The increased life expectation of Yucatecans caused the cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to double in 2022, with 285 cases of these pathologies, which are incurable but controllable, said Jorge Efraín Salazar Ceballos, a specialist at the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).
The two main neurological diseases are on the rise because the population of Yucatan is getting older.
Likewise, the gender difference is notable, as Parkinson’s disease affects men more, while Alzheimer’s disease affects women.
According to the neurological doctor assigned to Hospital General Regional No. 1 (HGR), Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that cannot be cured, affects movement and usually causes tremors, mainly in the hands, in both men and women over 55 years of age.
He clarified that the symptoms can be controlled and reduced with proper treatment and medical follow-up, thus improving the patient’s quality of life.
“That is why Yucatan provides some recommendations and guidance on this disorder,” he said.
He explained that this condition is also characterized by the loss of motor functions, stiffness in the body, loss of flexibility in the extremities and, sometimes, patients present pain, slowness of movements, as well as uncontrollable tremors at rest.
Faced with these symptoms, he added, it is important to go to the doctor to be evaluated, to have an accurate diagnosis and treatment, because not every tremor is necessarily a sign of Parkinson’s disease since sometimes it can be an effect of thyroid, renal or liver problems, or even a reaction to the use of certain drugs, such as antidepressants or those for the circulation.
He highlighted that the exact causes of the disease are not yet known; however, it is associated to genetic, environmental, aging and apoptosis (programmed cell death) factors.
Although it is a disease that cannot be cured, with proper treatment and medical follow-up, it can be controlled, symptoms can be reduced, complications can be avoided and the patient can have a better life.
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disorder in the elderly, specifically an incurable dementia that causes memory loss and frequently, dementia, especially after the age of 60.
This problem affects the parts of the brain that control thinking, memory and language, diminishing people’s ability to remember, reason and communicate.
At the beginning there is only alteration of knowledge and memory, as it progresses there are emotional deficits such as agitation, aggressiveness, intolerance to stress, decreased appetite; and motor problems such as stiffness and slowing.
This disease is neurological, degenerative, progressive and irreversible, it is so far incurable and can be so severe that the patient forgets to meet their basic needs, such as going to the bathroom or eating.
Likewise, it does not respect social class, gender, ethnic group or geographic location, so anyone can suffer from it in old age, they say.