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Marijuana Use Linked with Vomiting Cycles in Young Men

Researchers investigating marijuana use have discovered that use of the substance among young males is linked with cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), a condition where patients experience episodes of vomiting separated by symptom free intervals.

A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York looked at CVS patients and compared them with people with other conditions. One group of people had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), whose symptoms include pain, fullness gas and bloating over more than 3 days. Another had functional vomiting (FV), which is which is recurrent vomiting that cannot be attributed to a specific physical or psychiatric cause.

The 13-year study of 226 patients included 82 CVS patients, 82 IBS Patients and 62 FV patients.

“Our study showed that CVS and FV had very similar clinical features, apart from marijuana use,” said Dr. G Richard Locke III from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Clinic.

One of the differences between CVS and FV was retching, which was more common in patients with CVS (69% versus 31%), researchers said.

“Our study confirms that cyclic vomiting syndrome occurs most often in young males and is significantly associated with marijuana use, unlike functional vomiting” Locke said. “The current treatment options for this condition remain challenging and are limited by the lack of randomised controlled trials. Further research is clearly needed.”

The researchers outlined some study findings listed below:

  • Members of the CVS group were younger than members of the FV group (30 versus 36 years) and more likely to be male (53% versus 46%).

 

  • No statistically significant association was detected between membership of the CVS and FV groups and marital status, education level, body mass index, employment status, alcohol use or smoking history.

 

  • 37% of the CVS group had used marijuana (81% male), together with 13% of the FV group (equally split between male and female) and 11% of the IBS group (73% male).

 

  • Marijuana users were 2.9 times more likely to be in the CVS group than the FV group. When this was adjusted for age and gender, males using marijuana were 3.9 times more likely to be in the CVS group and women using marijuana were 1.2 times more likely.

SOURCE: medicaldaily.com

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5 Things Healthy Sleepers Never Do (And What They Do Instead)

“You should get eight hours of sleep a night.”

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Sure, that is until it’s 3 a.m. and you’ve been tossing and turning for hours, staring at your alarm clock as it chips away at your valuable sack time. In those moments, eight blissful hours seems like an impossible dream.

Sleep shouldn’t be a daily chore, like a burden to overcome. Instead, sleep should be prioritized like the life-changing, mood-lifting, regenerative magic it is. For many a tossing-turner, the key is to take the stress out of hitting the sheets; so we’ve partnered with Sleep Number to find out what habits healthy sleepers never do before bed, and what they do instead, to help you get your best sleep tonight.

1. They Don’t Crank The Heat.

Nothing stands in the way of a good night’s sleep like a toasty bedroom. “I had a client who got so hot he would get up in the middle of the night, unclothed, throw open his windows — even in the dead of winter — and hang his body out to cool off,” says author Hope Gillerman, who specializes in sleep aromatherapy. It’s a pretty common problem (although that’s quite an, er, extreme solution, our naked friend). Science proves that most of us get our best sleep in ambient temperatures between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, so we suggest you dial the thermostat back.

“I like it cold,” says neurologist William Winter, a sleep-medicine expert. “Most people sleep best in that environment.”

Instead, They Take A Warm Soak.

Turns out all of those sleep tips that suggest taking a shower or bath before bed are, in fact, on to something. After all, it worked when you were a baby, didn’t it? The rise in body temperature from a hot bath or shower, and its subsequent cool down, mimics the body’s natural process as it readies for sleep.

“Think of what we do to train babies to learn how to go to sleep,” Gillerman says. “First a bath, then a story with the lights low, voice soft, so the child feels safe and can just let go.”

2. They Don’t Set An Alarm — That Makes Noise.

On those glorious mornings when you don’t have to wake up early, ditch the alarm entirely. “I set an alarm to remind me to go to sleep,” says dentist Mark Burhenne, who specializes in the relationship between healthy sleep and healthy teeth. “I do not set an alarm to wake up.”

“Natural sunlight is probably the best way to wake up, unlike a sound.”Mark Burhenne, dentist

That’s because you’re less likely to stress about falling asleep if you don’t have to be up at a specific time. (Duh.) But, since most of us realistically can’t ditch our alarms on weekdays, how can we have a better relationship with our morning wake-up call? Waking up through gentler methods than an adrenaline-inducing alarm might be the answer.

Instead, They Rise With The Shine.

Using your phone as an alarm is a dealbreaker with sleep experts, who instead recommend gentler wake-up methods, like light or touch. Plus, by now you know (we hope!) that having your phone bedside is a bad idea.

“Natural sunlight is probably the best way to wake up, [unlike] a sound,” Burhenne says. “They do have alarms that have a bulb, and it slowly rises like the sun does, by your bedside. It’s a specific wavelength of light that will literally tell your brain to wake up.”

Plus, you’re likely to feel better rested and more alert when waking up with a dawn simulator.

3. They Don’t Break Bread.

Sure, that starchy, carby Italian dinner of breadsticks, pasta and tiramisu may make you feel sleepy, but it won’t exactly make for a restful night’s sleep. “A very heavy meal will take a long time to digest, and will make falling asleep difficult,” says dermatologist and psychiatrist Amy Wechsler, who specializes in the connection between good sleep and healthy skin.

And that glass of red wine to wash it all down? A 2015 study found that drinking alcohol just before bed caused an increase in alpha brainwave activity, which typically happens during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes — think meditation or daydreaming. This increase in alpha waves disrupts the “deep sleep” delta waves, which are critical to healing and regeneration.

