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Lemon grass can fight headaches, says study
Native lemon grass has th potential to relive headaches and migranes, experts say. griffith University researchers Lyn Griffiths, Darren Grice and Kelly Rogers have proven that lemon grass plant Cymbopogon Ambiguus may be as good as Aspirin. "Headaches and migraines cause abnormal activities and migraines cause abnormal activities in our bodies such as altering our serotonin levels and interfering with the normal function of our blood platelets," said Grice of the institute for Glycomics. Platelets clump together for wound repair, but they can also from life-threatening internal clots, strokes. "We tested extracts of the plant on human blood platelets and one fraction showed strong biological activity. The compound eugenol in the native lemon grass plant inhabits platelets clumping together and the release of serotonin," said Grice.

Botox gives them reason to dance.


Growing No. Of Private & Civic Hosps Are Using Botulinum Toxin To Help Kids With Mild Cerebral Palsy.

For a growing number of people, botulinum toxin or its more popularly known trade name, Botox, is a handy tool to erase pesky wrinkles and stop the clock, temporarily. But for another section of society. Botox is the answer to treating spasticity among differently abled children—a procedure that is finding acceptance not only by paediatric orthopaedics, but also neurologists in the private and public health care sectors. .

Many children suffering from cerebral palsy, for instance end to walk on their toes due to spasticity of their ankle muscles. Others experience knee bends and jerks while walking. But botulinum toxin, along with physiotherapy, can relax muscles and thus enable the child to walk almost normally without the need for surgery. .

“Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early child-hood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination. Here, the brain sends disorderly impulses through the body. A shot of botulinum toxin in the area of the spasticity locks the chemical that causes the transmission of these disorderly impulses. , and the muscles relax,” said paediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr Ashok Johari, who has been using this technique for over five years. .

This treatment has also found favour among parents, as if successful, it eliminates the need for surgery. As a toddler taking his first footsteps, six-year-old Ritik Bhandari always walked on the toes of his knee every time he took step. He also experienced awkwardness in hand control in the same side o the body. “Intially, we thought that surgery was the only way to fix it. But then we tried a shot of botulinum toxin and with the help of physiotherapy, he started walking normally, said Johari, who is associated with .

A number of hospitals including Lilavati in Bandra. Success was not instantanceous, but two year in the making. To date, Ritik has not needed a second shot, and his muscular movement in his right hand has also been restored to normalcy. But results of the effect of Botox on muscles vary from case to case and depends on the severity of spasticity, caution doctors. ”when the botulinum toxin is working on the muscles, and with the help of physiotherapy, the brain is trained to not send disorderly impulses. So even when the effect of botulinum toxin wears off, most of the time, the muscles do not go rigid again,’ said Dr. Mohit Bhatt, head of neurosciences department in Kokilaben Ambani Hospital, Andheri. .

Though the treatment is not cheap—anywhere between Rs 7,000 to Rs 15,000 per shot---it’s not just limited to private sector hospitals. The civic run KEM Hospital in Parel offers patients a shot at botulinum toxin. “We get an average of 13 cases per month for various botulinum toxin treatments. We even have a separate lab for these treatments. We even have a separate lab for these treatments, which are equipped with electromyography machines that help in detection of over-active muscles and also inject the shots,” said Dr Yogesh Godge, neurosurgeon at KEM. .

Easing Muscular Disorders

What is Cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological muscular disorder that appears during infancy or early childhood. It permanently affects body movement and muscular coordination. Simply put the brain of a child suffering from cerebral palsy transmits disorders impulses. Can Botulinum Toxin Help?

• Botulinum toxin (Botox) when injected into the affected muscle group, locks the chemical that causes transmission of impulses

• With the help of physiotherapy, over time, the brain can be taught not to send these impulses even when the effect of botulinum wears off

• Its success depends on a number of factors like the age of the child severity of the spasticity of the muscles. Hen spasticity is quite severe, surgery may be the best option.

Shot does not always guarantee success

Mumbai: Even as doctors use botulinum toxin to treat neurological and other disorders such a cerebral palsy, focal dystonia, spasms and cramps that affect muscles, the long-term effects of Botox remain subjected to various factors and differ from patient to patient.

“Success of the treatment depends upon a number of factors like the age of the child, the quantity and quality of follow-up in the form of physiotherapy, and most importantly, the muscles. Many a time, spasticity is quiets severe, and surgery is the best option. It is only for mild cases that a botulinum shot can be use,” said Dr Mohit Bhatt, head of the neurosciences department at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

Dr. Ashok Johari, padiatric orthopedic surgeon at Lilavati Hospital, concurred. “The effect of botulinum as a drug wears off in four to six months for years on end, while others make do with only one injection,’ said Johari.

