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Ailmemts & Remedies

Hot Flashes

Definition:
Hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth, which are usually most intense over the face, neck and chest. Your skin may redden, as if you’re blushing. Hot flashes can also cause profuse sweating and may leave you chilled…..CLICK & SEE

Although other hormonal conditions can cause them, hot flashes most commonly are due to menopause — the time when a woman’s menstrual periods stop. In fact, hot flashes are the most common symptom of the menopausal transition.

Hot flashes are due to a reduction of FSH and reduced levels of estradiol. They are a form of flushing, a symptom which may have several other causes, but which is often caused by the changing hormone levels that are characteristic of menopause. They are typically experienced as a feeling of intense heat with sweating and rapid heartbeat, and may typically last from two to thirty minutes for each occurrence.

How often hot flashes occur varies from woman to woman, but usually the range is from one or two a day to one an hour. There are a variety of treatments for particularly bothersome hot flashes.
Symptoms:
Hot flashes, a common symptom of menopause and perimenopause, are typically experienced as a feeling of intense heat with sweating and rapid heartbeat, and may typically last from two to thirty minutes for each occurrence, ending just as rapidly as they began. The sensation of heat usually begins in the face or chest, although it may appear elsewhere such as the back of the neck, and it can spread throughout the whole body. Some women feel as if they are going to faint. In addition to being an internal sensation, the surface of the skin, especially on the face, becomes hot to the touch. This is the origin of the alternative term “hot flush”, since the sensation of heat is often accompanied by visible reddening of the face. Excessive flushing can lead to rosacea.

The symptoms of hot flashes are as follows:

*A sudden feeling of warmth spreading through the upper body and face
*A flushed appearance with red, blotchy skin
*Rapid heartbeat
*Perspiration, mostly on your upper body
*Feeling chilled as the hot flash subsides

Hot flashes vary in frequency — you may have few or many in a day — and each hot flash usually subsides in a few minutes. They’re particularly common at night. Most women who experience hot flashes have them for more than a year, but they usually stop on their own within four to five years.

The hot-flash event may be repeated a few times each week or every few minutes throughout the day. Hot flashes may begin to appear several years before menopause starts and last for years afterwards. Some women undergoing menopause never have hot flashes. Others have mild or infrequent flashes. The worst sufferers experience dozens of hot flashes each day. In addition, hot flashes are often more frequent and more intense during hot weather or in an overheated room, the surrounding heat apparently making the hot flashes themselves both more likely to occur, and more severe.

Severe hot flashes can make it difficult to get a full night’s sleep (often characterized as insomnia), which in turn can affect mood, impair concentration, and cause other physical problems. When hot flashes occur at night, they are called “night sweats”. As estrogen is typically lowest at night, some women get night sweats without having any hot flashes during the daytime.

Types:
Some menopausal women may experience both standard hot flashes and a second type sometimes referred to as “slow hot flashes” or “ember flashes”. The standard hot flash comes on rapidly, sometimes reaching maximum intensity in as little as a minute. It lasts at full intensity for only a few minutes before gradually fading.

Slow “ember” flashes appear almost as quickly but are less intense and last for around half an hour. Women who experience them may undergo them year round, rather than primarily in the summer, and ember flashes may linger for years after the more intense hot flashes have passed.
Young women:
If hot flashes occur at other times in a young woman’s menstrual cycle, then it might be a symptom of a problem with her pituitary gland; seeing a doctor is highly recommended. In younger women who are surgically menopausal, hot flashes are generally more intense than in older women, and they may last until natural age at menopause.

Men:
Hot flashes in men could have various causes. It can be a sign of low testosterone. Another is andropause, or “male menopause”. Men with prostate cancer or testicular cancer can also have hot flashes, especially those who are undergoing hormone therapy with antiandrogens, also known as androgen antagonists, which reduce testosterone to castrate levels. There are also other ailments and even dietary changes which can cause it. Men who are castrated can also get hot flashes

Causes:
The exact cause of hot flashes isn’t known, but it’s likely related to several factors. Research on hot flashes is mostly focused on treatment options. The exact cause and pathogenesis, or causes of vasomotor symptoms (VMS)—the clinical name for hot flashes—has not yet been fully studied. There is hints at reduced levels of estrogen as the primary cause of hot flashes. There are indications that hot flashes may be due to a change in the hypothalamus’s control of temperature regulation.

