Dementia is a global epidemic. About 47.5 million people worldwide are living with this cognitive declined condition. Dementia is increasing fast in Asia placing a huge social and economic burden, and Bangladesh, the seventh largest (160 millions) and one of the most densely populated countries (1015 persons per sq. km) in the world is no exception. It has started to experience another emerging issue of population ageing in its highly vulnerable population and development context. Many factors can lead to dementia. Some factors, such as age, can't be changed. Others can be addressed to reduce risk. The increase of the absolute number of the elderly people is alarming. The way to face this devastating wrought of dementia is through intensive research, preventive measures and creating public awareness.
The previous study (Phase I) entitled “Dementia-A public health problem among elderly people in Dhanmodi and Kalabagan Thana of Dhaka City” assessed health status of elderly of 60 and above 60 years age people which revealed that 15.5 percent and 11.2 percent respondents had developed early stage and middle stage of dementia respectively. Among the respondents’ 29.7 percent female and 26 percent male found living with dementia and significant association found between increase of age and middle stage of dementia. Study also revealed that there is a correlation between dementia and chronic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension.
Significant losses of cognitive abilities interfere with social functioning. In this study (Phase II), it targeted 60 cognitive impairments respondents diagnosed by neurologists to measure acetylcholine concentration in oral saliva, and compared the result with healthy cognitive function. The study observed that decline in cognitive functions, in terms of salivary acetylcholine have five times less than normal respondents of the same age group, indicating incoming public health problem in Bangladesh. The future research on neurological disorder will give further direction from this study to find out easy solution for the aged population of Bangladesh.
The research on Dementia Related Problems and Prevention will help to identify the reasons behind dementia and their possible remedial measures to safeguard elderly people suffering from dementia. The government authority will also get direction for future initiative in this regard based on the outcome of the study.