Neurological disorders explained: Seizures

We’ve seen it on TV, in cartoons – characters getting sudden episodes of fits. It’s almost taken as a hilarious act in some shows but there’s honestly nothing funny about a fit.

Seizures, known by the layman as a fit or simply and episode, is a spontaneous change in the electrical conductivity in your brain that causes a sudden change in movement and behavior. In some forms of seizures, unconsciousness follows before the patient can recover.

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Seizure is a broad term; there are actually several different types of it. Most of these episodes last for only about 30 seconds to two minutes but even this short time period is a serious cause of distress for both the patient and his loved ones.

The underlying pathology of a seizure varies from what caused it in the first place. A neurological disorder, epilepsy, is the leading cause of seizures but meningitis, high-grade fever, certain medications, low sodium levels and even a striking lack of sleep can cause a seizure to occur.

It’s important to know how you need to act if you witness someone with an episode of a fit. During the attack, it’s important that you clear other people away and remove all sharp objects from the vicinity of the patient because you never know if they might lash out. It’s also important to not hold them down or try to stop the uncontrolled movements they make. Waiting is pivotal and it’s also the most hardest.

Once the episode has safely subsided, check in with the doctor. Anticonvulsants are the first line of therapy in patients with seizures along with certain lifestyle changes such as improving sleep quality, stress management and removing triggers.

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Neurological disorders explained: Parkinson’s Disease

Diseases that inch by inch rob you of your capabilities are the absolute worst and the most distressing. Be it progressive memory loss as in dementia and Alzheimer’s, or slowly losing touch of your cognition as in Parkinsonism. But there’s always a silver ling, a hope. If diagnosed in the early stages, the progression of these diseases can effectively be slowed down if not completely halted. Parkinsonism is one such disease that, if detected early on, can be appropriately managed with the support of your family and a good doctor.

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by progressive neurological disorder that particularly affects movement, cognition and speech. A course tremor is characteristic of this disease as well as a small-stepped gait, rigid muscles and soft speech.

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What causes Parkinsonism? Probably your genetic makeup with a little input of some toxic environmental triggers. The core problematic area in this disease is the basal ganglia in your brain that has an increased quantity of a certain protein accumulate, Lewy Bodies. Fortunately, with the marvelous advances in modern medicine, several medicines exist to improve the symptoms of a patient with Parkinsonism. There is no cure, however.

If someone you know is showing signs of Parkinsonism (mostly over the age of 60), get them to check in with their physician. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better the prognosis will be for them.

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Neurological disorders explained: Cerebral Palsy

Statistics have shown that about 500,000 children in the US alone are victims of cerebral palsy – a debilitating group of neurological disorders that keeps a child from leading a normal life. The prime manifestations of this disease are impaired muscle movement and motor skills along with secondary disabilities that affect vision, mental health, learning, hearing and speech.

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With such a high prevalence rate of cerebral palsy, it’s important to illustrate the true cause of this disease. Most children with cerebral palsy have undergone some sort of brain damage. This could have occurred during birth or in the first five years of his or her life. Brain trauma is, thus, the main etiological cause of cerebral palsy. Premature babies, lead poisoning, and meningitis are other causes that may result in a case of cerebral palsy.

Without getting into too much detail of the different types of cerebral palsies, it’s more important to know what you can do if your child has been diagnosed with it. It’s important to approach this disease and its outcomes with a strong, open mind since it is a lifelong impairing disease.

Currently no cure for cerebral palsy exists but the symptoms of this disorder can be minimized by the appropriate medication. Children with cerebral palsy commonly require special equipment and therapy to improve their quality of life.

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Neurological disorders explained: Migraine

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience with a throbbing headache on one side of your head, it could be a migraine. In fact, it probably is. This extremely common condition affects over 5 million people in the US alone; the stats are even more sobering in Pakistan.

The word migraine rolls off our tongue all the time whenever we get the slightest of headaches but is it such a casual condition?

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Turns out, it can be. Only a small portion of people with migraine suffer from the more concerning aura-type migraine. In this version of the headache, vision disturbances and photosensitivity is predominant. But most people don’t go through the aura phase of a migraine and suffer only from the basic pain symptoms and associated mood disturbances, nausea and fatigue – of varying intensities of course.

We still don’t really know the true pathology behind a migraine and several theories have been proposed. But one thing is for sure: it can run in families and it can be triggered by certain noxious environmental stimuli.

Patients with severe migraine attacks are often given a list of medicines and pain relievers over a long course of period. Those with only mild pain can find relief in paracetemol or naproxen as well.

Do you suffer from recurrent migraine attacks? I’d say get an appointment with your physician and find out what can help your symptoms.

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5 Reasons To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

The hardest lesson in your life is to learn that ONLY you can change yourself. There exist no magic to change other people’s behavior but the key lies in focusing on yourself! Once you start focusing on your faults, you may find yourself living a happier life. But how it is possible?

The Rule is simple- Step out of your comfort zone & feel the difference!

