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Establishing a program for neuro-developmental disorders in resource constrained settings: Opportunities and challenges

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Establishing a program for neuro-developmental disorders in resource constrained settings: Opportunities and challenges

Sheffali Gulati (MD, FIAP, FIMSA; born in New Delhi, India) joined All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in 1988 and currently working as Additional Professor, Chief of Child Neurology Division, Department of Pediatrics. Was part of the team to start DM (Pediatric Neurology program) first time in S-E Asia in 2004. Currently 16 students have passed out and nine are currently pursuing their DM program under her guidance. Seven short term trainees from USA, Kenya, Srilanka, Bangladesh and India have trained under her.

She is  Fellow, IAP,  Fellow, IMSA; MemberICMR Task Force: IEM; National Advisory Board Member, Indian Rett Syndrome Foundation; Has served/serving as Editorial Board Member (5); Review Editor (1); Lead Guest editor (1) Reviewer for Journals: 22. Member of professional bodies: 18

Areas of interest: Neuro-developmental disorders including autism & cerebral palsy; multidisciplinary rehabilitation & public health dimension, neurometabolic disorders, epilepsy including dietary therapies in intractable epilepsy, neuromuscular disorders, electrophysiology and neurogenetics,

Research: Has been involved with many research projects in Child Neurology.Site- PI, Network coordinator of a major multicentric National study:Neuro-developmental Disabilities among children in India: An INCLEN study funded byNIH, Autism speaks, National Trust; Developed & Validated culture sensitive Diagnostic Instruments for Autism, ADHD, Epilepsy; Cerebral Palsy. Also developed a Neurodevelopmental Screening tool to screen for 10 neurodevelopmental disorders in the community. It has undergone validation at 5 sites across the country and has provided the prevalence data for these neurodevelopmental disabilities which is first of its kind in India. The tools developed in this project have been adapted and used in the “Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram under the National Rural Health Mission. Also training modules developed for all 10 neurodevelopmental disorders will provide a comprehensive training package for health professionals.

Other projects: Model Injection Centres; Bone mineral densitometry in epileptic children on phenytoin monotherapy; 3 RCTs Gabapentin, Valproate & valproate with levocarnitine in Spinal Muscular atrophy; Blood heavy metal levels and quantitative EEG in children with Autism; modified atkins diet; development of developmental screening tool in under 2 yrs children;Newborn screening; Neurocognitive follow up of high risk newborns; Difficult to treat epilepsy; proteomics profiling in meningitis; heavy metals and cerebral palsy; stem cells in DMD, Naegleria infection, mitochondrial disorders; tuberous sclerosis; training modules for autism; enzyme replacement in pompe  disease

Research publications (predominantly in Child Neurology): 181 publications in various International & National Journals;  Impact Factor: Upto 8.31 (8 publications); Citations: Upto 56 per publication; Assisting in editing book: 1;Chapters in book: 58; Abstracts 196; learning resource material 41

 

Other Academic achievements in field of child Neurology:

Research work in Child Neurology being recognised globally:

  • Folic acid supplementation prevents phenytoin-induced gingival overgrowth in children. Neurology. 2011; selected for podcast interview ( Gulati S & Arya R); also evaluated as Exceptional by Faculty of 1000 and included in top 2% of published articles in Biology and Medicine
  • Selected as a commentator for Evidence- Based Mental Health
  • Reuters Health article on Use of the Modified Atkins Diet for Treatment of Refractory Childhood Epilepsy: A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Epilepsia 2013 Jan 7

Trainer in Child neurology for many institutes/ academic bodies:

  • Visiting   Faculty  for Post Graduate Diploma in Developmental Neurology, Thiruvanthapuram,
  • Faculty for the  EEG workshops and Epilepsy Teaching Program (ETP) of the Indian Epilepsy Society.

$1·       Developed training modules including DVDs and Videos for Typical development of infants and children.

  • Member of Committee to draft the 4th Edition and now 5th Edition of National Formulary of India.
  • Expert for Master Trainers program in Early Intervention conducted by the National Trust

 

Expert for  many Committees and Groups involved in improving Child Neurology services across country including development of National programs

  • The tools developed in the Neurodevelopmental disabilities project mentioned above have been adapted and used in the “Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram under the National Rural Health Mission.
  • .Expert for the development of National Epilepsy Control program
  • Member of  Technical Committee on school health program ( Ministry of Health & Family welfare)
  • Member of  Expert Group to develop operational guidelines on Developmental Screening and Early intervention for children with disability & developmental disorders ( Ministry of Health & Family welfare)
  •  Member of National Expert group of National trust on Autism

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