New Delhi, Jan 30 IANS | 9 months ago

India and the Netherlands Thursday launched a joint research project to go into the causes of stroke and dementia.

Visiting Dutch Health, Welfare and Sports Minister Edith Schippers, and India's Science and Technology Minister Jaipal Reddy launched the research project to be jointly executed by the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here and Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam (the Netherlands).

The two top medical research institutes will research into the causes of stroke and dementia.

India's department of biotechnology, under the science and technology ministry, has committed around Rs.33 crore towards the project, said a Netherlands embassy press release.

The study consists of a large-scale, long term study following thousands of people. The launching ceremony took place in AIIMS here.

Stroke mortality in India is 25 times that of malaria and research has shown that Indians may be more susceptible to stroke than their western counterparts.

The joint Indo-Dutch study will investigate into this intriguing finding. Beginning in 2015, a group of 15,000 people aged 50 and above from Delhi and Gurgaon area will be followed for 10 years to assess risk factors associated with stroke and Alzheimer's disease.

The findings will be compared with those of similar studies being carried out by Erasmus MC in the area around Rotterdam.

Although epidemics still do occur in India year after year, the majority of the disease burden is now caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and stroke.

These diseases largely affect the middle-aged and older populations.

As India's population is ageing rapidly, the number of Indians suffering from NCDs will see a tremendous increase as well. With a view of improving the quality of life of its older people the Indian government is stepping up its research into aging and associated diseases.

Other collaborations between AIIMS and the Erasmus MC in the areas of neuroscience and gastroenterology are also ongoing, the statement said.

(Posted on 30-01-2014)

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