6 Most Common Neurological Disorders

The nervous system is divided into two primary regions- the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous systems. The central nervous system or CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system or PNS consists of everything else. Neurological disorders are disorders of the brain, the spinal cord and all the nerves present in the body. 

Here is the most common neurological disorders list :

  • Alzheimer’s disease 

One of the most common disorders in the elderly, Alzheimer’s, is a progressive disorder. Alzheimer’s and phantom pain is a prevalent condition among people over the age of 65. Depending on the intensity of the disease, a person may experience mild, moderate or severe symptoms. Alzheimer’s disease may start with minor invisible symptoms such as forgetting names, events, phone numbers, etc. It is a progressive disease, and over some time, one may experience extreme symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing or breathing, etc. This is because neurons that used to carry out functions in the body previously start to degenerate rapidly. With proper care and appropriate medications, this neurological disease can be treated. Talk to a neurologist online if you need guidance for this disorder.  

  • Migraine 

Migraine headache is one of the most common neurological conditions. It is a recurrent headache, usually affecting just one side of the brain, and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity.  The impact of a migraine headache can last for several days, thus impairing the person’s ability to perform and carry out the daily tasks. Migraine can take place in several stages- prodrome, aura, attack and postdrome.  Hormonal changes, stress, anxiety, changes in the environment such as loud noise, strong smells, bright lights, etc., can trigger a migraine. While there is no cure for migraine, with the help of certain medications, the frequency and severity of migraine headaches can be reduced. If you suffer from this condition, you should consult a neurologist. They will give you the proper treatment for migraines

  • Stroke 

Strokes are yet another most common neurological disorders. Strokes are life-threatening conditions that can happen to anyone. Strokes occur when the vital flow of blood and oxygen supply is cut off from a part of the brain, causing it to break down and stop functioning. A stroke needs immediate medical attention. Otherwise, it can be fatal or cause a haemorrhage in the brain or permanent disability. One should immediately call for help and get the required medical attention that the patient needs to help the person having a stroke. Special care needs to be taken of the patient as a stroke can have a considerable impact and shock. Can a neck message cause stroke? is an often asked question. Generally, craniotomy is one of the most common neurosurgery procedures used to treat strokes. 

  • Epilepsy 

Very often, epilepsy and seizures are the two most common neurological terms that are used interchangeably. Epilepsy is a chronic condition where one has recurrent seizures. The nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, thus causing frequent outbursts of electrical energy. It is common among children and older adults. Epileptic people often have recurring seizures, which can cause harm to them. These seizures are, as we know, broadly of two types - focal and generalised. Epilepsy seizures can be different for different people. There are several reasons why a seizure can be triggered. While some people can live on their own and manage their seizures by themselves, others, on the other hand, may need a lot of care and attention. 

  • Parkinson’s disease 

Parkinson’s is yet another progressive neurological disorder. Here, the part of the brain responsible for movement is affected. The onset of this disease usually starts when the person is in their 60s. Some of the common symptoms are trembling hands,  slow movements, stiffness in hands, legs, etc. The problems with balancing, low volume speech, reduced swinging of the arms while walking, etc., genetic factors or environmental factors can cause Parkinson’s disease. Your doctor may prescribe a few medications and a few exercises and lifestyle modifications to reverse this disease’s effects. For treatment, consult the top neurophysician in Patna. He is also the top neurologist doctor in Jaipur, a brain specialist doctor in Faridabad, mind doctor in Delhi, best neurologist in South Delhi, Best neurologist in Saket, a top neurologist in Gwalior or neurologist doctor in Gwalior. 

  • Multiple sclerosis 

Multiple sclerosis is a long term disorder affecting the central nervous system that affects the brain, the spinal cord and the optic nerves. In this disease, the immune systems attack the protective layer (myelin) covering the nerves. Multiple sclerosis causes inflammation and lesions, making it difficult for the brain to send signals to the body. Loss of vision, pain, fatigue and impaired coordination are some of the symptoms of Multiple sclerosis. The exact cause of this disorder is unknown; however, according to several types of research, toxins and virus can be one of the causes of this disease. Treatment usually focuses on physiotherapy and slowing the progression of the disease.

Apart from these, Bell’s palsy, Third nerve palsy, Fourth nerve palsy, Sixth nerve palsy are some of the most common neurological disorders of cranial nerves. Neurological disorders are challenging to deal with. However, with proper treatment and friends and family, one can cope with neurological disorders.

 


Epilepsy vs Seizure

Often epilepsy and seizures are mistaken and used interchangeably by people. This is where the confusion arises as both epilepsy and seizures are neurological disorders with somewhat similar characteristics. However, in reality, there’s a lot of difference between epilepsy and seizures. 

To know epilepsy and seizure differences, one must know what exactly they both are? Here’s everything one needs to know about epilepsy- 

What is a seizure?   

A seizure is a sudden, abrupt change in the electrical activity of your brain. Seizures generally fall under two major categories- focal onset seizures and generalised onset seizures - 

  • Focal onset seizures- These seizures at the first start in the brain and later spread to other parts of the body. A person may experience sudden movement or twitching, which is out of their control. They might zone out or not remember anything after the seizure. Some of the symptoms of focal onset seizures are - loss of consciousness, change in behaviour and movements, etc.  
  • Generalised seizures -These seizures affect multiple parts of the brain at the same time. People are barely aware of what’s happening around them. These can be dangerous and frightening to witness. Some of the symptoms of generalised seizures are - sudden blinking or twitching of the eye, stiffening of the limbs, body jerking, etc. 

