Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Dementia (taken from Latin, originally meaning "madness", from de- "without" + ment, the root of mens "mind") is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging.
Dementia is a declineis a decline ofreasoning,memory, and other mental abilities (the cognitive functions).

This decline eventually impairs the ability to carry out everyday activitiessuch asdriving; household chores; and even personal caresuch asbathing, dressing, and feeding (often called activities of daily living, or ADLs).

It may be static, the result of a unique global brain injury, or progressive, resulting in long-term decline due to damage or disease in the body.
Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood.

Dementia, unlike Alzheimer's, is not a disease in itself. When dementia appears the higher mental functions of the patient are involved initially.
Eventually, in the later stages, the person may not know what day of the week, month or year it is, he may not know where he is, and might not be able to identify the people around him.

- Memory loss - the patient may forget his way back home from the shops. He may forget names and places. He may find it hard to remember what happened earlier on during the day.
- Moodiness - the patient may become more and more moody as parts of the brain that control emotion become damaged. Moods may also be affected by fear and anxiety - the patient is frightened about what is happening to him.
- Communicative difficulties
- The affected person finds it harder to talk read and/or write.


Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling mental illness and also sometimes called split personality disorder.
It affects men and women with equal frequency but in women it begins later. For this reason, males tend to account for more than half of patients in services with high numbers of young adults. Although schizophrenia usually begins in young adulthood, there are cases in which the disorder begins later (over 45 years).
Schizophrenia is thought to affect about 1% of people worldwide.

There are 5 types of schizophrenia:
- Catatonic
- Disorganized
- Paranoid
- Residual
- Undifferentiated

Symptoms, Schizophrenia may have a variety of symptoms. Usually the illness develops slowly over months or even years.
At first, the symptoms may not be noticeable. As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
- Delusions, false personal beliefs held with conviction in spite of reason or evidence to the contrary, not explained bythat person's cultural context
- Hallucinations,perceptions (can besound, sight, touch, smell, or taste) that occur in the absence of an actual external stimulus(Auditory hallucinations, those of voice or other sounds,are the most common type of hallucinationsin schizophrenia.)
- Disorganized thoughts and behaviors
- Disorganized speech
- Catatonic behavior, in which the affected person's body may be rigid and the person may be unresponsive

Schizophrenia usually begins before the age of 45, symptoms last for 6 months or more, and people start to lose their ability to socialize and work. Genetic factors appear to play a role. People who have family members with schizophrenia may be more likely to get the disease themselves.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a section of heart muscle becomes blocked. If the flow of blood isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle becomes damaged from lack of oxygen and begins to die.
If the heart muscle does not have enough blood (and consequently oxygen) it dies and a heart attack occurs.
According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, a heart attack is "infarction of a segment of heart muscle, usually due to occlusion of a coronary artery". (Infarction = the process whereby an area of dead tissue is caused by a loss of blood supply).
Heart attack is a leading killer of both men and women in the United States. But fortunately, today there are excellent treatments for heart attack that can save lives and prevent disabilities. Treatment is most effective when started within 1 hour of the beginning of symptoms.
Heart attack mostly happen because of:
- Smoke
- Have a family history of heart disease
- Lead an inactive lifestyle (doing less than 30 minutes physical activity per day, on most days)
- Have diabetes
- Are overweight or obese
- Have high blood pressure
- Have high blood cholesterol

Symptoms of a heart attack
Heart attack symptoms make the patient feel severe pain in the centre of their chest. This central chest pain is often described as heaviness, squeezing or crushing, and may come on suddenly causing them to collapse. The pain sometimes feels like severe indigestion. Other symptoms include:
- Pain spreading to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach
- Feeling sweaty and breathless
- Feeling sick or vomiting
- Chest discomfort, mild pain
- Coughing
- Crushing chest pain
- Dizziness
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Face seems gray
- A feeling of terror that your life is coming to its end
- Feeling really awful (general feeling)
- Nausea
- Restlessness
- The symptoms of a heart attack can come on suddenly, but sometimes the pain develops more slowly. If they already have angina (narrowing of their coronary arteries without complete blockage), they will find that the pain of a heart attack won't completely respond to their usual medicine (eg glyceryl trinitrate, or GTN). Heart-attack pain continues for longer than angina and can last for hours.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


What is cancer?
Cancer begins in Human cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you don't need them, and old cells don't die when they should.

Cancer harms the body when damaged cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except in the case of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream). Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren't cancer while malignant ones are. Cells from malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.
When a tumor successfully spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invading and destroying other healthy tissues, it is said to have metastasized. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a serious condition that is very difficult to treat.

So we can said that cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected.

Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Treatment plans may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Symptoms of cancer depend on the type and location of the tumor. For example, lung cancer can cause coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Colon cancer often causes diarrhea, constipation, and blood in the stool.
Some cancers may not have any symptoms at all. In certain cancers, such as gallbladder cancer, symptoms often do not start until the disease has reached an advanced stage.
The following symptoms can occur with most cancers: chills, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, malaise, night sweats, weight loss, etc..

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure and is most commonly found in the outer lining of the lungs called the mesothelium. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos and glass particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways.
Asbestos exposure doesn't result immediately in cancer. It takes years for the cancer to form and cause symptoms. Workers exposed in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's are just now being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer (malignancy) that most frequently arises from the cells lining the sacs of the chest (the pleura) or the abdomen (the peritoneum).
Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart), or the tunica vaginalis (a sac that surrounds the testis).
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form, often presenting with symptoms in the chest area. Peritoneal mesothelioma is much less common. This can effect the organs in the abdomen, and its symptoms are related to this area of the body, that is, abdominal swelling, nausea, vomiting, and bowel obstruction. The rarest form of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma, which involves the sac surrounding the heart.

The symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss.
Symptoms of mesothelioma do not appear immediately after being exposed, taking about 25 to 50 years after the initial exposure to develop. It is a very slow progressing disease that usually strikes middle age to senior adults long after their exposure to asbestos.

Symptoms of mesothelioma vary based on the type of mesothelioma, but general symptoms include:
- shortness of breath
- persistent cough
- chest pain
- wheezing
- abdominal mass
- abdominal swelling
- abdominal pain
changes in bowel habits

Many of these symptoms are non-specific, meaning they aren't exactly red flags for mesothelioma. However, when combined with previous exposure to asbestos, it may suggest to your physician to evaluate for mesothelioma. It is very important that your doctor is aware of any prior exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is also a rare disease, so it can be overlooked in the diagnostic process.