Arnold-Chiari I Syndrome: Symptoms, Complications, and New Treatments

If somebody you know constantly experiences yawning-induced headaches, difficulty swallowing, facial pains, or “restless leg syndrome”, they might be suffering from Arnold-Chiari I syndrome.

The World Arnold Chiari Malformation Association published a series of statistics in the year 2008. The content included a list of the most common symptoms for Arnold Chiari I Syndrome. They are listed below:

Headaches in the occipito-cervical region that increases with effort, with coughing and with laughter, 90%

Fatigue, 90%

Loss of sight, 81%

Loss of balance, 81%

Loss of strength in general, 77%

General loss of equilibrium, 77%

Reduced mobility, 74%

Bright light intolerance, 74%

Vertigo when patient switches positions, 74%

Difficulty with driving, 74%

Strong reduction in patient’s mobility, 74%

Difficulty when walking on uneven terrain, 74%

Pressure at neck level, 71%

Pain and/or pressure behind the eyes, 71%

Back pain (previous back injury, 34%) 71%

Points in the field of view, 68%

Neck spasms 68%

Insomnia, 61%

Ear noise, 61%

Frequent falling down, 61%

Sharp sound intolerance, confusion induced by sharp sounds, 58%

Nystagmus, 58%

Head buzzing sounds, 58%

Sense of extremity strength loss, 58%

Low muscular tone, 55%

Double vision, 55%

Difficulty while swallowing, 55%

Unusual salivation, 55%

Spontaneous vertigo, 55%

Tremors in extremities, 55%

Blood circulation issues, 55%

Sinusitis, 55%

Nausea, 52%

Neck pulsations, 52%

Difficulty while reading, 52%.

More commonly known as a “Chiari malformation,” the Arnold-Chiari syndrome is a brain disorder caused by a malformed cerebellar tonsil that causes part of it to protrude into the base of the skull, through the occipital cavity or foramen magnum. This defect can slow the flow of Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF) in a person’s spinal column, aside from imposing pressure on brain tissue.

As the Arnold Chiari Syndrome I evolves in the patient, diagnosis becomes a challenging task. However the complications and risks that come with it are considerable. The experience can become very difficult specially for patients who are used to an active lifestyle, live alone or play an important role in the financial support of their families.

As of present, there are four types of Chiari malformations recognized by the medical community. While Types 2, 3, and 4 commonly occur in infants and children, the Arnold-Chiari I syndrome is most often found in adults, with most patients not realizing that they suffer from the condition. Most patients discover they are suffering from Chiari malformation after they start feeling the symptoms, or after an examination for an unrelated medical condition.

While speech and physical therapy can help stem the complications that arise from the Type 1 condition, they do not directly address the root cause, which is the blockage caused by the cerebellar tonsils. Patients who are severely debilitated by the more severe symptoms may need surgery to help alleviate the pressure that the tonsils impose.

Surgery is the only proper course that can directly address this problem, which normally takes the form of a decompressive craniectomy. In this procedure, the surgeon removes a section of the skull to reduce swelling in the brain. While the procedure has been successful in reducing complications for other brain injuries, it does come with considerable risks, such as brain abscesses, brain edema, and meningitis.

However, there are medical institutions that specialize in researching Chiari malformation, and have developed new surgical procedures that result in reduced post-surgery trauma and shorter recovery times for the patient.

One such treatment for the Arnold-Chiari I syndrome currently under review involves treating not the skull, but rather the filum terminale that anchors the spine. This procedure has been successfully executed during surgery on more than 1,000 patients, but is normally conducted only by clinics specializing in treatment of people suffering from Chiari, scoliosis, and other similar spinal disorders.

Epilepsy, Epileptic Seizures, Brain Damage and Seizures Treated with Energy Healing

Epileptic seizures or seizures emanating from any medical condition, adverse reaction or health disorders are frightening events, whether in a child, an adult or a beloved pet. Petit Mal or Grand Mal seizures are abnormal misfirings or brief electrical disturbances in your brain’s electromagnetic system. Those abhorrent signals instruct your body to create the contractions, teeth chattering shivering, glazed gaze, urinating, tongue swallowing, nausea, and all the other awful symptoms manifested in you or your pet’s physical being.

According to the Epilepsy Advocate: “Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which people experience repeated seizures. Seizures can cause different symptoms based on the location of the seizure and where the abnormal electrical activity spreads. They can range from tingling in a finger to a generalized (grand mal) seizure, during which people lose consciousness, become stiff, and jerk.”

“Epilepsy can be inherited. For half the people with epilepsy, a cause cannot be found. Epilepsy can originate right after birth or can occur at any time. Epilepsy is not contagious. Having a single seizure does not mean you definitely have epilepsy. Not everything that appears to simulate a seizure is an epileptic seizure” Seizures can emanate from a variety of causes: a birth defect, brain tumor, lesion, or infection in the brain, brain damage, allergic reaction, emotional stress, withdrawal from addictive substances, and hypoglycemia. Other causes are cardiac arrhythmias, syncope, panic attacks, cataplexy, encephalitis, memeingitis, high fever. Drug toxicity and “certain medications like tryclclic antidepressants, cause seizures as does withdrawal from drugs like anticonvulsants and sedatives. Even video games and certain television programs can trigger photosensitive epilepsy, such as the infamous episode of Pokemon, Electric Soldier Porygon.”

Since seizures cause involuntary changes in body movement or function, sensation, awareness, or behavior, calming or creating different electromagnetic communications in the brain’s electrical function is necessary to control them. Most seizure activity can be managed. Traditional medicine has been using medication and at times exterior electromagnetic stimulation procedures to redirect brain activity. Energy Healing is a non invasive option to treat seizures.

Energy healing directs energy frequencies that facilitate change in the electromagnetic fields of neural pathways and brain waves, thereby creating an alternative therapy for seizure control. In my practice as an energy healer, an 81-year-old woman was relieved of all seizures by reestablishing normal electromagnetic patterns within her brain waves. Dog seizures can usually be stabilized within a few minutes, and their recurrence rate diminished within a few days. A cat having seizures was immediately stabilized, and eventually required no medication. Energy Healing can effect seizure activity whether it is being focused by the healer either onsite at the client’s location, or sent as distance or remote energy healing. Even status epilepticus seizures can be reduced to manageable events that present less often. An interesting note; when an energy healer is directing healing energy to a client who has a seizure service dog, the dog is aware of the different energy in the room.

Using focused healing energy electromagnetic fields from the healer to the client is becoming an area of interest and research in integrated medicine, which is the combination of allopathic medicine with alternative healing modalities. Energy medicine is becoming an accepted healing modality that allows those having seizures to have more options to control and manage their seizures in addition to serious procedures, long-term treatments, and heavy prescription drugs. Energy Healing is the cutting edge of future medicine to help facilitate health and well being in the client.

Feel free to reprint this article in its original format.

Contact Information:

Brent Atwater, Alternative Medical Specialist

Medical Intuitive, Distance Energy Healing

ATL, GA Phone: 404.242.9022 USA

NC Phone: 910.692.5206 USA

Website: http://www.brentatwater.com

Email: mailto:Brent@BrentAtwater.com

Disclaimer: Brent Atwater is not a medical doctor or associated with any branch of medicine. Brent works in Alternative & Integrative Medicine. She offers her opinions based on her intuition, and her personal energy healing work, which is not a substitute for medical procedures or treatments. Always consult a physician or trained health care professional concerning any medical problem or condition before undertaking any diet, health related or lifestyle change programs. As in traditional medicine, there are no guarantees with medical intuition or energy work.

For Health of Eyes, Have a Banana

Banana is a kind of wonderful fruit for human beings. Two bananas can provide energy enough for 90 minutes acute sports. No wonder that banana is the first choice for the athletes. Besides much energy, banana has more usages, of course. It can treat some diseases in daily, to some extent.

