Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Tourette Syndrome Disorder

Tourette syndrome
Tourette syndrome (TS), or disorder is a neurological ailment which begins in childhood or adolescence and its main feature is tics, multiple movement or vocalization which are rapid purposeless or sudden. This disorder is treated by psychiatrist as well as neurologist since most patients with TS have other ailment like insomnia, obsessive compulsive disorder – OCD, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD. This disorder has been named after Dr. George Gilles de la Tourette, a pioneer French neurologist who first described the condition in an old French noblewoman of 86 years, in 1885.

The initial symptoms of this disorder is noticed first in childhood between the age of 7 and 10 years though this ailment occurs in people from all groups and males are affected around 3 to 4 times more often than females. Tourette syndrome can be a chronic disease having symptoms that could last for a lifetime and the victim experiences the worst symptoms in early teens which gradually improve as they grow to adulthood.

Environmental and genetic factors do play an important role in this ailment though the real cause is unknown and in most of the cases, medication may not be needed. Moreover for every case of tics, there is no effective treatment but certain therapies and medication can be of some help besides bringing about an awareness together with explanation and reassurance which can do wonders in a treatment plan. Earlier, Tourette was not considered as a rare ailment though it is not often accurately identified due to several cases that turn out to be mild and the severity of tics goes on decreasing in most children as they reach adolescence.


Extreme Tourette in adulthood is very rare and this disorder does not adversely affect life expectancy or intelligence. Often people with TS do not realize that they have tics since tics are commonly expressed in private and may go undetected or unrecognized. This disorder tends to subside as they mature and since milder cases of tourette are now more likely to be recognized and the realization that parents had tics while they were young may not come until their kids are diagnosed of this ailment. The symptoms of Tourette syndrome in the form of tics are classified either as simple or complex wherein simple tics are sudden, repetitive or brief movements involving limited number of muscle groups which include eye blinking with other vision irregularities, shoulder shrugging, facial grimacing and head or shoulder jerking.

Besides this, simple vocalization could also include sniffing or grunting sounds or repetitive throat clearing. In the case of complex, the tics are distinct with coordinated patterns of movements with several muscle groups including facial grimacing, accompanied with head twist and shoulder shrug. Various other complex tics may occur purposeful with sniffing or touching objects, jumping, hopping, bending or even twisting. More complex vocal tics may also include phrases or words.

A dramatic and disabling tic may include motor movement leading to self harm like hurting oneself in the face or vocal tics like coprolalia, utterance of swear words or echolalia, repeating of words or phrases of others, while some tics preceded by a sensation or urge in affected muscle group are called premonitory urge. Unfortunately there is no particular medication which is helpful for all people with Tourette disorder or any medication which can completely eliminate the symptoms since most of the medications have side effects. Neuroleptic side effects can be handled by initiating slow treatment and gradually reducing the dose when side effects are envisaged like tremor, twisting movements or postures or dystonic reactions, Parkinson like symptoms with other dyskinetic or involuntary movements which are less common can be managed on reducing the dose.

Other common side effects of neuroleptics include weight gain, sedation and cognitive dulling. After a long term use, neuroleptics should be discontinued gradually to avoid a rebound increase of tics and withdrawal dyskinesia where one form of withdrawal known as tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder may result from chronic use of neuroleptics. While the risk of this side effect can be reduced with smaller doses for a shorter span of time, there are other medications also which could be useful in reducing the severity of tics disorder. Some medications with demonstrated results include alpha adrenergic agonist like clonidine and guanfacine, where these medications are used for hypertension as well as the treatment of tics and the most common side effects from these medications is sedation.

Recent study indicates that some stimulant medications like methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine lessens ADHD symptoms with tourette without causing much severe tics. Psychotherapy could prove to be helpful for Tourette syndrome victims to cope up with this disorder and deal with secondary social and emotional problems which may occur sometimes. Recent study indicating specific behavioral treatments including awareness training together with competing response training like voluntarily moving in response to premonitory urge have been effective to some extent.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Complex Eating Disorder Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia Nervosa is a kind of eating disorder wherein the person experiences an intense fear of increasing weight and causes restrictions on the amount of intake of food resulting in being dangerously thin. It can make a great impact on the body, damaging health resulting in mental illness wherein people between five to twenty percent who develop this disease eventually die of this ailment. Some people, who dread becoming fat or may feel unhappy with their looks, may be going through stressful moments on their eating habits at mealtime and thoughts about diet and intake of food tends to be the main issue on their mind. These thought tend to play a very dominant role in their mind leaving no time for family and other diversions to take their mind off from these thoughts leading them to lose weight and become extremely thin.

