Categories
News on Health & Science

NEW Research Explains 61% of Multiple Sclerosis Cases

 

[amazon_link asins=’B01IDP3S8E,1936303361,1118175875,1683090292,0977344649,1583335544′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3a32aee5-f58e-11e6-a94c-b390345fc19e’]New research shows that low levels of sunlight, coupled with glandular fever, could increase your risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). This could be one reason that MS tends to be more common away from the equator.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The study suggested that low levels of sunlight could affect how your body responds to infection. Vitamin D deficiency could be another possible link.

BBC News reports:
“The researchers found that by just analyzing sunlight, they could explain 61 percent of the variation in the number of MS cases across England. However when they combined the effect of sunlight and glandular fever, 72 percent of the variation in MS cases could be explained.”

REMEMBER: When the American Cancer Society, or dermatologists, tell you that you should be avoiding the sun at all costs, they are dead wrong.

You may click to see :
*Harvard study finds high vitamin D intake may cut multiple sclerosis risk
*Multiple Sclerosis: blaming the sunshine :
*Too Little Sunshine Raises Risk of MS :http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/04/21/too-little-sunshine-raises-risk-of-ms/

Resources:
BBC News April 19, 2011
Neurology April 19, 2011;76(16):1410-4

The HealthAGE April.19,2011

Posted By Dr. Mercola

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Glandular fever

Definition:
Glandular fever is a viral infection associated with a high fever.It’s also known as infectious mononucleosis or kissing disease (long ago it was realised that the infection was passed on through saliva – for example, by kissing).

It is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Glandular Fever is often spread through oral acts such as kissing, which is why it is sometimes called “The Kissing Disease“. However, Glandular Fever can also be spread by airborne saliva droplets.

click to see the pictures

Infectious Mononucleosis (IM) is an infectious, widespread viral disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), one type of herpes virus, to which more than 90% of adults have been exposed. Occasionally, the symptoms can reoccur at a later period. Most people are exposed to the virus as children, when the disease produces no noticeable symptoms or only flu-like symptoms. In developing countries, people are exposed to the virus in early childhood more often than in developed countries. As a result, the disease in its observable form is more common in developed countries. It is most common among adolescents and young adults.

Especially in adolescents and young adults, the disease is characterized by fever, sore throat and fatigue, along with several other possible signs and symptoms. It is primarily diagnosed by observation of symptoms, but suspicion can be confirmed by several diagnostic tests.

The syndrome was described as an infectious process by Nil Filatov in 1887 and independently by Emil Pfeiffer in 1889.
Symptoms:-
The following are mainly the symptoms of Glandular Fever:
*Headache
*Fever
*Sore throat/hard to swallow
*Tiredness, fatigue and malaise
*Enlarged lymph nodes
*Loss of appetite
*Muscle aches
*Tender enlargement of the glands (lymph glands or lymph nodes)
*Skin rash
*Sweating
*Stomach pain and enlarged spleen
*Enlarged liver
*Jaundice
*Depression
*Joint pain
*Swelling around eyes
*Orange urine (or discolored
*High blood pressure

Causes:
Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. This can attack only two types of cell in the body: those in the salivary glands and white blood cells known as B lymphocytes (B-cells).

The most common way of spreading the virus is through the transmission of saliva from one person to another. Coughing, sneezing, and sharing drink bottles, eating utensils and other personal items can also spread the virus. In addition, the virus can also be spread through blood transfusion and organ transplantation.

Infection begins in the salivary glands, which release large amounts of the virus into the saliva. The infection spreads to the B lymphocytes, causing them to multiply, and causing the lymph glands to swell and become painful.

Once infected, the virus remains dormant in the body’s cells for the rest of a person’s life.

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis of glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis is based on your physical symptoms, and will include a blood test and a throat swab. Your doctor will perform a blood test to determine abnormalities in the white blood cells. A throat swab will help determine if you have glandular fever.

The most commonly used diagnostic criterion is the presence of 50% lymphocytes with at least 10% atypical lymphocytes (large, irregular nuclei), while the person also has fever, pharyngitis and adenopathy. Furthermore, it should be confirmed by a serological test.  The atypical lymphocytes resembled monocytes when they were first discovered, thus the moniker “mononucleosis” was coined. Diagnostic tests are used to confirm infectious mononucleosis but the disease should be suspected from symptoms prior to the results from hematology. These criteria are specific; however, they are not particularly sensitive and are more useful for research than for clinical use. Only half the patients presenting with the symptoms held by mononucleosis and a positive heterophile antibody test (monospot test) meet the entire criteria. One key procedure is to differentiate between infectious mononucleosis and mononucleosis-like symptoms.