Most of the time, seizures are noticeable, and you can make out if a person has a seizure. However, sometimes, it may escape your eye. Here are some symptoms that a person is having a seizure- 

  • Uncontrollable muscles spasms
  • Drooling
  • Uncontrolled bowels or bladder 
  • Biting of tongue or clenching of teeth 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Jerky movements of the arms and legs 
  • Having blurred vision
  • Dropping things, falling on ground/fainting 

Anything that interrupts the connection of nerve cells in the brain can lead to a seizure. Thus, almost all people are at risk of having a seizure. However, a single seizure doesn’t mean you have epilepsy or a seizure disorder. 

A seizure disorder refers to having frequent episodes of unprovoked seizures. Unprovoked seizures are caused out of the blue, unlike provoked seizures triggered by events such as a stroke, traumatic brain injury, etc. Several factors can increase the risk of you having a seizure. Having a brain injury or infection in the past, severe Alzheimer’s disease, exposure to toxic substances such as alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc., having a brain tumour, frequent strokes, etc. are some of the risk factors that may lead to the debilitating condition of seizures or seizure disorder. 

What is epilepsy? 

Epilepsy is a chronic condition where one has recurrent seizures. The nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, thus causing frequent outbursts of electrical energy. It is common among children and older adults. Epileptic people often have recurring seizures, which can cause harm to them. These seizures are, as we know, broadly of two types - focal and generalised. They have further divided as-.  

  • Focal seizures-  
  1. Simple partial seizures    
  2. Complex partial seizure 
  • Generalised seizures-  
  1. Absence seizure
  2. Tonic seizures 
  3. Atonic seizures
  4. Clonic seizures 
  5. Myoclonic seizures 
  6. Tonic-clonic seizures

Epilepsy can also lead to convulsions. There is a very thin line between epilepsy, seizure and convulsions. While epilepsy is a seizure disorder, a convulsion is a type of seizure, which may result from a medical condition. Many a time, epilepsy may involve having convulsions.

Caring for a person with epilepsy can be difficult as the person is at constant risk of hurting themselves because of the sudden epilepsy attacks.  Here is everything you need to know how to support someone with epilepsy -  

Firstly, attention must be paid to the seizure treatment of the epileptic person. A doctor may suggest epilepsy sedative such as anti-epileptic drugs to reduce the seizures. The doctor may also prescribe other medication, depending upon the type and intensity of epilepsy, which will help the patient recover soon. Consult the best neurosurgeon in Jaipur to attain the best treatment for epilepsy.  

Attention must also be paid to the diet of the patient. Generally, a keto-diet is deemed beneficial for a person suffering from epilepsy disease. Often, people with epilepsy may resort to alcohol and drugs, which must be strictly avoided. 

Seizures are an important characteristic of epilepsy. Thus, a caretaker must always be ready with a first aid box and tool kit in order to handle the seizure. They must also observe and keep a record of when a seizure occurs and what is their frequency. In order to get someone to overcome their seizure, the caretaker should know how to help them relieve their stress and anxiety. Teaching them relaxing techniques will help them soothe themselves and calm them down. Stress is one of the reasons for seizures. By learning relaxing techniques such as meditation or yoga, you can ease out the anxiety. 

Thus, both seizures and epilepsy are different. However, one must never overlook a seizure, as it could be the onset of epilepsy. Both seizures and epilepsy are critical conditions and need to be taken care of. With the love and support of close ones, one can overcome these neurological disorders. 

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Is Brain Transplantation Possible?

Due to advancements and our constant endeavours in medical science, the idea of organ transplantation is not just a figment of imagination anymore. We have grown relatively accustomed to the method and the concept of organ transplantation. Transplants of solid organs such as kidneys, hearts, and livers, as well as the bone marrow, have become the life-saving procedures of choice for some diseases. The transplantation process gives the receiver a new chance at life. Usually, these transplant in India is roughly estimated to be around 15-20 lakhs.

Although organ transplantation has gained success, transplanting an entire human brain still seems a very far-fetched idea. The cells in our bodies undergo senescence which is defined as the gradual decline of functions. Neurons in our brains are not spared from senescence or the ageing process.

The brain is plastic which means it can learn and unlearn through creating new synapses plus breaking down existing synapses. Having said that, the brain’s gross size doesn't necessarily increase; it is always learning and changing. Gradually with age, the rate at which new synapses are formed slows down. Also, the quality of the repair function of these synapses falls evidently. Therefore, the ageing of the brain inevitably leads to lower learning ability and memory. 

Is a brain transplant possible? 

To accomplish successful brain transplantation, the surgeons will need to join multiple tissues of the head in the receiver's body with the muscles, ligaments, skin, bones, blood vessels, and most crucially, the nerves of the spinal cord. Transplanting a brain will involve severing the spinal cord, creating a significant challenge. The key step in making brain transplants possible would be the ability to connect nerve fibres from the transplanted brain to the native spinal cord. It would prove to be an arduous and challenging task. It is one of the main reasons why severe spinal cord injuries are greatly damaging and usually permanent.

Another fitting response that a brain transplant would be possible or not is the body's immune responses. The immune response is nothing but our body's way to protect itself against pathogens like bacteria, germs and viruses. All cells in organisms have their own cell membrane. These antigens are specified individually to individuals and if they come in contact with the immune cells of another body, basically the receiver, white blood cells/ leukocytes, the immune cells will recognise the antigens as foreign objects and habitually kill these cells as a result. This will lead to a full-blown immune response, and death might be inevitable due to the rejection of this new organ.

However, in other scenarios, various other organ transplant surgeries are performed on organs such as the heart and liver. Usually, the practitioners will have to perform immune compatibility checks and inject an immune-suppressor to the recipient to prevent organ rejection. There is very scarce knowledge about the antigens on brain cells/neurons, and therefore, it would be rather dangerous to authorise a brain transplant surgery. 

