Tuesday, March 27, 2018



Headache is a common disorder. A large number of people suffer from headaches. Migraine and tension headaches are the commonest causes of headaches. They are not life-threatening, however, they cause significant disability, as pain impairs the quality of life. In some cases, headaches can be caused by serious causes, such as brain tumor, brain hemorrhage, brain fever, etc. 

The current interview focuses on the common causes of headache. How should we diagnose migraine? It can be diagnosed based on symptoms in most cases. When should one consult a doctor for headache? When should one do a brain scan? How do we treat headaches? To get answers to these and other questions, please watch this interview. The link of the youtube video with the interview is:


Feel free to post your comments or ask any queries.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist,
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad

Monday, March 26, 2018



Epilepsy is a common neurological illness. It can be easily diagnosed and treated. People suffering from epilepsy can lead normal lives after treatment. Despite this, there are lot of misconceptions about this disease. There is a social stigma attached to epilepsy and epileptic patients. 

In this interview (in Hindi language), I have discussed the symptoms, diagnostic techniques and treatment options for people suffering from epilepsy. The link to youtube video is given below:


Please go through this video interview to learn more about epilepsy. Feel free to post your comments and queries.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad

Thursday, January 4, 2018

DRINKING WATER FOR A HEALTHY LIVING- All you ever wanted to know


Water forms 60% of our body weight and is essential for life. It should be consumed in adequate amounts for proper functioning of various organs.
Normal water intake
1.     Men: 3.7 liters per day
2.     Women: 2.7 liters per day (Pregnant and breast-feeding women need more water).
20% of this comes from food (fruits, vegetables, beverages, etc) and the remaining should be consumed in the form of plain water.
When do we need more water?
1.     Exercise- Exercise leads to water loss in the form of sweating. So, we should consume water before, during and after exercise. Avoid drinking too much water as it can be harmful; it could dilute the body fluids leading to hyponatremia (low sodium).
2.     In hot climates- Water loss is more via perspiration and sweating, and hence, more water is needed.
3.     During illnesses such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea. All these conditions lead to water loss and this loss needs to be replenished.
When should the water intake be reduced (less than normal intake)?
In some diseases, water intake needs to be reduced (under the supervision of a doctor). These are:
1.     Chronic kidney disease,
2.     Heart failure,
3.     Chronic liver disease,
4.     Hyponatremia (low sodium)- some cases are treated by restricting fluid intake. 
How do we know whether our water intake is normal or not?
If you rarely feel thirsty and if the colour of your urine is light yellow (or colorless), your water intake is probably adequate.
What is the best way of getting our daily water requirement?
·      Plain water is the best (safe, inexpensive, easily available and has zero calories).
·      20% of water can also come from fruits, vegetables, juice, milk, tea/coffee, etc
·      Soft (carbonated drinks), sports drinks, energy drinks and alcohol should not be routinely relied upon to complete the daily quota of water. Sports drinks may be taken if one does rigorous exercise for one hour or more.
Can more water intake help in weight loss?
The answer is yes. This is because many times, thirst is confused with hunger. So, whenever you feel hungry, drink water first. People, who consume more water, end up consuming less salt, less sugar and less saturated fats (this leads to weight loss).
A bottle of water before main meals could aid in weight loss.
Replace soda with water, tea of coffee to fight diabetes
Yes, you heard it right. The habit of having a “soft drink” (carbonated beverage) to quench your thirst can increase your chances of getting diabetes, as it contains high amount of sugar. Replacing soda/soft drinks with water, tea or coffee (without sugar) leads to lesser chance of getting diabetes.
Is drinking water on empty stomach in mornings useful?
Yes, drinking water in morning on empty stomach is helpful. Most of us have not had water for about eight hours prior to getting up, leading to mild dehydration. So, one should consume 2-3 glasses (600-800 ml) of water in mornings. This helps in improving bowel movements & urination (leading to release of toxins). This would also reduce hunger, leading to lesser consumption of carbohydrates and fats (thus promoting weight loss).
Providing water dispensers in schools could also be a cheap method of reducing obesity in children.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad

Monday, November 6, 2017



1. STROKE is a disease that affects:
A. Heart
B. Brain
C. Kidney
D. Lungs
2. Common symptoms of stroke include:
A. severe chest pain
B. Fits or convulsions
C. Paralysis of face, arms, legs, slurred speech
D. Breathing difficulty
3. If someone suffers from stroke at 9 PM,
A. He can go to OPD the next day
B. He should rush to the nearest general physician
C. He should rush to a hospital with 24X7 CT scan and neurologist on call
D. He can try home remedies for the night.
4. Is there a treatment available for patients with stroke, which would minimise disability
A. Yes
B. No
5. Common risk factors for stroke include all the following EXCEPT
A. Diabetes mellitus
B. Hypertension
C. Running on treadmill
D. Smoking
6. Which of the following measures is NOT helpful in preventing a recurrence of stroke in a person who has suffered stroke?
A. Taking Aspirin
B. Controlling BP and sugars,
C. Quitting smoking,
D. Skipping breakfast, if overweight
7. Physiotherapy helps in better and faster recovery of stroke survivors.
A. True
B. False
8. Stroke affects only older people
A. True
B. False
9. Proportion of population that may suffer a stroke in their lifetime
A. 1 in 10
B. 1 in 8
C. 1 in 6
D. 1 in 4
10. Stroke is treated by
A. Neurologist
B. Cardiologist
C. Nephrologist
D. Chest physician
Please go through these questions and answer them. Answers are posted below
Thank you for going through the questions. Here are the answers:
1. B
Stroke affects brain. It most commonly occurs due to blockage of blood supply to a part of the brain. In some cases, it can also occur due to rupture of a blood vessel.
2. C 
Common symptoms of stroke include sudden onset facial weakness, weakness of arm or leg, slurred speech, loss of vision on one side, imbalance while walking or severe headache.
3. C
Stroke is a medical emergency. The brain tissue can suffer irreversible damage, if not treated within the first four hours. Therefore, the patient should be rushed to a hospital with 24X7 CT scan facility. The treatment is administration of clot-buster therapy under the guidance of a neurologist.
4. A
Clot-buster therapy with tissue plasminogen activator or tenecteplase within the first four and a half hours after stroke onset can minimise disability.
5. C
Running on treadmill is a healthy exercise and protects from stroke.
6. C
Skipping breakfast is an unhealthy habit. Moreover, it does not help in reducing weight.
7. A
Physiotherapy is very helpful in faster recovery of stroke survivors. It should be started as early as possible.
8. B
Stroke predominantly affects older people, however, it can affect all ages, including children.
9. C
Stroke is a common cause of death and disability (along with heart attacks and cancer) in the world, and affects i in 6 people in their lifetime.
10. A
Stroke is a disease of brain and is treated by neurologist.
I hope you enjoyed this mini-quiz. I would love to hear your comments or any further queries.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad



