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Dr K K Aggarwal

What is the difference between TB infection and TB disease?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In most people who breathe in TB bacteria the body s immune system is able to fight the TB bacteria and stop them from multiplying. This is called TB infection. People who are infected with TB do not feel sick do not have any symptoms and cannot spread TB. If an infected person s immune system cannot stop the bacteria from multiplying the bacteria eventually cause symptoms of active TB which is called TB disease. Only 10 of all people with TB infection may suffer from the TB disease. People with conditions like HIV diabetes mellitus malnutrition and those on treatment with immunosuppressant drugs anti cancer corticosteroids etc are at a greater risk of developing TB disease once infected.

Smell check, scratch and sniff, a new test for Parkinson’s disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Olfactory dysfunction presenting as odor detection, discrimination, and identification is a common finding in patients with early non vascular Parkinson’s disease.

As per a study of 2,267 men published in the Annals of Neurology, an impaired sense of smell could be an early indicator of Parkinson’s disease, occurring up to four years before motor skill problems appear.

In the study decreased odor identification was associated with older age, smoking, more coffee consumption, less frequent bowel movements, lower cognitive function and excessive daytime sleepiness, but even after adjusting for these factors, those with the lowest odor identification scores had a five time greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than those with the highest scores.

Nerve loss and the formation of Lewy bodies –– abnormal clumps of proteins inside nerve cells that are thought to be a marker of the disease –– are known to take place in the olfactory structures of patients with the disease.

An impaired sense of smell could also be caused by impaired sniffing, which may be another motor symptom of Parkinson’s.

Early indicators of Parkinson’s disease are olfactory abnormality, constipation and sleep disturbances.

Besides Parkinson’s disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, malnutrition, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Korsakoff’s psychosis are all accompanied or signaled by smell disorders.