Many other valid concern factors make a brain transplant extremely challenging. For instance, there will be technical difficulties of reconnecting blood vessels within the central nervous system but also between the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Cell death will also create challenges during brain transplantation, as neurons are extremely delicate and sensitive to environmental changes. They could die due to insufficient oxygen supply during surgery. When these neurons die, the whole base of brain transplant will be deemed lost and unsuccessful as these dead neurons would also lose their synapses.

Still, some experts believe full head transplants that include the brain could be possible. One such surgeon is Dr Bruce Mathew, and he has suggested moving the entire spinal column along with the brain. This would get rid of the need to attach the brain to the new spine. 

As of today, no brain transplant has been conducted; thus, the cost of brain transplant in India is not known. However, it will cost a fortune since there are a number of processes and skills required. Whether it is a possibility or no, is something that we shall discover as time passes. Ethical concerns also stand in the way of brain transplants becoming a reality. Some believe it could save lives. The surgery could be an alternative for those with healthy brains but terminal illness elsewhere in the body. Others argue they go against human nature. Whether the donor’s transplant and memories will remain in the receiver’s new brain is something that we don’t know yet. There is also a pressing concern over the effect it would have on the mental health of those receiving this surgery, the brain diseases that it may lead to and the neurocritical care thus required. 

Sooner or later, the procedure would be imminent. However, under the prevailing circumstances, the first attempt would be unethical if it ever occurred. For this reason, the discussion over the preparation of proper ethical codes for this specific operation would be remarkably important. It would hold the chance to change the face of modern surgical advancements and bring in the new era, where what started out as fiction could be turned into reality.

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Superfoods For The Super Working Of The Brain

"The energy of the brain is the essence of life." - Aristotle. 

Undoubtedly, the brain is the most essential and phenomenal organ of the human mind. Without the brain, the human body is like a machine without an engine. The brain controls all the functions of the body. Hence, to keep this enormous organ functioning, it needs its source of energy.   One needs the right nourishment for a healthy brain to work. The food that one eats has a great impact on the development of the brain. A kid goes through 9 stages of brain development. Thus it becomes essential that a growing child gets the right nutrition supplement to ensure their robust growth.

Here is a list of the best brain food supplements that will help your child their growing years - 

  • Eggs

Eggs are a good source of proteins and nutrients that are highly beneficial for the brain and great brain food for exam. Vitamins such as B6 and B12 are found in eggs help in improving memory and delay cognitive decline. Besides this, eggs have other minerals such as iron, zinc and micronutrients such as choline and folate. Egg yolks have a high concentration of choline, which helps in elevating mental function and boosts memory. The best time to have eggs is in the morning, preferably in the form of scrambled eggs.

  • Berries 

Berries are a good source of flavanols, a type of flavonoid antioxidant. Berries are considered the best brain fruits. The antioxidants in berries have an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces oxidative stress and anxiety, followed by cell damage. The antioxidants in berries help in the increase of blood flow in the brain as well as improved communication between brain cells.  Not only do the antioxidants help in reducing inflammation in the body, but they also help in boosting memory and enhanced learning. Some berries that are rich in antioxidants are- strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, and mulberries. 

  • Nuts and seeds 

Nuts and seeds are packed with health benefits and are great brain food for kids. They contain omega three fatty acids and are a good source of antioxidants. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are essential for neurocritical care. The vitamin E found in nuts and seeds help in enhancing cognition and memory. Nuts and seeds are also known for improving concentration and reducing oxidative stress. Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc., are some of the nuts and seeds that are good brain food for studying. 

  • Leafy vegetables 

Since times immemorial, people have known the health benefits of leafy vegetables. Adding leafy vegetables to your diet can help in boosting your brain. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, collards, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc., are rich in brain nutrients such as vitamin k, lutein, beta carotene, and folate. Having leafy vegetables daily can lower the odds of developing dementia later in life and improve cognitive skills. These are the best brain food supplements. 

  • Fatty fish 

Fatty fish are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Omega-3 help build membranes around the cells, thus improving the structure of neurons. Fatty fish are considered the best brain function food. These fats are essential for learning and memory. They also protect the brain from memory loss. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines are the best examples of fatty fish. Apart from this, fatty fish is also a great food option for those recovering from traumatic brain injury

  • Fruits 

Fruits have several health benefits packed in them, which are quintessential for the functioning of the brain. Fruits that are rich in potassium and magnesium help in the smooth functioning of the brain. Apples, berries, cherries and plums have antioxidants that protect the brain from nerve damage and reduce inflammation. Fruits such as bananas and kiwis overall improve cognition. 

  • Cow’s Milk 

Cow’s milk is overall essential for brain health as they have plenty of vitamin D, potassium, and calcium. Vitamin B helps in calming down the nerve and regulates your sleep cycle. Milk also helps to elevate the sharpness of the mind boosts memory. Milk is considered the best brain food for students. However, some kids may be lactose intolerant; thus, one must consult the paediatrician before feeding milk.  

  • Whole grains 

Whole grains are essential in a child’s growing years. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients that are important for the functioning of the brain. Whole grains such as oats, barley, quinoa are a great source of B vitamins which are considered important for memory. They supply energy to the body as well as the brain. Some of the whole-grain foods you can add to your child’s diet are - brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain bread, etc. 

  • Dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate is probably the most sought after brain food by children. Dark chocolate is the host for several brain-boosting compounds such as flavonoids, antioxidants and caffeine. The cacao flavonoid found in dark chocolate helps in learning, improving memory and neuron growth. They also stimulate blood flow in the brain. Dark chocolate overall elevates mood and allows children to study. 

