When will my uncle recover fully?
Q: My 40-year-old uncle fell ill 15-20 days back due to a blood clot in his brain (reports say clot was up to 5.2%). He was in a very critical state and was in the ICU for five days. He has lost function in his right hand and leg. He has also lost his speech. After shifting from the ICU to the ward, he could recognise people and tried to speak, but was not able to. He has been discharged from the hospital, and now he is at home, but he cannot recognise people. He gets too many hiccups and that lasts for 2-3 hours continuously. When will my uncle recover fully? Is there any danger to his health now?
A:I assume your uncle is right-handed. He has damage done by the bleeding in his brain to the parts that control memory, speech and movements of his right limbs. The clot damages brain tissue by disrupting its structure and by pressing on the fibres and nerve cells that carry impulses to and fro. Damage to structure leaves behind permanent deficits. Damage by pressure eases as the clot shrinks and disappears over 3-6 weeks. Depending on the extent of permanent damage done to the brain, your uncle may be left with some handicaps. These are best detected and explained to you by the physician treating your uncle. The danger to his health depends on the cause of the bleeding. If the cause persists, he may bleed again with further damage. This too is best understood by consulting the physician treating him.