Some information in Kannada (Dementia India Report 2010: Kannada version of executive summary

The Kannada version of the Executive Summary of the Dementia India Report 2010 was released by NIMHANS, Bangalore, in 2011. I have now made it available on my Dementia Care Notes website for ready reference by anyone who is interested. I am also including a few excerpts below, hopefully to get some of the Kannada-reading persons interested enough to either read it or to let others know about it.

cover of Kannada version of the Executive Summary of the Dementia India Report 2010
You can view/ download the report here: Kannada version of the Executive Summary of the Dementia India Report 2010, PDF file (1.18 MB)

Some excerpts from the report have been posted below (snipped as images). You can click on these to view/ download the full report.

Diseases causing dementia, and their typical early symptoms
table in Kannada giving dementia causing diseases and their typical symptoms

Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors
Modifiable and non modifiable risks in Kannada giving dementia causing diseases and their typical symptoms

Growth in dementia cases expected over the years (India) (numbers in millions, graphed using age groups)
Growth in dementia cases expected over the years (India)

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FAQ on Organ/ Body/ Brain/ Eye Donation

This post provides basic information on organ/ body/ brain/ eye donation using an FAQ format, and includes links to sites with more information. It contains general information for the convenience of readers, and is NOT provided as expert/ authoritative advice, so please consult appropriate authorities as required. Decisions regarding donations are deeply personal, and this post does not attempt to advocate donations or enroll potential donors. I have no intention to persuade you about the merits or demerits of donation. Also, this post is written for the Indian context.

Why this page: After my mother died and I donated her brain, eyes and body, many folks contacted me with queries that indicated conceptual confusions about types of donations and about the practical aspects of donating. I looked around for several months for a website I could refer them to, but most sites focused only on some types of donations or were geared towards enrollments, and did not discuss practical issues/ procedures applicable in India. So I decided to create this post.

I try to keep this post updated (last update date: 14 August 2016) but some highlights of common queries/ problems I encounter are also discussed in Voluntary body donation: some thoughts in response to queries I get.

What is body donation?

Body donation is the donation of the whole body after death, for medical research and education. (See wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_donation)

Usually, this is done at a medical college (teaching hospital) and the body is used by medical students to study anatomy. It is also possible to donate a body/ some specific organs to specialized research institutes that may want to study a specific medical condition.

Body donation is different from organ donation.

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Impermanence, Death, Closures and Continuity through Body Donation

In brief, my mother died at home two days ago, on Sunday evening from aspiration pneumonia. In accordance to her wishes, I donated all the parts of her body that I could. Her eyes went to the eye bank; her brain went to the brain bank for research; the rest of her body went to a medical teaching hospital for students studying anatomy. Again, as per her wishes, her body was at no point put up for viewing, and no other rites were held.

These various body donations put a dignified, respectful and heart-warming end to a life that had been racked with challenges and deterioration for many years now. My mother looked peaceful, and it was the sort of end she always wanted, and I was glad I could respect her wishes.

Sharing below some of what happened.

The day started much as normal. My mother had been stable but deteriorating. The March beginning blood tests were normal. She had problems swallowing and would sometimes make gurgling sounds; they sometimes subsided in a short while, but sometimes needed medicines, including antibiotics. My mother was spending most of the day sleeping and not showing any interest in people around her most of the time.

It was around mid-morning on Sunday that she started the gurgling again. It seemed worse than the minor kind that subsided on its own, so we made her lie on her side, and called the doctor. Her expression showed no discomfort in spite of the gurgling sound, but her breathing was shallow and rapid. After a while, her body seemed warmer than normal.

Hubby and I surfed for gurgling while waiting for the doctor. We downloaded pages and PDF files with scattered, even contradictory information. Some people said gurgling came and went, some gave the gurglers just a few hours or days to live after it started, some gave them a few months, some said there was no correlation. Some explained that gurgling sounded bad to the family and worried them, but was not actually a hurtful experience for the patient. One document cautioned medical practitioners not to use the alternate term for gurgling (death rattle) in the presence of family members.

The doctor came, checked her, made me hear the gurgling through the stethoscope placed on her chest, prescribed antibiotics to be given via IV. He initiated the process of a nurse coming over with the IV stuff, while hubby went to buy the medicines. After a while, my mother’s gurgling reduced, and she seemed very tired. I tried to talk to her, but felt she wanted to rest. We cleaned her, and let her rest. Things seemed better with her. Meanwhile, we were following up for the nurse with the IV, and as soon as we realized the nurse would be arriving shortly, hubby went to my mother’s room to tell her that.

She was not breathing.

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Returning with a brief update, and thoughts on brain bank

So, it’s been three months since my last blog entry. This, after I started the year with a daily entry for one whole month! Ah, well. In software project management, there is a saying: How does a project get to be a year late? One day at a time. That’s what happened here, too.  And after the gap crossed a month, I told myself every day, what difference will one more day make? So it crossed two months, and almost crossed three months.

The last three months have been hectic for me, but dementia and caregiving have continued to form a major part of my life. If anything, the share of my time and energy in these has gone up. It’s just that I could not gather my thoughts enough to make a blog entry.

Let me start with one major event in dementia, the World Alzheimers Day, observed world-wide on September 21. The events included a memory walk, presentations on dementia, and an interactive session with doctors who talked about dementia and answered questions. And Dr. Shankar gave a presentation on Brain Bank and its importance in research.
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Medical Research on Dementia, Brain Banks

A slight diversion from the main theme (dementia and caregiving) that I am exploring–this is about the brain, and how doctors need brains to study and what we can do about this.

We all expect doctors to cure our health problems, or at least treat them and make them bearable. We go to clinics and hospitals hoping that medical professionals will have solutions for problems our bodies throw at us. We expect them to be gods.

How do these gods get their toolkits? How do they know what a set of symptoms means in terms of what our body is doing and why? How do they create drugs and decide on surgery and other interventions to resolve these?
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