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Ailmemts & Remedies

Long QT Syndrome

Definition:
The long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a rare inborn heart condition in which delayed repolarization of the heart following a heartbeat increases the risk of episodes of torsade de pointes (TDP, a form of irregular heartbeat that originates from the ventricles). These episodes may lead to palpitations, fainting and sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation. Episodes may be provoked by various stimuli, depending on the subtype of the condition.
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You can be born with a genetic mutation that puts you at risk of long QT syndrome. In addition, certain medications and medical conditions may cause long QT syndrome.

The condition is so named because of the appearances of the electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG), on which there is prolongation of the QT interval.

Long QT syndrome is treatable. You may need to limit your physical activity, avoid medications known to cause prolonged Q-T intervals or take medications to prevent a chaotic heart rhythm. Some people with long QT syndrome need surgery or an implantable device.

Symptoms :
Many people with long QT syndrome don’t have any signs or symptoms. They may be aware of their condition only from results of an electrocardiogram (ECG) performed for an unrelated reason, because they have a family history of long QT syndrome or because of genetic testing results.

For people who do experience signs and symptoms of long QT syndrome, the most common symptoms include:

*Fainting. This is the most common sign of long QT syndrome. In people with long QT syndrome, fainting spells (syncope) are caused by the heart temporarily beating in an erratic way. These fainting spells may happen when you’re excited, angry or scared, or during exercise. Fainting in people with long QT syndrome can occur without warning, such as losing consciousness after being startled by a ringing telephone.

Signs and symptoms that you’re about to faint include lightheadedness, heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat, weakness and blurred vision. However, in long QT syndrome, such warning signs before fainting are unusual.

*Seizures. If the heart continues to beat erratically, the brain becomes increasingly deprived of oxygen. This can then cause generalized seizures.

*Sudden death. Normally, the heart returns to its normal rhythm. If this doesn’t happen spontaneously and paramedics don’t arrive in time to convert the rhythm back to normal with an external defibrillator, sudden death will occur.Signs and symptoms of inherited long QT syndrome may start during the first months of life, or as late as middle age. Most people who experience signs or symptoms from long QT syndrome have their first episode by the time they reach age 40.

Rarely, signs and symptoms of long QT syndrome may occur during sleep or arousal from sleep.

Causes:
Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day to circulate blood throughout your body. To pump blood, your heart’s chambers contract and relax. These actions are controlled by electrical impulses created in the sinus node, a group of cells in the upper right chamber of your heart. These impulses travel through your heart and cause it to beat.

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After each heartbeat, your heart’s electrical system recharges itself in preparation for the next heartbeat. This process is known as repolarization. In long QT syndrome, your heart muscle takes longer than normal to recharge between beats. This electrical disturbance, which often can be seen on an electrocardiogram (ECG), is called a prolonged Q-T interval.

Prolonged Q-T interval
An electrocardiogram (ECG, also called an EKG) measures electrical impulses as they travel through your heart. Patches with wires attached to your skin measure these impulses, which are displayed on a monitor or printed on paper as waves of electrical activity.

An ECG measures electrical impulses as five distinct waves. Doctors label these five waves using the letters P, Q, R, S and T. The waves labeled Q through T show electrical activity in your heart’s lower chambers.

The space between the start of the Q wave and the end of the T wave (Q-T interval) corresponds to the time it takes for your heart to contract and then refill with blood before beginning the next contraction.

By measuring the Q-T interval, doctors can tell whether it occurs in a normal amount of time. If it takes longer than normal, it’s called a prolonged Q-T interval. The upper limit of a normal Q-T interval takes into account age, sex, and regularity and speed of the heart rate.

Long QT syndrome results from abnormalities in the heart’s electrical recharging system. However, the heart’s structure is normal. Abnormalities in your heart’s electrical system may be inherited or acquired due to an underlying medical condition or a medication.

Inherited long QT syndrome
At least 12 genes associated with long QT syndrome have been discovered so far, and hundreds of mutations within these genes have been identified. Mutations in three of these genes account for about 70 to 75 percent of long QT syndrome, and cause the forms referred to as LQT1, LQT2 and LQT3.

Doctors have described two forms of inherited long QT syndrome:

*Romano-Ward syndrome. This more common form occurs in people who inherit only a single genetic variant from one of their parents.

*Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome. Signs and symptoms of this rare form usually occur earlier and are more severe than in Romano-Ward syndrome. It’s seen in children who are born deaf and have long QT syndrome because they inherited genetic variants from each parent.

Additionally, scientists have been investigating a possible link between SIDS and long QT syndrome and have discovered that about 10 percent of babies with SIDS had a genetic defect or mutation for long QT syndrome.

Acquired long QT syndrome
More than 50 medications, many of them common, can lengthen the Q-T interval in otherwise healthy people and cause a form of acquired long QT syndrome known as drug-induced long QT syndrome.

Medications that can lengthen the Q-T interval and upset heart rhythm include certain antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, heart medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, diabetes medications, as well as some antifungal and antipsychotic drugs.