Diagnosis:
The doctor can usually diagnose hot flashes based on a description of symptoms. To confirm the cause of hot flashes, the doctor may suggest blood tests to check whether the patient is in menopausal transition or other causes.

Treatment:
Hormone replacement therapy:(HRT)……..CLICK & SEE
Hormone replacement therapy may relieve many of the symptoms of menopause. However, oral HRT may increase the risk of breast cancer, stroke, and dementia and has other potentially serious short-term and long-term risks. Since the incidence of cardiovascular disease in women has shown a rise that matches the increase in the number of post menopausal women, recent studies have examined the benefits and side effects of oral versus transdermal application of different estrogens and found that transdermal applications of estradiol may give the vascular benefits lowering the incidences of cardiovascular events with less adverse side effects than oral preparations.

Women who experience troublesome hot flashes are advised by some to try alternatives to hormonal therapies as the first line of treatment. If a woman chooses hormones, they suggest she take the lowest dose that alleviates her symptoms for as short a time as possible. The US Endocrine Society concluded that women taking hormone replacement therapy for 5 years or more experienced overall benefits in their symptoms including relief of hot flashes and symptoms of urogenital atrophy and prevention of fractures and diabetes.

When estrogen as estradiol is used transdermally as a patch, gel, or pessary with micronized progesterone this may avoid the serious side effects associated with oral estradiol HRT since this avoids first pass metabolism (Phase I drug metabolism). Women taking bioidentical estrogen, orally or transdermally, who have a uterus must still take a progestin or micronized progesterone to lower the risk of endometrial cancer. A French study of 80,391 postmenopausal women followed for several years concluded that estrogen in combination with micronized progesterone is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. The natural, plant-derived progesterone creams sold over the counter contain too little progesterone to be effective. Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) extract creams are not effective since the natural progesterone present in the extract is not bioavailable.

Selective estrogen receptor modulators:
SERMs are a category of drugs that act selectively as agonists or antagonists on the estrogen receptors throughout the body. Tamoxifen, a drug used in the treatment of some types of breast cancer and which can cause hot flashes as a side effect, RAD1901, under development by Radius Health, Raloxifene and the soy-derived Femarelle (DT56a) are examples of SERMs. Menerba, a botanically derived selective estrogen receptor beta agonist currently under development by Bionovo, works like a SERM, but only activates on the estrogen receptor beta.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors:
SSRIs are a class of pharmaceuticals that are most commonly used in the treatment of depression. They have been found as efficient in alleviating hot flashes. On 28 June 2013 FDA approved Brisdelle (low-dose paroxetine mesylate) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms (e.g. hot flashes and night sweats) associated with menopause. Paroxetine became the first and only non-hormonal therapy for menopausal hot flashes approved by FDA.

Isoflavones:
Isoflavones are commonly found in legumes such as soy and red clover. The two soy isoflavones implicated[who?] in relieving menopausal symptoms are genistein and daidzein, and are also known as phytoestrogens. The half life of these molecules is about eight hours, which might explain why some studies have not consistently shown effectiveness of soy products for menopausal symptoms. Although red clover (Trifolium pratense) contains isoflavones similar to soy, the effectiveness of this herb for menopausal symptoms at relatively low concentrations points to a different mechanism of action.

Other phytoestrogens:
It is believed[who?] that dietary changes that include a higher consumption of phytoestrogens from sources such as soy, red clover, ginseng, and yam may relieve hot flashes.

Ginseng: Very few studies exist on the effect of ginseng for relief of menopausal symptoms. In a large double-blinded randomized controlled trial, reduction in hot flashes was not statistically significant but showed a strong trend towards improvement. Lack of statistical significance suggests future research, but does not meet the scientific bar for ginseng to be deemed effective.
Flaxseed: There have also been several clinical trials using flaxse Flaxseed is the richest source of lignans, which is one of three major classes of phytoestrogen. Lignans are thought to have estrogen agonist and antagonist effects as well as antioxidant properties. Flaxseed and its lignans may have potent anti-estrogenic effects on estrogen receptor positive breast cancer and may have benefits in breast cancer prevention efforts. One recent study done in France, looked at four types of lignans, including that found in flaxseed (Secoisolariciresinol) in a prospective cohort study to see if intake predicted breast cancer incidence. The authors report lowered risk of breast cancer among over 58,000 postmenopausal women who had the third highest quartile of lignan intake. There have been a few small pilot studies that have tested the effect of flaxseed on hot flashes. Currently there is a large study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute that is ongoing, but not accepting any new participants. The rationale for the study is that estrogen can relieve the symptoms of menopause, but can also cause the growth of breast cancer cells. Flaxseed may reduce the number of hot flashes and improve mood and quality of life in postmenopausal women not receiving estrogen therapy.

