C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Talk on multiple sclerosis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
“An unpredictable disease of the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis (MS) can range from relatively benign to somewhat disabling to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. MS is believed to be an auto-immune disease — one in which the body, through its immune system, launches a defensive attack against its own tissues.”

This was stated by Prof S. Prabhakar, Head, Department of Neurology, PGI, during a talk held as part of the ongoing Brain Awareness Week-2006 at the new OPD at the PGI complex here on Thursday.

Stating that most people experience the first symptoms of MS in the age of 20 to years 40, Prof Prabhakar said the first indication came by way of blurred or double vision, red-green colour distortion, or even blindness in one eye.

“Most MS patients experience muscle weakness in their extremities and difficulty with coordination and balance. These symptoms may be severe enough to impair walking or even standing. In the worst cases, MS can produce partial or complete paralysis,” he added.

Dr Dheeraj Khurana, Associate Professor in the same department, said approximately half of all people with MS experience cognitive impairments such as difficulty with concentration, attention, memory, and poor judgment, but such symptoms are usually mild and are frequently overlooked. Depression is another common feature of MS.

Maintaining that there was no cure for MS, Dr Khurana said, “Many patients do well with no therapy at all, especially since many medications have serious side effects and some carry significant risks.”

Speaking of the latest research findings on MS, Prof Prabhakar explained that one of the most promising MS research areas involved naturally occurring anti-viral proteins known as Interferons.

“Beta Interferon has been shown to reduce the number of exacerbations and may slow the progression of physical disability. When attacks occur, they tend to be shorter and less severe. In addition, there are a number of treatments under investigation that may curtail attacks or improve function,” he maintained.

While agreeing that the cost of Interferon was on the higher side, Prof Prabhakar emphasised that a number of promising therapies were currently being developed for MS patients.



PGI docs get degrees
Ramadoss says bird flu under control
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Speaking on the sidelines of 27th convocation of the PGIMER, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, today said there had been no symptoms of bird flu in any human being so far and there was no reason to panic.

He informed that the flu-hit Jalgaon in Maharashtra was under close observation. As many as 50 teams and 500 volunteers of the Health Department were out in the field to assess the situation regularly.

He said the situation was under control in Jalgaon and there was a good stock of medicines to treat the flu.

Earlier, the convocation took off with the entry of a procession comprising faculty members wearing red robes.

The chief guest, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Vice-President of India, and Dr Ramadoss, escorted by the Director, PGIMER, Prof K.K. Talwar, attired in blue robes, took their seats on the stage.

Attended by former PGI directors, deans and heads of various departments, the convocation proved to be a meeting ground for them, providing them time to catch up with each other and their students who were now themselves well-established doctors at the institute.

Also present on the occasion were the Union Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal, Member of Parliament Parneet Kaur and former Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhinsa, among others.

As many as 195 students were awarded degrees at the convocation. These included 17PhDs, 20 DM (medical super-specialities),15 MCh (surgical super-specialities), 70 MD (medical specialities), 29 MS (surgical specialities), 16 MS and 28 BS degrees.

The convocation was declared open by Mr Shekhawat while Dr Ramadoss, in his capacity of President of the PGIMER, handed over the degrees to the students.

The convocation began with an invocation to Goddess Saraswati and ended with the national anthem.



Medical staff protest against health dept
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, March 18
Medical and para-medical staff today organised a rally at the local Civil Hospital here in protest against the “anti-employee” and “anti-people” policies of the Punjab Health Department.

Addressing the rally, various speakers came down heavily on the government policy of giving the dispensaries on contract. They alleged that the department was “displacing” the employees without any reason.

It was decided to hold a district-level rally at Patiala on March 20.



Training course for tennis coaches concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
All India Tennis Association's one-week-long 'Tennis Coaches' Level-I Course' concluded at the CLTA Tennis Stadium Complex, Sector 10, here today.

As many as 26 coaches from various states of the country namely Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, participated in the course.

The course is a part of an international educational programme promoted by the International Tennis Federation. The rigorous schedule, including theoretical and practical training extending over eight hours a day, was conducted by India's top tutors Kawaljeet Singh and Garry O'Brien.

All candidates, who cleared the course, can become professional coaches in India as well as abroad.

The CLTA Chairman, Mr Rajan Kashyap, was of the view that imparting advance training through such courses to coaches would certainly help in promoting the game in the region.

He also promised to conduct similar courses in future.



HT, Bhaskar win
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Hindustan Times (HT) and Dainik Bhaskar emerged triumphant in their matches against Financial World (FW) and The Indian Express, respectively, to advance to the next stage of the Airtel-Press Club Inter-Media Cricket Tournament being played at DAV Sr Sec School, Sector 8, here today.

For Dainik Bhaskar, Pawan stole the show with his fine unbeaten knock of 55 runs.

Aman (29) and Rajinder (20) of Dainik Bhaskar contributed significantly to achieve the target of 148 set by The Indian Express and won the match by 6 wickets.

Pawan was declared Man of the Match.

In the second match between HT and FW, Subhash of HT restrained the FW on meager 89 in just 14.5 overs by taking five wickets.

HT won the match by six wickets and Subhash was adjudged the Man of the Match.

Brief Scores: 1) The Indian Express 148 all out. Dainik Bhaskar 150 for 4. 2) Financial World 89 all out. Hindustan Times 90 for 2.



Athletics meet from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The Chandigarh State Athletics Competition for veterans will be held tomorrow at Sports Complex, Sector 46, here.

The competition, in which only bonafide residents of Chandigarh can participate, will be organised by Veterans Amateur Athletics Association of Chandigarh.

The competition will be held in following categories: men’s: 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+ and 70+.

Women’s: 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+ and 60+.



Athletics trials on April 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The Chandigarh Masters Athletics Association will conduct trials of the master athletes of Chandigarh in the age group ranging from above 35 to above 70, for both men and women categories, on April 30 at Sports Complex, Sector 46, here.

Interested athletes can send their entries to Sat Parkash Verma, organising secretary of the association.


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