Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to perform the simplest tasks.

There are 10 warning signs and symptoms. 

Loss of memory that disrupts daily life.

Challenges in the planning or resolution of problems.

Difficulty in completing familiar tasks.

Confusion of time or place.

Trouble understanding visual images.

New problems with words in speaking or writing.

Losing the ability to retrace steps.

Poor judgment

No involvement in social activities

How long can a person have Alzheimer’s disease?

The time from diagnosis to death varies — as little as 3 or 4 years if the person is over 80 years of age when diagnosed, as long as 10 or more years if the person is younger.

Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates suggest that it may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as the cause of death for older people.

Although treatment can help manage symptoms in some people, there is currently no cure for this devastating disease.

Prevention

Alzheimer’s is not a preventable disease. Nonetheless, a number of lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s may be changed. Evidence suggests that changes in diet, exercise and habits— steps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease — may also reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-causing disorders. Healthy lifestyle choices that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s include the following:

  • Regular exercise 
  • Eat a diet of fresh produce, foods low in saturated fat.
  • Eat a diet of fresh produce, healthy oils and foods low in saturated fat
  • Follow treatment guidelines to manage high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol
  • If you smoke, ask your doctor for help to quit smoking

Studies have shown that preserved thinking skills later in life and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease are associated with participating in social events, reading, dancing, playing board games, creating art, playing an instrument, and other activities that require mental and social engagement.

HIV and Aids

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that damages the cells in your immune system and weakens your ability to fight everyday infections and disease.

AIDS is a set of symptoms (or syndrome as opposed to a virus) caused by HIV. A person is said to have AIDS when their immune system is too weak to fight off infection, and they develop certain defining symptoms and illnesses. This is the last stage of HIV, when the infection is very advanced, and if left untreated will lead to death.

Causes of HIV infection

HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person. This includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood, and breast milk.

Other ways HIV is spread from person to person include:

  • Through vaginal or anal sex.
  • Sharing needles, syringes, and other items for injection drug use.
  • Sharing tattoo equipment without sterilizing it between uses.
  • During pregnancy, labor, or delivery from a woman to her baby
  • Breastfeeding
  • Through “pre-mastication,” or chewing a baby’s food before feeding it to them
  • Through exposure to the blood of someone living with HIV, such as through a needle stick

The virus doesn’t spread in air or water, or through casual contact.

Symptoms of HIV 

Most people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within a month or two after the virus enters the body. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Rash
  • Sore throat and painful mouth sores
  • Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

Treatment options for HIV

No effective cure currently exists for HIV. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. If you think you may have been infected with HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus, see a health care provider as soon as possible.

What Is Autism?

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a wide range of conditions characterized by challenges to social skills, repetitive behaviour, speech and non-verbal communication. It may involve a wide range of symptoms and skills. ASD may be a minor problem or a disability that needs full-time care in a special facility.

Autism is classified as a “spectrum” condition because there is a wide variation and severity of symptoms that people experience. ASD is present in all ethnic, racial and economic groups. Although ASD can be a life-long disorder, treatments and services can improve the symptoms and ability of a person to function.

Autism Signs and Symptoms:

Symptoms of autism usually show up before the child turns 3. Several people show signs of conception.

  • Lack of eye contact
  • A limited range of interests or an intense interest in certain subjects
  • Doing something over and over, like repeating words or phrases, rocking back and forth.
  • High sensitivity to other people’s sounds, touches, smells, or sights
  • Not seeing or listening to others
  • Issues of understanding or using speech, gestures, facial expressions, or tone of voice
  • Singing in a voice, flat or robotic
  • Trouble adapting to changes in routine

Treatments and Therapies :

Treatment for ASD should begin as soon as possible after diagnosis. Early treatment for ASD is important as proper care can reduce the difficulties of individuals while helping them learn new skills and make the most of their strengths.

The wide range of issues faced by people with ASD means that there is no single best treatment for ASD. Working closely with a doctor or health professional is an important part of finding the right treatment program.

Appendicitis

Appendicitis is an inflammation in the appendix. Appendicitis causes pain in the lower right abdomen.  The appendix is a small, thin, 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) long pouch. It is connected to the large intestine, where the stools are formed. In most people, however, the pain begins around the navel and then moves. As the inflammation worsens, the pain of appendicitis usually increases and eventually becomes severe.

Although anyone may develop appendicitis, it most often occurs in people between the ages of 10 and 30. Normal treatment is the surgical removal of the appendix.

Appendicitis Symptoms

Many people with appendicitis have classic symptoms that can be easily identified by a physician. Abdominal pain is the main symptom of appendicitis.