Choice of foods is important, when it comes to prevention and treatment of certain neurological disorders. The article on this topic was published in November 2017 issue of B Positive magazine, a health and wellness magazine.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad

Sunday, October 29, 2017


On the occasion of World Stroke Day (29th October), an article published in Times of India newspaper, to raise awareness about the diagnosis, treatment options and prevention of stroke. 

The article can be accessed in Times of India (Hyderabad edition), dated 29th October 2017 (Page 31), at the following link: http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31809&articlexml=WORLD-STROKE-DAY-Avoid-a-brush-with-a-29102017105014

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad

Tuesday, September 12, 2017



The mind is probably the strongest organ of the body. When the mind believes, anything is achievable, nothing is impossible! It is said, success or failure is more often decided in the mind, than the actual event itself. Thus, in the toughest sports tournaments, the players with stronger mind usually prevail.

Traits of a Strong Mind
A strong mind always looks at the positive aspect of things, because with regard to everything in life, there are both, positive and negative aspects.
·      Winners always focus on the positive aspect. Halfway in a marathon race, a person with a weak mind thinks, “half the distance is still yet to go and I may not be able to complete it well”. On the other hand, a person with a strong mind thinks, “I have finished half the race well, I can easily finish the second half equally well”. Needless to say, the runner with the stronger mind succeeds.
·      A person with a strong mind has a lot of self-belief. “When you do not believe in yourself, how can others believe in you?” So, you need to strongly inculcate the sense of self-belief in yourself at all times. This is considered as s stepping stone towards success.
·      Another feature of a person with strong mind is that he/she is always hopeful. They always hope for and expect a good outcome. Even when the whole world thinks otherwise, a person with strong mind always hopes for success. You would certainly agree to this one- how many times you have seen players winning a match from almost a losing position?! So, it is obvious that unwavering hope and self-belief are important for winning, even from “losing situations”.
·      A person with a strong mind looks at only the good qualities in another person and oversees the bad traits. Every individual has both good and bad qualities. It is always easy to focus on negative qualities of a person and criticize him. It takes a person with strong mind to focus on good qualities of others and appreciate them. This virtue makes them appear more congenial among masses. After all, no one likes a person who is always critical about him or her.
·      The most important quality in a person with strong mind is their ability to control emotions. Emotions and sensitivity are important for good social interactions; however, exaggerated emotional responses may interfere with daily life. A person with a weak mind may suffer from sadness and depression after a failure. On the other hand, a person with strong mind treats failure as a medium to work on flaws and successfully outgrows them. If one remains pre-occupied with negative emotions after a failure, there is no time and energy left to sharpen the skills to excel later. However, the person with a strong mind puts the failure behind and works harder in order to succeed at the next available opportunity.
·      Anger is a negative emotion, which a person with strong mind lacks. Strong-minded people are able to smile at all instances and events and strongly believe in letting bygones be bygones, because they know that anger does not solve a problem; on the contrary, it may aggravate it. Everyone likes a smile and appreciation- who likes getting reprimanded?! There is no wonder, then that people who often smile have a large number of admirers as compared to those who get angry with small issues.

The Making of a Strong Mind
From the above discussion, it is quite evident that a strong mind is vital for a fulfilling and successful life. So, is the “strong mind” inherited from one’s ancestors or can one do something to make the minds stronger? Well, here’s how you can build a strong mind. Just follow these methods:
1.     Regular exercises not only help you making physically fit, but also impacts your memory and thinking skills. There is a release of good chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine post-exercise, which elevate our mood and keeps depression away. So, stay active!
2.     Good nutrition is important to keep the brain strong. Timely balanced meals are the key. So, dig into foods that are good for the brain. These foods include fish, eggs, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, blueberries, dry fruits like almonds and walnuts, etc.
3.     Ensure adequate sleep of seven to eight hours at night, as it relaxes the body and mind. The mind gets re-energized after a restful sleep and is ready to take on the everyday challenges of life.
4.     The brain gets bored and inactive with a monotonous schedule and activities, and the risk of cognitive impairment increases with this schedule. On the other hand, challenging the brain with newer activities, such as learning a new language or playing a musical instrument, would make the brain sharper and stronger. This also boosts the self-confidence in a person.
5.     Avoiding smoking and alcohol as both these vices  have a negative influence on brain and mind functions, making them weaker and prone to mental illnesses.
6.     Socialize whenever you can! Isolation and loneliness are detrimental to brain and mind and make them weaker. On the other hand, greater social interactions, especially spending quality time with family and friends are healthy for brain and makes it stronger.

(This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of B POSITIVE, a health and wellness magazine)

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad