Lifestyle changes With PCOS Help You Ovulate…..

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Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment generally focuses on management of your individual main concerns, such as infertility, hirsutism, acne or obesity.

Lifestyle changes

As a first step, your doctor may recommend weight loss through a low-calorie diet combined with moderate exercise activities. Even a modest reduction in your weight — for instance, losing 5 percent of your body weight — might improve your condition.

Medications

Your doctor may prescribe a medication to:

  • Regulate your menstrual cycle. To regulate your menstrual cycle, your doctor may recommend combination birth control pills — pills that contain both estrogen and progestin. These birth control pills decrease androgen production and give your body a break from the effects of continuous estrogen, lowering your risk of endometrial cancer and correcting abnormal bleeding. As an alternative to birth control pills, you might use a skin patch or vaginal ring that contains a combination of estrogen and progestin. During the time that you take this medication to relieve your symptoms, you won’t be able to conceive.

    If you’re not a good candidate for combination birth control pills, an alternative approach is to take progesterone for 10 to 14 days every one to two months. This type of progesterone therapy regulates your periods and offers protection against endometrial cancer, but it doesn’t improve androgen levels and it won’t prevent pregnancy. The progestin-only minipill or progestin-containing intrauterine device are better choices if you also wish to avoid pregnancy.

    Your doctor also may prescribe metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet, others), an oral medication for type 2 diabetes that improves insulin resistance and lowers insulin levels. This drug may help with ovulation and lead to regular menstrual cycles. Metformin also slows the progression to type 2 diabetes if you already have prediabetes and aids in weight loss if you also follow a diet and an exercise program.

  • Help you ovulate. If you’re trying to become pregnant, you may need a medication to help you ovulate. Clomiphene (Clomid, Serophene) is an oral anti-estrogen medication that you take in the first part of your menstrual cycle. If clomiphene alone isn’t effective, your doctor may add metformin to help induce ovulation.

    If you don’t become pregnant using clomiphene and metformin, your doctor may recommend using gonadotropins — follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) medications that are administered by injection. Another medication that your doctor may have you try is letrozole (Femara). Doctors don’t know exactly how letrozole works to stimulate the ovaries, but it may help with ovulation when other medications fail.

    When taking any type of medication to help you ovulate, it’s important that you work with a reproductive specialist and have regular ultrasounds to monitor your progress and avoid problems.

  • Reduce excessive hair growth. Your doctor may recommend birth control pills to decrease androgen production, or another medication called spironolactone (Aldactone) that blocks the effects of androgens on the skin. Because spironolactone can cause birth defects, effective contraception is required when using the drug, and it’s not recommended if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Eflornithine (Vaniqa) is another medication possibility; the cream slows facial hair growth in women.source

Understanding Cerebral Palsy Treatment

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Treatment for cerebral palsy is multifaceted, often requiring multiple doctors and therapies. Early treatment usually has the greatest chance of improving a child’s condition.

The purpose of treatment for cerebral palsy is to promote the most normal, manageable and healthy life possible.

This is accomplished through treatments that allow people with cerebral palsy to maximize their independence in daily life.

Because every diagnosis is different, treatments vary greatly based on the individual.

The type of treatments used depends on the patient’s:

  • Type of cerebral palsy
  • Location of movement problems
  • Level of disability
  • Co-occurring conditions

No two people receive the same treatment for cerebral palsy. Treatment encompasses short-term and management approaches to all the specific conditions that a child may face. This could involve medications, physical therapy, surgery and more.

Considerations Before Starting Treatment

The needs of a child with cerebral palsy aren’t solely based on correcting their physical disabilities. There are also social and emotional aspects of living a more fulfilling life. These aspects shouldn’t be ignored when considering treatment and therapy.

Many children are content with their disabilities. As a parent, it’s important to consider their feelings. Some treatments can be stressful and uncomfortable, and may not be in the best interest of the child. It’s important to discuss the physical and emotional impacts of all treatments with specialists and most importantly, the child.

Knowing the Specialists

Managing all aspects of a child’s unique diagnosis is essential for successful comprehensive treatment. Well-rounded treatment approaches require a team of multidisciplinary specialists, usually with a pediatrician at the center of the group.