lLife style changes:
According to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) there are foods and some unhealthy lifestyle habits that can aggravate or trigger hot flashes such as: hot/spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine. Further, for women who are overweight or obese, a gradual weight loss can have potential benefits for menopausal symptom reduction.

Acupuncture:
Acupuncture has been suggested to reduce incidence of hot flashes in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer, but the quality of evidence is low.

Yoga:
Doing Yoga with Pranayama, meditation, slow, deep breathing or other stress-reducing techniques is the best way to get read of the symptoms.
Prevention:
If the hot flashes are mild, one may be able to manage them with lifestyle changes by following these tips:

*Keeping cool. Slight increases in the body’s core temperature can trigger hot flashes. It is adviced to dress in layers so that one can remove clothing at the time feeling warm.One can open windows or use a fan or air conditioner. Lower the room temperature, if possible. If one feels a hot flash coming on, sip a cold drink or water.

*Avoid : Hot and spicy foods, caffeinated beverages,smoking and alcohol can trigger hot flashes. So they are to be avoided as much as possible.

*Lose weight. If  one  is overweight or obese, losing weight might help to ease one’s hot flashes.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_flash
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hot-flashes/basics/definition/con-20034883

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Epidermolysis bullosa

Definition:
Epidermolysis bullosa (ep-ih-dur-MOL-ih-sis buhl-LO-sah) is a group of skin conditions whose hallmark is blistering in response to minor injury, heat, or friction from rubbing or scratching. At least 27 different types of EB have been described, but the three main forms are EB simplex, junctional EB and dystrophic EB. Most are inherited.

Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is an inherited connective tissue disease causing blisters in the skin and mucosal membranes, with an incidence of 1/50,000. Its severity ranges from mild to lethal. It is caused by a mutation in the keratin or collagen gene.

As a result, the skin is extremely fragile. Minor mechanical friction or trauma will separate the layers of the skin and form blisters. People with this condition have an increased risk of cancers of the skin, and many will eventually be diagnosed with it as a complication of the chronic damage done to the skin.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE

The skin has two layers; the outer layer is called the epidermis and the inner layer the dermis. In normal individuals, there are protein anchors, made of collagen, between the two layers that prevent them from moving independently from one another (shearing). In people born with EB, the two skin layers lack the protein anchors that hold them together, and any action that creates friction between the layers (like rubbing or pressure) will create blisters and painful sores. Sufferers of EB have compared the sores with third-degree burns.

click to see the pictures

The condition was brought to public attention in the UK through the Channel 4 documentary The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, chronicling the life and death of Jonny Kennedy, an English man with EB.

“Butterfly Children” is a term often used to describe younger patients because the skin is said to be as fragile as a butterfly’s wings.

Children with the condition have also been described as “Cotton Wool Babies,”  and in South America, “Crystal Skin Children” is the term used.

CLICK FOR PICTURE

The inheritance pattern of EB depends on the type. Autosomal dominant variants tend to be milder. Autosomal recessive forms tend to be more severe or even fatal. In these cases there’s usually no family history of the condition.

Around one in 17,000 babies is born with EB. It’s estimated there are around 5,000 people in the UK with this condition. Around one in 227 people carries a gene for EB, although many of these aren’t affected.

EB affects males and females of all races around the world.

Symptoms:
Symptoms depend on the type of EB and which layer of skin cells is affected.The primary indication of epidermolysis bullosa is the eruption of fluid-filled blisters (bullae) on the skin, most commonly on the hands and feet in response to friction. Blisters of epidermolysis bullosa typically develop in various areas, depending on the type. In mild cases, blisters heal without scarring.

