Stroke, Alzheimer's: Study flags concern for Kerala

brain health
In Kerala, 152 in one lakh people suffer from stroke, while the national average is 93. Image courtesy:

New Delhi: The findings of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on the number of stroke and Alzheimer's patients have come as a shocker for Kerala.

The number of stroke patients in Kerala is higher than in other states. In Kerala, 152 in one lakh people suffer from stroke, while the national average is 93. And 564 in one lakh people suffer from Alzheimer's or other dementia. The nationwide incidence is 266 people per lakh. The study was published in the 'Lancet' journal.

State should carry out a study

Dr Gagandeep Singh, a member of the team that conducted the study and chief of the neurology department at the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital in Ludhiana, said that lifestyle diseases are more prevalent in Kerala. A detailed study should be carried out to find the cause. However, there is no problem of stroke patients dying due to lack of treatment in Kerala. For neurological diseases, the situation is different in each state. Therefore, each state has to assess the situation and frame a policy, he added.

Neurological diseases on the rise in the country

In general, neurological diseases have been found to be on the rise in the country. Stroke caused 6.9 lakh deaths in the country in 2019 alone, i.e., 7.4 per cent of the total deaths.

The report also points out that high blood pressure, air pollution, food habits, body mass index, and diabetes were causing neurological diseases.

Neurological diseases (per one lakh)

Disease                               Kerala                      India

Epilepsy                                 865                            726

Cerebral palsy                      1500                          1210

Alzheimer's                           564                            266

Brain cancer                          5.3                              3.5

Parkinson’s                            96                               55

Multiple sclerosis                 6.6                              7.7

Motor neuron diseases         1.9                              1.8

Newly reported (per lakh)

Disease                                           Kerala          India

Stroke                                               152                93

Meningitis                                           49               44

Tetanus                                            0.23               1.19

Traumatic brain injuries                   636                537

Spinal cord injuries                         12.6                9.7


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