Pediatricians are generalists who manage the treatment plan, recognize specific issues and recommend specialists who can treat those issues. Each specialist uses ongoing treatment and assessments to ensure that all areas of the child’s development are proceeding as normally as possible.

Types of specialists a child with cerebral palsy may require include:

  • Developmental pediatrician
  • Neurologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Surgeon
  • Behavioral therapist
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Ophthalmologist (eye specialist)
  • Otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialist)

    Physical Therapy

    Physical therapy is typically the first, and most important, step toward treating cerebral palsy. It usually begins at a young age and is geared toward improving independent motor function. The types of physical therapies used for children depend on their specific movement problems and symptoms that coincide with cerebral palsy.

    Physical therapy can improve:

    • Strength
    • Mobility
    • Posture
    • Balance
    • Flexibility

    Before physical therapy begins, the therapist takes an assessment of the child’s motor capabilities. This helps determine the most appropriate measures for therapy. After evaluating the child, the therapist will prescribe strength training exercises, stretches and muscle relaxing techniques based on the child’s needs.

    Exercise equipment includes weights, resistance bands, balance balls and machines to improve muscle tone. Hot and cold packs are often used to help relax and heal muscles.

    Scoliosis (spinal curvature) and shortened achilles tendons are some specific movement and posture issues that are treated with physical therapy. Physical therapy is an important prevention measure, as these issues can get worse over time. Proper treatment of the above conditions can also improve the chance of a child walking independently.

    Many specialists recommend starting physical therapy as early as possible to prevent future complications like contractures—a shortening of muscles and tendons that can be painful and is common in spastic cerebral palsy. Strength training exercises are also helpful for children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy who have loose muscles and may experience atrophy.

    Orthotics

    Orthotics are devices used to train major muscle groups and are often a part of physical therapy. Splints, braces and casts may be used to assist children with high or low muscle tone. For example, children with scoliosis are often fitted with a plastic brace to correct curvature of the spine as they grow. These devices encourage mobility, balance and proper growth.

    Occupational Therapy

    Occupational therapy helps children with cerebral palsy improve fine motor skills. In general, physical therapy is used to improve gross motor function, but it doesn’t focus on fine motor function. People with cerebral palsy struggle with coordinating these skills for tasks such as grasping a spoon and bringing it to their mouth. But occupational therapists often work with physical and speech therapists to build a complete therapy plan.

    Occupational therapists evaluate a child’s needs by testing his or her fine motor skills, perception and oral motor skills. By observing how the child responds to touch and movements, the therapist can determine a treatment plan. The treatment plan typically involves positioning, reaching, grasping and releasing.

    Occupational therapy can help with activities such as:

    • Writing
    • Picking up small objects
    • Fastening zippers
    • Opening jars
    • Using scissors

    These skills are important for a child to develop the ability to be independent. Occupational therapy for children usually involves a form of play to keep them motivated.

    Many children with cerebral palsy have sensory impairments that make movement difficult. Our senses help us recognize changes in temperature, feel pain and to be aware of the space around us. Senses, such as touch and balance, are important for motor skills like picking up objects and walking.

    Other senses, such as proprioception, allow people to know the location of their own body parts; being able to touch your finger to the tip of your nose is an example of the proprioceptive sense. Sensory impairments make it hard to develop movement skills, and occupational therapists help children work through these impairments.

    Speech Therapy

    Birth injuries can also affect the parts of the brain that control speech and the muscles that allow us to speak. Many children with CP have issues with speech due to their birth injury. Speech therapy can teach children how to pronounce certain words and communicate more effectively.

    Speech therapists can diagnose speech issues and help improve language skills. They can also help with other skills, such as breathing and eating, because these issues involve the muscles in the mouth and face.

    Speech therapy also tackles problems that affect a child’s ability to eat. Many children with CP struggle to maintain a healthy weight because it’s hard to chew or swallow food. Oral motor exercises can improve the ability to chew and swallow food effectively.

    Speech therapists also work with other therapists. For example, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist can help children with drooling problems due to low muscle tone in the face and mouth.

