Aging Survivors of Brain Injury – Tips on Medical Care and Safety

Loss of memory, difficulty recalling names, and confusion are common complaints of most aging adults. People also have physical changes as they age. For persons who have survived a traumatic brain injury and already have some cognitive and physical impairments, concerns about aging are often magnified. Much is unknown about the long-term effects of trauma to the brain. Many survivors fear that aging will bring a further decline in their cognitive and physical abilities.

Tips on Medical Care and Safety for Aging Survivors of Brain Injury

Tips on seeking medical care as survivors grow older

  • Get medical care. Any time you notice a change in your thinking, functioning or physical health, it is wise to seek professional help. Many medical conditions are reversible.
  • Find professionals with expertise on both aging and the effects of brain trauma on the aging process. This may include specialists such as neurologists who are physicians specializing in neurological disorders, physiatrists who are physicians in rehabilitation medicine, neuropsychologists who are psychologists with expertise in the brain, or gerontologists who are physicians specializing in aging.
  • Share information about your injury. It is important to give information about the history of your brain injury to any professional who is treating you. This should include information about your overall condition and any recent changes you have noticed, especially with your memory and thinking. It is also helpful to bring copies of any medical records about your injury.
  • Find rehabilitation programs or services if you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. You may benefit from cognitive rehabilitation, emotional support and medications.
  • Talk with your doctor about new medications and health supplements before taking them.

Safety tips for persons aging with brain injury

Aging brings changes in cognition or thinking as well as changes in physical abilities. A person’s strength, coordination, balance, and endurance often change. These changes with aging may pose additional challenges for the person with a brain injury whose motor skills or physical abilities have already been compromised. In addition to receiving good medical care, the following strategies can help persons with brain injuries reduce the risk of further injury as they grow older:

  • Protect your head.
  • Avoid action sports that can increase the odds of another brain injury.
  • Wear a helmet when biking, skating, playing baseball or other sports.
  • Use a seat belt in all moving vehicles.
  • Watch out for activities requiring a rapid physical response or agility if they were affected by your brain injury.
  • Take time to examine your choices when facing a new situation and carefully choose the best response before you react. Persons with a brain injury are often impulsive which increases the chance of accidents occurring.
  • Reduce or avoid stimulating activities when you are tired. Fatigue reduces a person’s ability to think clearly and response time. This increases the risk of accidents.
  • Make sure your home, work and other places you visit are safe, well lighted and fall-proof.
  • Keep taking any prescribed medications according to your doctor’s directions, especially if you have a seizure disorder. If you have a seizure and lose your balance, fall or lose consciousness, this increases the risk of another brain injury.

These medical and safety tips can help protect you from another injury. They are a starting point for a discussion with your doctor, other professionals, and your family.

The Parents Guide to Sports Physicals

WHAT IS A SPORTS PHYSICAL:

A sports physical is an exam done by a medical professional that helps determine whether it’s safe for a child to participate in a particular sport. Most schools require that kids and teens have a sports physical before they can start a new sport or begin a new competitive season. In medical terms, the sports physical exam is known as a Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE). This information is used by coaches and team physicians to understand any issues your child may have, and base their decisions in regard to that information. A sports physical can help identify and deal with health problems that might put your child at risk while participating in their sport.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

The actual forms will be provided by your school. They will have a portion for you to fill out, called the medical history, and a portion for the doctor to fill out, called the physical exam. The physical exam usually takes 10 – 15 minutes, and is performed with all of the child’s clothes on.

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES OF A SPORTS PHYSICAL:

*Screen for potentially life-threatening or disabling conditions.

*Screen for conditions that may predispose and athlete to injury or illness while training or competing.

*Address administrative requirements.

SECONDARY OBJECTIVES OF A SPORTS PHYSICAL:

*Determining general health.

*Serve as an entry point into the healthcare system for adolescents.

*Provide opportunity for discussion on health and lifestyle issues.

MEDICAL HISTORY:

Usually the first half of the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE) form is a list of questions called the medical history. This is arguably the most crucial component of the PPE. A complete history will identify approximately 75% of problems affecting athletes. The questions have been developed to screen for conditions that would place the athlete at unacceptable medical risk. The most accurate information is obtained when the athletes and parents complete the history form together before the evaluation. In one study, only 39% of what the children put down agreed with information given by the parents completing the same form. Take the time to answer the questions carefully.

