Saturday, 29 October 2011

Medical device that helps doctors to monitor and treat nerve damage or neuropathy in diabetes patients

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  In a major technological breakthrough that could
prevent amputation of legs in diabetics, a city doctor has
successfully patented a medical device that helps doctors to monitor
and treat nerve damage or neuropathy in patients.

At present there's no perfect medical device that could tell doctors
the quantum of nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) in the feet of
diabetics.
Though glucometers tell the sugar levels in the blood, they do not
inform physicians about the damage diabetes has caused to nerves. It
is the damage to the nerves that causes diabetic sores, gangrene, or
diabetic foot, which may ultimately result in amputation.

Senior chronobiologist Dr C Jairaj Kumar, who is currently a visiting
faculty in Ludwig-Maximilians University, Germany, developed the
medical device based on "chaos science". Dr Jairaj's technology was
one of the seven indigenous technologies selected by the Central
government for presentation before US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton in New Delhi earlier this week.

"As high salt content in water corrodes water pipes, high glucose
levels in the blood damage the blood vessels. The first to be affected
are small blood vessels. Medium and large blood vessels are affected
gradually. The damage to small blood vessels impacts the eyes and
feet, while damage to medium size blood vessels hurts kidneys and
heart. In case of heart it even causes myocardial infarction. Our
device helps in knowing the extent of damage caused to such nerves.
The problem can be treated at initial stages, preventing amputation in
case of diabetic foot, and death in case of heart muscle damage," Dr
Jairaj said.

The device works on the concept of chaos science and neuropathy. It
measures the progression of diabetic neuropathy and predicts foot
ulcer development. "It is a novel concept based on the theory of
chaotic movement of the foci in the sole of the foot," he added.

All that a diabetes patient has to do is to stand on the device for a
few minutes. The report is generated within five minutes. The
equipment studies the feet of the patient in detail and identify areas
which are prone to ulcers. It will pinpoint high risk ulcer prone
zones in the feet, thus allowing the doctor to take preventive
measures. Nerve damage as less as seven per cent can be found out
through this device.

Dr Jairaj said every year about 25 per cent of diabetics develop
ulcer-related complications. Of them 50 per cent become infected and
20 per cent of those require amputation. "Regular screening enables a
physician to assess and benchmark progression of neuropathy, then
initiate preventative measures to proactively prevent formation of
foot ulcers, gangrene development or amputation," he said.

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