    Medications

    People with cerebral palsy are often prescribed various medications to help manage their condition. Medications can help manage both movement issues and secondary conditions that develop due to cerebral palsy.  The types of medications to treat these conditions range from antidepressants for seizures to nerve blocks for spasticity. To prevent unnecessary side effects, doctors weigh the pros and cons of these medications before prescribing them.

    Common conditions treated with medication include:

    • Seizures
    • Involuntary movement
    • Spasticity
    • Incontinence
    • Gastroesophageal (acid) reflux

    Surgery

    There are multiple surgical treatments that can help correct movement problems in children with cerebral palsy. However, parents should keep in mind that surgery isn’t right for every child with cerebral palsy.

    Surgery is most commonly prescribed for those with spastic cerebral palsy because their increased muscle tone can be reduced to relieve restricted movement. For example, a child who walks on their toes due to high muscle tone in their legs can have those muscles or tendons lengthened, allowing for more normal walking.

    Surgeries that can improve mobility in children with high muscle tone include:

    • Muscle and tendon lengthening – A procedure used to correct contracted muscles or tendons, freeing up movement to walk or use hands.
    • Tendon transfer – Transferring tendons from one bone to another is intended to give better alignment and motor control, especially in the feet and ankles.
    • Tenotomy/myotomy – Cutting the tendon/muscle can relieve pain and restrictive movement caused by contractures—a permanent tightening of tendons or muscles.
    • Neurectomy – Cutting the nerve that controls a specific muscle group can reduce spasticity or rigidity in that area. It is generally used to correct hip dislocations.
    • Osteotomy – A procedure to realign joints by removing part of the bone.
    • Arthrodesis – Fusing two bones together can produce stability in some cases.
    • Selective dorsal rhizotomy – This aggressive procedure involves cutting specific nerves in the spinal column to correct spasticity in various muscle groups throughout the body.

    Surgery is most effective when the child is old enough that doctors can determine where their movement issues are stemming from but young enough that there is still time to correct movement. This window is usually between 3-8 years of age.

    Surgery may also be used to treat other conditions associated with cerebral palsy, such as hearing impairment and difficulties with feeding.

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Early Treatment After a Stroke…

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Early treatment after a stroke is vital as the faster you can get treatment the more brain can be saved. If you arrive at the hospital quickly, you may be treated with a drug known as ‘tPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator). This drug breaks down the blood clots that cause an ischaemic stroke. It is very good at improving a person’s recovery after stroke but it can also cause bleeding in the brain. ‘tPA must be started within 4.5 hours of the stroke, after a CT scan, and can only be used where there are experienced doctors and specialist services. This drug is only useful for certain types of stroke (those due to blood clots) and is not suitable for everyone. For early treatment after a stroke – ischaemic (caused by a blood clot) you should be given aspirin as soon as possible after the stroke. Aspirin is not recommended if you have had a stroke where the blood vessel burst. Aspirin helps reduce further blood clots and lowers your chance of having another stroke. Recognising the signs of a stroke and getting to hospital quickly for early treatment after a stroke is important to minimise the effects of a stroke.

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Menopause Tied to Faster Decline in Women’s lung Function

Age-related decline in women’s lung function may speed up during and after menopause, a recent study suggests.

Past research has shown that young women can boost their lung function through their mid-twenties by following a healthy lifestyle that includes getting plenty of aerobic exercise and avoiding cigarettes. After that, lung function declines gradually, and the process can be sped up when people smoke or carry excess fat around their midsection.

“Our study adds, that with increasing reproductive age slope of decline becomes steeper and the decline becomes faster, and it accelerates beyond the age-related expectations,” said lead study author Kai Triebner, a researcher at the University of Bergen in Norway.

The good news for women is they can take steps to manage their respiratory health early in life to limit the potential for declines in lung function with menopause to lead to meaningful health problems, Triebner added by email.

“Generally speaking you cannot build up lung function again unless the loss was due to a medical condition, but you can manage the decline,” Triebner added.

Women go through menopause when they stop menstruating, which typically happens between ages 45 and 55. As the ovaries curb production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in the years leading up to menopause and afterwards, women can experience symptoms ranging from irregular periods and vaginal dryness to mood swings and insomnia.

