Ministry hosts 3rd Kuwait North American Neurology Conference
Diaphragm pacing system saved millions of lives
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.”
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.
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.