Min­istry hosts 3rd Kuwait North Amer­i­can Neu­rol­ogy Con­fer­ence

Di­aphragm pac­ing sys­tem saved mil­lions of lives

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By Faten Omar

KUWAIT: The 3rd Kuwait North Amer­i­can Neu­rol­ogy Con­fer­ence (KNANC) was held on Fri­day at the Sher­a­ton Ho­tel in Kuwait City. This is the largest neu­rol­ogy con­fer­ence in the Mid­dle East and was held un­der the pa­tron­age of for­mer min­is­ter of health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi.

“We have brought ex­pert neu­rol­o­gists from Canada and the US to share their lat­est knowl­edge and in­for­ma­tion about neu­ro­log­i­cal di­ag­noses and treat­ments,” Chair­man of the Neu­rol­ogy De­part­ment at Ibn Sina Hos­pi­tal Dr Jassem Al-Hashel said. He noted that the KNANC pro­gram of­fered im­pres­sive lec­tures in dif­fer­ent fields of neu­rol­ogy. The pro­gram is de­signed to cover the most com­mon neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems faced in daily prac­tice. It is an ex­ten­sive course held over three days.

Hashel noted that over 1,000 doc­tors have reg­is­tered. “It is the big­gest regis­tra­tion we have achieved so far. Be­cause of the rep­u­ta­tion of the con­fer­ence, doc­tors are ap­ply­ing from all over the world. Kuwait is be­ing no­ticed.” Hashel added many doc­tors ap­plied to be speak­ers at the con­fer­ence, but they could not ac­cept them be­cause of visa is­sues. “The chal­lenge that we face is get­ting visas for peo­ple. If we didn’t have this prob­lem, the at­ten­dance would be dou­ble. We can­not get peo­ple from Syria, Iraq, Ye­men, etc that are known for their large num­ber of neu­rol­o­gists. But the at­ten­dance is good - more than 400 peo­ple at­tended the con­fer­ence on Fri­day morn­ing.”

Sav­ing lives

Hashel pointed out that the Cen­tral Cir­cle Com­pany has saved mil­lions by pro­vid­ing the di­aphragm pac­ing sys­tem, one of the most ex­tra­or­di­nary med­i­cal de­vices avail­able to amy­otrophic lat­eral sclero­sis (ALS) pa­tients. It is FDA-ap­proved and avail­able from Synapse Bio­med­i­cal. “More than 24 de­vices have saved pa­tients and saved the money that they would’ve paid out­side Kuwait for treat­ment,” he said.

About the di­aphragm pac­ing sys­tem, Raymond On­ders, Re­men Chair in Sur­gi­cal In­no­va­tion at Univer­sity Hos­pi­tals, added: “The di­aphragm pac­ing sys­tem helps peo­ple who have both ALS and breath­ing prob­lems. A pa­tient’s di­aphragm must show its abil­ity to re­spond to stim­u­la­tion. It will help ALS pa­tients breathe longer without the aid of a ven­ti­la­tor.”

The de­vice is im­planted us­ing a de­vice with a camera at the end of it (la­paro­scope) in an out­pa­tient pro­ce­dure. The sys­tem con­sists of four elec­trodes that are im­planted in the breath­ing mus­cle (di­aphragm), a fifth elec­trode that is im­planted un­der the skin, an elec­trode con­nec­tor which groups the five elec­trodes ex­it­ing the skin into a socket, a holder to hold the elec­trode con­nec­tor in place on the skin, and a bat­tery-pow­ered stim­u­la­tor box (an ex­ter­nal pulse gen­er­a­tor - EPG).

The stim­u­la­tor box sends elec­tri­cal sig­nals to the di­aphragm re­plac­ing the sig­nals nor­mally sent by the brain along the nerves. The sig­nals cause the di­aphragm to con­tract, which helps to con­di­tion and ex­er­cise the mus­cle. The physi­cian ad­justs the EPG set­tings to match the pa­tient’s nor­mal breath­ing pat­tern. The pa­tient con­trols the EPG by turn­ing it on and off by press­ing two but­tons in front of the EPG.

The KNANC event be­gan in 2012, and is held ev­ery two years. The or­ga­niz­ers have worked dili­gently to im­prove the event to bring it to an international stan­dard. The three days of the con­fer­ence will pro­vide a great learn­ing and net­work­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with world-renowned ex­perts in the field of neu­rol­ogy.

— Pho­tos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Dr Ziad Al-Alyan, Gen­eral Man­ager of Cen­tral Cir­cle Com­pany (sec­ond from left) is pic­tured with other Cen­tral Cir­cle Com­pany staff.

A gen­eral view of the au­di­ence.

Chair­man of the Neu­rol­ogy De­part­ment at Ibn Sina Hos­pi­tal Dr Jassem Al-Hashel vis­its Cen­tral Cir­cle Com­pany’s booth.

Raymond On­ders, Re­men Chair in Sur­gi­cal In­no­va­tion at Univer­sity Hos­pi­tals (left) shows off the di­aphragm pac­ing sys­tem.

The di­aphragm pac­ing sys­tem.

Chair­man of the Neu­rol­ogy De­part­ment at Ibn Sina Hos­pi­tal Dr Jassem Al-Hashel speaks to Kuwait Times.

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