The Telegraph
Monday , May 6 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999

Rare courses in offing for medics

- Experts say neurological diseases treatable but rue lack of specialists

Medical students in the state would no longer have to leave Bihar, as the health department would start doctor of medicine (DM) and master of chirurgical (MCH) courses.

Health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Sunday said his department would try its best to start the DM and MCH (super-specialty) courses from the next year in medical colleges of the state.

He made this announcement at a seminar — Neurology Update — organised jointly by the Bihar chapter of Indian Epilepsy Association and the neurology department of Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS).

Choubey’s announcement assumes significance because at present none of the six medical colleges in the state provide DM and MCH course and students have to go outside Bihar to pursue these courses.

Choubey said neuro-physicians are being recruited at the government medical colleges where there is a vacant post. Choubey added that computer axial tomography (CAT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines would be provided to government hospitals. “We would soon purchase MRI and CAT scan machines for the government hospitals and get them installed. We have floated tenders in this regard. We have also decided to make emergency drugs available at all government hospitals.”

Experts at the seminar talked about neurological disorders like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and others and said the treatment for these disorders is available at the state capital and a few cities only.

The specialists also talked about dearth of neurology experts in Bihar and that neurology related courses should be started at medical colleges.

Dr Madhuri Behari, head of the neurology department, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, talked about Parkinson’s disease.

“Around 1 per cent of the elderly population in our country is suffering from this disease. The initial symptoms of this disease are tremors, slowness and stiffness. In later stages, the person develops problems like inability to smell, constipation and depression. He/she also starts shouting and hit their bed partners. Levodopa is an effective medicine for the disease but doctors avoid using it initially because it also has side-affects. So drugs like Rasagiline and dopamine agonists are given. If the disease has reached advanced stages, deep brain stimulation (a surgery in which a pacemaker is implanted in the brain) is the best option available.”

Dr Amar Kumar Singh, a Patna-based consultant radiologist talked about demyelination, another kind of neurological disorder.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ashok Kumar, head of the neurology department, IGIMS, said most of the neurological disorders are treatable.

Dr Rajesh Verma, a doctor of the neurology department at King George Medical College, Lucknow, elaborated on the neurological complications of dengue fever.

“If a person is suffering from myopathy and neuropathy at the same time and if he/she is also down with fever, the person must get his/her dengue test done,” he said.

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