February 5, 2013
School of Medicine, Kochi
A Comprehensive Parkinsonism Clinic and Autonomic Lab Services were inaugurated at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences by Shri V. S. Sivakumar, Honorable State Minister for Health and Family Welfare, on January 22, 2013.
This Clinic is the first such institution in the state of Kerala to offer a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosing, managing and improving the life of patients afflicted with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder, which leads to tremors and results in difficulty with walking, movement and coordination.
“During the initial stages of the disease, only motor symptoms manifest such as tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia, etc. These can be managed effectively to some extent with the help of medications alone. But as the disease progresses, complications appear in the form of dyskinesia, dystonia, freezing and frequent falls. In addition, a plethora of motor symptoms also appear in the form of parasthesia, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, dementia, genitourinary and gastrointestinal problems,” explained Dr. Rani Nair, Professor of the Department of Neurology.
“To manage these symptoms, we require the services of a multidisciplinary team. The advantage is that the already incapacitated patient need not be transferred from one department to another for multiple consultations. Also the members of the team can effective interact and plan necessary interventions required,” she further elaborated.
At the Clinic, the services of various specialists will be available under a single roof. Neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, geriatricians, speech therapists, swallowing therapists, dieticians and medical social workers will work with one another.
Dr. Dilip Panicker, Professor and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery spoke about the role of the neurosurgeon in the management of Parkinson’s disease.
“A small but definite group of patients do benefit from surgical intervention. It is not a curative treatment but in selected patients we can definitely modify the course of the disease and can make them more comfortable. It may even be possible to reduce the medications in some of these patients by surgery.”
Parkinsonism Clinic and Autonomic Lab will function as a part of the Department of Neurology. The Autonomic Lab offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art testing facilities to determine the presence, severity, distribution and localization of the dysfunctions of the autonomic nervous system.
Sampoojya Swami Poornamritananda Puri blessed the inaugural ceremony. Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences; Dr. Prathapan Nair, Principal, Amrita School of Medicine; Dr. Anand Kumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology; Dr. Sanjeev Singh, Senior Medical Superintendent, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences also spoke at the inaugural function.