Interventional Pain Management attaining newer heights in India

There was a time many years back when any intervention by a medical doctor on any patient meant surgery. Epidural injections (caudal, interlaminar or transforaminal) were one of the first spine interventions ever undertaken. With the advancement in technology and especially the use of C Arm fluoroscopes for image guided blocks and ultrasound, interventional pain procedures could be done in much more reliable and predictable manner.

Pain physician of today is competent to treat the entire range of pain encountered in the delivery of quality healthcare, whether it is due to a discrete cause like cancer pain and postoperative pain to primary pain problems like musculoskeletal pain, neuropathic pain, urogenital pain, headaches etc. Pain medicine, which incorporates interventional pain management, has been acknowledged as a discrete discipline by the American Medical Association.

The advent of Radiofrequency (RF) ablation both thermal and pulse radiofrequency have quiet changed the outlook of interventional pain procedures in terms of providing longer lasting solutions for pain problems of the patients. Whether it is medial branch RF for facet syndrome, gasserian ganglion RF for trigeminal neuralgia, genicular branch RF for knee osteoarthritis or Pulse RF of dorsal root ganglion for lumbar radicular syndrome, the scope RF in interventional pain practice has undergone marked change and occupies vital position for providing long term pain relief to the patients.

The spectrum of interventional pain management has broadened with neuromodulation. Be it spinal cord stimulators, intrathecal pumps or peripheral nerve stimulators, these devices have moved in the analgesic ladder and are now indicated earlier rather than late for managing neuropathic or cancer pains.

Therefore the present day pain physician has various weapons in their armoury and apart from medical management, interventional pain management procedures can be resorted to not only to help in the diagnosis but also to provide long-term pain relief for the patient. This can help in providing functional recovery and thereby improve the quality of life of our patients.

Author’s Note: Pain Medicine is one of the newer disciplines in medicine in India (though recognised as a speciality and practised in USA since 1970s) and awareness is low not only among patients but also among the medical fraternity. The Medical Council of India (MCI) now recognizes one year PDCC (Pain & Palliative care) as a requisite training after post graduation in Anaesthesiology.

Source: India Medical Times

India launches its indigenous cervical cancer screening device

India launched its first indigenously developed device for screening and early detection of cervical cancer, which kills over 74,000 women in the country every year.

Launching the low-cost “AV-Magnivisualiser” device developed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said it will help in early detection of cervical cancer among adolescent girls and women, thus helping in save many lives.

Designed and developed at Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology ( ICPO), Noida, working under ICMR, the device will cost about Rs 10,000 and is much lower as compared to the cervical cytology method used at present in medical colleges, the equipment of which costs over Rs eight lakh.

“I am extremely happy and I congratulate the scientists involved in the cutting-edge level. I hope the cost-effective device will be available in the market in the next eight months to help ensure ..

The Minister said with this device it will be easy to screen and detect cervical cancer in its early stages, thus making treatment more effective.

“We will also ensure proper training of nurses and manpower for using the device in the coming months,” he said, adding that screening for cervical cancer is available only in regional cancer institutes and medical colleges at present.

He said the equipment presently being used is expensive, as a result of which not many medical coll ..

Source: Economic Times

India is world’s coronary, diabetic capital, says expert

India has earned the dubious distinction of becoming the world’s capital of coronary heart disease and diabetes, says a wellness expert.

Conducting a fitness workshop for journalists at Mumbai Press Club here, leading wellness expert Namita Jain said that several studies exposed the health hazards faced by stress-ridden Indian society. She was speaking on the occasion of ‘World Diabetes Day’ observed recently.

According to the World Congress of Cardiology, it is estimated that by 2020, heart diseases will be the cause of over 40 per cent deaths in India as compared to 24 per cent in 1990.

“World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that nearly 200 million people all over the world suffer from diabetes and this number is likely to double in the coming years. In India, there are nearly 50 million diabetics,” Jain said.

The enormity can be gauged from a recent report that states many heart patients are below the age of 30.

In a study of 350 heart attack patients conducted by a team of doctors, around 9.5 per cent of cases were below 40 years of age and 3 per cent below 30, she said.

According to the November 2009 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, as many as 10 per cent of all heart attacks in men occur before the age of 45.

Smoking was invariably a common factor in almost all the young patients. Apart from Smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, stress, high-blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, increasing age, family history are some other factors that increase chances of heart ailments.

Jain also touched upon a common problem experienced by many people – indigestion and acidity. This is due to bad eating and dietary habits, especially when we copy the West in
their eating patterns, whereas we in India have the most complete and wholesome meal – like Thali.

“Digest what you eat, eat slowly, chew well, drink water, and watch what you eat will help in somewhat alienating the problem. Your diet should consist of cereals, fruits / vegetables, proteins and fats”, she added.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Ali Hussain – a 14 year old with 110 year old body

The fourteen year old boy from Bihar suffers from the rare disorder which causes rapid ageing

A boy born with the appearance and physical maladies of an old man – the story sounds familiar. After all most of us have seen `The curious case of Benjamin Button`, a film in 2008 which is loosely based on F Scott Fitzgerald`s 1922 short story of the same name, said to be one of the earliest literary pieces to have highlighted progeria, an extremely rare genetic disease characterized by rapid ageing.
The condition was highlighted by R Balakrishnan in the 2009 Bollywood film `Paa` with Amitabh Bachchan as the lead protagonist diagnosed with the disorder.

Kids born with this rare genetic disorder have dramatically tougher lives.

Ali Hussain Khan`s story is no different. The fourteen year old teenager from Bihar suffers from the rare disorder which causes rapid ageing and is known to affect just 80 people worldwide.

Ali, whose body ages eight times faster than normal, has seen five of his siblings die from the same genetic condition.

Ali’s parents Nabi Hussain Khan, 50, and Razia, 46, are first cousins and have had eight children in total. Only two of the girls out of eight were born healthy.

Progeria or Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is an extremely rare genetic disease wherein symptoms resembling aspects of ageing are manifested at a very early age. The disorder has a very low incident rate, occurring in an estimated 1 per 8 million live births. Children born with the rare disorder live only till their mid teens and early twenties.

Children with progeria usually develop the first symptoms during their first few months, characterized by changes in skin, abnormal growth and loss of hair. There has been no significant breakthrough in the treatment of this disease or reversing the symptoms of aging.