There have been few studies on infectious mononucleosis in a primary care environment, the best of which studied 700 patients, of which 15 were found to have mononucleosis upon a heterophile antibody test. More useful in a diagnostic sense are the signs and symptoms themselves. The presence of splenomegaly, posterior cervical adenopathy, axillary adenopathy, and inguinal adenopathy are the most useful to suspect a diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis. On the other hand, the absence of cervical adenopathy and fatigue are the most useful to dismiss the idea of infectious mononucleosis as the correct diagnosis. The insensitivity of the physical examination in detecting splenomegaly means that it should not be used as evidence against infectious mononucleosis.

In the past the most common test for diagnosing infectious mononucleosis was the heterophile antibody test which involves testing heterophile antibodies by agglutination of guinea pig, sheep and horse red blood cells. As with the aforementioned criteria, this test is specific but not particularly sensitive (with a false-negative rate of as high as 25% in the first week, 5–10% in the second and 5% in the third). 90% of patients have heterophile antibodies by week 3, disappearing in under a year. The antibodies involved in the test do not interact with the Epstein-Barr virus or any of its antigens. More recently, tests that are more sensitive have been developed such as the Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests. IgG, when positive, reflects a past infection, whereas IgM reflects a current infection. When negative, these tests are more accurate in ruling out infectious mononucleosis. However, when positive, they feature similar sensitivities to the heterophile antibody test. Therefore, these tests are useful for diagnosing infectious mononucleosis in people with highly suggestive symptoms and a negative heterophile antibody test. Another test searches for the Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen, while it is not normally recognizable until several weeks into the disease, and is useful for distinguishing between a recent-onset of infectious mononucleosis and symptoms caused by a previous infection. Elevated hepatic transaminase levels is highly suggestive of infectious mononucleosis, occurring in up to 50% of patients.

A fibrin ring granuloma may be present.

Diagnosis of acute infectious mononucleosis should also take into consideration acute cytomegalovirus infection and Toxoplasma gondii infections. These diseases are clinically very similar by their signs and symptoms. Because their management is much the same it is not always helpful, or possible, to distinguish between EBV mononucleosis and cytomegalovirus infection. However, in pregnant women, differentiation of mononucleosis from toxoplasmosis is associated with significant consequences for the fetus.

Acute HIV infection can mimic signs similar to those of infectious mononucleosis and tests should be performed for pregnant women for the same reason as toxoplasmosis.

Other conditions from which to distinguish infectious mononucleosis include leukemia, tonsillitis, diphtheria, common cold and influenza

Treatment:
Self care:
Infectious mononucleosis is generally self-limiting and only symptomatic and/or supportive treatments are used.  Rest is recommended during the acute phase of the infection, but activity should be resumed once acute symptoms have resolved. Nevertheless heavy physical activity and contact sports should be avoided to mitigate the risk of splenic rupture, for at least one month following initial infection or splenomegaly has resolved, as determined by a treating physician.

MedicationsIn terms of pharmacotherapies, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen may be used to reduce fever and pain. Prednisone, a corticosteroid, is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory to reduce symptoms of pharyngeal pain, odynophagia, or enlarged tonsils, although its use remains controversial due to the rather limited benefit and the potential of side effects. Intravenous corticosteroids, usually hydrocortisone or dexamethasone, are not recommended for routine use but may be useful if there is a risk of airway obstruction, severe thrombocytopenia, or hemolytic anemia. There is little evidence to support the use of aciclovir, although it may reduce initial viral shedding. However, the antiviral drug valacyclovir has recently been shown to lower or eliminate the presence of the Epstein-Barr virus in subjects afflicted with acute mononucleosis, leading to a significant decrease in the severity of symptoms. Although antivirals are not recommended for patients presenting with simple infectious mononuscleosis, they may be useful (in conjunction with steroids) in the management of patients with severe EBV manifestations, such as EBV meningitis, peripheral neuritis, hepatitis, or hematologic complications. Antibiotics are not used as they are ineffective against viral infections. The antibiotics ampicillin and later the related amoxicillin   are relatively contraindicated in the case of any coinciding bacterial infections during mononucleosis because their use precipitates a non-allergic rash close to 99% of the time.

