Healthcare Library

<div class=media-desc><strong>Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)</strong><p>A lot of kids are what we call high energy. They seem to bounce off walls and find it impossible to sit still. For some kids, though, overactive and impulsive behaviors are severe enough to affect their schoolwork and home life. These kids may have a condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Autism spectrum disorders</strong><p>Autism is a developmental problem that often becomes noticeable during the toddler years, though it may start earlier. It's significantly more common in premature babies. We know it has to do with abnormal brain biology or chemicals, although the precise mechanism hasn't yet been worked out. Autism appears to be linked both to genes and environmental exposures.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Cerebral palsy</strong><p>CP is caused by injuries or abnormalities of the brain. Most of the problems occur as the baby grows in the womb. Premature babies have a slightly higher risk of developing CP. Cerebral palsy may also occur during early infancy as a result of several conditions, including Bleeding in the brain, Brain infections, Head injuries, infections in the mother during pregnancy or from severe jaundice.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Concussion</strong><p>So, what causes a concussion? Your brain is a delicate organ encased in bone, your skull. When you fall down, suffer violent contact during a sports activity, or hit your head in a car accident, your brain moves but has nowhere to go. Instead, it swirls around inside your head and bumps into your skull. This causes bruising that damages your brain. </p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Epilepsy</strong><p>Having a brain seizure can be a terrifying experience. If you have a seizure more than once, you may have epilepsy, a problem with electrical activity in your brain. 
So, what causes epilepsy?
For most people, the brain sends electrical signals throughout the body efficiently, in a coordinated way. In epilepsy, however, the normal pattern of electrical activity becomes disturbed. This causes the brain to be too excitable, or jumpy, and it sends out abnormal signals. The result is repeated seizures that can happen at any time.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Head injury</strong><p>The most common type of head injury is a concussion. That's when a hit in the head makes your brain jiggle around in your skull. You can also get a bruise on your brain, called a contusion. Brain contusions are a lot more serious than bruises from a bump on the arm or leg. Other types of head injuries include a fractured skull or a cut on your scalp. 
If you get hit in the head or fall and you don't bleed, you've got a closed head injury. If an object enters your brain, like glass from a windshield during a car accident or a bullet from a gunshot, then you have an open head injury.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Migraine</strong><p>Migraines aren't your average, run-of-the-mill headaches. When you have a migraine, it feels like your head is throbbing, every light is glaring, and all you want to do is lie down in a dark room. Let's talk about migraines. We know that migraines are more common in women than in men. But what exactly triggers these severe headaches is less clear, and it's different in different people. For some people the trigger is stress. For others, it's strong odors like perfumes. Changing hormones around the time of a woman's menstrual period can set off a migraine. So can certain foods like chocolate, cured meats, red wine, and aged cheese.  Doctors believe that whatever triggers a migraine sets off a chain of abnormal activities in brain chemicals and nerves. These activities affect the flow of blood through the brain. A migraine feels different than a regular headache. For one thing, it often comes with a warning. Some people get a sign that their migraine is coming, called an aura. About 10 to 15 minutes before the actual headache hits, their vision gets blurry or narrowed, and they may see stars or zigzag lines.  A migraine feels like a throbbing or pounding pain that tends to be worse on one side of the head. You may also have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, numbness, chills, and sensitivity to light or sound.  A migraine can typically last anywhere from 6 hours to 2 days. When it's over, people get what's described as a "hangover," in which they feel tired and can't think clearly. If you're plagued by migraines, your doctor will help you figure out the cause. You may need to have a brain scan such as an MRI or CT, especially if you have other symptoms like memory problems or weakness with your migraines.  So, what can be done to treat migraines?
Doctors use a few different types of medicines to prevent and treat migraines. You can take antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, or seizure medicines every day to prevent migraines from starting. Some people have great success preventing migraines using biofeedback devices or hypnosis. Once you do get a migraine, you can take medicines right away to stop it. Triptans such as Imitrex and Maxalt are the most commonly prescribed medicines for stopping a migraine. Depending on your migraine symptoms and how bad they are, your doctor may also recommend a pain reliever such as ibuprofen, or a nausea medicine.  To prevent migraines, you also need to avoid your triggers, but first you need to identify what they are. Your doctor may recommend keeping a headache diary, in which you write down when your headaches occur and what you were eating or doing when you got a migraine.  Take care of yourself when you have a migraine. If you only get them occasionally, there's probably no cause for worry. But if you get migraines often, and they're interfering with your life or they're getting worse, talk to your doctor about ways to prevent and treat them.  </p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Seizures</strong><p>Having a brain seizure can be a terrifying experience. If you have a seizure, there was a problem with too much uncoordinated electrical activity in your brain. In general, a seizure is when too many of your brain cells become excited at the same time. There are two different types of seizures, generalized and partial. With a generalized seizure, your brain has abnormal electrical activity on both sides of your brain. Partial seizures happen when electrical activity surges in one part of your brain.
</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Herniated disk</strong><p>You might have heard a friend say that they have slipped a disk. Or, you may have slipped a disk yourself during an overly strenuous workout, or by straining while lifting something heavy. A slipped disk can be painful, so painful, in fact, that you can barely move. But what exactly is a slipped disk? And what can you do about it if you have one?