The brain is an essential part of the body, and having these foods can harness brainpower. 

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Brain Anatomy And How It Works

The human brain is a phenomenal structure that is responsible for the functioning of the entire human body. It comprises several nerve tissues and billions of nerve cells and synapses that are protected inside the skull. The brain interprets the external world and encapsulates the knowledge of the mind and the soul. The human brain is one of the largest and most complex organ structure of the human body. The brain makes us self-aware and gives us the ability to speak, think, and function in the world.

The brain consists of components that have many specialised areas that work together in harmony to keep the body functioning and learning. The brain collects information through the five senses of the body that is: touch, taste, vision, smell, and hearing. It can determine many at one time. It’s uncanny how the brain understands and convenes the messages that form meaning for us and stores this information in our memory, all at the same time. The brain can control our thoughts, memory and speech, movement of the arms and legs. It also controls the functions of multiple organs within our body. Any harm to the brain can lead to conditions such as traumatic brain injury, brain haemorrhage, etc. Thus, one needs to take special care of the brain through brain haemorrhage treatment or brain haemorrhage surgery.

Let us know how the brain performs such marvellous tasks. The brain anatomy is just as intricate as the functions it carries out, yet it’s phenomenal.

Overview Of The Brain Anatomy And Function -

The brain is composed of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. Let us know more about brain anatomy and physiology and how these parts of the brain function together. 

Cerebrum

The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain, comprising the right and left hemispheres. It performs complex functions such as interpreting touch, vision and hearing, speech, thought, emotions, learning, and control over body movement.

Each hemisphere of the cerebrum is further divided into four broad regions called lobes, the frontal lobe, the temporal lobe, the occipital lobe, and the parietal lobe. You can see each of these under a brain anatomy MRI.  

  • Frontal lobes- The frontal lobes of the cerebrum are the largest of the lobes. They are located in the frontal part of the brain, as their name suggests. They coordinate functions of high-level behaviour such as motor skills, judgment, planning, attention and problem-solving. The frontal lobes are also responsible for impulse control and managing emotions.
  • Parietal lobes-The parietal lobes are located right behind the frontal lobes. They're responsible for interpreting language, words, sense of touch, the sensation of pain, temperature, interpret signals from vision, hearing, motor movements, sensory functions, spatial movements, memory and, optical perception.
  • Temporal lobes- The temporal lobes are located on each side of the head on a similar level as the ears. They coordinate specific functions, including Understanding language, Memory, Hearing, Sequencing and organization.
  • Occipital lobes- The occipital lobes are located on the back of the brain. They are mainly involved in determining the ability to read and recognise and also interpret colour, light, movement from vision.

Any harm to the cerebrum can increase the risks of stroke.

Cerebellum

The cerebellum is located under the cerebrum just below the occipital lobes. The cerebellum function involves coordinating muscle movements helping the body maintain its posture, equilibrium, and balance. It enables the body with fine motor skills, which refers to the coordination of smaller actions, specifically those involving the hands and feet.

 

Brain stem

The brain stem consists of three major parts, and it is located in front of the cerebellum connecting to the spinal cord. It connects the spinal cord to the higher-thinking centres of the brain. It consists of three structures: the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the midbrain. A brain anatomy ct scan can show images of the brain stem and problems with the brain.

Medulla oblongata: The medulla oblongata is the lowest part of the brain, operating as the control centre for the heart and lungs’ functions. It helps regulate many important functions, including breathing, sneezing, and swallowing.

Pons: The Pons is the largest part of the brain stem. It is located below the midbrain. It consists of a group of nerves that help connect various parts of the brain. The pons also holds the start of some cranial nerves. These are required in facial movements and transmitting sensory information.

Midbrain: The midbrain helps in controlling eye movements and processes visual as well as auditory information.

 

Diencephalon

The diencephalon is located just above the brainstem between the cerebral hemispheres. It helps form the walls of the third ventricle and consists of the thalamus, the epithalamus, and the hypothalamus.

  • Thalamus: It acts as a relay station as almost all sensory information except for the sensation of smell, advancing to the cortex primarily stops in the thalamus before being sent on to their destination. The Thalamus is also connected to functions of consciousness, sleep, and memory.
  • Epithalamus: It primarily consists of the pineal gland and the habenulae. The pineal gland is an endocrine gland that secretes the hormone melatonin. It acts as a link between the limbic system and other parts of the brain. The limbic system is a part of the brain that is involved with functions of emotion, long-term memory, and behaviour.
  • Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus helps in maintaining homeostasis. It referred to the balance of all bodily functions that the Hypothalamus manages. It involves regulating the body temperature, control over the body's appetite, maintaining the physiological cycle, sleep cycle, and controlling the production and release of hormones.

The brain is the engine of the human body. One needs to take special care of this organ. Stress and anxiety can influence brain health leading to brain damage. Neurocritical care is something that one must take seriously for the smooth functioning of the brain. The advancements in neuroscience and radiology have made possible the quick diagnosis of injuries in the brain and to view brain anatomy in 3D. 

 

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How Alcohol affects your brain?

The ill-effects of alcohol are known to all, yet people engage in alcohol drinking. Drinking alcohol at moderate levels does not cause much harm. However, binge drinking or heavy drinking can have drastic effects on your body and brain. When consumed in large quantities, alcohol can lead to several chemical changes in your brain and develop your dependency on it.

