Sunday, July 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


New research full of promise for palsy-hit kids
Tripti Nath

Lasik in the new millennium.
Lasik in the new millennium.

A recent research on spastic cerebral palsy has established BOTOX therapy as one of the most effective ways of fighting the crippling disease, especially in children. What more, the therapy is not accompanied by any side effects.

Making his findings public after a study spanning three years, Dr G. P. Dureja, Head of the Pain Clinic at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, has reported that the goals of treatment for paediatric spasticity due to cerebral palsy are to maximise function and mininise rigidity in muscles besides managing secondary problems. Botulinum toxin treatment will benefit that cerebral palsy child, who has an abnormal muscle tone interfering with function or who runs the risk of developing rigidity in muscles. Muscular function can be enhanced by altering this muscle tone. Dr Dureja treated over 250 children suffering from mild to moderate cerebral palsy during the duration of the study. They identified wonder molecule, which provides hope is Botulinum toxin-A, a complex protein produced by Clostridium botulinum.

Botox acts as a nerve 'blocker' by binding itself to the nerves, which lead to the muscle. It prevents the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter from the nerve. This neurotransmitter may be perceived as the brain's messenger to the muscles. The brain signals carried by it activate the muscle contractions. If this message is blocked, muscle spasms are significantly reduced or eliminated. Elaborating on the findings of his research, Dr Dureja said, "I have also combined other conventional forms of treatment as physiotherapy, short and serial casting orthoses, which have shown positive ad improved results in varying degrees when administered with Botulinum toxin. The best results are seen in children if the therapy is administered when they are only three or four year old. In such cases, botulinum has the potential to have long-term and even permanent benefits.''

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disease, which may also cripple the lower limbs in most patients. It is generally caused by an injury to the brain either before, during or after birth. In many cases, the causes of brain injury cannot be ascertained. The degree and nature of handicap, which results from this injury, is variable as is the likelihood of accompanying intellectual impairment but one of the cardinal signs of cerebral palsy is spasticity. Afflicted children have difficulty grasping objects and crawling. If not treated in time, spastic children may over a period of time turn into handicapped dependents for the rest of their lives. Although, cerebral palsy is permanent, it is important to minimise the effects of spasticity and maximise the potential of children with cerebral palsy. Botox injections may allow surgery to be delayed until the child is old enough to undergo an operation. Doctors try to avoid an operation in children of such tender age due to the high probability of unpredictable complications. Once considered only as a food poisoning agent, botulinum has recently been studied the world over for its medical benefits. Botox therapy is used for treating other conditions characterised by excessive muscle contraction as increased involuntary blinking of the eyes (blepharospasm), hemifacial spasm (uncontrolled facial spasm of one side of the face) and for cosmetic treatment of facial wrinkles and expression lines.

Treatise & CDs

The President of India, Mr K.R. Narayanan, has congratulated Dr P.K. Chaubey, Chairman of the Department of Minimal Access Surgery and Allied Surgical Specialities, Sir Gangaram Hospital and the core group of surgeons on formulating guidelines on minimal access surgery.

While releasing the treatise and a set of 12 CDs on minimal access surgery basic and advanced procedures at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday, the President complimented the surgeons for the development of minimal access surgery in India.

IMA writes to Sinha

The Indian Medical Association has expressed its desire to hold a function to felicitate cine star Shatrughan Sinha, who assumed charge as Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare early this month.

In a letter to the Union Health Minister, the IMA Secretary General, Dr Sanjiv Malik, has conveyed the Association’s desire to organise a function at IMA headquarters here. “We would like to use this opportunity of briefing you about IMA’s viewpoint on the healthcare infrastructure of the country and suggestions

for IMA’s participation in the healthcare delivery system, “the letter reads. The IMA has also requested Mr Sinha to launch a distant learning programme on tuberculosis and chest diseases developed by its academic wing, IMA AKN Sinha Institute of Continuing Medical & Health Education & Research. Developed with cooperation and grant from the Ministry of Health (Central TB Division), the programme is meant for family physicians and practitioners.

Escorts heat institute

The 13-year-old Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre (EHIRC) in Okhla is in the process of executing expansion plans to cater to more patients. After setting up a hospital dedicated to cardiac care in Kanpur four months back, EHIRC is all set to increase its bed capacity.

A five-storey building adjoining the institute is nearing completion. Once completed, the institute’s bed capacity will increase from 250 to 350. In the last two years, the EHIRC promoted by the Escorts Group has started focussing on Paediatric Cardiac Care. The institute recently announced joint ventures with two Noida-based hospitals, Bhardwaj Hospital, Sector 29 and Noida Medicare Centre.