This is your spine. In between the bones, which are called vertebrae, are little cushioning disks. These disks not only allow you to bend and move but also prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. 

Sometimes an injury can push a disk out of place, producing a bulge. This bulge is called a herniated disk. Or, a disk may break open. When a disk moves, it puts pressure on nearby nerves, and that's when you start to feel pain. Most slipped disks are found in the lower back or lumbar region, although you can also have one in your neck, or cervical region.

When you have a slipped disk, you'll hurt, but often just on one side of your body. If the disk is in your lower back, you may feel a sharp pain in one part of your leg, hip, or buttocks. Your leg may also feel weaker than usual. If the disk is in your neck, the pain and numbness can stretch all the way from your neck down to your shoulder and arm. You may notice that it hurts even more when you stand for a long period of time, or if you sneeze, cough, or laugh.

So, how do you treat a slipped disk?
First your doctor will want to make sure that you actually have a slipped disk. To find out, the doctor will check your muscle strength, feeling, and reflexes, and have you move in different ways, for example, by bending, standing, and walking. You may also have a scan to find the exact location of the slipped disk.

While bed rest was once the standard therapy for low back pain, studies show that for most people it does not help and may even make the situation worse. Rapid return to healthy normal activity is usually best, being careful not to put too much stress on the back. While you're doing that, you can take medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve the pain. Muscle relaxants may also help. Acupuncture, massage, and yoga have also been shown to be affective in some studies. Physical therapy may be helpful after the first two or three weeks. It can help strengthen the muscles of your spine, and teach you how to move properly so you don't injure yourself again.

If these measures don't help, your doctor may suggest getting steroid injections into the area where you slipped the disk, to reduce pain and relieve swelling. As a last resort when all other treatments have failed, you may have a surgery called a diskectomy to remove the damaged disk.

