Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on 6 February, 1911 and died on 5 June, 2004. Ronald Reagon was the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Born in Illinois, Ronald Reagan moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s. In July 1989, the Reagans took a trip to Mexico, where Ronald Reagan was thrown off a horse and taken to a hospital for tests. The Reagans returned to the U.S. and visited the Mayo Clinic where they were told President Reagan had a head concussion and a subdural hematoma, and was subsequently operated on. Doctors believe that is what hastened the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, an incurable neurological disorder which ultimately causes brain cells to die, and something Reagan was diagnosed with in 1994.

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What is Dementia?

Dementia is the progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood.

In dementia, affected areas in cognition may be memory, attention, language, and problem solving.

The prevalence of dementia is rising as the global life expectancy is rising. Particularly in Western countries, there is an increasing concern about the economic impact that dementia will have in future, older populaces.

There is no cure to this illness, although scientists are progressing in making a type of medication that will slow down the process. Cholinesterase inhibitors are often used early in the disease course

Tacrine (Cognex), donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Reminyl), and rivastigmine (Exelon) are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of dementia induced by Alzheimer disease. They may be useful for other similar diseases causing dementia such as Parkinsons or vascular dementia.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Edward Hallowell

Edward Hallowell – Edward M. Hallowell is a child and adult psychiatrist who specialises in ADD/ADHD and who also has ADHD. He is the co-author of the book Delivered From Distraction. He also created The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, MA. He is alumni of Harvard and is also on the faculty of Harvard Medical School since 1983. “At the end of first grade, I was still a poor reader, and, to this day, I’m painfully slow at getting through a book…I have a dyslexic brain, a disordered brain, call it what you will. My brain got me through Harvard as an English major and a pre-med minor. I graduated magna cum laude and went on to medical school, residency, and fellowship…If you’re born with a brain that harbors dyslexia, I would say, “Lucky you!” You have untestable and immeasurable potential. You’re a surprise package; no one knows what you can do, including you. But I can tell you from years of experience that you can do special things. You have many talents that can’t be taught, and a brain that eludes the predictive powers of our wisest sayers of sooth.” If you have dyslexia, you may learn to read, but you will read with difficulty. You will struggle to develop fluency, or the ease reading takes on for people who don’t have the condition. For them, reading becomes as automatic as riding a bike. They don’t have to think about maintaining their balance. That’s what it means to be fluent. But for the dyslexic, fluency is tough to acquire. He can read, but only slowly and only with effort and concentration.

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What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder that is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. These seizures are transient signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal, excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.

Epilepsy is usually controlled, but not cured, with medication, although surgery may be considered in difficult cases.

The diagnosis of epilepsy requires that the seizures be unprovoked, with the implication that the provocant is assumed to be something obviously harmful. However, in some epilepsy syndromes, the provocant can reasonably be considered to be part of normal daily life.

Examples of these normal provocants include reading, hot water on the head, hyperventilation, and flashing or flickering lights.

There are many different epilepsy syndromes, each presenting with its own unique combination of seizure type, typical age of onset, EEG findings, treatment, and prognosis.

Epilepsy is usually treated with medication prescribed by a physician; primary caregivers, neurologists, and neurosurgeons all frequently care for people with epilepsy.

In some cases the implantation of a stimulator of the vagus nerve, or a special diet can be helpful. Neurosurgical operations for epilepsy can be palliative, reducing the frequency or severity of seizures; or, in some patients, an operation can be curative.

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What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy or (CP) as it is more commonly known, is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious diseases that cause physical disability in human development.

Cerebral refers to the affected area of the brain, the cerebrum (however the centers have not been perfectly localised and the disease most likely involves connections between the cortex and other parts of the brain such as the cerebellum) and palsy refers to disorder of movement.
The incidence of cerebral palsy is about 2 per 1000 live births. The incidence is higher in males than in females.

All types of CP are characterised by abnormal muscle tone, posture (i.e. slouching over while sitting), reflexes, or motor development and coordination. There can be joint and bone deformities and contractures (permanently fixed, tight muscles and joints). The classical symptoms are spasticity, spasms, other involuntary movements (e.g. facial gestures), unsteady gait, problems with balance, and/or soft tissue findings consisting largely of decreased muscle mass.

Babies born with severe CP often have an irregular posture; their bodies may be either very floppy or very stiff. Birth defects, such as spinal curvature, a small jawbone, or a small head sometimes occur along with CP. Symptoms may appear, change, or become more severe as a child gets older. Some babies born with CP do not show obvious signs right away.

There is no known cure for CP. Medical intervention is limited to the treatment and prevention of complications possible from CP’s consequences.

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Spina Bifida Series-Disabled Legend Jay Bradford Fowler

Jay Bradford Fowler was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 7 July, 1951. In 1987, he received a Bachelor of Arts in English at George Mason University where he was editor of Phoebe-The George Mason Review. He was born with spina bifida a congenital disease in which the spinal column does not close properly. Instead, part of the spinal cord protrudes, which can result in fluid on the brain or other neurological disorders. Fowler has paralysis below the waist. He could walk as a youngster, but he underwent eight operations by the time he was in high school. Fowler was also treated for degenerative arthritis throughout the 1990s.

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