Often people suffering from Anorexia may not be aware of this ailment and deny having this problem but the fact is that this ailment could be a serious, deadly, eating disorder though it has a remedy for recovery. People suffering from Anorexia weigh much less than a healthy or normal person and are afraid of gaining weight. They refuse to stay at a normal weight and think that they have gained weight even when they are comparatively thin. They are prone to controlling weight and diet, limiting themselves strictly to their eating habits with a tendency to exercise a lot even when they feel sick. With the help and support together with treatment one can break away from anorexia’s self destruction habit and lead a life of self confidence and good health.

Causes of Anorexia and its Effects

Experts have not really identified the cause of this problem but presume that eating disorders are complex and that it may be due to family history, personality traits or some social factors which could lead a person to this ailment. Some members in the family could have cultivated eating disorder or the person may have undergone some sort of body stress like modeling, ballet or even gymnastics, while other could have been going through stressful life events namely losing a dear one, divorce or moving to a new location, all of which could lead to Anorexia Nervosa. This ailment first affects the bones which develops during adolescence at the time when young people ignore the bone mass that sustains them through adulthood. This could cause much damage to the heart as the body loses muscle mass thereby losing heart muscle resulting in the heart getting smaller and weaker.

It may tend to worsen in response to exercise; increased circulation, with the pulse and blood pressure getting lower with heart damages are some of the most common reasons for hospitalization for an Anorexia patient. An Anorexia patient gets restricted to severe calorie whereby the body does not get the required nutrients to function normally. They tend to starve themselves of the necessary nutrients needed by the body resulting in illness of mind and body which can affect the overall health of a person. Effects of anorexia include lack of energy and weakness, severe mood swings, depression, poor memory and slow thinking, dizziness, fainting and headaches, growth of fine hair all over the body and face, constipation and bloating, tooth decay with gum damage, dry yellowish skin and brittle nails.

The Types of Anorexia, its symptoms and treatment

Anorexia are of two types namely restricting type and purging type. In restricting type the person loses weight by avoiding calories through fasting, following strict diets with excessive exercising while in purging type, the person loses weight by using diuretics and laxatives or by vomiting. Individuals suffering from anorexia very often deny that they are suffering from this sickness and living with this ailment without any treatment can lead to serious problem as anorexia develops. The person becomes increasingly preoccupied with weight, their looks, conscious and careful on the food intake. They also tend to diet in spite of being thin or pretend to eat or are prone to lying about eating and get engaged in various way of avoiding high calorie food.

Anorexia can be treated and the person can seek the assistance of medical doctors, psychologist, dieticians as well as counselors who can play an active part in restoring the person back to their normal health besides the support of their immediate family members and friends. Treatment for this recovery involves three major steps, the first being getting back to normal healthy weight, improving the eating habits and eating more food, and finally changing the overall mind set on body and food. They could put an end to the wrong notion of overweight and restricted diet and engage in various other activities which can help them in a stable and balanced way of living

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Treating Tardive Dyskinesia

Tablets
According to the Doctors; presently tetrabenazine is the only approved drug in treating this and other movement disorders which is a dopamine depleting drug though the related VMAT2 inhibitor, reserpine have also been used in small double blind placebo controlled trial treatment for this ailment. Clonidine is also considered useful for treating TD though the dose limiting hypotension and sedation could affect it usage while botex injection could be useful for minor focal dystonia but not in the case of advanced tardive dyskinesia.

An effective treatment for TD is benzodiazepines but its use is limited to the development of tolerance which may need an increasing dose of benzodiazepines that could be used to reduce its symptoms. The most favored benzodiazepine for treating this disorder is clonazepam while vitamin B6 has been considered as an effective treatment for this ailment in two randomized double blind placebo controlled trials. The preventive measures can be achieved by lowering the dose of neuroleptic for the shortest period.

Due to a number of other medical and neurological conditions prevailing that may cause uncontrollable and strange body movements, it is essential to pay heed to the history of treatment with antipsychotic before the diagnosis with TD since a number of other muscular and neurological conditions could also cause uncontrolled body movements which may also include Parkinson or Huntington disease and strokes. Hence it is essential that the victim with uncontrollable movement should discuss the symptoms with the physician for effective treatment.

