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Neuroscience

A wide variety of conditions affect the central nervous system, ranging from major depressive disorder or clinical depression to Parksinson’s Disease. Disorders of the central nervous system are often overlooked for lack of obvious physical signs and reluctance by patients to seek medical advice.i

Globally, the World Health Organization estimates 350 million people are affected by clinical depressionii However, experts believe that a significant number of cases go undiagnosed due to several factors, such as lack of awareness, fear of stigmatisation and the tendency to seek traditional or alternative remedies. iii

For degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s Disease which affects approximately 10 million people worldwideiv, improved awareness is essential to promote early diagnosis and treatment. Continuous medical education for healthcare professionals, spearheaded by Malaysian psychiatrists, helps with the identification of symptoms and encourages a more positive perspective on the role of treatment in improving quality of life. Working with the Malaysian Parkinson’s Disease Association, Pfizer helped to publish the Bahasa Malaysia version of its official book “Understanding Parkinson’s Disease” which helps to educate the public about early symptoms, diagnosis and treatment as knowledge is an important factor to dispel the widespread perception that Parkinson’s Disease is untreatable.

For more information on disorders affecting the central nervous system, always refer to a trained medical professional.

References

i. World Health Organization (WHO). Mental health: Gender and women’s mental health. http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/genderwomen/en/

ii. World Health Organization Media Centre. Depression factsheet, www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/

iii. Ng Chong Guan. A Review of Depression Research in Malaysia. Med J Malaysia Vol 69 Supplement A August 2014. http://www.e-mjm.org/2014/supplement-A/depression-research.pdf

iv. Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Statistics on Parkinson’s, http://www.pdf.org/en/parkinson_statistics