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<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. ADHD is very common. In fact, it's the most common behavioral problem in children. About 3 to 5% of school-aged kids are diagnosed with ADHD. Most of them are boys. So, what causes ADHD? Doctors aren't sure exactly what causes ADHD, though we do know some things that contribute. And we do know that the brain looks different in kids with this condition than it does in kids without the disorder. Most kids with ADHD also have other problems with behavior, depression, sleeping, or learning. How do you know for sure that your child has ADHD? There are three types of ADHD inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive. Kids with the inattentive type get distracted easily. You'll find them staring out of the window in class instead of paying attention. They tend to lose their pens and pencils, and can't seem to ever finish their homework. Kids with hyperactivity are the ones who can't sit still. Their feet are always tapping and their mouth is always moving. It's like someone wound them up, but never wound them back down. Kids with impulsivity have trouble controlling themselves. They'll blurt out the answer to a question before the teacher has even finished asking it. They often won't let their friends finish a sentence, or a game, without butting in. In kids with these kinds of symptoms, ADHD can be a tricky diagnosis to make. Sometimes kids are mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD when they're just high energy. Other kids have ADHD and never get diagnosed. To get diagnosed with ADHD, kids need to have at least six symptoms of inattention and six symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity that have lasted for at least 6 months. A pediatrician, psychologist or psychiatrist can test the child and talk to the parents and teachers to make the diagnosis. How do doctors treat ADHD? Many kids with ADHD respond to a combination of medicines and behavior therapy. The drugs that are used most often for ADHD are called psychostimulants, like Adderall, Focalin, and Ritalin. A nonstimulant drug called Strattera may also be effective. Because these drugs can have side effects, kids should only use them under a doctor's guidance. Talk therapy that involves both the parents and child can help gain more control over ADHD behaviors. Parents can learn how to limit distractions, make sure their child gets enough sleep and eats right, and learn how to set consistent rules, rewarding good behavior and addressing bad behavior. Good sleep, good food, and plenty of physical activity, especially outdoors may help. About half of kids with ADHD eventually grow out of it. If they don't grow out of it, it can lead to problems in adulthood, like drug and alcohol abuse, difficulty keeping a job, and sometimes trouble with the law. Diagnosing ADHD early and addressing it right away can give kids the best chance for a healthy, happy future. So if you see any signs of ADHD in your child, talk to a pediatrician or child psychologist.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Autism spectrum disorders</strong><p>Every child has a unique personality. Some are outgoing, while others are shy. But there are certain kids who have trouble dealing with things that most children take in stride. They may not make eye contact or have conversations. They may not like to be touched or to hear loud sounds. If you have a child who acts this way, the problem may be autism. Why do kids get autism? 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. Although the cause of autism is still unclear, doctors do know that the recent increase in autism isn't caused by vaccines. Two leading health organizations, the American Academy of Pediatrics and The Institute of Medicine have studied the issue in depth. The recommended vaccines don't increase autism; they do prevent serious diseases like measles, tetanus, and diphtheria. How is autism diagnosed? More kids are getting diagnosed with autism today than they were a few decades ago. Some of this increase may just be that doctors are testing for it more often now. Children with autism share several characteristics. They may be overly sensitive to sounds, sights, smells, or tastes. For example, a child with autism might refuse to wear anything that's the color blue, or scream when he hears a fire engine siren. Get stuck in routines--a child with autism may want to brush his teeth at exactly 9 a.m. every morning, and get upset if he hasn't brushed them by 9:05. They may prefer to play alone, have trouble talking to people and making eye contact. They may also perform the same motions over and over again, such as waving their arms. Lastly, they may be much quieter than other kids his or her age. Doctors can diagnose autism with one or more screening tests. These tests evaluate the child's ability to talk, move, and think. Because each child with autism is different, treatment is tailored to the child. Programs like applied behavioral analysis that can help kids learn the skills they need to be more independent. Medicines can treat specific symptoms that are common in kids with autism, like aggression, hyperactivity, and trouble sleeping. Some kids with autism may respond well to a gluten- or casein-free diet. Gluten is found in breads and other foods that contain wheat, rye, or barley. Casein is an ingredient in dairy products. Talk to a dietitian before making any changes to your child's diet. It's fine to try different autism treatments, but watch out for any program that claims to be a miracle, or a cure. Anything that sounds too good to be true probably is. Autism treatment has come a long way. Decades ago, kids with autism were put away in institutions. Today, they're treated with the goal of becoming independent, functioning adults. If you're worried that your child is showing signs of autism, call your doctor. Get a diagnosis so you can start your child on treatment as soon as possible.