30 Oct : The International Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy Conference which is being held in the Advanced Pediatric Centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh is the first ever International meet of Pediatric Neurologists to be organized in the city. More than 50 faculty and 250 delegates from 10 countries are participating in this conference. The theme of the conference is “From science to pragmatism”. The day 1 of the conference on the 30th of October 2009 highlighted several topics of importance in this field by a galaxy of speakers of International and National Repute.
The inaugural ceremony of the conference was held at 9 am. The Chief Guest for the inaugural ceremony was the Honourable Speaker of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Sardar Harmohinder Singh Chatha. The Guest of Honour was Prof BNS Walia, the founding father of the Advanced Pediatric Centre. Addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest congratulated the organizers for organizing a much-needed conference. Quoting Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Shri Chatha said: “Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves”. Reminding the galaxy of doctors assembled at the inauguration of their social responsibilities, he said: “As a representative of the people, the problems of the poor and dispossessed are always in front of my eyes. I believe that fast-track progress and development are meaningless if we are unable to include the poor in our scheme of things.” The Chief Organiser, Prof Pratibha Singhi highlighted the scientific content of the conference.
The ball was set rolling by the first plenary talk which was delivered by Prof. Michael Johnston from USA who highlighted the importance of brain protective mechanisms to prevent permanent damage resulting from less oxygen and blood supply to the brain during birth. This talk is of immense importance in a country like India where majority of neurological problems in children is due to birth related issues. The next plenary talk was by Prof Brian Neville from UK who discussed the issues of pediatric epilepsy and a common developmental problem in children, autism. He described the links between the two illnesses and suggested therapies for the same.
This was followed by the symposium on Pediatric epilepsy which was delivered by Prof I. Scheffer, from Australia. She presented her talk on catastrophic epilepsies which start off in infancy. This was followed by the talk on Childhood epileptic syndromes by Prof H Cross, UK. The third talk in the symposia was by Prof. Pratibha Singhi who shared her experiences on the identification and challenges in management of this disorder.
The next symposium highlighted issues on neurogenetic and neurometabolic disorders. Dr Chitra Prasad, Canada gave a broad outline about approach to Neurometabolic disorders and Dr Sameer Zuberi spoke on guidelines which pediatricians and neurologists should follow when performing genetic testing of their patients.
The practice guidelines session included talks on developmental regression by Prof Bhuwan Garg, USA, acute seizures and status epilepticus by Dr Anju Gupta, PGI Chandigarh, approach to a child with poor school performance by Dr G Kumaresan, Chennai, Nonpharmalogical management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and autism by Dr P Malhi, PGI Chandigarh and finally about nonepileptic events by Dr Rekha Mittal, Delhi. Dr Sameer Zuberi, UK, delved on the issues of epilepsy and chromosomal disorders wherein he discussed certain typical epilepsy syndromes where chromosomal assessment is essential and this can help in future genetic counseling of the family.
The second symposium of the day focused upon the peculiarities of Pediatric Stroke in both issues of diagnosis as well as management in comparison to adults. The session was conducted by Dr Vijeya Ganesan, UK and Prof. Bhuwan Garg from USA and they discussed the issues of early diagnosis and the recent guidelines of therapy for this not so rare condition.
The day ended with interactive discussion on interesting cases and videos which were major highlight of the day. Several cases which are seen day to day were presented and interactive discussions were held between the participating doctors regarding management of such cases.