India’s first schizophrenia surgery successfully performed in Gurugram hospital

The ground-breaking procedure, which has been performed only 13 times globally, marks a remarkable advancement in the psychiatric surgery field

Doctors at Marengo Asia Hospital Gurugram perform India’s first schizophrenia surgery on the 28-year old man

A 28-year-old man from Africa, suffering from schizophrenia from 13 years of age, has become the first person to undergo surgery for schizophrenia in India.

“This is the first surgery performed in India, for schizophrenia, a debilitating mental illness,” said doctors from Marengo Asia Hospitals, Gurugram, in a statement.

The patient, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 15 years, was successfully treated through deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery, which involves the implantation of electrodes into specific areas of the brain. The electrodes then deliver electrical impulses to regulate abnormal brain activity and restore balance.

“The ground-breaking procedure, which has been performed only 13 times globally, marks a remarkable advancement in the psychiatric surgery (psychosurgery) field,” the statement added.

The patient underwent the operation on June 14, and has since shown “remarkable” and “promising outcomes with significant symptom reduction and overall improvement in his condition,” the doctors said.

“The entire procedure took 8-10 hours and the patient was monitored in the ICU overnight. On day 2 postoperatively, he was able to walk and also felt a 50-60 percent improvement in his symptoms. On day 10, he felt an 80 percent reduction in his hallucinations, delusions, and anxiety” said Dr. Himanshu Champaneri, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, at the Hospital, in the statement.

“The target chosen in schizophrenia is called Nucleus Accumbens, which is responsible for the patient’s symptoms like hallucinations and delusions,” he added.

Despite undergoing various medication regimens, the patient had been experiencing persistent hallucinations and delusions among other symptoms of schizophrenia. He had isolated himself in his room for eight years, severely impacting his quality of life, his social life, and his academic growth since he dropped out of school.

The patient’s symptoms of schizophrenia had progressively worsened over the years, manifesting in complete social withdrawal. He became increasingly resistant to the prescribed medicines.

The condition began to significantly impact the patient’s ability to function in daily life. And he became increasingly resistant to the prescribed medicines when his father brought him to India for an enhanced treatment called neuromodulation, the doctors said.

After weighing all the treatment alternatives, the patient was considered for DBS surgery, and in accordance with the Mental Health Act 2017, India, the hospital took approval from the government mental health review board to perform the psychosurgery.

“DBS acts by modulating the abnormal brain networks, so the patients are expected to improve further, with the passage of time. While DBS is primarily known for its application in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, its potential in treating psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, appears promising,” Dr. Champaneri said.

[With Inputs from IANS]

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