People who develop drug-induced long QT syndrome may also have some subtle genetic defects in their hearts, making them more susceptible to disruptions in heart rhythm from taking drugs that can cause prolonged Q-T intervals.

Risk Factors:
People at risk of long QT syndrome include:

*Children, teenagers and young adults with unexplained fainting, unexplained near drownings or other accidents, unexplained seizures, or a history of cardiac arrest

*Family members of children, teenagers and young adults with unexplained fainting, unexplained near drownings or other accidents, unexplained seizures, or a history of cardiac arrest

*Blood relatives of people with known long QT syndrome

*People taking medications known to cause prolonged Q-T intervals

Long QT syndrome often goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed as a seizure disorder, such as epilepsy. However, researchers believe that long QT syndrome may be responsible for some otherwise unexplained deaths in children and young adults. For example, an unexplained drowning of a young person may be the first clue to inherited long QT syndrome in a family.

People with low potassium, magnesium or calcium blood levels — such as those with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa — may be susceptible to prolonged Q-T intervals. Potassium, magnesium and calcium are all important minerals for the health of your heart’s electrical system.

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis of LQTS is not easy since 2.5% of the healthy population have prolonged QT interval, and 10–15% of LQTS patients have a normal QT interval. A commonly used criterion to diagnose LQTS is the LQTS “diagnostic score”. The score is calculated by assigning different points to various criteria (listed below). With four or more points, the probability is high for LQTS; with one point or less, the probability is low. A score of two or three points indicates intermediate probability.

*QTc (Defined as QT interval / square root of RR interval)
#>= 480 msec – 3 points
#460-470 msec – 2 points
#450 msec and male gender – 1 point

*Torsades de pointes ventricular tachycardia – 2 points

*T wave alternans – 1 point

*Notched T wave in at least 3 leads – 1 point

*Low heart rate for age (children) – 0.5 points

*Syncope (one cannot receive points both for syncope and torsades de pointes)
#With stress – 2 points
#Without stress – 1 point

*Congenital deafness – 0.5 points

*Family history (the same family member cannot be counted for LQTS and sudden death)
#Other family members with definite LQTS – 1 point
#Sudden death in immediate family (members before the age 30) – 0.5 points
Treatment options:
Those diagnosed with long QT syndrome are usually advised to avoid drugs that would prolong the QT interval further or lower the threshold for TDP.  In addition to this, there are two intervention options for individuals with LQTS: arrhythmia prevention and arrhythmia termination.

Arrhythmia prevention:
Arrhythmia suppression involves the use of medications or surgical procedures that attack the underlying cause of the arrhythmias associated with LQTS. Since the cause of arrhythmias in LQTS is after depolarizations, and these after depolarizations are increased in states of adrenergic stimulation, steps can be taken to blunt adrenergic stimulation in these individuals. These include:

*Administration of beta receptor blocking agents which decreases the risk of stress induced arrhythmias. Beta blockers are the first choice in treating Long QT syndrome.
In 2004 it has been shown that genotype and QT interval duration are independent predictors of recurrence of life-threatening events during beta-blockers therapy. Specifically the presence of QTc >500ms and LQT2 and LQT3 genotype are associated with the highest incidence of recurrence. In these patients primary prevention with ICD (Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) implantation can be considered.

*Potassium supplementation. If the potassium content in the blood rises, the action potential shortens and due to this reason it is believed that increasing potassium concentration could minimize the occurrence of arrhythmias. It should work best in LQT2 since the HERG channel is especially sensitive to potassium concentration, but the use is experimental and not evidence based.

*Mexiletine. A sodium channel blocker. In LQT3 the problem is that the sodium channel does not close properly. Mexiletine closes these channels and is believed to be usable when other therapies fail. It should be especially effective in LQT3 but there is no evidence based documentation.

*Amputation of the cervical sympathetic chain (left stellectomy). This may be used as an add-on therapy to beta blockers but modern therapy mostly favors ICD implantation if beta blocker therapy fails.

Arrhythmia termination:
Arrhythmia termination involves stopping a life-threatening arrhythmia once it has already occurred. One effective form of arrhythmia termination in individuals with LQTS is placement of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Alternatively, external defibrillation can be used to restore sinus rhythm. ICDs are commonly used in patients with syncopes despite beta blocker therapy, and in patients who have experienced a cardiac arrest.

It is hoped that with better knowledge of the genetics underlying the long QT syndrome, more precise treatments will become available.
Prognosis:
The risk for untreated LQTS patients having events (syncopes or cardiac arrest) can be predicted from their genotype (LQT1-8), gender and corrected QT interval.

