6 Ways Speech Therapy Can Help Your Child With Autism

Parents searching for the best autism treatment in bangalore for their children will know that Speech Therapy is one of the first recommended courses of action. Since children with Autism often find it difficult to communicate and interact in social situations, Speech Therapy can help them enhance their communication skills and process social cues. It is essential to know that every child with Autism has different needs and will respond to different kinds of therapy. 

Understanding Autism

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social, behavioral, and communicative abilities. People with Autism tend to have difficulties interacting with their environment and other people and often display impaired cognitive skills as well. While there is no cure, therapy helps them lead fulfilling lives that include social interactions, work relations, and even close emotional relationships.

Benefits of speech therapy for children with Autism

To help children with Autism, Speech therapists work with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other professionals to find appropriate ways for them to communicate effectively. From using picture boards to convey concepts to composing songs that match the rhythm of sentences, there are multiple techniques that therapists may use. In addition to one-on-one therapy, moreover, speech therapists may engage the child in group therapy to help them practice better social interaction.  

Speech Therapy has multiple benefits for children with Autism, including:

  • Better articulation: Speech Therapy is invaluable for children who may be struggling with even the basics of language and expression. Lip exercises, pronunciation practice, and even facial massages can help them articulate words in a better manner. In addition to improving skills required for speaking intelligibly, speech therapists can also help children with Autism use expressive intonations to communicate better.
  • Improved understanding of non-verbal cues: Children with Autism who take speech therapy regularly are better able to understand cues like facial expressions, nods, eye contact, posture, and other things that often reflect what someone else is feeling.
  • Communication without prompts: Speech Therapy can help children with Autism understand the circumstances and the scenarios where they need to say things without being prompted. For instance, therapy can teach them to say ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ depending on when they are meeting an individual, or even to ask for anything that they might need such as permission to go to the restroom. 
  • Self-regulation: Just knowing what to say when can be hard for children with Autism. Even knowing when not to say something can be as much of a challenge. Speech Therapy can guide children through various social codes of conduct such as not criticizing someone to their face or not interrupting when someone else is speaking.
  • Exchange of ideas: Children with Autism often find it hard to think creatively and express their thoughts. Speech Therapy can help them participate better in situations that call for the exchange of ideas, such as discussing with other children what game to play next.
  • Better conversation: With regular Speech Therapy, children with Autism can overcome their inherent tendency to avoid or rebel against social interactions. As they learn how to participate in conversations, they can start enjoying the process of meeting people and talking to them about different things. The more successful conversations they have, the more confident they become and the likelier they will be to seek out social relations.

When to start Speech therapy

Typically, Autism Spectrum Disorder will manifest in your child before the age of three. You will also notice any language delays or abnormalities before eighteen months. The right time to start Speech Therapy is after your child’s sensory responses are regulated. Therefore, it should ideally begin only after they have received Occupational Therapy as that will help reveal greater results in their sensory integration system.

While Autism may make it harder for your child to fit in, early identification and availing of the Best Autism Treatment in Bangalore will help them develop the social skills they need to enjoy a fulfilling life. Be sure to ask the therapist any questions you may have about their techniques and to monitor your child’s progress so that you know they are receiving the best care possible.

Decoding Spinal Cord Injury — Its Types and Levels

A Spinal Cord Injury is a serious medical condition that often results in permanent loss of function in one or more parts of your body. Hence, it requires immediate care, the right medication, and customized therapy from the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore, so that patients can gain better control over their lives and reduce the risk of chronic medical conditions. Having an understanding of the different types of Spinal Cord Injury and how they affect the body is also useful in this regard.

Understanding Spinal Cord Injury

A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is mutilation to the spinal cord that causes reversible or irreversible changes in its function. The damage to the spinal cord can occur in a variety of ways, although the most common cause is due to external trauma. While not nearly as prevalent, non-traumatic injury to the spinal cord is a possibility from causes such as tumors, blood loss, or stenosis. Its symptoms may include loss of muscle function, sensation, or autonomic function in the parts of the body supplied by the spinal cord below the level of the injury.

It is typically diagnosed with the help of a CT scan, MRI, or X-ray. The doctor will check the patient’s motor and sensory functions to assess the degree of damage. If there are any broken bones or tissue damage as a result of the injury, emergency surgery may be needed.

Types and levels of Spinal Cord Injury

There are two ways to classify a Spinal Cord Injury, one is by type and another is by level. There are two types of Spinal Cord Injury:

  • Complete Spinal Cord Injury: It results in permanent damage to the affected part of the spinal cord and leads to paraplegia (lower body paralysis) or tetraplegia (paralysis in all limbs).
  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: It results in partial damage to the affected part of the spinal cord. The patient’s ability to move and feel depends on how serious the injury is and which part of the spine was affected and the overall outcome is dependent on the patient’s health and medical history. Most Spinal Cord Injuries are incomplete, as medical professionals know how to administer prompt care so that the damage from the initial injury is contained.

By level, one can classify Spinal Cord Injuries based on which of the four sections of the spinal cord was affected. They are:

  • Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: It is the most severe type of SCI, as the cervical area is the closest to the brain. A cervical SCI can cause partial or complete loss of functions along with associated medical complications, and may even lead to death. Those who recover may require permanent 24-hour medical care for the rest of their lives.
  • Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury: It affects the upper chest, abdominal muscles, and mid-back area. Damage to the thoracic portion of the spine can lead to loss of sensation in the legs and genitals, incontinence, lower back pain, and fever. A thoracic SCI typically leads to paraplegia, with arm and hand functionality unaffected. Once recovered, a patient may learn to move around in a wheelchair or even walk with the help of braces or a standing frame — depending on what their health was like at the time of the injury.
  • Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury: It affects the hips and legs. The lumbar portion of the spine carries more weight than any other part. Injuries here lead to varying degrees of loss of function in the lower body but do not affect the upper body. Depending on the patient’s strength, they may learn to walk with a frame or braces. Special equipment may be needed to compensate for the loss of bladder and/or bowel control.
  • Sacral Spinal Cord Injury: It affects the upper thighs, hips, buttocks, and genital area. This type of SCI is rare, and usually only occurs as a result of direct injury to the sacral area. Patients will experience some loss of function in the legs and hips as well as little or no bowel/bladder control, but will generally be able to walk.

The long-term treatment goals for a Spinal Cord Injury include rehabilitation and therapy to help the patient regain mobility and strength in parts of the body with nerve damage. A regenerative rehabilitation program consisting of Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cell Nutritive Therapy, various oral and intravenous medications, along with a holistic rehabilitation program comprising of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy at the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore can help a patient in their road to recovery. Having a support system of family, friends, and fellow patients will also provide some relief in these challenging times.

A Quick Guide to the Benefits of Exercise for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a daily challenge. As the motor neurons degenerate, the patient progressively loses the ability to move freely. However, exercise is proven to increase strength and mobility for ALS patients and reduce the risk of depression. It is important though exercise only according to the advice of a healthcare professional. Here is a quick guide to the benefits of exercise for ALS patients:

Understanding Motor Neuron Disease

Motor Neuron Disease is a group of neurodegenerative disorders that selectively affect motor neurons, i.e. the cells that control all the voluntary muscles of the body. These voluntary muscles are responsible for performing movements at one’s will.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, causes muscles all over the body to degenerate progressively — leading to an inability to move, speak, or swallow.

How exercise can benefit patients with ALS

Exercise has been recognized as a useful complement to medical treatment and other forms of therapy such as Stem Cell Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy for those living with ALS. It improves joint function and retains muscle strength in patients at different stages of the disease. As a consequence of the increased strength and easing of symptoms, exercise can also improve the patient’s mental health and quality of life.

The goal of exercise for ALS patients should be slowing muscular atrophy, improving posture, and reducing joint immobility. Low-impact aerobic exercise like walking or swimming can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen unaffected muscles, and combat depression and fatigue. In addition, stretching can help increase the range of motion and reduce muscle spasticity.

Tips for exercising safely with ALS

For those with ALS, it is essential to perform all forms of exercises under the close supervision of a rehabilitation professional, specialized in treating degenerative neurological disorders. They can tailor an exercise plan for you as part of the best Motor Neuron Disease treatment and monitor your progress. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

Start small: Allow your body to get accustomed to the exercises by starting with short sessions of a few minutes each and then ramping it up as you feel stronger.
Perform cardio or aerobics: Walking, cycling, or other aerobic exercises performed at moderate intensity are ideal for those with ALS.
Break it up into sets: To help you get the most out of your exercise session without overdoing it, break the session up into segments that let you perform optimally with rest in between. For instance, if you are using a recumbent bicycle, you can have a 30-minute session broken up into parts of 10 minutes each.
Don’t forget to stretch: After a workout session, you should stretch your muscles to avoid fatigue and to recover faster.
Listen to your body: It is crucial that you pay attention to what your body needs and not overexert yourself. If you feel unwell during exercise, stop and rest. Do not try to push through fatigue, as that can have negative effects. If you feel cramps or twitches in your muscles, stop exercising at once and consult your therapist.
Consider using assistive gear: In addition to exercise, assistive devices like braces, orthotics, or wheelchairs can also enhance the patient’s mobility. Talk to your doctor about using one of these as needed.

While no exercise can reverse the progression of ALS, doing it regularly can slow your rate of muscle degeneration and improve your overall mobility. Consult your healthcare specialist about how exercise can be incorporated into the best Motor Neuron Disease treatment for you. Listen to what your body is telling you and enjoy the physical and mental gains!

Controlling Muscle Spasms in Your Child With Cerebral Palsy

Children with Cerebral Palsy require special care to stay healthy and happy. Pain is one of the most common conditions that children with Cerebral Palsy undergo, and much of the pain comes from muscle spasms that inhibit normal movement.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy And Muscle Spasms

Cerebral Palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, coordination, and motor skills caused by damage or abnormalities in the developing brain. Children may have Cerebral Palsy from birth or acquire it later on. The disorder commonly manifests in learning and speech difficulties, motor disabilities, lack of balance, and seizures.

A common consequence of Cerebral Palsy is overly toned muscles, which lead to spasms when they contract. This leads to difficulty in movement and pain that is often severe. Spastic muscles do not act as the child wants them to and may lead to jerky movements or even an inability to move. Different children may exhibit different degrees of spasticity, from only a few muscles being affected to the entire body. The spasms can be highly uncomfortable and painful and even lead to difficulties in breathing or swallowing.

Consequences of Muscle Spasms

For a child with Cerebral Palsy, chronic pain due to muscle spasms means a difficult and limited way of living. Even simple tasks like getting dressed, eating, or going to bed become painful while playing outside like other children is practically impossible. This often leads to depression, anxiety, and frustration as they are unable to do the things they want to do. Moreover, as several physical therapy activities might also cause pain, children may resist attending therapy, which can hamper the progress of treatment. Besides, chronic pain can impact a child psychologically and cause them to lash out and become more aggressive with family members or peers. They could also withdraw entirely from all social activities and relationships as they are unable to enjoy them the way other people can.

How to Manage Muscle Spasms in Your Child With Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy manifests differently in each child and there is no one-size-fits-all remedy. Your doctor may prescribe one or more types of pain medication to help ease the symptoms of muscle spasms. Overall, however, you will need to work with a healthcare team — including the pediatrician, dietitian, speech therapist, physical therapist, and others — to develop the best Cerebral Palsy treatment plan for your child. It is natural to feel helpless when you see your child in chronic pain owing to spasticity. Here is how you can help to alleviate the pain and improve the quality of life for your child.

Ensure regular physical therapy: While therapy itself may cause additional pain for your child, it is crucial for improving range of motion, helping with joint alignment, and enabling better natural movement that will reduce pain over time. Accompany your child to each session and soothe them whenever they express discomfort or pain.
Position your child properly in bed: Correct positioning is crucial to helping your child with Cerebral Palsy sleep well. Experiment with different positions to find one that causes the least pain, or invest in special equipment if necessary.
Improve their mental health: Being in chronic pain can make it hard for children to stay positive. Help them feel better by sparking their interest in activities you can do together without physical exertion, such as listening to music or watching a movie. If necessary, seek the help of a psychological counselor to help them process their anxiety, frustration, or depression.
Help them be active: Even if your child can’t run and play like their peers, keeping them active is essential. Help them walk around and move to the best of their ability, and introduce them to new games they might like. The more active they are, the healthier they will be, and they might even experience fewer muscle spasms.
Keep listening: As the parent, you must always keep your eyes and ears open for signs that your child is in pain. Look for small cues, such as changes in facial expression, and ask your child exactly where they are feeling the pain.

It can be hard for you as a parent to watch your child suffer muscle spasms. However, they can be alleviated and ultimately cured with the best Cerebral Palsy treatment. With the help of the medical team and a lot of patience and love, you can ensure that your child experiences less pain and leads as fulfilling a life as possible.

The Importance of a Sensory Diet for Children with Autism

Do you ever catch yourself fidgeting during a meeting or going for a walk in the middle of the day to stay alert? When you do these things, you’re providing the sensory input your body needs to remain focused and attentive throughout the day.

For children with sensory processing issues, such as those with Autism, these needs are even more intense. Without proper exposure to stimuli, patients can struggle with being organized and in control, demonstrating appropriate behavior, or paying attention to their surroundings. 

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social, behavioral, and communicative abilities. 

Several factors, such as genetic disorders, can influence the development of the condition. It is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and issues such as gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, and sleep disorders as well as depression and anxiety.

The best Autism treatment offers a full-fledged plan that addresses the symptoms of the patients as well as educates parents and caregivers about the management of symptoms and needs of their child. 

What Is A Sensory Diet?
A sensory diet is a carefully planned routine or series of physical activities and accommodations tailored to give each child the sensory input they need. Completing a routine can help children pay more attention to studies, learn new skills, and socialize with other children.

Although children with ASD are often overstimulated and require help to calm down or feel more alert, they are not always able to recognize when they must step back. Parents are advised to consistently implement a sensory schedule to allow their children to become more self-aware and exercise increasing self-control.

A sensory diet is typically planned and executed by an occupational therapist. They design the routine of activities to fit the child’s needs and schedules, taking into consideration the age, severity of the condition, and other important factors.

What Does a Sensory Diet Include?
A sensory diet usually includes a combination of textures, smells, visual cues, and exercises that ensures the child receives a multitude of stimuli. A set of one or more can be used and include:

Physical components:
Physical activities are the easiest to start with as most children tolerate movement better than any other type of sensory input. Activities that use the core muscles result in a greater amount of sensory stimulation and might include:

  • Wheelbarrow walking and somersaulting
  • Animal-themed walking (e.g bear walks, crab walks, frog jumps)
  • Using a trampoline
  • Swinging in all directions
  • Mock wrestling
  • Sandwiching between soft items such as pillows or balls
  • Wearing a heavy backpack for movement
  • Playing with weighted items (rice bag on the lap while sitting or heavy blanket for sleep)

Tactile components: Playing with clay, slime, sand, shaving cream, birdseed, rice, or any other tactile products allows the child to get accustomed to various types of physical textures.

Visual components: Visual stimulation is important but needs to be planned carefully as it can often be overwhelming. Using torches to look at books, using dot-to-dots or mazes to narrow visual attention, and using solid colors in the child’s room are all good examples of a visual sensory diet.

Oral components: Specific toys or foods can be used to
supply sensory input to the mouth, jaw, and lips.

Auditory components: This can be in form of providing ‘white noise’ or music through a player or using noise reduction headphones.

Why is a Sensory Diet Important?
Similar to our need for a balanced food diet to keep our bodies healthy, we also require a balance of sensory information for our mind to remain in optimal condition. A sensory diet provides regular opportunities for a child with Autism to receive the stimulation they need to function.

A sensory diet can be established and then modified over time to keep up with the shift in the child’s sensory processing changes or environmental demands. As they learn to self-regulate their emotions and reactions, they develop important life skills such as empathy, concentration, generosity, and patience.

This enables a child to move from depending on others to becoming more independent and managing tasks or situations by themselves.

Treatment Options for Children with Autism
Although Autism cannot be cured, there are several methods of therapy that can help treat the symptoms and specific requirements of patients.

Currently, the best Autism treatment involves a holistic approach to ASD which includes one or more of the following:

  • Medications
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Occupational therapy intervention: sensory integration therapy, behavior retraining therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, social skills training
  • Speech Therapy

Parents are encouraged to seek medical help and support for both their children and themselves. With a little bit of patience and care, using a sensory diet can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Healing with Your Heels – Dance Therapy and Parkinson’s Disease

Dancing is one of the most natural and comforting art forms, performed to express emotions, cultures, skills, and, above all, for enjoyment. Due to the fitness and social aspects of dance, studies have shown therapeutic dancing has been advocated as an effective addition to conventional physical therapy. People with incurable, terminal diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease, stand to gain a lot from dance therapy, in terms of improvement in balance, coordination, posture, and mental health. 

Parkinson’s Disease is the gradual breakdown or death of nerve cells. It is characterized by decreased secretion of dopamine —a neurochemical that is responsible for controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers and regulating muscle movement. It is progressive, meaning that it gets worse over time. 

The exact reasons that trigger the disease are unknown, but several factors come into play. These can include age, genetic mutations, and hereditary factors, as well as exposure to certain toxins or environmental triggers. 

The best treatment for Parkinson’s Disease includes all factors, including the age of the patients, stage of illness, and severity of symptoms. Although the disease does not directly kill people, it can cause severe complications such as making patients more prone to falls, pneumonia, and infections. 

Therapeutic Dance for Patients

Dance/movement therapy uses movement, in all forms, as a means of observation, assessment, and intervention. Dance therapy does not necessarily focus on a stylized choreography, a specific set of skills, or technique. Instead, it allows individuals to move and find comfort in their bodies and to express what words might be too difficult to uncover.

Dance therapy can help support people with Parkinson’s Disease and it is facilitated by registered individuals with a degree in this form of therapy. Depending on where they practice, they may be clinical counselors, social workers, creative arts therapists, or psychologists. 

Benefits of Dance for Patients

Parkinson’s Disease affects both motor and non-motor functions of patients. This includes movement disorders such as bradykinesia, tremors, rigidity, and postural instability, which vary over time and between individuals. Nonmotor symptoms include cognitive impairment, autonomic dysfunction, depression, and anxiety which can lead to withdrawal from participation in social activities.

Several studies have shown conventional physiotherapy to have short-term benefits for gait, postural stability, mobility, and quality of life in some individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Nevertheless, compliance and adherence with physiotherapy and routine exercises can be challenging over a long period. This is where non-conventional therapy, such as dance therapy, comes in. 

Over the past couple of decades, an increasing amount of research has been carried out on how different forms of dance might help treat Parkinson’s Disease. Dance appears to be very helpful in improving gait and balance in patients. It also can provide social stimulation and support, which can help reduce depression and improve quality of life. Additionally, dance stimulates cognitive functioning, an area that patients often struggle with.

What Type of Dance is Best for Parkinson’s Disease?

Every patient shows different symptoms and requirements, resulting in varying responses to dance forms. Some patients benefit from structured classes and practice, while others prefer to move their bodies freely to music. 

Here are a few types of dance that have been shown to have a specific value for people with Parkinson’s Disease:

  • Research suggests that tango might be a strategy for improving functional mobility deficits. Tango can involve learning specific ways of moving that might improve gait and balance
  • Some patients enjoy certain dances including interpretive, ballet, tap, folk, and social dancing. This helps them experience the joys and benefits of dance while creatively addressing symptom-specific concerns related to balancing, cognition, motor skill, depression, and physical confidence
  • Zumba is a dance fitness program that combines these elements of fitness: cardio, muscle conditioning, balance, and flexibility, choreographed to Latin and world music. The Gold version of Zumba is a lower-intensity, low impact version that emphasizes balance and coordination, along with social interaction


A diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, like any other chronic and incurable disease, can be life-altering and scary. Since the exact causes are unknown, a center specializing in the treatment for Parkinson’s Disease holistically approaches the symptoms. The treatment plan includes a customized combination of the following:

  • Prophylactic options such as Stem Cell Therapy and specific medication
  • A customized Regenerative Rehabilitation Program which comprises regular physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy

Living with Parkinson’s Disease
It is imperative to remember that being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease is not a death sentence. 

Symptoms can be effectively controlled with proper medical supervision and advice, maintenance of good physical and mental health, and emotional support from friends and family.

7 Tips for Parents of Children With Cerebral Palsy

There is no one-size-fits-all piece of advice for any parent on how to raise a child with Cerebral Palsy (CP). You can expect to take on numerous, unique responsibilities and challenges that may last a lifetime. However, caring for such a child requires patience, understanding, and lots of effort.

In such a scenario, learning about the disorder, educating yourself on caregiving tips, and looking for the best treatment for Cerebral Palsy in Bangalore can help you manage the condition in a better way. Hence, let us first understand what exactly is CP.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

CP refers to a group of neurological disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, coordination, and motor skills caused by damage or abnormalities in the developing brain. It appears in infancy or early childhood, and the symptoms may differ in type and severity from one person to another. It can even change over time, depending on which parts of the brain have received injuries.

People with CP usually have problems with movement and posture. While some may experience intellectual disability, seizures, and abnormal physical sensations or perceptions, others face language and speech difficulties.

Caring for a Child with Cerebral Palsy

CP is the leading cause of childhood disabilities and affects each child differently. While one child with severe CP might be unable to walk and need extensive lifelong care, another child with mild CP might be only slightly awkward and require no special assistance. Hence, no two parents will have the same experience while caring for their children with CP.

Whether your little one has mild or severe CP, several tips can help them do their best. Let’s take a look:

1. Get Organized

While caring for your child with CP, getting organized is one of the crucial steps. Not only does it help to reduce daily stress, but it also helps to react quickly if an emergency occurs. So it is vital to keep a list of things always ready at your disposal. These include important dates, doctors’ phone numbers, emergency contacts, appointment schedules, medical records, lab test results, and medications.

2.  Promote Active Lifestyle

Although your child might not be as active as their peers, it is still important to promote an active lifestyle. Help your child walk, play, and move as much as possible. Teach new skills and focus on different activities to strengthen muscles, helping reduce the occurrence of spasms and contractures.

3. Focus On Diet

A child with CP is often prone to having weaker bones. Therefore, it is wise to serve them healthy food that can help strengthen bones and muscles. Ensure that your child consumes a variety of food that is rich in calcium, fiber, and protein. These include low-fat dairy products, fruits, and vegetables (especially leafy greens such as kale). Having a nutritionist on board is extremely crucial for this purpose.

4. Help Your Child To Stay Positive

A child with CP may not always be able to do the things that their siblings or peers can. It can be hard for them to have a positive outlook on life. Help your child to develop an optimistic attitude and seek mental health care, if necessary. Furthermore, help them focus on what they can do, and then do those things together.

5. Get Out of the House

Expose your child to new activities and experiences and indulge in them together. Whether it is going to the museum, listening to music, working on art and craft projects, or just playing games — these will help them boost their self-esteem and learn new skills.

6. Get to Know Other Parents

Getting to know other parents of children with CP and forming a bond with them can help you build a support system. Not only can they assist with finding the best treatment for Cerebral Palsy in Bangalore, but they can also share their experiences. Additionally, your child can also become friends with their children.

7. Take Care of Your Health

Unfortunately, parents often tend to get wrapped up in raising their children and forget the importance of their health. However, it is all the more crucial for you to take care of yourself. Maintain a proper diet, get plenty of sleep, and most importantly, take time to relax and ask for help if and when needed.

A child with CP requires long-term physical and mental care. While sometimes caring for them can become a bit too overwhelming, you can always look for the best treatment for Cerebral Palsy in Bangalore to make things a lot easier for you and your child.

7 Post-Stroke Recovery Exercises for Your Whole Body

You may have heard the term — Stroke — before. You may even know someone who’s experienced one. After all, it affects about 1.8 million people a year in India alone, with thousands of these individuals facing long-term effects as a result. In fact, Stroke is a common problem for people between the ages of 55 and 65.

Understanding Stroke

Also called a cerebrovascular accident, a Stroke is a type of brain damage caused by an interruption in its blood flow. It occurs when the blood supply to a part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing the brain tissues from getting oxygen and nutrients. When this happens, the brain cells begin to die.

Symptoms of Stroke

The symptoms of Stroke vary depending upon the area of the brain affected by a lack of oxygen. However, they typically arise suddenly and most commonly occur on one side of the body. Symptoms and signs of Stroke can include:

  • Headache, nausea, and vomiting
  • Trouble speaking and understanding speech
  • Dimness, especially in one eye, or loss of vision
  • Confusion and changes in the level of consciousness
  • Loss of balance, strength, coordination, and sensation
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the face, arm, or leg

Post-Stroke Rehabilitation Exercises for Your Whole Body

Almost all Stroke survivors experience at least some physical effects. These effects — which include motor and sensory impairments — can significantly impair the ability to walk, work, or even perform daily simple activities (such as bathe, wear clothes, or get out of bed).

Performing simple exercises at home — coupled with various therapies from the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore — can help speed up the recovery process. Let’s take a look at some of the exercises that can improve your strength, range of motion, endurance, balance, and other physical skills in your entire body.

1. Wrist Curls

Hold a lightweight item in your palm and rest your forearm face up on a table or your lap. Flex your wrist by bringing your palm toward your forearm. This exercise is good for improving the range of motion and strength in your forearm and hand.

2. Shoulder Openers

Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and hold them at your sides and externally rotate your arms. Think about initiating the movement by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Perform this exercise repeatedly to improve your strength and range of motion in the shoulder.

3. Table Circles

Clasp your hands together and place them on a table in front of you. Using a churning motion, trace a large circle with your hands around the table. Try this exercise 10 times clockwise and counterclockwise to improve the strength and coordination in your arms.

4. Lateral Trunk Bends

Sit at the edge of your bed with your hands on your lap or palm down at your sides. Then curl your upper body toward the right, making a “C” with the right side of your trunk. Focus on really stretching out the left side of your trunk. Hold for a few seconds, then switch to the other side. This exercise helps improve your core stability and balance.

5. Forward Trunk Bends

Sit on a comfortable chair with both hands clasped gently on your lap. Bend forward as far as you can go, reaching your hands toward your ankles. Then, using your trunk muscles, sit up tall. Repeat this exercise to improve your core strength.

6. Hip Flexion

Sit on a chair or edge of your bed. Gently tighten your abs and keep your upper body still. Lift one knee as high as it will go. Hold for a count, then lower and switch to the other side. This exercise will help to strengthen your hip and core, as well as improve your pelvic stability.

7. Sit to Stands

Sit on a chair or edge of the bed with your feet flat on the floor. Ensure that your knees are bent, and also your feet are directly under your knees. Lean forward and then slowly stand up all the way. Again, slowly sit back down. Repeat this exercise to strengthen your core and legs and to improve your weight shifting and balance.

The Road Ahead

Recovering from a Stroke can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With the right combination of these home exercises, along with consultation and treatment from the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore, Stroke patients can soon recover to live healthy lives.

Here’s a Guide to Caring for Someone With Multiple Sclerosis

Caring for someone with a chronic and debilitating disease such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be a tricky space to navigate. The condition is so unpredictable that it often becomes a rollercoaster filled with ups, downs, twists, and turns. However, with the best treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, coupled with a little support and guidance, one can go on to become the best caregiver for their loved one.

Know the Condition First

A basic understanding of the disorder is essential, as the symptoms and type/degree of disability may vary for every individual with MS. For instance, while some people may have mild symptoms that do not warrant intense treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, others may have trouble getting around and doing daily tasks such as taking a bath or wearing their clothes. Hence, it is crucial to understand the specific challenges that come with caregiving.

Connect With Others

One can feel as if they are on their own and that others will not understand what they are going through! Networking with other caregivers, either in a support group or through online message boards and chats, can help prevent the guilt and turmoil that can arise when negative emotions surface. Talking with others can also help see the situation from another viewpoint, brainstorm new solutions for coping with MS-related issues.

Say Yes to Help

Turning down offers of help or not following up on them can be a big mistake. Instead, it is crucial to ask for help wherever necessary. For instance, if you need someone to stay with the patient while you go shopping once a week or need help with the transport to and from the clinic — do not be afraid to ask!

Stay Organized

Staying organized can help reduce stress and free up more time to do other essential things. It may seem cumbersome at first, but staying on top of the information and care can help streamline appointments and treatment plans. It will save a lot of precious time in the long run. Keep a log to track medications, symptoms, and the results, and use a calendar (either written or online) for appointments. Also, try to store all the information in the same place so that they are easy to find and keep updated.

Get Assistance With Movement and Mobility

Weakness, muscle tightness, balance disturbance, and general fatigue can mean that people with MS can find it difficult to get around. In such cases, as a caregiver, opting for wheelchairs, building ramps, making kitchen renovations, and installing lifts or mobility aids can help. Hence, it is important to take care about the accessibility of these accommodations. Calling ahead or having a backup plan in place before outings is a great idea!

Follow the 4 P’s of Energy Conservation
For individuals suffering from MS, it can be difficult to complete daily chores due to fatigue and decreased activity tolerance. Hence, it is important for them to conserve their energy throughout the day. Keep these four simple steps in mind:

  • Prioritize: Decide what needs to be done today, and what can wait for a later date! Organize the daily activities in such a way that the MS patient gets enough rest each day.
  • Plan: Plan activities ahead for the patient, so that they can get a good balance between work, rest, and leisure. Gather all the supplies and equipment needed before starting any activity.
  • Pace: Maintain a slow and steady pace, instead of rushing the individual suffering from MS into performing as many daily tasks as possible, as quickly as possible. This may lead to complete exhaustion or increased fatigue, and in turn, inability to perform tasks later in the day.
  • Position: Bending and reaching can cause fatigue and shortness of breath. Hence, think about the patient’s body position while completing various tasks throughout the day. Ensure to use adaptive equipment to make them less stressful.  

Self-care Is Also Important

Meeting the numerous needs of an individual with MS can be a daunting task. Hence, for caregivers, it is important to keep in mind the following steps:

  • Follow a well-balanced and nutritional diet: even on the busiest days, be sure to eat healthy and nutritious food to get all the energy needed.
  • Get ample sleep: for most people, this means between seven and nine hours of good quality sleep every night. Get a 20-minute snooze to refresh and recharge.
  • Exercise daily: The physical needs of caring for someone with MS will vary but may include bathing, dressing, lifting, feeding. Since all of these activities can be physically demanding, exercise is key to overall mental well-being. At least carve out a half hour or so every day to take a walk or do yoga.
  • Take a break when needed: take breaks throughout the day to engage in relaxing, enjoyable activities. Try reading a book, call a friend on the phone, or go out for a walk with a friend or another caregiver to get rid of mental stress and exhaustion.

Easy Facial Exercises for Bell’s Palsy

Imagine waking up one morning, unable to blink your eyes, speak, or even smile. Terrifying, isn’t it? Such might happen to individuals suffering from Bell’s Palsy — a condition that causes a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face.

Named after Scottish surgeon Charles Bell, who was the first to describe the condition, Bell’s Palsy can occur when the nerve that regulates your facial muscles becomes inflamed, swollen, or compressed. Although it can happen at any age, it is the most common among people between the ages of 16 and 60.

Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy usually affects the nerves on one side of the face, resulting in the inability to open or close your eye on the affected side. However, in rare cases, it may affect both sides of your face. Some of the other common symptoms of Bell’s Palsy are:

  • Facial numbness and weakness
  • Headache, loss of taste, and eye irritation
  • Dry eye and mouth
  • Pain behind or in your ear
  • High sensitivity to sound on the affected side

Facial Exercises for Bell’s Palsy

Facial exercises often play a vital role in the recovery of Bell’s Palsy, as they slowly recreate the brain-to-nerve-to-muscle routine and help to improve the ability to perform various facial movements.

Initially, the objective of these exercises is to regain the capability of carrying out voluntary movements while mentally focusing on the action. However, with continued practice, these movements eventually become automatic and natural. While the entire process is a bit slow, the exercises can be beneficial only when coupled with consultation from the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore.

So let’s take a look at some of the simple, safe exercises that you can do at home to speed up the recovery process:

Eyebrow exercises

  • Try to raise both your eyebrows. Expect that one side will go up easily higher than the other one. However, do not just keep trying to force the affected side to move.
  • Gently use your fingers to help move your muscles in the right direction, and try to stimulate as much up and down movement as you can.

Eye exercises

  • Look down, close your affected eye, and use your fingers to stretch the eyebrow above it while you rub your eyelid. The goal of this exercise is to avert stiffness in your eyelid.
  • Take note of the amount of movement you have in your eyelid. If you have trouble closing it, squinting may also help.

Nose and cheeks exercises

  • Scrunch up your face to stimulate movements in the nose and cheeks. If you think that this region of the face does not require them, then read this: a stiffness or weakness here can affect the entire face, so it is crucial to perform such an exercise.
  • Once again, try to use your fingers to help the affected side of your face mimic the movement of the unaffected side.

Nose exercises

  • Try to inhale through your nose to flare up your nostrils, though it is unlikely to be an activity that you attempt frequently. If you are having any trouble with it, try various combinations of deep and slow, and strong and fast inhalations instead.
  • Try to cover the unaffected nostril, which may cause the affected nostril to work harder. It is important to note that at no point in these exercises should you have any difficulty breathing.

Mouth exercises

  • For the mouth, try to smile with your lips closed. Use your fingers to make sure that the two corners of your mouth stay in the same relative position on your face. 
  • Next, take your fingers away and try to hold your smile in position unaided for as long as you can. Then repeat this exercise as you lift each corner of your mouth individually.

The Road Ahead

For most people, Bell’s Palsy is temporary. The symptoms usually start to improve within a few weeks, with complete recovery in about six months, and only a small number of people continue to have some of the symptoms for life. 

However, we advise that you head on to the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore for a thorough consultation and treatment.

Everything you need to know about Disc Prolapse

If you had to list the most important parts of the human body, your spine would probably make it into the top three. After all, it helps us stand upright, walk around, and acts as the central information center, a speedway of communication between the brain and the body. So it’s no surprise that when anything goes wrong in the spinal region it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Disc prolapse is a prime example of a small issue becoming a major inconvenience and bringing about a world of pain. But what is disc prolapse? Let’s find out more about its causes and symptoms, and how it can be treated at the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore.

What is a disc prolapse?

Your spine is composed of vertebrae, stacked atop each other. Between each vertebra is a rubber-like tissue that acts like a cushion and adds flexibility to the spine. Together the vertebrae and the discs protect the nerves in your spinal cord. Each disc has a soft, jellylike nucleus within the rubbery exterior. Disc prolapse, also known as a herniated disc or a slipped disk, occurs when some of the nuclei leak through a rupture in the exterior tissue and irritates the spinal nerve or spinal canal. It can be an acute condition — occurring suddenly and without warning — or a chronic one that develops over time.

What causes disc prolapse?

Disc prolapse is usually a chronic disease caused by gradual wear and tear of the area, known as disc degeneration. The chances of a disc prolapse increase with age and even based on weight, as these factors can increase the stress placed on the discs. Once disc degeneration is in play, all it takes is a strenuous activity, prolonged stress, or hard impact for the disc to prolapse. Examples of this include:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Sitting for long periods
  • A fall or blow to the back
  • Repetitive accumulated minor injuries
  • Twisting or sitting in awkward positions

Symptoms of disc prolapse

So how can you tell if you have a prolapsed disk? The symptoms depend on the nerve that’s been impacted by the leaking nucleus, but here are some of the most common ones.

