Monday, May 3, 2010


What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is the feeling that you or your environment is moving or spinning. It differs from dizziness in that vertigo describes an illusion of movement. When you feel as if you yourself are moving, it's called subjective vertigo, and the perception that your surroundings are moving is called objective vertigo.


  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Abnormal eye movements


The vertigo can be caused by a problem with the balance mechanisms of the inner ear, a problem with the brain, or a problem with the nerves that connect the brain to the middle ear.


Inflammation of the labyrinth, a system of canals and cavities within the inner ear which gives us our sense of balance.

Vestibular neuritis

The vestibule is in the inner ear. The vestibule and the semicircular canals work with the brain to control balance. Vestibular neuritis is inflammation of the vestibular nerve (the nerve running to the vestibule).

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

The vestibular labyrinth, inside the ear, includes semicircular canals (loop-shaped structures) that contain fluid and tiny hair-like sensors that monitor the rotation of the head. The otolith organs, also in the ear, monitor movements of the head and its position. There are crystals in the otolith organs that make us sensitive to movement. Sometimes, when the patient is lying down, these crystals can become dislodged and move into one of the semicircular canals, making it sensitive to head position changes - something it would not normally do. This unusual response to head movements by the semicircular canal can give patients vertigo symptoms.

Meniere's disease

Dysfunction of the semi-circular canals (endolymphatic sac) in the inner ear.

Head injury

Some patients can develop vertigo after a head injury



Usually characterized by periodic headaches and some vision problems, such as seeing stars (as if someone had quickly flashed a strong light in your eyes). Some migraine patients also experience dizziness and vertigo. In fact, for some migraine patients, vertigo can eventually become the only symptom.


Dehydration may lead to feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness, and/or vertigo, especially when changing positions. This symptom is due to a drop in blood pressure.

Boat, airplane, car travel (motion sickness)

Some people experience vertigo during and/or after a plane, boat, or even a car trip. This may last from a few minutes, hours to a couple of days.


Some people who have been in a strong earthquake can suddenly feel that the firm ground around them moves long after the earthquake is over. This sudden sensation can occur on-and-off over a number of days, and sometimes weeks.


Treatments depend on the causes of the vertigo.

Treatment for Labyrinthitis

In most cases, labyrinthitis resolves itself without any treatment. If it is caused by a bacterial infection the doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
If symptoms are severe and the patient has suffered hearing loss from one ear the doctor may perform a labyrinthectomy - surgical removal of the vestibular labyrinth. After the operation the other ear will take over the patient's hearing and balance. A labyrinthectomy results in total hearing loss of the affected ear; therefore it is only performed if that ear has already suffered serious hearing loss.

Treatment for Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Canalith repositioning procedure - the doctor, audiologist or physical therapist may treat the patient with a series of movements. These consist of several simple and slow maneuvers for positioning the patient's head. The aim is to move particles from the fluid in the semicircular canals of the inner ear into a vestibule (small bag like open area) where the otolith organs are - if the particles can be moved there they won't cause any problems and are more easily absorbed.
Each head position is held for about 30 seconds after vertigo symptoms or abnormal eye movements stop. The patient must avoid lying flat or placing the affected ear below shoulder level for a specified period after treatment - usually about a week, but this may vary. This will mean propping the head up with some pillows while sleeping so that it is higher than the rest of the body.
If the canalith repositioning procedure does not work there is the option of surgery. A bone plug is used to block the portion of the inner ear that causes the dizziness.

Treatment for Meniere's disease

There is no cure for Meniere's Disease; however there is treatment for the symptoms

Group members:

  1. Nik Areena
  2. Alya
  3. Khairunisa


What is Vertigo? Vertigo is the feeling that you or your environment is moving or spinning. As if you feel like your flying or about to fall. It differs from dizziness in that vertigo describes an illusion of movement. When you feel as if you yourself are moving, it's called subjective vertigo, and the perception that your surroundings are moving is called objective vertigo.

There are three types of general medical disease topics related to Vertigo, which are:

  1. Balance disorders
  2. Brain conditions
  3. Ear conditions

Problems in the brain or the inner ear can cause vertigo.

