Neuro-Surgical Research is in progress in Toronto, Canada, for producing a ‘Pace Maker’ for Deep Brain Stimulation(DBS), or equivalent for providing continuous electric stimulation to deep brain cells in cases of Motor disorders like Parkinson’s Disease and other psychiatric disorders like Depression or obsessions responding well to Electro-Convulsive Therapy, to reduce the need of giving repeated Shocks externally(which is frightening to many patients), and also of risky drugs. This will set a landmark in Medical Science!

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Can We ‘Make in India’ an Oral, Nonprick Glucometer for Diabetics?(80)

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There is a rising incidence of Diabetes, especially of the Type-2 nature, due to the growing sendentary lifestyle of our generation and of youngsters. The introduction of various technological products like Television, Computer, Laptop and Android phones have turned  many people into addicted ‘Couch Potatoes ‘.Added to it is the younger generation’s craze for Fast Food such as the Pizza, Burger, Pasta etc. In preference over home cooked food, and all the ingredients are present for inducing a gradual weakening of our digestive system and Metabolism, which ultimately breaks out as Diabetes, that is, literally translated condition of ‘Sugar in the Urine’, due to the inability of the Pancreas to produce Insulin, an enzyme required for sugar metabolism, and utilisation of the Insulin the by the tissues. The condition, once developed, rarely gets cured, but can be ‘controlled’ by means of proper, low-calories diet, exercise and anti diabetic medicines, namely Insulin itself, or drugs capable of regulating glucose metabolism, and enhancing the uptake of blood glucose by the tissues, to prevent the blood sugar from teachings levels that can precipitate a number of serious conditions like heart attack, strokes leading to paralysis.

However, as excessive control of the blood sugar levels can lead to a dangerous condition like Hypoglycemia, it is imperative to monitor the blood sugar level to determine the optimum drug and dosage. The standard method of estimating the blood sugar level is by testing the blood taken from a vein in a standard Laboratory, but as that is cumbersome,expensive and time consuming, a gadget named glucometer has been developed by medico surgical production companies, whereby blood taken by a finger prick can be tested for sugar level by use of strips or by other ways; but this gadget, though easy to use and gives quick results, is not very accurate. 

Hence, I wonder whether a glucometer could be produced, which like a thermometer,would inform one of one’s blood sugar level, by using absorbent cotton buds or plugs, at the tip of a tube that can absorb saliva and thereby give an estimate of the blood sugar level by means of strips at the other end, or electronically. It is learned that such efforts are already on, with the help of bio-/nanosensors, but a simple product for personal home use has not yet been possible.

Likewise, it would be welcome if insulin could be administered to patients through sublingual tablets like Sorbitrate, which can immediately get absorbed into the blood stream from the Mouth.

 These improvisations would help a lot , particularly to regulate the blood sugar level of those who avoid or procrastinate timely testing and for fear of the pricks or ‘injections’!

Do those with Facial Disfiguration have to live that way forever? Is it possible to relieve them from the attendant embarrassment and mental agony?(79)

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It is said that ‘Beauty is not just skin deep’, and that ‘Beauty lies in the Eyes of the Beholder’. Both these quotes are true to some extent, so far as persons with no gross         facial defect or disfigurement are concerned. However, they offer no concession or consolation to people who are either born with facial defects or deformation, or whose faces become disfigured due to-                                                                                                                    (1) Disorders of pigmentation like Leucoderma- manifesting as localised hypopigmented patches, viz.Vitiligo, or total hypopigmentaton of the whole body,viz. ‘Albinism ‘. Disorders of pigmentation can also exist in the form of Hyperpigmentation of some parts of the body including the face;                                                                                                              (2)Injuries such as acid attacks or vicious slashes on the face with weapons.                       

Though many of these defects or disfigurements are indeed ‘skin-deep’ in the sense of affecting mainly the skin of the face, some occur as-                                                                                                  (3) Deformation of the facial organs or features too.                                                                                    (4) In some instances, some women are afflicted by hairiness of the face and body.

All these facial cosmetic defects,though not necessarily disabling,nevertheless make the afflicted persons’ life miserable and socially limiting due to their effect of lowering the confidence and self esteem of the affected individuals, as also their chances of marriage.     Of course, as in the case of many tragedies, physical or circumstantial, there are some heart warming instances of such persons being lucky enough to find partners whose eyes and mind have the depth to appreciate and love their ‘Innate Beauty Beneath The Skin’. There is presently, the example of a girl who is a victim of an acid attack, who found the right man who appreciates and loves her for her courage and beauty of her soul than of      her face.Unfortunately, not all afflicted persons are so lucky. It is therefore imperative to devise ways of helping them either by Curative surgical treatment, or Camouflage of the disfiguring patches or parts. 

There is remedy for some of the above problems, as for example,                                                      (1) Cosmetic or plastic surgery, (a) by grafting of normal skin taken from some other part of the body onto the disfigured part of the face, (b) depilatory treatment of the excessively hairy parts of the face or limbs of the concerned women. (2)Restoration of the pigment is possible in some cases of Vitiligo by using melanin producing drugs, available in the form of psoralen skin ointments to be applied to the depigmented patches, or oral medicines, followed by exposure to sunlight

However, Cosmetic surgery does not help, or is not applicable, in all cases such as Leucoderma or Hyperpigmentation of the skin, which tends to recur. Therefore,               other methods like (2) Camouflaging of the discoloured parts of the affected skin can be employed, using Natural coloured, fast holding, slowly fading ‘Skin Dyes’, which act in the same way as Mehndi does on the limbs and hair.                                                                                                          (3)Still another cosmetic aid is the provision of ‘Face Masks’, for covering the defective or disfigured parts of the facial skin, which cannot be dyed properly due to roughness or unevenness of the skin, using nonirritant, absorbent and sufficiently stiff textile or fabric, with the normal face of the person, as it used to be (or could have been), painted with fabric paints or printed, on it. 

Cosmetic manufacturing companies can take up the above projects to advantage,  and achieve the mission of bringing out the men and women with cosmetic problems fro their ‘Well of Loneliness’!