Rajivnagar Public Awareness Session

Organized by AASARA, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan conducted a general public awareness session at Rajivnagar Community Hall, July 4, 6-8:00 PM

The session, presided by Mr. V. Gopal Rao (AASARA Advisor) and Smt. Maragaret Reeves (Executive Member, AASARA), and conducted by Mr. ByReddy (AASARA), was attended by community members from Motinagar and Rajivnagar.

Mr. Mrinal Lankapalli, Project co-ordinator, AASARA also attended the sesssion.

Mr. Gopal Rao, Mr. ByReddy and Smt. Maragaret Reeves all urged the audience to extend involvement beyond their individual families to the larger community.

Dr. Rukmini Mridula's (Assistant Professor, Dept of Neurology, NIMS and ARDSI member) presentation covered memory loss in old age, emphasizing that Alzheimer's and other dementias are not a normal part of the aging process. The early signs and symptoms of dementia were detailed, illustrative examples used to distinguish between mild forgetfulness which is n ormal as one ages and pathological memory loss associated with Alzheimer's. (forgetting names of family members and close friends, recent events, familiar routes, etc). Dr. Mridula also spoke on the importance of getting an early diagnosis as cognitive deficits arising from thyroid abnormalities or BComplex deficiences are completely treatable and patient recovers remarkably once medication is started. Her talk also included how is dementia diagnosed, medications for dementia, where science is currently at in terms of medication, effortful mental activities and adoption of a healthy lifestyle for protecteion against memory disorders, dementia care and the need for ARDSI.

Ms. Rukhsana Ansari introduced ARDSI, its role in dementia care, work done so far, services offered by the Hyderabad Deccan chapter, and collaborative projects with AASARA. The effectiveness and success of the local chapter's home visit program was also highlighted. Typically social links are the first to break when a family member has dementia. The audience were asked to extend their hand in friendship to a person with dementia, work with ARDSI to spread awareness and volunteer to help with its activities.

Questions from the audience included:

  • What is the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia
  • Side-effects of hypertension and cardio medication on memory
  • How does one distinguish normal forgetfulness from Alz related memory loss
  • Tips for healthy memory

The doctor also looked at 1-2 patients and they were asked to come in to the memory clinic for further diagnosis and follow-up.