Instead, They Crack Nuts (And Cork It).

Hitting the stack within two to three hours of eating a large meal will make digesting those carbohydrates next to impossible. Plus, the chocolate and dairy in our favorite desserts have been linked to Restless Legs Syndrome, a classic cause of sleeplessness.

You might be better off spending your sack time with a cup of homemade bone broth an hour before bed, which is rich in the sleep-inducing amino acid glycine, Burhenne says. But, if bone broth isn’t exactly your (sleepytime) cup of tea, Winter snacks on pistachios and chamomile tea before hitting the hay.

“Nuts, especially hazelnuts and walnuts, have high amounts of tryptophan and may even contain melatonin,” he says.

4. They Don’t Go To Bed Angry.

It’s a cliché because it’s true — never go to bed angry. “Choosing bedtime to fight with your spouse … is probably not a great idea,” Winter says.

“Sex helps people sleep better.”Amy Wechsler, dermatologist and psychiatrist

But, don’t be so locked into your bedtime routine that you deny yourself and your partner some much needed one-on-one time. Experts agree on the soporific power of sex, which is definitely worth skipping bedtime for.

“It may be that 11 p.m. — when you should be shutting down — could be the first time you get to connect to your spouse or partner,” Gillerman says. “It’s hard to deny that need.”

To put it more bluntly: “Sex helps people sleep better,” Wechsler says.

Instead, They Uncap Calming Oils.

As an aromatherapist, Gillerman experiments with different sleep-promoting essential oils, breathing them either as part of a scented evening bath, or simply off a soaked tissue, stationed at the bedside. “Scent by itself can be therapeutic because it connects to memory and the emotional part of the brain,” she says.

Her favorites are combinations of neroli, anise, sandalwood and frankincense. Because some of those scents can be expensive, she also suggests more affordable oils like lavender, bergamot, orange and chamomile. Lavender has long been promoted to snag a more restful night’s sleep, since it’s been shown to significantly decrease heart rate and blood pressure. Similarly, bergamot has beenlinked to a drop in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

“I am always exploring new techniques and using different oils,” Gillerman says. “Routine is great, but with essential oils it is good to switch to new ones after six months.”

5. They Don’t Pull All-Nighters.

Sleep experts are people, too — and many of them went to medical school — so they know all too well that we’re often constrained to function without sleep. But that doesn’t mean they sign off on it.

“I am really good at staying up for long periods of time and being pretty functional,” Winter says. “But as I have matured, I’ve seen firsthand how much healthier and happier I am when I shut the computer off and go to sleep. Just because you can stay up late and be productive the next day does not mean you should.”

“It was a badge of honor to be able to stay up late and get up early and be productive. I now wear a different badge: one of appreciation and mindfulness toward sleep.”Mark Burhenne, dentist

In the U.S., estimates indicate, 30 percent of adults and 66 percent of adolescents are regularly sleep deprived, which we should not take lightly. Sleep deprivation can lead to learning, memory and mood changes.

“It was a badge of honor to be able to stay up late and get up early and be productive,” Burhenne says of his younger years. “I now wear a different badge: one of appreciation and mindfulness toward sleep.”

Instead, They Take Sleep Seriously.

Prioritizing sleep is one of the best things you can do for your future self. “You have to believe that seven to eight hours of sleep per night is crucial to your physical and mental health, and not optional or extra,” Wechsler says. Do everything you know you need to do before bedtime to make good sleep not only a goal, but a reality.

After all, as Winter says, sleep is “the foundation of all our attempts at being healthier and happier.”

SOURCE: huffingtonpost.com

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Living with the Puke Monster– Dealing with Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome

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Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome… a rare disease characterized by recurrent episodes of nausea and vomiting with no known cause or cure.

I started getting sick around age four with these mysterious episodes of severe nausea and vomiting that would last for days to two weeks at a time. I couldn’t eat, drink or hold any meds down during the episodes. My mom said that I was non-responsive and during episodes she would rush me to the ER for IV meds and fluids.

Doctors were baffled as to what was wrong with me. I saw doctors of every kind including primary doctors, cardiologists, gynecologists, mental doctors, neurologists and more. I was put through all sorts of medical tests including CAT scans, MRI scans, Gastric Emptying tests, blood work, urine analysis, sleep studies, endoscopies, feeding tubes, stomach pumping and more. I was put on so many medications– from nausea meds to depression meds.

Nothing was showing up on any of the tests the doctors were doing, so eventually my mom told me I was doing it to myself and it was mental. So I was admitted twice to two different mental hospitals around the ages of nine and 12. I was stuck in a padded blue room during one of my vomiting episodes and told that I was doing it to myself and until I stopped making myself puke, I was going to stay in that padded blue room as punishment. I ended up vomiting all over myself and also going #2 on myself before being let out of the room some five hours later.

As time went on I kept having the severe nausea and vomiting episodes up to 4 times a month for two-seven days each episode, and I continued to go to doctors to try to figure out what was wrong with me but no one knew. I had my gallbladder taken out at one point for no reason other then the doctor “thought” that was what was making me so sick. I missed up to 47 days a year at school in those years and nearly got my mother in trouble with the school board. I ended up having to graduate high school a year later than I was supposed to because of being so sick and getting so behind.