Alcohol, even though it’s harmful to your health, is known to induce pleasure. This is because, in the beginning, alcohol increases the release of dopamine in the brain, thus making you feel relaxed and euphoric. Hence, several people opt for alcohol to relieve their stress, anxiety and escape from other problems in life. Among teenagers, drinking alcohol often starts from peer pressure or imitating the adults in the house. Alcohol is addictive, which has depressant effects on the brain. Thus many resorts to drinking alcohol to escape from the depression. However, drinking only makes it worse. 

Alcohol affects which part of the brain?

Alcohol affects brain chemistry. It alters and interferes with three major neurotransmitters which are responsible for communication within the body.

  • Glutamate receptors: Glutamate is a chemical that excites neurons and stimulates brain activity and energy levels. Consuming alcohol binds and block them from being activated.
  • The Nucleus accumbens: It's an essential structure in the middle part of the brain which retains satiety, memories and pleasure. Dopamine is released due to alcohol; this produces the feeling of being safe and an urge of euphoria. Also, a reason why alcohol is addictive.   
  • GABA receptors: It is a chemical that slowdowns the brain. As alcohol affects brain chemistry, it binds to activate these receptors, and we become a little tired. 

The ill-effects of alcohol on your brain

It has been observed that alcohol affects brain structure and parts of the  brain in different ways- 

  • The hippocampus, which is responsible for storing and forming memory, is affected. When people drink a lot, they don’t remember what they did while they were drunk. This is because alcohol impacts your hippocampus, which leads to poor memory or, in the long run, memory loss. 
  • Another observation among drunk people is that they have poor coordination. This is because alcohol affects the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the brain that controls muscle movements’ coordination, thus helping the body maintain its posture, equilibrium, and balance. It also controls the motor skills of the body. Hence, it is forbidden to drink and drive. 
  • Your memory, thought cognition and judgement are all done by the frontal lobes. Binge drinking or heavy drinking impairs all of these critical functions.
  • The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are responsible for the release of hormones and coordinate automatic brain functions. However, when you drink alcohol, it depresses the nerve centres in the hypothalamus that are responsible for sexual arousal and performance. Alcohol increases your sexual desire but decreases performance
  • The medulla of the brain handles functions such as breathing, consciousness, body temperature, etc. Alcohol affects this area of the brain, thus inducing sleep. One can also experience changes in breathing and lower your body temperature. 

Long term effects of Alcohol 

  • Shrinking of the brain - It has been observed that for people who have been drinking heavily for a long time, alcohol affects their brains and the way it carries out its tasks. Due to alcohol, the brain’s cells start to diminish, and the brain begins to shrink. 
  • Sleep Disorders- While in the beginning, alcohol makes you feel tired and sleepy; as time passes, it hinders your sleep schedule. Once the effects of alcohol wear off from the body, you start tossing and turning in your sleep. Heavy alcohol consumption may also lead to sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, etc. 
  • Brain damage- People who drink heavily on a day to day basis are at an increased risk of brain damage. The brain controls all the functions of the body. Alcohol abuse also leads to life-threatening problems such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, etc. 
  • Wet Brain Syndrome - Wet brain syndrome, also known as Wernicke Krosakoff Syndrome - a type of dementia, is a debilitating condition caused as a result of chronic and acute phases of Vitamin B1 deficiency. Alcohol hampers the absorption of thiamine (vitamin B) in the brain. 
  • Personality changes- Alcohol affects not only you but also your personality. This is more of the long term effects of alcohol, where alcohol consumption leads to behaviour changes. It is a known fact that alcohol affects behaviour. A person may become more aggressive and restless. Drinking alcohol changes the brain wiring and impairs one’s judgement and ability to think. The behaviour change also puts a strain on intimate relations

Thus, overall, drinking alcohol is harmful to your brain and body and the people around you. If you think alcohol will provide relief from all the sorrows of life, it is not valid. Alcohol addiction is like quicksand. Once you step into it, there’s hardly any escape. 

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The Human Brain: A Complex Mystery

The Most Popular Brain Related Questions Asked On Quora - Dr Chugh’s Take On Them

A Vital Organ Indeed 

As you might already know, the brain is considered an essential part of the human body, and it can only show its maximum potential if there is a proper balance of your physical and mental health. The brain is basically formed by numerous neurons, which are connected by dendrites and axons. And any kind of work like moving, thinking, imagining, calculating, etc., gets done by electric impulses travelling from one neuron to another. In my opinion, it is the organ that makes you human!

What is the largest part of the brain?

The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and makes up 85% of the brain’s weight.

What is the weight of the average human brain?

The average brain weight in adult males is 1336 gram, while in adult females, it is 1198 gram. It makes up about 2% of the total body weight.

What is the biggest part of the human brain, and what is its function?

The cerebrum is the biggest part of the human brain, and it performs several functions:

  • Impacts emotions- helps in processing emotional situations.
  • Creates response-like a reaction to hotness, coldness etc.
  • Helps in initiating movement - walking, sitting, exercising
  • Helps in rationalising- Thinking, problem-solving, memory

 

What is the difference between the forebrain and frontal lobe?

As we all know, the forebrain is just the front portion of the brain and is formed by two main elements like telencephalon and diencephalon, and it helps in leading the complex cognitive activities as well as sensory and voluntary functions. Simultaneously, the frontal lobe is located right behind the forehead, and it plays a vital role in the brain’s intellectual properties like thinking, reasoning, and difficult problem-solving.

Is there any role of the brain in reflex action?

No, but the information about the reflex action is sent to the brain after 1 or 2 seconds. This is so that we should be aware of what has happened. The brain on its own cannot react as fast as the spinal cord to the reflex action. So the part of the reaction process is carried out by the spinal cord, but the information is also sent to the brain so that the person can be aware of the stimulus and prevent himself from that situation again.

