Archive for the ‘ Neurosciences ’ Category

Epilepsy: Signs to Watch Out for and its treatment

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

India is home to more than 1.5 crore epilepsy patients, still the disease remains unknown to many and is surrounded by many superstitions. Epilepsy occurs as a result of an abnormal electrical activity originating in the brain and is a neurological condition that requires medical intervention. Epilepsy is a serious problem in our country, however, statistics suggest that while 60% of people in urban India consult a doctor after suffering a seizure, only 10% in rural India would do so. Nearly 95% of the people with active epilepsy do not receive appropriate treatment for their condition. The lack of awareness about epilepsy, poverty, cultural beliefs, stigma, and poor access to healthcare facilities contributes to a vast treatment gap. Increased awareness, correct diagnosis and timely treatment can help many epilepsy patients live seizure-free and help improve the quality of their life.

Seizures, abnormal movements or behaviour due to unusual electrical activity in the brain, are a symptom of epilepsy. It is observed that not all people who appear to have seizures have epilepsy. Seizures need to be investigated by a neurologist to check if they are epileptic. The person may have varying degrees of symptoms depending on the type of seizure. Here are a few common warning signs of a seizure:

  • Jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Stiffening of the body
  • Falling suddenly for no apparent reason
  • Not responding to noise or words for brief periods
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Breathing problems or breathing stops
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Appearing confused or in a haze
  • Periods of rapid eye blinking and staring

Consult your doctor to investigate the reason behind your seizure.

What triggers an Epileptic seizure?
Some people are able to identify key factors or situations that can trigger seizures, a few common triggers include:

  • Missed medication
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Bright lights, flashing lights, or patterns
  • Caffeine, alcohol, or drugs

It is observed that a single incident doesn’t always mean something is a trigger. It’s often a combination of factors and repeated occurrence that trigger a seizure. Tracking your seizures and details around it helps your doctor adjust or change your medications or explore other treatment options.

How to deal with Seizures
Is someone around you having a seizure? Here are few tips to help that person:

  • Stay calm
  • Loosen any tight clothing especially around the neck
  • Allow the person to rest or sleep
  • Put something soft under his or her head
  • Remove sharp objects or other harmful objects around the person
  • Roll the person onto one side
  • Stay with the person till they are better, call for medical help if needed

Myths and facts about Epilepsy
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding epilepsy disease. Some of these include:

Myth: If someone is having a seizure, you should put something into their mouth.
Fact: Never put anything in a person’s mouth who is having a seizure. This could end up hurting the person more.

Myth: You should restrain someone having a seizure.
Fact: Never hold down a person during a seizure. This may cause a bone or muscular injury.

Myth: Epilepsy is contagious.
Fact: That is not true, this disease is not infectious in nature.

Myth: People with epilepsy cannot work
Fact: If a person has epilepsy, it does not mean they have an intellectual disability or are disabled. Most people with epilepsy are not disabled and are able to have successful careers in many different professions.

Epilepsy treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
Our Centre for Neurosciences offers a Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Programme to treat adults and children with epilepsy. The team is highly trained to help diagnose and treat newly diagnosed epilepsy patients, complex epilepsy cases as well as surgical cases. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is the first and only centre in Western India that provides state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities for epilepsy evaluation under one umbrella. The Centre for Neurosciences is equipped with high-end technology like the 3T Magnetom trio that is highly beneficial to investigate Epilepsy. We have also successfully performed over 150 epilepsy surgeries in the past. Our Support Group For Epilepsy meets regularly and addresses various medical social and professional issues for epilepsy patients and caregivers.