At age 23, I was watching a show called The Doctors I found out about a very rare condition called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, which is related to Mitochondrial Disease and I took the info to a GI doctor who didn’t believe in CVS so I found another GI doctor in that same office and finally got diagnosed after 19 years of hell and torture. I have lost five out of five jobs trying to work as a 25 year old young adult, so I applied for disability and I am on year four of fighting for it as well as Medicaid. It has been a long hard road and not one I’d wish on anyone, but I am so thankful to have answers now and although there’s no cure, I have some hope for a future with meds.

SOURCE: globalgenes.org

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Bad science had misled millions with chronic fatigue syndrome. Here’s how we fought back

Problem is, the study was bad science.

And we’re now finding out exactly how bad.

Under court order, the study’s authors for the first time released their raw data earlier this month. Patients and independent scientists collaborated to analyze it and posted their findings Wednesday on Virology Blog, a site hosted by Columbia microbiology professor Vincent Racaniello.

The analysis shows that if you’re already getting standard medical care, your chances of being helped by the treatments are, at best, 10 percent. And your chances of recovery? Nearly nil.

The new findings are the result of a five-year battle that chronic fatigue syndrome patients — me among them — have waged to review the actual data underlying that $8 million study. It was a battle that, until a year ago, seemed nearly hopeless.

When the Lancet study, nicknamed the PACE trial, first came out, its inflated claims made headlines around the world. “Got ME? Just get out and exercise, say scientists,” wrote the Independent, using the acronym for the international name of the disease, myalgic encephalomyelitis. (Federal agencies now call it ME/CFS.) The findings went on to influence treatment recommendations from the CDC, theMayo Clinic, Kaiser, the British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and more.

But patients like me were immediately skeptical, because the results contradicted the fundamental experience of our illness: The hallmark of ME/CFS is that even mild exertion can increase all the other symptoms of the disease, including not just profound fatigue but also cognitive deficits, difficulties with blood pressure regulation, unrestorative sleep, and neurological and immune dysfunction, among others.

Soon after I was diagnosed in 2006, I figured out that I had to rest the moment I thought, “I’m a little tired.” Otherwise, I would likely be semi-paralyzed and barely able to walk the next day.

The researchers argued that patients like me, who felt sicker after exercise, simply hadn’t built their activity up carefully enough. Start low, build slowly but steadily, and get professional guidance, they advised. But I’d seen how swimming for five minutes could sometimes leave me bedbound, even if I’d swum for 10 minutes without difficulty the day before. Instead of trying to continually increase my exercise, I’d learned to focus on staying within my ever-changing limits — an approach the researchers said was all wrong.

A disease ‘all in my head’?

The psychotherapy claim also made me skeptical. Talking with my therapist had helped keep me from losing my mind, but it hadn’t kept me from losing my health. Furthermore, the researchers weren’t recommending ordinary psychotherapy — they were recommending a form of cognitive behavior therapy that challenges patients’ beliefs that they have a physiological illness limiting their ability to exercise. Instead, the therapist advises, patients need only to become more active and ignore their symptoms to fully recover.

In other words, while the illness might have been triggered by a virus or other physiological stressor, the problem was pretty much all in our heads.

By contrast, in the American research community, no serious researchers were expressing doubts about the organic basis for the illness. Immunologists found clear patterns in the immune system, and exercise physiologists were seeinghighly unusual physiological changes in ME/CFS patients after exercise.

I knew that the right forms of psychotherapy and careful exercise could help patients cope, and I would have been thrilled if they could have cured me. The problem was that, so far as I could tell, it just wasn’t true.

A deeply flawed study

Still, I’m a science writer. I respect and value science. So the PACE trial left me befuddled: It seemed like a great study — big, controlled, peer-reviewed — but I couldn’t reconcile the results with my own experience.

So I and many other patients dug into the science. And almost immediately we saw enormous problems.

Before the trial of 641 patients began, the researchers had announced their standards for success — that is, what “improvement” and “recovery” meant in statistically measurable terms. To be considered recovered, participants had to meet established thresholds on self-assessments of fatigue and physical function, and they had to say they felt much better overall.

But after the unblinded trial started, the researchers weakened all these standards, by a lot. Their revised definition of “recovery” was so loose that patients could get worse over the course of the trial on both fatigue and physical function and still be considered “recovered.” The threshold for physical function was so low that an average 80-year-old would exceed it.

In addition, the only evidence the researchers had that patients felt better was that patients said so. They found no significant improvement on any of their objective measures, such as how many patients got back to work, how many got off welfare, or their level of fitness.

But the subjective reports from patients seemed suspect to me. I imagined myself as a participant: I come in and I’m asked to rate my symptoms. Then, I’m repeatedly told over a year of treatment that I need to pay less attention to my symptoms. Then I’m asked to rate my symptoms again. Mightn’t I say they’re a bit better — even if I still feel terrible — in order to do what I’m told, please my therapist, and convince myself I haven’t wasted a year’s effort?

Many patients worked to bring these flaws to light: They wrote blogs; they contacted the press; they successfully submitted carefully argued letters andcommentaries to leading medical journals. They even publishedpapers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

They also filed Freedom of Information Act requests to gain access to the trial data from Queen Mary University of London, the university where the lead researcher worked. The university denied most of these, some on the grounds that they were “vexatious.”

Critics painted as unhinged

The study’s defenders painted critics as unhinged crusaders who were impeding progress for the estimated 30 million ME/CFS patients around the world. For example, Richard Horton, the editor of the Lancet, described the trial’s critics as “a fairly small, but highly organised, very vocal and very damaging group of individuals who have, I would say, actually hijacked this agenda and distorted the debate so that it actually harms the overwhelming majority of patients.”