  • Sharp, burning pain in the buttocks, thighs, calf, or foot (indicative of a prolapsed disc in the lower back)
  • Sharp burning pain in the shoulder or arm, which shoots up the arm with sudden movements such as coughing (indicative of a prolapsed disk in the neck)
  • Radiating numbness and tingling sensations in the affected areas of the body
  • Muscle weakness in the arms and legs
  • Issues with balance

If you’re experiencing neck or back pain that travels down your back, accompanied by numbness and tingling, you should seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible.

Disc Prolapse Treatment

Once you’ve been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc, there are several treatment options available to you. However, the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore will provide you the following combination:

  • Medication — a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medication that may include anti-inflammatory medications, pain-killers, and muscle relaxants. If the symptoms persist, some cases may require cortisone injections around the spine
  • Physical therapy — will help you minimize the pain of the prolapsed disk with specially designed exercises and activities. This may involve spending time in a rehabilitation clinic, but several exercises can be done from the comfort of your home as well
  • Lifestyle changes — a doctor may suggest certain changes to the way you do daily activities to reduce stress on the affected area. This can help reduce symptoms in a matter of days or weeks

In some extreme cases, surgery may be required to correct the issue, but it’s rarely necessary. For most patients, medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes are enough to relieve the pain.

The human back is one of the most delicate parts of our body and houses some of our most important nerves. Even the smallest disruption to the area can cause serious issues. Luckily, disc prolapse is one issue that can be easily treated. Once patients learn to mitigate the pain, they can continue with their lives, but with a little bit more care than before. If you or a loved one is living with disc prolapse, look for the best rehabilitation in Bangalore, and start your journey towards a pain-free life.

10 Knee and Shoulder Sports Injuries That You Can Prevent

Do you remember Mohammed Shami’s sports injury in the 2015 World Cup? Well, it made headlines at the time. 

The Indian fast bowler had played his matches with a fractured knee — an injury that had caused him discomfort during the tournament. Even after the World Cup, it kept him out of the game for almost nine months as he underwent surgery and rehabilitation. 

But despite the name, sports injuries are not limited to athletes. For every cricketer who sprains their shoulder or footballer who dislocates their knee joint, there is a non-athlete who does the same during their morning run or evening workout. If you are living in the Garden City and suffer from a sports injury, head on to the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore for promising results with Stem Cell Therapy.

What are Sports Injuries?

The term sports injury — in the broadest sense — refers to the kinds of injuries that most commonly occur during sports or any physical exercise. They usually involve the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage. There are two kinds of sports injuries:  

  • Acute Injuries: An injury that occurs suddenly, such as a sprained ankle due to an awkward landing. Some of the symptoms are sudden, severe pain, swelling, sensitivity in the affected area, and an inability to move. 
  • Chronic Injuries: They develop slowly and are characterized by swelling, pain while performing an activity, and a dull ache when at rest. They are caused by repeated overuse of muscle groups or joints. 

What are the common types of sports injuries?

In the world of athletic endeavors, there are many common sports injuries such as sprains, strains, swollen muscles, fractures, dislocations, rotator cuff injuries, and others. 

Here we have compiled a list of common sports injuries related to your knees and shoulders that you can avoid the next time you are playing a sport:

  • Knee Fractures

Fractures can happen to any of the bones in or around the knee due to high impact trauma. However, the most commonly broken bone in the joint is the patella or kneecap that protects it from injuries or further damage. When you directly fall onto your knees or collide with a person, your kneecap cracks due to the force, which makes the kneecap susceptible to fractures. 

  • Knee Dislocations

When the bones of the knee are out of their proper placement and alignment, the knee becomes dislocated. It can occur due to structural abnormalities or traumas such as a fall, collision, or even contact sports, and can include damage to the blood vessels and nerves about the knee.

  • Meniscal Tears 

The menisci are two rubbery wedges of cartilage that act as shock absorbers and smooth cushions for the thigh bone. Any damage to the inside of the knee can result in a torn meniscus. It is common in sporting activities that involve jumping or twisting, such as volleyball or soccer. 

  • Knee Sprains

Knee sprains are extremely common in sports. They occur when the knee is overextended or moved unnaturally, the ligaments that hold the knee together are unable to support the movement. There are varying degrees to them, depending on their severity.

  • Tendon Tears

Often referred to as a jumper’s knee (since it is common among athletes who are involved in running or jumping sports), it is an injury to the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Landing awkwardly after coming down from a jump or a severe fall can cause a stretched tendon due to the direct force to the knee.

  • Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. It provides individuals with the ability to lift their arms and reach overhead. A repetitive stress injury or overzealous, overpowered arm swings may tear or rip any of these tendons.

  • Shoulder Instability

When muscles and ligaments that hold the shoulder together stretch beyond their normal limits, they become unstable. Such an injury can cause pain that comes on either quickly or gradually, and most commonly occurs in contact sports in which athletes repeatedly fall on their shoulders.

  • Shoulder Impingement

Often referred to as the swimmer’s shoulder or thrower’s shoulder, it is caused by excessive rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the top part of the shoulder blade. It commonly occurs in sporting activities such as throwing, racket sports, or swimming.

  • Shoulder Bursitis

Inside each of your shoulders is a tiny, fluid-filled sac known as a bursa that helps reduce friction between the bones in your joints. When the bursa in your shoulder becomes inflamed or swollen, it leads to a condition known as shoulder bursitis. 

  • Dislocated Shoulder

The shoulder is relatively easy to dislocate because it can move in so many directions and is looser than most other joints. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) pops out of the shoulder joint.

Wrapping Up!
Sports injuries can take a long time to heal or never fully heal at all. Hence, undergoing Stem Cell Therapy at the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore is important. It can provide you an alternative to conventional medicine with visible results.

10 Common Signs That Indicate You Need to See a Neurologist/Therapist

Do you often get unexplainable headaches and bouts of nausea, and immediately google your symptoms? Well, it’s time to ditch the search engine and consult a neurologist who can help identify the trigger behind these signs — which could lead to major neurological issues if not treated in time.

While it’s not necessary that such symptoms could be an indicator of something more serious, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s why we’re listing the 10 common symptoms that you should never ignore.

Chronic nausea: Have you been experiencing unexplained nausea now and then? You need to visit a neurologist as it can be a symptom of migraine or other such conditions. Talk to your physician today!

Loss of memory: All of us forget things — such as where we left our keys or whether we turned the geyser off. But if this forgetfulness is interfering with your day-to-day activities and your loved ones are noticing, then it could be connected to an underlying neurological issue.

Prolonged shivers: Our bodies may shiver involuntarily once in a while — due to cold weather, fever, or even a strenuous workout. But if these spells are happening often or lasting a long time, it’s important to visit a neurologist right away.

Unexplained weight changes: Have you been paying attention to your body lately? Have you noticed that you are gaining weight or losing it drastically without any logical reason? It could be a neurological issue that is affecting your hormones.

Slurred speech: Slurring may be caused by alcohol consumption or extreme weakness. But if it happens often and with no logical explanation, it could be related to a neurological disorder.

Weak Limbs:
Have you been experiencing numbness or heaviness in your hands and legs for unknown reasons? Then it is time you visit a neurologist as it could lead to some serious issues if left undiagnosed. 

Sleep-related problems: Inability to fall asleep could often be due to professional stress or personal issues. But if it’s happening for no apparent reason, it could be a neurological condition.

Change in vision: Vision may be affected due to aging, injury to the eye, or exposure to bright lights. But if you have been experiencing double or blurred vision or loss of vision without the above-mentioned factors affecting it, then the problem might be more severe than you think.

Headaches: Headaches are quite common, and often harmless. If they start affecting your daily life, it’s time to see a doctor.

Dizziness: This could happen due to factors such as tiredness, dehydration, or fever, etc. In some cases though, it could be a sign of a serious neurological disorder — it’s always better to see a doctor.

Now that we have explored the different symptoms that can indicate some deeper neurological issues, let’s look at some therapies that can help.

  • Stem Cell Therapy- This is a non-surgical procedure wherein stem cells that have regenerative capacities are implanted in the patient’s body and to replace damaged cells. Stem Cell Therapy in Bangalore and other cities have proven to be successful. 
  • Physiotherapy- This improves the patient’s mobility, posture, balance, and gait while boosting strength and endurance.
  • Occupational Therapy- The main focus of occupational therapy is to help the affected individual undertake daily activities with ease. Improving handwriting is part of occupational therapy.
  • Speech Therapy- Here, the focus is on the patient’s facial muscles, mouth, and throat. The therapist helps the patient regain his/her communication skills by leveraging various techniques including non-verbal communication. 

So, to conclude, if you and your loved ones are going through any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important to get it checked immediately to prevent serious issues later.

Busting 10 myths about Stroke

A stroke can have a massive impact on one’s life, so it is imperative to seek the best rehabilitation in Bangalore or anywhere in the world. Before we delve into the myths of stroke, let’s understand what’s the story behind it. 

Stroke was first recognized over 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates. It was called apoplexy at that time which meant ‘struck down by violence’ in Greek. In those times, doctors didn’t have much understanding of the brain and its function, even the cause of stroke and how to treat it. 

So, what is a stroke? 

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. It is also known as a “brain attack”. With so many people affected by stroke worldwide, many people are still confused about what a stroke is and where exactly it occurs. Many misconceptions surround this medical condition. So, let’s bust them one by one. 

Myth 1: Only elders get a stroke

Age doesn’t play a factor when it comes to a stroke. Anyone of any age can suffer from it. The factors that contribute to it are excessive drinking, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and family history. So, it is very important to stay educated and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid not just a stroke but any other disease for that matter. 

Myth 2: A stroke is extremely painful

A stroke might not show any symptoms, at times, it can be silent. Some of the symptoms that indicate a stroke are difficulty in speaking or comprehending, weakness, paralysis in the face, arm, or leg, blurred or double vision, dizziness, and loss of balance and coordination. Few painful symptoms of a stroke are sudden, severe headaches that result in vomiting or loss of consciousness. 

Myth 3: Immediate treatment is unnecessary for stroke

In case of a stroke, immediate medical attention is very crucial. Quick medical attention on the onset of the symptoms will increase the chances of stroke recovery. Within 3 hours of the symptoms, it is mandatory to provide thrombolytic therapy that involves giving a medication that dissolves the blood clots. 

Myth 4: Occurrence of a stroke is rare

According to research, it is the second leading cause of death worldwide. The cases of stroke have increased quite alarmingly in India — more than 100% which is a very serious problem. 

Myth 5: It’s not easy to detect a stroke

A stroke can happen to a person at any time. A simple test called BE FAST (Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm, Speech, Terrible headache) can be used to detect the onset of a stroke. Once the signs are identified, the next action is supposed to be immediate medical care. This will help in reducing any damage to the brain. 

Myth 6: The heart is affected due to stroke

This is one of the most common misconceptions. A stroke is caused when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted. This happens when a clot escapes the heart and travels to the brain where it blocks the artery. 

Myth 7: You can’t prevent a stroke

Yes, you can. All you need to do is maintain an active lifestyle and reduce bad habits like excessive drinking, smoking, and binge eating unhealthy food. 

Myth 8: Stroke is not hereditary 

Genetic factors do play a role in high BP, stroke, and other related conditions. A family history of stroke is likely to share common environments and other factors that increase their risk of stroke. 

Myth 9: You can recover from stroke quickly

No, that’s not true. It takes a lot of time to recover from a stroke. Even if the treatment makes it better, that doesn’t mean you are out of risk. It is important for people who have suffered from stroke to control the risk factors that induced the stroke because it tends to come back into your life. 

Myth 10: Mini strokes don’t need any treatment

Mini strokes, also known as Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), may come all of a sudden and exit quickly as well. But symptoms of TIA are similar to a stroke which means there will be numbness on one side of the body, vision problems, or slurred speech, but they will go away within 24 hours. Just because it goes away quickly doesn’t mean that the treatment needs to be ignored. An unattended TIA can result in a stroke. 

A stroke can result in some critical damages to the human body. But the aftermath can be taken care of by undergoing the following therapies: 

Stem Cell Therapy —  A non-surgical procedure wherein stem cells are injected into the patient’s body to replace the damaged cells.

Physiotherapy —  A treatment that improves the patient’s mobility, posture, and balance.

Occupational Therapy —  This allows the patient to become independent by improving their capability to complete daily activities such as walking, having a meal, or taking a bath.

Speech Therapy — This helps the patient regain their communication skills through various techniques including non-verbal communication.

These treatments are vital for a stroke patient’s recovery and help them get on the road to a happy and healed life. 

Facts vs Fiction: Breaking 5 Myths about Autism

Imagine you’re lost in a foreign country. All you have on you is a guide book, but it’s written in a language you don’t understand. You try to ask people for directions, but most people don’t understand what you want. The ones who do tell you to refer to the guidebook, because everything you need to know is in there. It sounds pretty scary and frustrating, right? This is similar to how people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience the world every day. ASD is a spectrum of cognitive disorders related to brain development that starts in childhood and affects how a person perceives and understands the world around them. Because people with ASD experience the world in a unique way, they exhibit abnormal social behaviors and often have difficulty communicating with others. People who don’t have the condition may find it difficult to understand what it’s like living with ASD. This lack of understanding has lead to a lot of misinformation around the disorder. So let’s take a minute to clear the air, and bust five myths surrounding ASD — from Savant Syndrome to Stem Cell Therapy for Autism.

Myth 1: Every person with ASD experiences it the same way

As the name suggests, ASD is a spectrum. No two people with the condition experience it the same way. Children with ASD might exhibit different symptoms from each other or have different ways of coping with the stimuli the world throws at them. That’s why it’s important to look at people with ASD as individuals first, rather than as a collective representation of a disorder. You’ll need to understand their individual needs, what kind of stimuli or interactions are manageable, and how to communicate on their terms. This why individual therapy and one-on-one classes are just as important as group interactions for children with ASD. What applies to one person will not necessarily apply to another.

Myth 2: Every person with ASD is either secretly a genius or mentally inadequate

This is one of the paradoxes of the perception of ASD — with many people believing that the latter is the norm. In reality, people with ASD are just as intellectually capable as everyone else, they just may have difficulty expressing themselves. On the other end of the spectrum is the ‘Autistic Savant’ trope that is constantly pushed by media and pop culture. Rain Man is one of the most well-known examples, but Sheldon Cooper, from the Big Bang Theory, and Sherlock Holmes, from the BBC adaption, are implied to be this way as well. While some people with ASD are quite gifted in certain subjects this is not always the case. So why is this such a popular misconception? It could be because many people with ASD have areas of special interest which they might fixate on. This means they may know a lot about a specific subject. Though this is common, it isn’t an indicator of intelligence, just interest.

Myth 3: People with ASD are emotionless and lack empathy

This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to an article in Pediatric Health, Medicine, and Therapeutics, most children with autism can recognize emotions similar to their same-age peers by matching them. Often, people with ASD, especially children, may not be able to recognize the emotions their feeling, or they might not have the words to express what they’re feeling. But this doesn’t mean they have no emotions. Some people with ASD may also have ‘flat affect’, or difficulty conveying tone with their voice, which can make their speech seem emotionless or even rude. Besides, they may have difficulting picking up on other people’s tone or other non-verbal cues in communication and fail to respond appropriately as a result. People without ASD may misunderstand this as a lack of emotion or empathy.

Myth 4: People with ASD need to be taken care of throughout their lives

While this may be true of some severe cases, it is important to remember that ASD is a spectrum. Many people with ASD aren’t obvious about their diagnosis, and on average have been given the tools they need to navigate the world at a young age. Most people with ASD grow to be able to manage their symptoms on their own and go on to live fully independent and healthy lives.

Myth 5: Stem Cell Therapy for Autism is a cure for ASD

There is no cure for ASD, and many own voices activists (activists who have ASD themselves), believe it’s not something that needs to be cured, but better understood and accommodated. That being said, there are a variety of treatments that can help manage symptoms and make it easier for people with ASD to interact with their peers. Stem Cell Therapy for Autism is just one of these. When they are extracted from a person’s bone marrow and processed, Stem Cells can detoxify the surrounding area and can replace damaged cells to reduce inflammation, which is thought to be an underlying cause of many of the symptoms of ASD.

Popular media and genuine misunderstanding have painted a cloudy picture of ASD over the years. For example, there are still thousands of people who believe that autism is caused by vaccines despite this being repeatedly proven false. A misconception that owes its thanks to one falsified research paper and a very vocal media push. But as we learn more about the condition through the eyes of the people living with it, that picture clears a bit. We learn to put aside the image of the ‘Autistic Savant’, the idea of ‘Emotionless Monotone’, and misunderstandings around Stem Cell Therapy for Autism. Instead, we see the people behind the condition and learn to look at the world a little differently.

What to do When Someone is Experiencing a Seizure

Watching someone experience a seizure can be a frightening thing. Also, such episodes, medically known as epilepsy, are not uncommon as 50 million people worldwide battle it. So, is there something that you can do to provide relief to someone going through a seizure? Yes! You can actually act as the first responder and prevent further damage. 

In order to do that, you should be aware of what exactly epilepsy means, its symptoms, and types. Let’s get started. 

Epilepsy — definition, symptoms, and types 

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder where the person experiences recurrent seizures varying from mild jerks to severe convulsions. In half the cases, the main reason for occurrence established is a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. The other reasons that can be held responsible for these convulsions are a brain injury, an infection, a tumor, or other genetic reasons. 

These seizures vary from person to person, however, certain common signs can be found in every patient. They are: 

  • Temporary confusion
  • Staring spell
  • Uncontrollable jerking of  arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Experiencing fear, anxiety, or deja vu

Categorization of seizures

There are two categories of seizures, depending on the level of involvement of the brain:

  1. Focal seizures — these affect only a part of the brain. There are two broad types:
  • Seizures without loss of consciousness that alter the person’s emotions or affect their way of looking at things, how they smell, feel, or taste. 
  • Seizures with impaired awareness also known as complex partial seizures that include staring spells with repetitive movements like rubbing of hands, walking in circles, chewing, or swallowing.  

2. Generalized seizures — involve the entire brain and can be further classified into: 

  • Absence seizures occur generally in kids and involve staring into space, indulging in subtle movements, and can also result in loss of awareness.
  • Tonic seizures are responsible for muscle stiffness in the back, arms, and legs resulting in falls. 
  • Atonic seizures, also known as drop seizures cause loss of muscle control resulting in sudden collapse. 
  • Clonic seizures are characterized by rhythmic or repeated jerking of the neck, face, and arms. 
  • Myoclonic seizures are responsible for sudden and brief jerks in the arms or legs.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures are severe in nature causing abrupt loss of consciousness accompanied by body stiffness, loss of bladder control, and sometimes biting of the tongue. 

Tips to prevent further damage  

Well, almost every kind of seizure has a serious fallout. In order to save your loved ones from further harm, we have listed a sequence of actions that you can undertake before professionals take over.

  • To prevent the person from choking, roll him/her over onto their side
  • Provide a cushion for the person’s head 
  • To make breathing easy, loosen the collar of the person
  • Grip the jaw gently and tilt the person’s head slightly backwards. This will allow a more thorough and clear airway 
  • Avoid restraining the person. That should only happen if the convulsions can lead to bodily harm
  • Never put anything in the mouth of the person. It is an absolute myth that people with seizures choke on their own tongue. They might choke on foreign objects that include water and medication 
  • Avoid shaking the person. That is not helpful in any way. Also, don’t shout. Stay calm. 
  • Make sure there are no sharp or pointed objects near the person 
  • Don’t forget to note how long the seizure lasts and its symptoms. That information will prove crucial for the professionals who will take over after your first aid 
  • Don’t leave the person alone. Stay by their side till the seizure ends
  • If the seizure occurs in a public place, ask the bystanders to give the person space as he/she will be disoriented, tired, irritated, even embarrassed 

Every seizure cannot be dealt with using the above-mentioned points. There will be situations when you will need professional help especially when the affected person has a prior ailment. So, don’t waste time in calling for help if you are facing the below-listed circumstances: 

  • The person is pregnant or diabetic
  • The seizure occurred in water
  • The episode lasts for more than 5 minutes
  • There is no sign of consciousness after the seizure is over
  • The afflicted is not breathing once the seizure stops 
  • There are signs of high fever
  • Before regaining consciousness, another seizure begins
  • The person endures an injury during the episode 
  • If this, according to your knowledge, is the first-ever episode the person has had

If these steps are followed in letter and spirit, it can save the person from enduring a lot of pain as well as stress. Likewise, epilepsy, as a whole, can be controlled, managed, and mitigated too by Stem Cell Therapy — a non-surgical procedure where stem cells, which have the capacity to regenerate, replace the damaged cells in the body.  

Here is the best part. Stem Cell Therapy in Bangalore is available at Plexus, a Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre, that has been declared the best by many institutions more than once. In order to avail of Stem Cell Therapy in Bangalore, Plexus is the place to be.   

Multiple Sclerosis and Depression: Decoding the connection

Neurological disorders such as Autism, Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neuron Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis have the potential to render a patient totally dependent on others. While providing that much-needed attention, caregivers usually focus on the physiological aspects of a disease, often ignoring the accompanying psychological needs of the patient. In this article, we will explain how Multiple Sclerosis, commonly known as MS, could also lead to depression. Let us start by understanding MS and its major symptoms.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?
MS is a disease of the central nervous system that can cause impairments in the body — especially the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms vary from one person to another, depending on which part of the nervous system has been affected by the disease.

MS is an autoimmune disease — a condition where the immune system of the body attacks healthy tissues. The disease targets a protective layer called myelin that covers the nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. When the myelin is exposed, it gets inflamed and loses strength, and leads to the formation of scar tissues known as sclerosis.

Such damage stops the brain from sending out signals correctly to the rest of the body. As pointed out, every MS patient will have a peculiar set of symptoms, however, a number of general signs can be noted in most. Let’s take a look.

Early signs of Multiple Sclerosis begin to show between ages 20 and 40 and, as is the case with neurological disorders, the symptoms worsen with time. Well, there is no need to panic. Advancements in medical science can now halt the progression of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here is a quick look at the symptoms:

  • Trouble walking
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle weakness or spasms
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Sexual problems
  • Poor bladder or bowel control
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Lack of memory or focus

Depression and MS
Now we know what MS can do to a person’s body. Such motor and cognitive dysfunctions can make any person give up, even during the road to recovery. As mentioned earlier, MS destroys myelin, the protective layer around nerve fibers, including the nerves that affect the person’s mood. It is advised to keep the doctor informed about the patient’s mental condition while they are battling MS — timely neuropsychiatric treatment can prevent a mental collapse.

Often tiredness or fatigue, a common symptom of MS, can also be a sign of depression. Likewise, other cognitive-related issues such as indecisiveness or lack of concentration can be a sign of depression. MS can mimic some of these symptoms of depression, making diagnosis difficult. What’s more, as MS impairs memory, attention, and reasoning, it might also have an
adverse effect on a person’s self-image and worth.

But it is not the end of the road. There are certain misconceptions too regarding MS and depression. Let’s bust them.

Everyone with MS will be depressed
No. Symptoms as well as the ability to adapt differ from patient to patient. If one is resilient in coping with stress, the chances of developing depression are very low. Consider this: only 50 percent of people who suffer from MS develop depression that affects their cognitive functioning. In order to avoid that category, consulting a therapist, who will prepare the patient to fight the adversities of MS, is the best option.

People with MS always look and act depressed
This is not true. It seems so because fatigue and difficulty in concentration, which are major symptoms of MS, are also signs of depression. Hence, if an MS patient looks tired or is not able to focus, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are depressed.

Grief is depression
Losing the ability to walk properly, hampered vision, and feeling tired all the time are likely to make a person sad. But is it always depression? No. Grief is a temporary reaction to loss — whether of a loved one or one’s ability to lead a normal life.

Let’s give you some good news. Despite MS being a serious neurological disorder, the progression of such neuropsychiatric diseases can be brought to a halt with timely intervention. At Plexus, an award-winning Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre, MS is treated with the following therapies:

Stem cell therapy — a non-surgical procedure wherein stem cells are injected into the patient’s body to replace the damaged cells.

Physiotherapy — that improves the patient’s mobility, posture, and balance.

Occupational therapy — that allows the patient to become independent by improving their capability to complete daily activities such as walking, having a meal, or taking a bath.

Speech therapy — that helps the patient regain their communication skills through various techniques including non-verbal communication.

Apart from physical rehabilitation, if the patient develops symptoms of depression, well-trained and experienced therapists are also there to provide the help needed.

Epilepsy and Pregnancy: Separating Myths from Facts

For most women, becoming a mother is blissful, exciting, and joyous. But pregnancy also comes with its own physiological and psychological problems. These issues, distressing on their own, are compounded when the expectant mother is suffering from epilepsy. There are however a number of myths around pregnancy and epilepsy — some of which we will dispel in this article. Before we do that, let us understand what epilepsy actually is.

What is Epilepsy?
It is a chronic and common neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. Around 50 million people are fighting epilepsy worldwide.

These seizures vary from patient to patient. For instance, one may experience very mild muscle jerks while others may experience severe convulsions. And in more than 50 percent of patients, lack of oxygen supply to the brain is considered the main reason for its occurrence. Other reasons include:

  • Brain injury  
  • Infection  
  • Tumor  
  • Genetic reasons 

The general symptoms of an epileptic seizure are:

  • Temporary confusion
  • A staring spell
  • Uncontrollable jerking of the arms and legs 
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Fear, anxiety, or the feeling of deja vu

Now, let us understand in what ways this disorder can affect pregnancy. In other words, let us separate the myths from the facts.

Is it difficult for a woman with epilepsy to get pregnant?
The answer is no. Infertility among women with epilepsy was a notion accepted until recently. However, the latest studies have shown that unless there is a family history or other medical conditions responsible for infertility, a woman suffering from epilepsy will have the same chances of conceiving as a healthy woman.

Will the baby have epilepsy too?
The condition is genetic but chances of the baby suffering from the same are a mere 5%. on that basis, it cannot be concluded that the baby will inherit it too. The possibility may be higher if the father too has a history of epilepsy. It is also pertinent to mention that if the mother has inherited the disorder, it is likely that the child will have it too. However, most children, with time, gain control over their seizures and lead a healthy life.

Will getting pregnant increase the occurrence of seizures?
Most pregnant women have reported no increase in seizure occurrence. There are cases where women have even reported a fall in frequency. However, there are reasons that might lead to an increase in epileptic bouts.

  • A woman’s body goes through physiological and psychological changes during pregnancy. These changes can alter how the body responds to epilepsy medication, leading to an increase in occurrences.
  • Due to nausea and vomiting, the expectant mother might throw up the medication before it is absorbed by the body.
  • A regular level of stress is not a worry, however continuous worrying and lack of sleep might lead to an increase in seizures.

A seizure will cause miscarriage
Such an experience during pregnancy can be dangerous but it will not necessarily cause a miscarriage. If a pregnant woman experiences a seizure and falls on her stomach, it could injure the fetus. A severe epileptic bout, however, may result in premature labor. Most pregnant women dealing with epilepsy have given birth to healthy babies.

There is only one way to give birth — C-Section
Epilepsy does not determine the way a woman has to give birth. But if seizures occur repeatedly during labor, the gynecologist might decide to go for a C-section.

Women cannot breastfeed if they are suffering from epilepsy
On the contrary, it is recommended that women breastfeed their babies. Until recently, it was perceived that a baby might be affected by the mother’s medication through breastfeeding, however latest studies have proved the notion wrong. Only women who have been prescribed phenobarbital, primidone, lorazepam, and ethosuximide need to be extra careful as these medications might lead to some side effects.

While we have distinguished between myths and realities related to epilepsy and pregnancy, it is advised that soon-to-be-mothers should maintain caution, especially if they are prone to seizures. The gynecologist and neurologist involved should join hands to provide the patient with best possible care.

And yes, epilepsy is manageable. Apart from medication and surgery, Stem Cell Therapy is proving to be one of the most effective treatments. Stem Cell Therapy in India is available at Plexus, an award-winning Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre.

Effective Exercises to Alleviate Back Pain

Around 60-80% of adults endure back pain at some point during their lives. If you’re one among them tossing between the thought of having a chiropractic chair at your workplace, to working in bed, or lifting heavyweights in the gym every day, there are chances that your back might be feeling less than normal.

Suffering from shoulder pain and a creaking lower back — that’s the price we pay for lazing on soft furnishings and working with our laptops balancing on our chests. It isn’t just about where we work that can cause problems — it’s also how long we stay in one position. Our brains tend to switch off muscles such as our glutes and hip flexors which remain static for a long period. This is why many of us find ourselves stiff when we get up to move and exercise. Hunching over the screen pulls the body into abnormal positions. The less mobile you become, the more you are prone to muscular variation and weakness. 

However, there are things you can do to ease back pain even if you won’t be returning to your 9-to-5 job in an office for a while. There are a lot of exercises and stretches which target the source of the pain and provide relief. Remember to always be on the go — whether you’re making a cup of coffee now and then, getting up to peek out of the window, or spending your lunch break doing a few exercises. Always make sure that you’re not spending the whole day stock-still. Consistent movement is going to help you against stiffening muscles.

The good news is, there are a lot of rehabilitation centres in Bangalore, and across India that offer strengthening exercises for relief from back pain. You can also try doing these at home to help increase blood flow to the area, reduce stiffness, and speed up the healing process. Let’s take a look:


  • Floor Back Extensions


  • Lie flat on your stomach facing the floor
  • Keep your arms alongside the body (place a towel under your forehead, if needed)
  • Breathe in
  • As you breathe out, lift your bust and legs off the ground at the same time
  • Get back to your starting position, take a deep breath and repeat 5 times
  • Be sure to tuck in your stomach to tighten your ab muscles and protect your back throughout the exercise


  • Arm/Opposite Leg Lifts


  • Lie straight on your stomach with your face down
  • Keep your arms extended in front of your head
  • Take a deep breath
  • Breathe out, lifting one arm and the opposite leg together at once; make sure to lift your entire leg off the floor, with your toe pointed to the ceiling
  • Come back to your initial position. Repeat the process with your other leg and arm
  • Remember not to lift your limbs too high. Smaller movements are enough to work out your back muscles


  • Flat Back


  • Stand straight, bend your legs a little
  • Keep your arms above your head so that they stick out of your torso
  • Always aim at making yourself taller as you do this exercise
  • Bend your body at the waist until your bust is parallel to the floor
  • Stay in the position for 10 seconds then get back to the initial upright position while keeping your back straight
  • Breathe in from where you started, and breathe out as you lower your bust. Please make sure you don’t curve your back
  • Remember to keep your stomach tucked in to tighten your ab muscles and thus protect your back while you exercise


  • Plank


  • Lie straight, facing down
  • Lean on elbows and toes, raise your pelvis slightly so that your body is in a straight line
  • Keep your elbows right below your shoulder joints at 90 degrees
  • Remember to tuck in your stomach as much as you can without cutting off your breathing
  • To do this exercise more effectively, rest on your knees instead of your toes, while keeping your pelvis forward
  • Breathe through your nose, breathe out slowly through your mouth
  • Always ensure that you do not lower your pelvis too far to avoid lower back pains

When to Consult a Doctor for Your Back Pain?

If you suffer from any of the below conditions, it indicates a more serious cause. Please get in touch with a doctor at a reputed rehabilitation centre if you experience any one of the following red flags:

  • Prolonged back pain with no relief for more than six weeks
  • Sudden, severe back pain that seems to get worse without improvement 
  • Pain if the spine is lightly tapped
  • High fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A history of autoimmune disease in the family
  • Numbness or tingling of legs

If you are looking for an effective solution for your back pain, seek professional help at Plexus – your one-stop rehabilitation centre in Bangalore.

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy: The Parkinson’s Mimic

You may have heard of Parkinson’s Disease — a neurological disorder that affects nearly 10 million people worldwide. But did you know that sometimes what seems to be an open and shut case of Parkinson’s Disease might be something much more uncommon? It could be Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). The two are very similar in how they present themselves, and both can cause serious, life-long problems. But there are subtle differences between the two. Let’s take a deeper look at PSP and its treatment — and how it compares to the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

What is PSP? 

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is an uncommon brain disease that significantly affects your motor control. A person with this condition will face serious problems with walking, balance, eye-movement, and swallowing. 

The condition is caused by the degradation of brain cells that control body movement. It is a disease that worsens over time and can lead to life-long and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and difficulty swallowing. 

Early symptoms include: 

  • Sudden loss of balance while walking, often resulting in falls 
  • Muscle stiffness, particularly in the neck 
  • Exhaustion and extreme tiredness 
  • Changes in personality — irritability, apathy, mood swings 
  • Difficulty controlling eye muscles, particularly when looking up or down 
  • Blurred or double vision 

These symptoms will gradually lead to the patient experiencing: 

  • Slurred or slowed speech 
  • Dysphagia (trouble swallowing) 
  • Reduced blinking reflex — leading to dry and irritated eyes 
  • Involuntary closing of the eyes from anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours 
  • Disturbed sleep 
  • The slowness of thought or memory problems 
  • Neck or back pain, joint pain, and headaches 

In its most advanced stages, these symptoms progress to increasingly slowed and slurred speech hindering communication. Loss of control in the throat muscles can lead 

to severe swallowing issues and may require the insertion of a feeding tube to prevent choking and chest infections. Many patients may also suffer from loss of control over their bladder and bowels. There is also a mental toll — the patient will face problems with thinking, concentration, and memory, though they usually won’t lose complete awareness of themselves. 

PSP vs Parkinson’s Disease You may notice that many of the symptoms listed above are similar to those present in patients with Parkinson’s Disease, a more common neurological condition. After all, both PSP and Parkinson’s are characterized by parkinsonism — stiffness, slowness, and clumsiness in movement. In fact, PSP can often be misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s due to how uncommon the disease is. But while the two are similar, they aren’t quite the same. 

Symptoms Parkinson’s Disease Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Eye-related Difficulties

Usually presents as double vision, uncontrolled blinking, or excessive blinking 

Usually presents as difficulty in upward/downward movement, later stages may develop double vision and involuntary closing of eyes 

Tremors Present in over 70% of cases 

Present in under 10% of cases 

Balance A tendency to bend forwards 

A tendency to either stand straight or tilt backward 

Problems Swallowing Mild to moderate Moderate to severe 

Sense of Smell Degrades over time Tends to remain the same 

Brain Chemistry Characterized primarily by a dopamine imbalance 

Characterized by a complex interaction by multiple chemicals and brain structures 

Treatment of PSP 

The treatment of PSP does share some similarities with the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. However, since some symptoms are present more severely in PSP, there are some specific differences in treatment. 