EXAM:

The physical examination portion of the PPE is the actual exam preformed by your doctor. It is focused on the areas of greatest concern in sports participation, and is a chance to screen the areas identified as problems in the history. During the exam, the doctor will usually check your child’s height, weight, vision, lungs, cardiovascular system, skin, and the musculoskeletal system. They will also evaluate posture, joints, range of motion, and flexibility.

DETERMINING CLEARANCE:

The Preparticipation Physical Evaluation is not intended to discourage or prevent participation in competitive sports. It’s unlikely that any health conditions your child has will prevent them from playing sports completely.

At the end of an athlete’s exam, the doctor will sign a form allowing your child to participate in their sport. In some cases a follow-up exam, additional tests, or specific treatment for medical problems may be required.

TIMING:

To allow time to treat or rehabilitate any problems, the PPE should be performed at least 6 weeks before preseason practice. This allows the student athlete to deal with issues before practice starts, and not take any time away from their sports participation.

THE FINAL WORD:

Remember, the sports physical is not intended to disqualify your child from any sport. Less than 1% of the physicals done nationwide result in the athlete not being cleared, so relax! It is more of a screening process to make sure they are healthy enough to compete. Although it may seem like a chore, sports physicals are an important component to your child’s health.

Lowering Blood Pressure Without Medication – Physical Activities and Breathing Exercise

In this modern era, more and more people seem to adopt unhealthy lifestyle. The fast paced world nowadays has benefited us but unfortunately it also has brought negative effects when the chaotic work life can lead to depression, and modern appliances tend to make us “lazy” and do less physical activities.

This is why people these days are more prone to diseases such as hypertension or high blood pressure (HBP) that may eventually lead to more serious health conditions such as stroke and heart failure. High blood pressure or hypertension is in fact a “silent killer” because people may not realize that they have it.

If you have hypertension one of the many ways you can do to lower or even normalize it without medication is by being more active physically. Of course you can have a lifestyle change such as changing your diet, stopping smoking as well as alcohol, and reducing salty foodstuff. But another thing that is also important is to do regular physical exercises that will be significant in reducing high blood pressure.

If you do physical exercises, you will have healthier supply of blood to your heart’s muscle tissue so it will get more oxygen and nutrients. As an addition, it will increase HDL (good cholesterol level) and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol level).

The kind of exercises you can do to control high blood pressure is aerobic, which is a rhythmic exercise that will improve your breathing and heart rates. In this case, you don’t need to do complicated and boring exercises. In fact, simple physical activities like mowing the lawn and fun activity like dancing are considered aerobics. The other examples of aerobic activities are walking, swimming, bicycling, stair climbing, etc.

An alternative kind of exercise to lower hypertension can be applied by eliminating tensions with breathing exercise because it is one of the main factors that contribute to HBP. When you practice slow deep breathing, your heart will not have to pump more blood like when you practice shallow breathing that reduces the body’s oxygen.

You should also practice the proper breathing, which is abdominal breathing instead of upper chest breathing. When you do abdominal breathing, your belly should rise while your chest stays still.

You can control your blood pressure without drugs or medication by implementing the tips above. However, you should note that it is better to consult your doctor before doing any kind of physical exercises, especially if your blood pressure is quite high.

MEDICAL Education in India

Becoming a doctor is a dream of millions of students in India. There isn’t any profession as respectful as a Doctor. However, many students aren’t aware of the complete process of becoming a doctor or a specialist. For same, the student needs hard work and dedication. It requires an undertaking to serve all forms of life with application of one’s knowledge, compassion and kindness. No other career is as satisfying as medical where you cure people suffering from illness, trauma, accidents, and disease. However, merely acquiring a degree isn’t enough as it is required to pick a branch in medicine and surgery to become a specialist. Several of the fields are – Pediatrics, Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Neurosurgery and Cardiology. We have compiled this article for students interested in becoming a doctor or a specialist in India. This article is an overview of the complete process of the same.