*High risk (>50%)
QTc>500 msec LQT1 & LQT2 & LQT3 (males)

*Intermediate risk (30-50%)
QTc>500 msec LQT3 (females)

QTc<500 msec LQT2 (females) & LQT3

*Low risk (<30%)
QTc<500 msec LQT1 & LQT2 (males)

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/longqt1.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/long-qt-syndrome/DS00434
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_QT_syndrome
http://paramedicine101.blogspot.com/2009/09/long-qt-syndrome-part-iii.html
http://www.itriagehealth.com/disease/long-qt-syndrome-(qt-prolongation)

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Leigh’s disease

Alternative Name :Subacute Necrotizing Encephalomyelopathy (SNEM)

Definition:
Leigh’s disease is a rare neurometabolic disorder that affects the central nervous system.  This progressive disorder begins in infants between the ages of three months and two years. Rarely, it occurs in teenagers and adults. Leigh’s disease can be caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA or by deficiencies of an enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase. Symptoms of Leigh’s disease usually progress rapidly. The earliest signs may be poor sucking ability,and the loss of head control and motor skills.These symptoms may be accompanied by loss of appetite, vomiting, irritability, continuous crying, and seizures. As the disorder progresses, symptoms may also include generalized weakness, lack of muscle tone, and episodes of lactic acidosis, which can lead to impairment of respiratory and kidney function.
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In Leigh’s disease, genetic mutations in mitochondrial DNA interfere with the energy sources that run cells in an area of the brain that plays a role in motor movements. The primary function of mitochondria is to convert the energy in glucose and fatty acids into a substance called adenosine triphosphate ( ATP). The energy in ATP drives virtually all of a cell’s metabolic functions. Genetic mutations in mitochondrial DNA, therefore, result in a chronic lack of energy in these cells, which in turn affects the central nervous system and causes progressive degeneration of motor functions.
There is also a form of Leigh’s disease (called X-linked Leigh’s disease) which is the result of mutations in a gene that produces another group of substances that are important for cell metabolism. This gene is only found on the X chromosome.

It is named after Denis Archibald Leigh, a British psychiatrist who first described the condition in 1951

Symptoms:
The symptoms of Leigh’s disease usually begin between the ages of 3 months and 2 years. Since the disease affects the central nervous system, symptoms may include:

•poor sucking ability
•difficulty holding up the head
•losing motor skills the infant had such as grasping a rattle and shaking it
•loss of appetite
•vomiting
•irritability
•continuous crying
•seizures
As Leigh’s disease becomes worse over time, the symptoms may include:
•generalized weakness
•lack of muscle tone (hypotonia)
•episodes of lactic acidosis (accumulation of lactic acid in the body and brain) that may impair breathing and kidney function
•heart problems

Causes:
It is an inherited disorder that usually affects infants between the age of three months and two years, but, in rare cases, teenagers and adults as well. In the case of the disease, mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or in nuclear DNA (gene SURF1  and some COX assembly factors) cause degradation of motor skills and eventually death.

Mitochondria are an essential organelle in eukaryotic cells. Their function is to convert the potential energy of glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Mitochondria carry their own DNA, called mitochondrial DNA [mtDNA]. The information stored in the mtDNA is used to produce several of the enzymes essential to the production of ATP.

Mutations in the mtDNA that cause the mitochondria to fail, to function improperly, a person is at risk for a number of disorders, including Leigh’s disease. In the case of Leigh’s disease, crucial cells in the brain stem have mutated mtDNA, creating poorly functioning mitochondria. This causes a chronic lack of energy in the cells, which, in turn, affects the central nervous system and inhibits motor functions.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis of Leigh’s disease is based on the symptoms the infant or child has. Tests may show a deficiency of pyruvate dehydrogenase or the presence of lactic acidosis. Individuals with Leigh’s disease may have symmetrical patches of damage in the brain that may be discovered by brain scan. In some individuals, genetic testing may be able to identify the presence of a genetic mutation.

Treatment:
Leigh’s disease is a extremely rare disorder, and there is currently no cure, nor effective treatment. It usually affects infants under two years of age, but, in rarer cases, teenagers and adults as well. A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet may be recommended. Adults may have puffiness and/or swelling of the eye area and the hands. It is currently treated with thiamin (vitamin B1), but even with treatment, infants rarely live longer than two or three years after the onset of the disease. In cases of older people, the disease takes longer, but is still almost always fatal.

Drug treatments may be needed for epilepsy, movement problems, and cardiac or renal complications.

Prognosis:
The prognosis for individuals with Leigh’s disease is poor. Individuals who lack mitochondrial complex IV activity and those with pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency tend to have the worst prognosis and die within a few years. Those with partial deficiencies have a better prognosis, and may live to be 6 or 7 years of age. Some have survived to their mid-teenage years.

Resrarch:
The NINDS supports and encourages a broad range of basic and clinical research on neurogenetic disorders such as Leigh’s disease. The goal of this research is to understand what causes these disorders and then to apply these findings to new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent them.

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/leigh1.shtml
http://rarediseases.about.com/od/mitochondrialdiseases/a/leighsdisease.htm
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/leighsdisease/leighsdisease.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh’s_disease
http://baby-braden.blogspot.com/2008/10/diagnosis-leighs-disease.html

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Ailmemts & Remedies Pediatric

Kabuki Syndrome

Definition:

Kabuki syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by unusual facial features, skeletal abnormalities, and intellectual impairment. Abnormalities in different organ systems can also be present, but vary from individual to individual. There is no cure for Kabuki syndrome, and treatment centers on the specific abnormalities, as well as on strategies to improve the overall functioning and quality of life of the affected person.Kabuki syndrome appears to be found equally in males and females.

