Showing posts with label Mystery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mystery. Show all posts

Tears - A Unique Mystery about Humans

Humans are the only species who shed tears as a result of emotions. Other species also shed tears, but only due to pain or irritation. Women are generally considered more emotional, so tears are often regarded as a weapon for them. Charles Darwin once told that emotional tears are purposeless. Still 150 years after Darwin, the human tears are a mystery for scientists. Tears are often considered as water by some people and often regarded as a sign of weakness, but this myth will be broken in this article.

What are tears made of ?

Tears are not just water, as often considered by some people. If it is just water then it may evaporate easily due to body heat or environmental heat, which would make it harder for eyes to remain wet. It is a mixture water, fat and protein. Basically it contains water, mucin, lipids, lysozyme, lactoferrin, lipocalin, lacritin, immunoglobulins, glucose, urea, sodium, and potassium. The proportion may differ for different people depending on time and emotion. Normally tears are secreted in small amount to clean the eye and keep the cornea wet. They shed away on cheeks only when they are secreted in excess amount and nasal passage can't handle that flow.

Why Tears are necessary for our body ?

  • Tears keep eyeball wet, which is necessary to see properly.
  • Tears pass through to our nostrils through a nasal passage to keep the nose wet and trap the dust and microorganisms in the breathe.
  • Tears contain lysozyme, which can kill 90 to 95 percent of all bacteria.
  • Crying makes our body to release feel-good endorphins, which are also released when we do some physical workout or when we laugh.

Tears are of three types
  • Basal Tears: They are always there in the eyes to nourish them and keep the eyeball wet.
  • Reflex Tears: They protect our eye from irritants such as dust in wind, onion and smoke.
  • Emotional Tears: These tears come out as a result of some emotion such as joy or sorrow.

All three types of tears have different chemical composition.

Tears and the emotional connection

Some psychologists believe that tears are there because man is a social animal. It tells the people near us that we are temporarily going through some problem that is beyond our ability to cope. Emotional tears are different from those tears that comes out due to onion chopping. Emotional tears are more viscous due to more protein content and they stick to the skin and remain on the cheeks for a longer duration, so that someone close can notice them easily. Same neural areas of brain are activated, when we cry or when we see someone crying. Your tears can neutralize the anger of the person in front of you. Being able to cry and the ability to recognize it and respond to it, is an important characteristic that humans got in the process of evolution. Tears can sometimes save a person from further argument and punishment, which makes it a protective mechanism for our body.

History of Research on Tears

  • Around 1500 BC people use to think that tears originate from heart.
  • During Hippocrates' time (460 BC-370 BC) it was thought that mind triggers the tears.
  • In early 17th century it was believed that emotions heat the heart, water vapors are formed there to cool it down, then those vapors rise upwards and condense near eyes and come out as tears.
  • Lacrimal Glands were discovered in 1662 by a Danish scientist named Niels Stensen. These glands also referred as tear glands were found responsible for generation of tears. Stensen also told that tears are there to keep the eyes moist.
  • Vingerhoets, a clinical psychologist, published a theory in 1960. According to that theory humans evolved from aquatic apes and tears helped us live in salt water. This theory was totally rejected by scientific community.
  • Biochemist William Frey popularized a theory in 1985 that crying is a mechanism to remove toxic substances from the blood which build up due to stress.

Today some of the above theories seems to be foolish, but during those times that was a scientific belief. Today we know a lot more than that only because of those theories. But still tears are a mystery.

Some Facts about Tears

  • A newly born baby can't produce tears even if they cry till the age of six weeks.
  • Quantity of tears decrease as we age.
  • Biochemically tears are similar to saliva.
  • According to some researches women cry more than man. Approximately five times more.
  • The crying session is also lengthier for women. Average crying session of women lasts for six minutes, while it is two to four minutes for men.
  • Happy tears and sad tears are chemically same.

What happens during COMA !

Coma is a medical condition in which a person can't respond to any external stimuli. A person is considered in coma only if he/she remains unconscious for more than 6 hours. It can occur due to some head injury or internal bleeding in brain. When a person is in Coma, it appears as if he/she is in deep sleep, but can't get up even if you shake him/her up. In medical terms coma is persistent vegetative state or a state of deep unconsciousness. What happens to a person during Coma differs from person as it depends on the level of coma. Level of coma can be measured using Glasgow Coma Scale.

Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)

It is a scale used by medical practitioners around the world to measure the intensity of Coma. Its readings differ from 3 to 15. A patient with level 3 Coma is most severe and chances of recovery are usually very rare, while a person at level 15 is considered fully awake and conscious. There are three criteria on which the condition of a patient is measured. These criteria are eye movement, verbal ability and motor function (ability to move the body). Eye movement is rated on scale of 1 to 4, verbal ability is rated on scale of 1 to 5, and motor function is rated on scale of 1 to 6. Thus sum of all these criteria gives the final result. So the minimum result is 3 while the maximum result is 15. Usually the medical practitioners write intensity of coma in following way : GCS7 = E3 V2 M2 . Such description of  Glasgow Coma Scale gives whole information above patients consciousness level.

