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Dubai hospital opens Parkinson’s clinic

DUBAI, April 11, 2016

Dubai Health Authority has opened a dedicated Parkinson’s clinic at Rashid Hospital in Dubai, UAE, one of the hospitals run by the Authority to mark World Parkinson’s Day.

Dr Abubaker Al Madani, head of neurology department at Rashid Hospital, said: “At the moment the clinic will be held twice a month and if we see an increase in demand we will extend it to more days.  The aim of the clinic is to provide comprehensive care for Parkinson’s patients.  Presently we have 300 patients with the disease who will benefit from the introduction of this clinic.”

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and leads to chronic and progressive movement disorder. Parkinson’s could later lead to mental illness, problems in thinking, dementia and depression.  It affects middle-aged and elderly persons mostly above the age of 50 years.

It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s. According to Parkinson’s Disease Foundation an estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide are living with the disease.

Al Madani said that the disease mainly affects the elderly and since the symptoms develop slowly, often, the disease is diagnosed in the later stages. “The disease is a degenerative disease and therefore early detection is vital to slow its progression and ensure patients can have the best quality of life possible. However, since there is no specific test to diagnose the disease and since the symptoms take a while to develop, often the disease is diagnosed in the later stages,” he explained.

“In the beginning, patients experience tremors that are barely noticeable. As the disease progresses, patients face slowing of movement, walking difficulties, imbalance, expressionless face, softness in speech, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance. Our message to the community is that such symptoms should not be taken lightly and immediate neurological opinion is necessary to aid in early detection and treatment.”

Dr Yasmin Kamal, senior specialist neurologist at Rashid Hospital said that patients experience loss in mobility because in Parkinson’s disease neurons, which are vital, nerve cells in the brain, malfunction and die. Neurons produce a chemical ‘dopamine’ that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. Without dopamine, the patient is unable to control movement normally.

Dr Kamal said the primary causes of Parkinson’s include genetic predisposition and possibly environmental factors. Secondary causes that can increase the risk of developing the disease include head trauma or injuries, strokes, brain infections, acute toxicity, endocrinal and metabolic diseases including liver and kidney disease.

There is no cure for the disease but comprehensive treatment greatly reduces the symptoms and prolongs the progression of the disease, Dr Kamal said.

The hospital is also planning to begin a Parkinson’s support group to help patients and their families cope with the disease.

To mark the occasion of World Parkinson’s Day 2016, the department will hold an awareness program at the reception of Rashid Hospital on the April 13 and doctors will be present to address queries.  – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai Health Authority | Rashid Hospital | Parkinson’s disease |

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