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Cerebral palsy</strong><p>The words cerebral palsy or (CP) may conjure up an image of a twisted, wheel chair-bound child. But sometimes the disease is so mild it doesn't limit any activity at all. Let's talk about cerebral palsy. So, what causes cerebral palsy? 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. CP can affect one limb, one side of the body, both arms or legs, three limbs, or all four limbs. The limbs might be floppy, rigid, or spastic. They might have a tremor, move on their own, or be uncoordinated. The limbs might function so well most people would not notice, or they might even be unusable. Children with CP might have normal or superior intellect. Up to a quarter of children with CP have developmental delays or mental retardation. Your child's doctor will do a full neurological exam of your child to verify the symptoms. Tests might include a CT scan or MRI of the head, an EEG, and vision and hearing tests. There is no cure for CP. The goal of treatment is to help your child be as independent as possible. Your child may need a team consisting of a primary care doctor, dentist, social worker, nurses, specialists, and occupational, physical, and speech therapists. A variety of medicines can prevent or reduce the frequency of seizures, help with spasticity, and treat tremors. CP is a lifelong disorder. But with good care it shouldn't get worse over time. CP varies in each individual...your child may need lifelong care, or your child may be able to live independently. It all depends on the severity of your child's CP. Keep in mind that stress and burnout among parents of children with severe CP is common, so make sure that you get the support you need, as well as the support for your child.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Concussion</strong><p>A pretty good bump on the head, or a violent collision, can leave you feeling woozy and confused, and with a splitting headache. If it's bad enough, you may even lose consciousness. 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. The classic symptom of a concussion is loss of consciousness. But many people might experience only a brief moment of amnesia or disorientation. Typically, you'll have a headache, feel sleepy, and you may even vomit. Most likely you will not be able to think straight, that is, maybe you can't remember the date or your name. You may see flashing lights and even feel like you've lost time. Sometimes, it may take a day or two after the blow for some symptoms to develop. Your doctor will do a physical exam, checking your pupils, your ability to think, your coordination, and your reflexes. The doctor may want to look for bleeding in your brain, so you may need a CT or MRI scan. You may also have a brain wave test, or EEG. So, how do we treat a concussion? First and foremost, you will need to rest and be watched -- sometimes in the hospital, and sometimes by a parent, friend, or spouse if you're at home. For your headache, you can take acetaminophen. You may need to eat a light diet for a while if you continue to feel sick, or feel like vomiting. You'll want to have someone stay with you for the first 12 to 24 hours after your concussion. It's okay to sleep, but someone should wake you up every few hours and ask you a simple question, such as your name, and then watch you for changes in how you look or act. Obviously, if you were playing sports when you received a concussion, you most likely will need to stop. Sometimes you can't return to a sport for weeks, or longer, especially if your symptoms don't improve. That's because once you've had a concussion, it's easier to get another one, and multiple concussions can lead to long-term brain damage.</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. Epilepsy seizures usually begin between ages 5 and 20, but they can happen at any age. Common causes include Stroke, or a mini-stroke called transient ischemic attack; Dementia, or loss of brain function, such as Alzheimer's disease; Traumatic brain injury; Infections in the brain; Brain problems you are born with; or perhaps, a Brain tumor. Some people with epilepsy may have simple staring spells, while others have violent, uncontrollable shaking and loss of consciousness. Before each seizure, some people may have strange sensations, such as tingling, smelling an odor that isn't really there, or emotional changes. This is called an aura. Your doctor will perform a number of tests to find out if epilepsy is causing your seizures. One test, an