For the current study, researchers examined data on 1,438 women who were followed for 20 years starting when they were between 25 and 48 years old.

None of the women had started going through menopause when they joined the study. By the end, they had either started or completed the process of going through menopause.

To assess shifts in lung function tied to menopause, researchers examined what’s known as forced vital capacity (FVC), a measure of lung size, as well as forced expiratory volume (FEV1), or how much air can be pushed out of the lungs in one second.

Lung function decline was faster during the transition to menopause and sped up even further after menopause, compared to when women were still menstruating, researchers report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

For example, transitional women lost about 10 milliliters of forced vital lung capacity more per year than pre-menopausal women, and after menopause women lost a mean of 12 ml/year more.

For forced vital capacity, the decline after menopause was comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 years, the study found.

With forced expiratory volume, the decline after menopause was comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for two years.

The more pronounced decline in forced vital capacity compared to forced expiratory volume suggests that menopause may be more likely to lead to what’s known as restrictive breathing problems, such as sarcoidosis, that make it difficult to fully expand the lungs when inhaling, rather than breathing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) that make it difficult to exhale air from the lungs, the authors conclude.

The study is observational and doesn’t prove menopause directly causes breathing problems, the authors note.

While the findings don’t explain why lung function dropped for women after menopause, it’s possible that hormonal changes during this time that are linked to systemic inflammation may also trigger lung function declines, the authors point out.

Hormonal changes are also implicated in osteoporosis, which shortens the height of the chest vertebrae and may, in turn, limit the amount of air a person can inhale.

Both before and after menopause, though, the rate of decline in lung function is slow, and may only be significant in women with lung disease, said Dr. David Jacoby, a researcher at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland who wasn’t involved in the study.

“Someone with lungs damaged by smoking who has no symptoms at age 30 may have symptoms of her lung disease later in life as her lung function declines with age,” Jacoby said by email. “The message, an obvious one, is to avoid smoking to avoid damaging your lungs, and if you have chronic lung disease, take your medications to keep your lung function as good as possible.”

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New About Bipolar Disorder and ADHD in Children

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If you are a parent of a child with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or ADHD, you might be interested in looking at the PBS “FRONTLINE” program called “The Medicated Child.” Since the program already aired, you might be able to catch a rerun by checking your local PBS station, but the easiest way to view it would be online, for free, at any time of the day or night. Just go to the “FRONTLINE” Web site for the episode of the Medicated Child. There you will find a wealth of information and can watch the entire program. “FRONTLINE” is one of the best programs on TV today and I recommend it highly.

Here are the first two paragraphs verbatim from the introduction page of this show’s Web site:

In recent years, there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of children being diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders and prescribed medications that are just beginning to be tested in children. The drugs can cause serious side effects, and virtually nothing is known about their long-term impact. “It’s really to some extent an experiment, trying medications in these children of this age,” child psychiatrist Dr. Patrick Bacon tells FRONTLINE. “It’s a gamble. And I tell parents there’s no way to know what’s going to work.”

In “The Medicated Child,” FRONTLINE producer Marcela Gaviria confronts psychiatrists, researchers and government regulators about the risks, benefits and many questions surrounding prescription drugs for troubled children. The biggest current controversy surrounds the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder was long believed to exist only in adults. But in the mid-1990s, bipolar in children began to be diagnosed at much higher rates, sometimes in kids as young as 4 years old. “The rates of bipolar diagnoses in children have increased markedly in many communities over the last five to seven years,” says Dr. Steven Hyman, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “I think the real question is, are those diagnoses right? And in truth, I don’t think we yet know the answer.”

In addition to being able to read the full introduction, the website also contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions as well as a Parent’s Guide “written by child psychiatrist Joshua Sparrow, [which] has been developed to support FRONTLINE’s documentary The Medicated Child. It provides background on the issues associated with treating a child with psychiatric medications. The information provided can be a resource for parents, school guidance counselors and psychologists, pediatricians, social workers, special education professionals, classroom teachers and others involved in diagnosing and treating children with behavioral and emotional problems.”