First of all, eating some bananas can help to protect eyes and relax them from pressure. Here comes the hot summer. How about your eye protection in this terrible season? After sitting in the room with air conditioner for a whole day, do you have a pair of dry eyes, even a blurred horizon? So eye protection is more important and some measures are needed to keep them healthy. Banana is the very fruit for your eyes. The great number of potassium, containing in banana, can help the body to expel exceeding salt and keep a proper balance between potassium and sodium. Moreover, there is plenty of carotene β in banana. If the body is short of this element, eyes will become painful and dry. So, for a pair of healthy eyes, eat some bananas at intervals. It can not only deal with the above symptoms, but also delay the the process of eye oldness. For a pair brilliant eyes, have some sweet and soft banana right now.

Also, the situation of depression can be improved with the help of some bananas, that is to say, having some bananas can make people in bad mood cheerful up. Perhaps banana owns some magical power. Well, the reason is that amino acid in banana has the function of ease the body and inspire the mood. By the way, eating some bananas can improve the capacity of our immunity systems. Especially for the old, banana is the good fruit to avoid the apoplexy. According to scientific researches, having one or two banana a day will decrease the rate of catching some fatal diseases. The huge number of potassium in banana can adjust the metabolism, keep the nerves and blood in excitation and protect the normal functions of our hearts.

Do you like eating banana? At work intervals, why not enjoy a banana and become healthier?

Stroke Symptoms – A Serious Subject

This actually happened. During a party a lady stumbled and fell. It seemed to be nothing serious and the lady got up and refused her friends’ offer to call paramedics. She said that she has slipped because of her new shoes. The lady adjusted her clothes and while she seemed a bit shaken up by the fall, she ate her dinner and appeared to be enjoying herself.

Later in the day the lady’s husband called to say she had been taken unwell and rushed to the hospital. She passed away that evening. She had suffered a stroke at the party and if the people present had understood the symptoms, they could have done something and perhaps saved her. Saving a person who has suffered a stroke is not just a question of saving his or her life, it is also a matter of saving them from paralysis that could leave them in a helpless and hopeless condition even if they do not die.

According to neurologists, if a stroke can be immediately recognized and medial attention made available within three hours, it is normally possible to reverse the effects, often completely. The problem is that strokes are often unrecognized since most people are unaware of the symptoms.

A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is suddenly interrupted. There are two types of strokes. When the arteries carrying blood to the brain are abruptly blocked, it is called an ischemic stroke. When a blood vessel bursts and blood seeps into the brain tissue it is known as a hemorrhagic stroke.

A severe stroke, if not treated in time, can result in death. Even is the stroke is not fatal, it may cause neurological damage that will the leave patient incapacitated for life. The brain is one of the most complex organs in the body. Even if other organs fail, the brain may continue to keep functioning. But when the brain stops functioning completely – brain death – the other organs have nothing control them and gradually die also.

The effects of a stroke depend on the location of the obstruction – which part of the brain is deprived of blood – and the amount of tissue damage. One side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body and also specific organs, so a stroke occurring in the right side of the brain could result in, among others:

o Paralysis of the left side of the body

o Problem with vision

o A sudden change in behavior – usually rapid erratic movement

o Loss of memory

A stroke in the left side of the brain may cause:

o Paralysis to the right side of the body

o Problem in speaking, incoherent speech

o Memory loss

o Slow uncertain body movements

Some of the warning signs of a stroke are:

o Any sudden weakness or numbness of the face or the limbs, especially on one side of the body

o Sudden severe headaches with no discernible cause

o A sudden onset of confusion – being unable to talk, speaking in an unclear or garbled manner, speaking illogically

o Inability to understand what is being said

o Trouble is seeing or focusing, with both or just one eye

o A sudden onset of dizziness, loss of balance, uncoordinated physical movements or trouble in walking.

Remember that these symptoms maybe transitory, as in the case of the lady at the party. Do not ignore any of these symptoms even if these seem to disappear in a few seconds or minutes and the person appears to be fine. If a stroke has occurred, brain damage need not be immediately apparent and may signs may surface after some hours, by which time it may be too late to help.

There is a simple and medically approved way to see if a person has suffered as stroke. It is called STR and is worth remembering.

STR stands for:

o Smile – ask the person suspected of having had a stroke to smile.

o Talk – ask the person to speak a simple sentence: describe what kind of car he owns or where he lives.

o Raise – ask the person to raise his arms above his head.

Doctors has now offered one more way to know if a person has suffered a stroke – ask the person to stick out his tongue. If his tongue is not straight or droops or slants to one side rather than coming straight out of his mouth, it is an indication of a stroke.

If the person has difficulty in performing any one of these tasks, it is more than likely he has suffered a stroke and medical help should be IMMEDIATELY called for.

Until help arrives, caring for a stroke victim is limited to offering support to the victim. But this is important and may prevent further deterioration of the condition while waiting for medical help.

o If there is someone available with CPR training, the victim’s circulation, breathing and airway should be checked as per standard CPR procedure. The paramedics should be briefed, when they arrive, on symptoms observed and action taken.

o Lay the victim down flat with the head and shoulder slightly raised to reduce the blood pressure in the brain

o If the victim is unconscious, gently roll him so he is lying on his left side and pull the chin forward. This will help to keep the airway open and allow any vomit to drain and not hamper the breathing.

o If the victim is conscious speak reassuringly and offer all the positive support you can. Keep saying that help is on the way.

o Never give a stroke victim any thing to eat or drink. The throat may be paralyzed and they may choke.

Strokes are the third largest killers in America, after heart disease and cancer. Reading this took you only a few minutes. Use this knowledge and share it with others.

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is an incredible example of mental muddle which is exemplified by crumbling of thought processes and emotional receptiveness. It can be straightforwardly acknowledged by auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre illusions, dislocated speech or thinking aptitude pursued by social or occupational dysfunction. The warning signs initiate untimely in the adulthood. The disease is recognized to affect about 1% of the human population with about 2 million patients from the United States unaided.

Schizophrenia is also known as split personality disorder and it affects men extra recurrently in contrast to women. A number of aspects play decisive task in aggravating the symptoms of this disorder and these issues are genetic parameters, early environment, neurobiology, physiological and social processes. Some drugs also contribute a petite portion in making the condition of the patient poorer.

In the present scenario researchers are very much spotlighted on the neurobiological factors but no apposite consequence has cropped up. The authentic cause of the disorder is still a contentious concern and the intact argument is centered on the verity that whether the disorder is due to a single cause or other syndromes are also correlated with it. The word schizophrenia has been taken from a Greek word implicating split mind. Antipsychotic medication is usually applied while treating the patients of this disorder as it curbs dopamine and serotonin receptor bustle. Psychotherapy tracked by social and vocational rehabilitation play an imperative role in treatment. In very ruthless cases hospitalization becomes obligatory. The disorder is essentially branded to influence cognition causing setbacks connected with behavior and emotions. Patients also suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. The typical life span of the patient is of 12-15 years after the identification of the disease.

Types

The ICD-10 criteria are used in the European countries but DSM-IV-TR criteria are used in the United States and rest of the world for the classification of schizophrenia. The ICD-10 criteria accentuate more on Schneiderian first-rank symptoms. The revised fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) defines three major criteria while classifying individuals suffering from schizophrenia. Individuals suffering from this disease generally suffer from delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized behavior and negative symptoms. The personal relations as well as the personal life of the victim also get distracted. These signs of disturbance generally persist for about six months. Children belonging to the age group of 6 years sometimes show symptoms of this disease and they are at the risk of developing these symptoms more intensely in their adulthood. There are five types of schizophrenia each can be distinguished on the basis of the symptoms. These are:

1. Paranoid Schizophrenia

In this case the victim suffers from one or more different types of delusions as well as auditory hallucinations. The symptoms of this type are entirely different from that of disorganized schizophrenia.

