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World Alzheimer’s Day: Avoiding drugs, healthy lifestyle key to combat disease

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World Alzheimer’s Day is observed every year on September 21. The Alzheimer’s disease is seen in people especially after 65 years of age where they are unable to remember things or tasks. Taking necessary precautions while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping away from drugs can keep mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay.

With aging, all kinds of diseases start targeting our body. One of the major disease is Alzheimer’s/dementia in elderly people where they tend to forget basic tasks. The number of such people is increasing by the day. That is why World Alzheimer’s Day or Dementia Day is celebrated every year on September 21 to prevent this disease from spreading to people. It is aimed at bringing awareness so that the elderly can be saved from this disease.

Dr Adarsh Tripathi, Additional Professor, Department of Psychiatry, King George Medical University, says in order to protect the elderly from dementia, it is necessary that all family members maintain affinity towards them. Do not let them feel lonely, take time out to talk to them, do not ignore their concerns but listen to them carefully. These are the steps to help the elderly people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

However, several steps such as keeping their mind occupied with other tasks, taking care of their favourite things, sleep-wake time, breakfast and food arrangements at the scheduled time can help prevent Alzeihmer’s or dementia to a great extent.

This disease occurs due to brain tissue damage during old age. The risk of the disease increases due to disturbances in the protein structure of the brain. It is a brain-related disease in which a person gradually starts losing memory. A person is unable to remember even the smallest of things. When this disease aggravates, the person does not even remember the faces of people. No exact cure for this disease has been found till now.

The doctor said that to get control over amnesia, it was necessary to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. Do not let negative thoughts take a toll on the mind and keep the mind happy with positive thoughts. If you are interested in activities like listening to music of your choice, singing songs, cooking, gardening, sports, etc then engage in it with full dedication.

An advisory released recently by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, says as per the 2011 census, there were nearly 16 crore elderly people aged above 60 years in the country. Of these, nearly 8.8 crore were between 60 and 69 years, 6.4 crore were between 70 and 79 years, 2.8 crore aged 80 years who were dependent on others and 18 lakh elderly people who were either homeless or have no one to take care of them.

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Study reveals kidney disease or injury is associated with much higher risk of mortality for COVID-19 patients

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Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that there is much higher risk of mortality faced by COVID-19 patients in intensive care, who have chronic kidney disease (CKD), or those who develop new (acute) kidney injury (AKI).

CKD is a type of kidney disease in which kidney function declines over a period of months to years, and is more common in older people.

AKI is an abrupt loss of kidney function that takes place over seven days or less and can have several causes, including the damage and inflammation caused by the COVID-19 virus itself.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive analysis of outcomes in critically unwell COVID-19 patients in the UK with kidney failure, particularly in patients with pre-existing chronic kidney disease,” said study author Sanooj Soni from Imperial College London in the UK.

For the study, published in the journal Anaesthesia, the research team examined the association between AKI and CKD with clinical outcomes in 372 patients with COVID-19 admitted to four regional intensive care units (ICUs) in the UK.

The average age of the patients was around 60 years, and 72 percent of them were male.

A total of 216 (58 percent) patients had some form of kidney impairment (45 percent developed AKI during their ICU stay, while 13 percent had pre-existing CKD), while 42 percent had no CKD or AKI.

The patients who developed AKI had no history of serious kidney disease before their ICU admission, suggesting that the AKI was directly related to their COVID-19 infection.

The authors found that patients with no kidney injury or disease had a mortality of 21 percent.

Those with new-onset AKI caused by the COVID-19 virus had a mortality of 48 percent, whilst for those with pre-existing CKD (Stages 1-4) mortality was 50 percent.

In those patients with end-stage kidney failure (CKD stage 5), where they already required regular out-patient dialysis, mortality was 47 percent.

Mortality was greatest in those patients with kidney transplants, with six out of seven patients (86 percent) dying, highlighting that these patients are an extremely vulnerable group.

The investigators also examined the rates of renal replacement therapy, a form of hospital dialysis, due to COVID-19 in these ICU patients with kidney injury.

Out of 216 patients with any form of kidney impairment, 56 per cent of patients requiring renal replacement therapy, the researchers said.

The authors noted that mortality in patients with end-stage kidney failure and on dialysis, who normally have worse outcomes in many other diseases, was similar to that in patients with less severe kidney disease and Covid-19 associated AKI.

This finding may suggest that such patients benefit equally from ICU admission and thus the threshold for admission should be calibrated accordingly in any future COVID-19 surge.

“Our data demonstrate that kidney disease and failure in critically ill patients with COVID-19 are common, and associated with high mortality,” the authors noted.

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