Lyme disease

18/04/2009

 

Lyme disease

 

Lyme disease in North America is predominately caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Borrelia afzelii and borrelia_burgdorferiBorrelia garini cause the majority of Lyme disease cases in Europe. The bacterium causing Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through infected tick bites. However, Borrelia strains can be carried by mice, squirrels and other types of small animals.

 

Types of ticks that transmit Borrelia burgdorferi:

 

  • Black legged tick

  • Deer Tickdeer-tick1

 

 

Symptoms:

 

  • fatigue

  • stabbing and shooting pain

  • blurred vision

  • memory loss and cognitive problems

  • headache

  • swollen joints

  • stiff neck

  • may not always present with characteristic bull’s eye rashbullseye_lyme_disease_rash

Acute or chronic?

  • caught early, one course of antibiotic treatment may be sufficient to treat the infection

  • late stages are very difficult or impossible to completely treat and eradicate

  • may result in long term (even life long) chronic infection

  • Chronic Lyme disease may result in patients who have completed a course of antibiotic treatment yet continue to have symptoms such as severe fatigue, sleep disturbance, and cognitive difficulties.

Chronic Lyme disease is responsible for a range of medical symptoms beyond the objectively recognized manifestations of late Lyme disease. Long-term antibiotic treatment is warranted in these persistent symptomatic cases.

Due to environmental changes such as global warming the range of tick habitat continues to spread throughout North America. This is leading to persons being infected in areas where Lyme disease was previously unheard of.

ticks may now carry and infect an individual with multiple pathogens. This is called co-infection. Co-infection may overwhelm an individual’s immune system. This may result in a longer and more challenging treatment term.

Fetal Infection in Utero:

It has been discovered that Barrellia bacteria are capable to crossing the placenta and infecting the developing fetus in utero.

This can lead to miscarriages.

Additionally, in utero inections may cause severe health complicatrions at or shortly after birth.

A child infected with Barrelia sp. in utero may suffer from permanent developmental disabilities and mental impairment.

Treatment:

antibiotic are used to target the Borrelia sp and cure Lyme disease

  •  doxycycline
  • amoxicillin
  • ceftriaxone

Most cases of Lyme disease can be cured with a 2-4 weeks of treatment

Persons with certain neurological or cardiac forms of illness may require intravenous treatment with:

  •  penicillin 
  • ceftriaxone

 Patients diagnosed in the later stages of the disease can have persistent or recurrent symptoms requiring a longer course of antibiotic treatment.

In some cases with persisent symptoms patients may require long-term antibiotic treatment.

Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation. 2009. retrieved April 18, 2009 from http://www.canlyme.com/

Public Health Agency of Canada. 2009. Lyme Disease. retrived April 18, 2009 from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/id-mi/lyme-fs-eng.php#6

 

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Parkinson’s Disease

18/04/2009

 

Parkinson`s Disease

 

Parkinson`s is a chronic degenerative disease affecting the Central Nervous System (the brain and nerves). As it progresses the disease impairs motor function, speech and other functions.

 

The disease is named after English physician James Parkinson, who made a detailed description of the disease in his essay: “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” (1817).

parkinsons-disease-dopamine-basal-ganglia-schimatic1

 

Primary symptoms:

Parkinson’s disease symptoms result from decreased motor cortex stimulation by the basal ganglion. This results from insufficient dopamine formation by the dopanergic neurons in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the brain essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system.

 

Secondary symptoms:

 

Include a severe cognitive dysfunction and language problems.

 

It is characterized by:

  • muscle rigidity (hypertonia)

  • tremor

  • slowed physical movement (bradykinesis)

  • inability to move in severe cases (akinesis)

  • impaired balence

  • Fatigue

  • Soft Speech (dysphasia)

  • Difficulties with handwriting

  • Stooped posture

  • Constipation

  • Sleep disturbances

 

Genetice links:

 

two possible mutations in the alpha synergic gene may be associated with Parkinson`s

 

the first:

  • the mutation is an missense mutation in the DNA

  • this mutation is a change in the genetic code from a G to an A

  • guanine (G) and adenosine (A) are two of the four building blocks of DNA

 

The second:

  • another missense mutation in the DNA

  • this mutation is a change in the genetice code from a G to a C

  • guamine (G) and cytosine (C) a third of the four building blocks of DNA

parkinsons-missense-mutation

Therapeutic measures and symptom management

 

  • Physical Therapy to help mobility, flexibility and balence

  • Occupational therapy to improve muscle tone and assist with activities of daily living

  • Speech therapy to assist with speech

  • Regular daily excercise to help with muscle and joints flexibility and improve overall health and well-being.

 

Athanassiadou, Aglaia et al. 1997. Mutation in the alpha-synuclein Gene Identidied in Families with Parkinson’s Disease. Science. 276 (5321) 2045-2047.

 

Parkinson’s Society of Canada. 2009. What is Parkinson`s retrived April 17, 2009 from http://www.parkinson.ca/site/c.kgLNIWODKpF/b.3536063/k.CCB3/What_is_Parkinsons.htm