People suffering from tardive dyskinesia can be socially isolated making them feel disabled due to this disorder which could lead them to the risk of dysmorphophobia and at time even to the extent of committing suicide. Situation which could be stressful could result in dyskinetic movements but with adequate relaxing and sedation, one can reduce the intensity of the symptom in these victims.

Recent research done on the use of melatonin, high dosage vitamins and other different antioxidants with antipsychotic drugs, was used as a preventive treatment for tardive dyskinesia though further research is also needed since it is reported that the percentage on the development of TD among individuals has considerably reduced than the current rate for those taking antipsychotic drugs.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Do You Know What Is Tardive Dyskinesia!

Tardive Dyskinesia
Tardive dyskinesia or TD, one of the most disturbing side effects of antipsychotic medication is a movement disorder which occurs over a period of time in months, years or even decades. It is a difficult to treat and at times an incurable form of dyskinesia disorder leading to involuntary repetitive body movement.

In this form of dyskinesia, tardive is an involuntary movement meaning slow or belated onset, where the neurological disorder takes place which is a result of a long term or high dosage of antipsychotic drugs or in children and infants from usage of drugs for gastrointestinal disorder as side effects.

It is a group of side effects known as extrapyramidal symptoms which includes restlessness or akathesia, sudden painful muscle stiffness or dystonia, as well as Parkinsonism or tremors and slow down of body muscles. TD is considered as the most severe of these side effects which takes place after a long time of taking the antipsychotic drugs and is characterized by involuntary movement of different muscles within the body occurring in the tongue, jaw or lips, such as facial grimacing or movements of arms fingers, legs and toes.

In severe cases, it can also include swaying movements of the hips or affect muscles connecting with breathing. TD could also be embarrassing and based on its level of this ailment, the victim could also be disabled. The symptoms are the opposite of patients suffering from Parkinson disease and while Parkinson patient have a problem of moving, TD patients have difficulty in not moving.

Moreover irregularity in respiratory like difficulty in breathing and grunting is another symptom connected with tardive dyskinesia though research indicate that the prevalence rate is comparatively low. At times, TD is misdiagnosed as a mental ailment rather than a neurological disorder where the patients end up being treated with neuroleptic drugs resulting in severe disabling conditions which may even lead them to a shorter span of life.

Other neurological disorders closely related that have been recognized as variants of tardive dyskinesia are: tardive dystonia which is similar to the standard dystonia though permanent, tardive akathisaia which involves pain of inner tension combined with anxiety with a compulsive inclination to move the body while in other extreme cases, the victim undergoes much internal torture resulting in losing the ability to sit still.

Tardive myoclonus another rare disorder involves brief jerks of muscles in the face, trunk, neck and extremities. It is often essential to perform the abnormal involuntary movement scale (AIMS) examination, before and after the administration of the drugs, which helps in identifying the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia when psychotropic medication have been prescribed though the test does not tell if there is any presence or absence of this disorder. It only scales the level of symptoms derived from the action observed and helps to track the severity of this disorder.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD begins before the age of three and lasts for a lifetime although the symptoms may improve over a passage of time. Autism spectrum disorders are complex disorder of the brain and its functions which can affect every individual differently.

Those suffering from autism spectrum disorder may show signs of future problems within the first few months of their life while others may show up later than twenty four months. Some children with this disorder grow normally till the eighteen or twenty four months of age and thereafter stop gaining new skills or may also lose the skills they have developed.

It can affect the child’s ability of signs of impaired social interaction, problems with nonverbal and verbal communication with unusual or limited interest and activities. The three areas of a child’s life that get affected at the time of autism spectrum disorders are behavior and interests, social interaction and communication verbal and non verbal and each person with this disorder have their own pattern of autism disorders. The different types of autism, are, Autistic Disorder also known as classic autism where person with autistic disorder have language delays, communication and social challenges with unusual behavior and interest together and at times intellectual disability.

The next is Asperger Syndrome where the person has some milder symptoms of autistic disorder and might have social challenges with unusual behaviors and interests though they do not have problems with the language or intellectual disability.

The third is Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified, (PDD-NOS) also known as atypical autism which to some extent is similar to autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome but not all are diagnosed with this disorder.

