T = TOURETTE SYNDROME

TTourette Syndrome (TS) is considered a chronic condition that is first noticed in childhood and lasts a lifetime.  The worst symptoms usually are in their early teens and continues through late teens into adulthood.  It does seem to run in families, but the experts that ‘be’ do not agree on whether or not it is inherited.  TS has been thought to  stem from parts of the brain, especially the basal ganglia, where nerve cells and the chemicals carry messages to control body movements. Researchers continue to look for the cause of the problem.

Tourette Syndrome was first described by a French Neurologist, Dr, Georges Gilles de la Tourette in 1885.  It is defined as a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and sounds called tics. A tic is something like a twitch or a hiccup that is not planned or wanted. To be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, a person must have at least two tics that affect body movement and one that is a sound.  About 100,000 to 200,000 people in the United States have Tourette Syndrome.  It occurs in all ethnic groups, and three to four times more males are affected than females.

The child may frequently  have more than one tic at one time and they can continue for the entire day.  The one time the child seems to get some relief is when he/she is relaxing (listening to music), or concentrating (working on the computer)  It may not completely go away, but much less.  But under stress (studying for a test) or excited (a party or sports game) the tics usually get worse.  Over time the type of tic usually changes, and as the person is coming into adulthood, they become less frequent.  It is rare for an extreme case of Tourette’s to continue into adulthood.  Most children are on medications.  It is not unusual for the child to have other disorders, such as ADHD, or OCD.  It is important to identify and diagnose the condition and treat them appropriately.

There are two types of tics:

Motor Tics:

1.  Arm or head jerking

2.  Blinking

3.  Making a Face

4.  Mouth Twitching

5.  Shoulder Shrugging

Vocal Tics

1.  Barking and Yelping

2.  Clearing your throat or grunting

3.  Coughing or Sniffing

4.  Shouting or swearing

5.  Repeating what others say

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R = REYE’S SYNDROME

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Reye’s Syndrome (RS) was first reported on in 1963 by R. Douglas ‘s, an Australian pathologist.  There seems to be a link between the use of aspirin (salicylate) or other aspirin containing products either during a viral disease or toward the end of the disease.  The two most common are the flu (Influenza) or the Chicken Pox. Reye’s Syndrome is usually found in children from 4 to 14 years old, although it can strike anyone from infancy to adulthood.

The number of cases of RS has continually decreased since the link between viruses and aspirin products was first made and doctors began emphasizing the importance of not using aspirin when a child is experiencing a viral illness.  The flu and chicken pox tend to occur in the winter months.  The campaign to wipe out Reye’s Syndrome completely, continues through educating the parents not to mix children with aspirin.

Reye’s Syndrome can start from day 1 to 2 weeks after the viral infection.  The symptoms may be mild, even not recognized, but it also can be severe and require aggressive action.  The viral infection that led to Reye’s Syndrome is contagious but the Syndrome itself is not.  Early treatment increases the chances of a successful recovery.

The symptoms are usually frequent vomiting, sleepiness or tiredness, and mental-status changes.  Babies may have diarrhea, irritability and rapid breathing.  Other symptoms may include:  A change in vision, difficulty hearing, and abnormal speech.  The child may seem confused or have severe muscle weakness, seizures, and loss of consciousness.  The child will probably not have a fever.

When the lab work is done the tests will show elevated liver enzymes (without jaundice) and ammonia level, and low serum glucose levels.  The toxins cause increased pressure in the brain with swelling that leads to brain dysfunction and could possibly lead to death.  Reyes is often mistaken for a number of other diseases such as:  Meningitis, Encephalitis, Diabetes, Drug Overdose, Sudden Infant Death, Toxic Ingestion, Head Trauma, Head Trauma, Renal or Hepatic Failure, or poisoning.  It is vital that the parent to encourage the doctor to look twice and consider Reye’s Syndrome.

There is no cure for Reye’s Syndrome.  The treatment is generally supportive.

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Disclaimer: The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information should consult with a qualified healthcare professional.

Q = QUANDRY

Yes.  I have been trying to think of a child’s condition that begins with a ‘Q’, but I am in a Quandary.  There are some, but aren’t really appropriate for my posts.  They are very rare or are seen in adults.  So, I am sorry that I have to skip this letter, but, as you all know I am way behind on my alphabet.  Take this free day to look up a Quote, go on a Quest, study for a Quiz, just don’t Quit!!  I am on my way to finish ‘R.’