Dignitaries at the event organised by Rela Hospital on April 10, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) is working on an indigenous prototype of deep brain stimulation (DBS), a pinhole surgery method to place an implant to control conditions of Parkinson’s disease (PD), an under-diagnosed disorder in India, said doctors of the Rela Hospital in Chromepet on Wednesday, April 10, at the inauguration of the Movement Disorder and DBS Troubleshooting Clinic. They said DBS was a modifiable and reversible procedure with a physical remote to help customise the implant according to the patient’s condition.

The doctors said the DBS procedure was not complicated and costs around ₹10 lakh to ₹20 lakh as the equipment was only available in western countries and the implant cost was not covered by the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS). IIT-M is developing an indigenous prototype to make this therapy accessible to everyone, but the design may take five to 10 years to complete owing to elaborate safety procedures, they added.

Tambaram Deputy Police Commissioner A. Pavan Kumar Reddy, the chief guest at the function, requested doctors working with the Tamil Nadu Police Department to spread awareness about the disorder among police personnel.

Mohamed Rela, Rela Hospital’s Chairman and Managing Director, said although there was no permanent cure for PD, advanced medical intervention could help patients lead a normal life.

Over 350 people in the second stage of PD’s have benefitted from the DBS procedure in the city, according to Shankar Balakrishnan, clinical lead of the Department of Intervention Neurology. He added that regular physical therapy and exercise, along with a healthy diet, could strengthen muscles and improve balance, flexibility, and coordination.

A special yoga session was held for 100 PD-affected patients and their family members ahead of World Parkinson’s Day, which falls on April 11. The yoga sessions have been integrated into the regular treatment at the clinic for PD-affected patients, Dr. Rela said.

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