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Scientific research conducted over the past two decades suggests that Kabuki syndrome may be associated with a change in the genetic material. However, it is still not known precisely what this genetic change may be and how this change in the genetic material alters growth and development in the womb to cause Kabuki syndrome.

In Japan, it has been estimated that about one in 32,000 babies is born with Kabuki syndrome (which could mean about 50 cases a year in the UK). Although originally reported in Japan, cases have now been described around the world.

It was discovered and described in 1981 by two Japanese groups, led by the scientists Niikawa and Kuroki (hence the name). It is named Kabuki Syndrome because of the facial resemblance of affected individuals with white Kabuki makeup, a Japanese traditional theatrical form. On the Kabuki Syndrome listserv, children with this syndrome are called Kabuki Kids, or KKs.

Symptoms:
People with the syndrome have an unusual facial appearance, characterised by large eyes, long and thick eyelashes and arched eyebrows.

Infants usually have normal birth weight, but most will not grow as quickly as expected. Delay in speech and language development is very common. Many infants also have problems feeding.

Kabuki syndrome is very complex and there are many other manifestations.

Cause:
The cause is unknown – a genetic abnormality is suspected but has not yet been identified.It’s likely that if a gene is involved it’s a rare and random mutation that occurs sporadically.

Inheritance is thought to be autosomal dominant or X-linked recessive; several chromosomal abnormalities have been found, but none of them appear to be specific to Kabuki Syndrome. In August 2010, a study found that two thirds of the cases have a loss-of-function mutation in the MLL2 gene, which is coding for a histone methyltransferase; it can participate in epigenetic programming, and is thought to contribute to developmental processes.

Diagnosis
The diagnosis of Kabuki syndrome relies on physical exam by a physician familiar with the condition and by radiographic evaluation, such as the use of x rays or ultrasound to define abnormal or missing structures that are consistent with the criteria for the condition (as described above). A person can be diagnosed with Kabuki syndrome if they possess characteristics consistent with the five different groups of cardinal symptoms: typical face, skin-surface abnormalities, skeletal abnormalities, mild to moderate mental retardation, and short stature.

Although a diagnosis may be made as a newborn, most often the features do not become fully evident until early childhood. There is no laboratory blood or genetic test that can be used to identify people with Kabuki syndrome.

Treatment ;
There is no cure for Kabuki syndrome. Treatment of the syndrome is variable and centers on correcting the different manifestations of the condition and on strategies to improve the overall functioning and quality of life of the affected individual.

For children with heart defects, surgical repair is often necessary. This may take place shortly after birth if the heart abnormality is life threatening, but often physicians will prefer to attempt a repair once the child has grown older and the heart is more mature. For children who experience seizures, lifelong treatment with anti-seizure medications is often necessary.

Children with Kabuki syndrome often have difficulties feeding, either because of mouth abnormalities or because of poor digestion. In some cases, a tube that enters into the stomach is surgically placed in the abdomen, and specially designed nutritional liquids are administered through the tube directly into the stomach.

People with Kabuki syndrome are at higher risk for a variety of infections, most often involving the ears and the lungs. In cases such as these, antibiotics are given to treat the infection, and occasionally brief hospital stays are necessary. Most children recover from these infections with proper treatment.

Nearly half of people affected by Kabuki syndrome have some degree of hearing loss. In these individuals, formal hearing testing is recommended to determine if they might benefit from a hearing-aid. A hearing aid is a small mechanical device that sits behind the ear and amplifies sound into the ear of the affected individual. Occasionally, hearing loss in individuals with Kabuki syndrome is severe, approaching total hearing loss. In these cases, early and formal education using American Sign Language as well as involvement with the hearing-impaired community, schools, and enrichment programs is appropriate.

Children with Kabuki syndrome should be seen regularly by a team of health care professionals, including a primary care provider, medical geneticist familiar with the condition, gastroenterologist, and neurologist. After growth development is advanced enough (usually late adolescence or early adulthood), consultation with a reconstructive surgeon may be of use to repair physical abnormalities that are particularly debilitating.

During early development and progressing into young adulthood, children with Kabuki syndrome should be educated and trained in behavioral and mechanical methods to adapt to any disabilities. This program is usually initiated and overseen by a team of health care professionals including a pediatrician, physical therapist, and occupational therapist. A counselor specially trained to deal with issues of disabilities in children is often helpful is assessing problem areas and encouraging healthy development of self-esteem. Support groups and community organizations for people with disabilities often prove useful to the affected individuals and their families, and specially equipped enrichment programs should be sought. Further, because many children with Kabuki syndrome have poor speech development, a consultation and regular session with a speech therapist is appropriate.

