A Report on 1st Conference of IFNR at Lucknow (8th March – 10th March 2013)

The first National Conference of Indian Federation of Neuro Rehabilitation was held in Lucknow, India form 8th to10th of March’ 2013. The meeting was attended by multidisciplinary participants including Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, Rehab Medicine Specialists, Psychologists, Speech language pathologists, Physical therapists, Occupational therapists, Orthotists, Patients with neurological illness and their family members.

The conference started with a Symposium on “Music Therapy in Neuro Rehabilitation” chaired by Professor S.L. Yadav and Prof. Rajendra Dhamija from New Delhi. The session had three speakers; Dr. Shantala Hegde, Neuropsychologist form NIMHANS Bangalore spoke on role on music in cognitive rehabilitation, Dr Nilu Singh, Basic Scientist from Lucknow, on role of Indian Raga’s on brain function and Dr Citali Lopez , USA gave a brilliant talk on dance interventions in Parkinson’s Disease. This was followed by interactive panel discussion.

Second session had three “Guest Lectures” and was chaired by Dr. Ashok Johari and Dr. Nirmal Surya from Mumbai. Dr R K Srivastava, Ex Director General of Health Services, Govt. of India enlightened the audience regarding government initiatives for neuro rehabilitation in India. Mr. N. S. Srinivasan from Chennai introduced the emerging concept of neuro modulation and Dr. Stephanie Clark, President, World Federation of Neuro Rehabilitation spoke on mechanisms of post-lesional plasticity and recovery following stroke.

The “Inaugural Function” was chaired by Dr. Stephanie Clark, President WFNR and Dr. R. K Srivastava, Ex Director General Health Services, Government of India and other dignitaries on the dias were board of directors, Organizing secretary and President of IFNR. Dr Abhishek Srivastava, Organizing Secretary of the Conference proposed the vote of thanks.

“Symposium on Stroke” was chaired by Dr. Abhishek Srivastava from, Kokilaben Hospital, Mumbai and Dr. Atul Agarwal, Lucknow. Dr. Subhash Kaul, Neurologist, NIMS, Hyderabad introduced Indian scenario on stroke management and the application and limitations of using stroke scales. Dr. Yamini, Speech Pathologist, NIMHANS, Bangalore delivered talk on speech and swallowing rehabilitation, Dr. Dhamija, Neurologist, New Delhi spoke on long term medical complications following stoke, Dr. Navita Purohit, Rehab Medicine Specialist, Mumbai on interventions for post stroke shoulder pain, Dr. Stephanic C Deluca, Occupational Therapist, USA on constraint induced movement therapy in stroke and Dr. Nancy Hylton on orthotic interventions in stroke patients. The lectures were followed by interactive panel discussions including all the speakers and local representatives form neurology, physical and occupational therapist from Lucknow.

“Symposium and Spinal Cord Injury” was chaired by Prof. Alok Sharma, Mumbai and Anupam Gupta, Bangalore. The symposium had four speakers; Prof R. N. Srivastava, Orthopedic Surgeon, KGMC, Lucknow spoke on past, present and future of SCI, Dr. Suresh Sankhla, Neurosurgeon, Mumbai, spoke on impact on early neurosurgical intervention, Prof. Mrinal Joshi, Rehab Medicine Specialist, Jaipur on neurogenic bladder management and Dr. Sunil Agarwal, Mechanical Enginner, University of Columbia, New York, presented work from his lab in developing newer exoskeletons for spinal cord injury patients. The symposium ended with panel discussions involving all the speaker and local representatives from Lucknow.

Second day started with Symposium on “Traumatic Brain Injury” chaired by Dr. Oza from Lucknow and Dr Palande from Mumbai. Prof Turel, Neurosurgeon, Bombay Hospital presented on current scenario of traumatic brian injury management in India, Dr. Anupam Gupta, Rehab Medicine Specialist, NIMHANS, Bangalore outline the principles and factors of rehabilitation following TBI, Dr. Abhishek Srivastava, Rehab Medicine Specialist, Mumbai spoke on rehabilitation of unconscious patients, Dr Supreet Deshpande, Rehab Medicine Specialist, USA on Post TBI agitation management, Prof. Sanjay Bihari, Neurosurgeon, Lucknow on managing complications on traumatic brain injury and Dr. Keshav Kumar, Neuripsychologist, NIMHAS Bangalore delivered important talk on cognitive rehab. The talks were followed by interactive panel discussion.

Dr. Nirmal Surya delivered the presidential oration highlighting the need, formation, future of Indian federation of Neuro Rehabilitation. Prof. Kalyan Bhattacharya from Calcutta gave a very important lecture on Rehabilitation challenges in patient with movement disorders.

Keeping in view the need of early interventions a Separate Session were organized on “Neurorehab in ICU” Chaired by Prof Turel from Mumbai and Prof. Verma from Lucknow. The sessions had four speakers; Dr Vriginia Nelson, Rehab Medicine Specialist, USA spoke on Rehab principles in ICU, Dr Rita Iyenger, Rehab Medicine Specialist, USA on role of Nutrition in ICU patients, Dr Rajesh Pramanik, Rehab Medicine Specialist, Kolkatta on rehab strategies for neurogenic swallowing disorders and Prof Prabhat Ranjan introduced the novel concept of brain computer interface in neurologically impaired patients.

A separate Symposium on “Spasticity” was chaired by Dr. Abhishek Srivastava and Dr. Nirmal Surya from Mumbai. The symposium had eight speakers covering all aspects in evaluation and management of spasticity. Dr Anil Kumar Gupta, Rehab Medicine Specialist, Lucknow, started the session by giving a talk on physiology of spasticity, Dr. Supreet Deshpande, Rehab Medicine Specialist, USA highlighted different scales used to quantify spasticity, Dr. Vimal Paliwal, Neurologist, Lucknow spoke on Medical management, Dr Lynne R Logan, USA introduced the concept of functional electrical stimulation in spasticity management, Dr ShivlalYadav, Rehab Medicine Specialist AIIMS New Delhi spoke on Phenol blocks, Dr NIrmal Surya, Neurologist, Mumbai on Botulinum Toxin, Dr Ajay Gupta from New Delhi outlined the principles of orthopedic management, and Dr Manish Ranjan, NIMHANS Bangalore elaborated on Neuro surgical management of spasticity. The symposium was followed by live hands on workshop on the role of Botulinum Toxin in the management of spasticity.

Third Day of the meeting began with a “Free Paper” Session chaired by Dr Kalyan Bhattacharya and Dr Palande. There were eight free papers covering all aspects of Neurological rehabilitation. Prof. Sunil Agrawal from University of Columbia, New York gave a brilliant lecture on role of robotics in neurorehab. This was followed by the session on role of strength training in neurorehabilitation conducted by Ms. Archana Ranade, Physical Therapist and Ms. Urmila Takalkar, Physical Therapist from Pune.

A separate Symposium was conducted on “Cognitive Rehabilitation” chaired by Dr. Aloke Sharma and Dr. Palande from Mumbai. Prof. C. K. Mukundan, Bangalore spoke on functional organization and neuroplasticity of brain and newer computerized based cognitive retraining modules and Dr. Keshav Kumar, NIMHANS Bangalore discussed on the need and importance of neuropsychological rehab.

The last lecture was taken by Prof. Alok Sharma, Mumbai on current scenario on the role of steam cell in neurorehabilitation and was followed by a healthy debate on its application in clinical practice.

The program ended with the valedictory function.