Saturday, February 4

Tech jump in neuro care

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Complicated forms of neurological disorders can now be treated using advanced technology with minimal or no surgical intervention, doctors said at a city programme on Monday. Treatment of a form of epilepsy in which seizures could continue for years is possible without surgical intervention, neurologists from Newcastle University in the UK said. Research has been going on in this form of treatment for the ailment, in which patients experience seizures in the hands and face. It has a 50 per cent death rate, Mark Baker, neurologist at Newcastle University, said. The National Health Service in the UK has recently sanctioned the modality of treatment, he said. They were speaking on the sidelines of a programme to commemorate the 10th foundation day of the Institute of Neurosciences Calcutta on Monday. “Patients of epilepsia partialis continua (seizures in hands and face) are often brought to the emergency with seizures and on many occasions their condition cannot be controlled with medication,” Baker said.

“They often have to be shifted to the intensive care unit and in 50 per cent of the cases, patients die. But we have had some good results using a technique called `cathodal direct current stimulation’ on such patients.” This form of treatment is non-invasive and involves locating the portion of the brain from where signals triggering the seizure are originating and placing an electrode over that portion and another electrode on the front of the skull and passing electrical current through them.

He said many patients have been treated at Newcastle using this technique, including a teenager who has not had such seizures for three years after two episodes of treatment.

“During the research phase, we used this technique on a few patients but now after many good outcomes the NHS has given its approval for us to use this form of treatment on a larger scale,” Baker said.

Doctors spoke on the benefits of endoscopic neurosurgery instead of open surgeries that require a portion of the skull to be removed. It means shorter hospital stay and lesser chances of infection..

Source: Telegraph India

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