In a small percentage of cases, mononucleosis infection is complicated by co-infection with streptococcal infection in the throat and tonsils (strep throat). Penicillin or other antibiotics (with the exception of the two mentioned above) should be administered to treat the strep throat. Opioid analgesics are also relatively contraindicated due to risk of respiratory depression.
Prognosis:
Serious complications are uncommon, occurring in less than 5% of cases:

*CNS: Meningitis, encephalitis, hemiplegia, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and transverse myelitis. EBV infection has also been proposed as a risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), but this has not been confirmed.

*Hematologic: Hemolytic anemia (direct Coombs test is positive) and various cytopenias; Bleeding (caused by thrombocytopenia).[

*Mild jaundice

*Hepatitis (rare)

*Upper airway obstruction (tonsillar hypertrophy) (rare)

*Fulminant disease course (immunocompromised patients) (rare)

*Splenic rupture (rare)

*Myocarditis and pericarditis (rare)

Once the acute symptoms of an initial infection disappear, they often do not return. But once infected, the patient carries the virus for the rest of his or her life. The virus typically lives dormantly in B lymphocytes. Independent infections of mononucleosis may be contracted multiple times, regardless of whether the patient is already carrying the virus dormantly. Periodically, the virus can reactivate, during which time the patient is again infectious, but usually without any symptoms of illness.  Usually, a patient has few if any further symptoms or problems from the latent B lymphocyte infection. However, in susceptible hosts under the appropriate environmental stressors the virus can reactivate and cause vague physical complaints (or may be subclinical), and during this phase the virus can spread to others. Similar reactivation or chronic subclinical viral activity in susceptible hosts may trigger multiple host autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. Such chronic immunologic stimulation may also trigger multiple type of cancers, particularly lymphoma—strongest cancer associations with EBV are nasopharyngeal carcinomas, Burkitt’s lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. EBV’s potential to trigger such a wide range of autoimmune diseases and cancers probably relates to its primary infection of B lymphocytes (the primary antibody-producing cell of the immune system) and ability to alter both lymphocyte proliferation and lymphocyte antibody production.

Prevention:
A vaccine against the Epstein-Barr virus is under development. The infection is most contagious during the feverish stage, when contact with others should be avoided.

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.nativeremedies.com/ailment/glandular-fever-symptoms-info.html
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glandular_fever
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glandular_fever
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/glandularfever2.shtml

http://www.treatfast.com/mononucleosis-xidc18255.html

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies Pediatric

Cat Scratch Disease

[amazon_link asins=’B00TGX5PIE,B01NBJ3UD3,B005IXBIX2,B01EAPKKF0,B0054DB0D4,B01JP8Y75G,B0044KLP2E,B008CYJ82M,B0092DEPF2′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’88bdf827-06e8-11e7-a4fc-6bd33d701e4f’]

What is cat scratch disease?

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is a bacterial disease caused by Bartonella henselae. Most children with CSD have been bitten or scratched by a cat and developed a mild infection at the point of injury. Lymph nodes, especially those around the head, neck, and upper limbs, become swollen. Additionally, a youngster with CSD may experience fever, headache, fatigue, and a poor appetite.

Can my cat transmit Bartonella henselae to me?

Sometimes, yes, cats can spread B. henselae to people. Most people get CSD from cat bites and scratches. Kittens are more likely to be infected and to pass the bacterium to people. About 40% of cats carry B. henselae at some time in their lives. Cats that carry B. henselae do not show any signs of illness; therefore, parents cannot tell which cats can spread the disease to you. children with immunocompromised conditions, such as those undergoing immunosuppressive treatments for cancer, organ transplant patients, and children with HIV/AIDS, are more likely than others to have complications of CSD. Although B. henselae has been found in fleas, so far there is no evidence that a bite from an infected flea can give you CSD.

How can I reduce my child’s risk of getting cat scratch disease from my cat?

  • Avoid “rough play” with cats, especially kittens. This includes any activity that may lead to cat scratches and bites.
  • Wash cat bites and scratches immediately and thoroughly with running water and soap.
  • Do not allow cats to lick open wounds that your child may have.
  • Control fleas.
  • If your child develops an infection (with pus and pronounced swelling) where they were scratched or bitten by a cat or develop symptoms, including fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue, contact your child’s physician.