2. Disorganized Schizophrenia

The most noticeable symptoms of the disorganized schizophrenia are disorganized speech and behavior but the symptoms are absolutely different from that of catatonic schizophrenia.

3. Catatonic Schizophrenia

The persons suffering from this disorder generally feel difficulty in moving, show resistance in moving as well as show anomalous movements also.

4. Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

This condition can be identified by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior, catatonic behavior or negative symptoms. The individuals suffering from this state cannot be placed in the category of paranoid, disorganized and catatonic schizophrenia.

5. Residual Schizophrenia

The common symptoms include difficulty in speaking as well as loss of interest in daily activities.

History

The term schizophrenia is in practice since 1911. It was finally kept in the category of mental illness in 1887 by Emil Kraepelin. The Ancient Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, Greek, and Roman writings also describe about this disorder. During the medieval times schizophrenia was thought to be caused by spirits and evil powers. Studies have specified that the social stigma is one of the treacherous obstacles that stop the patients of schizophrenia from recovering. A study carried out in 1999 designated that about 12.8% Americans who were suffering from schizophrenia were more interested violent activities while 48% individuals were calm and quite. A very famous Hollywood film entitled The Beautiful Mind depicts the life of John Nash who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Another film The Soloist portrays about the challenges faced by Juilliard-trained musician Nathaniel Ayers as a result of schizophrenia.

Causes

Both genetic as well as environmental factors play a strategic role in the development of schizophrenia. People with family history of the disease are at the risk of getting distressed with the disease in near future. However, the guesstimates of heritability vary due to difficulty in separating the genetic as well as environmental factors while identifying the disease. According to an estimate about 40% of the mono-zygotic twins are at the risk of getting infected with this disease. Many genes are associated with development of every symptom of the disorder. A number of genome wide associations like zinc finger protein 804A, NOTCH4 and protein loci are found to be linked. There appears a momentous overlap between the genetics of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The environmental factors that are linked with schizophrenia include living environment, prenatal stressors and drug intake. Social isolation and immigration related to social adversity, racial discrimination, family dysfunction, unemployment, and poor housing conditions also play a crucial role in the development of this disorder. Childhood factors like sexual abuse and any trauma can result in schizophrenia in the adulthood.

A number of drugs namely cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines also contribute in the development of schizophrenia. Individuals suffering from schizophrenia normally consume drugs in order to cope up with depression, loneliness, boredom and anxiety. Cannabis is generally associated with increasing the risk of development of a psychotic disorder. Frequent use of this drug generally doubles the risk of getting affected with schizophrenia and psychosis. Excessive intake of cocaine and amphetamine can also increase the risk of schizophrenia. Other factors like hypoxia and infection, stress or malnutrition in the mother during fetal development can somewhat increase the risk of schizophrenia in the baby in later stages of life. Studies have indicated that the people suffering from schizophrenia are generally born in the months of winter and spring and are at the risk of getting infected with viral diseases more frequently. The percentage of such individuals varies from 5-8%.

Signs and Symptoms

An individual diagnosed with schizophrenia may complain of hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and speech. Disorganized speech includes loss of ability to speak clear sentences. Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dressing and hygiene, loss of motivation and judgment power are common in schizophrenia. Loss of responsiveness and impairment in social cognition are very common in this disorder. Social isolation is the symptom of paranoia. The person may become mute, may show purposeless agitation showing signs of catatonia. Late adolescence and early adulthood are the peak periods at which an individual is at higher risk of getting affected with schizophrenia. Data have shown that in 40% of men and 23% of women the symptoms of schizophrenia generally arise at the age of 19.

Positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is often defined in terms of positive and negative symptoms. The positive symptoms of the disease are normally not experienced by the victim but are present within the body of the patient and may remain unnoticed. These symptoms comprise tactile, auditory, gustatory, visual and olfactory hallucinations that are typically regarded as expressions of psychosis. Delusions and disordered thoughts and speech are other symptoms. These positive symptoms can be well treated with medication. The negative symptoms include loss of normal emotional responses or other thought responses and are difficult to be treated with medication. The other negative symptoms include blunted affect and emotion, poverty of speech, the desire to form relationships is lost, lack of motivation and inability to experience pleasure. The negative symptoms worsen the life of the victim and are a burden on the patient.

Mechanisms associated with schizophrenia

A number of studies have been carried out to find out the link between altered brain function and schizophrenia. The most commonly agreed hypothesis is the dopamine hypothesis which emphasizes that schizophrenia is the result of misfiring of the dopaminergic neurons. A number of psychological interpretations are also thought be responsible for the development of this disorder. Cognitive biases have been identified exclusively in the conditions of confusion and stress. Some cognitive features may lead to memory loss. Recent studies have indicated that the patients of schizophrenia are emotionally responsive to stressful conditions as well as to negative stimuli and such symptoms may worsen the state of the victim. Delusional beliefs and psychotic experiences may also make the condition of the patient poor.

The diagnosis of schizophrenia indicates changes in both brain structure and brain chemistry. Studies using the neurophysiological tests and brain imaging techniques like fMRI and PET have shown functional changes in the brain activity especially of the frontal lobes, temporal lobes and hippocampus. Changes in the brain volume particularly of the frontal cortex and the temporal lobes have been noticed. Since the neural circuits are altered, schizophrenia is sometimes considered as a collection of neuro-developmental disorders. While dealing with the mechanism of this disorder much consideration is given to the function of dopamine in the meso-limbic pathway of brain. This focus has largely resulted from the accidental finding that the phenothiazine drugs bear the potential of blocking the dopamine function so can help to diminish the psychotic symptoms. It is also supported by the fact that amphetamines which trigger dopamine release can intensify psychotic symptoms. The dopamine hypothesis points out that excessive release of the D2 receptors are the actual cause of schizophrenia.

In the present scenario much focus is centered on the neurotransmitter glutamate and reduced function of NMDA glutamate receptor in schizophrenia. The post-mortem of brains of patients of schizophrenia has shown abnormally low levels of glutamate receptors and glutamate blocking drugs can enhance cognitive problems. Reduction in the activity of glutamate can also affect the activity of frontal lobes and the hippocampus. Dopamine function is also known to be affected due to reduction in glutamate activity. Positive symptoms however, fail to respond to the glutamatergic medication.

Diagnosis

At present there is no definite test available that can assure that a particular person is suffering from schizophrenia. The health practitioners gather information from the medical, family and medical-health backgrounds in order to diagnose this disorder. The practitioner can also perform some sort of physical tests in order to check the symptoms of this disorder. The medical examination includes some lab tests in order to get an idea of the patient’s health. Mental health professionals deal with the symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, depression, anxiety or physical abuse. Some symptoms of schizophrenia can also occur in other disorders like the bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and personality disorder. Any disorder associated with abnormal behavior, mood or thinking for example borderline personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder (DID) commonly known as multiple personality disorder (MPD) are generally difficult to be distinguished from schizophrenia. The mental-health professionals can also perform mental test examinations. Patients of schizophrenia are at elevated risk of getting affected with anxiety or depression disorder and of committing suicide.

Medications

A number of treatments are yet available but medication plays a key role in treating schizophrenia. These medications are known as anti-psychotics as they reduce the intensity of the psychotic symptoms. Many health care professionals prescribe a combined dose of these medications along with the psychiatric drugs in order to provide benefit to the patient. Medications that are beneficial in dealing with the positive symptoms of this disorder are olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, paliperidone and asinapine. These drugs are also known as second generation anti-psychotics. These drugs act faster in comparison to the psychiatric medications. These anti-psychotic drugs also suffer from some side effects including dizziness, sleepiness and increased appetite. Weight gain, high blood sugar levels, increased blood lipid levels and sometimes higher level of prolactin hormone have been noticed. The medications that are useful in treating the symptoms of schizophrenia may not be equally effective in treating the symptoms of the disorder in childhood.