Most patients will be working with a multidisciplinary team of neurologists, social workers, ophthalmologists, dieticians, and therapists (speech, occupation, and physio) to create a treatment plan. There is currently no real cure for PSP, most treatments involve mitigating the symptoms as much as possible. If you suffer from PSP, your treatment plan might include: 

  • Medication — Parkinson’s medication may be prescribed to help control your muscle movement. However the effects of these are limited and temporary, usually lasting only two to three years. Antidepressants might also be prescribed to combat the depression and sleep problems that often accompany PSP 
  • Physiotherapy — You will be given exercises that help you strengthen your muscles and help you regain a little control over your movements. A physiotherapist can also advise you on specialized equipment such as walking frames to improve balance or special shoes to help prevent slippage 
  • Speech and Language Therapy — A therapist will work with you to help manage and overcome speech problems like slurring, as well as dysphagia 
  • Occupational Therapy — You will learn how to stay safe and prevent falls and other accidents in your day to day life 
  • Dietary Changes — You may be referred to a dietician who can help you maintain a healthy diet while finding foods and liquids that are easier to swallow 
  • Eye Care — Loss of control over the eyelids may be treated with small amounts of Botox injected around the eyelid. Botox can help block the muscle spasms in the area. An ophthalmologist may also suggest bifocals or prism lenses to help with downward eye movement 
  • Stem Cell Therapy — Autologous Stem Cell Therapy can help treat the disorder at its root cause. Stem cells, which can take on the function of any cell and can accelerate healing at the cellular level, are extracted from the patient’s bone marrow, developed, and then injected intravenously. They can help rebuild degraded brain cells and improve the overall functioning of the patient 

Living with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is difficult and often frightening, but remember that you’re not alone in this experience. Creating a support system both in your personal life and treatment journey can go a long way in helping you cope with the condition. Confide in your friends and family, and look into rehabilitation centers that offer treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and PSP — start building your network of care today. 

Stress: Its effect on our minds and bodies

Stress — all of us have experienced it in some form or the other. However, if left unmanaged, stress may have a negative impact on our body and mind. Let’s start by understanding more about the phenomenon. 

What is stress? It is our body’s way of responding to a demand or threat. At normal levels, stress helps one stay focused and alert — to tackle challenges at home and work. However, when faced with a threat, it prepares us for a ‘fight or flight’ response. But beyond a certain threshold, stress can affect physical and cognitive health. 

Symptoms The most alarming thing about stress is that people get used to it and accept it as ‘normal’, often not noticing the toll it takes on their bodies and minds. Therefore, it is imperative to know how to spot the typical symptoms. They have been divided into three categories depending on what is affected. 

Cognitive symptoms include: 

  • Memory issues 
  • Lack of concentration 
  • Poor judgment 
  • Negativity 
  • Anxiety 
  • Persistent feeling of worry 

Physical symptoms include: 

  • Aches and pains 
  • Diarrhea or constipation 
  • Nausea or dizziness 
  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Sexual issues 
  • Frequent colds 

Emotional symptoms include: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Frequent mood swings 
  • Anger 
  • Feeling overwhelmed 
  • Isolation 

Behavioral symptoms include: 

  • Inconsistent eating patterns 
  • Change in sleeping pattern 
  • Withdrawal 
  • Substance use 

Types The American National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has identified two major forms of stress. 

Acute stress This is short term and often has a clear and immediate solution. A person may go through acute stress after an argument with a friend or a family member, or when trying to meet an urgent deadline at work. However, this type of stress disappears once the issue is resolved. If faced regularly though, it can be harmful in the long run. 

Chronic stress This type of stress manifests over a long period and adversely affects the person’s body as well as their mental health. Long-term financial and personal issues or a sudden traumatic experience like the death of a loved one can lead to chronic stress. If untreated, it can cause disorders of the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and reproductive systems. 

Chronic stress can also become a part of the person’s personality making them immune to the mental and physical risks involved. Moreover, a breakdown during such a phase can make one indulge in violent acts, suffer a heart attack, or even attempt suicide. 

Causes People have different stressors. While certain situations can trigger a response in one person, the same issue might not arouse any reaction in another. Having said that, these are some common and major life events that can prove stressful to all. They include: 

  • Financial troubles — unemployment, retirement, lack of savings 
  • Chronic illness or injury 
  • Death of a loved one 
  • Family issues 
  • Troubled relationships, marriage, and divorce 

Neuropsychiatric disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia, and migraines — caused due to a dysfunction in the central nervous system — are also a cause for stress. 

Treatment Diagnosing stress is a challenge in itself. The doctor will inquire about the individual’s symptoms and the events that might have led them to a stressful situation. For the professional to uncover those reasons, a face-to-face interview is the most effective way. Once diagnosed, the person will be prescribed medication or asked to undergo stress management. 

Medication Usually, doctors don’t prescribe medicines unless they are treating an underlying condition like depression. Most antidepressants have various side-effects and there is a chance that they might only mask the stress, not cure it. It should be noted that self-medication should be avoided in all circumstances. 

Stress management Various lifestyle changes can help one manage stress. They include: 

Acknowledging the signs The first step towards rehabilitation is accepting the fact that one is going through stress. Being in denial is only going to aggravate stress. 

Exercising Apart from physical benefits, regular exercise distracts from the cycle of negativity. A good workout helps shift the focus from a stressful thought to the physical activity. 

Maintaining a balanced diet A healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables strengthens the immune system and helps fight stress better. A poor diet will weaken the system and make the person prone to diseases and add to the stress. 

Managing time 

Jotting down a to-do list helps one prioritize daily tasks, and efficiently finish the jobs that may act as stressors. 

Relaxing A step back from the daily routine will help one self-introspect. Often, the individual will know exactly what kind of situations to avoid to stay away from stress. 

At Plexus, an award-winning Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre, stress-related issues — including the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders (a major cause of stress), are dealt with using various rehabilitative methods. Specially trained therapists help patients overcome stress while dealing with their underlying problems. Remember, if severe disorders and conditions can be managed through rehabilitation, then so can stress! 

Tips to Improve Handwriting While Recovering from Parkinson’s Disease

A life-changing disorder, Parkinson’s Disease affects approximately 10 million people worldwide. It is progressive in nature, which means the symptoms worsen over time, and these affect the body’s motor and non-motor functions. The occurrence of Parkinson’s is most common in the age group of 50 to 60. However, early-onset is also a possibility.

For a clearer picture, here are the common early symptoms of Parkinson’s:

  • Tremors
  • Slowed movement
  • Impaired walk
  • Rigid muscles
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Loss of involuntary movements
  • Speech impediment
  • Difficulty in writing

Depending on the severity of these symptoms, Parkinson’s has been divided into 5 stages, each progressively more serious. Having said that, if intervention takes place at the right time, the adverse effects can be managed and the progression of the disorder can be slowed.

If we take a closer look at this list of symptoms, it becomes clear Parkinson’s largely affects motor functions. Muscles become rigid and lose flexibility, making daily tasks difficult to manage — one of the essential ones being writing. Handwriting becomes cramped, legibility decreases, and eventually, the individual may completely lose the ability. However, as mentioned earlier, with the right treatment and rehabilitation, some of these functions can be improved significantly.

Here are a few ways in which to improve writing ability while recovering from Parkinson’s:

  • Form each letter deliberately. It will be hard initially, but improvement will be seen with time
  • Use a gripped or a large pen relax the muscles in your hand
  • Avoid cursive writing. The printing form allows for pauses between each letter and makes writing more legible
  • Use lined pages to help gauge how big or small words need to be

one that will provide you with a visual target regarding how big or small your words need to be.

  • Practise with a ballpoint pen — these are easier to use as compared to ink or felt tips
  • Take breaks whenever muscles feel stiff or tight, and when handwriting becomes smaller
  • Keep tabs on speed and time taken to effectively track progress

While one can use these tips to work on writing ability, the holistic treatment of Parkinson’s needs a comprehensive rehabilitation program. At Plexus, an award-winning Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre, patients undergo the Regenerative Rehabilitation Program that includes:

Stem Cell therapy This is a non-surgical, drugless procedure wherein stem cells that have regenerative capacities are implanted in the patient’s body and to replace damaged cells.

Physiotherapy This improves the patient’s mobility, posture, balance and gait, while boosting strength and endurance.

Occupational Therapy The main focus of occupational therapy is to help the affected individual undertake daily activities with ease. Improving handwriting is part of occupational therapy.

Speech Therapy Here, the focus is on the patient’s facial muscles, mouth, and throat. The therapist helps the patient regain his/her communication skills by leveraging various techniques including non-verbal communication,

Parkinson’s might not have a cure yet, but latest advancements in medical sciences coupled with early intervention can help manage and mitigate damage, allowing affected individuals to lead lives with a degree of independence.

Sadness and Depression: Let’s Understand the Difference

There are approximately 264 million people in this world suffering from depression. Are they just sad? The answer is an absolute no. In simple terms, Sadness is an emotion — a feeling that goes away after a period of time. Depression, on the other hand, is a mental disorder that does not go away on its own.

Let’s delve deeper to know the difference between the two.

Sadness It is a very normal human emotion brought on by difficult or stressful situations — loss of a loved one, financial setbacks, health problems, or other personal issues. However, it is easy to overcome this temporary state of mind by doing things that make one happy, sharing/venting, or even crying. Moreover, once the temporary phase passes, or the individual is able to handle the issue, the feeling of sadness automatically subsides, and normal behaviour is resumed.

If this doesn’t happen, and the feeling continues for an extended period of time, it might be a sign of depression.

Depression This is a mental disorder that has serious implications on almost every aspect of a person’s life. Depression can hit anyone at any time — irrespective of gender or social status. These are some of the common symptoms:

  • A sense of discouragement
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of interest in activities that the individual once found enjoyable

Also, depending on the severity of the condition, the symptoms may worsen and the person may develop suicidal tendencies. The World Health Organization has classified depression into two major categories based on severity:

Recurrent depressive disorder: As the name suggests, this type of depression will include repetitive episodes. The afflicted person will go through bouts of sadness, mood fluctuations, loss of interest, tiredness, and a decrease in productivity on regular intervals for at least two weeks. Moreover, during recurrent depression, people will also have

feelings of low self esteem, guilt, disturbed sleep, and appetite. Depending on the symptoms and their severity, this form of depression can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. When a person goes through the mild or moderate version, he/she will face difficulties in carrying on with normal life but will not cease to function totally. On the contrary, during a severe episode, it is highly unlikely that the person will be able to function normally, be it personally, socially, or professionally.

Bipolar affective disorder: This comprises extreme mood swings and was formerly known as manic depression. This level of mania affects the person’s sleep, energy, activity, judgement, behaviour, and ability to think clearly. These episodes may occur rarely or even multiple times a year. While some of the affected people might go through certain emotional experiences in between episodes, others may not.

Causes and treatment While there are a number of common causes of depression like family history, childhood trauma, and drug abuse, certain medical conditions — especially neurological disorders — can also lead to depression.

These are known as neuropsychiatric disorders that have origins in neurology and psychiatry. Multiple factors such as traumatic head injuries, infections, side effects of medication, genetics, and environmental conditions can be the reason behind these disorders.

Common neuropsychiatric conditions include: 

  • Epilepsy
  • Migraine
  • Eating disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Mood disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Sleep disorders

Living with depression is not an option. One must seek help and explore the following ways to tackle the condition:

Medication First and foremost, one should not indulge in self-medication. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic medicines used to manage the adverse effects of depression have benefits as well as risks. Always consult a doctor and take only what is prescribed.

Psychotherapy Sessions with the therapist can help one overcome negative thoughts. The therapist, depending on the severity of the condition, might also recommend family or group therapy sessions.

Occupational therapy Therapists can help the person examine and create a balance between leisure, work, and relationships. The therapist can define the roles of the person and help him/her adapt to their responsibilities so that they can participate and finally gain a sense of accomplishment.

Exercise One should aim to indulge in physical activities for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Exercise increases the production of endorphin hormones that have a positive effect on one’s mood — however, exercise alone cannot treat depression.

Although depression is an overpowering mental health disorder with a potential to disrupt lives, with proper and timely intervention, its progression can be halted.

Spinal Cord Injury: Milestones to Achieve While on The Road to Recovery

Every year, on an average, 250,000 to 500,000 people suffer from Spinal Cord Injuries, ranging from minor to severely debilitating. A Spinal Cord Injury can change the course of one’s life as it can render the afflicted person partially or fully paralyzed. Apart from physical impairments, the injury has far-reaching psychological effects too, as the patient becomes dependent on others even for simple tasks such as eating, changing clothes, or taking a walk.

However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Early intervention and the right type of rehabilitation can allow the person to beat the adverse effects of the injury and live a normal, independent life. There are a number of milestones one has to achieve in order to be self-reliant again. To get a better understanding of those breakthroughs, let’s first get acquainted with what the Spinal Cord is and how it functions.

Often, people assume that the Spinal Cord is a long bone that extends from the neck and ends at the lower back. It is, in fact, a column of nerves covered by myelin — a protective layer, and further shielded by 31 butterfly-shaped, interlocked bones called the vertebrae.

The main function of the Spinal Cord is to communicate between the brain and the rest of the body. So, any injury to such a vital part of the body means that communication will be impaired, leading to severe complications including total or partial paralysis.

The injury, depending on its severity, can be classified into two categories:

A Complete Spinal Cord Injury that results in a total loss of sensation and motor function below the site of the injury.
An Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury that results in some sensation and motor function below the site of the injury.

It is important to mention that due to the advancements in initial treatment and rehabilitation, around 60 percent of Spinal Cord-related injuries can be classified and treated as Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries.

The journey to recovery will be long, but correct medication and rehabilitation will shorten that voyage considerably. Meanwhile, you will cross a number of milestones as you progress towards a fuller and healthier life. Let’s see what the road ahead looks like.

The first stage: Recuperation
Hospitalization is the first step towards recovery after sustaining a Spinal Cord Injury. At the hospital, your vitals are checked and tests are conducted, so that you are provided with the best possible treatment options. Remember, that the surroundings you’re in are bound to scare and confuse you. While this will be a challenging time, it is important to look at the bright side and be grateful that you have survived. Depending on the nature of the injury, you may be advised to opt for surgery, rehabilitation, or both.

Second stage: Physical Rehabilitation
After you have been discharged from the hospital, you need to undergo physical rehabilitation therapy as soon as possible for a faster recovery. Your therapist will teach you how to bring your body back into working condition. At Plexus, an award-winning Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre, the patient undergoes Regenerative Rehabilitation Program which is a customized therapy plan, that includes:

Physiotherapy — focuses on the improvement of the patient’s mobility, posture and balance.
Occupational Therapy — focuses on helping the patient become independent by improving his/her capability to complete daily activities such as walking, having a meal, or taking a bath.
Speech Therapy — focuses on helping the patient regain his/her communication skills by involving various techniques including non-verbal communication.

Apart from the above mentioned therapies, Stem Cell therapy is also used in the treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries. This is a non-surgical, drugless procedure wherein stem cells, that have the capacity to regenerate and replace the damaged cells, are injected into the affected area. Due to the power of regeneration, Stem Cell Therapy is proving to be one of the most preferred methods of treatment for a Spinal Cord Injury.

Psychological Recovery
Often, during the rehabilitation process, therapists as well as personal caregivers focus mainly on the physical health of the patient. However, mental health is equally important for the person’s complete recovery. Regaining motor function is absolutely necessary but that is not the end of the road. To believe that bouncing back physically is the only way for a patient to live a normal life, has to change. If any of the survivors, who made it through the hospitalization process, are facing depression, anxiety or fear, they should come forward, ask for help, without any apprehensions. If you are mentally tough, any physical impairment can be defeated with the right support and rehabilitation.

Overcoming Shoulder Pain the Right Way with Stem Cell Therapy

Have you ever experienced bad shoulder pain or a severe injury to the shoulder that brought your day-to-day activities to a halt?

Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal condition, after neck and back pain. However, what usually starts off as mild discomfort, can turn into a serious ailment if not given the required attention. That is just one of the reasons why it’s essential to identify its triggers and treat it at the earliest.

Let’s start by first looking at the causes of shoulder pain, which may vary from individual to individual. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Broken arm
  • Broken collarbone
  • Joint inflammation 
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Heart attack 
  • Rotator cuff injury 
  • Strain due to heavy lifting 

On the first instance of such pain, our usual reaction is to wait it out or try quick fixes such as heating pads, muscle relaxants, or painkillers. While these may provide temporary relief, a medical diagnosis is imperative to determine the course of further, long-lasting treatment.

Common treatment measures for shoulder pain

In most cases, surgery is often the recommended way to go, especially in cases of:

  • Extreme difficulty in movement
  • Frequent dislocations
  • Severe joint damage 

That being said, it’s important to note that surgical procedures often involve long and painful recovery periods — during which movement will be severely restricted. That’s when an extensive physical rehabilitation process comes in, which can require a long hospital stay and a large commitment in terms of time.

This is where Stem Cell Therapy comes in as a practical alternative that allows you to leave the hospital in just a few hours, with relatively lesser pain and discomfort.

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cells are regenerative cells that can be differentiated into specific regions and multiply into newer cells. The procedure entails harvesting Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) from your blood and injecting them into the damaged areas of your body, guided by x-rays and ultrasounds. PRP is a blood plasma that consists of platelets, which stimulate the growth of stem cells on a large scale.

Disorders caused by degeneration or wear and tear of cells in the body can ideally be treated with this therapy — one that has significantly decreased the need for surgical procedures. In addition, since stem cells are already a naturally occurring part of the body, the procedure involves minimal chances of infection or rejection.

Stem Cell Therapy for shoulder pain

When it comes to shoulder pain, Stem Cell Therapy involves the extraction of stem cells and PRP from the patient’s bone marrow or blood and injecting it to the damaged part of the shoulder.
Typically, a single stem cell injection is all that is needed to treat mild shoulder pain. However, if the shoulder has endured multiple or severe damages, the patient will have to be injected with additional PRP to regenerate the stem cells a month after the initial injection, along with an additional dose a few weeks after. 
The cells typically take 3-4 weeks to recover, leading to a gradual reduction of pain. Eventually, the patient will experience complete pain-free mobility of the shoulder.

When to choose Stem Cell Therapy for shoulder pain?

It is important to note that the conditions of Stem Cell Therapy may vary for each individual. Factors such as the severity of the shoulder injury will need to be accurately assessed by a specialist before devising a suitable treatment plan. For instance, it is recommended that minor or partial tears are treated with Stem Cell Therapy whereas more severe injuries may require advanced procedures. 

Life After Stem Cell Therapy 
Stem Cell Therapy in India is often the chosen treatment option for most patients since it is known for its quick recovery times and effective pain relief. Most patients can return to sports activities or heavy-duty chores within 4-12 weeks depending on the severity of the injury. From minor to chronic shoulder conditions ⁠— stem cell therapy effectively treats pain, promising patients a healthy future free of agony and discomfort.

How to Detect Autism Spectrum Disorder Early: A Guide for Parents

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of developmental conditions that impair a child’s social behavior, communication skills, and intellectual capabilities. Usually, ASD begins very early on, and most cases become apparent within the first five years. According to WHO, one in every 160 children suffers from this stark disorder — however, there’s little to no awareness surrounding it. Most people assume that children will ‘grow out’ of ASD, which is far from true. Therefore, it is important for parents of infants and toddlers to understand the disorder better and watch out for signs that will enable early detection. 

If you are a new parent or you suspect some issues with your toddler, we’ve put together a guide that’ll help you navigate the situation effectively. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Understand the disorder well 

ASD is one of the most widely misunderstood disorders — thanks to the many myths associated with it. Most people pin poor parenting as the culprit but according to the latest research, ASD is caused due to a variety of factors, ranging from environmental to genetic. 

If you are a parent of a child showing symptoms of ASD, read as much about the disorder as you can, get your doubts addressed with a doctor, and stay up to date on the latest developments. And once you’ve empowered yourself with information, you’ll see how quickly fear and confusion clear up. 

  • Keep an eye out for development delays 

Regularly monitor how your child is doing. See if he/she is able to hit the developmental milestones — socially, emotionally, and cognitively. If you suspect/observe any delays or disparities, don’t panic as not all developmental delays indicate ASD. Just keep a tab on how your child is performing consistently and inform your doctor about the same. 

Every child is different and so is their growth trajectory. However, there are a few developmental milestones that we have put together for your reference. Please note that these are merely indicators and they can differ from child to child. 

  • Six months 

Joyful expressions 

  • Nine months 

Sounds and facial expressions 

  • Twelve months 

Babbling, response to name-calling, and other gestures such as waving, pointing, and reaching 

  • Sixteen months 

Speech skills (using words) 

  • Twenty-four months

Advanced speech skills (constructing small phrases)

Do observe if your child is experiencing any regression in developmental skills. Some children may lose communication skills between 12-24 months after developing them. 

If your child is older than twenty-four months, look out for the symptoms below: 

  • Little to no interest in social interactions and the world around them 

  • Few or no friends 

  • Dislike towards any forms of affection

  • Trouble with speech and understanding feelings 

  • Atypical tone of voice and body posture 

  • Repetition of same words 

  • Incorrect usage of language  

  • No eye contact 

  • Unusual attachment to toys or other objects 

  • Narrowed/limited interests 

  • Difficulty in adapting to changes (in the immediate environment as well as life in general) 

  • Get your child screened 

Most parents are advised to take the ‘wait-and-watch’ approach, however, it may not always be a good idea. When ASD is detected early, the chances of improvement are higher. That’s why make sure to get your child tested if you strongly feel that something is wrong. Visit a doctor immediately and discuss the issue at length for a better perspective. You could take a second opinion just to be doubly sure. 

  • Intervene at an early stage 

Once you receive the test results, start the treatment for autism immediately.  Often, treatment for autism involves a combination of medication and rehabilitation programs such as Occupation Therapy, Speech Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Play  Therapy, and more. Consult with your neurologist and a developmental specialist, as these experts will be able to guide you better and develop a tailor-made treatment plan based on your child’s unique needs.

Now that we have given you a starting point to help your child, go ahead and share the article to help other parents out. Together, we can put an end to the taboo and secure a healthy future for our children. 

5 Simple And Effective Stretches To Relieve Lower Back Pain

Haven’t we all experienced a sting in our back? And haven’t we all waited for the pain to go away on its own? At best, we skip work or visit a doctor. And more often than not we do the former. However, if pain persists or happens at regular intervals, it is time to do more than skipping work. It is time to take action! 

If you have already called in sick, you can make your day productive with stretches that can reduce pain and strengthen the muscles of your lower back. However, before we discuss them, let us take a look at what causes back pain and what are the symptoms. 


The conditions that commonly are responsible for lower back pain are: 

  • Muscle or ligament strain 
  • Bulged or ruptured disks 
  • Arthritis 
  • Skeletal irregularities 


The most common symptoms of lower back pain are: 

  • Muscle ache
  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing, or walking
  • Pain that improves with reclining

Before we get stretching, let us make sure that our body is fit enough for it. 

If you have sustained any injuries or have any other back ailments, it is recommended that you get in touch with your doctor first. 

Here is our tip: While doing these stretches, pay close attention to your breathing. If you are breathing normally and with comfort during the stretches, you can continue. If you are facing difficulties while breathing, don’t push yourself. Stop and seek medical advice. 

Now let’s get started! 

Child’s Pose

Child pose

The name might not give it away easily but this is a traditional yoga pose that works on your tight lower back muscles to make it flexible with improved blood circulation along the spine. It also relieves pain all along the spine, neck, and shoulders. 

This is how you do the Child’s Pose: 

  • With your hands and knees on the ground, rest your hips on your heels
  • Hinge at your hips as you lean  forward, bringing  your hands out in front of you
  • Rest your belly on your thighs
  • Extend your arms in front of or alongside your body with your palms facing up
  • Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing any areas of tension or tightness
  • Hold this pose for up to 1 minute

For best results repeat this stretch a few more times.

Knee-to-chest stretch

With this stretch, your whole body will feel relaxed, especially your thighs, hips, and glutes. 

Follow these steps to relax your tensed muscles: 

  • Lie on the floor with flat feet and bended knees 
  • Keep your left knee bent. 
  • Draw your right knee into your chest, with your hands behind your thigh or at the top of your shinbone
  • Straighten your spine all the way down to your tailbone without lifting your hips
  • Breathe deeply and release all the tension. 
  • Keep yourself in this pose for one to three minutes
  • Repeat the same process with your other leg

Piriformis stretch 

This stretch focuses on a muscle called piriformis found deep in the buttocks. That is how it gets its name too. When piriformis gets worked upon, it relieves any pain and tightness in your buttocks as well as the lower back. 

This is how you stretch your piriformis: 

  • Lie straight on your back, bend your both knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor
  • Now, bring your right ankle to the base of your left thigh
  • Then, place your hands behind your left thigh and pull up towards your chest until you feel a stretch
  • Remain in this position for one to three minutes 
  • Repeat the same with the other side of the body

Seated Spinal Twist

This is a very effective stretch as it relaxes your hips, glutes, and the back. Moreover, this workout also builds mobility in the spine. The pressure of this stretch also relaxes the internal organs. 

Here is how you do it: 

  • As the name suggests, sit on the edge of a cushion with both legs extended
  • Now, bend your right knee while placing your foot on the outside of the left thigh
  • Bend your left leg, placing your foot near your right thigh
  • With palms facing each other, raise your arms 
  • Starting at the base of your spine, twist to the right side
  • Place your right hand behind you for support
  • Place your left arm around your right leg as though you’re hugging it
  • Remain in this position  for one to three minutes
  • Now, repeat the same on the other side 

Cat-cow stretch

This stretch not only has a great effect on your spine but it also relieves your neck, chest, and shoulders. 

This is how you do it: 

  • Get into a tabletop position with hands and knees touching the ground
  • Press into your hands and feet as you inhale to lookup
  • While exhaling, tuck your chin into your chest and arch your spine toward the roof
  • Continue this with each breath. 
  • Keep doing this stretch for one to two minutes. 

Without a strong and flexible back, even getting out of bed would be a herculean task. So, it is essential to keep your back in good shape. The discussed stretches can be undertaken at home or at various rehabilitation centers in Bangalore. Now, would you like to stretch with others at a center or do you prefer the calmness of your home? That is your call. We just want you to stretch and ease the tension.

Dysphagia Awareness


Swallowing, like breathing, is an important bodily function for life sustenance. Have you ever wondered how many times you swallow a day? According to studies, you could be swallowing around 500 to 700 times per day. This also includes the swallows you do when you sleep. Swallowing is an act of taking in food/water from your mouth, which is then mixed with saliva and chewed with the help of teeth and tongue to make it into a fine paste. It is then passed on to a narrow passage called Pharynx and as it passes further, there is a leaf-shaped structure called Epiglottis that closes off the windpipe or the Trachea and prevents the food substances entering the windpipe. The food then finally passes through Esophagus (Food pipe) and enters the stomach.

If there is any disturbance in these areas, you would feel difficulty in swallowing food/water which is called “Dysphagia”. The disturbances could be due to any structural changes in the swallowing passage or it could be due to any neurological conditions. You would also find it difficult to swallow your tablets which can lead to poor quality of life.

The difficulties could be, the sensation of food getting stuck in the throat, difficulty in controlling food in the mouth, frequent coughing/choking while swallowing, sudden weight loss, frequent chest infections, change in your voice quality and pneumonia. These can be alarming signs of dysphagia for both children and adults.

A Speech and Language Therapist helps in identifying the problem and plans appropriate therapy techniques to those individuals who are affected with Dysphagia and make them eat/drink safely.

Knee Pain

Knee Pain is a common problem that affects people of all ages. Knee is a complicated joint, made up of four main structures – bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. The fact that the human body weight is hinged on this joint makes it susceptible to various injuries and wear and tear, thus causing inflammation and pain.

Sudden knee pain may be because of an injury or overuse. Knee pain can get aggravated due to obesity or hyperactivity. It may lead to injury to other parts of the leg and can lead to frequent falls. That is why early diagnosis and treatment is important.

Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain can be caused by injuries, medical conditions like arthritis or mechanical concerns.


The most common knee injuries are seen in sports and includes fractures, dislocations, sprains and tears of soft tissues etc. The more common knee injuries include, ACL injury (ligament tear), fractures, torn meniscus (cartilage tear), knee bursitis (inflammation), patellar tendinitis (tendon irritation an inflammation) and dislocation of patella.

Mechanical Causes

Loose bodies (broken bone or cartilage interfere with the hinge joint), Iliotibial band syndrome (usually occurs to marathon runners or cyclists), Dislocated knee cap, hip or foot pain are certain mechanical factors which cause  knee pain.


There are various types of arthritis that affect the knee. Some of the common arthritis affecting knee joint includes Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout and Septic arthritis.

Osteoarthritis of the knee 

Osteoarthritis is a major cause of knee pain, particularly in elderly people. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage which acts as a cushioning agent between joints, degenerates. This results in the bones of the joints to rub with each other more closely, resulting in stiffness of the knees, swelling, pain and difficulty in movement.


Depending on the cause, the symptoms and location may vary. Signs and symptoms that are generally seen with knee pain include:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Change in shape of the kneecap
  • Redness and warmth on the knee on touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee
  • Limping
  • Difficulty walking up and down the stairs
  • Shifting weight to the opposite knee and foot

Treatment for Knee Pain 

Treatment depends on the cause of the knee pain. Once the diagnosis is complete, the least invasive treatments could be sought and should be followed up with physiotherapy and lifestyle modifications to help the treatment show its effects.

Stem Cell Therapy for knee osteoarthritis 

If the cause of knee pain is diagnosed as osteoarthritis, stem cell therapy has shown promising results. In osteoarthritis, there is degeneration of joint cartilages and underlying bones. The regenerative potential of stem cells would help stop the degeneration and help in growth of bone and cartilage tissue. Stem Cells derived from bone marrow are capable enough to differentiate into tissues such as bone and cartilage and mobilise to an injured cartilage site in knee joints and help in cartilage regeneration.


Physiotherapy helps in managing pain and improving joint mobility. It begins with a thorough examination of the patient, which includes evaluation of swelling and tenderness, examination of knee in terms of range of motion, muscle strength of the muscles around the knee joint, evaluation of joint stability, and gait evaluation..

After this thorough evaluation, a customised exercise program is provided to the patient keeping in mind the patient’s weight, age, pain assessment and lifestyle. These exercises will aim at improving the strength and mobility of the knee. Physical exercises may be accompanied by certain other pain relieving treatments like electric stimulation, taping, hot or cold fermentation and soft tissue massages to restore knee functionality.

Lifestyle Modifications 

Lifestyle modification is an important aspect of the treatment of knee pain. If obesity is a concern, weight reduction and diet modification is required. Apart from a healthy lifestyle, certain exercises need to be included in one’s daily life.

At Plexus we use a combination of different therapies to treat knee pain caused due to osteoarthritis. Our patients who have undergone treatment have found 100 percent relief in their condition. The success of the treatment also depends on the severity of the damage present in the knee. Stem cell therapy when combined with physiotherapy and life style modifications has helped to give maximum recovery from knee pain.

To know more about the treatment options for knee osteoarthritis, write to us at drnaeem@plexusnc.com

Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a universal human problem.  It is difficult to find a person who hasn’t had a low back pain at some point in time.  According to studies about 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes.  Low back (lumbar region) starts below the ribcage.  Pain in this region can be severe and is one of the top causes of non-attendance at office which may even lead to job-related disability.

Both men and women can get affected by low back pain.  The intensity of the pain can range from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp sensation that leaves the person crippled.  In case of an accident or lifting something heavy, pain can begin abruptly.  If the pain is on account of age-related changes of the spine, the onset can be gradual.  Sedentary lifestyles can be propitious for the development of the pain.  For instance, lack of exercise during the weekdays punctuated by vigorous workouts in the weekends.

Structures that make up the lower back:

Back pain that generally occurs in the lower back includes the five vertebrae (referred to as L1-L5) in the lumbar region, which supports much of the weight of the upper body.  The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue known as ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord and they control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain.

Acute low back pain:  If the low back pain is acute, it may last a few days to a few weeks without any serious loss of function.  However, acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, implying there is a disruption in the way the components of the back (the spine, muscle, intervertebral discs, and nerves) fit together and move.

Subacute low back pain:  Low back pain that lasts between four and twelve weeks is called subacute low back pain.

Chronic low back pain:  This type of low back pain lingers for twelve weeks or longer, even after the trauma that triggered the pain or the underlying cause of the acute low back pain has been treated.  Around 20% of the people suffering from acute low back pain is at risk of chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms in one year.

The magnitude of the burden from low back pain has assumed greater proportions in the recent years owing to the shift in the lifestyle of people.  People who spend long hours before computers are at more risk of developing the condition if they don’t adopt a proper sitting posture.  According to medical studies, low back pain is the third disease condition that causes mortality and poor health, with only ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ranking higher.

Common symptoms of low back pain:

Dull aching pain:  Pain that remains within the low back is often described as dull and aching rather than burning, stinging, or sharp.  This kind of back ache is generally associated with mild or severe muscle spasms, restricted mobility and aches in hips and pelvis.

Pain that radiates to the buttock, legs and feet:  Sometimes low back pain can be a sharp, stinging, tingling or numb sensation that shoots down the thighs and into the low legs and feet.  It is also referred to as sciatica.  Sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve, and is usually only felt on one side of the body.

Pain getting worse with sitting:  In relation to the underlying cause of the pain, some body positions may relieve pain, whereas some positions may aggravate the pain.  For instance, walking normally may be difficult, whereas leaning forward onto something, such as a shopping trolley may lessen the pain.  The way symptoms vary with shifting positions can help identify the source of pain.

Pain getting better when moving around:  Many people with low back pain notice symptoms that are worse on waking up in the morning.  After walking around a bit, these symptoms get relieved.  Pain in the morning is on account of long periods of rest, decreased blood flow with sleep.

Treatment for low back pain:

At Plexus we offer a comprehensive treatment program that comprises of medications, nutritional supplements, exercises and life style modifications that help in reducing pain and improving function. After undergoing the treatment for a period of 7 to 10 days, depending on the severity of the problem, our patients experience a great sense of relief in their symptoms.

Physiotherapy is the first-line of treatment for people suffering with low back pain.  Being a conservative, non-surgical treatment option, physiotherapy can produce effective long-term relief from all types of low back pain.  There is a vast amount of medical literature that supports physiotherapy for the treatment of low back pain.

The goals of the physiotherapy include:

  • Decrease back pain
  • Increase function
  • Teach the patient a maintenance program to prevent future back problems

Passive physiotherapy:  Passive physiotherapy focuses on things done to the patient such as heat application, ice packs and electrical stimulation.  For e.g.  a heating pad may be applied to warm up the muscles before doing exercise and stretching and an ice pack may be used after the exercise to calm the muscles and soft tissues attached to it.

Active physiotherapy:  This type of physiotherapy is aimed at specific exercises and stretching.  For a variety of low back pain conditions, active physiotherapy is the core part of the overall physiotherapy regimen.

An ongoing physiotherapy program also reduces the chances and intensity of future occurrences of low back pain.

For enquiries related to treatment of Low Back Pain, send a message to www.plexusnc.com

Neck Pain

Our neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso.  Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones.  The bones, ligaments, and muscles of the neck hold our head and perform other functions including movement of the head and neck.  Any injury, inflammation or abnormalities can lead to neck pain, coupled with stiffness.