Under this arrangement, the joint venture partner provides the infrastructure and the institute provides technical and clinical staff and manages the cardiac cell. Other joint venture locations are in Gurgaon and Jodhpur. It also plan to set-up a hospital in Amritsar. Cardiac care is the core business of EHIRC. It runs community outreach programmes in States in East, West and Central India. It offers a wide range of services including preventive programmes, cardiac diagnostic programmes minimal invasive surgery and cardiac by pass.

For sweet lovers

Sweet lovers need no longer resist their craving for sweets. Dr Morepan's Y. Sugar from Morepen Laboratories Limited is a new Aspartame based low calorie sweetener. A substitute for sugar, Y. Sugar is available in drug and departmental stores in card packs of 50 tablets for Rs 25. Aspartame provides the sweet taste of sugar without leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. It contributes to natural metabolism. It is about 200 times sweeter than sucrose but has only one- tenth the calories of a teaspoon of sugar.

For eye malformation

Bharti Eye Hospital in East Patel Nagar claims to be the first in Delhi to acquire a state-of-the-art C-LASIK machine EC-5000 CX and Aberrometer OPD-Scan by Nidek Japan. The Customised Lasik or C-LASIK promises to take care of a majority of problems being faced by patients who opted for LASIK procedure for correction of all types of spectacle powers. Reports suggest that those who opt for C-LASIK procedure get better sight than individuals with normal sight.

The procedure is also useful in correcting eye abnormalities or aberrations caused by corneal scarring or corneal transplants. The customised ablation will also help those who are not satisfied with the vision correction from LASIK.

LASIK or Laser-in-situ-Keratomilleusis can correct minus and plus powers including spherical and cylindrical powers with great accuracy.

Oral care for kids

Catching them young in a bid to develop their brand loyalty, Oral- B Laboratories of the Gillette Company has started a special offer for children in the age group (4 to 12 years). With every Oral-B Junior toothbrush priced at Rs 20, a child now gets a mint flavoured 18g Oral-B Disney toothpaste. The pack has attractive designs of popular Diney charcateras as Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Minnie in a water theme. According to Mr S. Mannivanan, Regional Business Manager, Oral-B, "Oral-B always strives to provide innovative, professionally endorsed products, which meet the needs of consumers throughout their lives. The new Junior promotion is aimed at generating trials for the Oral-B Disney toothpaste.''

The Oral-B Junior toothbrush is the only brush for children with Disney characters and has been designed to encourage children to brush longer and more frequently.

The Oral-B Disney toothpaste has low fluoride content. A 100 gm tube is priced at Rs 35. Products for children have long been an important part of the Oral-B product portfolio.



A home for psychiatric patients after hospital
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, July 20
For those patients who are left behind for treatment in mental asylums, going home is not always an eventuality. There are many who are left behind by the families for good.

To cater to these patients who are neither required to stay back for treatment nor welcome at their homes, a 20-bed Quarter Way Home was today inaugurated at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) by Delhi High Court Judge Devender Gupta.

India has about 10 million patients suffering from severe psychiatric illnesses, who need active psychiatric treatment, said Mr S. P. Aggarwal, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare to the Delhi Government, at the inauguration of the home.

The Quarter Way Home (QWH) has been inaugurated with an objective to provide an abode to patients ready to be discharged, but having no home to go back to. It has been set up as per the directions of the Supreme Court. The concept is to introduce a step midway between the discharge of patients from the hospital to their rehabilitation in the halfway homes.

The QWH facility has been so designed that the inmates get a homely feel. There are well-furnished bedrooms, reading rooms, drawing and dining rooms, with facilities for recreation like a radio, television and indoor games.

Inaugurating the QWH, Mr Justice Devender Gupta stressed on the need for setting up such homes for improved psychiatric patients having no family support. He also suggested that NGOs should come forward with home facilities for the benefit of such patients.

Mr Justice Gupta said that with increasing urbanisation and shrinking of joint families, the lifestyle of people was undergoing rapid changes, resulting in decreasing facilities to take care of the mentally ill patients.

The need for such homes where the people can be extended comfort and help was therefore paramount. Commending the steps taken by the Supreme Court, Mr Aggarwal suggested that such homely environment should also be provided to other such patients who were still in the hospital.

He advised that the manpower of these cured and fit for discharge patients might also be utilised in hospital services. Speaking on the occasion, Prof P. N. Tondon, neurosurgeon, AIIMS, emphasised on the role of family in the rehabilitation of psychiatric patients. He pointed out that the prognosis of patients with schizophrenia had been found better in developing countries like India than in western countries.

