All Things Medical

I thought maybe ... Just so you know what I am ranting on about half the time that I could give you a brief discription and some useful links if you want to read more about what makes Boogie and I tick!! 

Definition of Spastic Diplegia

Spastic diplegia is a form of cerebral palsy where both the arms and legs have abnormal stiffness. The legs are often more affected than the upper extremities. Spastic means stiff or contracted. The word Diplegia breaks down into "di," meaning two, and "plegia," the Latin word for weakness. Therefore, spastic diplegia means stiff or contracted muscles affecting two extremities causing weakness. Spastic Diplegia is sometimes also called paraplegia.

There are other forms of spastic diplegia other than cerebral palsy. Some forms of spastic diplegia are hereditary. You can differentiate the two by several factors:
    • The age the patient begins to show symptoms of spastic diplegia
    • A victim's past clinical history
    • Recorded problems at the time of birth or during pregnancy
    • The presence of genetic factors
People suffering from hereditary spastic diplegia typically have a family history of the disease and don't show symptoms until late childhood or middle age. People suffering from the cerebral palsy form of spastic diplegia are usually diagnosed with the condition as children. Cerebral palsy spastic diplegia is the result of brain damage and mainly affects the legs. The damage involves brain malformations around the ventricles, which are the fluid filled spaces. Typically, a lack of oxygen during brain formation causes a development failure in the pyramidal tracts. MRI's easily detect these malformed areas which are called periventricular leukomalacias.

Little's Disease and Spastic Diplegia

Spastic diplegia was originally called "Little's Disease." The disease was named for William Little, a British surgeon who first described the disorder in the 19th century. The children he observed with the disease had stiffness in the legs and arms which did not progress in severity as they aged. Littles disease was soon recognized to be a disorder, or group of disorders, rather than a disease, and the name changed to spastic diplegia or static encephalopathy.

Symptoms of Spastic Diplegia

Regardless of what you call the disorder, spastic diplegia, paraplegia, Littles disease or static encephalopathy; the symptoms are the same. Both legs of spastic diplegia victims are spastic, meaning stiff or contracted. The legs are weak and walking is difficult. People with spastic diplegia often walk with a "scissor gait" caused by tight muscles in the hips and legs. The muscles become so tight the legs want to turn inward and sometimes cross over each other at the knees. A spastic diplegia victim's arm, face and neck muscles are usually affected to a lesser degree than the legs. Outside of the physical characteristics of spastic diplegia, the disorder is often accompanied by mental retardation.

Treatments for Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy

Statistics show spasticity affects 80 % of people with cerebral palsy and causes many problems for sufferers of the disorder. In growing children, muscle stiffness inhibits the longitudinal growth of the muscle. This is especially bad because it causes orthopedic deformities and muscle contractures, where the muscle locks into place permanently.

Spastic symptoms of cerebral palsy are usually treated with a combination of drugs, physical therapy, braces, and if needed, orthopedic surgery. However a relatively new surgery is being performed called selected dorsal rhizotomy (SDR.) The surgery works best on young children, from 2 to 4 years of age, but can be beneficial for older children and some adults. SDR typically brings better results for people suffering only from spastic diplegia and not spastic quadriplegia, where there is significant spasticity in both the arms and legs.

SDR works to prevent the development of deformities by cutting nerve fibers in the spinal cord. Removing vertebrae to reach the spinal cord can cause spinal problems. Experts agree, however, that a successful SDR surgery can improve speech, vision and leg function. The surgery also helps reduce the number of orthopedic surgeries a spastic diplegia victim could need in the future.

Definition of Thalassemia

Thalassemia describes a group of inherited disorders characterized by reduced or absent amounts of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein inside the red blood cells. There are two basic groups of thalassemia disorders: alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia. These conditions cause varying degrees of anemia, which can range from insignificant to life threatening.

If you want to know more feel free to click the link, it is quite in-depth and spawns from my family bloodline (don't even get me started on how guilty I feel for passing it onto him - But then at least his is not as rare as mine) 

Hypersensitivity Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (SPD) is a complex neurological condition that impairs the functional skills of 1 in 20 children. People with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as touch, sound and movement. They may feel overwhelmed by sensory information, may seek out sensory experiences or may avoid certain experiences.People with SPD experience their world as either Hypersensitive (over reactive, sensory avoidance) or Hyposensitive (under reactive, sensory seeker). They may also present with motor skill problems. They may react with strong emotional behaviours and experience what may be described as ‘melt downs’.The brain and nervous system receive input from body parts as well as from the outside world. The central nervous system is also a means of transmitting messages throughout the body and functions somewhat like a computer system. The messages that are transmitted, however, affect functions such as muscle movement, coordination, learning, memory, emotion, behavior and thought. As with a computer, a breakdown or malfunction in one part of the system often affects other functions of the system.Sensations from hearing, vision, taste, smell, touch, pressure, and movement provide the input to the brain which is organized for movement, cognition and learning. The richness of the sensory environment and the interactive experience of the individual with the environment contibute to optimal development of function.When there is a Sensory Processing dysfunction, it is hypothesized that the brain does not process or organise the flow of sensory impulses in a way that gives the child precise information about themselves and their world.As a result, learning can be difficult and children may feel uncomfortable, or have difficulty coping with the stress of daily sensory and organizational demands. This often results in additional or behavioural difficulties.

Iron Deficient Anemia 

Iron-deficiency anemia for infants in their earlier stages of development may have greater consequences than it does for adults. An infant made severely iron-deficient during its earlier life cannot recover to normal iron levels even with iron therapy. In contrast, iron deficiency during later stages of development can be compensated with sufficient iron supplements. Iron-deficiency anemia affects neurological development by decreasing learning ability, altering motor functions, and permanently reducing the number of dopamine receptors and serotonin levels. Iron deficiency during development can lead to reduced myelination of the spinal chord, as well as a change in myelin composition. Additionally, iron-deficiency anemia has a negative effect on physical growth.  Growth Hormone secretion is related to serum transferrin levels, suggesting a positive correlation between iron-transferrin levels and an increase in height and weight. This is also linked to pica, as it can be a cause.

*Makes us VERY tired and lethargic... Unable to warm up on our own, so if we get cold it is jumpers blankets socks and heat packs.

Acute Food Allergies

Hypersensitivity to Red food colouring (cochineal / carmine)

Sends us to ICU with an acute asthma attack within hours.

Acute Asthma

Sensory Processing Disorder

Oral Aversion 


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