Sanjeev V. Thomas

d. 2024

Former Chair of the Department of Neurology & R Madhavan Nayar Centre for Comprehensive Epilepsy Care; former Medical Superintendent, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology (an institute of national importance under Government of India), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India; served as Director of Institute for Communication & Cognitive Disorders, Thiruvananthapuram & Shoranur, Kerala, India.
Prof Thomas was recipient of Ambassador of Epilepsy Award 2019 instituted by International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and International Bureau of Epilepsy (IBE) for his leadership role in improving epilepsy care in India and served as an important member of several task forces of ILAE such as for epilepsy treatment guidelines, women with epilepsy and the Lancet Commission. He established the prestigious Kerala Registry of Epilepsy in pregnancy as part of his primary interest in care of women with epilepsy and integrated with an international registry EURAP. Over 3000 women received care with regard to pregnancy and their children were followed up for congenital defects and developmental progress till adulthood. He had several highly cited publications in this area of research which has changed epilepsy practice. This repository has provided robust data from Asia with regard to challenging issues in management of epilepsy in women, marital and fertility issues, pre-conceptional management, malformation risk with regard to older and new antiseizure medications as well as its cognitive implications in children of women with epilepsy.

Sanjeev Thomas

Prof Thomas was a Doyen of Neurology in India, having served as Secretary and President of the apex body of Indian neurology, Indian Academy of Neurology (IAN) as well as Editor of the journal , Annals of IAN. The journal made huge strides during his time and got indexed. He was Fellow of American Academy of Neurology, American Neurology Association, IAN and recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Visiting Lecturer Fellowship, USA. He has delivered several national orations including KS Mani Oration and served as faculty in International and Asian Oceanian Epilepsy Congresses. He was recipient of Vimla Virmani Award from National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi for his contributions on psychosocial and economic burden of epilepsy in India as well as addressing crucial issues such as stigma in women with epilepsy.
Above all Prof Thomas was a wonderful family man, a skilled photographer, dedicated and inspiring teacher to his students, constant mentor to aspiring and young neurologists and epilepsy care specialists, devoted doctor to persons with epilepsy and neurological disorders particularly for disabled individuals with regard to their social and occupational rehabilitation, a sincere and patient hospital administrator. A humble and gentle soul whose smile and warm presence in any gathering will be sorely missed. His sad demise at 3:53 am on 4 February 2024 has left a huge void in the neurology fraternity, to be filled by fond memories of those who have associated with him and the patients whose lives he has touched. Adieu Sanjeev Sir! Lead kindly light!

Contributed by Dr. Ramsekhar Menon

Read farewell for Dr. Sanjeev V. Thomas in Malayalam