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of vertigo and is characterized by the sensation of motion initiated by sudden head movements or moving the head in a certain direction. This type of vertigo can be easily treated because it is rarely serious.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vertigo may also be caused by inflammation within the inner ear (labyrinthitis), which is characterized by the sudden onset of vertigo and may be associated with hearing loss. The most common cause of labyrinthitis is a viral or bacterial infection in the ear.
  • Meniere's disease is composed of a triad of symptoms: episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. People have the abrupt onset of severe vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, as well as periods in which they are symptom-free.
  • Acoustic neuroma is a type of tumor that can cause vertigo. Symptoms include vertigo with one-sided ringing in the ear and hearing loss.
  • Vertigo can be caused by decreased blood flow to the base of the brain. Bleeding into the back of the brain (cerebellar hemorrhage) is characterized by vertigo, headache, difficulty walking, and inability to look toward the side of the bleed. The result is that the person's eyes gaze away from the side with the problem. Walking is also extremely impaired.
  • Vertigo is often the presenting symptom in multiple sclerosis. The onset is usually abrupt, and examination of the eyes may reveal the inability of the eyes to move past the mid-line toward the nose.
  • Head trauma and neck injury may also result in vertigo, which usually goes away on its own.

Vertigo is a very common symptom. Even celebrities like Janet Jackson have vertigo. Other than that, one of our group member's mothers has Vertigo, too. It is not something serious, but it can be. One should always take precaution when one has it.

If anyone who needs help with vertigo, they could refer to a book called The Consumer Handbook on Dizziness and Vertigo

Thank you.

Group members:
  1. Renia
  2. Namirah
  3. Nadiah KA

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dyslexia - Aini, Noddy and Fatihah

Peter is a little boy. He works so hard at reading, but it just never gets easier. He knows he's smart so why can't he read like the other kids? Peter has a problem called dyslexia.

Dyslexia (pronounced: dis-lek-see-uh) is a learning problem that some kids have. Dyslexia is a reading and spelling disorder. The problem is inside the brain, but it doesn't mean the person is dumb. Plenty of smart and talented people struggle with dyslexia. Among some of those famous people who have dyslexia are,

· Walt Disney, founder of Disneyland, cartoonist

· Thomas Edison, inventor

· Leonardo Da Vinci, Renaissance artist

· Orlando Bloom, actor

· Tom Cruise, actor

· Richard Branson, English Entrepreneur, founder of Virgin brand

This proves that dyslexia doesn't have to keep a kid down. With some help and a lot of hard work, a kid who has dyslexia can learn to read and spell.

The most common childhood dyslexia symptoms are when a child:

  • Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Trouble with word problems
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip
  • Slow or poor recall of facts
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Delay in learning tasks such as tying shoes & telling time
  • Inattentiveness; distractibility
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Left-right confusion
  • Difficulty learning the alphabet, times tables, words of songs or rhymes
  • Poor playground skills
  • Difficulty learning to read
  • Mixing the order of letters or numbers while reading or writing

How Does Reading Happen?

To understand dyslexia, it helps to understand reading. Reading is a real workout for your brain. You need to do the following steps — and all at once:

  1. Understand the way speech sounds make up words.
  2. Focus on printed marks (letters and words).
  3. Connect speech sounds to letters.
  4. Blend letter sounds smoothly into words.
  5. Control eye movements across the page.
  6. Build images and ideas.
  7. Compare new ideas with what is already known.
  8. Store the ideas in memory.

Phew! Kids who have dyslexia struggle with the beginning steps, so that makes doing the rest of the steps even harder. It's no surprise, then, that trying to read and dealing with dyslexia makes a kid's brain really tired, really fast.

How Kids Become Readers

Most kids start learning to read by learning how speech sounds make up words. Then they connect those sounds to alphabet letters. For example, they learn that the letter "b" makes a "buh" sound.

Then kids learn to blend those sounds into words. They learn that "b" and "at" makes "bat." Eventually, most kids don't have to sound words out and can instantly recognize words they've seen many times before.

But it's tougher for kids who have dyslexia. They may struggle to remember simple words they have seen many times and to sound out longer words. Why is it so hard?

Dyslexia means that a person's brain has trouble processing letters and sounds. That makes it tough to break words into separate speech sounds, like b-a-t for bat. When it's hard to do that, it's really hard to connect speech sounds to different letters, like "buh" for b, and blend them into words.