Signs and symptoms of epidermolysis bullosa may include:

*Blistering of your skin — how widespread and severe depends on the type
*Deformity or loss of fingernails and toenails
*Internal blistering, including on the throat, esophagus, upper airway, stomach, intestines and urinary tract
*Skin thickening on palms and soles of the feet (hyperkeratosis)
*Scalp blistering, scarring and hair loss (scarring alopecia)
*Thin-appearing skin (atrophic scarring)
*Tiny white skin bumps or pimples (milia)
*Dental abnormalities, such as tooth decay from poorly formed tooth enamel
*Excessive sweating
*Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)

Causes:
In most cases, epidermolysis bullosa is inherited. Researchers have identified more than 10 genes involved with skin formation that, if defective, may cause a type of epidermolysis bullosa. It’s also possible to develop epidermolysis bullosa as a result of a random mutation in a gene that occurred during the formation of an egg or sperm cell.

Your skin comprises an outer layer (epidermis) and an underlying layer (dermis). The area where the layers meet is called the basement membrane zone. Where and when blisters develop depends on the type of epidermolysis bullosa.

The three main types of this condition are:

*Epidermolysis bullosa simplex. This most common and generally mildest form usually begins at birth or in early infancy. In epidermolysis bullosa simplex, the faulty genes are those involved in the production of keratin, a fibrous protein in the top layer of skin. The condition causes the skin to split in the epidermis, which produces blisters.

If you have epidermolysis bullosa simplex, it’s likely you inherited a single copy of the defective gene from one of your parents (autosomal dominant inheritance pattern). If one parent has the single faulty gene, there’s a 50 percent chance his or her offspring will have the defect.
Junctional epidermolysis bullosa. This usually severe type of the disorder generally begins at birth. In junctional epidermolysis bullosa, the faulty genes are involved in the formation of thread-like fibers (hemidesmosomes) that attach your epidermis to your basement membrane. This gene defect causes tissue separation and blistering in your basement membrane zone.

*Junctional epidermolysis bullosa is the result of both parents carrying and passing on the defective gene (autosomal recessive inheritance pattern), although neither parent may clinically have the disorder (silent mutation). If both parents have the faulty gene, there’s a 25 percent chance one of their offspring will have the defect and develop the disorder.

*Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. This type, whose subtypes range from mild to severe, generally begins at birth or in early childhood. In dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, the faulty genes are involved in the production of a type of collagen, a protein in the fibers that attach your epidermis to your dermis. As a result, the fibers are either missing or nonfunctional.

Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa can be either dominant or recessive.

An additional, rare type called epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (EBA) isn’t inherited. Blistering associated with this condition occurs as the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissue. It’s similar to a condition called bullous pemphigoid, which also is related to an immune system disorder. EBA has been associated with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease.

Treatment:
There’s no cure for EB. Treatment involves reducing friction and injury, and preventing or treating infection of blisters to reduce chronic damage.

Treatments to reduce scarring and prevent contractures, and to help maintain nutrition when the mouth or oesophagus is affected, are also important.

Antenatal tests are available for EB, at eight to ten weeks of pregnancy.

Recent research has focused on changing the mixture of keratins produced in the skin. There are 54 known keratin genes, 28 type I intermediate filament genes and 26 type II, which work as heterodimers. Many share substantial structural and functional similarity, but are specialized for different cell types or conditions under which they are normally produced. If a drug can shift the balance of production toward an intact keratin gene, symptoms can be reduced. For example, sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, was found to reduce blistering in a mouse model to the point where affected pups could not be identified visually, when injected into pregnant mice (5 µmol/day = 0.9 mg) and applied topically to newborns (1 µmol/day = 0.2 mg in jojoba oil).
Lifestyle & Home Remedies:
Careful wound care and good nutrition are essential to your or your child’s health. If blisters are left intact, they can grow, which creates a bigger wound when they finally break. Talk to your doctor about safe ways for you to break and drain blisters before they get too large. Your doctor can also recommend products you can use to keep the affected areas moist to promote healing, such as gauze that contains a moisturizing agent, and prevent infection.

Keep these in mind when tending to your child’s wounds:

*Always wash your hands before touching your child’s blisters.

*If a soiled dressing sticks, don’t pull it off. Soak the area in warm water until the dressing loosens.

If oral or esophageal blisters are inhibiting your child’s ability to eat, here are some suggestions:

*If drinking from breast or bottle causes your infant to develop blisters, try using nipples designed for premature infants or infants with cleft palate or a facial birth defect, or use a syringe or eyedropper.