Prognosis:
The abilities of children with Kabuki syndrome vary greatly. Most children with the condition have a mild to moderate intellectual impairment. Some children will be able to follow a regular education curriculum, while others will require adaptations or modifications to their schoolwork. Many older children may learn to read at a functional level.

The prognosis of children with Kabuki syndrome depends on the severity of the symptoms and the extent to which the appropriate treatments are available. Most of the medical issues regarding heart, kidney or intestinal abnormalities arise early in the child’s life and are improved with medical treatment. Since Kabuki syndrome was discovered relatively recently, very little is known regarding the average life span of individuals affected with the condition, however, present data on Kabuki syndrome does not point to a shortened life span.

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/kabuki2.shtml
http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/kabuki-syndrome-1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabuki_syndrome

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Haemochromatosis

Definition:
Haemochromatosis is a disease caused by excess iron in the body.

Iron is needed in the diet to maintain good health, particularly for making red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. These red blood cells contain large amounts of iron.

Lack of iron can cause anaemia, but excessive iron is toxic. The body has few ways of disposing of unwanted iron, so it builds up in tissues causing damage and disease.

Haemochromatosis – or genetic haemochromatosis (GH) – is a disorder that causes the body to absorb an excessive amount of iron from the diet.

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We can only use a limited amount of iron and any excess is deposited around the body. This accumulates mainly in the liver, but can also affect the heart, pancreas and pituitary gland, damaging these vital body organs and resulting in a deterioration of their functional capacity.

Haemochromatosis is more common in Caucasian or white populations, with about 1 in 300 to 1 in 400 affected. About half that number are affected in black populations.

Men are more likely to have hereditary haemochromatosis and suffer from it at an earlier age, as women regularly lose iron in menstruation or use stores in pregnancy.

Symptoms:
Although haemochromatosis and the potential for the condition to cause problems is present from birth, symptoms don’t usually become apparent until middle age.

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Common symptoms that might be noticed then include:

•weakness, tiredness and lack of energy
•joint pain and stiffness – particularly in the hands and fingers
•a tanned or bronzed appearance of the skin
•impotence in men
•shrinking of testicles
•weight loss
•abdominal pain
.
Later, more serious symptoms may develop including:

•diabetes
•arthritis
•heart problems
•enlargement or damage to the liver

Clinical presentation:
Organs commonly affected by haemochromatosis are the liver, heart, and endocrine glands.

Haemochromatosis may present with the following clinical syndromes:

*Cirrhosis of the liver
*Diabetes due to pancreatic islet cell failure
*Cardiomyopathy
*Arthritis (iron deposition in joints)
*Testicular failure
*Tanning of the skin

Causes:
The causes can be distinguished between primary cases (hereditary or genetically determined) and less frequent secondary cases (acquired during life). People of Celtic (Irish, Scottish, Welsh) origin have a particularly high incidence of whom about 10% are carriers of the gene and 1% sufferers from the condition.

Primary haemochromatosis:
The fact that most cases of haemochromatosis were inherited was well known for most of the 20th century, though they were incorrectly assumed to depend on a single gene. The overwhelming majority actually depend on mutations of the HFE gene discovered in 1996, but since then others have been discovered and sometimes are grouped together as “non-classical hereditary haemochromatosis”, “non-HFE related hereditary haemochromatosis”, or “non-HFE haemochromatosis

It is thought to be mainly caused by a mutation of a gene called HFE, which probably allows excess iron to be absorbed from the diet. This mutation is known as C282Y and to develop haemochromatosis you usually need two genes (one from each parent) to be C282Y.

However, not everyone with the mutation may develop the disease, and it may occur if only one C282Y gene is present.

Confusingly, another mutation labelled H63D elsewhere on the HFE gene may occur alone or with C282Y and also influence iron levels.

Other rare mutations may give rise to haemochromatosis, especially in children.

Secondary haemochromatosis:
*Severe chronic haemolysis of any cause, including intravascular haemolysis and ineffective erythropoiesis (haemolysis within the bone marrow).
*Multiple frequent blood transfusions (either whole blood or just red blood cells), which are usually needed either by individuals with hereditary anaemias (such as beta-thalassaemia major, sickle cell anaemia, and Diamond–Blackfan anaemia) or by older patients with severe acquired anaemias such as in myelodysplastic syndromes.
*Excess parenteral iron supplements, such as can acutely happen in iron poisoning
*Excess dietary iron
*Some disorders do not normally cause haemochromatosis on their own, but may do so in the presence of other predisposing factors. These include cirrhosis (especially related to alcohol abuse), steatohepatitis of any cause, porphyria cutanea tarda, prolonged haemodialysis, post-portacaval shunting.

Risk Factors:
The onset of hereditary haemochromatosis usually occurs between the ages of 30 and 60 as the build up of iron takes years.

However, a rapid form of the disease does affect children. If left untreated excess iron builds up in the organs especially the liver, heart and pancreas. This may cause heart or liver failure, which can be fatal.