  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Inability to pass gas
  • A low-grade fever that follows other symptoms
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Feeling that passing stool will relieve discomfort

Appendicitis causes

A blockage in the lining of the appendix that causes infection is a likely cause of appendicitis. The bacteria multiply rapidly, causing the appendix to become swollen, inflamed, and pus-filled. If not treated promptly, the appendix may be broken.

Treatment options for appendicitis

Depending on your condition, one or more of the following may be included in your recommended treatment plan for appendicitis:

  • Appendix removal surgery
  • Surgery to drain an abscess
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain relievers
  • IV fluids
  • liquid diet

Appendicitis may get better in rare cases without surgery. In most cases, however, you will need surgery to remove your appendix. It’s known as an appendectomy.

Aortic Dissection at SIMS Hospital

SIMS Hospital arranged media conference with Dr V.V. Bashi, held on Dec 19th 2019. First in India, An Elderly Person Undergoes Complex Surgery for Acute Type-A & Type-B Aortic Dissection at SIMS Hospital, Chennai”

For the first time in India, an elderly gentleman underwent successful surgery to correct multiple Aorta anomalies (Acute Type-A Dissection, Leakage in Aortic Valve and A Tear in the Distal End of Aorta) in a single-stage operation at the Aortic Aneurysm Centre, SIMS Hospital, Chennai.

For the first time in India, an elderly gentleman underwent successful surgery to correct multiple Aorta anomalies (Acute Type-A Dissection, Leakage in Aortic Valve and A Tear in the Distal End of Aorta) in a single-stage operation at the Aortic Aneurysm Centre, SIMS Hospital, Chennai.

Type-A dissection in the ascending aorta itself is a lethal condition that poses a challenge to cardiac surgeons. When this happens suddenly, the majority of patients do not survive unless surgery is performed in the first 48 hours. In addition, the treatment of the leaking aortic valve and the tear in the lower part of the descending aorta was a major challenge in this case. At present, in most centres, only the ascending aorta is corrected in such situations, leaving the other issues to be addressed after 1 or 2 years. Yet, at SIMS, the surgeons repaired all 3 different parts of the aorta in a single operation that lasted about 6 hours.

Case Details:
A 65-year-old gentleman (name withheld) from Coimbatore was admitted to SIMS Hospital with serious chest pain in the back and abdomen. The discomfort was very severe one day before the patient came to SIMS for consultation. He was diagnosed with Acute Type A Aortic Dissection along with a leaking aortic valve and a tear at the lower end of the descending aorta. It was a life-threatening situation for the patient who needed emergency surgery. The patient then rushed in for surgery within half an hour, which is mandatory in such a situation.

Talking on the complexities of aortic disorders, Dr. V. V. Bashi – Director of the Institute of Cardiac & Aortic Disorders (ICAD) at SIMS said, “It is quite difficult to detect aortic conditions on a preventive basis, and it would be difficult to detect 3 conditions in one case unless an appropriate diagnostic approach is taken. Another obstacle for us was to carry out all the surgical corrections in one session, even on an emergency basis.

The patient underwent a successful total remedial replacement of the entire diseased aorta with the repair of the aortic valve as a single-stage operation and had an inadvertent recovery. He’s doing well and expecting a normal life.

Such complex cases are conducted only in a few elite medical institutions in the world because they require superior surgical expertise, the latest technology and the availability of advanced hybrid graft (Thoraflex Graft).

Explaining the complexity of surgery, Dr. Bashi said, “Multi-stage operations over the years leave the patient and family in a state of fear and anxiety due to the risk of temporary mortality.

SIMS Hospital recently launched the First Exclusive Center for Aortic Diseases in India to offer a focused approach to the diagnosis and management of Aortic Disorders. The Center aims to raise awareness of various aspects of the disorders, such as risk factors, innovative treatment methods, etc.

Expressing his joy at this excellent surgical feat, Shri. Ravi Pachamoothoo – Chairman of the SRM Group, said, “It has always been our intention to be at the forefront of healthcare innovation and excellence in India. And our heritage of being in the field of education gives us that edge to bring new ideas and technologies, to cultivate and mentor future clinical talents in order to achieve that aim. We are fortunate enough to have outstanding doctors like Dr. Bashi, who has his own legacy in the field of cardiothoracic surgery, particularly in the treatment of aortic disorders, to guide our young doctors into a bright future.

Approximately 3-4 lakh people in India suffer from various types of Aortic Disorders every year, of which only about 1,000 people are treated. If the illness can be diagnosed early, the majority of patients can be successfully treated with a success rate of more than 95%. Very few centers in our country conduct aortic surgery in large numbers. Dr. Bashi and his team performed more than 1,500 aortic procedures, one of the biggest in any country to reach international standards.

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