For example, you remove your hand when touching a hot object. This is a reflex action. But sending the information to the brain makes the person aware that the object is hot and hence not to touch it again.

The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. It is made up of nerve cells, called neurons, and supporting cells called glial cells.

The brain and spinal cord are connected to the sensory receptors and muscles through long axons which make up the peripheral nerves. The spinal cord has two main functions: it is in charge of the simple reflexes such as the knee-jerk and the rapid withdrawal of a limb from a hot object or a pinprick, and can also handle more complex reflexes, and it forms a broad passage between the body and the brain for information travelling in both directions. 

What are the benefits of using brain booster music? Does it really work?

Music is not only a great source of stress and anxiety relief, but it's also efficient in keeping your brain calm and active at the same time. I suggest that indulging in music in our daily activities can enhance our brain’s cognitive mechanism as the music’s lyrics and rhythm often help people create an automatic pattern in their working style. Due to the melody and lyrics in a song, it has the power to influence your emotions and bring the spirit of work to your regular boring activities.

Music therapy helps in enhancing your mood, memory, and sleep quality.

What is the function of sinuses in the brain?

Sinuses produce a slippery secretion known as mucous produced by the mucous glands, which helps moisturise the nose; mucus’s colour varies depending on the level of infection or sickness; mucus helps to protect the nose from various kinds of unwanted dust particles and pollution. Gradually it ends up getting swallowed by the throat. Sinuses also try to enhance the flexibility of our skull by clarifying the tone of our voice.

What Is the Best Food for the brain?

I recommend the following foods for a healthy brain:

    • Almond, often considered brain food, due to its high vitamin E level, promotes brain alertness and memory.
  • Fresh Berries are good for boosting memory and also help in decreasing the rate of cognitive disease.
  • Green Vegetables rich in various kinds of vitamins and carbohydrates play a vital role in the brain’s wellness. 
  • Turmeric with the active ingredient curcumin is good for boosting immunity, but it's also useful in increasing the brain’s efficiency by improving memory and easing depression.
  • Fruits rich in vitamin C also energise the brain and help in preventing several neurological diseases.
  • Dark Chocolate with Caffeine and other antioxidants helps influence the mood and slows down the chances of neurological disease that can negatively impact physical and brain health.

What is brain fever?

Brain fever is a medical condition in which the patient undergoes fever symptoms accompanied by inflammation in a certain part of the brain due to various reasons.

Here are some common conditions which are often referred to as brain fever:-

  • Encephalitis is accompanied by fever, headache, and vomiting and is caused by viral infections or diseases.
  • Meningitis is an acute form of inflammation and is caused due to microorganisms or bacteria and symptoms, including fever, confusional states, headaches, and vomiting.
  • Cerebritis can be easily guessed by the name. It's a form of cerebrum inflammation, and the symptoms have their own level of severity starting from headache, confusion slowly leading to stroke.

Is brain transplantation possible?

The brain being the most complex organ of the body makes brain transplantation impossible. Transplanting the brain is only limited to sci-fi movies.

Control Your Brain, Control Your Life!

Hence, I will conclude by saying that though the human brain is a complex organ, many possibilities and alternatives are available to keep the brain healthy by protecting its standard mechanism. Our day to day activities can immensely influence our brain’s working and the working of our mind. So, it is up to us how we will deal with our life, as positivity will help our mindset grow and evolve into a better human being. Simultaneously, the negativity will only bring stress, depression, and bad thoughts in our mind leading to disbalance in the brain’s action.


Why Do Elders Suffer From Alzheimer's?

As people grow older, there are several changes taking place in the body. Older people are more susceptible to diseases and disorders. This is because the body systems start to grow weak and fail to function well. There is a specific pattern of neurological diseases in the elderly. As time goes by, the body becomes weak, and its ability to fight diseases is diminished. Alzheimer’s in elderly is one such old age disorder that affects the elderly. It is a disorder where a person’s ability to retain information is lost. Alzheimer and Dementia are some of the medical terms that generally confuse. Dementia is a general term related to the decline in mental ability. In contrast, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease where the brain cells decline rapidly. 

What neurological issues do the elderly face?

Neurological disorders are very common amongst people of old age. Ageing can lead to several neurological diseases such as Hemorrhage in the brain, Dementia, Stroke etc. 

Causes of Alzheimer’s 

While the exact reason for Alzheimer’s isn’t totally understood, some of the causes of Alzheimer’s are - 

  • Age - While it’s not necessary that everyone may develop Alzheimer’s disease with ageing, the chances of it developing are still high with Alzheimer's age of onset. People over the age of 65, are at risk of Alzheimer’s and belong to the Alzheimer's age group. This is because, with ageing, the brain shrinks along with the loss of neurons. In Alzheimer’s patients, the neurons start degenerating rapidly, thus causing cognitive impairment and memory loss. 
  • Genetics - If a member of your family has Alzheimer's, it is likely that you too may develop the disease. The inherited genes from family members may or may not influence the chances of getting the disease. 
  • Lifestyle- Your dietary choices, your health, poor sleeping patterns, and other lifestyle choices can influence your chances of having Alzheimer’s. Binge drinking or excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to cognitive impairment. 
  • Alzheimer’s Environmental factors -Apart from the above factors, environmental factors such as pollution of the air, etc can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. 