Seira D’Costa was lucky. She was 18 months old when she started walking, but then her ankle muscles were so tight that she walked on her toes. “We went from one doctor to another to find out what was wrong with her. She was suffering from cerebral palsy. The doctors gave her a botulinum shot and she started physiotherapy sessions at the same time. Today, she puts her weight on the entire foot while walking. She takes part in most sports and dance activities in her school. Even though she is still undergoing physiotherapy, the eight-year-old has not been administered a second shot of Botox, though her doctors say she might need a second one in the near future,” said Neill, Seira’s father.

LIVE WELL WITH EPILEPSY...TAKE HELP FROM THE EXPERTS...

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder in the community with about eighty lak patients in India. Epilepsy can affect anyone, with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. Epilepsy is known to mankind for over, 4,000 years and unfortunately the myths, misunderstandings and stigma attached to epilepsy continues to this day in spite of scientific advances and the fact that today epilepsy is well controlled in 75 to 80 per cent of patients. The biggest problem that people with epilepsy face is the way society treats them rather than the condition itself. After reading what the experts across India have to say, we hope you will respect people with epilepsy, and if you are an epliepsy patient, feel more confident about managing seizures.

In many ways, epilepsy is a different condition in a woman than in a man. The differences arise because of biological differences between women and men, but also becauseof the different social roles they play. As a result of these biological and social differences, women with epilepsy face special challenges, especially in the area of reproductive health.

We know that the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, act on certain brain cells where seizures often begin.

However, having epilepsy does not mean you shouldn't have a baby. In fact, 90 per cent of babies born to women with epilepsy are normal and healthy. Planning for a healthy pregnancy is important!Be sure to consult with your doctor, and get prenatal care from the start.

Newer drugs are emerging as better alternatives in pubescent girls with epilepsy because of lesser side effects on ovaries, weight gain and fall of hair as compared to older drugs.

IS SURGERY A TREATMENT OPTION FOR EPILEPSY?

Nearly one-third of patients with new-onset epilepsy will continue to have disabling seizures desopite optimal therapy with antiepileptic medications.Continued seizures and high doses of medication impose costs on all areas of a persons'life- intellectual, psychological, social and educational. A proportion of such patients can be made seizure-free if the epileptogenic focus can be localized and resected without significant side effects.

The successful outcome of epilepsy surgery is dependent on correct patient selection. This process of selection requires specialized tests and decision making that is undertaken only in a few tertiary care hospitals. The tests include a high quality MRI, and a video EEG telemetry test.

Epilepsy surgery, in general, is grossly underutillized all over the world, especially in resource-poor countries. More recently, surgery is considered sooner because studies have shown that the earlier surgery is performed, the better the outcome. Surgery is now being performed on some patients whose seizures have been uncontrolled for only 1 or 2 years.

LACK OF HYGIENE MAY CAUSE SEIZURES

Parasites in the brain or Neurocysticercosis is the infection of the brain by the larval stage of the pork tapeworm Taenia Solium. This parasite is commonly found in most of the developing world, Latin-Amercia, India, China, and most of Asia and Africa. Its transmission is related to soil contamination with human faeces. Ingesting the eggs/larvae from undercooked port or from fecally contaminated food or water can infect humans. It can occur at any age and appears to affect men and women equally.

Neurocysticercosis is the leading cause of epileptic seizures and epilepsy in the developing world. Diganosis can be made with reasonable certainty by imaging the brain (CT/MRI). Brain imaging may show a single or multiple lesions. In India single brain lesions are common.

Available therapeutic measures include anti parasitic drugs to kill brain parasites and antiepileptic drugs to control the epileptic seizures. The treatment usually results in excellent control of seizures and radiological improvement.

The disease can be prevented by improvement in socioeconomic conditions, increasing the literacy, practising a high standartd of personal hygiene such as proper washing of hands, eating properly cooked food, avoiding intake of raw vegetables or thoroughly washing them before eating, supply of safe drinking water, proper disposal of excreta and rearing of pigs in farms away from human habitation.

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND EPILEPSY-BE PROACTIVE AND PREVENT IT
Survivors of traumatic brain injuries face an extra hurdle as they recover: Thousands of them will develop post-traumatic seizures (PTS) months or years later. Many children and adults suffer serious brain injuries every year from car or bike crashes, falls, wounds and other trauma.

Whereas only a small minority has seizures soon after injury, majority do not have seizures until at several months and sometimes even years after the injury.