What causes coma ?

Coma can occur due to following reason.

  • Head injury: It might be due to some accident and impact on head. Internal bleeding in brain can also cause coma. Sometimes due to sudden impact during an accident, brain moves inside the skull and causes coma.
  • Stroke: Stroke can stop the blood supply to some important parts of brain which may lead the patient into coma.
  • Blood loss: Blood loss due to an injury can cause coma as brain stops functioning due to lack of blood. If this condition remains same for longer duration then some parts of brain may get damaged permanently and severity of coma may increase.
  • Swelling in Brain: Swelling in brain can cause come. Swelling may occur due to lack of oxygen or electrolyte imbalance.
  • Blood Sugar: Both  hyperglycemia (very high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) can cause coma. But this condition is reversible in most cases by correction of blood sugar level.
  • After Surgeries: It is found that some patients enter the state of coma after some surgeries. It is not necessary to be a brain surgery. However such cases are very rare.
  • Drowning or Choking: These conditions stops the oxygen supply to brain for longer duration and sometimes found responsible for coma.
  • Repeated seizures: Single seizure can't put a person into coma but repeated seizures can.


What happens during COMA

Different people have different experiences during coma.

  • Pupils of a person in coma are usually dilated. It means pupils don't expand or contract due to light.
  • In most of the cases the patient don't remember anything that happened during coma, as if he/she was in a deep sleep.
  • Some patients report that they were able to hear all voices around them but can't react as they are not able to move their body, not even eyes. Such condition is very bad as person is trapped in his own body.
  • In some cases the patient is able to control eyes and eyelids but not other parts of body. Such patients sleep and wake up like other patients but can't move any other part except their eyes.
  • Some patients face memory loss after recovery from coma as some vital part of brain responsible for memory was damaged. Once a patient who recovered from coma was not able to recognize his wife, to whom he was married for 20 years.
  • Once a patient came out of coma after 8 years and spent a day catching up with family and fell back into coma the very next day and never recovered.
  • Mel Blanc, a loony toons voice actor fell into coma and didn't respond until a neurosurgeon addressed him as "Bugs Bunny", to which he responded "Myeeeh...Whats up doc".
  • Hours before Thomas Edison died, he recovered from coma and looked upwards and said "It is very beautiful over there". I am struggling to find whether has was talking about ceiling or heaven.

Experts on the subject of coma have different views about it. But the best explained is that our brain is a large bunch of neurons, all of which are never used and only some part or some circuit is used. If some import part of brain is damaged then we fell into coma and in the mean time our brain tries to make some alternate circuit by using the remaining neurons. Damaged neurons can't be regenerated by our body but circuits can be reconstructed with the remaining neurons. If it succeeds then the patient recovers from coma gradually.

How long do a person remains in coma ?
There is no time limit as it depends on cause of coma and severity of come. On an average it takes 2 to 4 weeks to recover from a coma but as the duration increases the chances or revival gets less. Some patients recover from coma in a few days while some can spend their complete remaining life in that state. Terry Wallis woke up from a coma after 19 years, which is the longest duration for a patient waking up from coma. However Elaine Esposito was in coma for 37 years and 111 days but she never recovered and died in coma.
The longer the person takes, the chances of some body disability increases. Due to this reason some therapies are recommended to recovered patients to recover from disability.

When it comes to brain then nothing is impossible. We humans still have a lot to learn about functioning of brain. May be some day in future we will be able to scan the brain circuits and make a person recover at a faster rate.

A life without Pain : Blessing or Curse

You will wonder if i tell you that there is a person who don't feel pain. It seems to be a blessing to live a life without pain. Most of the people face some kind of pain in some phase of life. Pain is one of the most troubling element in some people's life. Either its Sciatica, Spondylitis, tooth pain, fracture pain or an injury. We face pain in all segments of life and want to get rid of it. But if you think that it will be a blessing to live without pain then you are wrong. Instead its a curse. Pain is a sensation which have its own importance. You will know it once you read this complete article.

Gabby Gingras, born 2001, is a girl who can't feel pain. When she was in 5th Month and teething she bite her father's finger so much that he pulled his finger out and a tooth came out, Gabby bled but didn't cry. Only then her parents noticed that she don't feel pain. Afterwards she started to bite her fingers. After visiting several doctors and searching internet for this disease her parents found that its HSAN(Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy), a disease in which the nerve fibers that feel pain and temperature are not present in body. Her parents got her baby teeth removed and she broke most of the adult teeth herself. As the time flew by Gabby chew her tongue, lost one eye, broken her jaw and hurt herself in several ways. She is still surviving with various safety measures. She has artificial left eye, wears a protective contact lens on right eye and wears swimming goggles while sleeping. A documentary film "A life without Pain" was also made on her life.

