February 17, 2010
School of Medicine, Kochi
A new Centre for Epilepsy and Sleep Medicine was inaugurated at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin on February 11. This center will offer comprehensive care to patients with epilepsy and sleep disorders.
Prof. Solomon Moshe, the President of the International League Against Epilepsy was at Amrita for the inauguration. The League has launched several awareness and research programs in different parts of the world.
“I am here to explore the possibility of setting up such programs in Kerala,” he stated. Although impressed with the progress Kerala had achieved in universal health care and education, he said he was disturbed by the lack of facilities for managing children with epilepsy and learning problems.
“Very few centers in India have the expertise to manage epileptic children. One of the thrust areas of the Amrita center will be in the management of complex childhood epilepsy cases.”
“Regular interactions between the treating physician, teachers and parents will be very helpful for these children to achieve their full potential,” he added. Prof. Moshe should know. As Head of the Department of Pediatric Neurology at the Einstein College of Medicine, New York, he has trained over two hundred clinicians and scientists from around the world.
“Comprehensive and holistic care is really the need of the hour for a patient with epilepsy,” he underlined. “A majority of the people with epilepsy lead a normal life. However, many of them require comprehensive care including proper education and psychosocial support, in addition to the standard medications.”
“A healthy life style and proper sleep hygiene is essential for people with epilepsy. Surgical treatment may be helpful for those not responding to medical therapy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions and myths surrounding this disease, even in the West. As a result of the social stigma, successful integration of these people into the society at large, becomes difficult.”
The Amrita center will begin offering epilepsy services such as facilities for prolonged video EEG, pre-surgical evaluation and surgical management, in addition to regular medical management of patients with epilepsy. It will be supported by neuro-imaging services having the most current structural and functional imaging modalities such as high resolution MRI, SPECT and PET.
The sleep center will treat sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and parasomnias. It will offer polysomnography, multiple sleep latency tests for excessive daytime sleepiness and CPAP for sleep apneas. Comprehensive sleep care will be provided with support from Departments of Pulmonology, ENT, Facio-Maxillary Surgery, Endocrinology, Gastro Intestinal Surgery and General Medicine, all under one roof.
The inauguration of the center coincided with the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Neurosciences Centre at Amrita. Our hope is that this new center will adequately fill a long-felt gap and serve the nation.