0214 GMT July 16, 2019
The ageing population of Iran has helped increase neurological diseases among people nationwide, a neurologist said.
Dr. Farzad Fatehi told Iran Daily that the incidence of neurological diseases is increasing worldwide because such disorders mostly occur in old age.
“For instance, the number of deaths caused by stroke is on a steady rise as ageing is the major risk factor for the problem,” he added.
The neurologist pointed out that a global change in nutrition patterns, an increase in fast food consumption and the high prevalence of sedentary lifestyle are among the main reasons for the rise in the number of patients with neurological diseases.
Fatehi, who is a member of the board of director of Iranian Neurological Association, said with respect to an increase in the ageing population of Iran within the next 10 to 20 years, efforts should be made from now on to prevent the occurrence of neurological diseases among people.
“Prevention is the first measure which should be taken to fight neurological diseases, because they cause severe effects on the health of people and impose heavy financial and emotional burden on the patients and their families”, he said.
He stressed that reducing risk factors will help prevent the prevalence of the diseases very easily.
He said early diagnosis of high blood pressure and diabetes, quitting cigarette smoking and adhering to physical activities and exercise will help reduce the risk of neurological diseases among people to a large extent.
The neurologist referred to the high prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) in developed countries, adding the number of MS patients is different in various countries but the incident of the diseases is increasing worldwide.
He said the occurrence rate of disease which previously was 50 per 100,000 population has increased to 80 per 100,000.
Fatehi said MS is more prevalent among women, adding it is known as the disease of youth because it mostly occurs in persons younger than 40 years old.
He believes industrialization, increase in environmental toxins, high consumption of genetically modified foods and adding preservative materials to foods helped increase the risk of the disease.
He noted that all medicines required by MS patients are manufactured domestically with high quality and low price, adding a part of the drugs are exported to foreign countries.
Referring to the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease among the elderly, he said ageing causes the size of human brain to reduce gradually but the problem is more severe in some people leading to the destruction of their brain cells and the emergence of Alzheimer's disease.
“The disorder mostly occurs in the fifth and sixth decades of people’s lives and later”, he said, adding each decade of ageing increases the chance of Alzheimer's.
He noted that Alzheimer's disease has no cure and medicines taken by patients only help ease its symptoms, pointing out that the disorder imposes heavy financial burden on patients and their families.