Advanced lab offers hope for epilepsy patients at Nimhans

Institute gets Rs 25-cr magnetic electroencephalogram diagnostic device
Last Updated 01 August 2015, 20:20 IST

 The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans) got a Magnetic Electroencephalogram, a diagnostic device to help identify neurology problems of the patients with great detail. This is only the second of its kind in the country after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

The Magnetic Electroencephalography Centre in the Neurology department of Nimhans is functional for a few months now and was due to be inaugurated during President Pranab Mukerjee’s visit last week.

However, it did not take place due to the demise of former president, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.

Dr Uma Maheshwar Rao, director-in-charge, Nimhans said that in cases where an epilepsy patient does not respond to treatment, this could be used to identify the exact problem area. “In case of an epilepsy patient, abnormal electrical activity in the brain is noticed. With this device, more focus could be drawn on the electrical activity,” he added.
The equipment was procured by the Hospital, with government assistance, at a cost of Rs 25 crores.

The procedure takes close to four hours for each patient and on an average two to three patients are examined in a day, Dr Rao said adding that nearly one-third of the cases seen at the hospital are neurology patients.

The cost of diagnosis with the Magnetic-Electro Encephalography, which is more advanced compared to the usual Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), is close to Rs 12,000. However it is offered free of cost to patients from the below poverty line family and is also covered under the chief minister’s relief fund.

Smooth functioning

Dr Uma Maheshwar Rao said that he will not take any action nor take a call on the orders issued by former director-in-charge Dr Nithyananda Pradhan.

Speaking about the recent controversies at the premier national institute, Rao added, “My focus would be on the smooth functioning of the Nimhans. I do not want to act on or against those letters. I have received no representation from the staff in this regard nor has there been any communication with the joint secretary of the ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this regard.”

(Published 01 August 2015, 20:20 IST)

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