Diagnosis:
There are several methods available for diagnosing and monitoring iron loading including:

*Serum ferritin
*Liver biopsy
*HFE
*MRI

Serum ferritin is a low-cost, readily available, and minimally invasive method for assessing body iron stores. However, the major problem with using it as an indicator of iron overload is that it can be elevated in a range of other medical conditions unrelated to iron levels including infection, inflammation, fever, liver disease, renal disease, and cancer. Also, total iron binding capacity may be low, but can also be normal.

The standard of practice in diagnosis of hemochromatosis was recently reviewed by Pietrangelo. Positive HFE analysis confirms the clinical diagnosis of hemochromatosis in asymptomatic individuals with blood tests showing increased iron stores, or for predictive testing of individuals with a family history of hemochromatosis. The alleles evaluated by HFE gene analysis are evident in ~80% of patients with hemochromatosis; a negative report for HFE gene does not rule out hemochromatosis. In a patient with negative HFE gene testing, elevated iron status for no other obvious reason, and family history of liver disease, additional evaluation of liver iron concentration is indicated. In this case, diagnosis of hemochromatosis is based on biochemical analysis and histologic examination of a liver biopsy. Assessment of the hepatic iron index (HII) is considered the “gold standard” for diagnosis of hemochromatosis.

MRI is emerging as an alternative to liver biopsy for measuring liver iron loading. For measuring liver iron concentrations, R2-MRI (also known as FerriScan)  has been validated and is coming into use in medical centers. It is not recommended in practice guidelines at this time

Prognosis:
A third of those untreated develop hepatocellular carcinoma.

Treatment:
Routine treatment in an otherwise-healthy person consists of regularly scheduled phlebotomies (bloodletting). When first diagnosed, the phlebotomies may be fairly frequent, perhaps as often as once a week, until iron levels can be brought to within normal range. Once iron and other markers are within the normal range, phlebotomies may be scheduled every other month or every three months depending upon the patient’s rate of iron loading.

For those unable to tolerate routine blood draws, there is a chelating agent available for use. The drug Deferoxamine binds with iron in the bloodstream and enhances its elimination via urine and faeces. Typical treatment for chronic iron overload requires subcutaneous injection over a period of 8–12 hours daily. Two newer iron chelating drugs that are licensed for use in patients receiving regular blood transfusions to treat thalassemia (and, thus, who develop iron overload as a result) are deferasirox and deferiprone.

Haemochromatosis is treated by:

•Reducing the amount of iron absorbed by the body – patients are advised to avoid iron-rich foods and alcohol.
•Removing excess iron from the body by removing blood from the body (venesection therapy or phlebotomy). Initially this may involve removing a unit of blood a week (sometimes for many months) until iron levels in the blood are normal. Then most people can be kept stable by removing a unit of blood every 2-3 months.

If phlebotomy is started before liver damage occurs the outlook is good, and the affected person can expect to live an otherwise normal life.

Acquired haemochromatosis is normally treated by a drug that binds iron and allows it to be excreted from the body.

Associated problems such as heart failure and diabetes are treated as appropriate.

Good advice:-
*Limit the amount of iron in your diet.
*Eating red or organ meats (such as liver) is not recommended.
*Iron supplements should also be avoided, including iron combined with other multivitamins.
*Vitamin C increases iron absorption from the gut and intake should also be limited.
*Avoid excess alcohol as this may make liver disease worse

Future prospects:
Your prospects largely depend on the stage at which the disease was diagnosed. Symptoms of tiredness and general weakness often improve, but joint problems may not.

Abdominal pain and liver enlargement can also lessen or disappear, and heart function may also improve with treatment.

However, liver cirrhosis is irreversible and a liver transplant may be required.

Patients with liver disease are also usually monitored for liver cancer, which can be a long-term complication.

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/haemochromatosis1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_overload
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/haemochromatosis.htm

https://runkle-science.wikispaces.com/Haemochromatosis

http://www.ironxs.com.au/the-symptoms-of-haemochromatosis.html

http://www.goldbamboo.com/topic-t1404-a1-6Haemochromatosis.html

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Albinism


Alternative Names
:achromia, achromasia, or achromatosis

Definition:
Albinism  is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin. Albinism results from inheritance of recessive gene alleles and is known to affect all vertebrates, including humans. The most common term used for an organism affected by albinism is “albino”. Additional clinical adjectives sometimes used to refer to animals are “albinoid” and “albinic”.

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Albinism is associated with a number of vision defects, such as photophobia, nystagmus and astigmatism. Lack of skin pigmentation makes the organism more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancers.

Several different genes are involved in albinism, depending on the specific type of the condition.

Classification in humans:

There are two main categories of albinism in humans:

*In oculocutaneous albinism Types 1-4 with different levels with pigmentation (despite its Latin-derived name meaning “eye-and-skin” albinism), pigment is lacking in the eyes, skin and hair. (The equivalent mutation in non-humans also results in lack of melanin in the fur, scales or feathers.) People with oculocutaneous albinism can have anything from no pigment at all to almost normal levels.

*In ocular albinism, only the eyes lack pigment. People who have ocular albinism have generally normal skin and hair color, although it is typically lighter than either parent. Many even have a normal eye appearance. Also, ocular albinism is generally sex-linked, therefore males are more likely to be affected. Males are without another X chromosome to mask recessive alleles on the X they inherit.