Neck pain is a common malady.  Many people experience neck pain occasionally.  Neck muscles can be tensed up from poor posture – be it leaning over your desktop or hunching over to take something.  Neck pain can arise due to overuse of the neck as well.  Osteoarthritis is also a common trigger for neck pain.  Sometimes neck pain is caused by injury from a fall, contact sports or whiplash from a motor vehicle accident.  Seldom, neck pain can be a symptom of a more sinister underlying problem.  It is time to get medical attention if your neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss strength in your upper extremities or if you have radiating pain into your shoulder or down your arm.  If you have neck pain that lasts more than a week and is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

Causes of neck pain:

Neck pain can be set off due to a variety of causes.

Muscle tension and strain:

This is largely due to behavioral issues such as:

  • poor posture
  • working at a desk for a prolonged time without changing position
  • sleeping with your neck in a bad position
  • jerking your neck during exercise


Neck is prone to injury, especially in falls, motor vehicle accidents and contact sports where the muscles and ligaments that support the neck are forced to move out of their normal range.  If cervical vertebrae (neck bones) are fractured, there are chances of spinal cord also being damaged.  As for motor vehicle accidents, sudden jerks of the neck lead to whiplash injury.


Meningitis is the inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.  In people with meningitis, neck pain is coupled with fever and headache.

Other causes of neck pain:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Herniated cervical disc
  • Spinal stenosis

Symptoms associated with neck pain:

Neck pain is a symptom commonly associated with dull aching.  Sometimes, movement of the neck or turning the head may worsen the already aching neck.  Other common symptoms associated with neck pain include tingling, tenderness, sharp shooting pain, range-of-motion difficulties, fullness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or lightheadedness, and lymph node swelling.

With neck pain you can also notice some offshoot symptoms such as headache, facial pain, shoulder pain, and arm numbness or upper extremity paresthesias. These associated symptoms are generally as a result of nerves getting pinched in the neck.  At times neck pain is also accompanied by symptoms such as upper back and/or lower back pain, as is common in inflammation of the spine from ankylosing spondylitis.

Treatment for neck pain:

Physiotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for both chronic and mild neck pain.  Most physiotherapy sessions for neck pain involve targeted treatments to ameliorate pain and stiffness enough to start an exercise regimen of strengthening the neck muscles and improving the flexibility of neck.  However, physiotherapy is a tailor-made treatment program, which means it varies from person to person, depending on the nature and degree of the pain.  The duration, specific methods and exercises are determined after careful analysis of the patient’s conditions.

The following goals are aimed to achieve by using physiotherapy for neck pain.

  • Reduce pain and stiffness
  • Improve head and neck range of motion
  • Develop dynamic strengthening of the neck and its supporting musculature
  • Develop strategies to prevent pain from recurring

Methods of physiotherapy treatment:

Passive physiotherapy:  As the name indicates, this mode of physiotherapy is discharged “passively”, which means without effort from the patient.  Numerous treatment methods are available, such as applying ice packs, heat therapy, massage therapy, electrotherapy and others.  The primary objective of passive physiotherapy is to reduce pain and swelling.

Active physiotherapy:  This involves “active” participation of the patient by moving his or her own body through exercises and stretches.  By bolstering the strength and flexibility in the neck, these muscles may become less painful and help in maintaining good posture, which reduces cervical spine being stressed.

Physiotherapy generally begins with passive mode of treatments, but more and more of active treatments are incorporated as the patient makes improvement in the condition.

Efficacy of physiotherapy:

Many medical studies suggest strong evidence supporting the benefits of physiotherapy in the treatment of neck pain, both by strengthening neck muscles and improving the range of motion.  Some studies found even more benefits from physiotherapy when combined with proper exercise programs. 

The principal advantage of physiotherapy is improving the strength of neck muscles may help them to better support the cervical spine and they become more resistant to pain.  As for whiplash injuries, it damages the soft tissues and joints of the neck and the resultant pain and stiffness can last for weeks or much longer.  A targeted physiotherapy program can reduce the pain and help return the neck to normal functioning.

Brachial Plexus Injury

Brachial plexus is the network of intertwined nerves that sends signals from your spinal cord to your shoulders, arms and hand.  Brachial plexus controls movement and sensation in the shoulders and arms.  The brachial plexus begins at the neck and crosses the upper chest to the armpit.  When these nerves are stretched, compressed or in the worse case, ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord, brachial plexus injury occurs.  Generally this happens when the arm is forcibly pulled or stretched, especially in a contact sport or motor vehicle accident.  Due to the brachial plexus injury, you may feel weakness, loss of feeling, or loss of movement in the shoulder, arm or hand.

Minor brachial plexus injuries, known as stingers and burners, are common in contact sports, such as wrestling and football.  Ironically, a newborn can also sustain brachial plexus injury during birth.This injury may result in incomplete sensory and/or motor function of the involved arm.  Conditions, such as inflammation and tumors may also affect the brachial plexus.  Severe brachial plexus injuries generally happen as a result of auto or motorcycle accidents, collision or gunshot wounds.  A severe injury can cause complete paralysis of the arm with loss of function and sensation.  If the injury is not severe, it may heal without any specific treatment.  The nature of the injury varies in severity from a mild stretch to the nerve root tearing away from the spinal cord.  

Types of brachial plexus injury:

The condition of the brachial plexus injury varies depending upon the type of injury and amount of force placed on plexus.  The same patient may have injuries of varying degrees in different nerves of the brachial plexus.

Avulsion:  This is the most severe form of brachial plexus injury where the nerve root is completely torn from the spinal cord.

Neuropraxia (Stretch): In this case, the nerve is stretched mildly and in many cases, these injuries heal on their own.

Rupture:  The brachial plexus may tear partially or fully if the stretch if forceful.

Signs and symptoms of brachial plexus injury:

Signs and symptoms of the brachial plexus injury depend on the severity and location of the injury.  Generally, only one arm is affected.  Paralysis and weakness of the affected side depend on which nerve is damaged.  The likelihood of getting a brachial plexus injury is high while playing contact sports in which the brachial plexus nerves get stretched or compressed.  Minor brachial plexus injury can produce symptoms such as an electric shock or a burning sensation shooting down your arm or numbness and weakness in your affected shoulder or arm.  These symptoms only last a few seconds or minutes, however in some people these symptoms may stay for a long time.

In the case of more severe injuries, brachial plexus nerves are either torn or ruptured.  If the injury is more-severe, it will lead to the nerve root completely tearing from the spinal cord.  Signs and symptoms of severe brachial plexus injury can include certain muscles in your arm or shoulder feeling weak and feeble, you cannot move your shoulder, arm and hand and you will feel severe pain.

Complications of brachial plexus injury:

Though most of the brachial plexus injury will heal without any lasting damage, some injuries can cause temporary or permanent problems such as:

Stiff joints:  As a result of paralysis in the arm or shoulder, your joints can stiffen.  This can impair your movement of the joints even after you have regained the use of your hand.  Your doctor may recommend an ongoing physiotherapy as part of the treatment process to get rid of this offshoot disability.

Pain:  This stems from nerve damage and it may be chronic.

Numbness:  If there is no sensation of your arm or hand, you run the risk of burning or injuring it without knowing it.

Muscle atrophy:  Regeneration of nerves takes place in a slow manner and it may take several years.  During that time, the lack of movement of muscles in the affected arm may cause muscle degeneration.

Permanent disability:The degree of recovery from a brachial plexus injury depends on a number of factors like age, location, nature of the injury, severity etc.  Some people may end up having permanent paralysis.

Treatment of Brachial Plexus Injury at Plexus: 

Stem cell therapy at Plexus has helped to achieve desired results in minimum possible time. Along with this, intensive rehabilitation plays an important role. This includes physiotherapy that focuses on stimulating the affected nerves and muscles and regaining the lost range of movements. Occupational therapy comprises of precise motor re-learning and sensory re-education programmes along with functional training of the hand to perform daily life tasks. Hand splinting plays a significant role in regaining the flexibility and strength to perform daily activities. A resting hand splint and an extension outrigger splint are two common splints which are prescribed and customised for individuals with Brachial Plexus Injury. Apart from the daily exercise program, a customised home training programme is taught to the patient to carry forward the activities performed here.

At Plexus we have treated patients with complete and incomplete injuries and attained miraculous results. Injuries as old as 16 years have shown great improvement both in terms of sensation and movements.

For any queries related to the treatment of Brachial Plexus Injury at Plexus please visit www.plexusnc.com or write to us at drnaeem@plexusnc.com


Epilepsy is a common health disorder in which a person has a tendency to have recurrent unprovoked seizures.  The brain controls the body actions, sensations and emotions through neurons (nerve cells) that carry messages between the brain and the body.  These signals are transmitted through regular electrical impulses.  A seizure occurs when there is a sudden burst of electrical activity in the brain that disrupts this pattern.  The nature of seizure and the body parts affected by it depend on the part of the brain in which the abnormal electrical activity occurred.  Seizures can be in the form of loss of consciousness, a range of unusual movements, odd feelings and sensations or changed behaviors.

Many people can have seizures that are not diagnosed as epilepsy.  These seizure may have a known trigger or provocation and is unlikely to occur again unless the same provocation occurs.  Examples are febrile convulsions (febrile seizures) seen in children and seizures arising out of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Difference between seizure and epilepsy:

The main difference between a seizure and epilepsy is that seizures are a single occurrence, whereas epilepsy is a medical condition of chronic and recurrent seizures.  Though seizures are one of the most common symptoms of epilepsy, not everyone who has seizures suffers from epilepsy.  As for seizures, small disruptions in neuron interactions can cause twitches or spasms.  The sudden abnormal electrical impulses from the brain can cause changes in behavior and consciousness.  When it is recurrent and chronic, it progresses to epilepsy. 

Epileptic seizure types:

There are three diagnoses a doctor might make when treating a patient with epileptic seizures:

Idiopathic: There is no apparent cause.

Cryptogenic: The doctor thinks there is most probably a cause, but cannot pinpoint it.

Symptomatic: The doctor knows what the cause is. 

Descriptions of epileptic seizures:

Generally people think seizure means a convulsion, where someone becomes unconscious and falls with stiffness and jerking.  However, it is just one form of seizure, called a tonic-clonic seizure (previously known as grand mal).

Some people may have rapid attack of seizures in which they go blank for a few seconds, some people remain fully conscious during a seizure and are able to narrate their experience.  For most people, their consciousness is affected and they may be confused when the seizure ends.  Broadly seizures are described as the ones that affect both sides of the brain (generalized onset seizures) or a small part of the brain (focal onset seizures).  At times, seizures may evolve and start as one and progress into another.

Generalized onset seizures:

Generalized seizures affect both cerebral hemispheres (sides of the brain) from the beginning of the seizure. They are the most common and can cause loss of consciousness, either briefly or for a longer period of time, and are sub-categorized into:

  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures)
  • Myoclonic seizures
  • Atonic seizures
  • Absence seizures

Focal onset seizures (partial seizures):

In focal seizures electrical disturbance is limited to a specific area of one cerebral hemisphere (side of the brain).  Focal seizures most commonly arise from the temporal lobe of the brain.Partial seizures are subdivided into simple partial seizures (in which consciousness is retained); and complex partial seizures (in which consciousness is impaired or lost). Partial seizures may spread to cause a generalized seizure, in which case it is classified as partial seizures secondarily generalized.

Symptoms of epilepsy:

The main symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures.  If one or more of the below-mentioned symptoms are present, the individual should consult a doctor, especially if they recur:

  • a convulsion with no temperature (no fever)
  • short spells of blackout or confused memory
  • intermittent fainting spells, during which bowel or bladder control is lost, which is frequently followed by extreme tiredness
  • for a short period, the person is unresponsive to instructions or questions
  • the person becomes stiff, suddenly, for no apparent reason
  • the person suddenly falls for no clear reason
  • sudden bouts of blinking without apparent stimuli
  • sudden bouts of chewing, without any apparent reason
  • for a short time the person seems dazed and unable to communicate
  • repetitive movements that seem inappropriate
  • the person becomes fearful for no apparent reason; they may even panic or become angry
  • peculiar changes in senses, such as smell, touch, and sound
  • the arms, legs, or body jerk, in babies these will appear as a cluster of rapid jerking movements

What causes epilepsy?

Every function in the human body is the result of messaging systems in our brain.  Epilepsy occurs when the system is disrupted by faulty and abnormal electrical activity.  In many cases, the exact cause of epilepsy is difficult to be pinpointed.  Some people have family history of epilepsy that make them more prone to this disorder.  Other factors that may predispose one to epilepsy include:

  • head trauma, for instance, during a car crash
  • brain conditions, including stroke or tumors
  • infectious diseases, for instance, AIDS and viral encephalitis
  • prenatal injury, or brain damage that occurs before birth
  • developmental disorders, for instance, autism or neurofibromatosis

Children under the age of 2 and adults above the age of 65 are more predisposed to epilepsy.

Diagnosis of epilepsy:

It is not that easy to confirm if a person suffered an epileptic seizure, especially if no one witnessed it.  Seizures are infrequent and sporadic, that make them even more difficult to diagnose.  In order to arrive at a diagnosis, the doctor may carry out a variety of tests and investigations including:

  • medical history, including a detailed account of the event
  • physical examination
  • pathology tests
  • electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • computed tomography (CT)
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Treatment for epilepsy:

Medications are the first-line of treatment for people affected with epilepsy.  Diet may also be fine-tuned to yield better results along with medications.

Anti-epileptic drugs work for most people. At Plexus, we have been able to effectively control seizures with proper use of the right medication. However, in some cases, due to several factors, drugs do not help. Some people cannot tolerate drugs and sometimes seizures still occur inspite of administering drugs.

In such cases, stem cell therapy helps manage the condition. Stem cell therapy can help with regeneration of the brain tissue. Stem cells can help reinstate normal neural activity thus helping in reduce seizures.

In a normal brain, there are a number of neurons, some neurons excite cells and some others that stop or inhibit the action of cells. There is a balance between these neurons that help us to function normally. In a patient with epilepsy this balance is disrupted, during seizures. This abnormal circuit is what stem cell therapy targets and repairs. Stem cell treatment aims to bring down these seizures by introducing specific group of neurons with inhibitory functions. It aims to reduce the frequency or even the occurrence of seizures and restore any behavioral deficits caused by the condition.
Stem cell therapy holds a great promise in the management of epilepsy.

Some quick epilepsy facts:

  • Epilepsy is a neurological disorder
  • Primary symptoms commonly include seizures
  • Seizures have a range of severity depending on the individual
  • Treatments include anti-seizure medications

For questions related to treatment of Epilepsy, send a message to www.plexusnc.com

Red Flags of Autism

At the outset, let us understand what autism actually is.  Autism is a neurobehavioral condition that is complex enough to cause impairment in social interaction and language and communication skills.  People with autism are found to be rigid and can have repetitive behaviors.  Owing to this complex range of symptoms, autism now is called autism spectrum disorder or ASD.  A large spectrum of symptoms comes under autism and the levels of impairment may also be different from person to person.  Severity of the disease can be from being a handicap that prevents a person from leading a normal life to a devastating disability that may require admission to a rehabilitation centre.

Unless you are an expert, detecting early signs of autism in children can be hard.  Many of these telltale signs of autism are common to all young children, but they are seen way too much in children who have autism.  Let us go through some common red flags for autism.

Signs of autism in children:

First signs of autism can be spotted in children as young as six to eighteen months.  Infants fixating on objects or not responding to people around may be showing early signs of autism spectrum disorder.  Children may not respond when their name being called.  Making eye contact becomes extremely difficult for children with autism.  They will be in their own world and sharing an experience or observing an object with parents and peers may not be happening.  They tend to engage in repetitive movements like rocking and arm flapping.  There will be difference in the way they play with toys.  Instead of actively engaging with toys, they may line them up and may be focussing on the parts of the toy rather than the whole.  Parents who notice these signs and or are concerned that their child is not meeting developmental milestones, should consult their pediatrician for a developmental screening assessment.

If signs of autism are taken into consideration in the beginning itself, it can make a sea change in treating the disorder through early intervention.  Medical studies show that about half of the children with autism can gain enough skills to be mainstreamed into kindergarten if treatment is given at an early stage.

Spot the warning signs:

As a parent, you are better placed to detect the early signs of autism.  Observe behaviors and quirks in children. Key is to educate yourself to know what is normal and what is not.

Monitor your child’s development – Autism involves a variety of developmental delays.  Keep an eye on your child’s social, cognitive and emotional milestones; it is an effective way to spot autism early on.  Not meeting these milestones on time does not necessarily mean autism, but it makes the child prone to developing developmental disorders.

Take action if you are concerned – Every child is different and every child develops at his/her own pace. However, there are specific developmental milestones that all children should be reaching by specific ages, failing which calls for a clinical consultation.

Don’t adopt a wait-and-see-approach – Don’t wait!  Talk to your doctor.  Early intervention is the key to get out of this disorder and to gain necessary skills to cope with everyday life, so thinking that “time will heal” is the worse thing to do and it will only deteriorate the problem at a time when therapies and drugs can help the children come out of it.  Not only in autism, in any developmental disorder, there should not be a wait-and-see approach.

Signs of autism in adults:

Though autism is generally found in children, it is possible that autism can go undiagnosed until adolescence.  Among adults, autism manifests itself as difficulties in socializing, communication issues, being mentally rigid.  As is the case of children, certain red flags can suggest that a grown-up is showing signs of autism.  Ironically, these signs can appear in adulthood, be it age 18 or 40.  Just as an early intervention for children with autism paves way to therapies that can lend support to gain necessary life skills, diagnosis in an adult can enhance the quality of life that would help him do tasks that require higher-functioning capacity.

Compared to children, it is a tad difficult to make a diagnosis of autism in adults, as they have lived the majority of their lives without a diagnosis.  Be it children or adult, one should look out

for the following traits to have a better understanding of this disorder:

  • Anxiety in social situations
  • Trouble empathizing (in adults)
  • Difficulty understanding body language, gestures, facial expressions
  • Trouble forming and maintaining relationships
  • Difficulty making conversation (particularly chatting, making small talk)
  • Trouble understanding or practicing socially appropriate behaviors
  • Trouble understanding double meanings (in adults)
  • Anxiety in group settings
  • Tendency to interpret information too literally
  • Difficulty making eye contact
  • Restricted or unique interests (such as obsessions with dictionaries or encyclopedia facts)
  • Obsession with rigid routines and sameness
  • Trouble making plans for the future (in adults)

For questions related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), send a message to www.plexusnc.com/contact

Difference between Headaches and Migraines


Headaches can be a mild inconvenience to something that cripples your daily life.  Having said that, when you experience pressure or pain over your head, it is difficult to zero in on as to which type of headache you are suffering from, whether it is a typical tension type or migraine.  Differentiating a traditional headache from a migraine headache (and the other way round), is important as it would help faster relief through better treatments.  It can also keep at bay further headaches in the future to a certain extent.  However, more often than not a bout of traditional headache might be mistaken for a migraine, but there are some telltale differences.  Different factors trigger them and the symptoms themselves are different.  Let’s first understand what a traditional headache and migraine headache are.

Headaches are bitter pain in your head that can lead to pressure and aching.  The pain can be mild, moderate or severe.  In case of a traditional headache, the pain can occur on both sides of your head.  Forehead, temples and back of the neck are the areas where usually headaches can occur.  Do you know a headache can last anywhere between 30 minutes to a week?  The so-called traditional headache is a type of tension headache.  Triggers include stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.  Other types of traditional headaches are cluster headaches, sinus headaches, Chiari headaches, thunderclap headaches.

Migraine headache:

These headaches are sharp and severe compared to a traditional headache.  Migraine headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms in addition to head pain.  It can be said that migraine headaches are more debilitating than a traditional headache.  In case of a severe attack, there are people who seek care at emergency room to get a relief.  Generally, migraine headaches affect only one side of the head.  However, it can affect both sides of the head at times.  When it comes to a migraine headache, the pain is throbbing and you just won’t be able to carry out daily tasks.

Watch out the following symptoms associated with migraine headache:

  • nausea
  • pain behind one eye or ear
  • pain in the temples
  • seeing spots or flashing lights
  • sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • temporary vision loss
  • vomiting

Difference in the way the pain is felt:

The traditional headache gives the patient the sensation that an elastic band is squeezing his or her head.  The headache is set off by the contraction of muscles between the head and neck.   The pain is felt across the head and it could be either mild or moderate.  It generally loses its intensity after a couple of hours.

A migraine, in comparison, can be moderate to severe in intensity.  It is of throbbing nature at the front or the side of the head.  Even after hours and days, there won’t be any sign of abatement and it is often accompanied by other symptoms sometimes referred to as “aura”.

Difference in warning signs:

There won’t be any warning signs before a traditional headache, whereas a migraine gives warning signs (aura) beforehand.  This is on account of changing neurological effects and reactions in the brain.  Visual aura happens as there is an alteration in the patient’s perception.  It could be in the form of wavy or jagged lines, flashing lights, dots, dark or colored spots, stars or ‘sparkles’.  Visual auras coupled with sensitivity to light exacerbate the problem.

Auditory symptoms include speech and hearing disturbances.  These are usually accompanied by sensitivity to loud or complex sounds.

Psychological symptoms of a migraine headache include sudden change in mood, tiredness, thirst, hunger, confusion, feelings of fear, lack of control and memory changes.  As for the physiological ones – numbness, tingling, the sensation of spinning or vertigo, increased urination, weakness and fainting.

The symptoms above mentioned are subjective, which means two people suffering from migraine may have different set of symptoms.  But they can identify their trigger factors over time, which will help them to get themselves into a quieter and less visually active environment to prevent the symptoms developing into a full-blown attack.

Ironically, there are two types of migraines without auras as well, but they have a distinctive set of other symptoms – basilar migraines and familial hemiplegic migraines.

Difference in triggers:

Triggers of a traditional headache can be varied.  Sudden stress and anxiety can trigger off the symptoms.  Depression is also a contributing factor.  Poor posture can lead to musculoskeletal problems which in turn lead to headache.  Other causes include tiredness, dehydration, hunger, smells, squinting, noise and sunlight.

Migraine is also set off by varied reasons.  One of the main factors for migraine is chemical reaction in the brain.  Hormonal changes can also bring about migraine.  Women can experience migraine headache during menstruation.  During menopause the condition may worsen.  Low blood sugar, hypoglycemia from not eating when we need to are the other contributing factors of migraines.

Eating a sugar-rich meal can lead to migraine attacks setting in.  Other trigger factors for a migraine attack are emotional anxiety, physical factors, exercise, medicines, contraceptives, medicines, dehydration, alcohol, computer screens and diet.

Some other easily identifiable differences between a normal headache and a migraine headache are mentioned in the following table:

Traditional headacheMigraine headache
Patient would not have many other symptoms.Patients usually have symptoms beyond the head pain and will be unable to carry out everyday tasks.
Rarely starts during sleep.Often starts during sleep.
Can be either episodic (lasting a few hours) or chronic (lasting for days).Usually last for a few hours or up to a few days.

For questions related to treatment of Migraines, send a message to www.plexusnc.com

Bell’s Palsy


Bell’s palsy is a condition which makes muscles on one side of your face weak or paralyzed.  Only one side of the face is affected at a time.  Because of Bell’s palsy there may be drooping or stiffness on the affected side, smile may be one-sided and you may find closing the eye on that side difficult.  However, the exact cause of this condition is still unknown, but it is believed that the swelling and inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve leads to this condition.  It is also known as “facial nerve”.  This nerve passes through a narrow, bony area within the skull. When the nerve swells, even a little bit, it pushes against the skull’s hard surface.  This affects how well the nerve works.

Anyone can fall prey to Bell’s palsy but generally people suffering from diabetes or those who are recovering from viral infections are prone to this disease.  Medical studies show that herpes simplex 1 virus may be responsible for a large number of cases.

It is often mistaken as a stroke. An easy way to differentiate between Bell’s palsy and stroke is in the latter the weakness affects not only in the facial muscles, but in the other parts of the body as well, whereas in Bell’s palsy the weakness is largely restricted to the facial muscles.  In Bell’s palsy complete recovery from the symptoms happens in about six months with proper rehabilitation.  Symptoms may continue in small number of people for life.  Rarely Bell’s palsy can recur — suggesting a possible genetic predisposition to the condition.

Symptoms of Bell’s palsy:

Symptoms of Bell’s palsy can happen all of a sudden.  You may be feeling alright when going to bed at night, but when looking in the mirror the next day, there is drooping on one side of the face.  In some people one to two days before the onset of symptoms, they feel pain behind their ears.  You may find the following changes in your body before the symptoms of the disease become apparent.  Remember, these symptoms appear only on one side of the body.

  • Rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face — occurring within hours to days
  • Facial droop and difficulty making facial expressions, such as closing your eye or smiling
  • Drooling
  • Pain around the jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side
  • Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
  • Headache
  • A decrease in your ability to taste
  • Changes in the amount of tears and saliva you produce

These symptoms may reach a crescendo within a day or two

Complications of Bell’s palsy:

A mild bout of Bell’s palsy may abate within a month.  Recovery from a moderate-to-severe Bell’s palsy may take a prolonged time.  Complications include that your facial nerve may be irreversibly damaged, involuntary contraction of muscles due to abnormal growth of nerve fibers, partial or complete loss of vision of the eye on the affected side because of excessive dryness and damage of the protective covering of the eye (cornea).

Diagnosis of Bell’s palsy:

Diagnosis of the condition is tricky as there is no test that can prove conclusively that you have Bell’s palsy.  Usually, the diagnosis of the condition is made by following a technique called “diagnosis of exclusion”.  That means arriving at a diagnosis by ruling out the presence of other conditions.

A complete and close physical exam is the first step when a patient is taken to see the doctor, where the patient will try to close the eyelid on the affected side.  If it doesn’t close, it could be that you have Bell’s palsy.

Treatment for Bell’s palsy:

Treatment for the condition primarily depends on what caused the disease.  If your doctor finds out that the symptoms are triggered by the herpes virus (herpes simplex 1) or by shingles (herpes zoster), he may give you an antiviral medication, like acyclovir. This may bring down the intensity of the Bell’s palsy symptoms.  Meanwhile, your doctor will advise you to take extra care to protect the eye on the affected side.  An eye patch may be recommended as you cannot blink.  In order to moisten the eye, using an eye drop is beneficial.
To speed up the recovery, physical therapy plays a key role. The physical therapist guides you through special exercises which are designed to help you relearn facial movements depending on the specific movement problem that you have.
Facial correction splint is customized and provided by the occupational therapist which promotes early recovery.

For enquiries related to treatment of Bell’s Palsy, send a message to www.plexusnc.com

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy


Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) includes treatments that address the cognitive deficits that arise as a result of a brain injury, aging or as a result of some disease process that affects the brain.

For individuals with cognitive deficits and their families, problems in “thinking capacity” may be the greatest hurdle when the patient tries to get back to “normal” life.  These difficulties involve problems in attention, concentration, memory, social behavior, safety judgment, time management, frustration tolerance, problem solving, planning and carrying out future actions. Due to this, the person’s ability to succeed at work, school, or home is at stake. Without any treatment, the long-term effects of cognitive decline can be devastating.

What is CRT?

Cognitive rehabilitation therapy is an umbrella term used to refer to treatments that address the cognitive problems that can come up after a brain injury or disease.  Because of the wide range of symptoms and severity of cognitive decline in individuals with brain injury, CRT does not mean a single treatment modality.  CRT is the process of relearning cognitive skills that have been lost or altered as a result of damage post a brain injury or disease, most commonly following traumatic brain injury or stroke.  If it is increasingly difficult to make a patient relearn a skill, then new ones have to be taught to enable the person to make up for his/her lost cognitive functions.  The process of CRT comprises making the person understand about cognitive weaknesses and strengths.  The objective here to give awareness about the problem.

Cognitive rehabilitation therapy aims at fostering function and independence in patients with cognitive impairment.  It should be noted that CRT is completely different from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a treatment discipline for emotional and psychiatric problems.

In cognitive behavioral therapy, restorative treatment takes the centre-stage and the goal of CRT is to enhance the overall cognitive system.  In CRT, solution to specific problem is also taught like memory notebooks or learning self-cuing strategies.

The level of therapy given to patients is different from case to case.  It depends on the level of alertness, orientation to surroundings and memory of recent events.  With a moderate to severe cognitive decline, individuals may receive therapy during the inpatient rehabilitation period itself.  During discharge the treatment team may make recommendations regarding the type of follow-up cognitive therapy a patient needs post discharge.  For example, if a person is suffering from moderate degree of cognitive impairment, s/he may benefit from a comprehensive outpatient CRT course that includes face-to-face treatment as well as group therapy for social/behavioral goals.  The course may include functional activities such as planning outings into the community or how to make a reentry into work or school.  These programs cover a gamut of cognitive issues and staff from multiple treatment disciplines may be required to run the program smoothly.

What one can expect in CRT?

CRT services are directed to accomplish functional changes by:

  • Reinforcing, strengthening or establishing previously learned patterns of behavior
  • Establishing new patterns of cognitive activity or mechanisms to compensate for impaired neurological systems
  • Interventions are tailored to help the individual be as independent as possible in the management of his or her everyday routines and responsibilities in their home and community

You will be requested to participate in an evaluation process which will help your CRT specialist to get a clear idea as to your unique needs and concerns.  You will participate in various assessment methods that include questionnaires, testing, interview and observation to gain an in-depth understanding of your abilities and limitations in managing your day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

Post analysis your CRT specialist will interpret your evaluation outcome and compile them into an exhaustive report outlining your strengths and difficulties.  A treatment plan is then made to guide you through all of the activities that are selected to help you ameliorate your level of cognitive decline or compensate for your difficulties.

How does cognitive rehabilitation therapy help with life skills?

The principal motive of CRT is to boost functional competence in real-world situations by retraining and adopting new compensatory strategies or equip the patient to use new cognitive tools.  This helps the patients to make most of their abilities they possess and increase self-confidence.  Training, adaptive equipments and the information that the patient received during the rehabilitation period speeds up this process.

Why Plexus for CRT?

Due to the wide range of deficits that are found in individuals with cognitive deficits, CRT is an extensive area that requires extensive expertise.

At Plexus CRT is carried out by a team of neuro-psychiatrist, occupational therapist and speech and language pathologist who carry out a detailed assessment of the deficits and set time-bound achievable goals to cater to the patient’s needs. The conditions include traumatic brain injury or head injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diseases and infections affecting the brain including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, many psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, depressive disorder, substance abuse and/or substance withdrawal.

Speech Therapy


If your child is suffering from speech disability like trouble pronouncing words, speech therapy may help improve language and communication skills.  As the name indicates, speech therapy focuses on enhancing a child’s speech and his/her ability to understand and express language that includes non-verbal communication as well.  Professionals who provide this service are called speech therapists or more appropriately speech and language pathologists (SLP).

Speech therapy consists of mainly three parts:

  1. Coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences (articulation, fluency, and voice volume regulation)
  2. Understanding and expressing language (through written, pictorial, body, and sign forms)
  3. The use of language through alternative communication systems (social media, computers, and tablets)

Your child may be referred to a speech therapist or an SLP for a variety of disorders.  A therapist can deal problems related to speech, hearing and swallowing.  A speech therapist or an SLP can assess and treat the following issues:

  • Stuttering and cluttering
  • Comprehension of spoken and written language
  • Cognition related issues like attention, memory and ability to solve problems
  • Characteristics of vocal tone
  • Auditory Rehabilitation — recovery techniques associated with speech, hearing & language disorders
  • Swallowing disorders — stroke and congenital disorders
  • Other services — some therapists will specialize in other services including professional voice development, accent or dialect modification, business communication modification, and voice hygiene

Does my child need speech therapy?

Some children may be good at pronunciation and able to read at an early age but even such children can benefit from the service of a speech therapist or an SLP to enhance the process of using body language appropriately in social situations.  This will help children to be relaxed during day-to-day purposes such as making requests, holding conversation, making new friends etc.

Other instances where a child may benefit from speech therapy are medical conditions such as brain injury or infection that has impaired their ability to express themselves in a stress-free manner and an identifiable disability such as Down syndrome.  Speech therapy service often begins at a young age and continues as the children enter school.  The earlier, the better.

Speech therapy for late talkers:

If your infant or toddler has arrived at a stage where s/he is supposed to talk and unfortunately it is not happening, you may seek the help of a speech therapist.  The therapist will try different child-friendly tricks to make him/her talk, that includes playing with him.  Sometimes, taking away a favorite toy until the child asks for it motivates the little one to talk.  For some children, other modes of communication such as sign language or picture cards may be tried to encourage them to talk.  If the speech therapist senses hearing loss, your child may be referred for further evaluation such as hearing tests.

Speech therapy for swallowing and feeding difficulties:

Speech therapists assessing and treating children for articulation, language and cognition difficulties is well known, but what the general public tends not to associate with speech therapy is therapy for swallowing and feeding difficulties.  It is not rare to come across children who have trouble talking have issues with feeding.  What immediately come to mind may be children with special needs, but it’s not unusual for other kids also to have both speech and feeding difficulties.  Both speech and eating require the fine motor movements, moving the tongue, jaw and lips in a synchronic fashion.  To put it metaphorically, that is not a walk in the park for many kids.

In order to strengthen the muscles used in speech and eating, the speech therapist may come up with unique programs such as blowing toys and whistles or funny games like blowing-the-cotton-ball, blowing bubbles etc.  These kinds of activities will strengthen the muscles involved in speech and eating.

Speech therapy for stuttering:

An article on speech therapy would be incomplete without mentioning “stuttering”, something that many of us suffer.  Stuttering is a problem that is common in childhood, but it can persist and develop along the adulthood as well.  Stuttering comes under the ambit of behavioral problems.  Different behavioral modification techniques will be introduced to the child who stutters, that in turn may help rein in their stuttering.  A simple and effective method that can be used on children with stuttering is to teach them to control the rate of speech, since speaking too quickly can make children stutter more.  Practicing speech in a slower and more fluent manner can help to get rid of this impairment to a large extent.

Unfortunately, if stuttering persists even after a full course of speech therapy, child may require follow-up sessions with the speech therapist to contain the problem.  It is quite natural to take time to get out of this seemingly simple but highly persisting disorder.

Teaching a non-verbal child:

There are children who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to communicate.  They need alternative communication methods.  School-aged children may be able to communicate through computers or tablets.  These days, touch-screen gadgets have become a great boon for children who cannot communicate as they can use the same super-cool device that their classmates use.  Moreover, the speech and language therapists can use these devices to foster communication through engagement and motivation in a novel way.

For enquiries related to Speech Therapy, send your messages to www.plexusnc.com

Splints in Occupational Therapy (Hand Rehabilitation)


Hand therapy, a specialty practice area of occupational therapy, is typically concerned with treating orthopedic-based upper-extremity conditions to optimize the functional use of the hand and arm. Conditions seen by the occupational therapy practitioner specializing in this area include fractures of the hand or arm, lacerations and amputations, burns, and surgical repairs of tendons and nerves. Acquired conditions such as tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome also are treated by occupational therapy practitioners specializing in hand rehabilitation.