electroencephalogram or EEG, checks your brain's electrical activity. Other tests can take detailed pictures of the part of your brain that is causing your seizures. Your doctor will most likely start treating your epilepsy with medication. These medicines, called anticonvulsants, may reduce the number of seizures you have in the future. Sometimes, changing the diet of a child with epilepsy can help prevent seizures. Your doctor will probably talk to you about making some changes in your life, such as reducing your stress, getting more sleep, and avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs. Surgery to remove a brain tumor or abnormal blood vessels or brain cells may make the seizures stop. Another surgery can place a Vagus nerve stimulator in your brain. This device is like a pacemaker for your brain that limits the number of seizures you have. For many people, epilepsy is a lifelong problem, and they'll always need to take anti-seizure medicines. There is a very low risk of sudden death with epilepsy. However, you, or someone else, can be seriously injured if you have a seizure while driving or operating equipment. If your seizures are uncontrolled, you should not drive.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Head injury</strong><p>You've fallen and hit your head. It hurts a little, but you're not bleeding and you feel okay. Do you have a head injury, or are you fine? Knowing how to tell a minor head injury from a serious one could literally save your life. Let's talk about head injuries. Millions of people get head injuries every year. They get into car accidents or fights, they fall, or they get hit in the head while playing sports or working on the job. Most head injuries are minor, because your head comes equipped with its own natural hard hat, a protective skull that surrounds and protects your brain. But sometimes that protection isn't enough. More than a half-million people each year get head injuries severe enough to send them to the hospital. 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. It can be very hard to tell if you've got a minor closed head injury or a serious one. Your head might look perfectly fine from the outside, when you actually have bleeding or swelling inside your brain. To tell the difference, look for other signs of a serious head injury, such as a severe headache; Clear or bloody fluid coming from your nose, ears, or mouth; Confusion, drowsiness, or a loss of consciousness; Changes in the way you hear, see, taste, or smell; memory loss; mood changes or strange behaviors; slurred speech or recurrent vomiting. If you or someone else has any of these symptoms, call for medical help right away. If you don't have these symptoms and you think it's just a minor head injury, you probably don't need to be treated. Just ask a friend or family member to keep an eye on you. If it's your child or someone else with the head injury, wake them up from sleep every 2 or 3 hours to ask questions like, Where are you? and What's your name? just to make sure they're alert. If you're in any doubt about whether a head injury is serious, play it safe and get medical help. To play it even safer, protect your head during any activities that could lead to an injury. Wear a helmet whenever you skateboard, roller skate, ski, snowboard, or ride a bike or motorcycle. Put on your seatbelt whenever you're in the car. And put kids in an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat.</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. Seizures can happen for many reasons; It may be from high levels of salt or sugar in your blood; brain injury from a stroke or head injury brain problems you are born with or perhaps a brain tumor. Dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, high fever or illnesses or infections that hurt your brain. Illegal drug use or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use can cause seizures as well. So, what are the signs that someone is having a seizure? Some people with seizures may have simple staring spells, while others have violent, uncontrollable shaking and loss of consciousness. Some people will see flashing lights, others may hallucinate. Some people may have strange sensations, such as tingling, smelling an odor that isn't really there, or emotional changes. Most people who have a seizure for the first time will go to the emergency room. The doctor will do tests to rule out medical causes, such as a stroke. You may have blood tests, CT or MRI scans of your head, or a spinal tap. Treatment depends on the cause of your seizure. For example, if a seizure was caused by fever, treatment will focus on bringing the fever down. Your doctor may send you home with some medicines to help you avoid having more seizures if there is reason to think you are at continued risk of seizures. You should get plenty of sleep and try to keep as regular a schedule as possible, and try to avoid too much stress. Most people with seizures can have a very active lifestyle. Plan ahead for the possible dangers of a certain activity. Avoid any activity where loss of consciousness would be dangerous until it is clear that seizures are unlikely to occur again.</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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