Topic: Understanding Alzheimer/Dementia
Facilitator: Dr. Suvarna Alladi, Additional Professor and Neurologist at NIMS, Hyderabad; President, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan chapter
Date: 1st May, 2014
Place: Hotel Golconda, Masab Tank, Hyderabad
Time: 7:00 pm – 9.30 pm
- The meeting commenced at 7pm and was attended by close to 40 people including NIMS Memory Clinic and ARDSI staff. Literature on Dementia in English and Telugu was distributed to the audience.
- After a welcome address and introduction to the speaker by the Rotary Club members Dr. Suvarna Alladi began her talk with the importance of memories and the role they played in forming one’s identity, with anecdotes from her own life.
- She explained to the audience with lay examples the different kinds of memories such as personal and factual, working memory, tactile and auditory memory, and associative memory.
- Dr. Suvarna Alladi then went on to define dementia as failing memory, its prevalence in the population and the different social, medical, psychological and economic implications of the disease.
- She then listed out the possible causes of dementia, the progression of the disease enumerating the different symptoms at each stage and then gave the audience several examples of forgetting in someone with Alzheimer’s Dementia.
- Dr. Suvarna Alladi then went on to speak of the other causes of forgetting which could not be called dementia like attention problems, disorganisation and depression. She also encouraged the audience to go to the doctor to get assessed as soon as possible after the appearance of symptoms for a better prognosis.
- She then spoke of the history of the NIMS Memory Clinic and ARDSI, and the process of assessing and counseling a patient and their care-givers by the staff. She enumerated the different services offered by ARDSI.
- She concluded with different methods to preserve one’s memory such as regular exercise, balanced diet, and cognitively stimulating exercises.
- A brief question and answer session followed in which the audience clarified their doubts about the difference between normal and pathological forgetting.
- At about 8pm after the session, Memory Clinic and ARDSI staff began administering memory and cognitive screening tests to members of the audience one by one. The participants were also awarded certificates describing the level of their cognitive functioning based on their performance in the test.
- The session ended on an optimistic note with the club members requesting for more such sessions in the future.