Do Stress & Poverty play a role in immunological events in Leprosy?

An academic meeting to discuss how stress and poverty play a role on influencing immunological events like ENL reactions associated with leprosy was the subject for discussion. The meeting was held at the Main Referral Centre of Bombay Leprosy Project (BLP) on Thursday, 21st April 2011.

Dr Arwa and Dr Vivika Interns from the local city medical college associated with BLP reviewed the literature on this topic and made a presentation on how stress and poverty may possibly influence the triggering of reactions in leprosy. A point was also made that leprosy patients undergoing recurrent episodes of reaction could also benefit once they are engaged in some kind of jobs as possibly this would allay the stress factor.

Dr V V Pai, Director BLP mentioned that though stress is one of the known precipitating factors, it is difficult to quantify the stress and that therefore BLP in collaboration with the Psychiatrists will develop a Questionnaire to study this aspect. He also referred to some views advocating treatment with drugs like Chlorpromazine to allay the stress operating in such patients which can be explored in patients attending the Referral centre.

Dr R Ganapati, Director Emeritus, BLP mentioned that there should be a strong scientific reason to conclude that the bacilliferous household contacts will influence the reaction adversely and that the treatment of contacts will help in any way as claimed by some scientists.

During discussions it was generally agreed about an important factor like stress influencing immunological events like reactions, neuritis in leprosy and the need for research to study its association for cause and effect is needed.

Interns, Medical Officers and staff of Bombay Leprosy Project formed the audience at the meeting.

Members of Faculty, Post Graduate students from the medical colleges, Interns, Medical Officers and Staff of Bombay Leprosy Project participated in the discussions who formed the audience.

Interns making a presentation at the meeting Felicitation of the Interns


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