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Times of India
01 August 2011
By, Sumitra Deb Roy
Mumbai, India

Don’t Ignore That Headache
Sudhansu Naik (38) went to the civic–run Nair hospital last week from Pune when his excruciating headache had a numbing effect on the right side of his body, and left him with slurred speech.

Immediate investigation by hospital doctors showed that he had suffered an infarct at the frontal portion of his brain or in simple terms, a stroke.

Naik is still in sickbay. But, doctors say he will take some time to recover fully and resume his normal life. Doctors feel, many like Naik, who ignore recurrent headaches for long periods could be victims of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVT). It is clotting of blood inside the venous channels in the brain that could cause cerebral infarct, or death of localized brain cells due to lack of blood supply. The patient gets a headache, that later gives way to symptoms like drowsiness, mental changes, confusion, or in worst cases even coma.

In a span of one week, Nair hospital admitted three patients suffering from CVT. A 26–year–old cable operator from Ambernath was one of the patients who came to hospital seeking help for a headache, which had started interfering with his work. This patient, like most of the patients, took medication from a general physician for three days before coming to the hospital.

His treating doctor and associate professor of neurology, Dr Rahul Chakor, said “It is the case with most patients as the symptoms of this condition can be confused with migraine,” he said. Chakor added that the similarity of symptoms between CVT and migraine makes initial diagnosis tough.

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