 People with PDD –NOS have less and milder symptoms which might cause social and communication challenges. No two cases of PDD-NOS can be identical in their symptoms and if a child is autistic to the professional evaluator and does not meet all the symptoms for autistic disorder, then the person has PDD-NOS. Rett syndrome is comparatively rare affecting girls and around 10,000, to 15,000 girls may develop this form of autism.

The child tends to stop responding socially, between 6 to 18 months of age, losing language skills and wrings hands habitually, with coordination problems which can become severe with the head growth slowing down that can get far below normal by the age of two. The person who meets more rigid symptoms for a diagnosis of autism is said to have autistic disorder and have severe impairments involving social and language problems together with repetitive behaviors. At times they also tend to have mental retardation as well as seizures.

Autism spectrum disorder, with timely intervention and diagnosis, can help in improvement in social development and reduction in undesired behavior. It is said autism can affect an estimate of two to six per 1000 children, with males about four times more often than females and early diagnosis is important since an early treatment can help the child to make significant progress in language and social skills.

There are early intervention services which help children from early childhood who teach them the important skills including therapy to enable the child to talk, walk and interact with the other children.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Bipolar Disorder And Its Symptoms

Bipolar Disorder
Patients with bipolar disorder may experience two types of intense emotional conflicts namely mania and depression where the manic state can be identified by feelings of irritability or euphoria with several symptoms of agitation, lack of sleep, surges of energy etc; while with symptoms of depression, the patients tends to feel hopeless and sad with loss of energy though the symptoms may differ from person to person.

 Bipolar disorder, which is a chronic illness, has recurring episodes of mania as well as depression which can last for a day or even months and the mental ailments may cause unusual dramatic imbalance in energy, mood and the ability to think clearly. Incidents of high manic and low depressive moods may occur at irregular intervals and the symptoms of bipolar disorder may end with negative impact on the patient with damaged relationship, poor school performances or job and even to the extent of suicide.

Bipolar disorder can be treated and the patients can be helped to lead a normal life. This disorder often occurs during the teens or adult years and almost half of these cases begin before the age of twenty five while some of them have their first symptoms during childhood and others may develop them in the later stage of their life.

Though patients with bipolar disorder may experience two types of intense emotional conflicts, this disorder is not easy to trace at the onset and the symptoms may seem to be a different problem or a minor problem due to which some people tend to suffer for a long time before they are diagnosed of the ailment and undergo treatment for the same.

At times the patient suffering from severe episodes of mania depression also tends to have psychotic symptoms like hallucinations or delusions which may reflect on the moods of the person. Examples could be, when a person of psychotic symptoms with manic episode may be of the belief that they are rich and famous, while a person with depressive episode may believe that they are ruined or have committed a crime.

This could result in wrongly diagnosing bipolar disorder of psychotic symptoms as schizophrenia which is another mental illness linked with delusions and hallucinations. As bipolar disorder patient gets familiar with their illness they begin to understand their own pattern of behavior and if they recognize these signs and take timely treatment they would be helping themselves in preventing relapses and the treatment should be continuous.

 Recovery may involve a variety of perspectives which may include traditional element of physical health as well as aspects which may extend beyond medication while maintaining and attaining physical health. This recovery aspect is very unique to the patient and while there are several definitions of recovery like medical and clinical, some in the context of community and successful living though the most important aspect of recovery is that recovery is a process and not an event.

If a bipolar patient under treatment tends to develop any side effects from medication, they can seek the help of the medical professional at the earliest where a different or a change in the dosage could be prescribed by the physician since sudden stopping of the medication may lead to rebound or also worsen the ailment.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Dementia, A Health Issue

Dementia
As we progress and advance in age, we begin to get older and many functions of our body begin to slow down. We tend to get forgetful as we age and get older and this could be the first signs of dementia which need to be checked and well treated.

Dementia is a non specific syndrome affecting areas of the brain functions like the memory, problem solving, attention, and language and unlike Alzheimer is not considered as a disease. When a person is affected with dementia, the higher mental functions are involved at the initial stage and later on, the person may tend to forget the day of the week or month or year.

He may also not know his bearing, or where he is and may find difficulty in recognizing people around him. Though dementia is common among people of advanced age, it can also affect people of any age. Some of the symptoms of dementia are memory loss wherein the patient may tend to forget the way back home when out, or may forget the name and place and find it hard to recall what may have occurred earlier during the day.