*For older children, puree foods with extra liquid, such as broth or milk, to make them softer.

*Serve soft, nutritious foods such as vegetable soups and fruit smoothies.

Coping and support:
Caring for a child with a chronic disease can be stressful. And providing your child with the emotional support needed to live with a chronic illness and to deal with being different from other children can be extremely difficult. For some people, sharing concerns and information with families in similar circumstances can be beneficial.

Ask your health care providers for epidermolysis bullosa support groups in your area. If joining a support group isn’t for you, ask about counselors, clergy or social workers who work with families coping with epidermolysis bullosa.

Prognosis:
Without treatment, these patients are most often going to die from complications caused by epidermolysis bullosa. With treatment, there is a slight chance that the condition could be managed to prolong life, but the treatments are only newly discovered and will take some time to see if they work completely. It is important for those with the disorder to seek treatment when possible to increase the chances of surviving past their teenage years.

Prevention:-

It’s not possible to prevent epidermolysis bullosa, but you can take steps to help prevent blisters, for yourself or for your child.

*Handle your child gently. Your infant or child needs your touch, but be very gentle. To pick up your child, place him or her on soft material, such as cotton, and support under the buttocks and behind the neck. Don’t lift your child from under his or her arms.

*Moderate the temperature in your home. Set your thermostat so that your home remains cool and the temperature remains steady.

*Keep your child’s skin moist. Gently apply lubricants, such as petroleum jelly.

*Dress your child in soft materials. Use clothing that’s simple to get on and off.

*Trim your child’s fingernails regularly. Short fingernails will help prevent scratching.

*Have your child refrain from rough activities. Prevent older children from participating in contact sports or other activities in which skin can be rubbed or injured easily.

*Take care when dressing blisters. Don’t apply adhesive bandages or tape to the skin.

*Avoid hard surfaces and rough materials. Use sheepskin or other soft material on car seats and infant seats. Use a water or air mattress on your child’s bed and soft sheets and blankets.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/epidermolysis1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidermolysis_bullosa
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/epidermolysis-bullosa/
http://www.epidermolysisbullosa.net/

http://library.med.utah.edu/kw/derm/pages/ph06_4.htm

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Prosopagnosia

Definition:

Prosopagnosia (sometimes known as face blindness) is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact. The term originally referred to a condition following acute brain damage, but recently a congenital form of the disorder has been proposed, which may be inherited by about 2.5% of the population. The specific brain area usually associated with prosopagnosia is the fusiform gyrus.
..click to see the pictures..>..(01)..(1).…...(2).…...(3).…...(4)...
It is often accompanied by other types of recognition impairments (place recognition, car recognition, facial expression of emotion, etc.) though sometimes it appears to be restricted to facial identity. Not surprisingly, prosopagnosia can create serious social problems. Prosopagnosics often have difficulty recognizing family members, close friends, and even themselves. They often use alternative routes to recognition, but these routes are not as effective as recognition via the face.

Few successful therapies have so far been developed for affected people, although individuals often learn to use ‘piecemeal’ or ‘feature by feature’ recognition strategies. This may involve secondary clues such as clothing, hair color, body shape, and voice. Because the face seems to function as an important identifying feature in memory, it can also be difficult for people with this condition to keep track of information about people, and socialize normally with others.

Some also use the term prosophenosia, which refers to the inability to recognize faces following extensive damage of both occipital and temporal lobes.

There are a variety of explanations for prosopagnosia. Of course, all these explanations propose that the procedures necessary for normal face recognition are not working properly. However, the explanations differ in their characterization of the impaired procedures. It appears that prosopagnosia actually refers to a number of different types of impairments, so no one explanation will account for all cases of prosopagnosia.

History:-
Selective inabilities to recognize faces were reported throughout the 19th century, and included case studies by Hughlings Jackson and Charcot. However, it was not named until the term prosopagnosia was first used in 1947 by Joachim Bodamer, a German neurologist. He described three cases, including a 24-year old man who suffered a bullet wound to the head and lost his ability to recognise his friends, family, and even his own face. However, he was able to recognize and identify them through other sensory modalities such as auditory, tactile, and even other visual stimuli patterns (such as gait and other physical mannerisms). Bodamer gave his paper the title Die Prosop-Agnosie, derived from classical Greek  (prosopon) meaning “face” and  (agnosia) meaning “non-knowledge”.