Do you or a loved one need Epilepsy care? Consult experts at our Centre for Neurosciences for multidisciplinary care. For more information please visit:

Brain tumour: Myths & Facts

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

A brain tumour is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain or central spine that can disrupt proper brain function. There are two main types of tumours namely, malignant and benign(non-malignant) tumours. Benign brain tumours are non-cancerous, while malignant primary brain tumours are cancerous, globally less than one-third of brain tumours are cancerous. This disease can occur at any age. The incidence of this neurological disorder in India ranges from 5 to 10 per 100,000 population with an increasing trend. Twenty percent of these cases are seen in children. Increasing the awareness, busting the many myths, early diagnosis and timely treatment is the right way to fight brain tumour.

Symptoms of Brain tumour
The following is a list of common symptoms which, alone or combined, can be caused by a brain tumour (malignant or non-malignant):

  • Headaches-early morning headache
  • Morning nausea and vomiting
  • Behavioural changes
  • Cognitive changes
  • Dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Speech disturbances
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Hearing impairment
  • Seizures
  • Weakness or Paralysis

Myths and facts of Brain tumour
Brain tumour is one of the most challenging and complex cancers and needs a multidisciplinary approach for treatment and recovery. Myths and misconceptions about brain tumour, its risk factors, how it spreads, and treatment options are widespread. Let us break down some of the most common myths and misconceptions about brain tumours:

  • Myth 1:  All brain tumours are cancerous.
    Fact: Only one-third of brain tumours are cancerous. Most of the non-cancerous brain tumours can be treated completely.
  • Myth 2: Brain tumour always originates in the brain.
    Fact: A brain tumour can originate in the brain and can also be a result of metastasis of cancer from other parts of the body like kidney, breast, lungs, intestine etc. The former is called primary tumours whereas the second type of brain tumour is called the secondary tumour which is quite frequent than the first one.
  • Myth 3: Brain cancer doesn’t affect young people.
    Fact: Brain tumours can occur at any age. Newborns have also been found to have a brain tumour. Brain tumour is the second most common cancer among children in our country.
  • Myth 4: Brain tumour runs in families.
    Fact: There is no evidence to suggest that people who have family members with brain tumors are more likely to get brain tumour.
  • Myth 5: Using Mobile phones causes brain tumour.
    Fact: There is no research evidence to suggest that mobile phone or any other type of radiation causes brain tumour but long exposures to radiation can have severe negative effects on the overall health and hence, should not be taken lightly.
  • Myth 6: Brain Cancer is a very common condition.
    Fact: Overall, the chance that a person will develop a malignant tumor of the brain in his or her lifetime is less than 1%.
  • Myth 7: Lifestyle modification can prevent Brain Tumors.
    Fact: An individual’s lifestyle does not lead to brain tumours and hence lifestyle modifications cannot prevent brain tumours. However, making healthy lifestyle choices help benefit your overall health.  Daily exercise, a balanced diet that is high in fibre, staying away from chewing tobacco, smoking and alcohol is good for health.
  • Myth 8: All brain tumour patients have the same signs and symptoms.
    Fact: Every person diagnosed with a brain tumour will have different symptoms depending on the size, site and grade of tumour. While some people do not develop symptoms other may have symptoms that worsen over time eventually leading to a diagnosis.
  • Myth 9: Treatment for a brain tumour is standard and accessible to anyone affected.
    Fact: Treatment of Brain tumours depends on the site, size and type of tumor. It includes Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy. These are available only in Tertiary centers.
  • Myth 10: Frequent headaches and blurred vision indicate brain tumour.
    Fact: Not all patients with headaches and blurred vision have brain tumour. There are hundreds of causes of headaches which needs proper investigation.

At Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital we have a dedicated team of neurosurgeons, medical oncologists, paediatric oncologists and radiation oncologist specialised in Neurooncolgy to diagnose and treat brain tumours. Our Centre for Neurosciences is equipped with the latest in world class technology that assists the doctors to achieve maximal safe resection of all tumours. Our highly experienced team of specialists performs over 1373 brain tumour surgeries successfully . The team uses the latest operative advances with navigation, awake surgery techniques, neurophysiology monitoring with MEP and SSEP. Please find below our website link for further details:

This blog is written by Dr. Abhaya Kumar, Head, Neurosurgery and Consultant, Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. For more information about Dr. Kumar please click here

World Stroke Day

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there’s a blockage in the blood supply to the brain. The rupture or blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the brain’s tissues. Without oxygen, brain cells and tissue become damaged and begin to die within minutes. Every year, approximately 1.8 million people suffer from stroke, which is the second most common cause of death after coronary artery disease (CAD) globally. Stroke is the second commonest cause of death in India. Nearly one stroke case is reported every 40 seconds and one stroke death every four minutes in India. Amongst survivors, stroke is also the most prevalent cause of chronic adult disability.

Symptoms of Stroke
If you or a loved one is having a stroke, seek immediate medical help. When it comes to a stroke, time lost is brain lost. The more time that passes between the onset of a stroke and treatment, the more likely that brain functions are permanently lost. 

Remember FAST if you spot a stroke:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call emergency services

Some of the additional signs and symptoms of a stroke may include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

The prognosis and recovery for a person that has suffered a stroke depend upon the location of the injury to the brain.

Types of Stroke
The type of stroke you have affects your treatment and recovery. The three main types of stroke are:

  • Ischemic stroke – An ischemic stroke happens when blood flow through the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke – A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures. The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is sometimes called a “mini-stroke.” The blood flow to the brain is blocked for only a short time—usually no more than 5 minutes.Recognizing and treating TIAs can lower the risk of a major stroke.

Stroke prevention
Some stroke risk factors can’t be controlled. These include gender, age, and family history. However, up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented with healthy lifestyle changes and controlling your health conditions. Here is what you must do to:

  • High blood pressure: High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke and almost half of adults suffer from it. Get yours checked regularly.
  • Diabetes: High blood sugar damages your blood vessels, control your diabetes levels with medicine and lifestyle changes.
  • Heart disease: Coronary artery disease or atrial fibrillation could contribute to stroke. Get treated for your heart condition.
  • Abnormal cholesterol: When you take in more cholesterol than your body can use, it builds up, clogging arteries—including those in your brain. Control your cholesterol levels.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases your risk for stroke as obesity is linked to high cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Unhealthy diet: Choosing healthy foods can help prevent stroke. Eat foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables to increase your fibre intake.
  • Not exercising: Regular exercise helps you stay at a healthy weight and can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Smoking: Cigarette contains toxic chemicals that damage your heart and blood vessels, which increases your risk for stroke. Quit smoking.
  • Drinking alcohol:  Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure, stay away from alcohol.
  • Stress: Stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Learn to manage your stress better by practicing meditation, staying positive, listening to music or taking up a hobby you enjoy.

Advanced Stroke care
Stroke is one of the largest contributors to increasing health loss in India over the last 30 years. India needs a comprehensive approach for awareness amongst the masses, timely diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation using advanced technologies and expertise.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital has established a comprehensive stroke care programme for the management of acute and chronic stroke patients. The Code Stroke Plan includes a stroke ambulance, emergency care services, neuro-imaging, neurological intensive care unit, neuro-intervention services, neurosurgical services, and a dedicated stroke unit. Our team offers comprehensive acute neurointervention services under a single roof. The Centre for Neurosciences has conducted over 875 brain surgeries for stroke in the past.

We offer a Stroke rehabilitation program that provides an optimal environment for recovery, functional improvement, and reduction in secondary complications and disability. The Multidisciplinary Team of specialists are equipped with these high-end technologies:

  • Gait & Motion Analysis Laboratory
  • Balance Assessment and Training System (BATS)
  • Body-Weight Support Treadmill Gait Training System (BWSTT)

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) is one of the only private hospitals in Mumbai and more so in Western India to have a comprehensive Level-1 Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) for patient care, training and research. The Trauma Centre is reputed to respond the fastest in times of a stroke. that ensures higher recovery chances. Please find below the link to our website: