Doctors treat Mumbai man with a rare brain disorder

Alcohol addiction is a known cause of brain damage and Subdural Hematoma, a medical condition that can be explained as shift of brain. A 62-year-old Mumbaikar, posed a challenge to city doctors with severe hematoma but with no clinical history of brain injury or alcohol condition

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Mumbai accountant puzzled doctors from the city with vague symptoms that didn’t coherently match any one particular disease. The 62-year-old had been complaining of mild sinusitis, dull headache, and positional vertigo. He was under the treatment of a local ENT physician. He was diagnosed with sinusitis and the headaches were attributed to recent change in spectacles.

After two days of enduring subtle pain, the patient’s son got him to SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim. The history revealed that he had minimal imbalance since the past 15 days and brief positional Vertigo with minimal headache for the past 5 days. The relatives further informed the doctor about speech and functional impairment that particular morning, a few days ago, along with disturbance in sleep patterns.

Initial impressions of the doctors were suggestive of disorder of the inner ear or Parkinson’s. Detailed examination revealed asymmetric signs in the form of Rhomberg’s Positive on the right side.

Further tests revealed the presence of a large bleed (Subdural Hematoma) which caused the brain to shift to one side. The patient was immediately rushed into an emergency Burr Hole Surgery, to drain out the chronic clots of blood that were pressing on the brain. He responded well to treatment, however, post-surgery, the doctors realised that the patient had amnesia for the entire time and did not remember anything about the surgery or that particular day and even the 15 days prior to that.

Dr Amit Nabar, Consultant-Critical Care, HOD-Accident and Emergency Medicine, S.L Raheja Hospital said, “People should be aware that they need to seek medical aid in a timely manner instead of ignoring the signs or self-diagnosing themselves. The patient had a speedy recovery and has been discharged, he is been advised to follow-ups every 15 days.”

Dr. Kaustubh Mahajan, Consultant Neurologist, SL Raheja Hospital-A Fortis Associate, added, “If it weren’t for the timely intervention, the bleed would have gone unnoticed and the patient could have slipped into coma or suffered Paralysis. Any new onset headaches even if subtle should not be ignored.”