Press reports also alleged that ME/CFS researchers had received death threats, and they lumped the PACE critics in with the purported crazies.

While grieving for my fellow patients, I seethed at both the scientists and the journalists who refused to examine the trial closely. I could only hope that, eventually, PACE would drown under aslowlyrisingtideofgoodscience, even if the scientific community never recognized its enormous problems.

But with the National Institutes of Health only funding $5 million a year of research into chronic fatigue syndrome, it seemed like that could take a very long time.

Then last October, David Tuller, a lecturer in public health and journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote in Virology Blog a devastating exposeofthe scientific flaws of the trial. Tuller described all the problems I had seen, along with several more. The project was a remarkable act of public service: He isn’t a patient, yet he spent a year investigating the trial without institutional support, legal backing, or remuneration.

And, at last, the criticisms gained traction.

Racaniello and 41 other scientists and clinicians published an open letter to the Lancet calling for an independent investigation into the trial and saying “such flaws have no place in published research.” Rebecca Goldin, the director of Stats.org, an organization that works to improve the use of statistics in journalism, eviscerated the trial’s design in a 7,000-word critique.

In the meantime, a Freedom of Information Act request from Australian patient Alem Matthees was making its way through the legal system.

Matthees had asked for the anonymized data necessary to analyze the study using its original standards for success, but Queen Mary University of London had refused the request, arguing that malicious patients would break the anonymization and publish the participants’ names to discredit the trial. It again cited the death threats.

The court rejected these claims a month ago, calling them “wild speculations” and pointing out that the researchers themselves acknowledged in court that neither they nor PACE participants had received death threats.

Startling results from a re-analysis

Just before releasing the data,Queen Mary University of London did its own re-analysis on the question of how many patients got better, at least a little bit. Their data showed that using the study’s original standards, only 20 percent of patients improved with cognitive behavior therapy or exercise in addition to medical care, not 60 percent as claimed in the Lancet.

And even the 20 percent figure might be misleading, because the re-analysis also found that 10 percent of participants improved after receiving only standard medical care. That suggests that 10 percent in each of the treatment groups would likely have improved even without the exercise or therapy, leaving only 10 percent who were significantly helped by those interventions.

As for the claim that 22 percent of patients who received either treatment made an actual recovery? That went up in smoke when Matthees analyzed the raw data with the help of his colleagues and statisticians Philip Stark of the University of California, Berkeley, and Bruce Levin of Columbia University.

Their analysis showed that had the researchers stuck to their original standards, only 4.4 percent of the exercise patients and 6.8 percent of the cognitive behavior therapy patients would have qualified as having recovered, along with 3.1 percent of patients in a trial arm that received neither therapy.

Importantly, there was no statistically significant difference between these recovery rates.

The PACE researchers, the editor of the Lancet, and the editors of Psychological Medicine (which published the follow-up study on recovery) all declined to comment for this article.

Simon Wessely, president of the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists, defended the trial in an email exchange with me. He argued that some patients did improve with the help of cognitive behavior therapy or exercise, and noted that the improvement data, unlike the recovery data, was statistically significant. “The message remains unchanged,” he wrote, calling both treatments “modestly effective.”

Wessely declined to comment on the lack of recovery. He summarized his overall reaction to the new analysis this way: “OK folks, nothing to see here, move along please.”

‘A classic bad study’

But it doesn’t appear that outside researchers are ready to “move along.”

After reviewing the new analysis, Jonathan Edwards, a professor emeritus of medicine at University College London said he was unconvinced that these small subjective improvements indicated the patients genuinely felt better. “They’ve set this trial up to give the strongest possible chance of there being a placebo effect that you can imagine,” he said.

“This is a classic bad study,” said Ron Davis, director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center and director of the Science Advisory Board of the End ME/CFS Project. He emphasized an additional problem: The study used such a broad definition of the disease that it likely included many patients who didn’t truly have ME/CFS at all.

“The study needs to be retracted,” Davis said. “I would like to use it as a teaching tool, to have medical students read it and ask them, ‘How many things can you find wrong with this study?’”

Retractions are rare, however, and erasing the impact of this flawed research will take much work for years to come.

After a sustained effort by ME/CFS advocates, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, just changed its recommendation to read that there is insufficient evidence to justify cognitive behavior therapy or graded exercise. But many more public health agencies continue to point patients toward them.

And efforts to propagate this approach continue: A trial of graded exercise in children with ME/CFS has recently begun, and patients are protesting it.

Watching the PACE trial saga has left me both more wary of science and more in love with it. Its misuse has inflicted damage on millions of ME/CFS patients around the world, by promoting ineffectual and possibly harmful treatments and by feeding the idea that the illness is largely psychological. At the same time, science has been the essential tool to repair the problem.

But we shouldn’t take solace in the comforting notion that science is self-correcting. Many people, including many very sick people, had to invest immense effort and withstand vitriol to use science to correct these mistakes. And even that might not have been enough without Tuller’s rather heroic investigation. We do not currently have a sustainable, reliable method of overturning flawed research.

And rectifying PACE will take more than exposing its flaws. The lingering doubt it has cast on the illness will only be fully dispersed when we’ve finally figured out what’s really going on with the disease.

SOURCE: statnews.com

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7-year-old girl explains in viral video why Down syndrome is “not scary”

 

Every year during Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Jennifer Sanchez tries to reach out to her friends and family about Down syndrome.

