Archive for April 28th, 2009

THE FACTS-THE FIRST SEIZURE AND THE DIAGNOSIS OF EPILEPSY: OTHER CAUSES OF IMPAIRED OXYGEN SUPPLY TO THE BRAIN-DROP ATTACKS AND JUMPING LEGS (MYOCLONIC JERKS; HYPNIC JERKS)

These affect only middle-aged women, and then often only for a year or two. The story is striking. The woman complains that, while walking along, she suddenly finds that her legs have given way. She may land on her knees or pitch forward on her face. In either case she is always adamant that she is fully aware of what is happening, and equally adamant that she does not trip. The condition is variously assumed to be due to some weakness of the thigh muscles, or to a disturbance of blood flow in the brain-stem, interfering with postural reflexes. Whatever the mechanism, neurologists are confident that there is no association with epilepsy.

Jumping legs (myoclonic jerks; hypnic jerks)-About 80 per cent of the adult population, at some time in their lives, are conscious of a sudden jerk of one or other leg, usually in the twilight stage of drifting off to sleep. The jerk is associated with, or may cause, a sudden arousal. Some people have a great number of jerks, so many that their spouse, being bruised by the kicks, will refuse to share a bed with them. These jerks must represent some sort of paroxysmal discharge of nerve cells, not necessarily in the brain. They are therefore in this way close to epilepsy, but are not so regarded because of their near universality in the population, and their lack of association with frank epileptic seizures. Specifically, there is no relationship between these jerks and the morning myoclonic jerks associated with typical absence or tonic-clonic seizures.

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MILD TO MODERATELY SEVERE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

In Group #3, fourteen subjects presenting with mild to moderately severe rheumatoid arthritis were supplied with 24 capsules, two capsules to be taken each morning and evening for six days. After three days of treatment eleven reported about 20% to 30% improvement in articulation and inflammation, and about 40% to 50% relief of arthritic pain. In these eleven subjects improvement continued rapidly over the next four days, approaching the 80% to 100% level. The remaining three subjects reported similar improvements by the end of the fourth day, with an overall improvement of 70% to 80% after seven days.

Most of the subjects continued to report minor additional improvement for one week or more even though they were no longer under treatment. However, six in this group began to experience the return of some mild arthritic symptoms after about three to four weeks. (Although not included as part of this study, all of the subjects in this group were treated again and their level of improvement has subsequently stabilized.

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MENINGITIS IN CHILDREN

 

Symptoms: fever, stiff neck, headache, vomiting, exhaustion or collapse, convulsions.

Home care:

Meningitis is a medical emergency. Do not attempt home care. Take the child to the doctor immediately.

Precautions

-    A child, who is very weak, has a stiff neck, and fever should see a doctor immediately.

-    Laboratory examination of spinal fluid is the only way to diagnose meningitis.

-    Meningitis can follow an upper respiratory tract or middle ear infection, or certain types of skull fracture.

-    The unnecessary use of antibiotics for an upper respiratory tract infection may mask the onset of meningitis.

-    Meningitis is often contracted through direct contact with a carrier of the disease who appears quite healthy.

Meningitis is an infection of the meninges, the layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. Most often, meningitis is caused by a viral infection. Bacterial meningitis is usually caused by one of three types of bacteria: meningococcus, pneumococcus, or Haemophilus influenzae. Meningitis is seldom spread by a person who has the disease. It’s usually contracted by direct contact with a healthy person who is a carrier of the disease, or by inhaling airborne droplets of moisture from that person’s respiratory system. (A carrier is a person who does not get sick with the disease but can pass it on to others.)

Meningitis may be a complication of a skull fracture if the fracture has extended into the nose, middle ear, or nasal sinus. Meningitis can also follow an upper respiratory tract infection or middle ear infection.

Signs and symptoms

The characteristic symptoms of meningitis are moderate to high fever, headache, vomiting, exhaustion or collapse, convulsions, and a stiff neck – the child cannot touch his or her chin to the chest with the mouth closed. Purplish red spots (petechiae) scattered over the body together with fever may indicate one form of meningococcus infection. The diagnosis of meningitis can only be made with certainty by testing spinal fluid obtained by a spinal tap.

Home care

Meningitis is a medical emergency in which hours, if not minutes, count. Do not attempt any home treatment. See a doctor at once.

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