ETHealthworld Editor Shahid Akhter spoke with Dr. Pratibha Singhi, Head of Pediatric Neurology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad and current President of the International Society of Pediatric Neurology, to discuss the issues related to pediatric neurology and Go ahead.
Pediatric Neurology: Trends
When we started about 30 years ago there was very little pediatric neurology in India. Very few. The number of trained or qualified pediatric neurologists is innumerable, and the majority of pediatric neurology was handled by people with either pediatrician or adult neurology training. So there was little realization that pediatric neurology itself had different kinds of problems that needed different kinds of specialists to deal with. bottom. For example, we can take the example of autism. All of these children were called to be either mentally retarded or speech retarded due to the complete lack of awareness about autism among pediatricians, the public and others. We identified certain features of early diagnosis of autism and asked, “How stable is the diagnosis of autism?” If we start early, we can begin to distinguish the characteristics of these children from those with developmental delays due to other factors. I have conducted very advanced research on how the brain works using
Pediatric Neurology: Challenges
There are many challenges as we are a huge population that is highly diverse both in terms of socio-cultural issues, access to health care and availability of qualified doctors especially in rural areas. There are still very few pediatric neurologists available to deal with that number of patients. And even today, many so-called simple diagnoses are missed. Because there are not enough people qualified to see these children. We have tried to empower communities and doctors with training and modules on epilepsy care, autism care, early disability detection and more. It takes a long time.
Pediatric Neurology: Need to create a referral system and registry
You can’t have pediatric neurologists everywhere, and you don’t really need to have pediatric neurologists in every corner. A general practitioner finds clues that this child has some kind of neurological disorder beyond his or her ability to diagnose, diagnose, or manage, and create awareness of when and where he could find out is needed. refer. If this reference system works well, I think a lot of things can be introduced. Because children can receive their full attention at the district level, higher education level, or super-specialist level, depending on the type of potential problem.
In India, we do not even have this kind of inquiry system or registry yet. So I don’t even know the scope of the problem you’re dealing with. Of course, now there are many studies that have been conducted in multicenter, multiregional, etc., but they are all kind of cluster samples. But we don’t have a real registry of diseases. Until we can do that, we cannot make an accurate estimate of the problem or the resources available to address it.
Pediatric Neurology: Diagnosis, Care, and Advances
As we say, the earlier the diagnosis, the better for the child. During her first three years, the brain has the greatest plasticity, so anything new you teach a child leaves its mark, it persists over time, there are proliferating synaptic connections, and the correct things are learned. increase. by children. Of course, our life has a certain degree of plasticity, but it’s not as much as it was in his first three years. As a result, if something is diagnosed early and early intervention can be initiated, it can be very beneficial for the child. As if it had to be cured with medicine. There are multiple treatments, interventions, and training that can help children at least move forward and improve. It may not be completely cured, but can he live as normal a life as possible, within his possibilities? And with new research in genetics, we may not have a cure today, but a lot of research is being done in resource-rich countries, and gene therapy is finding so many things. What I thought was incurable yesterday is now. Of course, it’s exorbitantly priced, and it may not be available to the general public right now, but there is a possibility that it will spread as the story progresses. There is hope.
Pediatric Neurology: The Future
It’s always nice to look into a crystal ball and be futuristic. I hope that Pediatric Neurology will be recognized as a department. When we first started, the Indian Society had only a few members and no formal training program. All had to be trained abroad to get this. Today, the association has over 500 of her members. We have an institute with a formal fellowship program and a postdoc program, and many more interested people. In fact, the International Society of Pediatric Neurology is proud to have the largest number of members from India. In this way, if that interest is aroused and people take it in a really constructive way, I see a lot of positives five years later.