India witnessing stroke epidemic: Experts

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rishikesh (Uttarakhand): India is witnessing stroke epidemic, said the experts adding the coexisting cardiac illness, diabetes, smoking, sedentary habits and changes in life style of modern India predisposes Indians for stroke.

Release of souvenir by Aziz Qureshi, Governor, Uttarakhand

Release of souvenir by Aziz Qureshi, Governor, Uttarakhand

The scenario in Uttarakhand is still bleaker due to the high incidence of hypertension in hills, also alcoholism and smoking are prevalent in hills and these factors increase the risk of stroke, according to medical experts who were speaking at a CME (continuing medical education) on Acute Ischemic Stroke organised jointly by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh and the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) here on January 10.

The CME aimed to generate awareness amongst clinicians and the public about stroke and make people consider it as ‘brain attack’ very similar to ‘heart attack’ which is similarly life threatening and crippling. It also aimed to reorient the medical professionals to join hands and fight against the disabling disease of stroke even if it recovers.

Dr Raj Kumar, neurosurgeon, AIIMS Rishikesh

Dr Raj Kumar, neurosurgeon, AIIMS Rishikesh

Dr Raj Kumar, director, AIIMS Rishikesh, highlighted the importance of better awareness of stroke among clinicians and general public as it is the second most common cause of death beyond 60 years.

He advocated the need for a focused programme for fighting stroke and also hoped that such CMEs would ultimately create enough awareness and prevent the gnawing away of the productive manpower due to consequences of stroke.

Dr Kumar also deliberated on the role of surgical revascularization by different modes in order to prevent future stokes.

Dr U K Mishra, neurologist, SGPGI, Lucknow

Dr U K Mishra, neurologist, SGPGI, Lucknow

Dr U K Mishra, professor and head, department of neurology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI), Lucknow, talked about transient ischemic stroke, its diagnosis and management.

“Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a common harbinger of disabling stroke. It is defined as spell of neurological impairment produced by ischemia in brain,” he said and stressed on its prompt diagnosis and management.

Dr Padma Srivastava, neurologist, AIIMS, New Delhi

Dr Padma Srivastava, neurologist, AIIMS, New Delhi

Dr Padma Srivastava, professor, department of neurology, AIIMS, New Delhi, talked about the classification, etiology of stroke and stroke subtypes. She not only elaborated the diagnosis with recognition of stroke subtypes but also spoke about the latest treatment modalities and stroke prevention strategies.

Dr Chitra Sarkar, neuro pathologist, AIIMS, New Delhi

Dr Chitra Sarkar, neuro pathologist, AIIMS, New Delhi

Dr Chitra Sarkar, professor, department of pathology, AIIMS, New Delhi, emphasized that the incidence of stroke in young (below 40 years age) is high (13-32%) in India as compared to western countries. She elaborated on pathological basis of this disease, which is on rise in India.

Dr Sanjay Wadhwa, professor, department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, AIIMS, New Delhi, talked about rehabilitation after stroke.

He emphasized that rehabilitation actually starts in the hospital as soon as possible after the stroke and should be continued as necessary after release from the hospital.

Dr Ravikant, assistant professor, department of medicine, AIIMS Rishikesh, gave a talk on ‘Dying Brain in Acute stroke’.

The CME also witnessed the participation of Dr Latika Mohan, dean and Dr Ashok Kumar, medical superintendent of AIIMS Rishikesh and Dr Sumit Sinha, additional professor, department of neurosurgery, AIIMS New Delhi.

Dr Manu Malhotra, Dr Kumar Satish Ravi, Dr Jaya Chaturvedi, Dr Saurabh Varshney, Dr Shobha Arora, Dr Surekha Kishore, Dr Pratima Gupta and other faculty members and delegates from neighbouring medical colleges also attended the scientific deliberations.

Aziz Qureshi, Governor, Uttarakhand, congratulated Dr Raj Kumar for steering the nascent AIIMS Rishikesh towards success. He said Professor Raj Kumar brings honours to Uttarakhand and hoped that in the coming days he would continue to do so through his personal and institutional efforts.

AIIMS Rishikesh has been imparting undergraduate medical education since September 2012 and has been running OPD since May 23 and a 150-bed hospital since December 30.

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