Specializations in Different Streams of Medical Courses

Various courses are offered for specialization in life-sciences. A few of them are given here for you to have an idea:

  • Cardiology – deals with disorders of the heart. He performs specialized work like angioplasty, angiography, and by-pass surgery
  • Neurosurgery – a surgical discipline which deals with treating central and peripheral nervous system and spine disorders. It focuses on primarily brain, spinal cord and nerves. Medical specialists are called neurosurgeons
  • Orthopedics – these surgeons deal with disorders in skeletal structure. Further, fractures and disorders of the skeletal frame are undertaken. He performs therapies and suggests exercise for patients which are conducted by Physiotherapists
  • Ophthalmologists – they deal with human eye and its disorders. They are trained with surgeries of eyes, operation of cataract, glaucoma and other ailments
  • Psychiatry – he deals with psychiatry and other issues related to mind such as mental, emotional or behavioral disorders
  • Medicine – MBBS doctor who gains specializes in medicine and acquires an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree is called a physician. His job is to comprehend patient’s problems, clinical test results, diagnosing the illness and then prescribing the treatment
  • Pediatrics – pediatrician deals with the children’s health from stages of newborn to adolescents. He diagnoses and performs treatment of the diseases of children
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology – Obstetricians and Gynecologists diagnose and treat the female reproductive disorders. They also perform operations like caesarian, laparoscopies and hysteroscopy. Further they deal with ovarian cancer and other illnesses related to reproductive systems

Stages of Medical Courses

There are basically three courses available for the interested candidates. It is not necessary to follow the hierarchy to become a specialist as one can pursue specialization course directly after pursuing the entrance examination.

  • Undergraduate Courses
  • Postgraduate Courses
  • Super Specialty Courses

Medical Governing Bodies

In India, we have four medical apex bodies which govern the medical professional and allied services. They function under the Government of India and comprises of separately affiliated medical associations.

  • Dental Council of India (DCI)
  • Pharmacy Council of India (PCI)
  • Medical Council of India (MCI)
  • National Board of Examination (NAT Board)

OVERVIEW OF COURSES

Undergraduate

B. D. S. (Bachelor of Dental Sciences)

Duration of this program is 4 years. 1 year is meant for compulsory rotating internship. Courses taught are -biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, basic anatomy and microbiology. Candidates are exposed to dentistry and hands-on-practice in the final two semesters.

M. B. B. S. (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery)

This programs spans over duration of 5 ½ years and divided into three professional of three semesters. Each semester lasts 18 months or 1 ½ year. Last year is dedicated to compulsory rotating internship. Subjects like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, forensic medicine, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, general medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, ENT (ear, nose, and throat), gynecology, orthopedics and preventive & social medicine are taught.

B. A. M. S. (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery)

Duration of this course is 5 ½ years. Ayurvedic Education in India is under monitoring by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), which again, is a statutory central government body.

B. U. M. S. (Bachelor of Unani Medicine & Surgery)

This course deals with undergraduate degree in Unani Medicine & Surgery. Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), a statutory government body manages the Unani education in India.

B. H. M. S. (Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine & Surgery)

This program is of 5 ½ years duration. It includes one year compulsory internship. National Institute of Homeopathy, a statutory central government body governs the Homoeopathic education in India.

B. V. Sc. & A. H. (Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry)

Duration of this program is 5 ½ years. Undergraduate course is offered in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Veterinary Council of India manages the Veterinary education in India.

B. Sc. – Nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

Duration of this undergraduate course is 3 to 4 years. Specialization is done in operation theatre, cardiac care and surgery. Nursing Council of India governs the education in nursing in India.

B. Pharm. (Bachelor of Pharmacy)

This is a 4 year degree program in pharmacy. Professionals are prepared for pharmaceutical industry, which is a multimillion dollar industry. Monitoring work of pharmaceutical education is done by the Pharmacy Council of India.

B. P. T. (Bachelor of Physiotherapy)

Different medical colleges of the country offer undergraduate course in physiotherapy. Course offers learning of scientific procedures and bio-mechanics used to treat a patient with disability or disease or injury. It is to acquire and maintain motor functional rehabilitation. Program also deals with prevention of malfunction or deformity.

