This web site aims at educating the public about common diseases of the nervous system (especially neurosurgical), various diagnostic investigations that may be done, medical treatment, surgeries, newer techniques etc. This is not a comprehensive encyclopedia of neurosurgery. The aim is to make the patient feel a little less helpless and ignorant about his / her neurosurgical condition and help face the treatment in a more affirmative manner. The reader could utilize this information and discuss further with his / her specialist doctor for the best option. Dr.Jaydev Panchawagh, who is the main inspiration behind this website, will be happy to extend his opinion about any neurosurgical problem that the visitor or any other person may be facing. Of course, there would be a limitation to opining without seeing the patient physically, and this must be clearly understood.
The human nervous system is made up of millions of cells, supportive tissue and coverings (membranes) to protect the brain and spinal cord. It is one of the most delicate of all body organ-systems; the brain that gives man his 'human nature' and the spine that helps him 'stand tall'! It therefore follows, that diseases of such an intricate system must also be crucial.
In fact, diseases of the brain and spinal cord were thought to be difficult to diagnose and treat till the previous century. The last 50 years, and especially the last twenty, have seen the advent of various types of diagnostic tests and techniques to treat brain pathologies. Brain tumours that were thought to be impossible or too dangerous to remove can now be excised using computerized techniques that help the neurosurgeon even during surgery.
Spine surgeries, both simple and complex, have become common because of modern tools. Surgeries which were once done with long incisions are now being done with either much smaller incisions or done through very small holes using the endoscopes (yes, even in the brain and spine!). Along with these technical improvements, the anatomy and function of structures within the brain and spinal cord are better understood now. For example, not very long ago, we did not even know where our thoughts, emotions or intelligence originated from! Until recently, it was not known that all centres for originating messages to be sent out to various organs in the body are present in the brain. The brain not only stimulates other organs to perform their respective functions, but also co-ordinates all organ-systems, so that they should all work harmoniously to keep the body healthy and fit. The past 50 years has also seen an increasing knowledge of centres in the brain which control thought, emotion, mathematics, foresight, various forms of art, etc.
The public has become more knowledgeable about heart disease, cancer etc. but not as much about disease related to brain and spinal cord. One of the reasons as to why these symptoms are not commonly known is that the symptoms of neurosurgical disorders are frequently far removed from the site of the disease. For example, a person with progressive weakness of the lower limbs may have severe compression of the spinal cord in his neck. Another patient with, say, tumour in the right side of his brain may have weakness in the left hand, a patient with severe facial pain may have compression of a nerve in the basal part of his brain. We all know that a person with pain in the lower limb, also known as sciatica, has a disc prolapsed in the lumbar spine.
It is therefore, one of the main objectives of this site to demystify neurosurgical problems in a manner that the lay person understands. Another equally important objective is to help guide the patients suffering from neurosurgical disorders. If they want an opinion about any condition they are suffering from or want to get treated for neurosurgical disorders, we would be happy to show the right way to choose the most appropriate alternative. The section on the Synapse Brain and Spine Foundation will open up the opportunity for the financially deserving patients to be able to get operated within their budget, in our neurosurgical set-up which is one of the best in India, as well as being state-of –the art neurosurgical centres.