Seizure after trauma:Why does a seizure occur post brain injury?The brain can gets a scar or bruise on it because it's been jolted. The brain doesn't like this and the scar starts to irritate the cells(neurons) around it. Neurons are these tiny wires that make the brain work. Basically this scar tissue is like putting a metal rod across open wires. The scar tissue takes six to nine months to build. Hence the seizures may have a delayed start.

A study of 520 patienpts with traumatic brain injury (July 2007-2008) at AIIMS admitted within 24 hours of injury showed that 16 per cent of patients developed PTS. In children, incidence of PTS was 18.3 per cent. 32 per cent patient with PTS developed recurrent delayed seizures.

Important risk factors for developing PTS are severity of head injury, penetrating head injury, depressed skull fracture and a genetic predisposition.

Ofcourse, the occurence of a seizure in a patient with a brain injury requires immediate brain imaging to define a possible cause, such as the accumulation of blood within the cranium. Antiepileptic medications are prescribed in the same dosages for seizures caused by brain injury as for other types of epilepsy.

Brain injury, a common cause of epilepsy, is totally preventable, so proactive intervention is very important. Always wear your seat belt in the car and reduce the risk of brain injury by wearing helmets while riding a bike and during risky activites; this can help lessen the chance of developing epilepsy. Following traffic rules, not using mobile phones while driving and no drinking and driving can help reduce brain injuries and thereby prevent PTS.

EPILEPSY: REDUCE THE TREATMENT GAP

treatment gap defined as 'percentage of people living with epilepsy but, not seeking the treatment'continues to be very high varying from 50-78 per cent in India for example in metro towns like Banglore it is 50 per cent whereas increases in the rural India up to 78 per cent. Even in fully literate state such as Kerala, it is 38 per cent.

Reasons and solution for treatment gap: There can be reluctance or prejudice in accepting the diagnosis in epilepsy and that can be removed with awareness and education to remove stigma. Also, at times lack of correct diagnosis can lead to the treatment gap which can be improved by increased knowledge about epilepsy. Help from public or private participation for supplying the essential drugs in the treatment of epilepsy may help to improve the gap and reduce non-availability of anti epileptic drugs.

On this 'National Epilepsy Day', we all must take a pledge to reduce this treatment gap in India. This campaign needs to reach every nook and corner of this country, which has to start first among medical fraternity and then has to start first among medical fraternity and then has to spread among common people. Such a campaign should make people aware about epilepsy as a malady and change the attitude towards this disorder. Let us all join hands and take a pledge to reduce this 'treatment gap' in our country.

PSYCHOSOCIAL MANAGEMENT

It is often said that epilepsy impacts not just a part but the whole life of the patient-this need not be so. Explaining about epilepsy and its proper management to the patients and significant others greatly reduces stress and increases acceptance. People with epilepsy have to be given age appropriate responsibilities. This is most important to develop self confidence and independence, Maintenance of a regular lifestyle like having adequate sleep, eating meals on time and taking medicines regularly greatly enhances seizure control.

FACTS ABOUT EPILEPSY

*Epilepsy is a neurological disorder.

*Epilepsy is not always inherited, very few cases run in families.

*Epilepsy can be controlled. Many or most cases can be controlled or totally cured with either medical or surgical or mixed treatment.

*Most of the seizures are normally lasting within few seconds to 2-3 minutes. However, if its long lasting then a doctor should be consulted.

*To prevent ongoing seizure please do not suffocate or hold tight patients. Shift comfortably in sideway position and loosen his/her clothes. Don't make them smell shoe, onion etc.

*People with epilepsy can do most things as work except things dangerous to their life should a seizure occur. Even Alfred Noble, Julius Ceaser and Napolean the Great had epilepsy.

*People with epilepsy are not disabled and have the same range of ability and intelligence as the rest of us. People with epilepsy can be found in all walks of life including medical profession. Only a small percentage have severe seizures and can't work.

What is Epllepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder where patients get seizures(fits)repeatedly.

What is a seizure?

A seizure occurs when the rhythm of the brain is disturbed. A seizure could be generalized when there is loss of consciousness with jerking of the whole body or it could be a simple staring spell. It may also involve only a part of the body with facial twitching/jerking of one hand and leg. There are many types of seizures.

Is epilepsy hereditary?

Only 1 per cent of epilepsies are hereditary.

Can epilepsy be cured?

Epilepsy is treatable with medicines and at times surgery. The treatment has to be regular and will have to be continued for a long time may be 3-5 years of fit free period , sometimes longer.

Can patients with epilepsy get married and have children?

Of course these patents can get married and lead a normal life. However, they should consult treating doctor for family planning.