Joann Cruz and another 30 years elder case of HSAN. She was born in 1971 and survived with this disease. She had 6 major spinal surgeries as she had broken her spine several times. A rod was inserted in her spine to hold it all together. But she broke the rod as well and noticed it only when she heard it scratching crack-crack sound but felt no pain. Her baby teeth were also pulled out.

Its really hard to believe this fact there is such disease and much harder to live with it. We can't even imagine the problems that such patients and their parents face. For example its hard for such patients to decide if the food and drinks are at right temperature to drink. They can easily burn their or mouth with hot food or water.

Only that person can understand the importance of pain who can't feel it. Pain is a sensation which saves us from harmful events and make us treat them as soon as possible. If we don't feel pain we can't know that any thing wrong is happening to our body. Pain is an indication to look towards our body. The more severe the pain, the more critical matter it is.

The disease that won't let you AGE

Most of us don't know that there is a disease that can act as an effective anti-aging pill. Everyone desires not to get old and keep yourself young for all of your life. Everyone wants to avoid diseases that comes with old age. We want to keep our best body for all of our life. Stopping aging is the very first desire of every human being. We can't think that its a disease if we stop aging. But its a disease if a natural process stops without doing anything to stop it. It becomes a disease when it happens without your desire to do so. You will understand what we are saying once you read more about this disease that won't let you age.
Here we bring you such cases which are unique in medical history and seems unbelievable.

Brooke Greenberg of Baltimore was a unique case is medical history. Born on 8 January 1993, and Died 24 October 2013. She died after attaining twenty years of age. Most of us will have an image of fully grown girl by this detail. But she was just 30 in tall, weighed about 16 lb when she died. Her mental age was just of a nine month to 1 year old baby. This fact is enough to let you know when she stopped aging. Doctors call this condition as Syndrome X. Brooke Greenberg was the third child of their parents, out of 4 girl child. She was born 1 month premature and suffered various medical conditions by the age of five. In year 2009 it was found that her body parts were not developing as a coordinated body. Here mental age was not above 1 year, she was not able to speak but responds to sounds. Her bones were like of a 10 year old kid and she still had her baby teeth. She died due to bronchomalacia, which is a medical condition that usually occurs in children. Read more about Brooke Greenberg at wikipedia.

Another case is of Nicky Freeman from Australia. He was born in 1970. He still looks like a preteen boy. His story was published in various news reports. He was born one month overdue. His head was larger than usual and doctors told that he would not live as he had hydrocephalous - fluid on the brain. But he survived and still alive. According to doctors his bone structure is growing 4 times slower than usual. An article was published in The West about him with title "40 year old trapped in a Child's body". Her mother fears that his son's disabilities are due to anti-histamine, an anti-allergic medicine that she had during pregnancy. Four other women in her town had abortions due to that medicine and one had a child with disabilities. Mrs Freeman has got three other healthy children.

Gabby Williams is the second oldest kid of her parents. She has got five siblings and she is the smallest one. She was born in 2005. Still she has a face of newly born, body of a toddler and wears nappies, just like a newly  born. According to doctors, she was born with some abnormality in brain, damaged optic nerve, two heart defects, a cleft palate, and an abnormal swallowing reflex. She is blind from birth and still needs to be bottle-fed in every three hours. Some people call her real life Benjamin Button (character from Brad Pitt movie). It takes Gabby 4 years to age just one. At the time of birth doctors told Gabby's parents to expect the worst, but her parents poured all of their love for their kid.


María Audenete do Nascimento born on May 7, 1981 in Ceara, Brazil. She was born in a mud hut and raised in it. Now she is 36. At the age of 9 months its found that she is suffering from an auto-immune disease, hypothyroidism. She is 27 inches tall and weighs just 19 pounds. She was not able to walk or talk but just communicates like babies with sign language and gestures. Due to her poor financial status, she didn't get the required medical facilities else she might have grown. Her family was dependent of the aid given by tourists to get her treated till the age of 29. Then something changed as Record News interviewed her and provided her proper medical facilities. Later Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ceara provided her medical care for free. Now she can walk. Later Brazilian TV show Programa do Ratinho provided here free residence and it proved beneficial for her health and family.

Few more cases of Syndrome X are also reported recently. In July 2016 two such cases were reported. One was of Alyssa Pennington of New Mexico, who looks like 5 year old girl while she was 12. Other one was Jenifer Sandoval of Colorado, she looks like four years old while she is 22.

All these occurrences made medical community to take these cases as a chance to find something that can stop ageing process. However there are some people who strongly believe that stopping ageing will create abnormalities in body just like examples shown above.