New scale developed to assess dementia in tribal populations

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 Examination (BMSE) scale to be published as part of research article in upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience in Rural Practice, a Pubmed indexed journal, will be of immense value to researches working in the field of dementia,” says Dr Sunil Raina, the lead investigator of the study undertaken.

Dr Raina out in tribal Bharmour, Himachal Pradesh undertaking the study
Dr Raina (second from left) out in tribal Bharmour, Himachal Pradesh carrying out the study

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 Examination (MMSE), which was originally developed in English language and has seen a few modifications in the past.

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”.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Warren

    “Our BMSE scale is the first of its kind around the world” and “The need for a new scale was necessitated by our understanding that cultural practices play a major role in language development”.

    A scale called RUDAS was developed in Sydney Australia many years ago. It is primarily used where MMSE is not appropriate, such as for CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) cultures.

    Just a comment

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