The mom wanted to speak on behalf of her two children – her 8-year-old son, Joaquin, and 7-year-old daughter, Sofia – who have the genetic disorder.

But this year, she decided to let her daughter speak for herself.

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Sofia, age 7.

One day, while laying on her daughter’s bed with a cellphone in hand, Sanchez spotted the perfect opportunity to ask Sofia about Down syndrome.

“Little miss, do you have Down syndrome?” Sanchez asked.

“Yes, I do have Down syndrome,” Sofia stated matter-of-factly.

Sanchez continued, asking Sofia what Down syndrome is. Sofia explained that it’s in your “blood.”

“Down syndrome is in your blood? Does it make your blood special?” Sanchez responded.

“Yeah!” Sofia exclaimed.

“Is Down syndrome scary?” Sanchez then asked.

“No, it’s not scary; it’s so exciting!” Sofia said, while motioning with her hands.

The mother of four from Rocklin, California, couldn’t stop smiling as she listened to her daughter’s cute responses.

She wanted to share a little joy with her friends, so she posted a video of the minute-long conversation on her Facebook page. And to her surprise, the video went viral with more than 5 million views.

Sanchez’s inbox has been flooded with messages.

“I’ve read message after message saying, ‘It’s so inspiring to hear about someone who loves themselves so much,’” Sanchez told CBS News. “I realized that I don’t think people hear enough from people with the disability describe just how great they feel about themselves.”

Most moms say their children are special, but Sanchez says Sofia is really special.

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The Sanchez family poses for a picture.

After Joaquin, her third son, was born with Down syndrome, Sanchez said her family was inspired to help other children like him. During Christmas, they donated to the Reece’s Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Grant Foundation, an organization that helps find families for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs by raising funds for adoption grants.

That year, the Sanchez family sponsored a little girl. But after seeing her picture, somehow, she just couldn’t get the image out of her mind.

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This is the photo the Sanchez family saw of baby

Sofia when they were sponsoring her through Reece’s Rainbow.

“Why don’t we just adopt her?” Sanchez thought, while talking it out with her husband.

Her husband agreed – the little girl needed to be a part of their family.

When she was 16 months old, the family picked up the child from an orphanage in Ukraine, and the rest is history.

“I can’t imagine my life without her,” said Sanchez, gushing over her little girl.

Sofia is a bundle of energy.

She loves to act, dance, play soccer and do other things girls her age love to do.

But she also likes to speak up for “her people,” Sanchez said.

Sure, she experiences a range of emotion – sometimes she’s sad, angry, stubborn, competitive – but at the end of the day she “loves her life and she loves herself,” Sanchez said.

SOURCE: cbsnews.com

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Woman Claims Bus Driver Humiliated Boy With Tourette’s Syndrome

MADISON COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18) A Madison County mom is raising awareness about Tourette’s Syndrome after an incident she said happened this week on a school bus.

Leona Dickerson’s 10-year-old son has Tourette’s Syndrome, which is a condition that causes him to have outbursts outside of his control.

She said that while on the bus ride home from school Monday, her son was humiliated.

Her son, Jacob Bledsoe, has a swearing tic.

“He can’t control it,” said Dickerson.

Dickerson said that the bus driver knows about Bledsoe’s Tourette’s, but still openly scolded him.

“And the bus driver, when he goes to get off the bus, grabs him by the shirt, she pulls him back and tells him that his swearing tics are inappropriate for the bus and for school and that he needed to stop,” said Dickerson. “For a 10-year-old child to not have any control over what his body does, it’s heartbreaking.”

Madison County Schools told LEX 18 that they are investigating.

They released this statement, “After being notified of the situation, the district immediately began an investigation regarding the incident on bus 230 yesterday afternoon. As with any incident of alleged misconduct, the district will conduct a thorough investigation that will include video footage taken from the bus security camera. Any necessary action will be taken immediately at the conclusion of the investigation.”

SOURCE: lex18.com

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Her Husband Dies, Then Widow Discover A Stack Of Unopened Letters From Him

When Mitchell Whisenhunt succumbed to Marfan syndrome, his grieving wife Ashley and 18-month-old daughter were left without a husband and father. But Mitchell, being the thoughtful man he was, knew that even in his absence he could somehow be there for them.

Like the late Brenda Schmitz, he never stopped thinking about his daughter and wife’s future. One day, Ashley was looking around the house when she discovered a stack of 30 letters and a notebook.

The notebook was full of poems Mitchell had written in a notebook that Ashley used before she dropped out of college to care for her ailing husband. The letters were each addressed to their daughter Brynleigh with dates on them.

For every birthday until she is 18 years old, she will have a letter from Daddy, a small gesture that will surely make a huge difference.

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“Through his testimony, there is so much she is going to learn,” Ashley told ABC News. “It just blows my mind. He thought about everybody else instead of himself.”

There are still even surprises Ashley doesn’t know about that will unfold over time. The pair were together since high school and clearly they will remain together, in one way or another, until the end of time.

“He is all I ever had. We have been together since before we knew what love and life was about,” she says.

SOURCE: littlethings.com
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THE RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME, A RISK FACTOR FOR HEART AND KIDNEY PROBLEMS

restless-legs-700x366The restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disease mainly affecting the lower limbs. It results in uncomfortable tingling and need irrepressible motion, evening and night, which may affect the quality of life and sleep. Sometimes without definite cause, restless legs syndrome may be genetic, related to another condition or a medication.

This syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system causing an urge to move the legs. This condition is also called “disease and Willis Ekbom” or “syndrome Restless wakefulness” (or simply “impatience”).

RLS is accompanied by unpleasant sensations in the lower limbs, namely:

  • itches ;
  • tingling;
  • tingling;
  • an impression of “electric shock”.

Often these symptoms increase the urge to move and are more pronounced for one of the two legs. In 20% of cases, they also affect the arms. Much more rarely, they can spread to other body parts. In the most pronounced forms of the syndrome, these events sometimes cause pain.

RLS signs say they usually at night to rest, once the person lying down. In all cases, the symptoms are relieved by the movement of the legs.

In addition, 80% of people with RLS have involuntary muscle jerks (or “periodic leg movements of sleep”) during their sleep. If these patients have not always aware of these tremors can interfere spouse.

In addition, the syndrome of restless legs:

  • reached more often women;
  • usually appears in adulthood (although in rare cases it can occur in children or adolescents).

Finally, know that we can present signs suggestive of RLS several times a year without developing the disease.

WHAT CAUSES THE SYNDROME OF RESTLESS LEGS?

While the exact mechanisms of the disease remain unknown, two factors seem to play an important role in triggering:

  • iron deficiency in the body, with or without anemia  ;
  • the lack of dopamine (a substance allowing transmission of information between nerve cells) in some areas of the brain and spinal cord.

Doctors also distinguish three main forms of the disease, defined by context and / or specific contributing factors:

Family forms

They have a genetic origin.

The forms called “secondary”

They are associated with other diseases, behaviors or situations that trigger or exacerbate symptoms such as:

  • the chronic renal failure  ;
  • the diabetes  ;
  • the rheumatoid arthritis  ;
  • the multiple sclerosis  ;
  • the pregnancy (20 to 30% of pregnant women have RLS which disappears after delivery);
  • taking certain medications (eg. neuroleptics, antidepressants,antihistamines );
  • the consumption of alcohol , of tobacco , coffee, tea and / or chocolate;
  • stress and fatigue.

The forms called ”  idiopathic

They have no identified cause (in particular, no other member of the patient’s family is not reached).

THE EVOLUTION AND THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF RLS

The restless legs syndrome (RLS) is changing gradually. In addition, symptoms may worsen during certain periods (stress, fatigue) and / or regress temporarily.

This condition can have two main consequences on the quality of life for people with:

A deterioration of sleep

The patient has difficulty falling asleep. He happens to wake up several times at night to move the legs or getting up.Sometimes this causes insomnia and discomfort for the person sharing the bed, where applicable. Eventually, fatigue may appear in the day and generate:

  • drowsiness;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • mood disorders (irritability or depression).

Disruption of social and professional life

Sometimes RLS becomes troublesome in situations where one remains immobilized for some time (meetings, shows, family meals, long car rides or plane, etc.) Some affected people often avoid such events.

The syndrome of restless legs is essentially characterized by three events:

  1. An urge to move the legs, accompanied or caused by uncomfortable sensations in the legs.
  2. A trigger or an accentuation of signs during periods of rest, evening or night.
  3. The total or partial disappearance of the symptoms by movement of the legs.
sources
  • Haba-Rubio J, R Heinzer, Tafti M, J. Krieger restless legs syndrome and periodic leg movements during sleep. EMC (Elsevier Masson SAS, Paris) – Neurology. 2012; 17-009-A-15.
  • Ministry of Health and Solidarity. Report on the topic of sleep. Website: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. paris;2006 [accessed 5 June 2014]
  • Medical Review Switzerland. Restless legs syndrome in the elderly: a little-known condition. Website: Medical Review Switzerland. Chêne-Bourg (Switzerland); 2008 [accessed 5 June 2014]
  • Medical Review Switzerland. RLS and psychiatric treatment. Website: Medical Review Switzerland. Chêne-Bourg (Switzerland); 2006 [accessed 5 June 2014]

WHAT TO DO: RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME: THE CASE MUST BE CONSULTED AND GOOD REFLEXES

In case of restless legs syndrome, you can reduce your symptoms by walking, you massaging or taking a hot bath. also prefer a healthy lifestyle. If the symptoms become more pronounced, see a doctor and try to follow his prescriptions.

You experience unpleasant sensations in the legs, causing an urge to move? If these events are episodic, know that they are commonplace and do not require medical attention.

However, take the advice of your doctor in the following cases:

  • symptoms are repeated more and more often;
  • they disrupt your sleep and concentration throughout the day, and / or sound on your mood.

HOW TO MITIGATE SELF SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE IN MILD FORMS?

If it is impossible to prevent leg syndrome (RLS), we can reduce the number and intensity of its manifestations. For that, try some simple gestures (often enough to relieve mild symptoms):

  • at the first sign, move, get up and walk a few minutes;
  • massage the affected members;
  • according to your preferences, use your legs on cold or hot compresses, or relax in a hot bath;
  • focus all your attention on a sustained activity (intellectual, manual or playful).

Also make sure to adopt a healthy lifestyle:

  • lie down and get up at set times, and get enough sleep;
  • Avoid anything that can increase symptoms (eg. tea, coffee, alcohol , intense physical exercise late in the day);
  • keep a supply  balance;
  • practice regularly a physical activity .

WHAT ARE THE RULES TO FOLLOW IN CASE OF RLS DIAGNOSED AND TREATED?

