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The human brain is the most complex and least understood part of the human anatomy. There may be a lot we don’t know, but here are a few interesting facts that we’ve got covered.
Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour. Ever wonder how you can react so fast to things around you or why that stubbed toe hurts right away? it’s due to the super-speedy movement of nerve impulses from your brain to the rest of your body and vice versa, bringing reactions at the speed of a high powered luxury sports car.
The brain operates on the same amount of power as 10-watt light bulb. The cartoon image of a light bulb over your head when a great thought occurs isn’t too far off the mark. Your brain generates as much energy as a small light bulb even when you’re sleeping.
The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the encyclopedia britannica. Or any other encyclopedia for that matter. Scientists have yet to settle on a definitive amount, but the storage capacity of the brain in electronic terms is thought to be between 3 or even 1, 000 terabytes. The national archives of britain, containing over 900 years of history, only takes up 70 terabytes, making your brain’s memory power pretty darn impressive.
Your brain uses 20% of the oxygen that enters your bloodstream. The brain only makes up about 2% of our body mass, yet consumes more oxygen than any other organ in the body, making it extremely susceptible to damage related to oxygen deprivation. So breathe deep to keep your brain happy and swimming in oxygenated cells.
The brain is much more active at night than during the day. Logically, you would think that all the moving around, complicated calculations and tasks and general interaction we do on a daily basis during our working hours would take a lot more brain power than, say, lying in bed. Turns out, the opposite is true. When you turn off your brain turns on. Scientists don’t yet know why this is but you can thank the hard work of your brain while you sleep for all those pleasant dreams.
Scientists say the higher your i. q. The more you dream. While this may be true, don’t take it as a sign you’re mentally lacking if you can’t recall your dreams. Most of us don’t remember many of our dreams and the average length of most dreams is only 2-3 seconds–barely long enough to register.
Neurons continue to grow throughout human life. For years scientists and doctors thought that brain and neural tissue couldn’t grow or regenerate. While it doesn’t act in the same manner as tissues in many other parts of the body, neurons can and do grow throughout your life, adding a whole new dimension to the study of the brain and the illnesses that affect it.
Information travels at different speeds within different types of neurons. Not all neurons are the same. There are a few different types within the body and transmission along these different kinds can be as slow as 0.5 meters/sec or as fast as 120 meters/sec.
The brain itself cannot feel pain. While the brain might be the pain center when you cut your finger or burn yourself, the brain itself does not have pain receptors and cannot feel pain. That doesn’t mean your head can’t hurt. The brain is surrounded by loads of tissues, nerves and blood vessels that are plenty receptive to pain and can give you a pounding headache.
80% of the brain is water. Your brain isn’t the firm, gray mass you’ve seen on tv. Living brain tissue is a squishy, pink and jelly-like organ thanks to the loads of blood and high water content of the tissue. So the next time you’re feeling dehydrated get a drink to keep your brain hydrated.
Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of the neck may become the reason behind severe neck pain. They sometimes take too much space and compress the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
I am 42 year old female .After slip disc L1toL4 problem, pain in left heel and becomes severe at times. Is it spur in the foot ,slip disc or something else.
My mri shows. Posterior disc prolapse between l4 l5 causing minimal thecal sac and neural foramina compression my doctor suggest me regular walking. What can I do for full recovery from the disc bulge.
Breast cancer is a type of a cancerous infection that develops in the skin cells of the breast. This condition is more commonly diagnosed after you have skin cancer and is more common in women than men. There are certain signs to identify this disease, which are as follows.
1. Breast lumps - Lumps are patches of skin that occur due to the thickening and swelling of the skin. Breast lumps is a very common phenomenon for women but that does not always lead to a breast cancer; however, frequent and reoccurring instances of the same increases the risk of breast cancer. A breast lump is easily identifiable through the naked eye as it looks different from the surrounding tissues.
2. Blood discharge - The nipple is one of the most sensitive areas in the human body. In case of women, it is meant to emit milk during pregnancy, in order to feed the infant externally. A probable symptom of breast cancer can also be a frequent discharge of blood from the nipple without any visible damage or injury.
3. Breast changes - If you are experiencing any visible changes in the size, appearance or shape of the breast, then it is an indicative sign that you may have breast cancer. Thus, it is of paramount importance that you observe, touch and physically examine your breast regularly for changes. If there is any major change detected then it is advisable to consult a doctor.
4. Inverted nipple - The tip of the nipple is generally bulging and pointing outwards both in cases of men and women. But sometimes the tip of the nipple is pushed inside due to excessive suction caused by the skin tissues present inside the breast around the nipple area. This suction forces the nipple to grow inwards which is abnormal and might harm the breast and skin in various ways.
However, apart from these main symptoms, some other signs are also there that increase your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer. They are redness or pitting of the skin over your breast like an orange, peeling or scaling of the pigmented area around the nipple, dimpling of the skin on the breasts, and such others. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.
