New Delhi: God has been kind to 36-year-old woman Eman Ahmed, touted to the be the heaviest woman in world, as she is on the track to recovery.
Physiotherapy is working as Eman was able to touch her face with her hand last week and blow a kiss to Dr Muffazal Lakdwala, her doctor.
Eqyptian national will continue to be on a strict diet along with physiotherapy, and will undergo a brain CT scan in the next two weeks.
Eman weighed 498 kgs when she was brought to Mumbai, but now weighs 340 kgs, following a surgery conducted on her earlier this month by a team of doctors led by noted bariatric surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala.
Dr Lakdawala said in a statement, “The gene identified as the cause of obesity in Eman is a ‘homozygous missense variant’ in the LEPR gene. This gene variant was previously detected in one individual during a research carried out through the Personalised Diabetes Medicine Programme, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and it has been classified as a ‘variant of uncertain significance’ “.
He added, the variant has assumed pathological consequences in Eman, leading to her obesity.
According to the surgeon, “Eman happens to be the only person in world with this gene defect, which causes obesity”.
She also has another gene defect called Senior-Loken syndrome, but the doctors believe that it may not be a significant cause of obesity in her case.
The statement said, “A hormone called leptin, which is secreted by fat tissue, sends signal to brain when fat stores are depleted. However, in Eman’s case, the docking station in her brain that leptin plugs into, seems to be very defective, so leptin doesn’t send its signal,”
The condition has made Eman’s brain perceive that she is constantly starving.
“Hence, she constantly sought food, store it avidly in her body as fat and conserved energy. Unfortunately, there is currently no specific treatment for this condition. The operation that she has had may have some beneficial effects but does not deal with the underlying problem,” it said.
After surgery, Dr Lakdawala had stated that he had only removed fluid from Eman’s body, and that the real challenge he will face is the fats accumulated in her body.
As per the statement, new drugs are being developed which may be able, at least partially, to “bypass” the signaling block in brain.
The statement added,”It may have some promise in this situation, but it is very early for these drugs. So if she has access to these drugs and they are effective, then we have a solution for her obesity. (But) If not, then she may need a more radical surgery which causes mal-absorption a little later in life”.
On the future course of action, Dr Lakdawala said that Eman will continue to be on a strict diet along with physiotherapy.
“She will undergo a brain CT scan in the next two weeks as she had a stroke earlier and never underwent a CT scan before because of her weight. We then plan to send her home,” said Lakdawala.