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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Parkinson's Unity Walk 2019

<p style="text-align: justify;">​<span>Parkinson&#39;s disease is spreading at an alarming rate in Pakistan and the number of patients with the neurological movement disorder is now over 450,000. Moreover, a large percentage of patients are unaware that this disease can be managed if diagnosed in time.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) organized a walk to raise awareness about Parkinson&#39;s disease on Sunday, 24<sup> </sup>February 2019. The event is hosted every year at the AKUH in partnership with the Pakistan Parkinson&#39;s Society (PPS). Parkinson&#39;s is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people, slowing down movement of a person causing limbs to shake and tremble. In most cases, symptoms take years to develop and people live for years with the disease without any significant issue or problem.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">It is necessary to create awareness, regarding this degenerative disease owing to which patients lose motivation both physically and cognitively. Anxiety is common amongst Parkinson&#39;s disease patients because of the fear of not remembering things and becoming immobile. </p><p style="text-align: justify;">Deep brain stimulation (DBS) can help reduce the symptoms of tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking problems caused by Parkinson&#39;s disease, dystonia, or essential tremor. Successful DBS allows people to potentially reduce their medications and improve their quality of life. DBS is a surgery to implant a device that sends electrical signals to brain areas responsible for body movement. Electrodes are placed deep in the brain and are connected to a stimulator device. Similar to a heart pacemaker, a neurostimulator uses electric pulses to regulate brain activity. Talking on DPS Mr. Ehsan Bari, Assistant Professor Neurosurgery said <em>&quot;Parkinson&#39;s disease is now manageable by educating them and through surgery.&quot; </em>Dr. Ehsan Bari, Assistant Professor Neurosurgery.  </p><p style="text-align: justify;">Living with<strong> </strong>Parkinson&#39;s disease can be difficult and the condition poses many challenges, however, there are ways that you can manage it to make your everyday life more comfortable. <em>&quot;Parkinson&#39;s disease patients are close to our hearts, although its not clinically curable but we can fight this disease by educating them, so they can have a normal life,&quot; </em>said Dr. Shazad Shamim, Service Line Chief Mind &amp; Brain at AKUH.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">There is no Parkinson&#39;s specific diet. The goal of nutrition is to achieve good quality of life by eating nutrient dense foods and addressing all those problems that inhibit the patient to eat well and achieve nutritional adequacy. &quot;<em>Good nutrition is inexpensive and with wise steps, balanced diet can be successfully in cooperated,&quot; </em>said Ms. Sidra, Dietician at AKUH.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This year, AKUH&#39;s Parkinson&#39;s Unity Walk also featured panel discussion by specialists including neurologists, psychiatrists and neurosurgeons. Experts talked about the methods which are helpful for the patients to manage this disease. The panel also answered the questions from the public and delivered consultation at the highly subsized health camp for PKR 100. </p><p style="text-align: justify;">In addition to the quaternary care hospital in Karachi, AKUH has a network of 4 secondary care hospitals, over 25 Medical Centers, and over 260 Clinical Laboratories in over 115 cities across Pakistan. It also has a network of pharmacies and offers home healthcare services. AKUH is Pakistan&#39;s first Joint Commission International accredited hospital which is the gold standard in quality and patient safety. Its clinical laboratories are accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for fast and accurate lab testing.  ​</p>