Occupational therapy is the healthcare profession that aims to restore a patient’s functional capacity. Using specific assessment and treatments skills, occupational therapists specializing in hand therapy offer therapeutic approaches to restore function, limit the progression of a pathology or prevent upper limb dysfunction in order to help patients resume their everyday tasks at home and at work, and their recreational activities. An occupational therapist generally does this by using splints.

A splint is used to support, immobilize, or protect the arm or hand. Splints can also be used to support function, assist and/or increase range of motion. Occupational therapists (OTs) can make custom splints for the specific needs of each person or may use pre-fabricated splints.

Splints can be static, dynamic or static progressive. Static splints are often used to put part or all of the elbow, wrist & hand at rest so that diseased or injured tissue can be supported and undergo uninterrupted healing. Dynamic or static progressive splints are used to add mobilizing tension to influence tissue healing and scar maturation, minimizing the development of restrictive scar tissue that is so detrimental to tendon excursion and normal joint motion. Static splints are generally made to protect healing structures such as a fracture, a collateral ligament strain or repair, but are also used effectively to decrease pain during functional activity with a diagnosis such as CMC arthritis or tendonitis.

Who can benefit from splint usage?

People who have experienced one the following may benefit from the use of splints:
• Previous hand or arm surgery
• Loss of joint motion
• Birth defects
• Increased or decreased muscle tone
• Orthopedic conditions
• Chronic conditions such as juvenile arthritis or connective tissue disorders
• Stroke

Use of splints:

The use of splints can come from many different conditions, but there are generally four purposes outlined for the client need of splinting viz. immobilization – stop movement, mobilization – gain movement, restriction – restrict the movement for an area and torque transmission – alter the force felt from an area.

Let’s explore some of the splints used to help with medical conditions.

• Flail arm splints are used for a brachial plexus injury
• Wrist splints are used for carpal tunnel syndrome (CPS)
• Elbow splints are usually used post surgery or post trauma. There are two basic forms: static and dynamic
• Resting splints are used for issues of flaccidity
• Dorsal protection splints are used in flexor tendon injuries
• Dynamic wrist, finger, and thumb extension splint is used for radial nerve palsy
• Opponens splint, C-bar or thumb post splint is used for median nerve injury
• Dynamic/static splint for ulnar nerve injury
• Figure-of-eight or dynamic MCP flexion splint for combined median and ulnar nerve injury

Use of splints in stroke:

After a stroke, patients may experience an unusual tightening of the muscles in and around the hand, usually on the weaker side of the body. This is called spasticity. Medical studies highlight 20 to 30% of stroke survivors experience this condition. Left untreated, spasticity can cause a patient’s joints and muscles to become so tight that it is impossible to move them, which leads to contracture. But by employing correct medical treatment, occupational therapists can prevent contracture in these patients.

Primary treatment in occupational therapy is key in helping patients understand the challenges and correct treatment of stroke during recovery. In the past and even today, therapists have treated contractures using static hand splints. It is believed these splints help provide sufficient stretch to the affected soft tissue. But today dynamic splints are increasingly used as they are very effective and can even help reduce side effects caused by static splints, such as joint damage and hypermobility.

Dynamic hand splints improve range of motion and prevent pain resulting from contracture. They allow for more mobility throughout recovery while providing support and stability for the contracture area. Dynamic splints use a technology that allows the fingers and joints to move through flexion. This helps the fingers relax, which in turn gradually returns the fingers to their natural position. Dynamic splints in particular are highly beneficial for neurologically impaired clients, especially with improving mobility and minimizing joint pain and damage. It is made with energy-storing technology, which allows patients suffering from spasticity and contracture to safely stretch their tight muscles and joints. This results in a greater range of motion and compliance in the affected areas.

Another major medical area where splints are necessary is burns. Dynamic and static splints are highly used post surgery for a number of reasons or causes. The buddy strap is most commonly used after a sports injury, or fracture of a finger.

Advantages of splints:

• Removable for wound care, bathing, or gentle exercise if appropriate.
• Easily adjusted if uncomfortable
• Any position requested can be achieved with the low-temperature plastic
• Able to clean as needed
• Can get wet
• Adjustable as swelling decreases or as able to get into a better position

For questions related to Hand Rehabilitation, send your messages to www.plexusnc.com

Stages of Parkinson’s Disease


Being a progressive nervous system disorder, Parkinson’s disease impairs one’s movement severely.  Symptoms set in gradually, sometimes with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand.  Tremors are a common symptom of Parkinson’s, but disorder can lead to stiffness and slowing of the movement.  In the beginning phase of the disease, your face may show little or no expression.  Your arms may not swing when you walk.  Your speech may become soft or slurred.  With time, the condition of your health deteriorates and symptoms start to worsen.

Though Parkinson’s is progressive and worsens over time, it affects people differently.  Two people affected with may have different symptoms.  Not all people with Parkinson’s will experience all the symptoms.  Symptoms may vary in severity between patients.  The speed with which the disease worsens may also be different.  However, physicians have established stages that elucidate how the disease progresses.  These five stages are known as the Hoehn and Yahr Scale used by physicians across the world to classify patients.

Stage one of Parkinson’s disease

In this stage the symptoms of the disease appear in a milder form and only seen on one side of the body.  It is called unilateral involvement.  At this stage the functional impairment may be minimal or nil.  As the symptoms of Parkinson’s are mild, the person affected may not seek medical attention and physician may be unable to come to a clear-cut diagnosis.  Symptoms at this stage may include tremors, such as intermittent tremor of one hand, one leg may feel clumsy compared to the other or one side of the face may feel distorted, impacting the expression.  It is very difficult to arrive at a diagnosis at this stage and the physician may wait to see if the symptoms worsen over time before coming to a formal diagnosis.

Stage two of Parkinson’s disease   

Stage two is also considered early, but at this stage symptoms are characterized on both sides of the body.  It is called bilateral involvement.  At this stage, symptoms can affect the midline without impairment to balance.  It may take months or years for symptoms to progress from stage one to two.  Symptoms of Parkinson’s at this stage may include loss of facial expression on both sides of the body, soft voice, monotone voice, fading volume after starting to speak loudly, slurring speech, stiffness or rigidity of the muscles in the trunk that may result in neck or back pain, stooped posture, and general slowness in all activities of daily living.  However, at this stage the affected person may still be able to do activities of daily living independently.  The doctor can arrive at a diagnosis easily if the patient has tremor.  But it should be noted that if stage one was missed and the only symptoms of stage two are slowness or lack of spontaneity of limbs, Parkinson’s may be misinterpreted as only advancing age.

Stage three of Parkinson’s disease

It is the mid-stage of Parkinson’s and the prominent symptoms are loss of balance and slowness of movement.  Balance is compromised significantly by not being able to make the rapid, automatic and involuntary adjustments necessary to prevent falls.  The affected person may fall frequently at this stage.  All other symptoms of Parkinson’s may be evident at this stage and generally diagnosis can be made with much conviction at this stage.  Often the doctor will examine impairments in reflexes at this stage by standing behind the patient and gently pulling the shoulders to know if the patient has trouble maintaining balance and falls backward (the doctor of course will not let the patient fall).  An important aspect of stage three is the patient can still independently do their daily living activities, such as dressing, hygiene and eating.

Stage four of Parkinson’s disease

At this stage Parkinson’s has progressed to a severely disabling disease.  Patient with stage four may still be able to walk and stand unassisted, but they are visibly incapacitated.  Many may seek the assistance of a walker to move around.  Independent living is almost impossible at this stage and needs assistance with some activities of daily living.  The necessity for help to live is the important feature of this stage.

Stage five of Parkinson’s disease

This is the most advanced stage and is characterized by an inability to rise from a chair or get out of bed without assistance.  Patient is prone to fall while standing or turning.  They may even freeze or stumble when walking.  Round-the-clock care is needed at this stage to prevent falls and help the patient do daily activities.  Hallucinations and delusions may also happen at this stage.

Though symptoms worsen over time, it should be noted that some patients with Parkinson’s never reach stage five.  Also, the time taken to progress from stage to stage varies from individual to individual.  Moreover, not all symptoms of Parkinson’s may be evident in one individual.  For example, one person may have tremor, but may be able to maintain balance.  There are quality treatments available to handhold the patient through every stage of the disease.  The earlier the diagnosis, and the earlier the stage at which the disease is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment is at alleviating symptoms.

For enquiries related to Parkinson’s disease and its treatment options, send a message to www.plexusnc.com/contact




Here we have compiled all the questions that are posed to us by the parents of children with ASD. Through this blog, we hope to answer all your questions.
Q1. What is the appropriate age for taking this treatment?
A1. The earlier…the better. The best age is between 4-5 years but we have done for a 2 year old also. The earlier we intervene, the better the results and lesser the time spent.

Q2. Can the child become totally “normal”?
A2. The child can be brought to near-normalcy depending upon the severity of the problem at the time of intervention.

Q3. Does your program take care of all the symptoms of autism?
A3. Yes

Q4. Will the child start speaking?
A4. Yes

Q5.How long does it take to see the changes?
A5. This duration ranges from a few days to few weeks.

Q6. What does your program include?
A6. We offer an intensive therapy program which includes stem cell therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy comprising of sensory integration therapy, behaviour retraining therapy, social skills training, cognitive behaviour therapy, pre-academic skills training, and intensive individualized therapy sessions that focus on the specific needs of the child.
For details please visit https://www.plexusnc.com/services/

Q7. We have undergone different kinds of therapies. How is your program different?
A7. Our aim is to foster holistic development of the child through various means. We have a team of experts trained in Child Habilitation and the unique combination of various therapies which are customized for the child is what makes us different.

Q8. Brief procedure of the treatment?
A8. Step 1- Detailed Assessment
Step 2- Bone marrow aspiration
Step 3- Processing and isolation of mesenchymal stem cells
Step 4-Injecting the stem cells
Step 5- Simultaneous rehabilitation (if opted for)
For details please visit https://www.plexusnc.com/stem-cell-therapy/

Q9. Is there any medication to be used before or after the treatment?
A9. No, we give only supplements.

Q10. Are the stem cells taken from the patient’s own body?
A10. Yes

Q11. Is MRI/CT/PET scan or blood test to be done before the treatment? Are these tests available in your hospital?
A11. All the required tests are available in the hospital.

Q12. How long does the treatment take and how long does the patient have to stay in the hospital for the procedure?
A12. The bone marrow aspiration takes about 5 minutes and the injection takes 2 to 3 minutes. The patient has to rest for about 5 hours after the procedure.

Q13. Is there any side effect of this treatment?
A13. No.

Q14. Are all the procedures/therapies performed in the same hospital?
A14. Yes.

Q15. During the procedure will the patient be made unconscious?
A15. No, only sedation is provided.

Q16. We have stored the stem cells taken from our second baby, can we use them for therapy?
A16. We can use them but we prefer not to.

Q17. How is the treatment given- is it surgical or non surgical? Is it one-time or requires multiple settings?
A17. The procedure includes stem cell injections. It is a one-time, non invasive/non surgical procedure.

Q18. Is the treatment affordable ?
A18. Yes.

Q19. What is the success rate of this treatment in ASD?
A19. The success rate is 100%.

Q20. What is the source of stem cells?
A20. Bone marrow

To know how stem cell therapy is a ray of hope for children with ASD, please visit https://www.plexusnc.com/blog/stem-cell-therapy-new-ray-hope-autism/

please visit https://www.plexusnc.com/blog/stem-cell-therapy-new-ray-hope-autism/ 

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)


Muscular dystrophies are a constellation of symptoms that make muscles weak and less flexible over time, of which Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common form. It is caused by defect in the gene that controls how the body keeps muscles healthy. The disease almost always affects boys and the onset of symptoms begins in early childhood. Children with DMD find it hard to stand up, walking and climbing stairs. Many eventually seek the help of wheelchair to move around. Heart and lung problems can also occur as a consequence of DMD.

Although there is not a definite cure for this disease, the outlook for people affected with DMD has been significantly improved compared to anytime in the past. Years ago, children with this disease are unlikely to live beyond their teens. Today, they live well into their 30s and sometimes into their 40s and 50s with the help of therapies and medications that can provide a sea change in containing the symptoms. Researchers are looking for new treatment modalities to improve the prospect of children affected with this disease.

Causes of DMD

DMD is caused by a defect in one of your genes. Genes store the information your body needs to make proteins, which carry out important bodily functions. If you have DMD, the gene that makes a protein called dystrophin is broken. It is this protein that keeps muscle strong, healthy and protects them from injury. The condition is more common among boys because of the way parents pass DMD genes to their children. That is why the scientists call this a sex-linked disease as it is connected to the group of genes, called chromosomes, that determines if a baby is a boy or a girl. Although it is rare, sometimes people who don’t have a history of DMD in their family can also get affected when their genes get faulty on their own.

Symptoms of DMD

If a child is affected with DMD first signs can come about before he turns six years old. Muscles in the legs usually get affected first, so he will probably start to walk much later than other children his age. Once he can walk, he may fall down quite often and find it difficult to climb stairs or getting up from the floor. After a few years, he might also begin to waddle or walk on his toes.

DMD can also affect heart, lungs and other parts of the body. As the child gets older, he might have other symptoms, including:

• A curved spine, also called scoliosis
• Shortened, tight muscles in his legs, called contractures
• Headaches
• Problems with learning and memory
• Shortness of breath
• Sleepiness
• Trouble concentrating

The muscles problems can lead to cramps at times, but usually DMD is not painful. The child will still have control of his bladder and bowels. Although some children with this condition may have learning and behavioral issues, DMD is usually unlikely to affect a child’s intelligence.

Getting a diagnosis of DMD

First, you should let your child’s doctor know the symptoms you have been noticing. The doctor may ask about medical history. The doctor will give the child a thorough physical exam and some tests may also be done to rule out other conditions that can cause muscle weakness.

If the doctor suspects DMD, he/she will recommend tests like:
• Blood tests
• Gene tests
• Muscle biopsy


There is no definite cure for DMD, but there are medicines and other therapeutic interventions like Stem Cell Therapy that can ease your child’s symptoms, protect his muscles and keep his heart and lungs healthy.

Taking care of your child

It is heartbreaking to learn that one’s child is suffering from DMD, but remember that this condition does not prevent him from going to school, play sports and have fun with friends. If you stick to the treatment regime, know what works for the child, you can help him lead an active life.

• Encourage him to stand and walk as much as possible
• Advice him to eat right
• Stay active. Exercise and stretches can keep your child’s muscles and joints supple and help him feel better.
• Find support. Other families with DMD can be a great source of understanding about life with the disease

What to expect

As years pass by, child’s muscles can get weaker and walking becomes increasingly difficult. Many children with DMD need the help of a wheelchair to move around by the time they reach 12 years old. Although some kids live only into their teens, the outlook for the condition is much better than it used to be. Today young adults with this form of muscle weakness can go to college, can work, marry and start families of their own.

Multiple Sclerosis


Multiple sclerosis is a potentially crippling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).

In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.  Eventually, the disease can cause the nerves themselves to degenerate or become permanently impaired.

Signs and symptoms of MS differ from person to person and depend on the extent of nerve damage and which nerves are affected.  Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk without support or may not be able to walk at all, whereas others may experience long periods of remission without the development of any new symptoms.

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis.  However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, ameliorate the impact of the disease and manage the disease in an effective way.


Signs and symptoms of MS may include:

  • Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that typically occurs on one side of your body at a time or the legs and trunk
  • Partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement
  • Prolonged double vision
  • Tingling or pain in parts of your body
  • Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements, especially bending the neck forward (Lhermitte sign)
  • Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with bowel and bladder function

Role of rehabilitation

The aim of rehabilitation is to improve and maintain function.  From the time of diagnosis onward, multiple sclerosis rehabilitation specialists provide education and treatment designed to boost good health and general well being, reduce fatigue and help you feel and function at your best, both at home and at work.  If symptoms begin to interfere with everyday activities, a multiple sclerosis rehabilitation team can address issues with mobility, dressing and personal care, role performance at home and work and overall health. They also provide evaluation and treatment of speech and swallowing difficulties and problems with thinking and memory.

When you have multiple sclerosis, you may have certain physical and cognitive difficulties. Multiple sclerosis rehabilitation includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive retraining.  MS rehabilitation therapies may help reduce these difficulties.

Multiple sclerosis rehabilitation is an integral part of health care practice for people with multiple sclerosis.  Since the majority of people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, the challenges of MS affect those at the peak of their career and childbearing years.  Though MS can affect children, it is much less common in this age group.

MS can lead to significant impairment including balance and coordination problems, muscle stiffness and weakness, cognitive problems, impaired speech or vision, extreme fatigue and even paralysis.  Prognosis varies but the disease can cause loss of mobility and independence.  Interest in multiple sclerosis rehabilitation has increased in recent years as research has shown it can lead to significant improvements in patients’ quality of life. Multiple sclerosis rehabilitation is especially beneficial because of the often progressive and unstable nature of the disease.  Disease waxes and wanes, and symptoms change over time.

Multiple sclerosis rehabilitation is considered a necessary element of comprehensive, quality health care for people suffering with multiple sclerosis at all stages of the disease.

Stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis

There is innovative research and progress occurring in terms of the potential of many types of stem cells for slowing progression of MS activity and for fixing damage of the nervous system. In light of the urgent need for more effective treatments for MS, particularly for those suffering at severe levels, the potential of all types of cell therapies must be explored.

Stem cell therapy is any treatment that uses or targets stem cells, which are the types of cells that differentiate into many different specialized cells in our bodies.  Stem cells are found in both embryos and adults.  Many types of stem cells are being explored for their potential benefits of addressing multiple sclerosis.

Bone marrow stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis

Stem cell therapy using bone marrow has given a new ray of hope to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.  Bone marrow is a soft spongy part of our immune system which protects us from infection and disease. It is found inside our bones, mainly in the hip bone and the breast bone. The bone marrow is where stem cells are made.

Stem cells are blood cells at the earliest stage of development. All our blood cells develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. Stem cells stay inside the bone marrow and when they are fully developed they go into the bloodstream.  A bone marrow or stem cell transplant replaces stem cells that are faulty or damaged with sound ones.

For questions related to Multiple Sclerosis and their treatment options, send a message to www.Plexusnc.com

Rehabilitation for Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson’s disease leads to progressive deterioration of motor function on account of dopamine-producing brain cells.  The exact cause of this disease is still unknown.  It is believed that both genetic and environmental factors influence this condition.  Most of the patients are diagnosed with this condition in their 60s, though early-onset Parkinson’s also occurs.  Parkinson’s is classified into different stages according to the severity of the condition.  Tremor, stiffness, slowness, balance impairment are some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Rehabilitation is considered as an auxiliary to pharmacological and surgical treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD) to maximize functional ability and minimize secondary complications.  A host of services for rehabilitation of both the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is available.  Clinical studies suggest a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation approach is key in the management of Parkinson’s; therefore working very closely with other health-care professionals is very important.  As Parkinson’s affect differently in different people, their response to treatment is also different.  A tailor-made rehabilitation program is what is needed.

Professionals involved in the rehabilitation of Parkinson’s must have specialized training that allows them to provide the medical, nursing, and therapeutic care to people with this condition.  The goal is to maximize a person’s ability to function and to maintain quality of life.

The interdisciplinary team is headed by a neurologist or a neuropsychiatrist, the physiatrist takes care of the rehabilitation protocol, the physiotherapist works on improving the strength, endurance, flexibility and walking pattern/gait of the patient, the occupational therapist helps to get the patient back to the daily routine and works on improving the quality of life of the patient both at home and in the society, and the speech therapist works on the language and communication skills of the patient. All these professionals work together on various aspects and aim to bring the patient back to his pre- morbid state to the maximum.


Research has shown that regular physiotherapy benefits people with Parkinson’s disease to reduce stiffness and improve mobility, posture, balance and gait.  Strength and endurance training, flexibility, gait and balance training are also done under physiotherapy.

Occupational therapy rehabilitation

Occupational therapy services aid people return to their day-to-day activities, such as working, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and caring for a family member or pet.  The objective of this service is to help a person with Parkinson’s disease function as independently as possible.  In order to find out which skills a person needs to work on the occupational therapist uses a process called remediation and compensation.  A person’s physical, cognitive, perceptual and visual skills are assessed and the occupational therapist determines how well a person is functioning in each of those areas.

The therapist then gradually teaches the person the skills needed to accomplish a particular task safely.  Guidance on how to use equipment, such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs is also given if necessary at the appropriate time.

Speech and language pathology services

Parkinson’s disease affects a number of aspects of communication including the ability to remember certain words, the way the voice sounds and how loud it is and facial expressions.  The extent of the damage caused by Parkinson’s on a person’s communication depends on the stage of the disease; it could be either slight or significant.  For some people, change in voice production is the first sign of Parkinson’s, whereas others may not have this change for year despite affected with the disease condition.

There are speech and language services that focus on detecting and treating a speech disorder known as hypokinetic dysarthria, a common problem in people with Parkinson’s disease.  Other problems, such as low volume, poor differentiation of the words, and rushed speech, are also treated during speech therapy.  Speech and language therapists teach methods for improving speech and maintaining the ability to speak clearly and be understood.

Most swallowing problems of the people with Parkinson’s can be managed, although the treatment will depend on the type of dysphagia one has. Treatment will depend on whether your swallowing problem is in the mouth or throat (oropharyngeal dysphagia), or in the oesophagus (oesophageal dysphagia). Treatment for dysphagia may be managed by a group of specialists that may include a speech and language therapist (SLT) and a dietitian.

Inpatient rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation offers customized inpatient services for people with Parkinson’s disease.  Unlike in a hospital setting, where most treatment and monitoring are provided at the bedside, people in the inpatient program actively participate in daily treatment sessions.

The extent of the inpatient stay depends on a person’s medical and rehabilitation needs.   The length of the stay is estimated at the time of admission and adjusted if necessary.  In inpatient rehabilitation people with Parkinson’s disease and their family members work with an experienced team, which may include nurses, social workers, occupational and physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, nutritionists and other rehabilitation experts.

Outpatient rehabilitation

Outpatient programs are designed to help people with Parkinson’s disease progress toward their rehabilitation goals.  This program is conducted under the supervision of a therapist who imparts skills required to improve strength, coordination, balance, endurance, and the ability to perform activities of daily living.

Staying active is an integral part of treatment for Parkinson’s disease.  Clinical studies have proven that exercise and physical therapy may improve some of the motor symptoms associated with the condition.  Fitness classes are also a part of this rehabilitation protocol.

Community reintegration

Here people with Parkinson’s are helped to relearn the skills that enable them to participate fully in activities at home and work, and in recreational settings.  During this program, various experts, such as physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and psychologists, work as a team to help each person with Parkinson’s disease achieve his or her goals.

The team involved in this process gives inputs to help a person function at home and at work, as well as in recreational environments.  For example, specialists may suggest assistive devices like cane or walker or modifications, such as adding a handrail or stairway at home if they find that would improve safety and accessibility of the person.

For questions related to Rehabilitation for Parkinson’s disease, send a message to www.plexusnc.com

Stem Cell Therapy – A New Ray of Hope for Autism


Autism is a neurobehavioral condition that is complex enough to cause impairment in social and communication skills. People with autism are found to be rigid and can have repetitive behaviors.  Owing to this complex range of symptoms, autism now is called autism spectrum disorder or ASD.  A large spectrum of symptoms comes under autism and the levels of impairment may also be different from person to person.  Severity of the disease can range from having issues of inattention that prevents a person from leading a normal life to a devastating disability that may require admission to a rehabilitation centre.

Current therapies for the treatment of autism attempt to reverse these abnormalities through administration of antibiotics, anti‐inflammatory agents, and hyperbaric oxygen.   In short, the presently available treatments for autism have only limited result in the overall management of symptoms and the outcomes are highly variable.  However, the development of stem cell technology has brought in a sea change in treating children with autism.  Moreover, stem cells have the potential to stimulate optimum functioning of glial cells, which in turn can boost up the repair of the damaged or weakened neurons, thus promoting improvement in impaired functions.

The behavioral challenges linked with autism disorder are often the outcome of aberrations in thinking and processing of the information.  It is through a complete understanding of these impacts and the different thinking pattern of individuals affected with autism, experts have been able to frame and formulate better treatment approaches and strategies with the help of stem cells, which help people to have a better understanding and contribute to their overall development of the character.

The rationale behind treating autism with stem cells is that autism and its complications have been significantly related to inflammatory and neuro-inflammatory problems.  Through intravenous administration of stem cells, significant development of the condition has been observed and it is done by a specialist trained in stem cell therapy.

Before analyzing different methods of treating autism using stem cells, let us first understand what stem cells are.

Stem cells are unique cells.  What makes stem cells truly different is their ability to become many different types of cells, and they can replicate rapidly.  Stem cells play a significant role in the body’s healing process and the introduction of new stem cells has shown remarkable improvement in the treatment of many disease conditions which hitherto were considered virtually incurable.  The giant leap in treating diseases with the help of transplanted stem cells started after finding out how to isolate these stem cells.

Autism is mainly treated by using:

Bone marrow stem cells

Bone marrow stem cells:

Bone marrow is the soft, sponge-like material found inside bones. It contains immature cells known as hematopoietic or blood-forming stem cells.  Hematopoietic stem cells divide to form more blood-forming stem cells or they mature into one of three types of blood cells.  They are:

White blood cells – protect us from infection
Red blood cells – carry oxygen
Platelets  – help the blood to clot.

Most hematopoietic stem cells are found in the bone marrow, but some cells, called peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs), are found in the bloodstream.  Blood in the umbilical cord also contains hematopoietic stem cells.

Not only autism, it has been found out that almost 80 diseases can be successfully treated with the help of stem cell transplant.

For questions related to Autism Spectrum Disorder and their treatment options, send a message to www.plexusnc.com

Common Neurodegenerative Disorders


Neurodegenerative disease is an umbrella term for a gamut of conditions which mainly affects neurons in the human brain.  Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system which include brain and spina cord.  Neurons normally do not reproduce or replace on their own, so when they get damaged or die they cannot be substituted by the body.

Neurodegenerative disorders are difficult to be cured and debilitating.  Over a period of time the intensity of the disease progresses, leading to degeneration or death of the nerve cells.  This causes problems with movement and mental functioning.

Some common neurodegenerative disorders are the following.

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
  • Parkinson’s disease (PD)
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Motor neurone diseases (MND)
  • Huntington’s disease (HD)
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is a type of neurodegenerative disorder that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.  Symptoms develop gradually and degenerate over time, making it difficult for the patient to do daily tasks.  Dementia is the most prominent risk of neurodegenerative disorders, with Alzheimer’s representing about 60-70% of dementia cases.  Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of getting old, though increasing age is a known risk factor.  Most of the people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older.  It is a progressive disease as the symptoms of the disease intensify with time.

In the nascent stages, memory loss may not be that evident, but in the advanced stages the patient will not be able to carry on a conversation and respond properly to lead a normal life.  In US, it is sixth leading cause for death.  There is no sure-shot cure for Alzheimer’s, but treatment is given for symptoms on a case-by-case basis and research continues.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease leads to progressive deterioration of motor function on account of dopamine-producing brain cells.  The exact cause of this disease is still unknown.  It is believed that both genetic and environmental factors influence this condition.  Most of the patients are diagnosed with this condition in their 60s, though early-onset Parkinson’s also occurs.  Parkinson’s is classified into different stages according to the severity of the condition.  Tremor, stiffness, slowness, balance impairment are some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Progressive supranuclear palsy

Progressive supranuclear palsy, also known as Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome) is a common brain disorder that interferes with walking, balance and eye movements.  This disorder arises out of deterioration of cells in areas of your brain that influences body movement and thinking.

Progressive supranuclear palsy exacerbates with time and even life-threatening complications can occur due to this disorder, which include pneumonia and swallowing problems.

At Plexus our aim is to stop the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from these neurodegenerative conditions. We design treatment programs which are individualistic and focus on the priorities of our patients.

Motor neuron disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Motor neuron disease leads to weakening of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.  It is rare, but serious and an incurable type of neurodegeneration.  Muscles move in accordance with the electrical output signals it receives from motor neuron cells.  Though it can appear at any age, majority of the people affected with this condition are 40 years or older.  Ironically, it affects men more than women.

The most widely found motor neuron disease is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  The renowned English physicist Stephen Hawking lived with ALS for many decades until his death in March 2018.

Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease is a genetic condition that causes breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.  It has a significant impact on a person’s functional abilities.  It affects one’s ability to move, think and cognition.  Generally people in their 30s and 40s are affected with this condition, though disease may come on earlier or later in life.

When this condition develops before the age of 20, it is called juvenile Huntington’s disease.  An earlier development of the condition leads to faster progression of the disease and symptoms may also be different.

To a certain extent, medications help to manage the symptoms of Huntington’s disease, but with treatment loss of mental, physical and behavioral function cannot be completely done away with.

Spinocerebellar ataxia

Spinocerebellar ataxia or SCA is a general term that is used to denote a group of hereditary ataxias that are marked by degenerative changes in the part of the brain that controls movement and sometimes in the spinal cord.  There are many different types of spinocerebellar ataxias ranging from SCA1 to SCA40.  Signs and symptoms of this disorder may vary in relation to the specific subtype.  Gait problems, poor hand-eye coordination and abnormal speech are some of the generally found symptoms of this condition.



Spinal muscular atrophy

Spinal muscular atrophy impairs the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement.  It is a genetic disease.  Majority of the nerve cells that controls the muscles are situated in the spinal cord and that is why it is called “spinal” muscular atrophy.  Like other neurodegenerative conditions, here also the muscles will not get signals from the nerve cells.  Atrophy literally means “getting smaller” and that is what exactly happens to the muscles when they do not get proper signals to act upon.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)


Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare syndrome in which the nerves in your body are attacked by the body’s immune system itself.  Usually the first symptoms of this condition are weakness and tingling.  These sensations can spread fast and finally paralyze the whole body.  In its advanced stages Guillain-Barré syndrome is considered a medical emergency.  Majority of the folks affected with this condition must be hospitalized to receive proper medical care.

The exact cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome has still not been discovered.  More often than not, it is preceded by an infectious illness. It could be a respiratory infection or a stomach flu.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this condition, but certainly there are treatments to ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness.  Though complete recovery from Guillain-Barré is questionable, most people recover significantly. Weakness, numbness and fatigue are the residual effects of Guillain-Barré syndrome.


It may cause numbness, tingling, and weakness. It can also cause pain. These symptoms usually start in the longest nerves in the body and so first affect the feet and later the hands leading to ascending paralysis. This is sometimes called the “stocking-glove” pattern.

These may spread to your upper body and arms.  In some people symptoms may begin in the arms or face.  Muscle weakness may give way to paralysis as Guillain-Barré progresses.

The following are commonly found signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome

  • Prickling, pins and needles sensations in your fingers, toes, ankles or wrists
  • Weakness in your legs that spreads to your upper body
  • Unsteady walking or inability to walk or climb stairs
  • Difficulty with eye or facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing
  • Severe pain that may feel achy or cramp-like and may be worse at night
  • Difficulty with bladder control or bowel function
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing

Symptoms in the form of weakness may heighten within two to four weeks after symptoms begin.


Once it was thought as a single disorder, but later it was found that the disease occurs in different forms.  The main types are:

Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP):  The most prominent sign of AIDP is weakness of the muscles.  It usually starts in the lower part of the body and spread upward.

Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS):  In this condition the paralysis starts in the eyes.  The condition is also related to unsteady gait.  About 5% of people with Guillain-Barre syndrome are suffering from MFS.  Ironically, this condition is more prevalent in Asia.

Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN):  This subtype of Guillain-Barre is not that common compared to other two, but this is more frequent in China, Japan and Mexico.

When to see a physician?

If the tingling in your toe or fingers seems to be spreading or getting worse, you can fix up an appointment with your general practitioner to rule out the condition.  Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these below-mentioned signs or symptoms.

  • Tingling that started in your feet or toes and is now moving up your body
  • Tingling or weakness that is spreading rapidly
  • Difficulty catching your breath or shortness of breath when lying flat
  • Choking on saliva

Guillain-Barre syndrome should not be taken lightly as it is a serious condition that can worsen fairly quickly.  The sooner appropriate treatment is started, the better the chance of a good outcome.


Though the exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is not known, this condition usually occurs days or weeks after a respiratory or digestive tract infection.  Rarely, recent surgery or immunization can give rise to Guillain-Barre syndrome.  Of late, some cases have been reported following infection with the Zika virus.

Our immune system usually fights against only invading organisms, but in Guillain-Barre syndrome our immune system will start attacking our nerves.  In Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP), the most common subtype of this condition, the nerves’ protective covering (myelin sheath) is damaged.  Due to this, nerves won’t be able to transmit signals to the brain, leading to numbness weakness or paralysis.

Guillain-Barre syndrome affects people across age groups, but you are at slightly greater risk if you are a man or a young adult.

The following are the triggers of this disorder.

  • Most commonly, infection with campylobacter, a type of bacteria often found in undercooked poultry
  • Influenza virus
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Zika virus
  • Hepatitis A, B, C and E
  • HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia
  • Surgery
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Rarely, influenza vaccinations or childhood vaccinations


  • As mentioned above it affects primarily your nerves. As nerves control movements and body functions, folks with this condition may experience:
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Residual numbness or other sensations
  • Heart and blood pressure problems
  • Pain
  • Bowel and bladder function problems
  • Blood clots
  • Pressure sores

In its advanced stages, Guillain-Barre syndrome increases the complications of long-term health issues.  Though not common, this condition may even lead to death due to the complications such as respiratory distress syndrome and heart attack.  About 3% of the folks may even have a relapse at some point in their life.

For enquiries related to treatment options for Guillain-Barré Syndrome, message us at www.plexusnc.com

On Our 7th Anniversary..

15 August, a day which is etched in the minds of all the Indians, a day when the world witnessed “Independence” in it’s mightiest form is celebrated with great zeal throughout the country. For us at Plexus Neuro and Stem cell research Centre, it’s also the day when Dr. Na’eem Sadiq laid the Centre’s foundation with the vision of bringing “independence” for the differently abled. For the ones inflicted by disease and disability, independence in performing their daily life tasks is itself a dream.

We at Plexus take pride in announcing the completion of 7 glorious years of celebrating independence, rebuilding lives and re-structuring futures. The journey so far has been an amalgamation of a lot of thrilling moments and lessons learnt. Starting it’s journey as a Centre with 3 rooms and 3 employees to a 5-storey building with 35 employees, Plexus has grown in space, ability, facilities and the number of awards and recognition it has received. The combination of experience, care, compassion, knowledge and empathy work as a wonder drug for our patients who come to us on wheelchair and return home walking.

The many aspects of our treatment revolve around only one entity- the patient and his/her priorities. Our custom-made treatment regimens promise to maximize “independence” for our patients and we can proudly say that we are able to fulfill our promise to most of our patients.

Thank you note from the Director

“I thank the Almighty, all the patrons and well-wishers, my extremely dedicated staff and my ever supportive and understanding children for their unconditional love and support to make me live my dreams today”.



Migraines are bouts of intense recurring and painful headaches. Before the actual attack of migraine the person can feel warning signs and other symptoms. Unfortunately, the patient has to suffer from the extreme pain of migraine for hours or even days if timely medical treatment is not sought. People affected with migraine are likely to have an aura of sensory disturbances followed by severe headache that commonly appears on one side of the head.