If your doctor has confirmed the diagnosis of restless legs syndrome:

  • follow its recommendations and the prescribed treatment carefully;
  • tell your doctor about any side effect or reduced effectiveness of medication taken;
  • avoid any additional self-medication;
  • if another healthcare professional should give you a prescription, tell him that you suffer from this disease. In fact, some medicines may increase your symptoms.

RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

A medical consultation is often enough to diagnose the syndrome restless legs. Sometimes additional tests are needed (eg. Blood tests). The prescribed treatment is based on simple gestures and a healthy lifestyle. In some cases, medications help treat the symptoms and / or their cause.

HOW IS THE MEDICAL CONSULTATION?

If you look for restless legs syndrome (RLS), the doctor first ask you about your symptoms (intensity, context, frequency, evolution, etc.) It also asks whether these signs affect your sleep, your daytime alertness and mood.

Then the practitioner asks you about:

  • possible cases of RLS in your family;
  • Your personal medical history (eg. diabetes , chronic renal failure );
  • the treatments you are taking (some self-medication drugs can trigger or worsen symptoms).

Finally, the doctor examines you.

Generally, this first consultation is sufficient to confirm the diagnosis.However, your doctor may also prescribe:

  • a blood test to check your levels of iron in your blood;
  • a sleep recording, to better perceive the impact of RLS on your nights;
  • a consultation with a neurologist (a specialist in diseases of the nervous system) or a specialist in sleep disorders. These can indeed provide medical care best suited to your case if necessary.

The diagnosis of restless legs syndrome is often late

On average, the disease is diagnosed ten years after the first signs. This delay can be explained by ignorance of RLS. In particular, its symptoms can be confused with those of certain neurological or vascular pathologies.

Once the diagnosis, your doctor will inform you about the disease and its possible evolution, fluctuating with periods of calm and potential increases which may require therapeutic adaptations.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE TREATMENTS PRESCRIBED FOR RLS?

In order to choose the most appropriate care to you, the doctor measures the intensity of your RLS. It uses a specific rating scale (forms “light”, “moderate”, “severe” and “very severe”), based on:

  • the nature of your symptoms;
  • their impact on your mood and on your social life, family and work.

In mild forms, simple gestures and adopting a healthy lifestyle generally sufficient to reduce the signs.

If these first steps are insufficient, your doctor may prescribe medication to the family of dopamine agonists (eg. Pramipexole, ropinirole, rotigotine skin patch). These products compensate the lack of dopamine (a substance allowing the transmission of information in the nervous system), which promotes the development of RLS. Reproducing the action of this molecule in the body, dopaminergic are often very effective.

The doses prescribed by your doctor depending on your symptoms:

  • In case of discontinuous events, the treatment is taken during episodes of RLS. It can also be indicated in preventive (in situations that routinely trigger signs).
  • If symptoms are regular and frequent, drug are taken continuously.

In any case, to avoid side effects, dopamine prescribed in moderate doses, increased gradually.

Finally, note that this treatment is only symptomatic. Indeed, there is still no medicine to cure the syndrome restless legs.

THE TREATMENT OF THE CAUSE OR TRIGGERS

If your RLS is related to another disease ( anemia iron deficiency , diabetes , etc.), it will be treated to remove the cause of symptoms.

In addition, any drug potentially triggering or exacerbating will, if possible, deleted and replaced by the treating physician.

If you are treated with a dopamine medication, apply the following rules:

  • observe well the prescribed dose, without increasing the (risk of side effects);
  • take the product at the times indicated by your doctor;
  • do not interrupt taken without medical advice;
  • always specify the health professionals that you suffer from RLS and use dopamine;
  • if unusual symptoms occur, report it immediately to the doctor who prescribed the treatment. It can thus adapt it to your situation.

Source: sain-et-naturel.com

Moms everywhere are rallying to find a cure for Rett Syndrome

Meet Chelsea Coenraads. For the past 18 years, she’s been living with a disease called Rett Syndrome. If you’re like me, you hadn’t heard of Rett Syndrome until just now, which is why this month, Rett Syndrome Awareness month, is so important. According to RettSyndrome.org, the disease is a postnatal neurological disorder that affects almost exclusively young girls, causing problems in brain function that can result in loss of speech and basic motor skills in the hands. For Chelsea’s mother, and any mother of a child with the syndrome, this was her worst nightmare.

While the disease is rare, it still affects far too many families. Those with Rett Syndrome spend the first few months or even years of their lives growing as normal, so it’s not something that’s caught at birth. At some point, however, they start to regress, and that’s when parents and doctors realize that something is wrong. When the news hits, it hits hard, and families have taken to blogging about their journeys with the disease as a way of coping, and a way of making their stories heard.

Stories like Jessica’s. Jessica was born, like most children with the syndrome, fairly normally. There were a few complications but nothing her parents needed to worry about. Until Jessica stopped hitting the milestones she was supposed to as a child. This is how most people realize that something is different. Jessica’s mother explains her story on their blog:

Jessica went through the regression stage of Rett Syndrome, although it was very subtle and you had to know Jessica very well to notice that anything was amiss. She became slightly more withdrawn when with people outside of her immediate family, and her sleep became even more disrupted than normal; becoming very restless and distressed at night. She began the stereotypical hand movement and to lose the use of her hands, although this was very gradual, and looking back, we can see the hand movement in photographs long before we actually noticed it.