Suppose one looks at the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease. In that case, one comes to know that Neurofibrillary tangles and Beta-amyloid plaques are mainly responsible for the damage caused to the brain cells. They cause the shrinking of the brain and the rapid depletion of neurons in the brain, thus impeding the normal functioning of the brain. There are three types of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s being a progressive brain disease, a patient goes through the following stages - 

Stage 1- The Mild Stage

This is the first stage of the disease where one may start forgetting small things. This observation may go unnoticed as forgetfulness is a common problem among the elderly. The neurons start to degenerate, and their connection with parts of the brain responsible for memory is hindered. A person may face small difficulties such as difficulty in remembering dates, events, days, names of family members, phone numbers, forgetting to pay the bills, etc.

Stage 2- The Moderate Stage 

In the moderate stage, the intensity of the disease slightly increases. The symptoms are quite evident. One may notice changes such as difficulty in remembering events of life or close family members, forgetting words, etc. Here, the part of the brain responsible for language, senses, reasoning, and consciousness is affected. As time passes, each day becomes a challenge. One may feel detached from the world and lonely. 

Stage 3- The Severe Stage 

The third stage is where things start turning worse. The neurons start degenerating rapidly. One finds it difficult to breathe or swallow food. The patient is unable to leave the bed and is dependent on someone. 

Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s 

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s may appear slowly and hence, can be unnoticeable. The symptoms may occur as mild at first but eventually, they intensify. As time passes, Alzheimer’s disease symptoms start getting worse, and the person may get irritated with their condition. They have a hard time remembering, and thus they may develop trust issues. The brain’s neurons rapidly degenerate at the severe stage, and the person starts to lose control of their condition. Some of the symptoms are- 

    • Lack of energy or the zest to work
    • Forgetting to carry out simple tasks
  • Trouble understanding or interpreting words, symbols, etc.
  • Struggling in solving problems, remembering directions 
  • Slurred speech, and trouble putting words to thoughts 
  • Confusion about the time and place. Difficulty in remembering faces. 
  • Wandering
  • Delusions 
  • A constant state of confusion and mix up of the past and present events 
  • Weight Loss, seizures, etc. 
  • Lost control over bladder and bowel movement (due to damaged brain cells) 
  • The trouble with swallowing food
  • Hallucinations 
  • Extreme mood swings. 

It is said that old age is the second childhood, and hence it is important that one takes special care of the old ones. Alzheimer’s completely steals one’s lifelong memories, and dealing with it can be quite frustrating. It is important that one consults the best neurologist in Patna for quick treatment. Only with the care and support of close friends and family, one can cope up with Alzheimer’s disease. 

For further health complications and issues related to Alzheimer's Disease, you can prefer consulting a reputed neurologist through teleconsultation or online appointment for proper guidance and treatment.

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Ways To Sleep Better During Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a rare type of arthritis that primarily affects the spine. Severe inflammation of the vertebrae might eventually lead to persistent pain and disability. In more exceptional cases, the inflammation can cause new bone to form on the spine, thus causing a deformity. Ankylosing spondylitis causes can also affect other parts of your body, causing pain and stiffness in them. It could also affect your most functional joints, such as the shoulders, hips, and knees.

Backache in itself is bad enough, but conditions such as Ankylosing Spondylitis make it even worse. One of the most common symptoms is a disturbed sleep cycle due to debilitating back pain. When your body doesn't get proper rest and sleep quality is compromised, your health can further deteriorate. Lack of sleep can leave you exhausted, adding to fatigue as well as brain fog. Such a disturbed sleeping pattern can worsen anxiety levels and add to increased depression and stress.

However, you don't have to give up on quality sleep, below are some tips for a better night's sleep if you suffer from cervical spondylitis.

Sleep on a comfortable Bed and Mattress

Your mattress should be such that it is cosy and comfortable. Suffering from ankylosing spondylitis could affect other joints such as the neck, shoulders, and hips. Hence a hard mattress or bed will affect your sleep. A mattress that evenly distributes your weight when you lie on it is beneficial. It would be best to make sure that it shouldn't be too soft or too firm. A mattress that is too soft won't provide the required support whereas, if it is too firm, it won't hold the natural curves of your body, making it difficult to sleep on them.

Take notice of your pillow.

Generally, it has been observed that people who use larger pillows are hunched when they lie flat on the pillow. This causes stiffness of the neck and worsens ankylosing spondylitis. Using a thin spondylitis pillow will help you maintain a comfortable position and maintain a good sleeping posture while sleeping. 

Heat and cold therapy

Warm water is soothing for sore joints. A warm bath before bed will help loosen your joints and relieve any sensation of pain, helping you sleep soundly. At the same time, you can use an ice pack to loosen the stiffness of your back. 

Straighten up and Stop Propping Up Your Legs: 

Sleeping with your spine straight could help you lessen the ache. You can lie flat on the back or stomach and avoid curling your legs up into your body. When you suffer from lower back pain, placing a pillow underneath your legs while you sleep could be tempting for temporary relief from pain. However, this may alter your body's position while you wake up, thus causing more damage. 

Exercise: 

An essential part of ankylosing spondylitis treatment includes daily exercise. A common complaint among patients of ankylosing spondylitis in the neck is the stiffening of the back muscles. Taking a brisk walk in the evening could help wake up your muscles and ease the backache. Stretching and exercise will help you improve the quality of rest and sleep you desire to achieve. It will also help you fall asleep faster, beating the problem of insomnia. Exercising regularly or an early morning fitness program can enhance your sleep, letting you repose peacefully. 

Deep breathing: 

Deep breathing is an excellent exercise that can help you increase and maintain your lung capacity and keep your rib cage flexible. Here are some deep breathing tips you could try:

  • Sit or lie down and observe your breathing. 
  • Take a slow, deep breath. You must feel the air that enters through your nose and moves toward your lower abdomen.
  • Allow your abdomen to expand fully through deep breathing.
  • Breathe out slowly through your mouth or nose.
  • Place one hand on your abdomen, feeling it rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. 
  • Alternate regular and deep breaths a few times.