Mood stabilizer medications like lithium, carbamazepine and lamotrigine can be used to deal with mood fluctuations in addition to psychotic symptoms. These medications take a longer time to show their effect in addition to the anti-psychotic drugs. These drugs can cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women. Antidepressant medications can be taken in order to deal with depression in schizophrenia. The common antidepressants are serotonergic medications that affect the serotonin levels and the common examples are fluoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram and duloxetine. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a better option for the patients who show inadequate result while treating with medication trials as well as psychosocial interventions. While dealing with pregnant women with schizophrenia the health professions become more cautious and take extra care of the patient. Some medications can increase the risk of damage to fetus and during breast feeding so the health professionals try to overcome these factors.

Educating the family members about the symptoms, course and treatment of schizophrenia comes under the category of psycho-education. This tool includes family support, problem solving skills and help from care-providers at the time of crisis. This intervention has given better results if continued for several months as it decreases the problems associated with emotional and social stresses. The burden over the family members is also reduced as with the help of health experts the family relationship of the patient also improves. Assertive community treatment (ACT) is another intervention which consists of meeting of the health experts with the patient in community settings rather than home or home. The team of health professionals is made up of a variety of experts for example, a psychiatrist, nurse, case manager, employment counselor and substance abused counselor. This tool is helpful in the treatment of patients who are either hospitalized or become homeless. Medical and psychosocial interventions focusing on substance abuse are integral part of treatment that specifically deals with the patients of schizophrenia. According to an estimate about 50% patients of schizophrenia suffer from some kind of substance abuse or dependence.

Social skill training is another important tool that teaches e important skills to the patients so that they can handle social situations easily. This treatment is helpful for the patients that resist using drugs. Supported employment provides support like a work coach, interviewing for jobs and education and support for the employers to hire individuals with chronic medical illness. This treatment helps the patients to work for prolong hours. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a reality based intervention that helps a client to deal with all the problems that interfere with his or her ability to interact with others. This tool helps to improve social relationships of the individual. This intervention can be performed individually or in group sessions. By educating the patients about the side effects of the anti-psychotic drugs the body weight of the patient can be managed.

Prognosis

According to a report presented in 2011 about 24 million people are suffering from schizophrenia. This disorder occurs 1.4 times more frequently in males as compared to that in females. The peak ages for the onset of symptoms of the disorder are 20-28 years for males and 26-32 for females. The onset of the symptoms of the disorder is generally rare in childhood but may arise in later stages. The percentage of occurrence of schizophrenia varies in different nations. The patients are at a double risk of death than the normal individuals. Almost half of the patients suffer from substance abuse during their lifetime.

Current status

Cognitive remediation is in use now-a-days as it helps the individuals with schizophrenia to deal with the cognitive problems. Vocational rehabilitation deals with increasing the efficiency of the patient to deal with social situations. Peer-to-peer treatment is a promising intervention as it helps the individuals of schizophrenia to develop constructive involvement. More research is required to deal with the weight management problems.

Mental Illness – Schizophrenia and Violence

Hollywood and the general media have a morbid fascination with violence and mental illness, especially psychosis and “madness.” This fascination sells tickets, but it also maintains the stigma and negative image that society holds towards people with mental illness and schizophrenia.

Studies in Australia found that mentally disordered TV characters were 10 times more likely to be displayed as violent as compared to non-mentally disordered ones. Television has also influenced people to believe that having someone with a mental disorder as a neighbour, would endanger them.

This trend crosses the Atlantic where in the States, 75% of a survey believed that people with severe mental illness were dangerous.

But the question is… does schizophrenia deserve this bad reputation?

The answer is “yes” and “no”.

This same survey in the States found that severe mental disorders was associated with increased rates of violence (assault, sexual assault, arson) but that this was only significant when there was CO-OCCURRING substance misuse.

The strongest predictors of violence was largely the same as those without serious mental illness, namely young age, history of violence, male gender, history of juvenile detention, recent separation or divorce, history of physical abuse, parental criminal history, substance misuse and unemployment.

Other studies have linked other factors with mental disorders and violence. These include an antisocial lifestyle and attitude, poor compliance with medication, poor parental models and chaotic social life styles.

The take-home message and answer is that “yes”, schizophrenia and severe mental illness is linked with increased rates of violence but that these rates are not markedly elevated. The increased rates of violence amongst individuals with schizophrenia is not linked to the disease itself, but mostly due to comorbid substance abuse and other longstanding antisocial behaviour and attitudes.

Overall the incidence of violence in the general population is low and serious mental disorder increases the risk 3 times. In comparison having an alcohol and drug use disorder increases the risk 9 times. Having both serious mental disorder and an alcohol and drug use disorder increased the risk 13 times.

The stigma of schizophrenia will only be challenged when people are educated and informed. Schizophrenia is a surprisingly common disorder, affecting about 1 percent of the population, which means that an awfully large number of people are stigmatized, based largely on this “propensity to violence” But as seen in this article, violence in people with severe mental illness is caused mostly personality and social factors.

http://www.understand-schizophrenia.com/schizophrenia-violence.html

Intractable Migraines – The Symptoms of the Intractable Migraine Headache

Intractable migraine is a migraine type that has some of the common signs of simple headache in addition of vertigo. Changes in the inner ear are the main factor for this vertigo. It is responsible for your body balance. When this vertigo happens the stand or walk ability is changed.

Simple migraine type is a headache which occurs on of one side of our heads, and it is painful. Aura and visual disturbances may be occurred before this painful headache phase in this simple migraine and many other migraine forms such as intractable and ocular migraine ( it is also named as a vestibular, ocular, painless, eye, visual and silent migraine ).

When intractable migraine sufferers feel its symptoms that the pain ( headache ) is accompanied with this imbalance feeling. It can cause nauseas and vomiting. Intractable migraine patients can not perform any tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery.

Intractable migraine with vertigo is assumed to be caused by genetic factors. There is no change in the brain evident on MRI test ( magnetic resonance imaging test ) that leas a doctor to believe the reasons nature is physical. Many physicians notice hyper excitability in the stem area of the brain. This hyper excitability may cause dizziness.

Many sufferers may be misdiagnosed because they have common vertigo as the headache is not associated with this migraine in all time. This migraine misdiagnosis is presented in older sufferers, and females tend to be diagnosed with this migraine more often than ladies.

The main signs of this headache are seeing spots, flashes and ears ringing. Females experience this migraine more than males with ratio 3:1. intractable headache medications and treatments are no different from other medications of migraine types

Toenail Fungus Cure – How Effective is Surgery Or Debridement in Getting Rid of the Infection?

How effective is surgery or debridement as a toenail fungus cure? Before the dawn of laser treatment, this has been the method used by podiatrists in treating worsening cases of nail fungal infections. The reasons for debridement or removal of parts or the whole nail are:

  • Nail is too deformed and causes other complications like ingrown which results to bacterial growth. We all know a nail fungal infection cause deformity if it is not properly treated and fungal growth continues. To stop or prevent further deformation, surgical toenail fungus cure remove the deformed and infected part or the whole nail; and with continued use of topical treatment may salvage growing uninfected nail.
  • Topical and oral solutions is not absorbed by the nail, hard to reach fungal infection continuously ravage the nail and skin. Surgery removes the infected part; and exposes the rest of the nail bed; thus getting rid of the toenail fungus becomes easier.

Surgery as a toenail fungus cure can be effective, but problems may arise as the new nail is growing. Reasons for the incomplete elimination of the fungus and occurrence of re-infection are:

  1. Infection is not completely eradicated by the treatment. After surgery, topical medications are usually prescribed for continued elimination of fungal growth. But the problem is as individuals, our body reacts differently to various medications, one type of medication may not be enough to purge the fungus. When this happens, the upcoming nail can also be infected, and the whole toenail fungus cure will be deemed as ineffective and the cost and time consumed by surgery are useless.
  2. Be aware of the fact that one of the causes of ineffectiveness and the adjoining side effects of medications is fungi and humans are similar in molecular structure. Complex cellular structure makes it hard for medical science to come up with drugs that can destroy fungal cells without damaging ours. End result is growing nail may end up weak and susceptible to re-infection.
  3. Medical predisposition to fungal infection may affect the growing nail. People that are considered to have higher risk of infection or re-infection due to weaker nail structure may also deem surgical toenail fungus cure as ineffective. Weaker nails and immune systems are the culprit behind the predisposition. People with Down syndrome, diabetes and HIV are just a few of those who are susceptible to re-infection.