Symptoms of migraine:
Symptoms of migraine can set in a while before the headache, during the headache or after the headache. Although not all migraines have the same symptoms, in general symptoms include:

• moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head but capable of occurring on either side of the head
• severe throbbing or pulsing pain
• increasing pain during physical activity or when straining
• inability to perform day-to-day activities due to pain
• feeling sick and vomiting
• increased sensitivity to light and sound, relieved by lying quietly in a darkened room

Causes of migraine:
The exact cause of migraine is not known to the medical world till now. It is believed that it stems from the abnormal activity of the brain. If someone in your family is suffering from this condition, it increases your chances of getting affected; genetics certainly has an influence on this disease. However, the following factors are likely to trigger migraines.

Hormonal changes: Women during menstruation can have migraine due to the hormonal imbalance

Emotional triggers: Stress, depression, anxiety, excitement and shock can trigger migraine

Physical causes: Fatigue and not having enough sleep, shoulder or neck stiffness, poor posture and overexertion have all been related to migraine. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and weariness can also act as triggers.

Dietary triggers: Alcohol and caffeine can set off migraine attacks. Some specific foods are also attributed to cause migraine. For e.g. chocolate, cheese, citrus fruits etc. Irrational eating habits and dehydration have also been labelled as potential triggers.

Medications: Some sleeping pills, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medications and contraceptive pill can kick off migraine attacks.

Environmental triggers: Flickering screens, pungent smells, passive smoke (second-hand smoke), loud noises can act as triggers. Cramped rooms, temperature changes, bright lights can also be the causes of migraine.

Some interesting facts on migraine:
• Though symptoms of migraine differ from person to person some people can pinpoint the triggers or factors that lead to migraine headaches, such as tension, stress, allergic reaction etc.

• Some people get these warning signs and symptoms in advance

• By acting upon the warning signs one can prevent the migraine progressing to a full-blown attack

• Over-the-counter medications can help eliminate or reduce pain

• People who have persistent migraine should take preventive medicines after consulting the doctor

Migraine aura:
Migraine aura is something that is as important as migraine for people suffering from this condition. Auras act as a warning, alerting people that a migraine attack is about to set in. Auras include:
• confusing thoughts or experiences
• the perception of strange, sparkling or flashing lights
• zig-zagging lines in the visual field
• blind spots or blank patches in the vision
• pins and needles in an arm or leg
• difficulty speaking
• stiffness in the shoulders, neck, or limbs
• unpleasant smells

Migraine and headache difference:
One should understand the difference between migraine and headache to seek correct treatment. Headache may vary in their effect as to how severe, how long and why they happen. Unlike migraines, there may not be a recognisable pattern.

Migraine attacks present as moderate to severe headache and generally appear on one side of the head, usually accompanied by vomiting and nausea.

Treatment for migraine:

There is no single cure for migraines. Treatment mainly focuses on preventing a full-blown attack and abating the symptoms that lead to the attack. The following lifestyle changes can be introduced to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks:
• getting enough sleep
• reducing stress
• drinking plenty of water
• avoiding certain foods
• regular physical exercise

In some people special diets such as gluten-free is also found beneficial. One should seek a medical opinion if the above-mentioned lifestyle changes do not bring a visible difference in the frequency of migraine.

If lifestyle changes fail to curb migraines, the next line of treatment is taking a course of medications. There are many different types of migraine medications, including painkillers. Some medicines might suit some types of migraine but in some other people the medications used to treat migraine can be counter-productive as it can lead to medication overuse headache (MOH) or rebound headache. This happens after taking too many medications in an attempt to prevent bouts of migraine. So due care should be taken and medicines should be taken only on the prescription of a doctor.

Have questions on migraine? Drop a message at www.plexusnc.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a type of motor neuron disease. It belongs to a group of progressive, neurological disease that leads to dysfunction in the nerves that control muscle movements. This causes muscle weakness and changes in how the body functions. In the advanced stages, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affects the nerves that control breathing and it could be fatal.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is the most commonly found motor neuron disease. It is sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous baseball player who was affected with this condition.

After the onset of symptoms most people with ALS will live for three to five years. About 10% of the people may live for another ten years or longer. For example Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist was diagnosed with ALS when he was 21 years old. He lived till 76 and remained a leader in the field of science.

There is no cure as such, but symptoms can be relieved with treatment and quality of life can be improved.

Some key points of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
• ALS affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness, loss of motor function, paralysis, breathing problems and eventually death.
• Most people with ALS will live between 3 and 5 years after symptoms appear.
• The exact cause is unknown, but environmental and genetic factors may be involved.
• There is currently no cure and treatment aims to relieve symptoms, provide social and emotional support, and possibly slow disease progression.

What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

ALS degenerates nerve cells that are involved in voluntary muscle actions known as motor neurons. These are actions that we can control such as those in the arms, legs and face. Motor neurons are located in the brain and spinal cord. As the ALS becomes severe, these cells degenerate and die. They cease sending messages to muscles. Brain can no longer control voluntary movements and as a result muscles weaken and waste away.

As the disease intensifies, it affects more and more voluntary muscles. The person loses their control over arms, face and legs. With time, the inability to breathe without external support can lead to respiratory complications.

Types of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

There are different types, according to their signs and symptoms and whether or not there is a clear genetic association.

Sporadic ALS: This type occurs randomly and it accounts for 90 to 95 percent of cases. There is no clear risk factor or cause.

Familial ALS: As the name indicates, familial ALS is inherited. Around 5 to 10% of the ALS is familial. The child of a person with ALS is carrying a risk of about 50% of being affected with the condition. Rarely, it can affect a person in their teens. Research is still ongoing as to which genes are affected.

Causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

As for the exact cause of ALS, it is still unclear to the medical world. But the following possible causes are suspected.

• Disorganized immune response: The immune system may attack some of the body’s cells, possibly killing nerve cells.
• Chemical imbalance: People with ALS often have higher levels of glutamate, a chemical messenger in the brain, near the motor neurons. Glutamate in high quantities is known to be toxic to nerve cells.
• Mishandling of proteins: If proteins are not processed correctly by nerve cells, abnormal proteins could potentially accumulate and cause the nerve cells to die.

Possible environmental factors
Environment may also play a role in the spread of the disease such as:
• mechanical or electrical trauma
• military service
• high levels of exercise
• high levels of agricultural chemicals
• high levels of a variety of heavy metals

However, there is no concrete evidence to prove that certain lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of the disease.

Signs and symptoms

Generally symptoms usually appear in a person in their late 50s or early 60s, but it can show up much younger or older. Severity of the disease changes from person to person. In the early stages signs and symptoms are hardly noticeable, but become evident over time.

Common symptoms include:
• difficulty carrying out daily activities, including walking
• increased clumsiness
• weakness in the feet, hands, legs, and ankles
• cramping and twitching in the arms, shoulders, or tongue
• difficulty maintaining good posture and holding the head up
• uncontrolled outbursts of laughing or crying, known as emotional lability
• cognitive changes
• slurring of speech and difficulty with voice projection
• pain
• fatigue
• problems with saliva, and mucus
• difficulty breathing and swallowing in the later stages

Treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Stem cell therapy has been coming up with break-throughs in the treatment of diseases that were hitherto thought irrevocable and ALS is no different.

Studies have shown that stem cell transplantation shows great potential as a treatment of ALS. It has the potential to be “an important alternative strategy” in treating the disease. Through stem cell transplantation it is possible to replace degenerating or dysfunctional neurons. This approach could pave the way to circumvent the main impediments of the disease, potentially improving the symptoms and arresting the disease progression.

Stem cells have the capacity to create several signaling molecules that can modulate their surrounding environment. If stem cells could be manipulated to send anti-inflammatory and pro-survival signals, they could potentially prevent neuron degeneration and death seen in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Plexus offers both intensive and comprehensive treatment programs comprising of stem cell therapy and rehabilitative interventions to deal with the deficits caused by ALS. Our team of professionals comprise of neurologist, stem cell therapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist that provide holistic care to the patient maximizing recovery in the shortest possible span of time.

For enquiries related to treatment of ALS, drop a message to www.plexusnc.com

Understanding ADHD


Little children tend to be messy. It is not in their nature to keep everything neat and tidy. Off and on they tend to veer out of control. They are always on the go, make noise nonstop, waiting for their turn is next to impossible and bump into everything around them. At other times, they may drift off as if in a dreamy land, unable to pay attention or complete what they start. Unfortunately, for some children these issues may happen just too frequently. Children with “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” fall in that group. For them these behavioral aberrations are too frequent that they interfere with their ability to live normal lives.

Generally, these children have trouble getting on with siblings and other children at school, at home, and in other settings. It is only natural that those who have trouble paying attention usually have trouble learning. They are likely to be impulsive and this nature may put them in actual physical danger because children with ADHD find it hard to control their behavior. They can get labelled as “bad kids” without realizing what the real issue is.

Left untreated, ADHD will continue to exist as a serious life-long problem and it will snowball into getting poor grades in exams, relationship problems and inability to carry on with a job.

In modern medical science, effective treatment, including Stem Cell Therapy and customized rehabilitation is available for children who are affected with this disorder. It goes without saying that being a parent you have a very important role to play here. The first thing is to understand the disorder properly.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a disease condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. It is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood. About 4% to 12% of the school-aged children are under its vicious grip. ADHD is commonly seen in boys, in fact three times more in boys than girls.

SymptomHow a child with this symptom may behave
InattentionFinds it hard to pay attention. Tend to day dream
Often does not seem to listen what other person is saying
Be it work or play, gets easily distracted and drifts off
Does not seem to care about the details of a work
Keeps on repeating careless mistakes
Frequently does not follow through on instructions given
Unlikely to finish task
Disorganized even after repeated reminders
Frequently loses things that are importantOften forget things
Frequently loathes doing things that require ongoing mental effort
HyperactivityAlways on the go, like a mechanical device
Cannot sit in a chair for quite some time
Frequently squirms and fidgets
Talks too much
When he/she is supposed to sit quiet, will start jumping and climbing
Cannot play quietly
ImpulsivityOften acts and speaks without much thought
May run into the street, unmindful of traffic
Frequently has trouble taking turns
Cannot wait for things
Often jump the gun when it comes to answering questions at school
Frequently interrupts others

Not all the children with ADHD have all the above-mentioned symptoms. They may have one or more of symptom group mentioned in the table.

To find out if the child has ADHD

We have to keep in mind that it is normal for children to exhibit the above-mentioned signs from time to time. The child may be reacting to stress at school or home. He/She may be feeling bored or going through a tough stage of life. It does not mean he/she has ADHD.
Generally, teachers are the first to notice inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity and bring these symptoms to the parents’ attention. ADHD symptoms differ in children depending on which type of ADHD the child has. People often jump into the conclusion of hyperactive behavior, but actually there is predominantly inattentive type ADHD as well, commonly referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Children affected with ADD are not hyperactive, but sluggish and lacking energy when compared to children with other types of ADHD. As these symptoms are less intrusive and disruptive compared to the hyperactive condition, this form of ADHD is often overlooked.

It is important for parents and teachers to have a clear idea of ADHD so that they will be better informed as to the symptoms to look out for that indicate a child is showing signs and symptoms that could be of ADHD. With proper treatment and care, these children can excel in life rather than face lifelong frustrations and struggles associated with their demeanor. So it is time to seek treatment as covering it up will only help worsen this disease condition.

For enquiries related to treatment of ADHD using Stem Cell Therapy, drop a message to www.plexusnc.com or call +91 89048 42087 or +91 80 2546 0886


We have learned in school that paralysis means the complete inability to move, to sense touch, or to control bodily sensations.  When we apply the term paralysis in medical parlance, the real meaning is actually significantly more nuanced because the extent to which a person is not able to move his/her body (as a whole or part) may undergo changes over a period of time.  Here physical therapy and changes in overall health play a significant role.

Simply put, paralysis means inability to move the body.  It could be either temporary or permanent.  Paralysis happens as a result of nerve damage, not because of injury to the affected part.


In reality there are various types of paralysis because there are number of ways that the body can be injured, though paralysis is generally classified into four categories which have to do with the part of the body that is affected.

  • Monoplegia
  • Hemiplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia


As the name suggests, monoplegia is paralysis of a single area of the body, usually one limb. People with monoplegia are generally able to retain control over the rest of their body, but cannot move or feel sensations in the affected limb.  Cerebral palsy is attributed as cause of this condition, though number of other injuries and diseases can trigger this form of partial paralysis, including:

  • Strokes
  • Tumors
  • Nerve damage due to injuries or diseases
  • Nerve impingement
  • Motor neuron damage
  • Brain injuries
  • Impacted or severed nerves at the affected location


Hemiplegia impairs the arm and leg on the same side of the body, like monoplegia the most common cause is cerebral palsy.  The intensity of this condition varies from person to person and may change as the time passes.  Usually hemiplegia starts with a sensation of pins and needles and progresses to weakening the muscles and eventually intensifies to complete paralysis.  Level of functioning of people affected with this condition varies day to day depending on the overall health, age, activity level and other factors.

Point to be noted is hemiplegia should not be confused with hemiparesis which means weakness affecting the one side of the body.  However, hemiparesis can be the warning symptom of hemiplegia, especially for people with neurological disorders.

Hemiplegia sometimes is temporary and getting the patient cured out of this condition depends on treatment, particularly early interventions such as physical therapy and occupational therapy.


Paralysis below the waist is called paraplegia and it usually affects both legs, hips and other functions such as having sex and elimination of waste from the body.  There is a general misconception that people with paraplegia cannot walk, move their legs, or feel anything below the waist, in reality it is very subjective and varies from person to person.  Thus paraplegia refers to significant impairment in mobility, not necessarily a permanent and complete paralysis.  In rare cases people with paraplegia recover spontaneously.

Spinal cord injuries are attributed to the most common cause of paraplegia.  These injuries hamper the brain’s ability to send and receive signals below the area of the injury.  Some other causes include:

  • Spinal cord infections
  • Spinal cord lesions
  • Brain tumors
  • Brain infections
  • Rarely, nerve damage at the hips or waist
  • Brain or spinal cord oxygen deprivation due to choking, surgical accidents, violence, and similar causes.
  • Stroke
  • Congenital malformations in the brain or spinal cord


Quadriplegia means paralysis below the neck.  It is also called tetraplegia.  All four limbs as well as the torso are generally affected.  As with paraplegia, the level of disability and the loss of function differ from person to person.  Some quadriplegic patients regain full or partial function spontaneously, while the rest gradually retrain their brains and bodies through specialised physical therapies and exercises.  At times, quadriplegia can be a temporary condition due to brain injuries, stroke, or temporary compression of spinal cord nerves.  As with paraplegia, spinal cord injuries are the major cause of quadriplegia, that include automobile accidents, acts of violence, falls, and sporting injuries, especially injuries due to contact sports such as football.

Other causes of quadriplegia include:

  • Acquired brain injuries due to infections or, stroke
  • Spinal and brain lesions
  • Spinal and brain tumors
  • Spinal and brain infections
  • Catastrophic nerve damage
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Early brain injuries, especially pre-birth or during-birth
  • Allergic reactions to drugs
  • Drug or alcohol overdoses


Stem cell therapy has opened a new facet of medical treatment where it provides treatment for paralysis that otherwise was considered impossible to be treated.

Stem cells treatment involves administration of concentrated cells in the targeted area to form colonies; a peculiar characteristic of stem cells, adapt the properties of resident stem cells and initiate some of the lost functions that have been compromised by the disease or injury.

To conclude, it would not be an exaggeration to say that stem cell therapy has given a ray of hope to thousands of patients suffering from paralysis.



Spinal cord injury often results in permanent loss of sensation, strength and other body functions below the portion of the injury. In spinal cord injuries there is damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves.

If a person has suffered a spinal cord injury of late, he/she might have noticed that every aspect of life has been taken a hit. One might feel the aftereffects of the injury mentally, emotionally and socially. However, the silver lining is many researchers are hopeful that advancements in medical science will one day make the repairs of the spinal cord injuries a reality. Research studies in this direction are being carried out across the globe. Meanwhile, many people affected with spinal cord injuries can lead a productive, independent and content life with proper treatments and rehabilitation.

As for the complications arising out of spinal cord injuries, they are manifold. They include functional, psychological and socioeconomic disorders. Apart from these there are long-term secondary complications that influence the continuation of care for patients with spinal cord injuries. Suffice to say complications are an offshoot of spinal cord injuries that may even lead to morbidity and mortality. One’s employability can also be affected, leading to overall quality of life.

As the purpose of this article is to touch upon medical comorbidities arising out of spinal cord injuries, let us focus on that aspect of the condition.

Spinal cord being critical to a wide variety of body functions, spinal cord injuries can cause both long-term and short-term complications. Managing these complications in the right way is an important part of the recovery phase.

Pneumonia And Asthma

Pneumonia and asthma are the generally found long-term complications because the muscles that aid breathing are weakened. Assisted-breathing is necessary if there is damage to the nerves passing through diaphragm. Drugs prescribed by the physician can be taken to tackle this issue. Moreover, patients are encouraged to get an annual shot of flu.

Because of the spinal cord injury heart rate can slow down remarkably or increase to an alarming level. This will lead to cardiac issues and low blood pressure eventually requiring intravenous blood infusions.

Autonomic Dysreflexia

Autonomic dysreflexia is a medical condition that happens when a stimulus underneath the site of the injury triggers a message to the brain, but that cannot be delivered, for e.g. irritation of the skin or blockage of the catheter. As a result of this the blood vessels is constricted, leading to a reduced heart rate and high blood pressure. Autonomic dysreflexia multiplies the risk of stroke and at times seizures. Sometimes this condition can be reversed if the patient assumes another position or by removal of the stimulus.

Blood Clots

Blood clots are of specific concern for patients with spinal cord injuries. As the patients are bound to be largely immobile after the injury, it reduces blood flow through the veins. In order to prevent clotting patients are often prescribed blood-thinning medicines.

Neurogenic Pain

Pain emanates from nervous tissue is called neurogenic pain. Burning and stinging sensations are prevalent. It may even occur in hands and legs that may no longer have movement or feeling. Using other parts of the body to circumvent paralysed limbs can also lead to pain, for e.g. using hands to set the wheelchair in motion.

Medical treatment includes medications, acupuncture, surgery and spinal or brain electrical stimulation.


Uncontrolled limb movements due to reflex are called spasms. The condition comes into play when the nerves in the spinal cord are damaged by the injury. Because of the damage the nerves and the brain cannot communicate properly. However, medical treatments are available to help bring down spasticity.

In some cases these spasms are a blessing in disguise as they help improve muscle tone in the affected areas, thereby resulting improved limb stability and mobility.

Urinary Problems

Urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney infection and difficulty passing motion occur when there is damage to the nerves that control these functions. There is no coordination between body and the brain. Bowel and bladder may empty uncontrollably. Eating a fibre-rich diet and drinking plenty of water can sometimes help control these problems. In some cases, catheters and drugs are also used.

Sexual Dysfunction and Fertility Issues

Spinal cord injuries can often cause sexual dysfunction and fertility issues. Generally, men are more prone to these problems than women. Doctors may prescribe drugs and other treatment modalities to enhance fertility. Pregnancy is considered highly risky and should only be considered after consulting a qualified health care provider.

Weight Loss or Gain

As a patient with spinal cord injury cannot exercise properly and cannot have a normal diet weight of the patient can go either up or down depending on the person’s physical constitution. Therapists and nutritionists can be of great help here in enhancing the patient’s healthy habits through work outs and proper diet.


Depression is another serious complication that patients with spinal cord injuries can undergo. During the recuperating phase patients may feel sad, grief, and stress. A caring network of family and friends can bring a positive energy in an otherwise gloomy life of the patient. The role of therapists during this phase is very critical to the overall wellbeing of the patient.

Stem Cell Therapy has shown remarkable results in treating patients with Spinal Cord Injuries. Apart from the therapy, our rehabilitation program is customized to suit the needs of each patient. Rehab is given with the aim of making the patient as independent as possible.

Pressure Sores

Pressure sores are a major complication of spinal cord injuries, more common than any of the other complications. It happens due to physical inactivity. Patients with spinal cord injuries have a higher risk of venous thromboembolism and pressure ulcers. In fact pressure sores are the most common secondary complication after spinal cord injuries.

Depending on the neurological level of your injury, you may have lost part of or all skin sensations. Therefore, your skin cannot send a message to your brain when it is injured by certain things such as prolonged pressure, heat or cold.

This can make the patient more susceptible to pressure sores, but changing positions frequently, with help if needed, can help prevent these sores.

Joint and Soft Tissue Contractures

Joint and soft tissue contractures are also very common after spinal cord injuries. It is where rehabilitative intervention plays a vital part, especially physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy primarily improves range of movement and functional ability. Besides it helps relieve pain and prevents further muscle shortening. Physiotherapy for soft tissue contractures may involve:
• Passive stretching and soft tissue mobilisation to relieve stiffness and improve range of motion
• Progressive range of motion exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles safely and effectively
• Exercises to facilitate normal movement

Physiotherapy helps to restore movement while occupational therapy helps to regain functional independence in daily activities

For enquiries related to spinal cord injuries and their treatment options, drop a message @ www.plexusnc.com or call 91-8904842087



A group of disorders that impair balance, movement and muscle tone is called cerebral palsy or CP.  From the word “cerebral” it can be understood that the disorder is related to the brain and “palsy” means weakness or muscle disorder.

Cerebral palsy affects the area of the brain that controls the ability to use muscles.  When part of the brain is not developing as it is supposed to be cerebral palsy happens.  It can also affect congenitally that means the brain is damaged right from birth or very early in life.  Majority of people with cerebral palsy have that disorder right from birth, but it can also happen after birth, in that case it is called “acquired” cerebral palsy.

There is the mild problem of muscle control in people affected with cerebral palsy.  If the disease condition is chronic they will not be able to walk.  Speaking problem can also be seen in people affected with cerebral palsy.  Intellect can also be affected by this condition, though many have normal intelligence.

When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the diagnoses include both brain injury and muscle problem.

To get a better picture as to how brain damage has impacted one’s overall mobility, cerebral palsy is divided into different types.  Movement issues and the body part(s) being affected are the two principal factors based on which cerebral palsy is categorized.  Cerebral palsy is mainly four types – spastic, athetoid, ataxic and mixed type.

Let us go into each one in detail.


It is the most widely found cerebral palsy accounting for 70 to 80 percent of the cases.  People affected with spastic cerebral palsy often have exaggerated or jerky moves.  Damage in the brain’s motor cortex triggers spastic cerebral palsy.  It is also triggered by damage to pyramidal tracts which help transmit signals to the muscles.  This is why spastic cerebral palsy is also called pyramidal cerebral palsy.  The motor cortex is located on the both sides of the brain and the pyramidal tracts connect each side of the motor cortex.  Damage to the left side of the motor cortex causes movement issues on the right side of the body and vice versa.

General symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Awkward reflexes
  • Stiffness in one part of the body
  • Contractures (permanently tightened muscles or joints)
  • Abnormal gait


Around 10% of the cerebral palsy found in children is attributed to this type.  It is also called non-spastic cerebral palsy.  In this type the muscle tone fluctuates between being hypertonic and hypotonic.  Involuntary movements in the face, torso and limbs are the tell-tale signs of athetoid cerebral palsy.

This type of cerebral palsy is caused when brain’s basal ganglia and/or cerebellum is damaged.  The basal ganglia are responsible for controlling motor function and eye movements, while the cerebellum controls balance and coordination.

Athetoid cerebral palsy is also called “extrapyramidal” as the extrapyramidal tracts in the brain help control involuntary reflexes.

General symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Stiff or rigid body
  • Floppiness in the limbs
  • Problems with posture
  • Feeding issues


Ataxic cerebral palsy affects balance and coordination.  It accounts for only a small portion of all cerebral palsy cases.  Those inflicted with this condition typically have issues surrounding voluntary movement.

Ataxic cerebral palsy is not like other types of cerebral palsy because it is majorly caused by damage to the cerebellum, which controls balance and coordination.  People with this condition often have tremors and a reduction in muscle tone.

General symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Problems with depth perception
  • Shakiness and tremors
  • Spreading feet apart when walking


At times damage of the brain is not confined to one location.  In these settings, it is possible for a child to develop cerebral palsy that is characteristic of multiple brain injuries.

When a child is showing symptoms of more than one type of cerebral palsy, it is considered to be mixed cerebral palsy. Ironically, mixed cerebral palsy accounts for only less than 10% of all CP cases.

The commonly found mixed cerebral palsy diagnosis is a combination of spastic and athetoid cerebral palsy.  Parents should seek professional opinion from cerebral palsy specialists if they suspect more than one type of cerebral palsy are afoot.

General symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Muscle tone that could be stiffer or looser than normal, leading to impaired or involuntary movements
  • Difficulty performing fine motor skills
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Balancing difficulty
  • Seizures
  • Visual or hearing impairment

Severity of the condition is dependent on the extent of the patient’s brain injuries. While the condition does not progress over time, symptoms may become more pronounced as the patient ages.


Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy, in a nutshell, can be defined as a group of disorder that leads to progressive loss of muscle bulk and a resultant loss of strength.  1 in every 5000 people is at risk of getting affected with the main form of muscular dystrophy.  It occurs in both men and women, in all ages and races.

The main cause of muscular dystrophy is a genetic mutation that intervenes in the production of muscle proteins, a substance that we need to build and sustain healthy muscles.  Typically it is a genetic condition.  If a person has a family history of muscular dystrophy it increases his chance of being affected with the condition and passing it on to the children.  But there is a ray of hope as it is proven that certain physical and medical treatments like stem cell therapy can improve the condition to a great extent.

It would be interesting to throw some lights on the facts on muscular dystrophy.

  • Muscular dystrophy is a constellation of muscle-wasting conditions
  • Of all the muscular dystrophies Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common form
  • The main reason for muscular dystrophy is a lack of protein called dystrophin
  • Stem cell therapy is currently being successfully trialed to combat the disease
  • Males are more prone to muscular dystrophy

Let’s delve a little deeper into what muscular dystrophy really is.


A group of over 30 conditions that result in loss of muscle strength and degeneration is called muscular dystrophy.  This degeneration happens one after another.  It affects a person’s mobility as the condition worsens.  In some cases, it can lead to breathing problems, impaired heart function, and even life-threatening complications.  Depending on the severity of the condition it could be mild, slow-progressing, moderate or fatal.


Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – This is the most widely found muscular dystrophy.  It is generally seen in boys though girls can be carriers and get affected in a milder way.

Becker muscular dystrophy – This type of muscular dystrophy is similar to that of Duchenne, but the progression of this disease condition is slower.  Symptoms started showing in the teenage years, but a clear manifestation of symptoms may not happen before mid 20s.

Myotinic (Steinert’s disease) – This form of muscular dystrophy is characterised by an inability to relax muscles after contractions.  It is an adult-onset muscular dystrophy.  Neck and facial muscles are at risk of getting affected.

Facioscapulohumeral (FSHD) –  Weakness of the muscles generally begins in the face and shoulders.  When a person with this condition raises arms the shoulder blades are likely to protrude like wings.  Although usually seen in teens, it could begin in childhood or as late as 40s

Congenital – As the name indicates, this type is apparent at birth or before the age of 2.  Both boys and girls get affected.

Limb-girdle – Hip and shoulder muscles are the first casualty of this condition.  Onset can be in either childhood or teenage years.

Each form of the disease condition is caused by a genetic mutation.  A good number of these mutations are inherited, but some can happen spontaneously in the egg of the mother.


Below mentioned are some of the common symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy:

  • Walking unsteadily
  • Severe pain and stiffness hurting the muscles
  • Running and jumping becoming extremely difficult
  • Tending to walk to top-toes
  • Even sitting up and standing becomes an issue.
  • Disabilities regarding learning, such as taking a long time to speak than usual
  • Falling frequently
  • Fatigue
  • Mental retardation

Eventually, patient will be confined to braces and wheelchairs

As time passes on, the symptoms worsen leading to severe inability like heart related ailments,  curvature of spine, aspiration pneumonia, swallowing difficulties etc (Causes cut short as it was too long)


New-age treatment modalities are coming up to treat muscular dystrophy.  Some newer medical research studies highlight the use of stem cells to regenerate and repair the damaged muscle cells.  Stem cell therapy offers application in the treatment of muscular dystrophy.


Cells that originate at the early growth level are called stem cells.  Stem cell therapy is believed to be the finest breakthrough in medical history.  You may be aware, it has been awarded with the Nobel Prize in Medicine in the year 2012.  This ground-breaking modality of treatment has immense potential in the treatment of muscular dystrophy.  In fact it has changed the medical perception of incurable disorders and its application in a plethora of medical specialties has gained traction.


Stem cells by its very nature have the property to regenerate impaired muscles by inducing myogenesis (a form of muscular tissue) and providing significant relief.  Whilst the anticipated deterioration of patients affected with muscular dystrophy is around 20% every year, absence of deterioration by that percentage following therapy is generally acknowledged as a significant improvement by most practicing physicians.  Stem cell therapy can halt the speed with which the muscle degeneration is happening and can avert further progression of the condition.


Stem cell therapy induces muscle fiber regeneration.  With the regeneration of new muscle fibers, strength, power, tone and reflex of muscles will improve, this in turn will abate most of the symptoms.  Moreover, stem cell therapy is considered to be the apt treatment form for muscular dystrophy.  It imparts progressive muscle proteins and replenishes the stem pool.


Frequently Asked Questions About Multiple Sclerosis

In 2015 alone, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affected about 2.3 million people globally and claimed over 18,900 lives. The impact this neurological disease has on people across the world is a source of both curiosity and anxiety. On the occasion of World Multiple Sclerosis Day (May 30), we hope to answer some of the most urgent and important questions surrounding MS through these FAQs.

What is MS?
Derived from the term ‘sclerae’ or lesions, Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive immune-mediated disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. As a result, the nerve fibres and their myelin sheath — a fatty cover over them — sustain damage, exposing the nerves and hampering transmission of signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Its symptoms become more apparent with time and can be physically destabilizing.

Who can get MS?
While experts are yet to identify the causes of MS, most believe it to be an autoimmune illness, meaning that it is an abnormal response of the immune system to a naturally occurring antigen. Some of MS’ commonly accepted risk factors include:

  • Geography — population living away from the equator, above the temperate regions, usually report more cases
  • Age — people between 20 and 60 years, although it can also occur in younger children and significantly younger adults too
  • Sex — women have been found to be more susceptible than men

What are the early symptoms of MS?
Just like other neurological diseases, MS’ symptoms include:

  • Numbness, tingling, or spasms in the muscles
  • Motor dysfunction that causes unstable movements
  • Blurry vision and pain in the eyes caused by optic nerve damage
  • Bowel and bladder problems such as constipation or incontinence
  • Fatigue

How is MS diagnosed?
Medical experts have not yet established laboratory tests that can conclusively diagnose MS. Instead, doctors depend on a combination of medical history analysis, neurological exams, and tests such as MRIs, evoked potentials (EP), and spinal fluid analysis to find out whether a person is susceptible to MS or not.

What are the different types of MS?
Based on how the symptoms progress and change their course, experts have recognized the following types of MS:

  • Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS)
    This episode is typically how all types of MS begin — with the body’s immune system attacking the myelin sheath on the spinal cord. This may turn into MS if the attack has caused lesions on the nervous system.
  • Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS)
    As the name suggests, patients experience frequent relapses of intense neurological symptoms, followed by periods of remissions — when these symptoms almost entirely disappear. During these remission phases, the symptoms do not show any signs of progressing further.
  • Primary Progressive MS (PPMS)
    This is the rarest form of MS. In cases of PPMS, the patient’s condition tends to get worse over time, and they experience very few remission phases.
  • Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS)
    This is a progression from RRMS, in which patients’ symptoms worsen steadily over time and the remission periods get shorter and fewer in between.

How will MS impact the patient’s life?
Evidence collected over time has proven that MS doesn’t affect life expectancy. Its symptoms, even as they become severe, rarely ever disable the patient. This means that people with MS have a fair chance at living a long and fruitful life. With the best available treatment and a healthy lifestyle, anyone with MS can continue leading their lives as normally as possible. General prescriptions for them include getting sufficient sleep, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy diet, and seeking support whenever needed.

How can Plexus help?
Our speciality, stem cell therapy, is bringing health back to the lives of many people around the world. In the case of MS, Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) extracts stem cells from the patient’s body (specifically from the bone marrow) and uses their regenerative properties to heal the nerve damage. Along with such progressive medical options, our neurologists and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists, come together to facilitate a faster recovery of all our patients.

Are there any success stories of treating MS at Plexus?
Some of our patients who have made it through the painstaking journey from diagnosis to recovery are:

We hope these Frequently Asked Questions have answered your queries about MS. If you seek more clarity on how the disease can change one’s life and what Plexus can do to help, visit our Centre or book an appointment today.

Who Needs Occupational Therapy?

Driving to work. Shopping for groceries. Cooking a meal. Signing a cheque. Our days are filled with so many activities everyday that we hardly give them a thought. It’s only when something hinders our action that the importance of pain-free, unrestricted movement comes to light. Degenerative diseases or traumatic injuries often are the cause behind this.

While medication and surgery are necessary for treatment, Occupational Therapy (OT) has also gained much favor in helping patients regain independence through rehabilitation.

What is Occupational Therapy?
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), this form of therapy is aimed at helping people “participate in things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities or occupations.” At first, this description may seem similar to Physiotherapy due to its emphasis on restoring physical function, but in reality OT takes a more holistic approach — helping patients with more than just injury-related issues. After all, while Physiotherapy helps patients start walking again, OT helps them put on their dancing shoes and hit the floor!

On a day-to-day basis, Occupational Therapy takes into account everything that is important to the patient and designs creative, activity-based treatment routines for them. For example,
a housewife suffering from spinocerebellar ataxia, which causes gradual movement failure, can be given knitting activities to improve the speed and coordination of her fingers. By engaging patients in activities that are relevant, Occupational Therapists ensure that they can add meaning to their lives and gain the confidence go back healthier and livelier than before.

Various domains addressed by an Occupational Therapist include:

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), comprising tasks such as personal hygiene and grooming habits
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), comprising tasks such as caring for others in the family, and household activities
  • Engaging with the community, family, peers, and friends
  • Education
  • Work
  • Leisure and play
  • Rest and sleep

Who Needs Occupational Therapy?
At Plexus, our specialist Occupational Therapists cater to the specific requirements of patients from all age groups

In order to create a positive healing environment for our patients Plexus believes in using a holistic multidisciplinary treatment approach, which includes Stem Cell Therapy along with other rehabilitation sciences. Combined with the services of a caring and supportive team, these treatments have proven to put patients on the fast track to recovery and overall well-being. To know more about how you or your loved ones can benefit from our treatment options, visit our Centre or email us at info@plexusnc.com

How Does Parkinson’s Disease Affect a Person’s Quality of Life?