Frontline also has a somewhat older program that deals more specifically with ADHD.  It too has the full program as well as a wealth of ancillary material.

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Stroke Victims have ‘Three-hour Window’ to Take Clot-Busting Drug to Boost Chance of Full Recovery

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Stroke victims must get clot-busting drugs within three hours to stand the best chance of a full recovery, warn British doctors.

Taking a drug called Alteplase within 90 minutes of a stroke gives patients more than double the chance of full recovery, according to a report in The Lancet medical journal.

But using the drug four and a half hours after symptoms develop could do more harm than good, it says.

Treating stroke as a medical emergency is vital because patients need to have a scan before they can be given drugs.

Scans can differentiate between strokes caused by blood clots – which can be treated with clot busting drugs – and ‘bleeding’ or haemorrhagic strokes, which need other forms of treatment.

Professor Kennedy Lees, of Glasgow University’s Western Infirmary, said ‘Our analysis showed that the greatest benefit comes from earlier treatment, since net benefit is diminishing and is undetectable beyond 4.5 hours. ‘Risk might outweigh benefit’ he added.

The ‘golden hour’ after symptoms strike was vital for people to recognise warning signs and get the victim to hospital for treatment, he added.

Every year in the UK, approximately 120,000 people have a stroke and 20-30 per cent die within a month.

The new study looked at 3,670 patients in eight trials to see how the benefits and risks of Alteplase changed with time of treatment.

It showed those treated within 90 minutes had two and a half times the chance of a good recovery after three months compared with untreated patients.

Those given it by four and half hours had a 22 per cent chance of recovery, while the death rate increased for those treated later.

Dr Sharlin Ahmed, research liaison officer for The Stroke Association said ‘Previous research has shown that clot busting treatments are most effective if they are administered within three hours of the on-set of stroke symptoms.

‘However, this study suggests that clot busting treatments can still be beneficial to some stroke patients after the three hour time window, up to four and a half hours.  After this point the risks of the treatment outweigh the potential minimal benefit to the patient.

‘Unfortunately, not all stroke patients are eligible to receive clot busting drugs, however, for those who are, this research supports the idea that the faster the drug is administered, the greater the potential is for recovery.

‘It is therefore fundamental that people view stroke as a medical emergency and get the patient to hospital as quickly as possible. ‘

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The Hormone Loss that Accompanies Years After Menopause May Accelerate Aging in the Body

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Menopause is a milestone of aging, marking the end of a woman’s reproductive years. But researchers have always wondered whether menopause can hasten aging by triggering age-related changes or whether it’s simply a consequence of a body that’s reached a certain biological age.

In two new studies, one published in PNAS and the other in Biological Psychiatry, researchers have found strong evidence that menopause may actually accelerate aging in women.

Steve Horvath, professor of human genetics and biostatistics at University of California Los Angeles, and his team measured the changes in a group of women’s DNA and concluded that the cells of women who had experienced menopause speed up aging processes by about 6%.

Horvath and his team studied 3,100 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, a large ongoing study of women’s biology, who provided samples of DNA from their blood, saliva and cheek tissue. They analyzed changes in the DNA called epigenetic alterations that serve as a marker for a cell’s age; these changes serve as a type of aging clock for the cells. “The epigenetic clock is similar to counting rings on a tree to assess its age,” says Horvath.

He focused on the epigenetic changes because earlier work hinted that women who have their ovaries removed—and therefore experience early menopause—tend to show signs of aging sooner than women who don’t need the surgery. Other work also showed that some of these women who then took hormone therapy to replace the hormones that stopped after their surgical menopause showed signs of having younger or restored cells compared to women who didn’t take the hormones.

Taken with his current epigenetic results, says Horvath, “All of these arguments very, very strongly suggest that the loss of hormones that accompany menopause accelerates or increases biologic age.”

In the other study, another group of researchers from UCLA found that poor sleep, particularly insomnia, can also trigger similar acceleration in aging. Those aging-related changes can make chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer more likely.

The two studies highlight the increasing focus on biological age, as opposed to chronological age: in other words, how old people really are, as indicated by their cells and tissues. Depending on people’s genes and lifestyle habits, they can age at different rates, and Horvath says the epigenetic evaluation is a much better indicator of aging than a birth date.

