New Delhi: With an increasing elderly population falling prey to it, Alzheimer`s disease, a kind of dementia, stands as one of the biggest health threats in India, say doctors.The disease, caused by the degeneration of brain cells and nerves, impacts functioning of the brain, effecting day-to-day activities by its victims.Though the causes of the disease are not completely known yet, India has almost a fourth of the world`s Alzheimer`s patients, with doctors adding that underreporting is the biggest problem."The biggest problem with Alzhimer`s disease is that it is highly underreported," says Sanjay Kumar Saxena, head of the neurology department at Fortis Hospital in the national capital."There are around 18-19 million dementia patients in the world and around a quarter of them are in India. There is an acute lack of facilities to detect or treat patients with Alzheimer`s, so patients get ignored. In the west, they are much better off," says Saxena.
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