It’s only natural for people with Parkinson’s to worry about how the disease will affect their lives. As hard as it is, patients need to adjust to the new reality that they may not be able to carry out simple tasks as independently as before — something that can greatly dent their confidence. At Plexus, we want to help such individuals and their families overcome these challenges and continue to function as normally as possible.

The Five Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

Below are some of the symptoms that can arise at different stages of Parkinson’s disease:

Stage 1
At this stage, the progression of the disease is so mild that it could be missed by most people. On closer observation, however friends and family might notice:

  • Intermittent or occasional tremors (in one side of the body only)
  • Rigid muscles
  • Slower movements
  • Slight changes in facial expressions

Stage 2
By this stage, patients start experiencing more visible symptoms, such as:

  • Frequent tremors (in the whole body)
  • Lack of facial expressions
  • Impaired speech, characterized by overly loud or soft volume, monotonous
  • voice, or slurred speech
  • Unstable posture

Stage 3
Patients in this phase of the disease experience more frequent and intense symptoms compared to the previous phase and can benefit from treatments such as occupational therapy. Their symptoms include:

  • Frequent falls that stem from lack of balance
  • Slower reflexes
  • Mild memory loss
  • Involuntary movements

Stage 4
Patients increasingly lose their ability to perform tasks without assistance when they transition from stage 3 to 4. By now, they begin to exhibit severe symptoms that include:

  • Visible instability when they stand or walk
  • Inability to move rapidly
  • Difficulty in taking care of themselves

Stage 5
A person going through the fifth stage of Parkinson’s disease will require maximum assistance and supervision at all times. These patients are debilitated by:

  • Extremely stiff and rigid muscles
  • Inability to complete tasks and freezing mid task
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Dementia (affecting potentially 75 percent of patients)

Parkinson’s Disease And Quality of Life

During the 1950s, experts proposed a list of activities that healthy adults must be able to do in order to have a normal personal and social life. To this day, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) are definitive indicators of a person’s Quality of Life (QoL). Parkinson’s affects all aspects of a person’s QoL in the following ways:

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
This category includes self-care activities that we do on a daily basis, such as:

  • Personal hygiene
    Parkinson’s often causes patients to sweat a lot, making frequent baths absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, tremors and muscle stiffness can restrict this — preventing patients from maintaining their own hygiene independently.
  • Dressing and grooming
    As the disease progresses, patients may start having trouble with clothes that have fine zippers and buttons, making assistance while dressing a must.
  • Toilet hygiene
    Constipation and incontinence are some of the regularly occurring symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Eating and drinking
    Tremors in the face and dysphagia (a condition that hinders swallowing) can cause significant trouble to patients while eating.
  • Moving around
    In the early stages of the disease, Parkinson’s symptoms merely slow down a person’s pace or destabilize them when they stand. However, in extreme cases, it is also known to cause patients to freeze mid task and eventually, become entirely bedridden.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)
This category includes activities that may not be vital for the patient’s survival, but are necessary for independent living, such as:

  • Cleaning and maintaining the house
    With time, Parkinson’s can severely restrict patients’ movements and their ability to walk freely around the house.
  • Socializing within the community
    Regardless of the stage, patients with Parkinson’s can all benefit from the company of their friends and family. These gatherings, and the emotional benefits they offer patients, can go a long way in keeping up their morale and mental health.
  • Preparing meals
    Patients suffering from advanced symptoms of Parkinson’s often struggle with cooking by themselves — making this essential activity an insurmountable challenge.
  • Shopping for groceries and necessities
    In some patients, the onset of dementia can severely affect their ability to make rational decisions with regards to money.
  • Taking prescribed medications
    One of the symptoms of progressive neurodegeneration, which starts affecting patients’ everyday tasks almost immediately, is frequent short term memory loss. This can cause frequent lapses of memory and make patients miss the timings for their prescribed medication.
  • Using the telephone or other forms of communication
    Dysphagia and facial tremors may also affect patients’ voice and language fluency over the phone.

How Can Plexus Help?

Plexus specializes in rehabilitating patients with Parkinson’s — by making their lives as normal as possible. We do this through our personalized treatment approach, where a routine is designed based on the patient’s interests and motivations. During the course of such intensive treatment routines, our Multidisciplinary Team — comprising neurologists and therapists — works together with the patient. In addition to the medical treatment, our patients are also given a lot of encouragement and support, helping them recover faster. The result of such a holistic treatment — as reflected in Mr A’s battle with Parkinson’s — is that our patients get back to their normal lives with a renewed belief in themselves.

Timely treatment can help reduce the effects of Parkinson’s — giving patients a better chance at living a fuller life. This is what drives us to create a supportive environment for our patients at Plexus. To know more about Parkinson’s treatment in Bangalore and book an appointment, visit our Centre or email us at info@plexusnc.com.

Stem Cell Therapy A Ray of Hope for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

With nearly 10 million people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it is one of the most common neurodegenerative conditions in the world. It starts off with symptoms that seem harmless at first, but can over time become so restrictive that they hamper patients’ lifestyles, leading to anxiety and depression. Every year, April 11 is held as World Parkinson’s Disease Day to recognize the struggles of people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. This year, Plexus takes the opportunity to highlight the journeys of people who put up a brave fight against Parkinson’s every day of their lives.

From depression to confidence

A 58-year-old businessman from Bangalore, Mr J, started experiencing tremors (a symptom typical to Parkinson’s) back in 2014. At first, he didn’t give them much importance and dismissed the tremors as trembling spells. However, when more serious symptoms such as muscle pain, stiffness, and involuntary movements started setting in, Mr J consulted several doctors. Unfortunately, most of them came back with a common diagnosis — Parkinson’s disease. The condition slowly began to take over Mr J’s every action, often leaving him unable to even fulfil his day-to-day tasks. To make matters worse, Mr J began suffering from facial tremors that made clear speech difficult. Soon enough, the daily battle with Parkinson’s started to eat into Mr J’s motivation to interact with people, pushing him closer to depression. He went from clinic to clinic, looking to relieve his condition with a permanent solution but was always disappointed with what he found. In April 2015, Mr J came across Plexus and its multidisciplinary team, who conducted a detailed investigation of his condition and designed a customized treatment program for him. In just two short months, Mr J’s symptoms became less intense, his speech became clearer, and he regained the confidence to live independently. Most importantly, by putting him on a fast track to recovery, stem cell therapy at Plexus helped Mr J believe in himself again.

A step towards good health

Mr A, a 35-year-old man working in London, was shocked when in 2010 doctors informed him that the slight tremor in his left arm and his gradually reducing walking speed were signs of Parkinson’s disease. The next year Mr A returned to Delhi where some doctors recommended physical
exercises — something he couldn’t really do because of extreme pain, numbness, and poor posture. For seven long years after the diagnosis, Mr A struggled with Parkinson’s debilitating symptoms and the side effects of steroids, which offered only temporary relief. By this point, having lost all hope and at his wit’s end, Mr A began a slow slide towards depression. It was his wife’s optimism and insistence on taking him to various Ayurveda, allopathy, and homeopathy practitioners that helped keep Mr A’s spirits up during this phase in his life. One day, while Mrs A was looking for treatment options online, she came across Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre. The couple immediately spoke with Dr Na’eem Sadiq, who convinced them to move to Bangalore in 2018 for stem cell therapy. During the two-month long, intensive treatment session at the center, Mr A underwent a holistic intervention program that included physio, occupational, and stem cell therapy sessions. Throughout the course of his treatment, he was also prescribed carefully regulated nutritional supplements that met his dietary requirements. Apart from the center’s international healthcare standards, the care and attention shown by the Plexus team and Dr Sadiq’s positivity left a lasting impression on Mr A. After years of staying away from his hobbies, he celebrated his speedy recovery by participating in singing and painting competitions organized at the center. At the end of his treatment period — armed with the confidence of good health — Mr A left the center a changed man.

Owing to its success in providing relief to patients and helping them avoid both the pain caused by surgery and side effects of drugs, stem cell therapy is increasingly being suggested by doctors as a treatment option for chronic illnesses. At Plexus, we are always on a mission to take this modern miracle to the people who need it the most.

#AskDrNaeem about Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is at the very cutting-edge of medical
science — bringing relief to thousands of people every year. Its regenerative process heals damage from neurodegeneration through a minimally invasive procedure, which in addition to being relatively pain-free compared to surgeries has nearly none of the side-effects of commercial drugs. However, many Indians are still unaware of its advantages due to a lack of reliable information sources. To bridge this knowledge gap, Plexus has decided to educate people through both online and offline channels — gaining us the trust of thousands from all over the world.

Keeping with our efforts to educate more people about the potential of stem cells, Plexus went live on March 15, 2018 on our Facebook page. During the webinar, titled #AskDrNaeem, Dr Sadiq answered queries on stem cell therapy and its benefits from almost 16,000 viewers across the globe!

As April is Autism Awareness Month, we bring you some questions on Autism that the viewers asked and the answers by Dr Na’eem Sadiq.

Is stem cell therapy safe for Autistic children?
Priya Bala, Bangalore

Stem cell therapy is perfectly safe for patients suffering from all kinds of disorders. In fact, to ensure zero risk of infections, allergies, or hypersensitivity, Plexus uses autologous stem cells that are extracted from the patient’s own body as opposed to allogeneic stem cells, which are taken from donors. Typically, stem cell therapy for Autism works best on young children. However, even in the case of older children, it has shown results in alleviating symptoms such as speech impairment, hesitation to interact socially, and repetitive behavior. We are particularly proud of a child who came to our center with these and other signs of Autism and post therapy has found a spot in a regular school.

Is stem cell therapy recommended for all age groups?
Nikita Shroff, Bangalore

Absolutely! Stem cell therapy is safe and promises results for all age groups. In our decade-long experience, we have seen the positive impact stem cell therapy can make on everyone from a
9-month-old baby (suffering from preventricular dystrophy) to a 96-year-old man (a patient of multiple strokes, Parkinson’s disease, and Dementia). As we have seen a speedy recovery in younger patients who have undergone therapy, we recommend an earlier diagnosis. But on the whole, we believe it’s never too late to consider stem cell therapy as a treatment option for chronic diseases.

Stem cell therapy is an incredibly versatile treatment option that can be applied across a spectrum of disorders — from developmental to neurodegenerative. This, combined with its safe and pain-free technique, is the reason stem cell therapy is becoming a sought-after treatment option around the world. But in the age of information overload, it is important to have your basics about stem cell therapy in place — a goal Plexus can help you achieve through #AskDrNaeem.

Follow our Facebook page to learn about how stem cell therapy can transform your life in our next session.

Tremors and What They Indicate

Tremors are often classified as a ‘social disability’ because of their unpredictable nature, and effect on our ability to perform daily functions such as walking, driving, and eating. In order to give people suffering from them a fighting chance, it is essential that tremors are diagnosed and treated early on in their lives.

Physiologically speaking, tremors are involuntary muscle movements, which may be caused by anything from hereditary influences and lifestyle patterns to degenerative diseases and neural damage. Based on their causes and how they manifest themselves in one’s body, tremors have been identified and classified into nearly 20 varieties. Of these, here are some commonly seen tremors and what they indicate:

Essential Tremors

The most commonly diagnosed type, essential tremors were once known as ‘familial tremors’ owing to their hereditary nature. People who suffer from these tremors often experience mild to severe shaking throughout their body — especially in their necks and arms. Despite the uncertainty surrounding their root cause, most scientists agree that essential tremors are caused by genetic mutation that occurs over the generations.

Cerebellar Tremors

These tremors mainly affect a person’s fine motor skills, including their ability to perform functions such as touching their nose with their fingertip or pointing in a certain direction. As the name suggests, cerebellar tremors are caused by damage to the cerebellum — the part of the brain that controls movement. Besides this, illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and hyperthyroidism, and disorders such as anxiety and chronic alcoholism, are also known to cause cerebellar tremors.

Dystonic Tremors

These tremors occur in people with dystonia — a neurological disorder that causes repetitive and abnormal muscle contractions in certain parts of the body. Their intensity can be reduced by applying pressure to the affected body part and taking complete rest till the tremors pass.

Orthostatic Tremors

Characterized by rapid shaking in the thighs and legs, orthostatic tremors are distinguished from essential tremors only by their speed and frequency. In some cases, the strain and fatigue caused by these tremors destabilizes people, making it difficult for them to maintain their posture. But in rare cases, people affected may find it easier to walk or move than to stand.

Parkinsonian Tremors

More than 25% of Parkinson’s patients experience these types of tremors as the first symptom of the disorder. Characterized by the ‘pin-rolling’ gesture of the hand, Parkinsonian tremors usually begin from one side of the body and gradually spreads to the other side.

Psychogenic Tremors

Patients with a history of mental illnesses such as anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression may experience instances of psychogenic tremors. The timing and trigger for these tremors are hard to determine, but they usually reduce in intensity or disappear if the patient ignores them.

Physiological Tremors

Physiological tremors can affect anyone — even those without a history of diagnosed degenerative or neurological disorders. It may be triggered by physical exhaustion, stress, intense emotions, stimulants, and heavy metal poisoning.

People suffering from tremors may exhibit a range of reactions to them — from downplaying the symptoms to outright panic. But research has consistently proved that early diagnosis and treatment of tremors can restrict their spread and reduce their influence on patients’ lives. At Plexus, we help patients do this through stem cell therapy for conditions such as Parkinson’s disorder, dystonia, and spinocerebellar ataxia. To book an appointment with Dr Naeem, send an email to drnaeem@plexusnc.com or visit our website.

Parkinsonism – common symptoms and effective treatment options

With over 10 million patients worldwide, Parkinsonism remains one of the principal degenerative disorders today. It is a disease of the brain in which cells that produce dopamine — a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and movement — in the substantia nigra (midbrain) are lost. Though generally considered a disorder of the elderly, it can manifest at a younger age, and across generations.

This chronic progressive neurological condition initially emerges as mild tremors — sometimes only on one side — before it gradually progresses to affect the entire body. Deficiency of dopamine leads to motor disorders which result in slow movements, tremors across various body parts, and rigidity of muscles. Parkinsonism deteriorates over time and at an advanced stage, could even impair walking.

Common symptoms include:

  • Hand, arm, leg, jaw, and face tremors
  • Bradykinesia or slowness of movement
  • Rigidity or stiffness of the limbs
  • Gait abnormality

The exact cause of this debilitating disease still remains unclear, and so far no form of treatment has been able to effectively cure the disease. However, various forms of medication, physiotherapy, surgery, brain stimulation, and stem cell therapy, are available to delay the onset of motor symptoms.
Usual treatment of Parkinsonism comprises of therapies that are designed to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain either by replacing or mimicking dopamine, or prolonging the effect of dopamine. Studies have shown that early diagnosis and intervention, especially in the non-motor stage, can improve symptoms and slow down disease progression.

While anti-parkinsonism drugs have been employed successfully to control the symptoms of Parkinsonism, there are a few drawbacks. These included unpleasant side effects such as drowsiness, constipation, dizziness, hallucinations, nausea, and swelling — creating the need for a more durable treatment.
For some individuals with advanced, virtually unmanageable motor symptoms, surgery may be a viable option.  One such surgical procedure is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), where the surgeon implants electrodes to stimulate areas of the brain that are responsible for movement.

An alternative approach that has been recently explored is the use of dopamine-producing cells derived from stem cells. The stem cells are then transplanted into the patient’s brain, where they replicate the properties of the degenerated cells of the substantia nigra. As a result, symptoms of Parkinsonism gradually disappear.

What’s more, when stem cell therapy is provided at early stages of the disease, it shows excellent results. Studies show that almost all patients (80-85%) who undergo stem cell therapy gain better control over their motor movements and are less dependent on anti-Parkinson drugs — surely, a sign of better things to come.

In our endeavor to overcome Parkinsonism, we at Plexus provide quality stem cell therapy, medication, general lifestyle changes (rest and exercise), physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. If you or a loved one is suffering from this disease, contact Dr Naeem at drnaeem@plexusnc.com to book a consultation. Together, we can plan an active neuro-rehabilitation program that will help effectively tackle symptoms and improve quality of life.

Early developmental milestones — Is your child developing normally?

From the moment parents greet their newborn child, they eagerly watch the baby’s progress, anticipating every development, every marker in growth. The first five years of life are the most important as this is when the maximum amount of growth takes place. Infants learn to balance their heads, crawl, walk and learn simple responses like smiling and greeting in these early years. That said, it’s important to note that each child develops at their own pace — a pace not necessarily the same as others. Most of the time, babies reach each developmental milestone around the expected age, and if not, they catch up soon enough. It is common for a child to be ahead in one area, such as language, but a little behind in another.

The first five years. Developmental milestones to look for.

It’s natural then for parents to ask, “How do I know if my child is developing normally?” An often used method is to compare their child’s physical, intellectual and behavioral development to that of others in the same age bracket. While it’s best to check with your pediatrician, comparing with other infants and referring to a growth milestone chart can help you spot problems early. Here are some highlights of your child’s growth journey.

0 – 3 Months

Begins to develop a social smile

Raises head and chest when lying on the stomach

Notices and recognizes faces

Smiles at the sound of your voice

Starts holding head steady

Reaches for an object

3 – 6 Months

Enjoys social play (games like peek-a-boo)

Transfers objects from hand to hand

Responds to name

Rolls over, lying down

Finds partially hidden objects

Picks up toys and objects

6-12 Months

Responds to simple verbal requests

Sits without any assistance

Stands with assistance

Crawls up the stairs

Feeds self with spoon

Enjoys imitating people/things in his play

1-2 Years

Walks without assistance

Points to interesting objects

Lifts cup to mouth

Uses 2-4 word phrases to communicate

Shows interest in other children

Turns pages of a book

2-3 Years

Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people.

Sorts objects by shape and color

Climbs stairs and jump with two feet

Kicks ball without losing balance

Wiggles thumbs

Understands concepts of today, tomorrow, and yesterday

3-4 Years

Walks on tiptoes

Hops on one foot

Knows his name and gender

Feeds himself without spilling much

Brushes teeth and dresses without help

Unscrew jars, turns door knobs and scribbles

4-5 Years

Cooperates with other children

Plays on the swing without assistance

Balances on one foot for at least five seconds

Draws circles, triangles and squares

Counts up to 10 or more

Likes to sing or dance

When to worry and when not to.

For children who don’t meet their cognitive and motor milestones on time, it’s advisable to wait for a few months and watch for progress before raising an alarm. It’s best to consult a medical professional in case of delays longer than 2-4 months; any motor developmental delay is a warning sign. Often, an early intervention in developmental delays or developmental disabilities can go a long way in reducing the extent or nature of the problem.

Symptoms of developmental delays:

  • Any motor development delays (as per age-specific milestones), for example, a 6-month-old child with little head control
  • Low interest in playing with other children or caregivers
  • Difficulty making eye contact to get someone’s attention or communicating needs
  • Overactive and displays impulsive and inattentive behavior
  • Poor memory, difficulty remembering names, letters and numbers
  • Hard time reading and recognizing letters and words
  • Problems with fine motor skills, such as coloring and writing
  • Reluctance to use one side of the body, such as reaching with only one hand
  • Involuntary movements, spasms or tremors

As a parent, watching your children grow up is a uniquely fulfilling experience. To ensure their development is holistic and normal, we encourage you to periodically monitor their behavior for any anomalies. If you have reason to believe that their growth could be hindered at any stage, get in touch with Dr Naeem at drnaeem@plexusnc.com. Together, we can create a child-friendly environment and help bring their development back on track.

How is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?

In a joint, soft tissue called cartilage cover the bones at the ends. They help the bones glide over each other allowing the normal function of the joints. They also help absorb shock. When this cartilage wears down the joints do not move smoothly as they are meant to. This degeneration of cartilage leads to osteoarthritis. Affected joints will be painful, tender, swollen or red. The range of motion will also be affected.

The tissues in the joint sometimes go into overdrive trying to fix the damage. Some changes that might happen include development of osteophytes or bony spurs at the edge of the joint, the synovium that produces synovial fluid might thicken and produce extra fluid, the ligaments that hold the joint together might toughen trying to make the joint more stable.

When osteoarthritis becomes severe, the cartilage wears down to a very thin layer. The bones might start to rub against each other, thickening and creating more pain. The bones might get forced out of their normal position and might even change the shape of the affected joint.

Osteoarthritis usually affects aged persons. In younger individuals, joint injuries (repetitive movement at work or sports injuries) might cause osteoarthritis. Being overweight can also out pressure on the joints and lead to osteoarthritis.

Diagnosing the condition can involve taking a medical history, physical examination and diagnostic tests.

Medical history is examined to note family history, symptoms, location of pain or difficulty, kind of discomfort experienced, details about when or how the discomfort is experienced, current diet and medication, daily activities and work, etc. Patient might indicate stiffness in the joints when getting up after sitting or lying down for a while; or a sound in the joints when moving it; or tenderness when walking or when shifting weight.

When the doctor physically examines you, they will check how well you can move the affected joint. This will give an idea of the range of movement possible in the current situation, and when the pain or discomfort is experienced. The doctor will check for joint damage, alignment, pain, swelling, etc.

An X-ray is a diagnostic tool that will be used to check changes in the joint. Joint damages can be seen using an X-ray. Bony spurs or narrowing of the space in the joint will be visible on an X-ray. An MRI will provide more insight as it gives better images of the joint and abnormalities within. It can show soft tissues that X-rays can’t. Rarely, the doctor might perform a joint aspiration. A needle might be inserted into the joint after numbing it, to draw out joint fluid. This is checked to assess the health of the joint and to rule out other medical conditions like gout.


Nutrition in Motor Neuron Disease

Nutrition should be actively pursued and monitored in persons with Motor Neuron Disease. Weight-loss and malnutrition figure prominently in determining the survival of persons affected by this illness. It is a great challenge for the patient and the caregivers. However, proper diet is a tool to ensure a better quality of life for the affected person.

What is Motor Neuron Disease?

Motor neurons are neurons that control the voluntary movements of the body. Due to unknown reasons, some motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord slowly go through degeneration and die. When this happens, messages from these neurons do not reach certain muscles. These muscles thus lose their function, leading to weakening of the muscles. The disease is progressive. Patients show visible wasting over a course of time.

Motor Neuron Disease (MND) cannot be cured. Nor can the effects be reversed. However, with medication and therapy, this condition can be controlled and managed. MND does not affect everyone in the same way. There are several subtypes of MND.

How does MND affect nutrition?

Motor neurons control physical activities like walking, gripping, swallowing, breathing, speaking. Thus, early symptoms can be slurred speech, difficulty turning keys, tripping often, dysphagia, etc.

Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing happens due to trouble with the throat or oesophagus, which means taking more time and effort in pushing the food down. The patient might also choke or gag. Meal times will be longer.

When swallowing difficulties worsen, gastrostomy may be resorted to. A tube is inserted surgically through abdominal wall into the stomach. The patient is fed liquid food through this tube. This method can help patient avoid the risk of choking, ensure adequate nutrition and reduce mealtime pressure on patient and caregiver.

Diet in MND

Factors such as sufficient food intake, need for greater energy, weakness in muscles resulting in difficulty chewing, etc. need to be considered when planning meals for affected persons. Keeping the patient nourished and hydrated will need constant and aggressive dietary strategizing.

Using energy-packed foods, changing the food texture according to the patient’s tolerance, while not losing out on variety and flavour are some of the concerns that need to be addressed. Water, juices, broths and soups can ensure hydration and nourishment. As with all individuals, ill or not, all food groups need to be included in the diet. A dietician can draw up an appropriate diet plan, also taking into consideration any other health concerns the patient might have. This will ensure the patient gets enough carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to minimise weight and nutrition loss, and stave off other illnesses.

Position the patient in a bed or chair to reduce difficulty during meals. A physiotherapist can come to your aid with this. Adopt a comfortable position and use a chair with added support, like pillows, to prop up the patient. Sit them as straight as possible, with the head upright and the neck extended slightly forward. Avoid tilting the head backwards or bringing it closer to the chest.

Use cups and spoons that the patient finds comfortable. Sometimes a cup with a wider mouth may be preferred. Perhaps a straw might help with drinks. A more narrow or shallow spoon might be easier to use.

Soft, moist food can help swallowing. Puddings, purees and pates can be boosted with something extra like, more milk powder or eggs. Thick drinks flow more slowly and hence, will be easier to swallow. Fortify smoothies or milkshakes with malt or protein supplements. Use full-fat milk, or high-protein milk to base soups and porridges. Provide several small meals throughout the day.

If one meal fails, take heart, give it a break and try again. It is important to maintain a positive air during mealtimes. Failed meals can be frustrating for the patient and the caregiver.

Stem Cell Therapy for Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by recurrent seizures due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain along with loss of consciousness. It affects people of all ages.

The type of seizure depends on where the sensory disruption occurs in the brain, how it spreads and how much of the brain is affected and how long the episode lasts.

The exact cause of epilepsy is unknown. It could be due to genetics or due to brain injury. The condition affects the patient’s relationships, work and general safety.

Anti-epileptic drugs work for most people. At Plexus, we have been able to effectively control seizures with proper use of the right medication. However, in some cases, drugs do not help as much as we would like them to. Sometimes seizures still occur or some patients cannot tolerate some drugs.

In such cases, stem cell therapy can help manage the condition. Stem cell therapy can help with regeneration of brain tissue. Stem cells will help reinstate normal neural activity and thus, reduce seizures.

In a normal brain, there are neurons that excite cells and neurons that stop or inhibit the action of cells. There is a balance between these neurons that helps us to function normally. In a patient with epilepsy this balance is disrupted, during seizures. This abnormal circuit is what stem cell therapy targets to correct. Stem cell treatment aims to reduce these seizures by introducing specific group of neurons with inhibitory functions. It aims to reduce the frequency or even the occurrence of seizures and restore any behavioural deficits caused by the condition.
Stem cell therapy holds a lot of promise in the management of epilepsy.

Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer’s Disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease. Its onset is usually after the age of 60-65. The causes that lead to Alzheimer’s are poorly understood. Genetics, head injury, depression, hypertension are some of the factors that are being studied. There are currently no treatments available to slow down or stop the development of the disease. Affected persons have to be cared for and require assistance to perform everyday tasks.
Most noticeable initial symptoms include short-term memory loss, which creates difficulty in remembering recently known facts or information or difficulty in acquiring new information. Apathy, or a lack of feeling, emotion or concern for the world around, is seen at an early stage and continues throughout the disease. They can be irritable, show aggression or resist care-giving. Lack of attentiveness, inability to think or use judgement, difficulty in execution of movements, losing command over one’s language — these symptoms greatly affect the way the patient, the caregiver and those around them interact.
The caregiver needs to educate family and friends regarding the changes that have occurred or are to occur to the patient in the days and months to come. When the disease progresses, patients may not recognize even close relatives or even immediate family members. This can create emotional stress within the family and can affect the way they interact with the affected person.

Sundowning (increased behavioural problems occurring in the evening with sundown) is seen in persons at an advanced stage of the disease. They can be increasingly confused and upset. Tremors might increase. Restlessness can interfere with sleep. This means the caregiver who monitors the patient also needs to keep odd hours and this can take a toll on them.

One of the risks associated with Alzheimer’s is wandering. Wandering can be dangerous for the patient as they might be lost with no way to find their way back, they might be inappropriately dressed for the weather outside, or can get into an accident. Caregivers have to constantly be aware of their patient’s whereabouts. They might need to restrict the limits to which the patient can move about unattended, like within the home or a monitored yard. Or they might need to be with the patient during the entire duration while the patient is outdoors or in unfamiliar surroundings. This calls for the complete attention of the caregiver, which is no small task.

Motor activity might become less coordinated, hence, the risk of falling increases. Making the surrounding safe and accident-free is an important concern. The home or the place the patient visits often needs to be made safe and appropriate for the affected person.

Everyday activities like hygiene, grooming, dressing, eating and exercise need to be carried out in a set routine to bring order in the patient’s life and to make caring easier and systematic.
If the caregiver is a family member, remember to give yourself time. Rope in another family member or a trusted friend to take time off for your personal activities or to run errands. Enlist a professional caregiver if you need to be at work. Find out about good adult day care facilities close to home that will look after your loved one when you cannot be present.

Even with all the care and attention you give to your loved one, remember that they may respond negatively or with indifference, which is unintentional. Manage Alzheimer’s one day at a time.

Understanding Dementia Better

When an elderly person over the age of 65, starts to forget things and gets easily confused, it might be a good idea to get a medical evaluation for dementia. Put simply, dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of diseases that lead to a decline in the ability to think, reason and lead an independent normal life.

When a person has cancer, one automatically asks, cancer of what? Similarly, when talking about dementia, we need to know which type as it’s not a specific disease but a syndrome. It happens due to damage to brain cells and is not a normal part of ageing, even though it’s commonly seen in elderly people.

It includes problems such as inability to dress or eat, solve daily problems or control their emotions; they become easily agitated and their personalities undergo a sea of change. It’s hard on the family to lose a member this way. They lose their memory and are unable to recognize people close to them. Their mental agility, understanding, judgment and language skills are all affected and they become prisoners of their own minds.

Different disease conditions like Alzheimer’s, Lewy body disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia all lead to irreversible progressive dementia. Other disorders linked to dementia include traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Huntington’s disease which is due to genetic mutations in the brain and spinal cord. As some forms of dementia are treatable and can be reversed, it’s important to visit a doctor at the earliest to determine the underlying cause.

With longevity of life increasing in the developing and developed nations, the number of people living with dementia is increasing. Treatment is usually conservative and dependent on which part of the brain is affected with damage of the nerve cells. Some form of dementias get progressively worse with time while others may be caused by vitamin deficiencies or reaction to medications and hence easily reversible.

Numerous dementia-like conditions that can be reversed with treatment include those due to nutritional deficiencies, subdural hematomas, reactions to medications, metabolic problems and endocrine disorders, infections and immune disorders, brain tumors, anoxia, poisoning and normal-pressure hydrocephalus.

Uncontrollable risk factors for dementia include ageing, a family history, Down syndrome and mild cognitive impairment; other risk factors that can be controlled include smoking, alcohol, diabetes, depression and sleep apnea.

Diagnosing dementia can be challenging and include a complete medical history, physical examination, psychiatric and neurological evaluation as well as a battery of tests including MRI, CT and PET scans.
Certain drugs can be used to manage the symptoms of dementia along with the help of an occupational therapist and a modification of the home environment to make it less cluttered and dangerous. Some schools of thought believe that nutritional supplements, music, art, massage and aroma therapies may be beneficial for dementia too.

Significance of Stem Cell Therapy in the Current Scenario

The only ray of hope for people with chronic intractable disease conditions presently is through the use of stem cell therapy. Unfortunately however, this comes with its own share of controversies over ethics of the origins of these cells.

Though a lot of research is going on globally, there are still only a few approved clinical uses of stem cell therapy. Application on many other disease conditions is still in their nascent stages and will need time. There are only a few approved researches and treatment centers in India, one such is the much-awarded Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Center in Bangalore, which has been making leaps and bounds in this area.

Stem cell therapy is in itself a relatively new field that needs greater boost from the government to propel it forward and make it available to patients who don’t have any hopes of recovery so that they can finally have easily accessible treatment within their own country. Though there is a lot of biomedical research going on in India, what is needed currently is an effective network amongst the institutions, and trained manpower to guide them and build partnerships with large companies to provide path-breaking treatments aimed at untreatable conditions. There should be more institutes dedicated to this field with its inclusion into the medical curriculum at a larger scale. This would encourage students and young scientists to take greater interest and create the required mass impact in this field.

The potential in this form of therapy resides in the potential ability of stem cells, which are primal cells of all multi-cellular organisms, to differentiate out into a wide range of specialized adult cells through cell division. There are two sources of stem cells: autologus and allogenic. Autologus stem cells are derived from the same person through the use of their stored umbilical cord blood cells or through their bone marrow cells. Allogenic stem cells on the other hand can be derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood (venous blood), umbilical cord blood, related family donors or from HLA-typed or un-typed unrelated donors.

By virtue of the knowledge of the self-renewal ability of stem cells, a lot of energy and research is going into the field of organ regeneration and transplantation as well as into replacement of tissues such as skin and muscles after damage and burns. As regulators of the stem cell multiplication at both the genomic and proteomic levels have been identified, it’s become easier to control stem cells culture in vitro in the artificial conditions of the lab. In developed countries, they have already become a therapeutic option for many disease conditions, but the developing countries are still lagging behind. In India, progress has been established on many fronts, but a lot of work is still required to bring it to the mainstream level.

Migraine Headaches

A migraine is a primary headache disorder that causes severe throbbing or pulsating pain, usually localized to one side of the head. What makes migraine headaches outstanding are the accompanying symptoms of nausea, vomiting, inability to tolerate light, speech difficulties and sensitivity to sound or smell. Migraine attacks cause severe debilitating pain that can last for hours to days and interferes with the normal day-to-day activities of the person.

The pain generally gets worsened by physical activity and about one-third of people complain of having an ‘aura’; this is a type of visual disturbance that varies in its extent and intensity and creates blind spots. An aura usually occurs prior to the beginning of a migraine and can serve as a signal to take timely precaution.

Approximately 15% of the world population is affected by migraines with women being more affected than men. It often starts with puberty, goes on to become worst during middle-age and starts to become less common after menopause in women. Migraines are thought to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors with about two-thirds of the cases having a family history. They are believed to be a result of abnormal brain activity leading to temporary alteration in the brain signals, chemicals and blood flow.

Some of the potential triggers for migraines include the following: allergies, low blood sugar, physical or emotional stress, bright or flickering lights, loud noises, temperature changes, strong smells or tension headaches. Other triggers could be dehydration, alcohol, hormonal changes such as with the menstrual cycle, menopause or birth control pills. Certain foods containing tyramine, MSG or nitrates can also lead to migraines. The irony is that avoiding these triggers doesn’t always mean one can escape a migraine and the triggers themselves don’t always produce a migraine either.

There are no specific tests to confirm migraines, although the International Headache Society recommends the ‘5,4,3,2,1 criteria’ to diagnose these class of headaches. This includes:

  • 5 or more attacks
  • 4hours or 3 days in duration
  • A minimum of 2 unilateral locations of pulsating moderate to severe pain
  • A minimum of 1 additional symptom

To rule out other conditions, the doctor might order an initial EEG, MRI or CT scan.

As there is no exact treatment for migraines, the focus is on prevention along with some lifestyle changes including avoiding stress to reduce the incidence of these migraine attacks.

Commonly given medications include painkillers in combination with caffeine, anti-vomiting and anti-depressant pills. Of recent, intranasal and injectable medications are being prescribed for faster relief. And when nothing else works, neurological surgery to decompress the pressure on the extracranial sensory branches of the trigeminal and cervical spinal nerves can be performed to stop migraines in such ppatients.

With the right management, it’s possible to live a full life even when there is a weakness towards migraines.

Learning Disabilities

Learning disability is a neurological disorder that includes several different areas of brain functioning such as reading, writing, spelling, remembering, reasoning and organizing information. Put in layman’s terms, learning disability is just a different way of ‘wiring’ of the brain in some people. In no way does it imply that the person is any less intelligent than the next person.

Learning that your child has learning disability can sound very scary at first but if you pause and look around, you will find that there are a host of very successful people out there who have made it in life despite having learning disabilities! Highly respected people like Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Whoopi Goldberg and a former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller all had similar problems, but it didn’t affect their climb to the top.