Besides memory loss, moodiness may also be another cause where the patient may get moody as parts of the brain controlling emotions tend to get damaged. Sometimes mood may also be related to anxiety and fear where the person may be frightened about certain issues. The person may also face difficulties in communicating and may find it hard to talk, read or write.

The causes of Dementia is Alzheimer which is the most common cause where the damaged tissue builds in the brain forming deposit known as plaques and tangles which cause the cells in the brain to deteriorate. Alzheimer poses problems with memory and thinking and learning new things or to recall recent events appointments or phone messages tends to get harder. It affects the chemicals in the brain which transmits messages from one cell to another namely acetylcholine which comes gradually and slowly developing over the years.

As the dementia progresses, the person’s ability to perform the daily functions reduces and eventually may not be fit to take care of himself or herself. Stroke is another cause related vascular problem connected to veins and arteries. Since the brain is in need of a good supply of oxygen rich blood, if this supply may be undermined, the brain cells may tend to die leading to vascular dementia.

The symptoms may appear gradually or suddenly and a major stroke may cause symptoms to show up suddenly. Fronto temporal dementia is when the front part of the brain gets damaged and the person’s behavior and personality get affected first and later on there is a change in his memory.

Dementia with lewy bodies is when spherical growth develops inside the nerve cells or brain cells, which form part of our nervous system; damage the brain tissue thus affecting the patient’s memory, his concentration and the ability to speak. At times dementia with lewy bodies can also be mistaken for Parkinson disease since the symptom seems familiar. In majority of the cases, dementia is incurable but the progress can be slowed down with treatment from health professionals.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Schizophrenia and its treatment

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia, in medical terms is an illness which affects the normal function of the brain, interfering with the thinking, feeling and acting ability of the person. Some tend to recover quickly while others undergo a prolonged illness which may take more time resulting in distressing symptoms and disability.

At the onset, schizophrenia is a gradual deterioration which takes place in early adulthood. During pre onset phase, the person suffering from schizophrenia may become eccentric and unmotivated without any goals in life. They may even feel like isolating themselves from family and friends and may also stop engaging themselves in activities which otherwise were enjoyable.

The causes of schizophrenia are not really understood, but it is a possibility of a combination of hereditary and other factors or probably some are born with a predisposition which may lead to the illness. The use of drugs like marijuana, LSD or stress would be the first signs of this ailment. Schizophrenia victims may tend to experience persistent symptoms known as psychosis which may be confused thinking.

The victim may lose the ability to rationally evaluate the surroundings and their interaction with others and tend to believe in things which are not there and have difficulty in accepting the things in reality. They have hallucination and delusions reflecting the distortion in interpretations and perceptions of the realities of life. They often hear, see, smell or taste something that is not present.

The types of Schizophrenia may differ from person to person and may change year after year as the disease progresses and the different types of subtypes of schizophrenia can be identified according to the characteristics in each person and the result can be that a person can be diagnosed with different subtypes during the course of the illness.

 Paranoid Subtype or paranoid schizophrenia is auditory hallucination or delusional thinking related to persecution or conspiracy. Paranoid schizophrenia victims tend to lead a normal life successfully managing their disorder and may be more functional in their ability to work than people with other subtypes of schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenics often come to the attention of mental health professionals when they face some major stress which may cause their illness to get worse and the victim then recognizes the need for help or action from others.

Disorganized subtype features disorganization of thought process where delusions and hallucinations are less though there may be certain evidence of the symptoms. The victim may have significant impairments in maintaining daily living activity and the more routine task of daily living can be lost or impaired. They may also face impairment in emotional process where they may appear to be emotional unstable and their emotions may not seem proper and show ordinary emotional responses which may evoke responses in normal healthy person.

Schizophrenia diagnosed patients with this subtype may also have impairment in the ability to communicate properly and their speech may tend to be incomprehensible and this could be due to disorganized thinking. Schizophrenia victims can be treated with a combination of medication and support. Medication can help the brain to restore the chemical balance and eliminate the symptoms while support could help by way of finding suitable work, training, education, psychosocial rehabilitation and support groups where understanding and acceptance takes priority for best results.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Recognizing Stress


Recognizing Stress
The body’s reaction to harmful situation whether real or otherwise could lead to stress. Stress could be the cause of any unusual incident that may take place in one’s live and it need not be a bad or unpleasant one. Some may even tend to feel stressed while preparing an itinerary before a vacation, or planning for an event or an occasion. Stress can affect any individual and when one feels threatened, a chemical reaction that takes places in our body permits the person to act in self defense to avert an injury.