So before taking the big step of surgical toenail fungus cure, think again and rethink it a few more times if it is your last resort. There are fungal treatments using organic ingredients that can treat the disease without going through the painful process of surgery.

Alopecia Areata – Causes and Treatment

Alopecia Areata is the erratic hair loss disorder that affects around 2 % population of this world. Researchers are constantly working on the possible alopecia areata causes, diagnosis and treatment. Alopecia areata treatment has undergone a huge transition in the span of last 10 years. Several studies have been made on the disease resulting into the outcome of various facts. And the process is on in full swing.

What is Alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata causes hair loss from areas of the body, usually the scalp. It causes bald spots on the head especially in the first stage. And thus it has the nickname “spot baldness”. In 1-2 % of cases the condition is found to be spreading to the entire scalp or epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin).

Alopecia areata affects only the growing hairs. Resting follicles escape the destruction. Therefore truncating the growth phase of hairs avoids the complete destruction of hair follicles. Often the alopecia areata causes the hair follicles to enter into a telogen resting state to avoid the worst effects of the disease. And this triggers significant shedding. The hair follicles usually stay in this resting state for prologner periods of time. If the hair follicles try to return to an anagen growth state the immune system retargets the hair follicles and forces them back into a resting state. The treatment of alopecia areata is partly based on this knowledge. The objective is to reduce the action of the immune cells on the hair follicles and also to promote the resting hair follicles back into new growth activity.

The various types of alopecia areata

Alopecia areata can be divided into the following types –

o Alopecia areata monolocularis – It causes baldness in only one spot in any part of the head.

o Alopecia areata multilocularis – It reults into multiple area of hair loss.

o Alopecia areata totalis – In this case the alopecia areata causes the loss of all the hair on the scalp.

o Alopecia areata universalis – Its symptom is the loss of all body hair including public hair. The condition is called Alopecia areata barbae if it is limited only to the beard.

o Diffuse alopecia areata – It happens when a psychological trauma causes a person to lose all his dark hairs. And leave him only with mixed grey and dark hairs.

Alopecia areata causes

Alopecia areata treatment and diagnosis indicates that the disease contains autoimmunity, ie. failure to recognize its own constituent parts. It erroneously treats its hair follicles as foreign tissue. And results into suppression and stopping of hair growth.

Alopecia areata is not contagious. But it might be hereditary. It is because there have been few cases of babies being born with congenital (in born) alopecia areata.

The stress factor is still under study.

The available alopecia areata treatment options

The alopecia areata cure options can be divided into four different categories of widely accepted therapeutic modalities: –

o Immune inhibitors such as steroids or Psoralen and UV-A light (PUVA)

o Topical sensitizers such as squaric acid dibutylester (SADBE) and diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP)

o Non-specific irritants (Anthralin)

o Vasodilators such as Minoxidil hair treatment

An important thing is to be noted about the treatment goals of all these modules. They are directed at hair re-growth cosmetically acceptable to the patients. These treatments do not prevent hair loss.

The most widely available treatment options

The most widely available alopecia areata treatment options include the following –

o Topical corticosteroids

o Locally injected corticosteroids or a combination therapy using minoxidil

o Anthralin

Factors like the duration and extent of the disease are considered while deciding the most appropriate treatment approach to take.

Corticosteroid creams or local injections are usually enough to treat small alopecia areata spots.

More extensive alopecia areata may require treatment with anthralin or other contact sensitizing agents. As of now, most dermatologists use a combination of corticosteroids or anthralin along with minoxidil.

Hair Loss – Cause, Prevention and Treatment

The adult scalp contains about 100,000 hair follicles. Everyday the scalp loses about 100 hairs and they will grow back in 5-6 weeks. Starting at age 40, the levels of by-product prolactin of testosterone of men increases, stimulating the production of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that causes the conversion of testosterone to gihydro-testosterones DHT causing our hair to grow back thinner or not grown back at all. This causes an androgenic alopecia hair loss problem, since DHT shrinks the follicles causing hair thins and hair receding at the forehead, crown and temple for men and thins over the entire scalp for women. What causes hair loss.

1. The Causes of Hair Loss

a) Aging

Human aging is the biological process that is unavoidable but controllable with healthy diet with complex carbohydrates, green foods, garlic, onion, water and juices that will help to decrease the aging process in some degree. It also helps to reduce the amount of DHT produced in our body, result in postponing hair loss to our scalp.

b) Mineral deficiency

Minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, chromium, iodine, zinc, and magnesium are necessary to maintain healthy hair growth. Mineral deficiency will reduce the chance to regulate the blood circulation that promotes healthy hair growth and thyroid hormones that prevent dry hair and hair loss as well as defects in hair color. Too much iron is toxic to your body. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any mineral supplement.

c) Oxygen deficiency

Oxygen deficiency in your blood weakens the hair follicles, leading to dryness of the scalp and hair loss. Uncontrolled diet that is high in saturated fat causes cholesterol building up in your arteries resulting in less oxygen in your blood stream. Also cigarette smoking and second hand smoke reduces the blood flow and increases the blood clotting activity of cells which would clog the blood flow and damage arteries causing oxygen deficiency and results in weaken of the hair follicles.

d) Side affects of medication taken

Some medications contains elements that might cause hair loss such as lithium, warfarin, heparin, and amphetamines. When hair loss is a side effect of a medication, hair growth usually returns to normal once the drug is stopped.

e) Genetic hair loss

Hair loss is due to heredity. It is passed down from generation to generation. Genetic hair loss appears predominately in men, but may also appear in a few select women.

2. Food to Avoid

Foods that can cause hair loss and diminish hair growth.

a) Saturated and Trans fat

Foods such as meat, poultry, and fried foods contain high saturated fat. Foods such as margarine, cheese, and butter contain high amounts of trans fat. These foods cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries and small veins in your scalp resulting in less oxygen being delivered to the cell in your body, including the cells on the follicles.

b) Foods that contain Aspartame and Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium Glutamate contain chemicals that causes weight gain, increased appetite and also causes various kinds of health problems such as hair loss.

Aspartame contains toxic chemicals that make you gain weight, increases hunger and causes medical problems like migraines and poor blood circulation.

c) Smoking

As we mentioned in the previous article, smoking can reduce blood flow to the scalp causing hardening in the arteries, limit blood flow and make hair loss worse.

d) Artificial Color

Artifiicial color contains chemical compounds that take their toll on the body’s natural balance.

Specific foods to avoid include colored drinks, color-coated candies, gummy and chewy candies, and many colored cereals.

e) Preservatives

These are potentially toxic to the liver and kidneys that cause hair loss and prevent hair growth as we mentioned in the article “Hair loss part IV–regrow hair with Chinese herbs”.

f) Food Packaging

Polyvinyl chloride is a known carcinogen, and it’s often used as plastic food wrap. It is toxic with high amounts causing damage to the kidney and liver resulting in hair loss.

g) Salt

Eating too much salt can lead to fluid retention and increased blood pressure that cause less oxygen to be delivered to the body’s cells including cells in your scalp in result of losing hair.

3. Hair Loss Prevention and Treatment

I. Here are some important minerals that may help to prevent hair loss and promote hair re-growth:

a) Iron

Iron is involved in the oxygenation of your body’s red blood cells. It is essential for normal hair growth and maintaining healthy hair. If the amount of iron can not be replaced with food intake, iron deficiency will cause hair loss because of oxygen deficiency.

b) Zinc

It helps to secrete the scalp with much needed oil and avoid dandruff that may cause hair loss.

c) Copper

Study shows that these tripeptide complexes may actually be able to regrow hair, even in patients with total hair loss due to alopecia. Healthy tissue concentrations of copper lie between 1. 7 and 3. 5 milligrams. Everything else will cause hair loss.

d) B vitamins

The deficiency of B vitamins (especially B6, B3, B5 and folic acid) in your diet may lead to hair loss.

e) Biotin

Biotin works as an anti aging agent and helps to produce keratin in preventing gray hair and hair loss.

Sources of biotin are: whole grains, egg yolks, liver, rice and milk.

f) Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for over-all good health. It’s also beneficial to hair follicles, as it keeps the hair root lubricated. Too much vitamin A might result in hair loss.

g) Vitamin E

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that aids effective circulation in the scalp due to increased oxygen uptake in blood, therefore it plays an important role in promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss.

h) CQ-10

Coenzyme Q10 (CQ-10) is an essential vitamin that provides our body with the nutrients needed to grow healthy hair. They also promote overall vitality, and contribute to beautiful skin and strong nails.

II. Here are some daily foods that might help to prevent hair loss and promote hair re-growth

1. Yogurt and soy

Yogurt and soy contain high amounts of protein that is needed to maintain hair growth. Study shows that soy protein reinforces hair and stimulates its growth.

2. Dark green vegetable

Dark green vegetable contains high amounts of iron that are needed to restore oxygen levels in the blood stream as well as nurturing the body’s cells.

3. Whole grain products

Whole grain contains zinc which is needed to maintain healthy hair. Zinc deficiency can lead to dry hair and oily skin.

4. Essential fatty acid

Essential fatty acid can be found abundant in cold water fish. It helps to maintain healthy cholesterol and reduce triglyceride in result of increasing circulation of blood flow in our body.

6. Nut and seed

Nuts and seeds are fatty foods which are typically the best sources of vitamin E, an immune enhancing antioxidant and nerve protector. Deficiency of vitamin E can lead to skin disorders, dry hair and loss of hair.

7. Carrots

Carrots contain high amounts of vitamin A. It is an antioxidant that helps produce healthy sebum in the scalp. Having too much vitamin A can lead to hair loss.

There are many other foods that help promote hair growth and prevent hair loss, such as fruits, egg, spinach, and broccoli.

Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking large amounts of the above foods. There may be side effects, such as overdoses of vitamin A in carrot might result in hair loss.

III. Traditionally, herbs have been around for over thousands of years and offer much success to prevent or cure diseases well before the discovery of western medicine. Here are some herbs thathave been proven in treating hair loss and promoting hair growth

a) Shikakai

Acacia Concinna is a small shrub-like tree that grows in India. It’s pod-like fruit is collected, dried and then grounded into a fine powder. It is used to cleanse hair, and is known to promote hair growth and get rid of dandruff. Due to these benefits, this powder was named shikakai which means “fruit for the hair”.

b) Grape seed extract

Grape seed extract is a very strong antioxidant that some use as a supplement or remedy to various conditions. It contains high levels of vitamin E and essential fatty acids that are essential for maintaining hair growth and preventing hair loss.

c) Kirin Brewery new discovery

Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido working with Kirin Brewery has discovered a unique property of an extract of hops that can help to activate the melanocyte cells that generate hair pigment.

d) Saw palmetto

As we mentioned in another article, Saw palmetto is the number one choice for men. Saw palmetto helps to block the formation of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that causes the conversion of testosterone to DHT that causes hair loss.

e) Basil extract

Basil Extract from the natural flowers of the basil plant, works to quickly soothe and calm skin of the scalp.

f) Pumpkin Seed

Pumpkin seeds help to block DHT, which is responsible for genetic hair loss. This common seed is loaded with zinc and magnesium that have the ability to block enzymes which yield DHT causing damage to follicles and resulting in hair loss.

g) Buddleja Davidii Extract

Buddleja Davidii extract contain active ingredients protecting the skin against toxic radicals. It can also help reduce skin aging and protect the skin against the damage caused from stresses and toxins.

h) Green Tea

Green tea contains the chemical globulin that helps to reduce levels of free testosterone, so that it cannot be converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the hair follicle.

Be sure to talk to your doctor or dermatologist before taking any herb supplement.

IV. Traditionally Chinese herbs have been around for over 4000 years and have offered much success to prevent or cure diseases well before the discovery of western medicine. Hair loss is directly linked to kidney deficiency syndrome in Chinese traditional medicine. People with hair loss problems especially in their early life may have a weak Kidney. Here are some Chinese herbs that have been proven in treating hair loss and promoting hair growth

a) Dong Quai

Traditionally, Chinese woman used Dong Quai to restore blood cells and increase the circulation of oxygen in the bloodstream to cells after period. Dong Quai contains phytoestrogen that helps to block the androgen receptor site in result of blocking the conversion of testerone to DHT, therefore reducing the chance of hair loss due to aging.

b) Ginseng

Ginseng is said to have the power of rejuvenating and energizing the body. It also helps to stimulate circulation of oxygen in our bloodstream to the cells of our body as well as the cells in our scalp.

c) Shou wu (polygonum)

Shou Wu is a polygonum multiflorum plant. It is now being used in conjuncture with other herbals, as an active ingredient in shampoos and orally administered to prevent hair loss as well as aiding the restoration of roots and production of new hair.

d) Psoralea seeds

Study shows that psoralea extract and exposure to ultra violet light will help to restore hair loss and promote hair regrowth with a 33% success rate.

e) Mulberry

Chinese herbalists believe that mulberry is an excellent tonic for the kidney, liver and blood that provides more oxygen in the bloodstream as well as small blood vessels in the scalp.

f) Chinese Yam

Numerous successful studies have been performed in examining the benefits of the Chinese yam. Chinese yam can help to nourish the liver, kidney and blood in result of preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth.

g) Green tea

Green tea containing catechins inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase that converts testosterone into hair-unfriendly DHT. So drinking great tea everyday is an effective treatment for male pattern baldness.

h) Chinese foxblove root

Chinese foxblove root contains cornus, the chemical that help to nurture the kidney, liver and blood in result of promoting hair growth.

i) Wolf berry

One of the natural superfoods has been used in traditional Chinese cooking. Wolf berry helps to eliminate toxins in the body in result of better function of the kidney, liver and blood that help to promote hair growth.

Chinese medicine believes that the benefit of nourishing the kidney and blood tonic helps for healthy hair growth and preventing hair loss.

V. Here are some prescription and over the counter drugs that might help prevent further hair loss and promote hair growth.

1. Minoxidil

Minoxidil is an over the counter drug and is a spray or lotion that you put directly on your scalp twice a day. It is available without a prescription. It is believed to work by affecting potassium- regulating mechanisms in the hair follicle. Study shows that it helps to slow and stop hair loss and regrow new hair with over 60 % success rate. Be sure talk to your doctor or dermatologist before taking minoxidil. It might cause rash to some patients.

2. Finasteride

Finastteride is an oral prescription medication. Finasteride is a synthetic hormone that halts hair loss and stimulates new hair growth. It is a medication that selectively inhibits the activity of an enzyme that converts the “male hormone” testosterone into a form that is active in hair follicles.

3. Rogaine

Rogaine is a clear alcohol-based solution and should be applied to a person’s thinning area with it’s supplied dropper or spray twice a day. It helps about 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women to grow back moderate amounts of hair very gradually, mostly on the very top of the head. They must keep using Rogaine indefinitely to keep the new hair.

4. Retin-A

Retin-A is only available by prescription in the US. In the right doses and when combined with Minoxidil it can be a hair growth stimulator. Studies shows that Retin- A can result in moderate hair growth in some patients.

