MIRPURKHAS: An estimated 400,000 people in Pakistan are suffering from the Parkinson’s disease, which affects over 6 million persons globally. This was disclosed by neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery at Muhammad Medical Hospital Mirpurkhas, Dr Fayaaz Memon in an interview with the Daily Times. Expressing grave concern over the increasing number of patients with Parkinson’s disease in Pakistan, he said though the disease can affect anyone, it usually emerges in people over the age of 60 and such patients need moral and socio-economic support from the family members particularly and the society as whole. The diagnosis was based on patient’s medical history and a methodical neurological examination as the symptoms of the disease can be caused by other neurological problems as well, said Dr Fayaaz Memon. He said that the Parkinson’s was a chronic debilitating disease, which directly affects muscle reflexes, body movements and can severely impact a patient’s vision. Globally, there are over six million people who are suffering from the disease, he said adding that though tests such as MRI and CT scans were useful, but are not essential for the diagnosis and the disease has many symptoms with the most common including tremors, stiffness and rigidity, imbalance and slow movement. Dr Memon said that the Parkinson’s patients should also look out for eye problems as they suffer higher incidence of certain eye problems, particularly those related to difficulty in focusing, following or tracking objects, double vision, dry eyes and eyelid infections. Dr Fayaaz Memon further informed that people with Parkinson’s disease usually suffer from movement problems and physiotherapy plays a significant role in managing the disease and helps people to continue with daily routine activities independently. He further said that it leads to a number of problems, such as difficulty in speaking, slow pace of walking, and problems in swallowing. However, with the right combination of medication, physical exercise and therapy, people affected by Parkinson’s disease can live a healthy life, he remarked. Most of the time, elderly people were victims of this disease, and in Pakistan, there is a need to create public awareness about the disease on a massive scale to diagnose and cure Parkinson’s. Dr Fayaaz Memon elaborated on the respiratory complications which appear due to Parkinson’s and informed that those include possible infections in the vocal cord, high probability of developing pneumonia, as well as long periods of fatigue. He urged patients to strictly abide by the prescribed medication and exercise regularly as described by the doctor. He said that encouragement of Parkinson patient was crucial along with treatment as willpower could play a vital role in recovery process. Dr Fayaaz Memon said that a revolution has come into the medical science and now treatment and cure of this disease was possible through surgery and medicine. He stressed that there were treatment available that can relieve the symptoms or slow the progress but the commitment to live a better life must come from the patient.