Overview:-
The study of prosopagnosia has been crucial in the development of theories of face perception. Because prosopagnosia is not a unitary disorder (i.e., different people may show different types and levels of impairment) it has been argued that face perception involves a number of stages, each of which can be separately damaged.This is reflected not just in the amount of impairment displayed but also in the qualitative differences in impairment that a person with prosopagnosia may present with.

This sort of evidence has been crucial in supporting the theory that there may be a specific face perception system in the brain. This is counter-intuitive to many people as they do not experience faces as ‘special’ or perceived in a different way from the rest of the world.

A recent case report described a closely related condition called prosopamnesia, in which the subject, from birth, could perceive faces normally but had a severely impaired ability to remember them.

It has also been argued that prosopagnosia may be a general impairment in understanding how individual perceptual components make up the structure or gestalt of an object. Psychologist Martha Farah has been particularly associated with this view.

Until early in the 21st century, prosopagnosia was thought to be quite rare and solely associated with brain injury or neurological illness affecting specific areas of the brain. However, recently a form of congenital prosopagnosia has been proposed, in which people are born with an impairment in recognising and perceiving faces, as well as other objects and visual scenes. The cases that have been reported suggest that this form of the disorder may be heritable and much more common than previously thought (about 2.5% of the population may be affected), although this congenital disorder is commonly accompanied by other forms of visual agnosia, and may not be “pure” prosopagnosia. It has been suggested that very mild cases of face blindness are much more common, perhaps affecting 10% of the population, although there have not been any studies confirming this. The inability to keep track of the identity of characters in movies is a common complaint.

A classic case of a prosopagnosia is presented by “Dr P” in Oliver Sacks‘ 1985 book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Although Dr P could not recognize his wife from her face, he was able to recognize her by her voice. His recognition of pictures of his family and friends appeared to be based on highly specific features, such as his brother’s square jaw and big teeth.

Subtypes
Apperceptive prosopagnosia
Apperceptive prosopagnosia is thought to be a disorder of some of the earliest processes in the face perception system. People with this disorder cannot make any sense of faces and are unable to make same-different judgements when they are presented with pictures of different faces. They may also be unable to work out attributes such as age or gender from a face. However, they may be able to recognise people based on non-face clues such as their clothing, hairstyle or voice.

Associative prosopagnosia
Associative prosopagnosia is thought to be an impairment to the links between early face perception processes and the semantic information we hold about people in our memories. People with this form of the disorder may be able to say whether photos of people’s faces are the same or different and derive the age and gender from a face (suggesting they can make sense of some face information) but may not be able to subsequently identify the person or provide any information about them such as their name, occupation or when they were last encountered. They may be able to recognise and produce such information based on non-face information such as voice, hair, or even particularly distinctive facial features (such as a distinctive moustache) that does not require the structure of the face to be understood. Typically such people do not report that ‘faces make no sense’ but simply that they do not look distinctive in any way.

Developmental prosopagnosia
Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is a face recognition deficit that is lifelong, manifests itself in early childhood and that cannot be attributed to acquired brain damage. However, a number of studies have found functional deficits in DP both on the basis of EEG measures and fMRI. It has been suggested that a genetic factor is responsible for the condition.

There seem to be two categories of DP patients:
– patients who are impaired in basic face processing (age estimation, judgment of facial affect) and also show deficits on other forms of visual processing;
– patients with pure face recognition impairments in the presence of intact basic visual processing.
The first group of patients fail to obtain view-centered descriptions. According to the Bruce and Young model of face recognition, these are precursors of the more abstract expression-independent descriptions. View-centered descriptions do not seem to be specific for faces, as the patients with impairments of processing the physical aspects of faces also show difficulties in non-facial tasks like object recognition or tests of visuo-spatial abilities.
However, there is as yet only limited evidence for a classification into different subtypes.

There are many developmental disorders that incorporate within themselves an increased likelihood that the person will have differences in face perception, of which the person may or may not be aware. That is to say, the person may or may not have insight in the clinical sense of the word. However, the mechanism by which these effects take place is largely unknown. A partial list of some disorders that often have prosopagnosiac components would include nonverbal learning disorder, Williams syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders in general. However, these types of disorders are very complicated, so arbitrary assumptions should be avoided.