He added that psychiatric disorder would be the fourth commonest cause of illness of human beings and India would be a major sufferer due to its huge population.

The IHBAS Director, Mr D. K. Srivastava, pointed out that 27 patients had been staying at the institute for more than 10 years and 49 patients for more than a year because they had no one to take them back.

He added that the 20-bed QWH would be utilised for the existing patients and stressed on the need that the Social Welfare Department sets up more halfway homes to cater to such patients.



Chand Roop eyes Dronacharya Award
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, July 20
Badminton legend Prakash Padukone’s appointment as the chairman of the Arjuna and Dronacharya Awards Selection Committee has kindled hopes in many a talented sportsperson and coach, who have toiled hard to bring laurels to the country, of justice being done, for once, in the selection of the awardees.

Captain Chand Roop, a legendary wrestling coach, who has been staking claim for the Dronacharya Award for the past several years, is hopeful that justice will be done to him at last, this time around.

Captain Chand Roop’s credentials are impeccable. He has produced a number of Olympians, other international and national-level wrestlers, from his famed Chand Roop akhara in Delhi. Ombeer Singh (Asian Games and Asian Championship silver medallist, Olympian, six-time national champion, gold medallist in the Commonwealth Games), Ashok Kumar (two gold and as many silver medals in the Commonwealth Games, two times Asian Games participant and winner of medals in other international meets) and Rohtash Singh Dahiya (fifth in the Los Angeles Olympics, two gold medals in the SAF Games and a bronze in the Asian Championship), are some of his most famous products. Olympian Dharambeer, Bharat Kesari and Commonwealth silver medallist Netra Pal, Bharat Kesari and Bharat Kumar Vijay Kumar, Hind Kesari Krishan Kumar, Hind Kesari Sonu and Junior Asian Championship bronze medallist Sanjay are some of the other notable grapplers to have come out of the Chand Roop akhara.

Despite his stellar achievements, Captain Chand Roop’s claim for the Dronacharya Award had been overlooked by the powers that be all these years.

But now, his famous disciples have come out in the open to plead the case of their “Guru”. “Captain Chand Roop is the only deserving candidate not to have received the Dronacharya Award”, lamented his famed disciples Ombeer Singh, Ashok Kumar and Rohtash Singh Dahiya in a joint statement.

“In the past, his claim for the Dronacharya Award had been overlooked by the awards committee. Now the time has come for him to be bestowed with the Dronacharya Award”, observed Chand Roop’s trainees.

These well-known wrestlers hope that with the likes of Prakash Padukone and P. T. Usha comprising the Arjuna and Dronacharya Award Selection Committee this time, justice will be done to genuine sportspersons and coaches like Chand Roop.

The 72-year-old Chand Roop is a former national and Services champion and was also the coach of the Services wrestling team from 1966 to 1976. After retiring from Services, Chand Roop, a diploma holder in coaching from NIS Patiala, established an akhara at New Subzi Mandi, Azadpur, where he has been training, on an average, over 300 wrestlers every year.

Three of his trainees have won the coveted Arjuna Award. Now, it’s the turn of the Guru to stake his claim for an award.



National Stadium to lose b’ball courts
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, July 20
With the Delhi Bar Council all set to reclaim 2.4 acres of land presently in the occupation of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) at the National Stadium, five well-maintained basketball courts will soon vanish from the sports map of the stadium.

The basketball courts were relocated at the present site in 1983, when the demand to create more space for the cricket trainees mounted, as the cricket-coaching centre had only a few “nets”, and not much space for fielding and catching practice.

Mr Buta Singh, who was then the Union Sports Minister, took personal interest to relocate the basketball and volleyball courts as well as the gymnastic ring, to create more space for the cricket coaching centre. The SAI spent approximately Rs 30 lakh to build the new basketball courts, and ever since, the courts have produced many national and international players. National basketball coach Chand Sooriya, who is also the chief basketball coach of the SAI, took a lot of interest to keep the basketball courts in excellent condition, with considerable care and effort. But all these will be consigned to history after July 24, when the Bar Council will take possession of the area to build a parking lot.

There are five full-fledged basketball courts at the present site, embellished with the latest teaching aids, making it as one of the best basketball centres in the country. Many national level tournaments and coaching camps have been conducted on these courts.

Unfortunately, the SAI has done nothing to relocate the courts even when it became clear that the 2.4 acres of land, belonging to the Delhi High Court, would have to be returned to its original owners.

The players and their parents, and the half-a-dozen dedicated basketball coaches, are a worried lot that they would be without a “home of their own”, come July 24. They have appealed to the SAI to relocate the courts to elsewhere in the stadium complex, so that basketball is not erased from the map of the National Stadium.


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