B. O. T. (Bachelor of Occupational Therapy)

This is a graduate degree course in occupational therapy which is offered by various medical institutes. Through this program, professional therapists are prepared whose area of operation is to deal with people suffering from physical or mental disabilities. They are helped to achieve maximum functioning and independence related to daily activities of the body.

B. M. L. T. (Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology)

Various medical institutes in the country offer B.Sc. programme in medical laboratory technology. Successful candidates are conferred with B.Sc.-M.L.T. degree. They are the professionals who deal with practical and technical work to aid correct diagnosis and in the functioning of Biochemical labs.

Postgraduate Courses

M.D. (Doctor of Medicine)

This is a three year course which offers postgraduate degree in medicine. Those doctors who possess M.B.B.S. degree are eligible for this course. It is a specialized program in general medicine. Candidates who complete the degree successfully are eligible to choose physician as career.

M.S. (Master of Surgery)

It is a 3 years course which offers postgraduate degree in surgery. Those doctors who are M.B.B.S. are eligible to for this course. Successful doctors can work as surgeon, either independently or under an institute.

Postgraduate Diploma

Various medical colleges or institutes offer postgraduate diploma program in medicine. MBBS degree holders are eligible for the program. Duration of the course is 2 to 3 years.

Super Specialty Courses

DM / MCh

It is a super specialty course with duration of 2 to 3 years. Candidate need to be an MD (Doctor of Medicine). While M.Ch is a 2 years super specialty program in surgery which requires candidate to be having MS (Master of Surgery).

General Procedure for Admissions to Undergraduate Courses

Various medical institutes in the country, both government and private follow norms of eligibility criteria as suggested by the respective university. General terms of eligibility are that a candidate wanting to take admission in a medical college must have passed Senior Secondary Examination of CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) or its equivalent with physics, chemistry, and biology as subjects. Almost all of the government medical colleges offer admissions to Indian candidates on the basis of their performance in the entrance examination. A very few medical colleges, run by government, admit candidates from NRI/Foreign quota.

Such candidates need to contact the respective institute/university directly for admission. Appropriate documents and certificates must be submitted at the time of counselling. Various state boards conduct entrance examinations for admission in medical colleges and hospitals on behalf of the state government. Some private colleges either consider national level examination scores or conduct their own examination for admission.

Stages of Admission

Education Qualification – Candidate must be passed in class XII or equivalent with physics, chemistry and biology from any recognized Indian board (CBSE, ICSE etc.).

Entrance Exam – Candidate has to appear in a written exam for admission in medical colleges and hospitals. A candidate may be asked to undergo an interview or personality test as well. Congregate score of the exam and interview will be implemented for final decision.

Exam Pattern – Candidates can check the exam pattern, syllabus and interview/personality test (if any) in the official information brochure. Candidates can either download it from the official website or buy it from sale centers.

Result – Merit list of successful candidates who are declared eligible for admission will be issued by the examination board.

Final Selection – Candidates will be called for counselling and option filling by the concerned authority. After being selected, candidate has to go to submit certificates, course fee, and physical tests.

Entry Requirements for Courses

Candidates who have passed class XII exam with physics, chemistry and biology (zoology & botany) will be eligible for admission in MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery). Selection is done on the basis of all India competitive entrance examination or state level competitive entrance examination. All India Pre-Medical Test is conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi. State level examination is conducted by state entrance exam board.

Medical Entrance Examination

  • Admissions in medical colleges of the country (government and private) are made through entrance examination
  • Conducting body or organizations at national and state level will hold the examination
  • Purpose of examination is to select the most deserving candidates for admission
  • Courses are offered in diploma, degree, post-diploma, postgraduate degree and research level
  • On being chosen in the merit list, candidate can choose from a array of choices of colleges and courses
  • He will be allotted admission on the basis of merit list ranking, available seats, and choices filled