In some cases, children with learning disabilities (LD) are even smarter than their peers; if they are taught in the conventional way, it hampers their mental growth, but parents need to take the time out to understand their strengths and weaknesses and together with the intervention and support from professionals, they can train the child to handle their specific difficulties and grow up to distinguished careers in later life. So if the child is taught in a manner that’s different from the typical school system, the child can learn, with the key word here being ‘learning differently’.

There are many kinds of learning disabilities and most students are affected by more than one kind; the degree, frequency and intensity of the disability have to be also kept in mind when accessing the students’ abilities. Major types of LDs include dyslexia (reading difficulties), dyscalculia (mathematical difficulties) and dysgraphia (writing difficulties); Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders (difficulty in understanding language) and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities are some of the other challenges a child with LD may have to face.

LDs first get noticed when the child has problems in speaking, reading, writing, solving a math problem or paying attention in class. There are many kids however who develop a smart way of covering up their learning issues and the disability only pops up during the teen years when schoolwork is more complicated.

It’s still unclear how LDs develop, but some theories postulate it could be due to genetic influences where disabilities run in the family, brain development, both before and after birth and also due to environmental impacts whereby environmental toxins or poor nutrition lead to LDs.

Although a diagnosis of LD is upsetting, it’s actually the beginning of treatment for your child’s disability; you now know that your child needs a special tutor to train him in learning skills that will help him cope-up with regular school classes.

As there is no cure of LD and it’s a life-long situation, it’s never too late to get help and start adapting.

Infantile Spasms – Not Classical Epilepsy

Infantile spasms were first diagnosed in 1841 and represent a rare form of seizure disorder that affects very young children. The average age of presentation is four months, although some children have been known to start presenting symptoms from as early as one month of age and a few up to the age of 2 years.

As the symptoms are very subtle, it’s difficult for parents to recognize it as a serious problem. Most people think of seizure disorders in terms of someone falling down and having full-body convulsions. In infantile spasms disorder (IS) this is not the case; it’s usually described as ‘bobbings’ that involve the complete head heaving forward towards the knees and then relaxing into the normal straight position. These ‘bowings’ and ‘relaxings’ occur repeatedly in rows with few second intervals and could last about 2-3 minutes. These clusters of spasms occur several times a day and an EEG performed on such children throws up hypsarrythmia between and during the spasms. Such children may also have underlying neurological and developmental problems. In very young children, IS may present as little head drops that do not appear too serious; even the pediatrician might not be able to pick it up as they resemble the normal startle reflex. Due to the abnormal positioning of the body during spasms, infantile spasms have been variously describes as ‘salaam seizures’, ‘nodding spasms’, ‘jack-knife spasms’, ‘West syndrome’ and ‘infantile spastic epilepsy’.

Though it’s difficult to diagnose, its best to start treatment at the earliest with anti-convulsing medications as the longer the child goes untreated, the greater the chances for other developmental disabilities and autism. There are over 200 disorders associated with IS and some of these include brain tumors or cysts, metabolic conditions, tuberous sclerosis, genetic abnormalities, brain malformations and brain injuries due to a variety of causes including brain infections, trauma or low oxygen at birth. With progress in neuroimaging technology (MRI and CT scans), the proportion of confirmed cases of IS has increased over the years. Studies have shown that one in every 2,200-4,500 children born, have IS and boys are more prone to developing this disorder than girls.

Proof for determining the presence of infantile spasms lies in the EEG pattern which usually show a characteristic random high-voltage slow waves and spikes that are almost continuous and known as hypsarrythmia.

Treatment is usually successful with anti-convulsing medications and associated injections of ACTH hormone; it takes about 1-2 weeks before the child starts showing improvement. However, if there is another underlying cause for the IS, like the presence of brain tumors or cysts, then these need to be surgically removed first.
IS normally disappears after the age of 3-4 years, though it may reappear as a part of epilepsy syndrome in later years in a few people.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

One of the most destructive habits known to man must be the habit of worrying. Worrying or getting anxious about routine things robs one of the joys of daily living, makes mountains out of where mole hills exist. Winston Churchill had once mentioned knowing an old man who on his deathbed said that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of his which never really happened.

Similar is the case with people who suffer from the generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It is characterized by an irrational, excessive and exaggerated worry and apprehension of everyday events without any obvious reasons. Such people anticipate disaster at every turn and get anxious about family, health, money issues, work difficulties or even friendships and interpersonal relationships.

This worry is often unrealistic and the person lives in a constant state of fear and dread; sometimes it even leads to physical manifestations such as fatigue, headaches, sweating, restlessness, insomnia, hot flashes, difficulties in breathing and swallowing, muscle tension and aches, as well as stomach symptoms including stomach clenching, increased acidity, etc. For the person to be diagnosed as having GAD, the symptoms should persist for six months minimum. The symptoms are similar to what is seen in panic disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder, though each one is unique.

Having to live with GAD can be very challenging and in many cases, the disorder may develop during childhood itself; in most cases, this condition can be treated successfully with medications and psychotherapy. Using relaxation techniques like meditation can yoga can help the patient cope up better with the disorder.
As with other similar mental health disorders, the exact cause of GAD isn’t clear and may have something to do with genetics and a few other risk factors. Some of these risk factors include the gender of the person, as women are more often diagnosed with GAD than men. The personality of the person should also be considered as those with timid and negative outlooks tend to be more prone to GAD. There is also some evidence that GAD runs in families.
Having GAD can make life a little complicated as it slows the person down mentally; it takes them time to process information or perform tasks efficiently. It also saps the energy and gives sleepless nights, leading to more confusion; it becomes a cycle that eventually leads to depression, insomnia, substance abuse, and cardiac and digestive issues.

Your doctor may ask you a whole lot of questions regarding your history, moods, experiences, intakes, habits before taking a decision on a diagnosis.

Treatment includes medications such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and sedatives; psychotherapy is also included in the treatment regime and it may take a while before the doctor gets the exact combination to get you on the road to recovery.

Down syndrome

With women increasingly delaying conception and child birth, the incidence of babies born with Down syndrome (DS) is one the rise. A baby born to a 30-year-old mother has a 1 in 1000 chance of being born with DS, but this increases to 1 in 400 when the mother is a 35-year-old and to 1 in a 100 by the time the mother is a 40-year-old. Of course this doesn’t go to say that DS is only related to the age of the mother as other factors contribute too.
It is one of the most common chromosome abnormalities in humans and is also known as trisomy 21, a condition in which a person is born with an extra pair of genes, better explained as the child having 47 chromosomes in each cell instead of 46. The condition was first fully described in 1866 by a British doctor named John Langdon Down, after whom the disease eventually came to be known.

This condition is typically associated with characteristic facial features which include a flat face, small ears, and eyes with an upward tilt and a small mouth with tongue sticking out, short stature, short necks and mild to moderate intellectual disability. The average IQ of a young adult with DS is sadly equal to that of a normal 8 or 9-year-old only. The physical and mental problems associated with DS vary widely and likewise the treatment and medical support needed for leading a healthy life.

Though DS cannot be prevented, it can be detected early in the womb itself and pregnancy can be terminated in some countries. Parents of children have normal genes and the mutation in the children occurs just by chance. It’s a life-long condition that requires a lot of patience, care and support towards the children with DS to enable them grow up to enjoy health, happy and productive lives. Education and proper care can help improve the quality of their lives.

Those children with mild DS can cope up in normal school classes but others may need specialized educational institutions for learning. These children also have poor immunity and generally reach their growth milestones such as sitting up, crawling, walking, speech, and self-care skills like feeding and dressing themselves, a little later in life. They have poor muscle tone in their body and babies may appear floppy. Such kids also bear the burden of being more prone to health issues such as congenital heart defect, leukemia, thyroid disease, pulmonary hypertension, hearing and vision defects, seizure defects and mental disorders to name a few.
People with DS need regular medical evaluation so that complications can be addressed in time. As there is no treatment for Down syndrome, all the family and society as a whole can do is to be as supportive as possible towards people with this condition.

Compression Neuropathy

Nerve compression syndrome or compression neuropathy is a medical condition whereby a focal nerve lesion is produced due to sustained pressure on that particular nerve. It’s also known as entrapped neuropathy wherein the pressure could be exerted from an external or an internal source. It usually occurs at one particular joint area and can lead to excruciating pain, sometimes resulting in nerve damage and eventual muscle wasting if left untreated. The most commonly involved nerves in compression neuropathy include the carpal, peroneal, radial and the ulnar nerves.

Nerve entrapment typically produces symptoms of muscle weakness, pain, burning sensation, tingling and numbness or even paralysis. The symptoms affect just that part of the body which is supported by the trapped nerve. Pressure reduces the flow of blood in vessels nourishing the nerve, leading to a local ischaemia, thereby affecting the function of the nerve, and eventually leading to damage to the covering sheath of the nerve (demyelination) and finally, scarring.

Common forms of compression neuropathies include carpal tunnel syndrome, where the wrist along with the thumb, index and middle finger are involved and the cubital tunnel syndrome where the elbow is involved, causing hand weakness and pain in the wrist and the ring and pinky fingers. Other forms of nerve compression neuropathy syndrome include peroneal neuropathy which affects the knees and the tarsal tunnel syndrome which leads to altered feelings in the foot and toes resulting in numbness and tingling and weakness of the foot muscles. The Handlebar Palsy is another form of compression neuropathy, commonly experienced by long-distance cyclists; the prolonged periods of direct pressure on the ulnar nerve in the wrist with the weight of the upper part of the body bearing on the handlebars, leads to the aptly-named handlebar palsy.

Amongst all types of nerve injuries, compression neuropathies are considered to be the commonest and often time result in microvascular changes leading to swelling and inflammation of the surrounding tissue or structures, thereby reducing space within the area and resulting in nerve compression. In other instances, the injury could be caused by outside mechanical forces or due to pathological changes like tumors or cysts.

Diagnosis of compression neuropathy is easy when it’s due to external injuries, but lack of a physical trauma can make it difficult to find the reason behind the excruciating pain and tingling. Physical examinations along with the Tinel’s and Phalen’s tests are helpful in diagnosing conditions of compression neuropathy. Some other imaging tests that are useful include X-rays, MRI and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) studies.

The underlying medical cause of the nerve compression has to be treated first, and in cases where there is no underlying medical condition, then surgery is the next option to relieve pressure on the compressed nerve after proper diagnosis. Sadly, complete recovery from symptoms isn’t always possible in some chronic cases, even after surgery.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Demystified

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a somewhat complicated medical condition that is characterized by extreme fatigue that has no apparent link to any underlying disease within the patient. The debilitating fatigue or tiredness may worsen with physical or mental activity and doesn’t get better with rest. This condition is very hard to explain and reduces the quality of life of the person as well as limiting their ability of carrying out daily activities.

This syndrome has also been referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis or as systemic exertion intolerance disease; although all three share the same major symptoms, there are slight variations between the three disorders. It’s been suggested that more than one underlying condition may be responsible for CFS and these could include biological, infections, genetic or psychological factors.

Aside from the main symptom of fatigue, CFS has eight official symptoms that are central to its classification; these include memory or concentration loss, enlarged and tender neck and armpit lymph nodes, sore throat, variant headaches, unexplained muscle pain, multi-joint pains without swelling or redness, un-refreshing sleep and extreme exhaustion after physical or mental activities.

The symptoms of CFS vary in each individual but for proper classification as CFS, fatigue and at least four of the above symptoms must exist in the patient for at least six months. Since CFS follows a cycle of remission and relapse, it becomes difficult to treat these patients.

In earlier days, CFS was considered a controversial diagnosis but it is now recognized as a real medical condition that can affect anyone; it’s however more commonly seen in women as compared to men and the age when it’s more prevalent is in people in their 40s’ and 50s’.

As with the diagnosis, the cause for CFS is also controversial and largely unconfirmed. It’s been speculated to be related to hypotension, weak immune system, genetic predisposition and hormonal imbalances. CFS could be the end-result of multiple different conditions as it’s been noted that about 10-12% of people with Epstein-Barr virus, Ross River virus and Coxiella burnetti infections go on to develop symptoms that resemble the criteria needed for a diagnosis of CFS.

Certain complications can develop with CFS and include depression, social isolation, lifestyle changes as well as incompetency at work. This rings a bell for urgent medical attention and treatment which usually focuses on relieving symptoms only. Anti-depressants and sleeping pills are the main medications used to relieve the patient as there is no known cure. The patient is also advised about self-care measures to reduce stress, restrict use of stimulants, have a paced routine and undergo physical and psychological therapy.
Alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage and yoga are being promoted for controlling the pain. Its however difficult to determine what will work as the symptoms are linked to the mood of the patient and vary day-to-day.

A Little about Diabetic Neuropathy

India is slowly becoming popular as the world’s hub for diabetes. One of the most important parameters for diabetes control is regulation of sugar consumption as high blood sugar levels can lead to nerve injuries throughout the body; this is known as diabetic neuropathy and mainly affects the legs and feet. This serious condition can be prevented by keeping a tight control on blood glucose levels and leading a healthy lifestyle. It’s believed that small blood vessels that supply nerves get damaged when sugar levels are high, leading to painful neuropathy. Depending on which system is affected by neuropathy, it can lead to pain, tingling, disability or numbness in the extremities or to problems related to the digestive tract, the urinary system, kidneys, sex organs, blood vessels or heart. The symptoms range from being absent to being mild, to being fatal or near fatal. Symptoms also usually take time to develop over years and the risk rises with increasing duration of diabetes; about 60-70% of diabetics have some form of neuropathy or the other with the incidence being greatest in those with diabetes for 25 years and above.

Causes of diabetic neuropathy (DN) could include metabolic factors such as high glucose and fat levels in the blood, low levels of insulin, autoimmune inflammatory factors leading to nerve damage, damaged blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves, mechanical injury to nerves through trauma, hereditary weakness to nerve diseases, excessive smoking or alcohol abuse, etc.

Symptoms of nerve damage include wasting of the hands and feet muscles, diarrhea/constipation, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, weakness, dizziness or faintness, urination problems and erectile dysfunction in men and vaginal dryness in women. All these are aside from the common feelings of pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities.

There are four main types of diabetic neuropathies: peripheral, autonomic, focal and proximal, with each affecting a different part of the body. Proximal neuropathy affects the legs, hands, fingers and toes while the autonomic variant affects the bowel and bladder function, sexual response and perspiration; it also affects the nerves that supply the heart, lungs and eyes. Autonomic neuropathy is very dangerous as it causes hypoglycemia unawareness. Focal neuropathy can affect any part of the body leading to weakness in a bunch of muscles while proximal neuropathy causes pain in the thighs, or buttocks, leading to weak legs.

DN can be diagnosed by checking muscle strength and reflexes, sensitivity to temperature, light touch or vibration and blood pressure and heart rate.

Treatment involves maintaining normal glucose levels to prevent further nerve damage, a healthy lifestyle and taking regular diabetic medications or insulin. And by relieving pain with anti-seizure medications and managing complications appropriately along with the use of anti-depressants.

The best way of course, is to prevent DN by keeping blood sugar levels in the safe range!

Cerebral Palsy and Stem Cell Therapy

Cerebral palsy is a broad term used to describe a set of permanent movement disorders that appear early on in life and primarily affect that part of the brain that controls movement, balance and posture. The word ‘cerebral’ refers to that part of the brain dealing with motor function while ‘palsy’ refers to a complete or partial paralysis of voluntary muscle movement frequently accompanied by uncontrolled tremors.

Although much remains unclear about the exact causes of this disorder, evidence suggests that most of the problems occur during pregnancy, the birthing process or shortly after birth. Infections during pregnancy such as toxoplasmosis, bacterial meningitis, rubella or viral encephalitis have been implicated in cerebral palsy. Other factors include poor oxygen supply to the baby’s brain, before, during and immediately after birth as well as preterm births or being part of multiple births. Exposure to methylmercury during pregnancy and head injuries sustained during the early years of life could also contribute to cerebral palsy.

This condition is usually missed by doctors and parents alike during the early years of life and becomes prominent as a non-progressive brain damage during the second or third year.

The commonest symptoms include delay in developmental mile stones, like delayed neck control, trunk control, standing and delayed walking, poor muscle coordination, muscle stiffness, weak muscles and trembling and jerks. Other abnormalities are in speech, vision, hearing, swallowing, sensation and intellectual reasoning.

Cerebral palsy has been documented throughout history with the first mention being made by Hippocrates in the 5th century BCE. Although it cannot be cured, a lot can be done to prevent problems and help your child make the best of his abilities. The field of physical therapy,  Occupational therapy, speech therapy, and medications have been used to help muscle stiffness as well as surgery to take care of overactive nerves and lax muscles .

Over the last few years, researchers have been involved in stem cell therapy to see their potential effect on neurodegenerative disorders. The therapy involves harvesting stem cells from patients’ bone marrow and injecting it near the brain and spinal cord to help repair the injured area of the brain. At Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Center, Bangalore, this therapy has produced far superior results as compared to the traditional therapy. Several hundreds of patients have benefited from this and have become almost normal. So parents should take heart as hope is there for a more comprehensive treatment for those with cerebral palsy now!

Parkinsonism and Stem Cell Therapy

Known as Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinsonism is a disorder of the elderly population. It commonly occurs after 60; however, it can present at a younger age as well and can run in families too. With numerous sufferers worldwide, Parkinsonism remains one of the principal health problems.

Well, Parkinsonism is basically a degenerative disease of the brain in which cells that produce dopamine in the substantia nigra (a component of the mid brain) are lost owing to degeneration.

Dopamine happens to be a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the neuronal circuits in the mid brain that regulate movements. Deficiency of dopamine leads to movement disorder which results in the manifestation of slowing of movements, tremors felt in hands & various other body parts as well as rigidity of muscles. Parkinsonism worsens over time and at an advanced stage, walking becomes difficult as well. The disorder increases morbidity & mortality among the elderly owing to hypostatic pneumonia & other similar diseases.

Usual treatment of Parkinsonism comprises of synthetic dopamine, dopamine analogue and others. Well, the basic principle of the drug therapy is to replace dopamine or rather take drugs having anti-cholinergic properties to control tremors. While anti-parkinsonism drugs have been employed successfully to control the symptoms of Parkinsonism, there are a few drawbacks of taking drugs that create the need of a more durable treatment.

Stem Cell Therapy – A precise way of treating Parkinsonism

Using stem cells to cure different diseases has perhaps passed through the stages of infancy & childhood now; currently, it appears to be an established mature treatment used successfully to treat many diseases. The main benefit of stem cell therapy is that it doesn’t aim at just controlling the symptoms; rather, it cures diseases.

Parkinsonism seems to be one of the diseases wherein stem cell therapy has indicated promising results. A number of facilities across the world are now providing stem cell therapy to treat Parkinsonism.

What exactly is stem cell therapy?

Stem cells are extracted from the cord blood of the newborns (which actually is of no use) for the neonate. These stem cells are collected & stored for future use. Experts consider this therapy as 100% safe and effective. Stem cells, thus taken, are transplanted into the brain. There, they take the prosperities of the degenerated cells of substantia nigra. As a result, symptoms of Parkinsonism disappear gradually over time.

In addition, it has been found that when stem cell therapy is used at the earlier stages of a disease, excellent results are seen and almost 85% patients receive complete cure of their disease; the remaining get good control of the disease along with lower doses of several anti-Parkinson drugs.

Several health care centers, specializing in this therapy, use cord blood as the chief source of stem cells. They have proved that stem cell therapy is a natural way to treat Parkinsonism – it is fully safe and there isn’t any risk of side effects.


Autism and Stem Cell Therapy


Autism is a neural development disorder that is characterized by impaired communication, social interactions, repetitive behavior, mood alterations, metabolic and digestive issues. There is also autism spectrum disorder that who describes several conditions categorized under neuro-developmental disorders. The key features of such disorders include communication difficulties and social deficits, stereotyped or repetitive behaviors & interests, sensory issues, and in a few cases, cognitive delays. All these symptoms become noticeable generally in the initial two years of childhood, affecting information processing in brain by means of altering the way nerve cells connect as well as organize.

Possible causes of Autism

Genetic components as well as exposure to external agents which cause birth defects appear highly possible causes of autism. Heavy metals, pesticides and immunizations that contain mercury (rubella, mumps and measles), and antidepressants during pregnancy may also play a role in causing the disorder.

Stem cell therapy and Autism 

Over half the children that are diagnosed with Autism are typically prescribed psychoactive drugs and/or anticonvulsants. Patients usually respond uncharacteristically to medications – the medications may have adverse effects; plus, there isn’t any known medication that relieves autism’s core symptoms – social and communication impairments.

Well, good news for sufferers of this disorder and their families is Stem cell therapy. It appears to be an effective medical approach to treat autism. The therapy is based on the distinct potential of the stem cells to influence immune system, metabolism, and restore the damaged cells and tissues. Stem cell therapy positively affects all the body systems and organs, including the principal organ – the brain.

As you are aware of, when autism affects a person, areas of the brain that regulates memory, concentration, speech and attention are damaged. Stem cell therapy enhances blood & oxygen flow to the brain (enhanced perfusion), replaces the damaged neurons and induces the formation of new arteries. Then, after some time, these stem cells tend to acquire the properties of the cells surrounding them and then multiply into these cells. As a result, white and gray matter is restored and consequently, neurologic symptoms subside and intellectual capacity improves.

On the whole, stem cell therapy is a safe and effective method for treating autism. It can help a lot of children suffering from autism as well as autism spectrum disorders of varying degree. But, one should remember that stem cell therapy is not the sole course and should be integrated with other therapies. Stem cell therapy is typically integrated with diet and educational programs so as to get optimal results.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a chronic condition affecting the ability of the body to use energy obtained from food. It is an autoimmune disease.
Diabetes is of three major types:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes

Each type of diabetes mellitus has something in common. Generally, the body breaks down sugars and carbohydrates consumed into glucose, a special sugar. Glucose fuels all the cells in the body. However, the cells require insulin, a hormone, in the bloodstream to take in glucose & use it for energy. When a person has diabetes mellitus, the body either does not make sufficient insulin or it cannot make use of insulin it produces; sometimes the combination of both occurs.

As the cells cannot take in the glucose, it tends to build up in the blood. High blood glucose levels can damage the petite blood vessels in the heart, eyes, kidneys, or the nervous system. That is why diabetes, when left untreated, can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and blindness.

Causes of diabetes
Health care providers don’t know the exact cause of diabetes. However, the following factors are known to increase the chance of getting diabetes:

  • Asian-America, African-American, Hispanic, or Native American race or ethnic background
  • Being overweight
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Physical stress
  • njury to pancreas owing to infection, surgery, tumor, or accident
  • Use of specific medications like steroid & blood pressure medications
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Age (risk seems to increase with age)
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy (gestational diabetes)

Well, it is vital to note that just sugar doesn’t cause diabetes. Consuming a lot of sugar may lead to tooth decay, but may not cause diabetes.

Most common signs & symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Intense hunger
  • Disproportionate thirst
  • Weight gain
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Increased fatigue
  • Cuts & bruises do not heal properly / quickly
  • Blurred vision
  • More skin & yeast infections
  • Gums become red and/or swollen – they pull away from teeth
  • Frequent gum disease/infection
  • Itchy skin
  • Numbness or tingling, particularly in feet and hands
  • Sexual dysfunction among men

Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes is often detected by performing a urine test to find out whether or not excess glucose is present. And, this is usually backed up by a complete blood test that measures blood glucose levels & can possibly confirm whether the cause of the symptoms is diabetes.

Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus
People suffering from diabetes should take responsibility for their daily care. This probably includes monitoring of blood glucose levels, maintaining physical activity, dietary management, keeping stress and weight under control, monitoring oral medications & if required use of insulin.

Common sports injuries

The most common sports-related injuries include:

Strains & Sprains
Strains and sprains are the common sport injuries reported so far. These can occur while being involved in any type of sports injury. So far, these are the most familiar sports injury and can take place in almost any kind of physical activity.

A sprain is likely to occur when a ligament tears or overstretches. Sprains can range from small to complete tears wherein the ligament is severed. Wrists, knees and ankles are the common most areas that are prone to sprains. On the other hand, a strain is a pulled muscle that occurs when fibers within a tendon or muscle stretch too far or ratherc tear. Strains can range from being minor to severe.

Knee Injuries
Every year, millions of people visit orthopedic facilities for knee related injuries & problems. Some of the mild knee injuries include runner’s knee, iliotibial band syndrome and tendonitis. Severe knee injuries often involve bruising or damage to ligaments or cartilage. The four principal ligaments in the knee which are commonly injured are: posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament.

Shin Splints
A shin splint involves pain along the tibia (shin bone). The pain is generally at the posterior part of the lower leg, however, can also occur in the ankle and foot or in parts where the bone meets calf muscles at the bone’s inner edge (medial shin splints).
Shin splints are pretty common with runners & even more-so when a runner runs on hard surfaces. Improper running techniques, failing to stretch or warm up, running in shoes which lack proper support or possessing “flat feet” – all can lead to shin splints.

Fractures are commonly called as broken bones and are a common sports injury generally caused by a small one-time injury to the bone (acute fracture). Sometimes, repeated stress over a bone (stress fracture) also occurs.
Most of the fractures are classified as emergencies & may even require surgery to fully repair. A stress fracture is likely to occur most of the time in feet or legs from sports which cause repetitive impact like a jumping or running sport.

Dislocations take place when force pushes the bones out of alignment in a joint. Dislocations are also referred to as luxation. Contact sports like football or an activity like excessive stretching or falling also can cause dislocations. A dislocation will generally need medical treatment & is treated as an emergency. The bone that is dislocated can be put back in place, however, the connective tissue that surrounds the joint suffer severe damage. The common joints which are mostly dislocated include those of the fingers and hand, especially with the shoulder located close behind. Knees, elbows, and hips can also be dislocated but tend to be less common.

Famous faces of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that influences the way you think and behave. People affected by schizophrenia can seem like they have lost touch with reality. They experience hallucinations (most commonly reported being, hearing voices), delusions, disorganized thinking and speech. People with schizophrenia are greatly affected socially due to their apparently bizarre behaviour, which can be misconstrued by people they interact with. They eventually fail to distinguish between what is real and what is imagined.

Schizophrenia symptoms usually start to show in people between the age of 16 and 30. Symptoms start gradually and progress into adulthood. It is seen among younger children rarely. Symptoms can be categorized as positive (hallucinations, delusions, agitated body movements, unusual thought processes), negative (reduced emotions/speech/expressions, difficulty in starting or following through activities) and cognitive (lack of focus/attention, lack of ability to understand or use information, inability to use information immediately after learning it).

Schizophrenia can be caused due to environmental and genetic reasons. It is known that schizophrenia runs in the family. But sometimes individuals develop symptoms even without a family history of the condition. Also, people with one or more family members who have the condition do not develop schizophrenia themselves. No one gene is attributed to the development of schizophrenia. It is considered that several different genes contribute to the risk. A combination of the genes and some aspects of the environment the person is exposed to can cause the condition to develop. Such environmental factors could be: parent being malnourished during pregnancy, substance abuse, some infections, difficulties during birth, and psychosocial factors. Researchers also suggest that imbalances in brain chemicals can also be a factor in causing schizophrenia.

Males are more affected than females. Diagnosis is arrived at based on behaviour observed and experiences related by the patient.
There are various categories of schizophrenia:
-Paranoid schizophrenia
-Disorganized schizophrenia
-Catatonic schizophrenia
-Residual schizophrenia

When schizophrenia is accompanied by depression, it is said to be schizoaffective disorder.
Medication and rehabilitation programmes in combination can help manage schizophrenia and can help the affected person lead a better life. Counselling, support groups, supervised housing programmes for people similarly affected can go a long way in bringing back confidence in the individual and in integrating with the society again.

Vincent Willem van Gogh – World renowned artist
Vincent van Gogh, born 1853, was a Dutch post-impressionist painter. He produced numerous works of art including portraits, self-portraits, landscapes and still life. During this period, schizophrenia had not yet been discovered as a mental disorder. He was posthumously diagnosed by several doctors as having suffered from this condition based on accounts of his behaviour.

ohn Nash – Mathematician/Nobel Prize Winner
Born in 1928, John Forbes Nash Jr., was an American Mathematician. He has made significant contributions to the field of game theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations. His theories are used in economics. He was a mathematical genius from an early age — he had attained a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Mathematics by the age of 19. In 1959, Nash began showing signs of schizophrenia. Years of treatment followed. After 1970, he returned to his academic studies and won the Nobel Prize in 1994. In 2015, he was awarded the Abel Prize. He was bestowed with several other prestigious awards and honorary degrees.

Lionel Aldridge – Football player
Lionel Aldridge, born 1941, was a professional football player who played for the NFL. He retired from professional football in 1973 and turned to being a sports analyst. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the late 70’s. In spite of his past success and fame, the condition led him to being homeless. Eventually, he was treated and he became an advocate for the homeless and the mentally ill.

Syd Barrett – Musician, founder of Pink Floyd
Syd Barrett, born 1946, was a musician, songwriter, guitarist and in particular, the founder of the famous band, Pink Floyd. Although Barrett never publicly confirmed his condition, it is reported that he left the band due mental illness and substance abuse. He died in 2006 due to pancreatic cancer.

Mary Todd Lincoln – Wife of Abraham Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln, born 1818, was the wife of America’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln and was the First Lady of the United States. They had four sons, out of which only one son outlived her. She also witnessed her husband’s assassination. She had a history of mental illness, mood swings, angry outbursts and excessive spending. Many psychologists hypothesise that she suffered from schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder.

Rufus May – Clinical Psychologist
Rufus May, born 1968, is a clinical psychologist, who is known for using his own personal experiences with mental illness to advocate recovery approaches for those suffering from similar conditions. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 18. He completed training in clinical psychology and uses his experiences to work with patients.

Eduard Einstein – Son of Albert Einstein
Eduard Einstein, born 1910, was the second son of Albert Einstein. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 20. He was a very intelligent and successful student and was preparing to be a psychoanalyst. However, he began showing signs of schizophrenia.

Brian Wilson – Musician, Member of The Beach Boys
Brian Douglas Wilson, born 1942, is a famous musician, singer, songwriter and record producer who famous for his popular album “Pet Sounds”. He battled with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, chain smoking and overeating. He suffered from auditory hallucinations and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He is credited with soundtracks provided for movies like Forrest Gump, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and Apocalypse Now. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Charles “Buddy” Bolden – Pioneering Jazz Musician
Charles “Buddy” Bolden, born 1877, was a highly regarded, incredibly talented Jazz musician. He is credited to have created the Jazz movement, evolving from ragtime music. Psychiatrists suggest that due to his mental handicap, he was probably required to improvise, since he could not read music and his motor functions were impaired. Thus, he improvised ragtime music to create jazz as we know it today. From 1900 to 1907, his band saw a phenomenal reception mainly due to his pioneering efforts at jazz. As he was impaired cognitively, he had to constantly improvise. His talent was acknowledged and well-appreciated by all. He was even known to play in eight bands at one time. In 1907, at the age of 30, his condition deteriorated, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was institutionalised. He died 24 years later.


Dementia is general term used to describe several symptoms including impairments to memory, thinking and communication.

Dementia – Possible symptoms

  • Recent memory loss
  • Changes in mood
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of initiative
  • Misplacing things
  • Personality changes
  • Problems communicating
  • Problems with abstract thinking

Causes of dementia
Dementias are usually caused by brain cell death & neurodegenerative disease. Dementia can also be caused by a stroke, a head injury or a brain tumor.

Vascular dementia results from brain cell death generally caused by conditions like cerebrovascular diseases like stroke. This stops the normal blood flow, depriving the brain cells of the life force, oxygen.

Post-traumatic dementia is related directly to brain cell death that is caused by injury.
Several types of traumatic brain injury, especially if repetitive, like those received by sports players, seem to have been related to certain dementias that appear in the later stages of life.

Dementia is also caused by

  • Prion diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Reversible factors
  • HIV infection

Types of Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s Disease is characterized by the “plaques” which form between the cells that are dying in the brain and the “tangles” within the cells (caused due to protein abnormalities). Brain tissue in an individual with Alzheimer’s has fewer nerve cells & connections, resulting in the shrinkage of the total size of the brain.
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies happens to be a neurodegenerative condition that is linked to abnormal structures enclosed in the brain. Changes in the brain involve a protein known as alpha-synuclein.
  • Mixed dementia normally refers to the diagnosis of two / three types occurring together. Say, for instance, at the same time, a person would show both Alzheimer’s disease & vascular dementia.
  • Parkinson’s disease is marked by the presence of Lewy bodies as well. While Parkinson’s is often thought of as disorder of movement, those with Parkinson’s can go on to develop several dementia symptoms.
  • Huntington’s disease is often characterized by particular types of uncontrolled movements; however, also includes dementia.

Dementia – Diagnosis

Well, there isn’t any one test to diagnose dementia. Doctors normally diagnose Alzheimer’s and several other types of dementia primarily based on a vigilant medical history, physical examination, lab tests, and several characteristic changes in thinking pattern, day-to-day function & behavior linked with each type.

Dementia – Treatment

Treatment of dementia mainly depends on its cause. In case of a majority of progressive dementias, there isn’t any cure and o treatment to slow or stop its progression. However, there are certain drug treatments which may temporarily improve the symptoms. Medications that are used to treat Alzheimer’s are generally prescribed to help patients with symptoms of other different types of dementia as well. Sometimes, non-drug therapies also alleviate several symptoms of dementia.


Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that influences the way you think and behave. People affected by schizophrenia can seem like they have lost touch with reality. They experience hallucinations (most commonly reported being, hearing voices), delusions, disorganized thinking and speech. People with schizophrenia are greatly affected socially due to their apparently bizarre behaviour, which can be misconstrued by people they interact with. They eventually fail to distinguish between what is real and what is imagined.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia symptoms usually start to show in people between the age of 16 and 30. Symptoms start gradually and progress into adulthood. It is seen among younger children rarely. Symptoms can be categorized as positive (hallucinations, delusions, agitated body movements, unusual thought processes), negative (reduced emotions/speech/expressions, difficulty in starting or following through activities) and cognitive (lack of focus/attention, lack of ability to understand or use information, inability to use information immediately after learning it). Males are more affected than females.

What causes Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia can be caused due to environmental and genetic reasons. It is known that schizophrenia runs in the family. But sometimes individuals develop symptoms even without a family history of the condition. Also, people with one or more family members who have the condition do not develop schizophrenia themselves. No one gene is attributed to the development of schizophrenia. It is considered that several different genes contribute to the risk. A combination of the genes and some aspects of the environment the person is exposed to can cause the condition to develop. Such environmental factors could be: parent being malnourished during pregnancy, substance abuse, some infections, difficulties during birth, and psychosocial factors. Researchers also suggest that imbalances in brain chemicals can also be a factor in causing schizophrenia.

Diagnosis is arrived at based on behaviour observed and experiences related by the patient.

Types of Schizophrenia
There are various categories of schizophrenia:
-Paranoid schizophrenia
-Disorganized schizophrenia
-Catatonic schiz