COMMON OCCURANCE:

Swollen glands a Common Occurrence :

Most adults know that an unexplained lump is one of the seven warning signs of cancer. So it is easy to understand why discovering an enlarged lymph node in their child’s neck or under their arm strikes fear in a parent’s heart. They suspect the worst and arrange a prompt visit with their youngster’s physician. True, enlarged lymph nodes can be a symptom of a serious disease, but in children that is rarely the case.

Made up of specialized blood cells, lymph nodes are an important part of the body’s defense system. There are nearly 1,000 of them stationed throughout the body, ranging in size from a pinhead to a small grape. Nodes act as filtering plants for the lymph system, trapping and eliminating foreign particles and infectious agents from the circulation. In addition, lymph nodes act to prevent the spread of infection by producing white blood cells and antibodies to destroy infecting germs and poisons. When lymph nodes enlarge, it usually means that the nodes are being called into action to make extra antibody or are filtering out unfriendly germs. Any illness or wound, even one as minor as an insect bite, can mobilize this response, which explains why children’s nodes can be swollen even when the youngster does not seem sick.

click to see the pictures>….…(01).....(1)....(2).……..(3)……….

The lymph node system is divided into different districts with each part of the body being defended by its own network of nodes. Most of the time, the location of the enlaged node indicates where the current or past infection was located. For example, since most infections enter the child’s body through the nose, mouth, and throat, the lymph nodes in the neck (especially the ones just under the corner of the jaw bone) are most often swollen and tender. When a child has an infection in the arm, the nodes under the arm will enlarge. Similarly, swollen nodes found in the groin usually indicate an infection in the leg. Certain viral infections, like infectious mononucleosis, can cause swelling of the lymph nodes all over the body. Occasionally, the node itself can become infected causing skin redness, node tenderness, and in rare cases a yellow discharge is seen oozing from the lump. When this occurs, parents should contact the child’s physician since antibiotics will probably be needed.

Because less fat covers the lymph nodes in children, they are very easy to feel, even when they are not busy filtering germs or making antibody. Furthermore, a youngstes nodes enlarge faster and get bigger in response to an infection and stay swollen longer, “like a peace keeping force that remains behind after the battles have all been fought,” according to California pediatrician Dr. Gilbert Simon. “They both seem to last a lot longer than would appear necessary.”

When a child’s lymph nodes enlarge without an obvious reason, infections such as mononucleosis, tuberculosis, and a number of viruses, may be responsible. Another cause of lymph node swelling is a common condition called “Cat-Scratch Disease” that follows weeks to months after a scratch from a cat (most often a kitten).

Still, the major concern for most parents when they feel a lymph node in their child is leukemia or Hodgkin’s Disease. Physicians also think about this possibility, and use child’s physical examination to help determine whether an enlarged node is worrisome or not.

The first important finding is the gland’s location – lymph nodes in the neck are less likely to be a problem than those found above the collarbone, for example. A node that is growing rapidly is potentially more serious than one that remains the same size for a period of time. Physicians are less concerned about a swollen node when the cause is found, such as a past ear or throat infection. Generally, a lymph gland that is easily movable and can be rolled around under the skin is less likely to be caused by a serious disease. The size of the lymph node is usually a poor indicator of its cause, but a node that is abnormally large should always be carefully watched. While all nodes in children feel like firm rubber, an extremely hard lymph node might be more cause for concern. The last sign doctors look for has more to do with the child than node. Lymph node swelling that persists while the child begins experiencing intermittent fevers, weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, or loss of appetite requires a more intensive investigation.

Occasionally, a two-week trial of antibiotics will help determine whether or not a swollen lymph node is worrisome. If the node responds to medication by getting smaller, an infection is most likely the cause. Failure of the lymph node to get smaller may mean followup observation perhaps additional studies. Investigations might include a blood count, skin test for tuberculosis and cat-scratch disease, throat culture, chest x-ray and a mononucleosis test.

A physician might consider a biopsy of the lymph node if the swelling persists without an apparent diagnosis. Fortunately, most biopsies do not reveal cancer but reassure both the family and physician that the condition is not malignant. It can also help in making the diagnosis!

Doctors caring for kids frequently exam their young patients after a parent discovers a swollen lymph node. Since young children are more suscpetible to infections than older kids and adults, enlarged nodes are very common. However, whenever a parent is worried after finding a lump in their child, they should check with their pediatrician, just for safety sake.