List of Important Medical Entrance Examinations

  • Annamalai University (AU) – Medical Entrance Exam
  • All India Pre-Veterinary Test (AIPVT)
  • Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) MBBS & BDS Entrance Test
  • Association of Management of Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges-(Asso-CET)
  • Banaras Hindu University-Pre Medical Test (BHU-PMT)
  • All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT)
  • All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS)
  • Armed Forces Medical Core Entrance (AFMC)
  • Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
  • Common Entrance Test (CET)-Jammu & Kashmir
  • Common Entrance Test (CET)-Karnataka
  • Common Entrance Test (CET), Punjab University
  • Delhi University Medical-Dental Entrance Test (DUMET)
  • Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), Maharashtra
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth University (BVU-CET)
  • Combined Entrance Examination (CEE), Kerala
  • Consortium of Medical, Engineering and
  • Dental Colleges of Karnataka-(COMEDK)
  • CHRISTIAN MEDICAL COLLEGE(CMC), VELLORE
  • Engg., Agriculture & Medical Common Entrance Test (EAMCET)
  • medical education and research, Pondicherry (JIPMER)
  • Mahatma Gandhi Dental College and Hospital – BDS – Joint Entrance Test (JET)
  • Maharashtra Health Science & Technical Common Entrance Test (MHT-CET)
  • Maharashtra Super Speciality Entrance Test (MH-SSET)
  • Meenakshi Academy Of Higher Education And Research (MAHER)
  • PGMAT- Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board
  • Pre Medical Test (PMT)-Haryana
  • Pre Medical Test media=””(PMT), Madhaya Pradesh
  • Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences -All India Common Entrance Test
  • Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh
  • Pre Medical Test (PMT), Rajasthan
  • PG Medical Entrance Test, Jammu& Kashmir
  • Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET) – Punjab
  • Uttaranchal Pre-Medical Test (UPMT)
  • Uttar Pradesh Combined Pre Medical Test (UPCPMT)
  • Uttar Pradesh Common Admission Test – Dental (UPCAT – Dental)
  • Undergraduate Admission Written Test (UG AWT)
  • UP Post Graduate Medical Entrance Examination (UPPGMEE)
  • Veterinary Council of India (VCI)
  • Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET)
  • Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University MBBS Entrance Test (GGSIPU-CET)
  • H.P. Combined Pre-Medical Entrance Test
  • Jawaharlal Institute of post-graduate
  • Masters in Medical Sciences Technology (MMST)
  • Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences Competitive Entrance Examination (MGIMS-CEE)
  • SRM Institute of Science and Technology

How to Get the Most Out of Your Annual Medical Physical

In this article today I would like to talk about several tips, tricks, and tactics that you can use to get the most out of your annual medical physical.

As we get older it’s especially important to have an annual medical physical just to make sure everything is working the way it should be and to prescreen ourselves for certain conditions or diseases that have a higher probability of cropping up as we grow older. Today I’d like to talk about some tips that you can use to make sure you’re getting the most out of your physical. Nobody really likes to go to the doctor for an annual checkup but as long as you’re there you might as well get the most out of it.

The first thing you should do is discuss every one of your major medical problems if you have any. Ask your doctor whether or not there have been any sort of advances in treatment during the past year. Ask them if there’s anything else you could be doing to deal with the problem.

The next thing you should do is review and discuss any medications you may be on. Bring a list of everything you’re taking to your checkup. This includes prescription drugs but also over the counter drugs and any dietary supplements you may be taking as well. Ask whether or not there are any alternatives to any of the drugs you may be taking and be sure to ask about any dangerous possible interactions between the different drugs.

You should also review any immunizations you may need. This may be more geared towards younger adults and especially children but adults need certain immunizations as well such as the flu shot and others like that.

There are nearly an infinite amount of screening tests that your doctor could give you, however there are a few that have really been proven to work well over the years and you should definitely have them done during your checkup. For instance, you should always get your blood pressure checked once a year. It’s also a pretty good idea to get your cholesterol checked as well.

Everybody is busy and nobody wants to spend more time at the doctors office than is absolutely necessary but it is important for you to devote as much time as possible to your yearly checkup so that the doctor can really do it right. If you’re fairly young and healthy, your checkup should last at least half an hour. If you’re a little older and not quite as healthy you can expect a good solid hour to really get in there and do things the way they should be done. Don’t short change this or rush through it.

So there you have several very simple tips and tricks that anybody can use to get the most out of your annual medical checkup. We live in such a fast-paced society that many people don’t take the time to get their yearly physical but it can be one the most important things that you do so be sure not to skip it.