Here are the 5 reasons that will help you in saying ‘NO’ to your comfort zone:

  1. Increases Your Stamina:

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If you analyze the lives of all the successful people, you will get to know that they did the things that scared them, they chose the path that nobody ever did. They compromised their nights of sleep to achieve something bigger. As a result, a body’s stamina gradually increases & you are there to do something extraordinary.

     2. It Will Boost Your Self-confidence:

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Nobody is born with a perfect personality neither they are born with incredible self-confidence. It takes years to boost one’s confidence.  For this, one needs to open themselves for new environment by stepping out of their idle lifestyles. Once you equip yourself with knowledge, you will see a sudden rise in your confidence.

     3. Builds Your Self-Esteem:

No one  can make you feel inferior without your consent”

Self-esteem is a way to analyze that how much you appreciate and like yourself.  You may meet certain people in your life who are fullest with their positive energies.  You may admire their stamina, their emotional & physical well-being. You may wonder, what makes such people untiring, motivated & dedicated to achieving what they desire. It’s their high self-esteem that makes them unstoppable.

     4. Helps In Overcoming Your Fears:

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At times you start wondering that you are not capable enough to successfully perform your task. This condition can psychologically affect your mental & physical abilities. Do something every day that makes you happier & satisfied. This strategy will gradually overcome all fears of your life.

    5. You Achieve Your Targets:

The most amazing part that comes out by stepping out your comfort zone is that you become even more productive with little efforts. This paves way for you to achieve targets in your life.

Lastly, remember to learn from your experiences & nothing will work for you if you don’t believe in yourself!

 

 

 

How To Reduce Screen Time For Kids

Reducing screen time has been a hot topic in this digital age, and that’s a given since other electronic items have been thrown into the mix which are easily portable and hence even more hard screen to control! We all know more screen time is bad for us and children, but how exactly are they bad? There are numerous bad habits linked to too much TV or video games.

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While some may argue that video games makes the mind more active because of its puzzles and tactics, too much of anything is very bad. For decades scientists and doctors have cautioned parents and adults alike about the harmful benefits of too much screen time. It can lead to childhood obesity, poor sleeping habits and social issues. A study done in UCLA also showed that too much screen time can effect the child’s ability to recognize emotions and other non-verbal signs.

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Now that we have established the importance of reducing screen time, how do we reduce it? Naturally parents and babysitters will face a lot of resistance and agitation from the kids due to cutting off their screen time. So how do we reduce screen time and get a happy kid in return too? Sounds impossible. Almost.

Following are some of the points to help you in your journey in reducing screen time for kids (and keep them from not chewing your head off in the process):

1. Reduce your screen time first

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As heartbreaking as it may sound, to help your kids you also have to bid farewell to your phones, tablets, computers and TV time. It’s all about setting the right example for your kids. Moreover, if too much screen time is bad for your kids, it must be bad for you too right? Adults suffering from too much screen time also face obesity and other health issues. If you’re always hooked to your gadgets, then your kids will deem it a normal occurrence and follow in your footsteps.

2. Encourage other activities

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Whenever your kids get free time always provide them with non-electronic resources to pass their time. It can be a simple house chore, or any sport, board games, puzzles, reading and arts and crafts among other things. This will keep them occupied and keep their mind sharp too.

3. Limited Screen time

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Allow screen time after the kids have done something productive. Some parents change the wifi everyday and only give the password when they’ve done something worthy. Moreover, limit their time to 30 40 minutes depending on the circumstances. Make it a routine so they stop complaining and do other activities like sports, reading, arts etc. This way they will also have a healthy balance between screen time and other activities and won’t get bored or agitated. Which is a win-win situation right?

EDIT: Have added the video too, do give it a watch.

Neurological disorders explained: Autism

I recently watched a TV show called ‘The Good Doctor’ – a story of an autistic medical resident with supernormal intelligence. The show highlighted the challenges and prejudices the young doctor had to face in his field because of his conditions. Lucky for him, his genius mind made things easier for him.
The truth, however, is slightly different. Not all children born with autism are so lucky.

Autism is a group of disorders that affect a child’s ability to socialize, empathize and communicate with those around him. Social, speech and behavioral problems make it difficult for autistic children to cope with the ever-changing tides of the society.

Although seldom seen (or perhaps diagnosed) in Pakistan, the condition requires attentions and knowledge to improve the child’s life. The Autism Society of Pakistan estimates a total of 350k autistic children in the country.
The important question is: is there a cure? Like most mental illnesses, there is no complete treatment for autism. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

With proper therapy and intervention, the burden of social challenges these children face can be minimized. It’s important to realize that treatment options for autistic children not only include their personal therapy but also the education of the people around him so that he is treated with greater kindness and understanding. A major problem autistic children face is bullying in schools which makes the disorder even more stressful.

If you know a child with autism, make sure he is brought to medical attention and not hidden away as an ‘abnormal’ child as is mostly done in the country. With therapy and the support of loved ones, autism can be less of a nightmare for both the child and his family.
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