Presenter Information

Syed Shayan Ali, Aga Khan University


Lecture Hall-3

Start Date

26-2-2014 12:45 PM


Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mainly affecting people in their sixth or later decades of life, has been identified as an incurable, degenerative and terminal disease. It constitutes approximately 70% of all dementia cases and is the seventh leading cause of death. Since advancing age and genetic susceptibility are the most significant risk factors for AD, the problem this disease poses in terms of its financial and human cost cannot be underestimated. Our study is designed to identify the knowledge gaps pertaining to the major aspects of the disease. Method: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was undertaken at two public sector hospitals of Karachi - Jinnah and Civil. Three hundred conveniently available clinicians were recruited ensuring their different specialties and varying levels of expertise.

Results: The results highlighted that physicians were aware of the risk factors with 250 and 244 recognizing advancing age and inheritance as the major ones. Poor understanding of all the major symptoms was revealed except memory loss with merely 4% of the respondents not opting for it. Conditions like paranoia, perceptual motor problems and recurrent infections are major observable traits of the sufferers but were unfamiliar to most participants with 82%, 78% and 91% of them not realizing these, respectively. Alzheimer’s as an incurable disease was rightly recognized by 77% but when asked if in rare cases recovery is possible more than half (58%) responded positively. Although drugs can slow down the progression of the disease as testified by an overwhelming number, neither preventive drugs have been discovered nor mental exercise has scientifically proven to delay the onset but was incorrectly identified by 47% and 59% respectively, to be possible.

Conclusion: Albeit prevention or remedy to this disease has yet not been found, it is possible to ease certain symptoms or to prolong the loss of certain vital functions of brain.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, paranoia, mental


Feb 26th, 12:45 PM Feb 26th, 12:55 PM

Health Professional’s Knowledge about Alzheimer’s Disease and their Practices in Coping with the Challenges of the Disease

Lecture Hall-3