You may be in pain now, but don't despair, with treatment it should ease. Realize that it may take a few months before you're back to your old self. Don't try to overdo it by bending or doing any heavy lifting. You'll just wind up back on your couch, hurting again.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Stroke</strong><p>When blood flow to an area of your brain stops, it's serious. It's called a stroke, and will often cause permanent, debilitating damage to your brain and change your life. Let's talk about strokes. If blood flow to your brain is stopped for longer than a few seconds, your brain can't get blood and oxygen. Brain cells die, causing permanent damage. There are two types, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke happens when a blood clot forms in a very small artery, or when a blood clot breaks off from another artery and lodges in your brain. Hemorrhagic strokes can happen when a blood vessel in your brain becomes weak and bursts open. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for strokes. People with atrial fibrillation, when your heart rhythm is fast and irregular, diabetes, a family history of stroke, and high cholesterol are most at risk. You are also at risk for stroke if you are older than age 55. Other risk factors include being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much salt, and smoking. Symptoms of a stroke usually develop suddenly, without warning. You may have a severe headache that starts suddenly, especially when you are lying flat, often when you awake from sleep. Your alertness may suddenly change. You may notice changes in your hearing, your sense of taste, and your sense of touch. You may feel clumsy or confused or have trouble swallowing or writing. So, how are strokes treated? A stroke is a medical emergency. Immediate treatment might save your life and reduce disability. Call your local emergency number -- or have someone call for you -- at the first sign of a stroke. Most of the time, someone having a stroke should be in the hospital within three hours after symptoms first begin. If a doctor suspects you've had a stroke, the doctor will check for problems with your vision, movement, feeling, reflexes, and your ability to understand and speak. You may have several tests to check for blocked or narrowed arteries. If the stroke is caused by a blood clot, you'll be given a clot-busting drug to dissolve the clot. Treatment depends on how bad your stroke is and what caused it. But you will probably need to stay in the hospital for a few days. Besides clot-busting drugs, called thrombolytics, you may need blood thinners, medicine to control high blood pressure, and surgery to unclog one of your carotid arteries-which carry blood to the brain. After your stroke, treatment will focus on helping you recover as much function as possible, and preventing future strokes. Most people need stroke rehabilitation therapy. If you can return home, you may need help making safety changes in your home and to help you with using the bathroom, cooking, dressing, and moving around your home. After a stroke, some people have trouble speaking or communicating with others, and a speech therapist might help. Depending on the severity of the stroke, you may have trouble with thinking and memory, problems with your muscles, joints, and nerves, trouble going to the bathroom, and difficulty swallowing and eating. Therapies and support for you and your family are available to help with each of these problems. Your treatment will also focus on preventing another stroke. You may need to be on several medications to help prevent this. And, eating healthy and controlling problems like diabetes and high blood pressure can be very important.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Stroke</strong><p>A stroke involves loss of brain functions caused by a loss of blood circulation to areas of the brain. The blockage usually occurs when a clot or piece of atherosclerotic plaque breaks away from another area of the body and lodges within the vasculature of the brain.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Migraine headache</strong><p>Symptoms of a migraine attack may include heightened sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, auras (loss of vision in one eye or tunnel vision), difficulty of speech and intense pain predominating on one side of the head. 

</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Grand mal seizure</strong><p>A febrile seizure is a generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure that occurs in some children as a response to a fever. Febrile seizures are usually associated with rapidly rising fevers, and usually occur early in the fever rather than later.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Substantia nigra and Parkinson disease</strong><p>Parkinson disease is a slowly progressive disorder that affects movement, muscle control, and balance. Part of the disease process develops as cells are destroyed in certain parts of the brain stem, particularly the crescent-shaped cell mass known as the substantia nigra. Nerve cells in the substantia nigra send out fibers to tissue located in both sides of the brain. There the cells release essential neurotransmitters that help control movement and coordination.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Head injury</strong><p>Head injuries can range from a minor bump on the head to a devastating brain injury. Learning to recognize a serious head injury, and implementing basic first aid, can make the difference in saving someones life. Common causes of head injury include traffic accidents, falls, physical assault, and accidents at home, work, outdoors, or while playing sports.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Spinal cord injury</strong><p>A severe spinal cord injury often causes loss of feeling and paralysis, the loss of movement and voluntary control over the muscles in the body. Spinal cord damage also causes loss of reflex function below the point of injury interrupting bodily functions such as breathing, bowel control, and bladder control. In the event of a spinal injury prompt medical attention can help to minimize further spinal cord damage.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system</strong><p>The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Alzheimer disease</strong><p>Aged nervous tissue is less able to rapidly communicate with other neural tissues.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Primary brain tumor</strong><p>A primary brain tumor is a mass created by the growth or uncontrolled proliferation of cells in the brain.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Herniated lumbar disk</strong><p>Herniated lumbar disk is a condition in which part or all of the soft, gelatinous central portion of an intervertebral disk (the nucleus pulposus) is forced through a weakened part of the disk, resulting in back pain and nerve root irritation.</p></div>
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