 Swollen Glands Rarely Serious :-
Discovering a bump in your young child’s neck or under their arm can strike fear into the hearts of parents. True, this can be the sign of a serious illness such as cancer or tuberculosis, but that’s rarely the case. Children quite often have visible enlarged glands, especially in their necks, and most of the time the swelling indicates the presence of an infection of some kind. Every wonder what are these “swollen glands?” Think back to the last time that you were sick and visited your doctor. If your memory is good, you might recall the doctor carefully palpated all sides of your neck. More than just to soothe a tense patient, this exam provided important clues for your doctor about the body’s current “battle readiness” in the war against infections diseases.

Swollen glands are, in fact, specialized tissue called lymph nodes. There are more than a thousand lymph nodes scattered throughout the body, ranging in size from a pinhead to a small grape. These glands consist of a dense core of cells that serve as a “staging area” for the body’s fight against disease by producing white blood cells and antibodies. The lymph glands also filter out impurities in the body such as germs and foreign proteins. The glands in young children are covered with less tissue and fat than in adults, and so are more visible. When a physician feels a swollen node on physical examination, it usually infers the possibility of some infectious process at work.

In children, swollen lymph nodes are usually due to viral illnesses. Another frequent cause of enlerged glands in children is “Cat Scratch Disease.” The course of children with “Cat-Scratch Disease” is fairly consistent; several weeks to months after a scratch or bite from a cat, the lymph glands that drain the scratch site become enlarged and tender. For example, if the scratch is on the hands or arms, the lymph glands under the arm or in the neck become swollen. Likewise, the lymph glands in the groin enlarge if the cat scratch was on the leg. Additionally, the skin over the enlarged gland(s) may become red and warm. Usually by the time the lymph glands become enlarged, the primary scratch site has completely healed over. The child is otherwise healthy; rarely are there other symptoms present, such as headache, fever, persistent fatigue, or a sore throat.

“Cat-Scratch Disease” was first described by doctors in the 1930’s and is primarily a pediatric disease, with 80% of cases occurring in persons under 21 years of age. Over 90% of the children have been exposed to a healthy cat, usually a kitten (since adult cats are probably smart enough to stay away from kids!). Boys have a higher chance of getting the disease, perhaps because they tend to be more aggressive when playing with their pets. Interestingly, 25% of children cannot recall actually being scratched by a cat! The incubation period of the disease is usually 7 to 12 days after exposure, but it can be as long as three months. Person to person transmission has not been reported. The actual cause of “Cat-Scratch Disease” is unknown, but investigators have recently isolated what appears to be a previously unknown bacteria at the site of the infections. More research will be necessary to better define the disease and to then develop appropriate treatment.

The diagnosis of “Cat-Scratch Disease” is usually made by a history of exposure to a cat, an inoculation or scratch site, and a physical examination of the child. While there is a definite test to confirm the diagnosis it is not readily available to most practicing physicians. Since enlarged lymph nodes can be caused by other medical conditions, your child’s doctor may order other tests, such as a tuberculosis skin test, blood tests, chest x-rays, or even a biopsy of the lymph gland itself.

Prevention of “Cat-Scratch Disease” is difficult; there are over 50 million cats in the United States and cases of “Cat-Scratch Disease” can occur even though a cat has been declawed. Parents should teach their children to avoid bites and scratches, and not to allow a cat to lick open skin wounds on the child. Parents of a young child with “Cat-Scratch Disease” frequently ask about permanent removal of the animal from the home, but this is unnecessary. The cat who transmits “Cat-Scratch Disease” is not sick (Veterinarians are presently unable to test cats for this illness) and the disease confers lifelong immunity to the child. This means that each child will only be stricken once by the disease. Furthermore, not every child who gets scratched by a cat will get the illness. Because there has never been a case of child-to-child transmission, isolation from other siblings or playmates is unnecessary.

Parents need to help their children through the extended recovery period, which may be as long as five months. Treatment includes acetaminophen for fever and ibuprofen for pain. Hot, salt water compresses on the involved glands have been known to shorten the duration of lymph gland enlargement. Rough-housing and contact sports should probably be avoided until the glands are no longer tender. In some cases, the involved lymph glands may need to be sampled by needle aspiration by a surgeon to insure that other diseases are not present. This is usually done if the gland becomes extremely painful and disabling to the child. The long term outlook for children with “Cat-Scratch Disease” is similar to other common infectious diseases in children, with little long term effects persisting into adulthood. Parents whose households also include cats as pets should be on the look out for swollen glands in their children, for this may be a tip-off to this common and relatively harmless disease caused by a cat scratch.

Source:KidsGrowth.com

Enhanced by Zemanta