5. Proscar

Proscar contains the same active ingredient finasteride. Proscar has the effect of lowering the hormone DHT, which interacts with bald vulnerable hair follicles and causes hair loss. By reducing the DHT in the patient’s body the finasteride in the Proscar proved to slow and even stop or reverse hair loss in many men.

Before taking any hair loss medication over the counter, please consult first with your doctor or dermatologist.

I hope this information will help. If you need more information of the above subject, please visit my home page at:

Understanding Serous Otitis Media

Serous otitis media (also known as otitis media with effusion, OME) refers to fluid collection in the middle ear space in the absence of infection.

It occurs when the Eustachian tube becomes blocked. The eustachian tube is a tube which connects the middle ear space to the back of the throat, helping to drain fluid out of the middle ear. Should this tube become blocked, fluid accumulates in the middle ear.

This fluid in the middle ear prevents the tympanic membrane (ear drum) from moving normally, thus affecting hearing. This retained fluid is also more susceptible to getting infected.

Causes of Serous Otitis Media:

• Upper respiratory tract infections, such as a common cold or flu

• Allergic rhinitis

• Irritants such as cigarette smoke

• Rapid changes in air pressure, such as descending in an airplane

Young children tend to be more prone to developing serous otitis media in part due to their ear anatomy. Being smaller in size, their eustachian tubes are naturally shorter. The tubes are also more horizontal, floppier and with a smaller opening, making them more susceptible to blockage and fluid accumulation.

Recurrent otitis media may be associated with blockage of the Eustachian tubes due to enlarged adenoids (collection of lymphoid tissue located where the throat and nasal passages meet) in children. It has also been found that children who are breastfed are less likely to develop otitis media.

Symptoms of Serous Otitis Media:

An uninfected serous otitis media is painless, so small effusions may go unnoticed. Older children and adults may complain of decreased hearing, fullness in the affected ear or tinnitus.

If left untreated, this fluid collection can get infected. If this happens, there will be pain in the affected ear, often associated with fever. Younger children may look very unwell, often presenting with vomiting and fever.

Diagnosis of Serous Otitis Media:

Physical examination and some simple tests may reveal the fluid collection. Examination to test for hearing loss using a tuning fork will show a “conductive hearing loss” in the affected ear. Examination with an otoscope may show fluid behind the ear drum, air bubbles, reduced reflectivity, or reduced movement.

Treatment:

The first step to treatment is to avoid any aggravating factors. This would include avoiding exposure to dust, pollen, smoke and other potential allergens. Breastfed infants should be encouraged to continue breastfeeding.

Serous otitis media often resolves spontaneously after weeks or even months. Sometimes, decongestants, anti-histamines or nasal sprays are prescribed.

If a child has recurrent or persistent serous otitis media, he/she should be seen by an ENT specialist to assess the need for the insertion of a small ventilating tube (grommet) – see picture above. Grommets are tiny tubes inserted in the tympanic membrane. Their main purpose is to promote ventilation of the middle ear rather than draining of fluid. Grommets tend to remain in position for about 6 to 18 months, afterwhich they are extruded spontaneously.

If adenoids are deemed to be the cause for recurrent serous otitis media, your doctor may advise for their removal.

Nature Vs Nurture – A Sociological Approach to Feral, Isolated, and Institutionalized Children

A common question related to sociology deals with the nature of the human being versus the way it is raised. Does one know if he is a boy or a girl upon birth, or does he make this distinction based on the actions and words of those around him? How does prison affect the functionality of a person once he is released to the world? These questions are strongly related to the nature versus nurture – does a human enter the world with basic human function, or does he develop these functions as a result of those around him.

One topic sociologists may study is feral children. These are children that were deserted at a very young age, with death usually the intention of the parents, but were rather raised and groomed by animals. Sociologists found that children raised by animals acquired the instincts and behaviors of the species that raised them. One example of this occurred in the 1700s, when a feral child known as “the wild boy of Aveyron” was discovered by scientists of the day. He was found in France in 1798, and it was observed that he walked on all fours, did not indicate pain related to cold temperatures, and pounced on small animals – devouring them raw in ravenous fashion. Although most sociologists will discard the significance of feral children because of the sparseness of cases, it still teaches us a lesson that children must learn how to act at a young age. This essential time of youth is when children develop many essential social behaviors.

A slightly more common study is on isolated children. These are children that were raised by one person or a small group of persons in an isolated area with minimal or no contact to a typical society. One girl, Isabelle, was raised by her deaf, mute mother in the attic of her grandfather. Upon being discovered at the age of 6, it was found that she could not talk, and rather relied on gestures to communicate with her mother. She also had a disease called rickets as a result of an inadequate diet and a lack of sunshine. This basically made her legs useless. Her behavior towards strangers, men especially, was like a wild animal. She treated them with fear and hostility – and could only make noise in the way of strange croaks. Initially she scored nearly zero on an IQ test – but because Isabelle was discovered at such a young age, she was able to reach the learning level expected from her age in two years. It is possible that results of isolation can be reversed if the child is younger than twelve. The primary problem, however, was a lack of a language, which is basic to all human interaction. All other interaction can be divided into sub categories to vocal communication.

These first two studies, isolated and feral children, can be viewed through one of Charles Horton Cooley’s theories on human interaction. Cooley, who lived in the late 1800s, created a theory that summed up how human development occurs, capturing the theory in the concept of ‘the looking glass self’. This theory had three primary elements: we imagine how we appear to those around us, we interpret others’ reactions, and we develop a self concept. The basic gist of it is that we look at those around us, and base our appearance and social interactions on what they do and what they expect. If a feral child is raised by animals, he is going to acquire the attributes of those animals. Likewise, an isolated child will base his actions on other isolated individuals or no one, and will develop little or no basic interaction skill.

Still more common than isolated or feral children is institutionalized children. Two or three centuries ago, orphanages were much different than they are now. Children were raised with little or no care on a strict schedule. On top of this, children were often beaten, ragged, and denied food. As a result, children coming from orphanages tended to have difficulty establishing close bonds with others, and have lower IQs. In an account of a good Iowa orphanage in the 1930s, children were raised in the nursery until about six months. They were placed in cribs that had tall sides, effectively limiting vision to the world around them. No toys were hung from the cribs, not mother held them closely. The interaction they did get was limited to nurses who changed diapers, bedding, and provided them medication. Although everyone assumed that mental retardation was a “he was just born that way” issue, two sociologists investigated and followed the lives of the children who were raised in this Iowa orphanage. H. M. Skeels and H. B. Dye began to understand that a lack of mental stimulation was depriving these children of the basic human interaction skills they needed to be effective members of society. In a study, they took thirteen children who were obviously retarded and assigned them a retarded woman who would look after them. They also chose twelve children who would be raised in the orphanage the usual way, and tested both groups for IQ. The first group was noted to develop an intense relationship with their respective ‘mothers’, and received much more

attention than their counterparts. While all of the studied children were still retarded, it was noted that the first group’s IQs spiked by a jaw-dropping average of 28 points. In an equally startling statistic, it was found that the other group’s average dropped by an average of 30 IQ points. This study demonstrated the importance of human interaction at a young age.

A final lesson can be taken from deprived animals. These are animals that were stripped from their mother at a young age and raised in isolation. A famous study regarding this topic was conducted by Harry and Margaret Harlow, who raised a baby monkey in isolation. They constructed two ‘mothers’ for their monkey, one which was a wire frame with a nipple on it from which the monkey could nurse, and one that was covered in soft fabric. They found that even though the first mother provided nourishment, the baby would cling to the soft mother when frightened, showing that the monkey felt more comfortable through intimate physical contact – or cuddling.

When the monkey was introduced to a monkey community, he was rejected, and had no concept of how normal monkey civilization was structured. He knew neither how to play normally with the other monkeys, nor how to engage in sexual intercourse, despite several feeble attempts.

