Chaos science: Novel device to detect damage to nerves in diabetic neuropathy
By Syed Akbar Hyderabad, July 21: In a major technological breakthrough that could prevent amputationof legs in diabetics, a city doctor has successfully patented a medical device that helps doctors tomonitor and treat nerve damage or neuropathy in patients. At present there's no perfect medical device that could tell doctors the quantum of nervedamage (diabetic neuropathy) in the feet of diabetics.Though glucometers tell the sugar levels in the blood, they do not inform physiciansabout the damage diabetes has caused to nerves. It is the damage to the nerves that causes diabetic sores,gangrene, or diabeticfoot, which may ultimately result in amputation. Senior chronobiologist Dr C Jairaj Kumar, who is currently a visiting faculty inLudwig-Maximilians University, Germany, developed the medical device based on "chaos science". Dr Jairaj'stechnology was one of the seven indigenous technologies selected by the Central government forpresentation before US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New Delhi earlier this week. "As high salt content in water corrodes water pipes, high glucose levels in the blooddamage the blood vessels. The first to be affected are small blood vessels. Medium and large blood vesselsare affected gradually. The damage to small blood vessels impacts the eyes and feet, while damage tomedium size blood vessels hurts kidneys and heart. In case of heart it even causes myocardialinfarction. Our device helps in knowing the extent of damage caused to such nerves. The problem can be treatedat initial stages, preventing amputation in case of diabetic foot, and death in case of heart muscledamage," Dr Jairaj said. The device works on the concept of chaos science and neuropathy. It measures theprogression of diabetic neuropathy and predicts foot ulcer development. "It is a novel concept based on thetheory of chaoticmovement of the foci in the sole of the foot," he added. All that a diabetes patient has to do is to stand on the device for a few minutes. Thereport is generated within five minutes. The equipment studies the feet of the patient in detail and identifyareas which are prone to ulcers. It will pinpoint high risk ulcer prone zones in the feet, thus allowingthe doctor to take preventive measures. Nerve damage as less as seven per cent can be found out through thisdevice. Dr Jairaj said every year about 25 per cent of diabetics develop ulcer-relatedcomplications. Of them 50 per cent become infected and 20 per cent of those require amputation. "Regular screeningenables a physician to assess and benchmark progression of neuropathy, then initiate preventative measures toproactively prevent formation of foot ulcers, gangrene development or amputation," he said.