I have disc bulge and getting pain in my left leg. I have MRI report my nerve is compressed of left leg.
1. What are the symptoms of liver disease? When to see a doctor?
Most of the liver diseases present with similar symptoms with some variations. Some of the common symptoms can be loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, vomiting of blood, jaundice(yellowish discoloration of the eye), abdominal pain, itching, distension of abdomen( accumulation of fluid- ascites), swelling of lower limbs, weight loss, altered sensorium, confusion, and in a late stage- coma.
2. Can liver disease be prevented?
Liver is a crucial body organ which is responsible for processing essential nutrients from the food you eat, synthesizing bile and most importantly removing harmful toxins from the system. To ensure that your liver keeps performing its functions, you need to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the liver diseases are metabolic and hence inherent at the time of birth and manifest later. However, some of the more common liver diseases are preventable like alcohol induced liver disease, fatty liver induced liver disease (NAFLD), Hepatitis A, B and C.
3. What is liver transplantation? What is the average cost of liver transplantation?
Liver transplantation is the treatment for end stage liver disease in both adults and children. In this operation, the diseased liver is removed and replaced by a healthy one. The success rate for the operation is high and terminally ill patient can return to normal lives.
The average cost of liver transplantation is Rs 18 to 20 Lakhs at Sahyadri specialty hospital, Pune Maharashtra. The cost of investigations of the donor and recipient is Rs 90,000. When patients are too sick and require prolonged stay following liver transplantation, the cost of treatment can escalate; hence it is advisable to patients to have the liver transplantation before they develop complications secondary to the liver disease (Cirrhosis).
Most of the patients seek help at a very late stage or referred late to a Surgeon. It is advisable for patients to seek the opinion of a Surgeon at a very early stage of the disease. The patient needs to take medicines for the rest of his life to prevent rejection of the new liver. The cost of medicines and the investigations in the first year is approximately Rs 10-15000/-. The number of medicines and the frequency of blood investigations are much less after the first year of liver transplantation.
The cost of liver transplantation in India is one-twentieth when compared to USA, UK and other European Countries.
4. When should a liver transplant be performed?
When a person’s liver is severely damaged and cannot function properly or complications may develop and liver transplantation should be considered. Conditions like hepatic coma, massive upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver cancer is the best treated by complete removal of the liver (cirrhotic liver).
In general, when a patient needs a new liver, the earlier the operation, the higher the success rate is.
Urgent liver transplantation is recommended in patients who have acute liver failure and this could be due to many reasons. The common conditions are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E and drug induced. In such patients, liver transplantation is urgently needed in order to save the life of the individual.
5. What are the advantages/benefits to the recipient of getting a living donation vs cadaver?
A new liver can come from either of the two sources: A living donor or a brain-dead deceased donor.
Living donor transplantation:
It is technically feasible to remove part of the liver from a living person and transplant it to a patient who needs a new liver. The operation has now been done since 1989. Depending on the size matching of the donor and recipient, either the left side (about 35-40%) or the right side (60-65%) of the liver will have to be removed. The liver remnant in the donor will grow to its original size in 6-8 weeks time.
This process helps in an earlier transplantation before the recipients’ conditions deteriorates. It is a planned procedure whilst cadaver liver transplantation is an emergency procedure. It avoids the risk of death while waiting for a deceased donor liver graft(40% overall and 75% for patients in Intensive care units). The survival rate of a living donor transplant is over 90%.
There are risks like complications of the investigations and surgical procedures but the possibility of donor death rate is of 0.2-0.5%. Seventeen donor deaths have been reported in Brazil, France, Germany, Egypt, Hong Kong, Japan, USA and India.
This is well established in the Europe and USA. Unfortunately, the availability of deceased donor liver is not very often in India. Depending on your blood group, you may have to wait for 0 to 6 months before you get a new liver.
During this waiting period, you may develop complications like spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (infection of the fluid in the abdomen) which, if repetitive may produce severe adhesions in your abdomen rendering liver transplantation difficult if not impossible.
It is important for everyone to register for organ donation, so that when we die, this noble act will help many people to lead normal lives. In the Western world the organ donation rate is between 15-18/million population where as in Indi it is less than 1/million.
6. Who can be a suitable living donor?
The most important criteria is that the donation of portion of the liver is done voluntarily. The donor has to be less than 50 years of age, body mass index of less than 25 and is a near relative of the recipient. Both the donor and the patient should have the same Blood group or O Blood group.
Besides, the potential donor should understand clearly that
- The donor operation carries complication rate of 10-15%.
- The recipient is successful in 90-95%, which means that there is 5-10% chance of dying.
- The donation is done out of his/her own wish and without any coercion.
- There is no financial gain related to the act of donation.