“We really couldn’t measure biological aging in the past,” says Horvath. “We didn’t have a molecular measure of age, of how old cells and tissues really were. Now we have a wonderful opportunity to really study what stress factors affect biological age, and what could be done to slow aging.”

Part of that solution may include re-visiting the role that hormone therapies might play, particularly for women, in slowing the aging clock. Horvath is not advocating that post-menopausal women start taking hormone replacement therapy as a way to stay young, but it’s possible that in the future, newer versions of these hormones, with fewer side effects, could be a part of aging gracefully. “In the future there may be low-level hormone therapies that are almost like a statin pill,” he says of the popular cholesterol-lowering medications that can reduce the risk of heart disease. “But I don’t think we have that yet.”

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Simple About Bipolar Disorder,Symptoms and it’s Treatments….

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Like many mental illnesses, bipolar has become a flippant by-word to describe an unpredictable, emotional person. But for the millions of people who deal with the misunderstood condition, bipolar is not a joke.

What is bipolar?

A mental condition, bipolar mainly affects a person’s mood.

What are the symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of bipolar depend on which episode of the condition a person is experiencing. Episodes of mania can last between three to six months, while depression can go on for as long as 12 months.

During depressive episodes, a person with the condition can feel down, upset or tearful, according to the mental health charity Mind.

They man also experience lethargy, and stop gaining enjoyment from activities. Bipolar can impact a person’s self-esteem, as they become wracked with feelings of unconfidence and guilt. The intensity of such periods may make the person feel suicidal.

During such episodes others may notice that a person with bipolar can sleep too much, change their eating habits, and misuse drugs and alcohol. They may also become withdrawn and anti-social.

This phase of the disease is often diagnosed first.

Mania is characterised by feelings of extreme happiness. Those in the midst of a manic episode can find their minds are filled with ambitious and plans.

A feeling of infallibility may also take over. Those with the condition can also appear to act recklessly, including by spending large amounts of money on what the do not need and cannot afford.

People with bipolar also report a spike in sexual energy, racing thoughts, and feeling distracted during such episodes.

Friends and loved ones can identify a manic episode if the person speaks extremely fast, acts inappropriately, sleeps very little, and risks their safety.

Hypomania is similar to mania, but feels more manageable, lasts for a shorter period of time, meaning a person may feel able to continue working or socialising.

Mixed episodes involve a combination of the symptoms of depression and mania or hypomania.

Managing emotions can become fraught, as a person can feel confused about how they feel and what they want. This combination can make a person more tempted to act on suicidal thoughts.

Psychosis – which can include feelings of paranoia and aural hallucinations – can affect some people, particularly during manic episodes.

What causes bipolar?

The cause of bipolar is unknown. Evidence suggests that bipolar is not caused by a single factor. Instead, a combination of genes, environmental factors and chemical imbalances in the body can trigger the illness.

How is it treated?

Talking therapies can help to ease the symptoms of depression, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle by taking regular exercise and eating a balanced diet are also important.

Medication, including lithium, can be used to prevent a person from slipping into a manic or depressive episode, while drugs can also be used to help a person in the midst of depression.

If you are worried you or someone you know has bipolar, visit your GP who will refer you to a psychiatrist.

Who is affected?

Anyone can experience bipolar, including children.

One in every 100 adults have bipolar disorder at some point in their lives, according to the Royal College of Psychiatry. The symptoms usually start in those aged between 15 to19-year-old, but is rarer after the age of 40. Both men and women experience bipolar.

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8 important Factors Affecting Life Span Everyone To Know about Cerebral Palsy

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Predicting how life span is altered by a medical condition is nearly impossible, although it is of great concern to parents. Doctors often aren’t able to immediately diagnose Cerebral Palsy in newborns, and even when they can, it typically takes months to years to accurately assess the level and extent of impairment a child will experience.

For an accurate estimation, primary care physicians wait for the brain to fully develop, observe the child over time and gauge key developmental milestones.

Therapy, treatment, and technology continue to advance in ways that minimize effects of impairment, while worldwide and national policy initiatives focus on ensuring barrier-free, accessible environments in home, school, transportation, recreation, government, and public space.