This is the first step. Then, the diagnosis. It’s always a shock, as parents have to adjust their expectations for their child’s life. Sadie, daughter of Stephanie and Andy Bohn, was diagnosed at around seven months old. Stephanie remembers the exact moment she found out:

There’s not a word to describe it. I lost my balance and I fell to the floor. And I’m staring at my daughter in her crib as I’m reading this on my computer thinking this does not add up. Because if that were true, then the quality of Sadie’s life would never be close to what we dreamed it would be. How is my daughter facing something like this?

While this is arguably the most traumatic part of the journey, it’s the everyday frustrations that really end up getting the families down. Another blog, called Living With Rett Syndrome, is written by a London mother of a daughter named Amy. She started the blog when Amy was two years old and already diagnosed, and she details the hardest parts of the day-to-day ordeal:

“No” is usually one of the first words small children learn to say clearly and forcefully, and withdefinite meaning. Amy can’t say “no,” but she can certainly make it clear if she doesn’t like something…There are lots of things I’d like to say “no” to as well, on Amy’s behalf. No to blood tests and tubes up her nose; no to therapists who make her lie on her tummy; no to doctors who haven’t read Amy’s notes and want us to repeat everything (“No! Read the notes! They’re in your hand!”); no to social workers who say that Amy “doesn’t seem any different to any other child of the same age.”

It’s tedious and disheartening, but it’s not set in stone. Not anymore, anyways. Recent research suggests that, since Rett Syndrome is reversible in animal models, the same results could one day be seen in humans. That’s why Chelsea’s mother, who we mentioned earlier, is working together to raise money and rid the world of Rett Syndrome. The Coenraads founded the Rett Syndrome Research Trust, and for the past 16 years has raised an astounding $44 million for the search for the cure.

More recent Rett Syndrome parents, like Stephanie Bohn, are wasting no time getting started on organizations of their own. Stephanie is working with Rett Syndrome Research Trust, but needs our help to raise awareness and get it off the ground.

Listen to these stories and understand their pain. Knowing that a cure is so close should be enough to inspire all of us to give what we can to get us there.

(Image via Shutterstock)

Source: Hellogiggles.com

10 Things I Wish People Knew About Tourette Syndrome

By Lucy Clapham

I have lived with Tourette syndrome (TS) for most of my life, but I was only diagnosed when I was 17. Technically I was told when I was 15, but I laughed it off due to my own ignorance about the condition. So for the benefit of those who are facing a TS diagnosis themselves or are just interested, let me tell you some lesser-known things about TS.

1. There is more to Tourette than swearing.

I cannot stress this enough. Although coprolalia, the fancy word for involuntary swearing, can be a symptom, it is surprisingly rarer than the majority of television shows would have you believe. Only an estimated 10 to 15 percent of people with Tourette syndrome swear involuntarily, me being one of them.

2. We can’t “just stop it.”

If only it was that easy! Yes, I know it’s an annoying noise and this really isn’t the best place to be making said noise, but I literally cannot stop! Many of us get what is known as a premonitory sensation or urge that can feel like an itch inside the body or a small jolt of electricity. Some of us can, and do, learn to suppress our tics, but it can be hard for us to do this. To help you understand, try not to blink. That horrid feeling that builds up in the back of your eyes — that’s what we get all over our bodies! Just as you will need to blink, we will eventually need to tic, and it can sometimes make it worse. So don’t ask us to suppress our tics!

3. It can be painful.

Although many tics are harmless, some can cause either minor or severe pain. This can be due to repetitive movements, punching or kicking things, biting and scratching ourselves and in my case, even running myself into walls at breakneck speed. If I injure one of my joints, my TS will focus on the injured limb and I won’t stop twisting it.

4. Some people have tic “storms” or fits.

Some of my friends in the Tourette community and I suffer from what we call “tic fits” or “storms” where we completely lose control of our bodies to tics. This can be scary and painful for us, and I believe it’s a poorly researched part of TS by professionals.

5. Laughing is fine… sometimes.

While we do have a sense of humor, you really need to know when it’s OK to laugh and when it isn’t. Generally speaking, my rule is “If I’m laughing, you may laugh, too.” It is extremely difficult not to laugh when I’ve shouted “Donkey Kong dropkicked a tortoise!” at random. If I am obviously not happy, don’t laugh! Always ask the individual with TS whether laughing is OK and when.

6. It often comes with “added extras.”

Many people don’t just have TS. Quite a lot of us also have obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autistic spectrum disorder and various other issues, often to do with learning. I couldn’t write until I was 12 years old; others may struggle with reading or math.

7. Some of us don’t grow out of it.

Although a lot of doctors say that most people grow out of TS at around 18 years old, this isn’t always the case and about 5 to 10 percent of people with TS continue to have symptoms as adults.

8. Some activities can calm tics.

Some of us find that our tics reduce or disappear completely when we are engaged in certain activities, such as playing a musical instrument, jogging or other forms of exercise, playing computer games or spending time with an animal. Everyone is different in this respect, and I expect some of us don’t have a special activity, but some do. For me, it’s playing the guitar.

9. Pointing out tics can make them worse.

I can promise you that we are aware we are making noise or doing a strange movement. Pointing this out not only causes more embarrassment, but, for me, can also make me feel more like I need to do the tic. My dad once thought it would be helpful to point out that I was squeaking, but instead of stopping it, I could no longer control it!

10. There is no cure.

There is no cure at this moment. The only options for treatment include medications or, if the TS is severe, deep brain stimulation. Neither is a cure for TS but may reduce the severity of the symptoms. I don’t take medication for my TS because the side effects outweigh the benefits for me.

Source: TheMighty.com