About 60 per cent of people suffering stroke in India face various degrees of disability, some lifelong, said experts here.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.
As brain cells begin to die in minutes, prompt treatment is crucial and early action can reduce brain damage, other complications and death.
"While the numbers of stroke patients continue to rise exponentially, like many other brain diseases, there is still a remarkable lack of awareness regarding this condition. Timely treatment in stroke will go a long way in improving a patient's quality of life, and reducing lifelong morbidity and mortality," said Pankaj Agarwal, Senior Consultant -Neurology, Head, Movement Disorders Clinic & In-Charge, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Programme, Global Hospital Mumbai.
"Stroke patients who get help from paramedics are more likely to reach hospital for care -- in India, that number is only 1.8 per cent. We need uniform emergency medical services (EMS) system and certification of stroke ready hospitals across the country so that people know where to go when they recognise the signs of stroke," added Dr P.N Sylaja, Professor and HoD, Neurology, In-Charge, Comprehensive Stroke Care Programme, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST).
While traditionally stroke affects older age groups, a large number of ischemic strokes are now known to also affect young people - in their 30s or 40s. Sometimes even adolescents in their teenagers or early 20s are affected.
"Stroke affects as many as 18 lakh Indians every year, which means one Indian suffers stroke every 40 seconds. One-fourth of these people are aged less than 50 and increasingly, a large proportion of stroke patients are found in the age group of 19 to 30 years. The burden of stroke on the most productive sections of society not only affects the person and their family but leaves a cascading effect on the countrya¿s socio-economic condition," said Kamal Narayan, CEO, Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council.
Covid has also increased the risk of stroke, particularly among the young patients between 20 and 30,as the virus triggers abnormal and severe clotting in blood. While the risk is around 1 per cent (higher if other risk factors for stroke are present), it is still life-threatening or leads to severe disability.
"In India, about 30 per cent of people suffering stroke die and a whopping 60-70 per cent people suffer various degrees of disability. The number of disabled people is more as we move into the interiors where hospitals do not even have a CT scan machine. We need to ensure they get treatment," said Prof M.V. Padma Srivastava, Head, Neurosciences Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks, limiting salt, alcohol, smoking, and exercising daily can lower the risk of stroke, the doctors said.
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World Alzheimer's Day- Constant exposure to noise pollution may increase the risk of dementia caused due to Alzheimer's disease while music could have positive impact, say doctors.
According to a recent study published in international health journals around the world, constant exposure to traffic noise increases the risk of dementia among aged population.
Each year, September 21 is commemorated as the World Alzheimer's Day, and Alzheimer's disease has been found to be the commonest cause of dementia.
Doctors say with India fast racing towards becoming the most populated country in the world, and with improved healthcare delivery mechanism, aged population is on the rise in the country. This section of the society is at the risk of developing age-related complications like dementia, which is often considered a serious mental problem caused by brain disease or injury, that affects the ability to think, remember and behave normally.
Commenting on the problem, Sritheja Reddy, Consultant Neurologist, Gleneagles Global Hospital believes that music usually has a soothing effect on individuals of all ages, but loud and persistent noise can cause mental disturbance, and could even trigger experiences of ill being among those people who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's related problems. "Cities are usually bustling with great activity during the day times and in the nights, but this could increase exposure to excessive noise, that can lead to short term impairments in cognitive function, particularly with respect to the ability to focus and remember. And the most important aspect here is that chronic exposure to noise pollution may increase the risk for dementia," the doctor said.
Abhinay M. Huchche, Consultant Neurologist, SLG Hospitals says that musical sounds could have a positive impact on people suffering from dementia, caused due to Alzheimer's disease." Listening to or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Musical memories are often preserved in Alzheimer's disease because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the disease," he added.
Changala Praveen, Consultant - Neurophysician, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital pointed out that ageing patients require extra attention, and those impacted by dementia require proper evaluation and management of the disease through a multidisciplinary approach. "Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause for dementia, and there are multiple reasons for aged population developing this problem. Constant exposure to loud and unsavoury sounds like traffic noise is also a major cause for the older people to develop dementia. People who have aged family members in the house must ensure the elderly are protected from loud noises, and this is the best solution to arrest complexities," he said.
Having exposure to high levels of noise during the night is especially concerning, as sleep is a critical period for mental and cognitive restoration. Fragmented sleep resulting from noise disturbance is associated with increased oxidative stress causes alterations in the immune system and increased systemic inflammation.