Although it may be difficult to determine a prognosis for a child with Cerebral Palsy, setting goals in cooperation with the child’s doctors and learning to properly manage impairment, associated conditions, and co-mitigating factors can improve outcomes.

Still, none of these factors indicate how a person’s life span will be affected. The majority of individuals with Cerebral Palsy live until late adulthood. However, while some individuals with severe impairments may live a long time, the more severe the impairment and the greater number of health conditions, the higher the likelihood of a shorter life span.

Properly managing these conditions will help minimize risk and optimize life expectancy. In particular, eight factors are identified as areas of concern which have the capacity to shorten life span in cases of Cerebral Palsy. They are:

Number of impairments and key disabilities

An increase in the number of impairments has an adverse effect on life expectancy calculations for individuals living with Cerebral Palsy. To clarify, the higher the number of impairments, the greater likelihood an individual’s life expectancy will be impacted. However, severity and type of impairment also play a significant role. A child with multiple impairments has multiple conditions for caretakers to properly manage.

Life span can be affected as a direct result of Cerebral Palsy, or by a function of the individual’s associated conditions – such as seizures and intellectual disabilities.

Severity level

The degree that impairment influences a person’s life is a significant component in life expectancy calculations. Severe impairment will diminish the life expectancy of a child more significantly than moderate or mild impairment. Higher levels of impairment can indicate a more serious underlying injury or condition – more significant brain damage, for instance.

Severe cases of Cerebral Palsy can lead to early death in newborns, babies, infants, and toddlers. The more severe a condition, the more prone the child is to premature death. Of special concern for risk of premature death are children who experience severe spasticity, and children with quadriplegia or quadriparesis. Those born with jaundice are also at risk. Many cases of infant mortality are related to premature birth and very low birth weight. Studies are being performed to ascertain whether the brain damage leads to premature birth and low birth weight, or whether the reverse leads to the brain damage. In these situations, though, the injury to the brain or other organs may be too great to sustain life.

Those whose impairments induce a near-vegetative state are more prone to respiratory infection, septicemia and general organ failure, conditions which all place life at greater risk. Severity of impairment is significant when it influences mobility, feeding, and cognitive functioning.

Severe impairment can lead to other conditions. For example, severe spasticity in limbs can lead to contracture and frozen joints. Severe impairment often increases a child’s dependency on others; he or she may require 24-hour care and monitoring. The inability to be independent, provide self-care, and be mobile is thought to contribute to quality of life issues and life span, but not in all cases. Those with severe impairment can lead healthy lives well into adulthood.

Health management, modern medicine, preventive measures, and technological advances continue to optimize health outcomes of those with severe impairment.

Mobility restrictions

The severity of mobility impairment is an important factor in gauging the impact on a child’s lifespan. Limited ability to move from one place to another, or to use both arms and legs successfully, increases a child’s dependency upon others. Severe impairment, especially quadriplegia – paralysis of all limbs and torso – is a concern.

Restrictions on mobility increase a child’s dependence on caregivers. Such restrictions can also lead to other health problems which impact quality of life and life span.

Cerebral Palsy is a condition that does not progress in severity, which means the brain injury does not deteriorate over time. However, in some children, the effects of the brain injury on a child’s mobility can worsen – or improve via treatment – over time.

Spasticity can force limbs into a constantly extended or flexed state, cause contracture and impede normal alignment of the spine and hips, which further impairs movement. Pressure sores may develop when individuals are restricted to bed or sitting positions for extended periods. Pressure sores can become infected, and an untreated infection places a strain on the body and can be life threatening.

Those with physical impairment can also experience premature aging. Inactivity and lack of exercise can weaken the body and decrease immunity and cognitive function. Some children with Cerebral Palsy will use more energy to move than a child without Cerebral Palsy. The result is excessive wear on internal organs, including the heart.

In general, the lack of upper extremity function, inability to propel wheelchair, inability to roll over, and inability to creep, crawl or scoot can be areas of concern.

Feeding difficulties

Children who are able to self-feed are more likely to experience a full life than children who need assistance with feeding. Difficulty in feeding can lead to malnutrition, a condition that weakens the immune system and can lead to muscle deterioration.

