What is Tourette´s Syndrome?

” Tourette syndrome (TS or simply Tourette’s) is a common neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in childhood,  characterized by multiple motor tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic. These tics characteristically wax and wane, can be suppressed temporarily, and are typically preceded by an unwanted urge or sensation in the affected muscles. Some common tics are eye blinking, coughing, throat clearing, sniffing, and facial movements. Tourette’s does not adversely affect intelligence or life expectancy.

Tourette’s is defined as part of a spectrum of tic disorders, which includes provisional, transient and persistent (chronic) tics. While the exact cause is unknown, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are no specific tests for diagnosing Tourette’s; it is not always correctly identified because most cases are mild and the severity of tics decreases for most children as they pass through adolescence. Extreme Tourette’s in adulthood, though sensationalized in the media, is a rarity; tics are often unnoticed by casual observers.

In most cases, medication for tics is not necessary. Education is an important part of any treatment plan, and explanation and reassurance alone are often sufficient treatment. Many individuals with Tourette’s go undiagnosed or never seek medical care. Among those who are seen in specialty clinics, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are present at higher rates. These co-occurring diagnoses often cause more impairment to the individual than the tics; hence, it is important to correctly identify associated conditions and treat them.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourette_syndrome

Mother and daughter tell their story living with this strange syndrome. Watch this incredible TED talk and learn from this courageous ladies.

 

What is Parkinson´s Disease?

“Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. The main motor symptoms are collectively called “parkinsonism”, or a “parkinsonian syndrome”.

The cause of Parkinson’s disease is generally unknown but believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. Those with a family member affected are more likely to get the disease themselves. There is also an increased risk in people exposed to certain pesticides and among those who have had prior head injuries, while there is a reduced risk in tobacco smokers and those who drink coffee or tea. The motor symptoms of the disease result from the death of cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain. This results in not enough dopamine in these areas. The reason for this cell death is poorly understood but involves the build-up of proteins into Lewy bodies in the neurons. Diagnosis of typical cases is mainly based on symptoms, with tests such as neuroimaging being used to rule out other diseases.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s_disease

Emma Lawton was diagnosed Parkinson at a pretty young age 29 years old. She has lived through it and in this special occasion, she talks about her life and the happy things she has lived and how she has accepted Parkinson´s disease.

What Is Autism? By Carina Morillo

Carina Morillo knew almost nothing about autism when her son Ivan was diagnosed only that he didn’t speak or respond to words, and that she had to find other ways to connect with him. She shares how she learned to help her son thrive by being curious along with him.

“Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, impaired verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent in early childhood, typically before age three.

Autism is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some cases are strongly associated with certain infections during pregnancy including rubella and use of alcohol or cocaine.Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes;  for example the vaccine hypotheses, which have since been disproven. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood. In the DSM V, autism is included within the autism spectrum (ASDs), as is Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (commonly abbreviated as PDD-NOS), which was diagnosed when the full set of criteria for autism or Asperger syndrome were not met.

Early speech or behavioral interventions can help children with autism gain self-care, social, and communication skills. Although there is no known cure, there have been reported cases of children who recovered. Not many children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, though some become successful. An autistic culture has developed, with some individuals seeking a cure and others believing autism should be accepted as a difference and not treated as a disorder.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism