Pritee Ruparelia – Neurophysiology
Whilst ECGs measure the function of the heart. EEGs (electroencephalographs) measure the function of the brain. EEGs play a vital diagnostic role in a wide variety of neurological conditions, including stroke, dementia, epilepsy and brain injury. Pritee can be asked to perform EEGs in patients of all ages and abilities, from tiny premature babies to heart patients in critical care or trauma victims in intensive care, in any of the three University hospitals in Leicester.
EEGs are used extensively to pinpoint the cause of fits (seizures) which are symptoms of a range of neurological or psychological disorders and to monitor or assess the effectiveness of treatment in people with epilepsy. These EEGs are usually undertaken by Pritee in an outpatient setting and differ depending on what diagnostic information is needed. Pritee also runs a nerve conduction clinic once a week for those suspected of having carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a painful condition caused by compression of a key nerve in the wrist which can have a major impact on quality of life, particularly for older people. If it is identified, simple surgery can alleviate it.
There is constant interaction with patients, from tiny babies to the elderly and Pritee enjoys this aspect of her job enormously. But the job also involves analysis of the data obtained from each EEG followed by writing up a technical report. “It’s a really good combination,” she says of science and people.
“It’s one of those jobs that you don’t really hear about,” says Pritee Ruparelia of her career in neurophysiological measurement. “So it was chance that I saw an advert for it. But when I started doing it, I’d just be going on and on about how wonderful it was to anyone I met”. Six years on, she still feels the same although thankfully her friends and relatives are now spared the long version. She hopes to continue to develop her technical skills for the benefit of patients.
Profile courtesy of Chief Scientific Officer, Department of Health – Professor Sue Hill