Daily Archives: 20/12/2012

rehabilitation

Rehabilitation aims to facilitate recovery from loss of function. Loss may be due to fracture, amputation, stroke or another neurologic disorder, arthritis, cardiac impairment, or prolonged deconditioning (eg, after some disorders and surgical procedures). Rehabilitation may involve physical, occupational, and speech therapy; psychologic counseling; and social services. For some patients, the goal is complete recovery […]

exercise

Exercise stimulates tissue change and adaptation (eg, increase in muscle mass and strength, cardiovascular endurance), whereas rest and recovery allow such change and adaptation to occur. Recovery from exercise is as important as the exercise stimulus. Regular physical activity reduces the likelihood of medical illness, decreases the incidence of the major causes of death, and […]

foreign travel

About 1 in 30 people traveling abroad requires emergency care. Illness in a foreign country may involve significant difficulties. Many insurance plans, including Medicare, are not valid in foreign countries; overseas hospitals often require a substantial cash deposit for nonresidents, regardless of insurance. Travel insurance plans, including some that arrange for emergency evacuation, are available […]

air travel

Air travel can cause or worsen certain medical problems; some are considered a contraindication to flight (see Table 1: Medical Aspects of Travel: Contraindications to Flying), and others may cause discomfort. Serious complications are rare. During a flight, any health care practitioner among the passengers may be asked to help fellow passengers who become ill. […]

exercise in elderly

At least 75% of people age > 65 yr do not exercise at recommended levels despite the known health benefits of exercise Longer survival Improved quality of life (eg, endurance, strength, mood, flexibility, cognitive function) Furthermore, many elderly people are not aware of how hard to exercise and also do not appreciate how much exercise […]

suicide

Suicidal behavior includes 3 types of self-destructive acts: completed suicide, attempted suicide, and suicide gestures. Thoughts and plans about suicide are referred to as suicide ideation. Completed suicide is a suicidal act that results in death. Attempted suicide is an act intended to be self-lethal, but one that does not result in death. Frequently, suicide […]

gad

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive, almost daily anxiety and worry for ≥ 6 mo about many activities or events. The cause is unknown, although it commonly coexists in people who have alcohol abuse, major depression, or panic disorder. Diagnosis is based on history and physical examination. Treatment is psychotherapy, drug therapy, or […]

anxiety

Everyone periodically experiences fear and anxiety. Fear is an emotional, physical, and behavioral response to an immediately recognizable external threat (eg, an intruder, a car spinning on ice). Anxiety is a distressing, unpleasant emotional state of nervousness and uneasiness; its causes are less clear. Anxiety is less tied to the exact timing of a threat; […]

hyponatremia

_ _ _ Hyponatremia is decrease in serum Na concentration < 136 mEq/L caused by an excess of water relative to solute. Common causes include diuretic use, diarrhea, heart failure, and renal disease. Clinical manifestations are primarily neurologic (due to an osmotic shift of water into brain cells causing edema), especially in acute hyponatremia, and […]

drugs of consern in elderly

Some drug categories (eg, analgesics, anticoagulants, antihypertensives, antiparkinsonian drugs, diuretics, hypoglycemic drugs, psychoactive drugs) pose special risks for elderly patients. Some, although reasonable for use in younger adults, are so risky as to be considered inappropriate for the elderly. The Beers Criteria are most commonly used to identify such inappropriate drugs (see Table 5: Drug […]

drug related problems in elderly

Drug-related problems include Adverse effects Ineffectiveness Adverse drug effects are effects that are unwanted, uncomfortable, or dangerous. Common examples are oversedation, confusion, hallucinations, falls, and bleeding. Among ambulatory people ≥ 65, adverse drug effects occur at a rate of about 50 events per 1000 person-years. Hospitalization rates due to adverse drug effects are 4 times […]

sleep and wake fullness disorder

The most commonly reported sleep-related symptoms are insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). Insomnia is difficulty falling or staying asleep or a sensation of unrefreshing sleep. EDS is the tendency to fall asleep during normal waking hours. Insomnia and EDS are not disorders themselves but are symptoms of various sleep-related disorders. Parasomnias are abnormal sleep-related […]

parkinsons disease

Parkinson’s disease is an idiopathic, slowly progressive, degenerative CNS disorder characterized by resting tremor, muscular rigidity, slow and decreased movement, and postural instability. Diagnosis is clinical. Treatment is with levodopa plus carbidopa, other drugs, and, for refractory symptoms, surgery. Parkinson’s disease affects about 0.4% of people > 40 yr, 1% of people ≥ 65 yr, […]

neurological procedures

Diagnostic procedures should not be used for preliminary screening, except perhaps in emergencies when a complete neurologic evaluation is impossible. Evidence uncovered during the history and physical examination should guide testing. Lumbar puncture (spinal tap): Lumbar puncture is used to evaluate intracranial pressure and CSF composition (see Table 1: Approach to the Neurologic Patient: Cerebrospinal […]

approach to neurological patient

Patients with neurologic symptoms are approached in a stepwise manner termed the neurologic method, which consists of the following: Identifying the anatomic location of the lesion or lesions causing symptoms Identifying the pathophysiology involved Generating a differential diagnosis Selecting specific, appropriate tests Identifying the anatomy and pathophysiology of the lesion through careful history taking and […]

muscle cramps

A muscle cramp (charley horse) is a sudden, brief, involuntary, painful contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. Cramps commonly occur in healthy people (usually middle-aged and elderly people), sometimes during rest, but particularly during or after exercise or at night (including during sleep—see Sleep and Wakefulness Disorders: Sleep-related leg cramps). Leg cramps at […]

numbness

“Numbness” can be used by patients to describe various symptoms, including loss of sensation, abnormal sensations, and weakness or paralysis. However, numbness is actually loss of sensation, either partial (hypesthesia) or complete (anesthesia). Numbness may involve the 3 major sensory modalities—light touch, pain and temperature sensation, and position and vibration sensation—to the same or different […]

weakness

Weakness is one of the most common reasons patients present to primary care clinicians. Weakness is loss of muscle strength, although many patients also use the term when they feel generally fatigued or have functional limitations (eg, due to pain or limited joint motion) even though muscle strength is normal. Weakness may affect a few […]

memory loss

Memory loss is a common complaint in the primary care setting. It is particularly common among the elderly but also may be reported by younger people. Sometimes family members rather than the patient report the memory loss (typically in an elderly person, often one with dementia). Clinicians and patients are often concerned that the memory […]