Upon conducting this study with female monkeys, they found that those that did become pregnant became vicious mothers – they struck their babies, kicked them, or crushed them against the floor. These were monkeys who were raised in this isolated environment for years, and had no chance of integration to society. Other monkeys were observed to overcome these disabilities with increasingly positive results: a corresponding relationship with the amount of time spent in isolation. Monkeys isolated for three to six months were relatively easily integrated, while monkeys isolated for years suffered irreversible effects. When applied to humans, we understand that social interaction is key to a socially efficient product.

In short, society makes us human. Babies do not naturally develop into adults, and social ideas are not transferred via DNA. Although the body may grow, isolation victimizes them to be little more than mere animals. In fact, a lack of language skill results in an inability to even grasp the relations between people – such as father, mother, teacher and friend. In order to develop into an adult, children must be surrounded by people who care for them. This process called “socialization” shows that we are crafted by those around us.

Learning a Foreign Language With a Speech Impediment

Overcoming Obstacles

Have you ever wanted to learn a foreign language? Although there has been a language requirement in high school for a long time, experts have only recently begun to assert that learning a different language can have many benefits. In fact, it is now recommended that children begin learning another language as soon as possible, because most young children find it easier to learn at an early age, than adults and older children do.

Yet, many people find learning a language difficult, especially those with a speech impediment. A speech impediment can make even learning one’s native language frustrating-but it is not impossible to learn it with a speech impediment. All you need is practice, patience, and determination!

Why Take On The Challenge?

There are lots of benefits and opportunities open to you when you become bi-lingual or even multi-lingual. Multilingualism is seen as an asset in the business world. When applying for a job or an internship, many applications ask whether or not you know any additional languages. The ability to speak a foreign language, especially in spite of a speech impediment, will be looked upon favorably by many potential employers.

Knowing how to speak multiple languages also comes in handy when traveling abroad. Have you ever wanted to visit Spain, France, or Germany? Knowing how to speak the language beforehand means that you will have no trouble communicating with others once you arrive.

Besides the practical benefits of learning one, you will also enjoy all of the intellectual and cultural benefits as well. Learning a language besides your native language increases your exposure to the country and culture associated with the language. This can provide for a very enriching learning experience.

Using Your Resources To Learn A Foreign Language With A Speech Impediment

Though a speech impediment might seem like an obstacle when you are trying to learn a foreign language, there are many resources available to you that will allow you to be successful in your endeavor. However, if you are not aware of these resources, then there is no way to take advantage of them! Investigate the various options that might help you to learn another language despite having a speech impediment.

One of the first places you should turn to is your local high school. It is a requirement that most students learn it; however, this requirement is often waived for students with speech impediments. Yet, the special services available to students with speech difficulties will make learning a foreign language easier-so why not do so? Your school might provide speech impaired students with additional tutoring or help.

Another resource to investigate is online learning. This option is ideal for people who have already left high school but still want to learn a new language. The advantages to taking an online language class if you have a speech impediment are that the activities and learning are more visual and reading based as opposed to being verbal based. Thus, an online course is a perfect environment for people who have speech problems.

Don’t Give Up!

There is no doubt that learning a foreign language with a speech impediment will be extremely challenging. However, all of the resources available to you can make the learning process much easier-you just need to know where to find them.

Once you have learned one, you will reap all of the benefits that go along with it-from travel, to your career, to even cultural enrichment! You will also feel a strong sense of pride for overcoming an incredible obstacle.

Five Top Types Of Mutes That Are Used By The Best Trumpet Players

Knowing what to carry in your gig bag is one of the first things that you learn when you become a musician. After all, your gig bag is the equivalent of a business man’s briefcase, and it should have every tool that you expect to need right inside of it. As a trumpet player, mutes are one of the most important things that you should carry in your bag. Written into music for many different reasons, mutes are commonly utilized to change the tone color or volume of your sound. Although there are several different types of mutes that are available to you as a musician, here are the top five that are used by trumpet players:

  • Straight Mute — The most commonly-used type of mute out there, the straight mute is normally made out of metal — although there are exceptions — and therefore produce a metallic-sounding tone. Some of the more common brands are the Protec Manhattan, the Humes & Berg Stone-Lined, and the Bach 1860 Straight Mute. My personal favorite is the Denis Wick Straight Mute that can be used for both trumpet and cornet. It comes with your choice of a brass, copper, or aluminum bottom which offer a different timbre. It also has superior intonation and is made to last of high-quality aluminum.
  • Cup Mute — Not quite as popular as the straight mute, the cup is probably the second-most popular type of mute. It is normally shaped like a straight mute, but with a large inverted lip on the end which allows gives it a muffled sound due to blocking most of the trumpet bell. There are several different brands out there, with the most common being the Mutec Adjustable Cup, the Jo-Ral Tri-Tone Cup, and the Dennis Wick Adjustable Cup. My personal favorite is the standard, old-fashioned Humes & Berg Stone-Lined version as it is lower-priced than the rest, and it sounds great. A great tip for this type is that you can customize it yourself by painting it, without affecting the sound quality.
  • Harmon Mute — Also known as the wah-wah or wow-wow, the harmon directs all of the air coming out of the bell through the mute itself which gives it a buzzing-type quality to the sound. Miles Davis made removing the stem of the harmon famous, and can be heard on many of his music releases. My personal favorite harmon is the Jo-Ral TPT-2A Aluminum Bubble Mute is free-blowing, and offers an innovative design and shape. Other well-known brands are the Dennis Wick Extended Tube, the On Stage Wah-Wah, and the Harmon B Model Wow-Wow.
  • Plunger Mute — The plunger is similar to a hat mute, and is used with one hand with the player alternating between the open and closed positions to manipulate the sound. When perfected, this can produce a human-like voice quality. While there are many great brands of plungers available, the best option is to get a standard sink plunger at the hardware store. It can do the same thing as the more expensive ones that you can get at a music store, but only costs a few bucks.
  • Practice Mute — The practice mute is also known as the hotel or whisper mute, as it is made in such a way that the sound can only be faintly heard making it perfect for late-night practice or when you aren’t able to find a practice room. A more modern variation of this type of setup is the Yamaha Silent Brass System, which lets you hear yourself through headphones. You can even plug directly into a CD player or keyboard for practicing with accompaniment.

How to Stop Stammering

If learning how to stop stammering appeals to you, then this article is exactly what you have been looking for. Let me tell you, I know all too well what it’s like to suffer from a stammer, otherwise known as a stutter in the UK. I had this issue for many years, and it can really affect your confidence, as well as a whole host of other things. In this article, you’re going to learn exactly how to speak fluently, super quickly!

I guess for people who speak fluently, they just don’t know what stammerers go through. To them, they look at a stammerer, and see someone who struggles with speaking. Well, I think this type of speech problem is like an iceberg. What everyone else sees is only a fraction of the problem. When I stuttered, my confidence was at rock bottom, and felt very unhappy with where I was in life.

I also used to shy away from large social gatherings, or places where I would have to speak a lot, or speak louder than normal, such as clubs. Often, I would simply decide to stay in at home by myself, than go out and have fun partying with my friends, all because I was terrified of stuttering like crazy, and people looking at me like I was some sort of freak.

I hated living like that! I wanted to go out and enjoy myself, without the overwhelming fear hanging over me, ruining my fun. So I went on a mission to learn how to stop stammering once and for all.

One of the things I learned about how to stop stammering, was that the problems are often caused by a lack of confidence and self esteem issues. Well, I wasn’t surprised as this was exactly what I was suffering with! So I knew I had to turn myself around here, but I wanted some techniques to improve my speaking straight away also.

That’s when I learned this technique. Basically, in order to speak more fluently, you need to start talking slower, and move your mouth around a lot more. Exaggerate what you’re saying with your lips. I often mumbled a lot whilst I was a stammerer, and this technique teaches you to speak more clearly and fluently.

This was a great method to learn how to stop stammering, however I didn’t want to speak like this forever. I didn’t simply want to talk slower, I wanted to speak like everyone else!