- The donor has the right to withdraw at any time without the need of giving any reasons to do so.
7. Which patients are excluded from liver transplantation procedure?
Patients who have cancer in another part of the body, active alcohol or illegal drug abuse, active or severe infection in any part of the body, serious heart, lung or neurological conditions or those who are unable to follow doctors’ instructions are excluded generally.
8. What are the risks to the recipient from the surgery?
The overall success rate of liver transplant is over 94% and the majority of recipients can return to normal activities and achieve 95% of their quality of life which they had prior to liver disease. Since the recipients’ body may reject the new liver, it is essential for them to take immunosuppressive medications and continue follow up at the liver transplant clinic. They will need to continue these medications for life, at a reducing dosage.
The risk for the recipient is the return of the original problem that necessitated the liver transplant in the first place, e.g. hepatitis C, recidivism (return to alcoholism), noncompliance of medications. The other complications that can arise are thrombosis of blood vessels going into or out of the liver, primary or delayed graft non-function, bile duct complications, renal failure and other infections.
9. What are the side effects of having a liver transplant?
After a successful liver transplantation (95% of patients) – the patient is advised to take care of infections and to take anti-rejection medicines for life. The patient can return to normal quality of life and can return back to work in three months time. The patient has to regularly follow up with the surgeon in the first year and later at regular intervals as advised by his doctor. He will require blood tests to determine that his liver functions and to adjust his medications in the beginning and later the tests are infrequent. The patient is advised not to take any herbal or alternative drug treatment.
The transplant patient is assessed regularly for various complications like rejection, infection, narrowing of blood vessels etc., and appropriate treatment is initiated. Post transplantation, he is under the guidance of his doctor throughout his life. Any health problems that do come up have to be investigated and treated, though they are infrequent.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Ultra sound is commonly known as sonography. It is a process of reproducing ultrasound images of soft tissues of a particular body part and other organs on the computer screen with the help of the echoes of the sound waves produced by the transducer, a high-frequency generating instrument.
Ultra sound is commonly used during the different stages of pregnancy to denote the foetal health, date of delivery, birth defects etc. However, in recent times, the ultra sound has also been associated with the diagnosis of other body parts such as the eyes, heart, gall bladder, liver, ovary, uterus, kidney, uterus, testicles, and ovaries. Ultra sound has also been useful in conducting biopsies for suspecting cancer patients, although not all of the cancers are detected by this imaging process. 3D & 4D ultrasound imaging are useful for looking at a particular body portion with much more precision and in slow motion respectively.
The advantages of ultra sound are:
1. The process of ultrasound imaging is a painless and a fast one. It does not require any insertion of needles or similar objects to denote the problems of the concerned body part.
2. The process is more convenient as compared to other similar imaging processes like MRI, mammogram and x-rays as they can capture images of the soft tissues, blood flow & cysts more clearly than the other processes.
3. The process is free of any harmful effects as there are no chances of exposure to radiation as compared to similar processes such as CT scans or X-rays. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
We have more than 200 bones in our body and each of them is susceptible to bone cancer. However, long bones in the arms and legs are most susceptible to this condition. Bone cancer can be primary or secondary. Primary bone cancer involves uncontrolled and abnormal cell division within the bones while secondary bone cancer refers to cancer that originated somewhere else in the body and later spread to the bones. While children and adults are equally at risk for primary bone cancer, adults and elderly people are more susceptible to secondary bone cancer. If diagnosed early enough, bone cancer can be treated and even cured with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
Hence it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of bone cancer. Here’s what you should look out for.
- Pain in Bones: Pain is one the primary symptoms of bone cancer. As the tumour grows larger, this pain can become more intense. In its early stages, the pain may be experienced as a dull ache inside the bone or the affected part of the body. It may also increase or decrease according to your activity level or may be experienced only at night. However, not all bone pains signify ‘cancer’ as this is also a symptom associated with osteoporosis.
- Swelling: In some cases, the abnormal growth of bone cells can result in the formation of a lump of mass that may be felt through the skin. In other cases, the affected area may also show signs of swelling.
- Breaking of the Bone: Cancer can weaken the bones and make them more brittle. This may make the bones more susceptible to fractures. A bone breaking in an area that has been painful or sore for a long period of time may be a sign of cancer. This is known as a pathologic fracture.
- Reduced Flexibility: If the tumour is located near a joint, it may affect the range of movements possible and make simple actions uncomfortable. For example, a tumour around the knee may make walking and climbing stairs a painful exercise.
Other symptoms to look out for are sudden and drastic weight loss, tiredness, excessive sweating at night, fever and difficulty breathing in case cancer has spread to other organs. Since many of these symptoms are common to other medical disorders, you should consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of them. A physical examination and a couple of tests along with a biopsy will be required to confirm a diagnosis of bone cancer.