Other conditions include albinism as part of their presentation. These include Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, Chediak-Higashi syndrome, Griscelli syndrome, Waardenburg syndrome, and Tietz syndrome. These conditions are sometimes classified with albinism. Several have sub-types. Some are easily distinguished by appearance, but in most cases genetic testing is the only way to be certain.

Albinism was formerly categorized as tyrosinase-positive or -negative. In cases of tyrosinase-positive albinism, the enzyme tyrosinase is present. The melanocytes (pigment cells) are unable to produce melanin for any one of a variety of reasons that do not directly involve the tyrosinase enzyme. In tyrosinase-negative cases, either the tyrosinase enzyme is not produced or a nonfunctional version is produced. This classification has been rendered obsolete by recent research.

About one in 17,000 children in the UK is born with some type of albinism.It affects people from all races and its frequency across the human population is estimated to be approximately 1 in 20,000.

Symptoms:
People with albinism are born with little or no pigmentation in their eyes, skin and hair (oculocutaneous albinism) or sometimes in the eyes alone (ocular albinism). But the degree of pigmentation varies (especially in oculocutaneous albinism) and some people gain a little pigmentation in their hair or eyes with age, or develop pigmented freckles on their skin.

Apart from their physical appearance, people with the condition can experience a number of associated problems, depending on which genetic type they have.

Skin

Although the most recognizable form of albinism results in milky white skin, skin pigmentation can range from white to nearly the same as parents or siblings without albinism.

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For some people with albinism, skin pigmentation never changes. For others, melanin production may begin or increase during childhood and adolescence, resulting in slight changes in pigmentation. With exposure to the sun, some people may develop:

*Freckles……CLICK & SEE
*Moles, with or without pigment
*Large freckle-like spots (lentigines)
*The ability to tan

Hair
Hair color can range from very white to brown. People of African or Asian descent who have albinism may have hair color that is yellow, reddish or brown. Hair color may also change by early adulthood.

Eye color
Eye color can range from very light blue to brown and may change with age.

CLICK & SEE

The lack of pigment in the colored part of your eyes (irises) makes them somewhat translucent. This means that the irises can’t completely block light from entering the eye. Because of this translucence, very light-colored eyes may appear red in some lighting. This occurs because you’re seeing light reflected off the back of the eye and passing back out through the iris again — similar to red eye that occurs in a flash photograph.

Vision
Signs and symptoms of albinism related to eye function include:

*Rapid, involuntary back-and-forth movement of the eyes (nystagmus)
*Inability of both eyes to stay directed at the same point or to move in unison (strabismus)
*Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
*Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
*Astigmatism

Causes:
The cause of albinism is a mutation in one of several genes. Each of these genes provides the chemically coded instructions for making one of several proteins involved in the production of melanin. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes, which are found in your skin and eyes. A mutation may result in no melanin production at all or a significant decline in the amount of melanin.

In most types of albinism, a person must inherit two copies of a mutated gene — one from each parent — in order to have albinism. If a person has only one copy, then he or she won’t have the disorder.

Impact of mutations on eye development
Regardless of which gene mutation is present, vision impairment is a common characteristic with all types of albinism. These impairments are caused by irregular development of the nerve pathways from the eye to the brain and from abnormal development of the retina.

Types of albinism
The system for classifying types of albinism is based primarily on which mutated gene caused the disorder rather than how it’s manifested. Nonetheless, most types of albinism have some features that distinguish them from each other. Types of albinism include:

*Oculocutaneous albinism.
Oculocutaneous albinism is caused by a mutation in one of four genes. These mutations result in signs and symptoms related to vision (ocular) and those related to skin (cutaneous), hair and iris color.

Oculocutaneous albinism 1 is caused by a mutation in a gene on chromosome 11. Most people with this type of albinism have milky white skin, white hair and blue eyes at birth. Some people with this disorder never experience changes in pigmentation, but others begin to produce melanin during childhood and adolescence. Their hair may become a golden blond or brown. Their skin usually doesn’t change color, but it may tan somewhat. The irises may also change color and lose some of their translucence.

Oculocutaneous albinism 2
is caused by a mutation in a gene on chromosome 15. It’s more common in Sub-Saharan Africans and African-Americans than in other population groups. The hair may be yellow, auburn, ginger or red, the eyes can be blue-gray or tan, and the skin is white at birth. In people of African descent, the skin may be light brown, and in those of Asian or Northern European descent, the skin is usually white. In either case, the skin color is generally close to the family’s coloring, but little bit lighter. With sun exposure, the skin may over time develop freckles, moles or lentigines.
Oculocutaneous albinism 3 (rare cases) is caused by a gene mutation on chromosome 9 and has been primarily identified in black South Africans. People with this disorder usually have reddish-brown skin, ginger or reddish hair, and hazel or brown eyes.