Visit Your Doctor

If ankylosing spondylitis starts affecting your sleep schedule, it is time to see your physician for treatments. The best treatment will help you manage the pain and slow your disease. Prescribed medications after proper consultation and tests can help you sleep better and reduce the pain. Medications such as Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and TNF inhibitors will reduce the inflammation, preventing any further damage to your joints. TNF inhibitors might also help improve the quality of your sleep.

While there is no proper cure for Ankylosing Spondylitis, several treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms. They can also help delay or prevent the process of the spine fusing and stiffening. In most cases, treatment involves a combination of motion exercises. Despite this condition's chronic nature, it is perfectly functional to live with it by making healthier lifestyle choices. One should be taking proper care of their body, along with medications and exercise. Following a nutritious diet, doing spondylitis exercises and not letting toxic substances into your body, such as nicotine and alcohol, can prove very useful for living with ankylosing spondylitis.

You can prefer consulting a reputed neurologist through teleconsultation or online appointment for proper guidance and treatment for further health complications and issues related to ankylosing spondylitis.

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Common Neurology Problem In Old Age: Geriatric Neurology

Age plays a key role when it comes to your health. With growing age, one’s overall health deteriorates and one is more prone to illnesses. While there are physical changes that take place, there are also several changes in your brain and nervous system. Hence, it is more likely for people over the age of 60 or 65 to experience neurological problems. This is because the neurons start degenerating over the years. There are certain neurological patterns in the elderly. Over time, the body loses its ability to fight diseases. 

What is Geriatric Neurology?

Geriatric neurology is a branch of medicine that looks after the diagnosis and geriatric counselling and treatment of neurological disorders in the elderly and geriatric age group. Many old age people suffer from chronic pain, geriatric trauma or progressive disorders. Hence, it becomes essential that special care is taken of these individuals. Elderly are the most vulnerable to neurological disorders and geriatric neurologists for geriatric care need to carefully look after their needs and their geriatric treatment. 

There is a gamut of diseases that people of old age may experience such as- stroke, geriatric old age disease and different types of Alzheimer’s Disease etc. Given below is a list of neurological disorders in the elderly: 

  • Alzheimer’s Disease 

Usually known as memory loss disease, Alzheimer’s disease is a very common condition among people over the age of 65. Depending on the intensity of the disease, a person may experience mild, moderate or severe symptoms. Alzheimer’s disease may start off with small imperceptible symptoms such as forgetting names, events, phone numbers, etc. It is a progressive disease and over a period of time, one may experience extreme symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing or breathing, etc. This is because neurons which used to carry out functions in the body previously, now start to degenerate at a rapid rate. With proper care and appropriate medications, this neurological disease can be treated

  • Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is yet another progressive neurological disorder amongst the elderly. Here, the part of the brain responsible for movement is affected. The onset of this disease starts usually when the person is in their 60s. Some of the common symptoms are, trembling of hands,  slow movements, stiffness in hands, legs, etc problems with balancing, low volume speech, the reduced swinging of the arms while walking, etc. Parkinson’s disease can be caused because of genetic factors or environmental factors. Your doctor may prescribe a few medications as well as few exercises and modifications in lifestyle, to reverse the effects of this disease.

  • Stroke 

A stroke is a life-threatening disease that can occur in elderly people. Strokes take place as a result of interruption in the blood supply or bursting of a blood vessel in the brain. It is extremely crucial that one takes quick measures and acts quickly when a person is having a stroke. The first step is to identify the signs of a stroke. Some of the signs are - troubled speech, paralysis, numbness or weakness on one side of the body, loss of balance, blurred vision, dizziness, severe headache where the cause is not known. A stroke needs immediate medical attention, otherwise, it can be fatal or cause haemorrhage in the brain or permanent disability. One should immediately call for help and get the required medical attention that the patient needs, in order to help the person having a stroke. Special care needs to be taken of the patient as a stroke can have a huge impact and shock to the person. 

  • Geriatric Depression 

Geriatric Depression is a mental condition of persistent and lasting moments of depression in older adults. While it is quite common to feel lonely and sad from time to time, geriatric depression is a lasting emotional disorder. This type of depression can increase the risks of suicides and hinder the quality of life. Limited mobility, isolation, financial hardships, dependency, death of loved ones, etc can contribute to geriatric depression. The patient may face constant restlessness and troubles sleeping. It is important that the patient is taken to therapy and is provided with proper treatment. With proper love and care from family members and close friends, one can deal with this disorder. 

  • PTSD 

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition characterized by nightmares and trauma. PTSD is very common in ageing veterans who have seen the brutality and extreme violence when they served in the war. The memories of such violence can be upsetting for people and cause serious trauma. PTSD can also be caused by tragic events of sexual harassment, torture, natural calamities, etc. Such unresolved and untreated issues of the past can cause them - restlessness, flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty in sleeping, etc. One can also find oneself overwhelmed by emotions of fear, anxiety, stress and lose their touch with reality. It is crucial that they seek the proper treatment for PTSD as soon as possible. 

Neurological disorders are common in old age. This is particularly why old people require special care and attention. Old age is dicey, as one is vulnerable and dependent on others. It is important that the elderly get the required medical attention. Consult the best neurologist in Patna for quick diagnosis and treatment of ailments. With the love and support of loved ones, one can easily cope up with the problems in life. 

For further health complications and issues related to Geriatric Neurology, you can prefer consulting a reputed neurologist through teleconsultation or online appointment for proper guidance and treatment.

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