KARACHI: The increasing incidence of Parkinson’s disease in developing countries must be countered by regular exercise, said experts.
This discussion was held at an awareness session on World Parkinson’s Day hosted by the Aga Khan University Hospital in association with Pakistan Parkinson’s Society on Saturday.
Medical practitioners referred to recent studies in Sweden and Australia that suggest that people can lower their risk of getting Parkinson’s disease by incorporating simple exercises in their daily routine.
Increasing exposure to chemicals in daily life has shown to increase the incidence of Pakinson’s in developed countries. “Besides household chemicals, government has to carefully reassess our agriculture policies about use of pesticides on edible crops,” said Dr Mughis Sheerani, Consultant Neurologist, Aga Khan University Hospital.
“Pesticides can be found on food even after washing and has long-term effects on human health,” he added.
Parkinson’s affects the person with the disease and their family. Experts highlighted the problems that people living with Parkinson’s face in their everyday lives and ways to conquer them. It is important to remain positive and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. A variety of medications are available to effectively treat the symptoms and help people lead a full life.
“Engaging in social activities, hobbies, regular physiotherapy, and religious or spiritual activities are helpful coping mechanisms,” said Dr Qurat Khan, Consultant Psychiatrist, AKUH.
Parkinson’s patients need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and learn to identify stress triggers, she added. Family and friends should also spend quality time with patients.
Speakers explained that medicines are the main tools to manage the disease, since surgical options are limited and reserved for a select group of patients. Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical procedure used for treating specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Other speakers at the occasion included Dr Shahzad Shamim, Dr Qurat Khan, Mohabat Ali and Haroon Bashir.
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