“All of us age it’s inevitable. Childhood and youth deceive us because they come and go, old age does not go it stays with us” says Dr Subhash Kaul, on the occasion of International longevity day, on the topic entitled ‘Neurology of Aging’ on October 12th, 2015 organized by School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad.
“When I was in twenties I used think forty is the old age and reaching forty I thought I was still young. So we change the definition according to our comforts” he avers. Whereas the government bodies in India says sixty is for retirement that means you have to take rest and your brain no longer works quickly he added.
Dr. Subhash Kaul obtained his DM in Neurology from PGIMER Chandigarh, India (1990) and underwent Stroke fellowship supported by the NIH, in the University of Maryland, USA. He is a fellow of the American Stroke Association and American Academy of Neurology. Mr. Kaul, currently heads, the Department of ‘Neurology’ and Associate Dean at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, India.
He said that in this country 77 million people are elderly, but by 2025 this increases to 170 million. There is tremendous reluctance in our society in accepting the old age and death. People spend lot of money during the time of old age in order to save the life. The patient always wants to live he added. “I always ask why? We are not ready to accept the reality. We don’t accept death in old age which is normal as birth” he added.
He said that mentally we are always a child. But whatever we feel mentally, physical decline is a reality.
Aging goes on, the contracting of the heart slows down, the filtration of the kidneys comes down, muscle mass becomes less, the bones loose calcium and it happens slowly…slowly. But we cannot see all this from outside whereas we can see the neurological disability, because that’s the only the visible aspect. He said that we recognize the old man based on the neurological changes.
Explaining the reason for aging he said it happens because the neurons fall out, from brain, spinal cord, Peripheral nerve fibers and finally vision is impaired hearing is poor and bad reflexes and poor balance.
Moreover he said that the most important action takes place in brain called ‘Substantial Nigra’ which secrets a chemical called ‘Dopamine’. “He said ‘Dopamine’ is most important chemical source responsible for brain energy. It is the chemical which makes us walk, think and finally drives our lives to do anything. If we remove that chemical from our body we all become statues he added.
He said most of the corporate hospitals offer unnecessary medical surgeries for common old age problems. Old age is not a disease its quite normal he added.
He said that the real old age is when people are left in isolation. Instead we need to keep them in socialization, constant family visits and genuine support makes them feel better.
-Sandeep Manohar, Department of Communication