Children who are unable to self-feed are reliant on their caregivers, medical equipment, or both. They are likely to have oral motor functioning impairment, meaning muscles required to chew, swallow and communicate are unable to function properly. This impairment can lead to failure to thrive, choking, and aspiration, which then can cause pneumonia or other life-threatening conditions. Irritation from feeding tubes can lead to infections. Infections are serious if not treated carefully.

Feeding issues can be mitigated by properly using feeding tubes or gastrostomy. Parents can work closely with a registered dietician to manage the nutritious value, consistency and substance of diet, and learn ways to feed that reduce the child’s risk of aspiration and pneumonia. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight optimizes health. Therapists may also work with the child to improve muscle control of the tongue, lips and bite.

Seizures

Children who experience seizures, especially severe and frequent seizures, in addition to Cerebral Palsy are at risk for diminished life expectancy when compared to children who are without seizure. Seizures originate in the brain, but are not the result of the same brain injury that caused Cerebral Palsy.

Seizures may affect consciousness, emotions, sensation, vision, and muscle control. Repeated or prolonged seizures may lead to injury or severe lack of oxygen.

With the aid of a neurologist, parents can learn how to manage and properly medicate seizure activity. Medications must be monitored and changed often. The manner of weaning from one medication and replacing with another is extremely important with some medications. Care must be taken to prevent adverse drug interventions, especially when new medications are prescribed by other doctors.

When meeting to discuss the child’s seizures with medical practitioners, parents will need to provide information about how long the episodes typically last, what body parts are affected, the type of seizure, possible triggers, and how the child behaved during the seizure.

Cognitive functioning

Intellectual capability has a strong relationship to the life expectancy of a child with Cerebral Palsy. Even in children who do not have Cerebral Palsy, diminished intellectual function will shorten life expectancy calculation. Intellectual disability occurs in roughly 30%-50% of children with Cerebral Palsy. Cognitive factors that contribute to diminished life span include:

  • Presence and severity of intellectual disability
  • Inability to speak intelligible words
  • Inability to recognize voices
  • Inability to interact with peers

It is unclear whether reduced cognitive function itself is the cause of diminished life expectancy, or the sign of a more severe level of impairment.

Visual acuity

Impaired visual function is linked to diminished life span in children with Cerebral Palsy. Current studies are focused on determining whether the actual visual impairment is responsible for shortened life expectancy, or whether visual impairment is indicative of a separate brain injury that may be life threatening in itself. Some believe visual impairment may accompany severe cases of Cerebral Palsy, which combined might indicate a risk to life expectancy.

Respiratory functioning

Respiratory functioning, as well as swallowing and chewing difficulties, is a factor in reduced life expectancy for children with Cerebral Palsy. Respiratory distress makes it difficult for the body to function and can lead to life-threatening heart conditions. Severity and frequency of respiratory infection is a significant factor.

Amazing: Married To Woman With Cerebral Palsy

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I have been married to a wonderful gal now for over ten years. I knew she had problems with her legs when we met. I didn’t know what cerebral palsy was, but she was beautiful and I wanted to spend all my time with her. Over time her legs have become a problem. I feel uncomfortable in public, she gets stared at constantly. I am a decent looking guy who works out and gets attention from many younger prettier girls, but have always stayed faithful, at least sexually. I am very into outdoors activities and she is limited therefore alot of the time, so am I. She has no issues with me going and doing these things but I wish I had someone to share these experiences with. I am no longer attracted to her physically but still have desires unfulfilled. I have tried to leave but we have 2 young boys that would be devastated. I have told her all this but she loves me, probably much more than I deserve. I love her too but more like a friend, a sister. I want to stay for my kids and her, but my desire to be with other women leaves me feeling overwhelmed with guilt and I have been depressed for some time about it. She stuck by me through thick and thin and now I want to run off and chase young healthy girls. I want a girl I could show off. I know I am a child, but I also know she deserves to be loved more than I can give her. I wish I had people to talk to but am completely alone here. It does feel good to get it out. Thank you for reading this if you made it this far.