This type of reaction can be termed as stress response or the fight or flight reaction, wherein during this reaction, the heart begins to race, muscles get tightened up, breathing escalates with the blood pressure tending to rise and the person is prepared to defend and react in that situation. Some stress response also helps in coping up with challenges especially while at work during a presentation; it sharpens the concentration or leads the person to study during exams when they would rather prefer watching the TV.

Stress affects every person and while a little is tolerable, some stress is also beneficial especially while managing finances or in disciplining the children. Stress may vary among individuals and what may tend to be stressful for one person may not be the same for another. This can be due to controlling the stress level adopted by the person undergoing stress and since it affects the mind, body and behavior in various ways, each person may experience stress differently.

Stress can be controlled in identifying the symptoms but it is at times difficult to recognize it. It has been a factor in each one’s live from the beginning of time and it normally starts with the perception of our minds on some incidents or forthcoming events and if left unchallenged it may end in a physical or mental health issues namely heart disease, headaches, stroke, high blood pressure, etc; and too much stress can wear the person down both physically and mentally.

Signs and symptoms can be categorized into four types namely cognitive, emotional, behavioral and physical. With regards to cognitive symptoms, it could be memory problem, poor judgment, constant worrying, focusing on the negative and difficulty in concentrating while in behavioral, it could be isolating oneself from others, nervous habits of pacing or biting nails, shirking responsibilities, sleeping too much or too little and using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax. Physical symptoms could be frequent cold, nausea or dizziness, aches and pains, chest pain, rapid heartbeats, diarrhea and constipation.

 In emotional, the symptoms could be irritability with short temper, moodiness, agitated with inability to relax, a feeling of loneliness and isolation, feeling of unhappiness and depression. Dealing with stress can be done by learning to manage the stress by way of staying in control and not going overboard with this emotion and this can be done by taking charge of one’ thoughts and the actions, learning to relax with quick stress relief.

The Conscious and the subconscious Mind

Conscious Mind
The conscious mind has no memory capacity and deals only with the present situation. It represents a merely twelve percent of the entire mind’s capacity and can hold or be concerned with only a single thought at a time. It has control over the nervous system and though it is responsible for all the reflex actions of our muscles, it is active when we are awake helping in our decisions, analyzing, rationalization and in making processes.

The actions which often take place are derived from the past subconscious experiences one has come across in life thus enabling them to make an appropriate decision and initiate correct action in any given situation. The subconscious mind, on the other hand takes up the remaining eighty eight percent of the brain’s capacity which is our autopilot and acts as a store house of things that are currently not in the conscious mind.

It stores up all of life’s experiences, beliefs, skills, situations, experiences, images, etc: one has encountered in life down the ages. It also controls the autonomic nervous system namely our heartbeats, breathing, glands and organs but does not have the reasoning capacity or to reject anything. It has a perfect memory and is able to recall any instances, incidents or even glimpses one has come across during a passing phase of life

The four states of awareness that the brain goes through is called the brain wave state, which can be measured with the help of sophisticated medical equipment namely the Electroencephalograph machine or the EEG. This equipment is capable of measuring the electrical activity taking place in the brain and helps to ascertain at which level of awareness a particular subject has reached.

While awake and alert, our conscious mind is active and ready to analyze any given information and if indulging in a difficult task that may need concentration, then our brain is said to be in the Beta state. When we tent to relax, then our brain wave cycles also gradually begin to relax. When the relaxations tends to get deep enough, our brain then enters the Alpha state which is referred as the meditative state, or the Zen state, the trance state, or the daydreaming state.

While actually sleeping we are really not awake though we are aware of things around us like hearing people talking or hear noises that may be coming from a distant. In such cases, our conscious mind has fallen asleep though our subconscious mind stays in control of our Autonomic nervous system. When we are further relaxed, we fall into a light sleep which is the Theta state and then we gradually fall into a deep which is known as the Delta state.

All individuals pass through the four stages whenever we fall asleep and move back in reverse order when awake. When drugs are used to fall asleep, our brain moves straight from the Beta state to the Delta state missing out on the Alpha and the Theta state and the continuous use of these drugs could affect the Nervous system causing health problems which may tend to lead to withdrawals and depression. Medical science states that one should go through the Alpha state regularly for proper functioning of our system.