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London, Aug 15 (IANS) Researchers at University College London conducted a study of people with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) following Covid-19 vaccination, to provide a clearer guide for clinicians trying to diagnose and treat such patients.The research, published in The Lancet, is the most detailed account of the characteristics of CVT, when it is caused by the novel condition vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).VITT is a condition characterised by a blockage of the veins and a marked reduction of platelets, blood components which are an important part of the blood clotting system. The commonest and severest manifestation of VITT is CVT, in which veins draining blood from the brain become blocked.The study looks in detail at 70 patients with VITT-associated CVT following vaccination, who were then compared to 25 patients with CVT but without the evidence of VITT.The study provides support for the three principles of treatment established so far by the Expert Hematology Panel, based on early work at UCL and two other European sites.The use of non-heparin-based anticoagulation; give treatments to try to reduce the level of the abnormal antibody that is implicated in this condition; and avoid the strategy of trying to bring the platelet count back up to normal levels by giving platelet transfusions."We found that those patients who were given intravenous immunoglobulin -- the treatment in which the body is flooded with normal antibodies to try to reduce the effects of the abnormal one -- were more likely to leave hospital alive and able to live an independent life rather than depending on carers or family to look after them," Dr Alastair Webb, consultant neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford said.On the other hand, platelet transfusions were associated with a worse outcome in patients with VITT-associated CVT. Although observational data cannot prove harm from this treatment approach, the study provides support for the concern that has already been raised about the potential harm of platelet transfusions.However, the researchers also suggest that some treatments such as intravenous immunoglobulin seem to be associated with better outcomes but caution against reading too much into the findings of the observational study, saying that reliable evidence about treatments can only be obtained in a randomised clinical trial.--IANSrvt/skp/
New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Sunday on the occasion of India's 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the health workers 'deserve to be worshipped'.This was Modi's eighth address to the nation on Independence Day since 2014. "There is no dearth of political will in taking up reforms. Today, the world can see that there is no dearth of political will in India. The world is a witness to how India is writing a new chapter of governance," the Prime Minister said.PM Modi said, "The number of medical seats in the country has been increased. Affordable medicines are being made available to the poor under the Jan Aushadhi Yojana. So far, 75,000 Health & Wellness Centres have been set up. Very soon thousands of hospitals will have their own oxygen plants".Lauding the efforts of the health scientists, doctors and paramedical staff for their role in combating the pandemic, PM Modi said, "During the coronavirus global pandemic, our doctors, our nurses, our paramedical staff, scientists engaged in making vaccines, citizens engaged in the fight, they all deserve to be worshipped."During his Independence Day speech, Modi praised India's mass vaccination drive against Covid-19 and said, "Today we can proudly say that the world's largest vaccination program is going on in our country. More than 54 crore people have been vaccinated, an online system like CoWin, digital certificate giving system is attracting the world."The Prime Minister said, "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and now 'Sabka Prayas' is important in our journey of building the Aatmanirbhar Bharat of our dreams. Our goal is to develop a nation where we not only have world-class infrastructure but also move ahead with the mantra of 'Minimum government, maximum governance."--IANSavr/dpb
New York, Aug 10 (IANS) A team of US physicians has presented the first known case of a young, healthy adult who after being infected with Covid-19 developed brain inflammation, offering new insights into potential neurological effects post the infectious disease.Although Covid-19 is primarily treated as a respiratory disease, patients often experience neurological problems, such as headaches, anxiety, depression and cognitive issues, which can persist long after other symptoms have resolved.Some research has shown blood vessel damage and inflammation referred to as vasculitis in Covid-19 patients' brains and central nervous system (CNS). Most cases of CNS vasculitis have been associated with elderly patients with severe Covid-19.In the journal Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, a multidisciplinary team of physicians at University of California San Diego School of Medicine reported the case of a 26-year-old woman who was diagnosed with Covid-19 four days after an airplane flight in mid-March 2020.Her symptoms were mild, but progressed two to three weeks later to difficulty moving her left foot and weakness on the left side of her body. She had no headaches and had experienced no change in her mental status or cognition.Magnetic resonance imaging, however, revealed multiple lesions in the right frontoparietal region of the brain, which is involved in motor control and sensation of the left side of the body. A biopsy revealed CNS lymphocytic vasculitis -- inflammation or swelling of blood vessels in the brain and spine."This patient was the first confirmed case of Covid-19 CNS vasculitis, confirmed by biopsy, in a young healthy patient with otherwise mild Covid-19 infection," said Jennifer Graves, a neurologist at UC San Diego Health."Her case tells researchers and clinicians to consider these serious potential brain complications even in young patients and those with minor initial Covid-19 infections," she added.The woman underwent a series of corticosteroid-based treatments, began a long-term immunosuppressive medication, and, after six months, the lesions had substantially decreased and no new lesions had formed. She is still under treatment with immunosuppressive medications, the researchers said.--IANSrvt/dpb
New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) An Indian scientist has developed human-based models to study neuron development and neuro-developmental disorders such as autism which can help design treatment strategies for such brain disorders.Yogita K. Adlakha, a recipient of INSPIRE Faculty fellowship instituted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has achieved this feat, the DST said on Wednesday.INSPIRE -- that stands for Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research Programme -- is a scheme by the DST for attracting talent towards science.Since decades, animal models have been used to understand brain-related disorders, and the drugs which function in animal models have failed in clinical trials, therefore Adlakha filled this gap by generating human-based stem cell model to understand brain development and dysfunction at the National Brain Research Centre, Manesar, Haryana.At present, she works as a scientist at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, NCR Bio-cluster, Faridabad."The dearth of human models has led to a lack of knowledge of the pathophysiology of such disorders, an essential requirement for designing their treatment strategies," the DST said.Yogita filled this gap and developed a human-based model that could help study how brain develops, particularly the neurons, and what goes awry during brain development leading to cognitive decline, impairment in language, and social interaction.Along with her group, she derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from human peripheral blood and differentiated them into neural stem cells (NSCs).Since levels of microRNA-137 are less in neuro-developmental disorders such as ASD and ID, her study demonstrates crucial roles of this miRNA during human NSC fate determination with an elaboration of underlying molecular mechanisms. This study was published in the journal "STEM CELLS" recently."My research using DST INSPIRE fund has definitely contributed to expanding the knowledge of neuron development and neuro-developmental disorders such as autism and the role of small non-coding miRNA in brain-specific stem cells fate," Adlakha added.Along with her research group, she established a protocol from India for the first time by generating and producing iPSCs from human peripheral blood. They have further refined the protocol of differentiation of iPSCs into brain-specific stem cells that is, NSCs.Her group has contributed immensely towards understanding the role of microRNA in the neural stem cell fate, which revealed how certain small non-coding RNAs called microRNA, which do not form protein but regulate expression of other genes, can enhance differentiation of neural stem cells into neurons.Her research has contributed to expanding the knowledge of neuron development and the role of small non-coding miRNA in brain-specific stem cells fate, thereby changing the face of neuroscience and stem cells.--IANSniv/khz