BEING AWARE IS THE FIRST STEP TO TREAT EPILEPSY

Seizures can present itself in many forms.Everyone knows about the classical form of jerking of limbs with forthing and incontinence or tongue bite. There are other forms which are not well known like sudden cessation of activites or going blank with unresponsiveness or falling down. Recognizing or knowing about these forms helps in seeking proper medical advice.

A case in point is that of a young graduate who had falling episodes and had to quit the apprenticeship in a private bank as routine examination and a master health check up by a practitioner revealed no abnormality. As the frequency of such episodes increased, she consulted a neurologist who based on details narrated by the patient concluded that the falls were indeed seizures and started her on anti seizure medication. The girl is doing well now and has rejoined the same establishment from which she quit.

This case illustrates the need to be aware of the existence of different forms of seizures.

BIRTH INJURIES CAN CAUSE EPILEPSY

Injury to the newborn brain may result from hypoxia (diminished amount of oxygen in the blood) and/or ischemia (dimished amount of blood perfusing the brain) at the time of birth. It may be caused by disorders in the mother (antenatal) like hypertension, pregrancy induced hyertension, kidney, heart or lung diseases or events during delivery (perinatal) problems like prolonged difficult delivery, forceps delivery, premature delivery an da tight umbilical cord around the neck. The above mentioned causes account for 90 per cent of the causes of neonatal birth injury. It is estimated that one to two babies per 1000 live births develop this of injury especially those delivered at homes. Such events can be prevented by training traditional birth attendants) and antenatal screeing programs so that they expecting mothers at risk can be referred to a hospital/higher institute where such deliveries can be handled successfully.

These problems are not only related to birth period and post delivery period, a large chukc of such problems really start in antenatal period. Poor feeding , nutritional status, and health of the mother can add to this. Infections in mother, acute or chronic can also add to them. Genetic conditions need to be screened for; mothers need to be registered, monitored and counseled regards their health and the future child's health in advance.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU HAVE EPILEPSY

It is rightly said that when it comes to epilepsy, every country is a developing country. Patients with well controlled seizures and their families suffer from the stigma and myths surrounding epilepsy not only in India, but all over the world. The word"epileptic" is no more to be used an dperson with Epilepsy(PWE) is the correct terminology.

An organization known as International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) was established in 1961 consisting of lay persons and professionals, which address social problems as education, employment, insurance, driving license restriction and public awareness.IBE is a world-wide umbrella organization with 125 members in 92 countries. Members are grouped regionally into seven zones. The South East Asian region has seven full members and two associate members and India is a full member. Dr.H.V. Srinivas from Bengaluru is the chair for the South East Asian Regional Executive Committee.

EPILEPSY AND THE INDIAN LAW

It is a fact that a person with epilepsy is discriminated at various points in life even though he or she is qualified for a particular job. To address this problem in the USA, there is a law, the American with Diability Act(DDA). So far in India, we have no such provision.

With persistent efforts of IEA, the Hindu Marriage Act was amended in 1999 so that a person with epilepsy can have a legally valid marriage. The IEA has represented to the Government of India to amend the Motor Vehicle Act so that a person with epilepsy, whose seizures are well controlled for two or more years, can have a valid driving license for personal use(not for professional driving). The request is yet to be considered. It may be worth while mentioning that in most of the advanced countries like USA, UK, and Japan, a person with epilepsy is issued a driving license, with a seizure-free period varying from six months to two years.

Dr. R. Nagarathna and Fr. H.R. Nagendra teach you the techniques of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana to treat multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system with symptoms such as numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, tingling, muscle weakness, spasticity, blurred or double vision etc. Yoga is found to be helpful in treating multiple sclerosis.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

• Kneel on the floor and place the palms on either side of the body on the floor. Bring the left leg forward and the right leg back and stretch both legs straight with an exhalation. The back of the leg in front and the front of the leg in the rear should touch the floor. The legs will now be in Hanumanasana, which resembles the splits of ballet.

• Push the chest forward, extend the neck and throw the head as far back as you can. Bend the right knee and take the right foot up near the head. The right shin from knee to ankle should be perpendicular to the floor.

• With an exhalation, take the right arm over the head and grip the right foot with the right hand. After taking a few breaths, exhale again, take the left arm over the head and catch the right foot with the left hand. Rest the head against it. Stay in the pose for about to seconds. Release the grip on the right foot and come back to Hanumanasana Raise the hips from the floor by placing the palms on the ground.

• Now return to Hanumanasana, this time keeping the right leg stretched straight on the floor in front. Bend the left knee and take the left foot up near the head. Repeat the pose by catching the left foot and resting the head on it.

Successfully Cured Patients(Partial List)