia by definition is an acquired cognitive decline. 

Alzheimer's disease is the commonest cause of dementia. Other causes include multi infarct and Lewy Body. Prof. Arif was of the view that MMSE must be taught to every young doctor who graduates since it is a simple bedside test and will go a long way in ascertaining the presence of Alzheimer's disease. Although there is no definitive medical treatment to treat Alzheimer's disease, few medications if instituted early can help arrest the progression of the disease, he added. (PR)

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