Oculocutaneous albinism 4, caused by a gene mutation on chromosome 5, is a rarer form of the disorder generally presenting signs and symptoms similar to those of type 2. This type of albinism may be one of the most common forms among people of Japanese descent.

*X-linked ocular albinism.
The cause of X-linked ocular albinism, which occurs almost exclusively in males, is a gene mutation on the X chromosome. People who have ocular albinism have the developmental and functional vision problems of albinism. But skin, hair and eye color are generally in the normal range or slightly lighter than that of others in the family.

*Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome. Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome is a rare albinism disorder caused by one of at least seven mutated genes. People with this disorder have signs and symptoms like those of oculocutaneous albinism, but they also develop lung and bowel diseases and a bleeding disorder.

*Chediak-Higashi syndrome. Chediak-Higashi syndrome is a rare form of albinism caused by a mutation in a gene on chromosome 1. Signs and symptoms are also similar to those of oculocutaneous albinism. The hair is usually brown or blond with a silvery sheen, and the skin is usually creamy white to grayish. People with this syndrome have a defect with white blood cells that results in a susceptibility to infections.

Compliccations:
Complications of albinism include physical risks as well as social and emotional challenges.

*In physical terms, humans with albinism commonly have vision problems and need sun protection. But they also face social and cultural challenges (even threats) as the condition is often a source of ridicule, discrimination, or even fear and violence. Cultures around the world have developed many beliefs regarding people with albinism. This folklore ranges from harmless myth to dangerous superstitions that cost human lives. Cultural challenges can be expected to be vastly higher in areas where pale skin and light hair stand out more from the ethnic majority’s average phenotype.

*In African countries such as Tanzania  and Burundi, there has been an unprecedented rise in witchcraft-related killings of albino people in recent years. This is because albino body parts are used in potions sold by witchdoctors. Numerous authenticated incidents have occurred in Africa during the 21st Century. For example, in Tanzania, in September 2009, three men were convicted of killing a 14-year-old albino boy and severing his legs in order to sell them for witchcraft purposes.[19] Again in Tanzania and Burundi in 2010, the murder and dismemberment of a kidnapped albino child is reported from the courts, as part of a continuing problem.

*Other examples: In Zimbabwe, belief that sex with an albinistic woman will cure a man of HIV has led to rapes (and subsequent HIV infection).

*Certain ethnic groups and insular areas exhibit heightened susceptibility to albinism, presumably due to genetic factors (reinforced by cultural traditions). These include notably the Native American Kuna and Zuni nations (respectively of Panama and New Mexico); Japan, in which one particular form of albinism is unusually common; and Ukerewe Island, the population of which shows a very high incidence of albinism.

All of these factors may contribute to social isolation, poor self-esteem and stress.

Treatment :
There’s no cure for albinism, but treatments and aids can help the symptoms and reduce the risk of damage to the skin and eyes.

For the most part, treatment of the eye conditions consists of visual rehabilitation. Surgery is possible on the ocular muscles to decrease nystagmus, strabismus and common refractive errors like astigmatism. Strabismus surgery may improve the appearance of the eyes. Nystagmus-damping surgery can also be performed, to reduce the “shaking” of the eyes back and forth. The effectiveness of all these procedures varies greatly and depends on individual circumstances. More importantly, since surgery will not restore a normal RPE or foveae, surgery will not provide fine binocular vision. In the case of esotropia (the “crossed eyes” form of strabismus), surgery may help vision by expanding the visual field (the area that the eyes can see while looking at one point).

Glasses and other vision aids, large-print materials and CCTV, as well as bright but angled reading lights, can help individuals with albinism, even though their vision cannot be corrected completely. Some people with Albinism do well using bifocals (with a strong reading lens), prescription reading glasses, and/or hand-held devices such as magnifiers or monoculars (a very simple telescope). Contact lenses may be colored to block light transmission through the iris. But in case of nystagmus this is not possible, due to the irritation that is caused by the movement of the eyes. Some use bioptics, glasses which have small telescopes mounted on, in, or behind their regular lenses, so that they can look through either the regular lens or the telescope. Newer designs of bioptics use smaller light-weight lenses. Some US states allow the use of bioptic telescopes for driving motor vehicles.

Although still disputed among the experts, many ophthalmologists recommend the use of spectacles from early childhood onward to allow the eyes the best development possible.

People with Hermansky-Pudlak and Chediak-Higashi syndromes usually require regular specialized care to prevent complications.
Home Remedies & Lifestyle
You can help your child learn self-care practices that should continue into adulthood:

*Use low-vision aids, such as a hand-held magnifying glass, a monocular or a magnifier that attaches to glasses.

*Apply sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB light.

*Avoid high-risk sun exposure, such as being outside in the middle of the day, at high altitudes and on sunny days with thin cloud cover.

*Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts, long pants and broad-rimmed hats.

*Protect your eyes by wearing dark, UV-blocking sunglasses.

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/albinism1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albinism
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/albinism/DS00941

http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/medical/albinism.htm/printable

http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/medical/albinism2.htm

http://www.makeupbykaty.com/freckles-i-want-more/

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