Unconscious face recognition:-
One particularly interesting feature of prosopagnosia is that it suggests both a conscious and unconscious aspect to face recognition. Experiments have shown that when presented with a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar faces, people with prosopagnosia may be unable to successfully identify the people in the pictures, or even make a simple familiarity judgement (“this person seems familiar / unfamiliar”). However, when a measure of emotional response is taken (typically a measure of skin conductance), there tends to be an emotional response to familiar people even though no conscious recognition takes place.[9]

This suggests emotion plays a significant role in face recognition, perhaps unsurprising when basic survival (particularly security) relies on identifying the people around you.

It is thought that Capgras delusion may be the reverse of prosopagnosia. In this condition people report conscious recognition of people from faces, but show no emotional response, perhaps leading to the delusional belief that their relative or spouse has been replaced by an impostor.

Symptoms :-
Everyone sometimes has trouble recognizing faces, and it is even more common for people to have trouble remembering other people’s names. Prosopagnosia is much more severe than these everyday problems that everyone experiences. Prosopagnosics often have difficulty recognizing people that they have encountered many times. In extreme cases, prosopagnosics have trouble recognizing even those people that they spend the most time with such as their spouses and their children.

click to see

One of the telltale signs of prosopagnosia is great reliance on non-facial information such as hair, gait, clothing, voice, and other information. Prosopagnosics also sometimes have difficulty imagining the facial appearance of acquaintances. One of the most common complaints of prosopagnosics is that they have trouble following the plot of television shows and movies, because they cannot keep track of the identity of the characters.

If you would like to assess your face recognition abilities, we currently have two tests of face recognition available. These tests include feedback on how your scores compare to the scores of people with normal face recognition.

click to see

Diagnosis (Test):
Screening for prosopagnosia is not an easy task, as what most doctors would say. Because of this, a specific tool in the diagnosis for prosopagnosia was developed, called Cambridge Face Memory Test. This is a test that is much reliable and can effectively test for a person’s ability to recognize faces. There was previous a test called Benton which also aims in testing the person for face recognition problems.

The difference between the two tests is that the Cambridge Face Memory test uses faces alone; without hair, ears or neck. While Benton uses images of faces with hair, ears and neck making the test provide results as false-negative. But the Cambridge Face Memory test is not considered the gold standard of prosopagnosia since the brain is a very complex part of a person’s body, which can alter its way of functioning. According to reports, the test is not widely used for it’s still in the process of making it a good and viable test for prosopagnosia.

Other tests such as the EEG and fMRI can be of health in the diagnosis of the condition, most especially the developmental prosopagnosia.

 Risk factors:
Those at risk of this condition are the people who have a family history of prosopagnosia. Those with first degree family members who suffer from prosopagnosia are most likely to develop such condition. It has been reported that children of a person with prosopagnosia are at risk of the condition. Other risk factors include the following:

*People who suffered from brain injury.
*People who have had stroke.
Those who have neurodegenerative disorders are also at risk of developing prosopagnosia.

Causes :-
Most of the cases of prosopagnosia that have been documented have been due to brain damage suffered after maturity from head trauma, stroke, and degenerative diseases. These are examples of acquired prosopagnosia: these individuals had normal face recognition abilities that were then impaired. It seems likely that more cases of acquired prosopagnosia have been published for two reasons. First, their impairment with faces is usually quite apparent to these individuals, because they have experienced normal face recognition in the past and so they quickly notice their impairment. Second, because these individual have had brain damage, they are in contact with medical doctors who have assessed their face recognition abilities. (Note that if you have experienced a noticeable decline in your face recognition abilities, you should contact a neurologist immediately. Any sudden decline may indicate the existence of a condition that needs immediate attention.)

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In contrast, in cases of developmental prosopagnosia, the onset of prosopagnosia occurred prior to developing normal face recognition abilities (adult levels of face recognition are reached during teenage years). Developmental prosopagnosia has been used to refer to individuals whose prosopagnosia is genetic in nature, individuals who experienced brain damage prior to experience with faces (prenatal brain damage or immediate brain damage), and individuals who experienced brain damage or severe visual problems during childhood. However, these etiologies should be differentiated, because they are different paths to prosopagnosia and so probably result in different types of impairment; they could be referred to as genetic prosopagnosia, preexperiential prosopagnosia, and postexperiential prosopagnosia, respectively. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the cause of prosopagnosia, but many times individuals will either know that family members are also prosopagnosic or be aware of potential incidents that may have resulted in brain damage.

Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia often do not realize that they are unable to recognize faces as well as others. Of course, they have never recognized faces normally so their impairment is not apparent to them. It is also difficult for them to notice, because individuals with normal face recognition rarely discuss their reliance on faces. As a result, there are a number of individuals who have not recognized their prosopagnosia until well into adulthood. We have been contacted by far more developmental prosopagnosics than acquired prosopagnosics, and so it may be that this condition is more common than acquired prosopagnosia.

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Treatment:-
Prosopagnosia might be an enduring condition. However, patients may eventually recover if the damage is confined to their right hemisphere (Goldsmith and Liu, 2001). A study that tracked 18 people with prosopagnosia found that the time required for 50% of the people to recover was 9 weeks. Bilateral damage may be necessary in order for the people with prosopagnosia symptoms to endure past and acute period (Goldsmith and Liu, 2001).
However, for people whose prosopagnosia does not go away on it’s own, there is no real treatment. However, there are lifestyle changes that can help people to cope. Often learning to identify clothing, or distinctive features of people may help in recognition. Another helpful thing is to right down list of who you expect to see. Therefore, when you see someone you already have ideas about who they could be.

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Cecilia Burman wrote about what it is like to have prosopagnosia. She knows from experience. Please visit her website and read as much as you can. The following link goes to a page where she talks about how she has adapted and learned to identify people as best and as fast as she can. She also points out that all people with prosopagnosia are not alike. They are as different as can be. Their only similarity is their face-blindness.

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You may click to see :-
*Prosopagnosia  Research
* Research Centres and study of Prosopagnosia

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.faceblind.org/research/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopagnosia
http://www.macalester.edu/psychology/whathap/UBNRP/visionwebsite04/p%20treatment.html

Prosopagnosia

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DNA -‘Creates that Initial Spark Between Two People’

Love at first sight? But, what creates that initial spark between two people? Well, it’s body odour, created by the genes involved in the  immune system, and more specifically the DNA, say experts.

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According to Tamara Brown, a Croatian geneticist based in Zurich, a section of the DNA called human leukocyte antigen plays a key role in searching for “true love” and the key lies in “secret signals” one picks up from another’s body odour.

“It’s chemistry of attraction. Somebody might not be Brad Pitt-good-looking, but there’s just something about them and you can’t put your finger on it,” Dr Brown was quoted by ‘The Sunday Times‘ as saying.

In fact, the catalyst for her study was the “T-shirt experiment”, a Swiss study at the University of Bern carried out in the mid-1990s that screened the DNA of male and female volunteers, then asked the women to smell T-shirts the men had worn for two nights and rate them for “attractiveness”.

The women, it turned out, preferred the smell of men with genes that were different from their own in this HLA section. All the women, except for those on the contraceptive pill, seems to affect their sense of smell.

Click to see>Smell and pick your mate

Sources:The Times Of India

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Try a Consultant to Name Your Baby

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Actress Halle Berry‘s decision to call her daughter Nahla had some people perplexed, but baby experts said it mirrored a trend for unusual names which has helped create a new profession – baby name consultant……..CLICK & SEE

Many parents have moved away from giving their children family or unisex names and want their youngsters to have names that stand out from the crowd – but not in a bad way.

An online survey by specialist website babycenter.com found 15% of parents think the name you give a child plays a role in their success in life, so it is not a decision taken lightly – and this has made people seek outside help.

“It used to be more common to choose from family names or names from the bible, but today’s parents have so many more choices and many of them are overwhelmed,” said Linda Murray, editor-in-chief of babycenter.com.

“It can be very stressful. It’s the first big public parenting decision you make. People want extra help so consultants have cropped up in the last few years to provide this service, people who know about the origins of names.”

Berry has not explained why she and her model boyfriend Gabriel Aubry chose Nahla for their new-born daughter. Nahla was found to have a few meanings ranging from gift in Swahili to “drink of water” in Arabic.

Spiritual names and names with meanings have become popular with consultants charging anything from $25 to several hundred dollars to help couples find the right meaning for their child. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their daughter Shiloh, which means “peaceful one” in Hebrew, while Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘ daughter is Suri, which can mean “princess” or “red rose”.

Sources: The Times Of India