Mortal’s Symposium Episode-2 with Dr Sanjay Behari

Mortal's Well-Being Trust successfully organized its second episode of Mortal's Symposium with Dr. Sanjay Behari as the honorable speaker. This interactive session on the topic "Brain: Mysteries and Explorations" helped in getting a better understanding of this professional subject of study with insights into the practical implementation as well.

Mr. Kinjalk Sharma, the Founder of this organization, served as the Moderator for Mortal's Symposium Episode-2.

Mr. Prabhav Tripathi, the Editor-In-Chief of this organization, served as the Stenographer for Mortal's Symposium Episode-2.

About the brain:

Talking about the mysteries of the human brain, Dr. Behari said, “We know about brain as little as we know about the space. There are many misconceptions that the brain is a purely chemical, electrical or structural organ. The truth is that a mixture of all these forms our brain. It always works in full capacity with coordination from all the other organs and systems of the human body. Many people think that it is an isolated area but it is not. In fact, brain is connected to even the non-physical parts of the body like memory and dreams.”

Showing a graph and diagram presentation, he continued, “As you can see, the brain develops the most in the first five years. It is a very crucial period. The brain learns emotions, movement, language (speech) and the child’s sensory organs develop.”

He also talked about the different parts of the brain, the functions they handle individually and the work of cerebrospinal fluid.

About Neurosurgery:

“It takes 12-14 years to become a basic neurosurgeon as it requires the perfect hand-eye coordination for slow dissection which can even sometimes take more than 10 hours. It requires a lot of patience which one develops gradually while learning for so many years. We cannot cut open the whole skull; we have to be very accurate in cutting 3x3 cm or 4x4 cm of a brain. Therefore, precision is also needed to be mastered in a field like this.”

“You can do a surgery with the patient talking to you or even playing a guitar and when his hand movement starts getting slow, we know that we have reached the speech or motor response area of the patient’s brain. It is not always necessary to give full-body anesthesia.”

Dr. Behari told us about some very interesting types of neurosurgery.

“In Endoscopic Neurosurgery, we use the surgical instruments to reach the brain through the patient’s nose without dissecting more than 5mm point and remove the entire tumor. The instrument has a device installed on its tip which helps us locate and find the tumor when it is visible on the screen inside the Operation Theatre. In Laser Therapy, we can locate the tumor with the accuracy of less than 1mm.”

“In Gene Therapy, we use the adenovirus vector to cure the cancerous tumor. It requires making a gene which syncs with the patient’s DNA and which is toxic to the tumor but not the other body organs.”

“Intra-operative MRI is a field we are still trying to bring in completely at SGPGI. In this type of surgery, we can treat the tumor; take the patient for the MRI scan directly from the OT and check if it is completely removed or not. If we see some tumor is left, we go back to the OT and remove it from that part.”

Dr. Behari told us about vascular neurosurgery, bionic implant and use of robots in COVID-19 era to deliver medicines to positive patients. He also discussed about the advancements in space neuroscience where it has been discovered that space radiation exposure leads to change in DNA genes.

Inspiring stories of discoveries in Medical Science:

Dr. Sanjay Behari concluded the episode by sharing with us the stories of medical scientist who made some of the most important discoveries and made us realize the importance of curiosity and determination.

He narrated the story of Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor, who discovered hand disinfectant when no one was familiar with the concept of washing hands. Next, we heard the story of Fredrick Banting and Charles Best who discovered Insulin. After that, the tale of Penicillin’s discovery by Alexander Fleming was narrated by him.