Shimla: Finding the internationally used scale for assessment of dementia difficult to apply in elderly tribal populations, doctors of Tanda medical college, Kangra have developed a modified scale that can be applied 60 plus tribal people who have no formal education and are largely illiterate.
“The Bharmour Mental State
Dementia is a brain disorder manifested by deterioration of intellectual faculties such as memory, concentration, judgement etc.
The most commonly worldwide used scale for assessment of “dementia” is Mini Mental State
No modification exclusively suited to tribal population has been worked out. Our BMSE scale is the first of its kind around the world, says Raina.
Dr. AK Bhardwaj, Dr. Sujeet Raina, Dr.Vishav Chander and Dr.Sukhjit were other members of the expert group, who were helped by an expert in Bharmouri language.
Funded by Indian Council of Medical Research, development of the scale development was part of a study carried out to find the prevalence of elderly people suffering from dementia in Himachal Pradesh.
The need for a new scale was necessitated by our understanding that cultural practices play a major role in language development and the tribal culture in India is entirely different from urban or rural culture, said Raina.
Comment on the BMSE scale, Dr Orsola Gambini from University of Milan, Italy says, “the study shows that by using this scale dementia assessment can also be done in remote and less developed regions where the majority of elderly individuals have no formal education and are illiterate”.