Rehemanullah from Swat Valley, Pakistan, who underwent a deep brain stimulation surgery at Apollo Speciality Hospital, flanked by S.Yogaraj (left), consultant neurologist and R. Ramnarayan, consultant functional neurosurgeon, in Chennai on Thursday. - Photo: R. Ravindran.
Chennai: Parkinsonism is one portion of a whole gamut of movement disorders, and it is important to analyse these disorders, said R.Ramnarayan, consultant functional neurosurgeon, Apollo Speciality Hospitals. “This is why we decided to launch a movement disorder clinic. So that a patient can consult a team of neurologists who are well experienced in movement disorders,” he said. “The most important thing is that this is not a one-man procedure and it always requires teamwork,” he added.
The Apollo Speciality Hospitals' Institute of Neurosciences on Thursday launched Tamil Nadu's First Movement Disorder Clinic in the city. As part of the launch, for a week, starting September 19, free consultation and screening will be provided in Apollo Hospital on Greams Road and the Apollo Speciality Hospital in Teynampet.
Side - Effects:
Treatment of movement disorders like Parkinson's is done predominantly by using special drugs but many patients develop side-effects, especially after 5 to 6 years of treatment, said S. Yogaraj, consultant neurologist, Apollo Speciality Hospitals. “Such patients benefit from surgical procedures,” he said. The surgical treatment offered is sub-thalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS), he added.
Citing the case of 62-year-old Rehemanullah from Swat Valley, Pakistan, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's over 15 years ago, Dr. Ramnarayan explained the DBS surgery. “Before the surgery, the ability to sit in attention was difficult for the patient. He could not walk more than a few steps,” he said. DBS is a complex procedure which involves inserting an electrode into the STN done under local anaesthesia. To reach the STN, a very small hole is made in the brain, and the surgery is very demanding, said Dr. Ramnarayan. “High frequency stimulation of the STN alleviates symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The advantage of this system is that it is a patient-controlled system,” he said.
This is a minimally-invasive surgery which has multiple checks and counterchecks to reduce error to almost zero, say doctors.