So, a kid who has dyslexia will read slowly and might make a lot of mistakes. Sometimes he or she will mix up letters in a word, such as reading the word "was" as "saw." Words may blend together wrong and look like this:

Making Reading Easier

Most kids with dyslexia can learn to read with the right kind of teaching. They might learn new ways for remembering sounds. For example, "p" and "b" are called brother sounds because they're both "lip poppers." You have to press your lips together to make the sound.

Thinking about the way the mouth needs to move to make sounds can help kids read more easily. Learning specialists know lots of special activities like this to teach reading to kids who have dyslexia.

Kids with dyslexia also might use flash cards or tape classroom lessons and homework assignments instead of taking notes about them. They may need parents and tutors to help them stay caught up.

How Do Kids With Dyslexia Feel?

Kids who have dyslexia might get frustrated, ang

ry, or sad because reading and spelling are so hard. They may not like being in a different reading group than their friends or having to see a special reading tutor.

But getting this help is so important and will help them go on to do great things in life. Some of the most creative and successful people have dyslexia, but it didn't stop them from chasing their dreams and becoming successful in what they have achieved.

Friday, April 30, 2010

An Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger's Syndrome)

Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neurobiological disorder that is part of a group of conditions called autism spectrum disorders. The term "autism spectrum" refers to a range of developmental disabilities that includes autism as well as other disorders with similar characteristics.

They are known as spectrum disorders because the symptoms of each can appear in different combinations and in varying degrees of severity: two children with the same diagnosis, though they may share certain patterns of behavior, can exhibit a wide range of skills and abilities.

Signs and Symptoms

These signs and symptoms might be present in a child with AS:

· inappropriate or minimal social interactions

· conversations almost always revolving around self rather than others

· "scripted," "robotic," or repetitive speech

· lack of "common sense"

· problems with reading, math, or writing skills

· obsession with complex topics such as patterns or music

· average to below-average nonverbal cognitive abilities, though verbal cognitive

abilities are usually average to above-average

· awkward movements

· odd behaviors or mannerisms

It's important to note that, unlike kids with autism, those with AS might show no delays in language development; they usually have good grammatical skills and an advanced vocabulary at an early age. However, they typically do exhibit a language disorder — they might be very literal and have trouble using language in a social context.

Often there are no obvious delays in cognitive development or in age-appropriate self-help skills such as feeding and dressing themselves. Although kids with AS can have problems with attention span and organization, and have skills that seem well developed in some areas and lacking in others, they usually have average and sometimes above-average intelligence.

What Causes Asperger Syndrome?

Researchers and mental health experts are still investigating the causes of autism and AS. Many believe that the pattern of behavior that characterizes AS may have many causes. There seems to be a hereditary component to AS, and research indicates that in some cases AS may be associated with other mental health disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Researchers are also looking into whether environmental factors that affect brain development might play a role.

Contrary to the incorrect assumptions some may make about people with the disorder, AS is not caused by emotional deprivation or the way a person has been brought up. Because some of the behaviors exhibited by someone with AS may be seen by others as intentionally rude, many people wrongly assume that AS is the result of bad parenting — it isn't. It's a neurobiological disorder whose causes are not yet fully understood.

Currently, there is no cure for the disorder — kids with AS become adults with AS. But many lead full and happy lives, and the likelihood of achieving this is enhanced with appropriate education, support, and resources.

Treating Asperger Syndrome

Because AS can present patterns of behaviors and problems that differ widely from child to child, there isn't a "typical" or prescribed treatment regimen. However, your child may benefit from the following forms of treatment:

· specialized educational interventions the child

· social skills training

· language therapy

· sensory integration training for younger kids, usually performed by

an occupational therapist, in which they are desensitized to stimuli

to which they're overly sensitive

· psychotherapy or behavioral/cognitive therapy for older children

· medications

In conclusion it's important to know that many people can provide assistance. Finding the right program for your child is key and getting help early is important. Kids with AS can and do experience great gains with the appropriate treatment and education.


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Done by:


Nurul Nadirah


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. This dsease basically causes loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. This disease refers to a group of diseases that affect motor neurones. There are other diseases of the motor neuron that should not be confused with MND such as spinobulbar muscular atrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and many others.
About 90% of cases of MND are "sporadic", meaning that the patient has no family history of ALS and the case appears to have occurred with no known cause. Genetic factors are suspected to be important in determining an individual's susceptibility to disease, and there is some weak evidence to suggest that onset can be "triggered" by as yet unknown environmental factor.
Approximately 10% of cases are "familial MND", defined either by a family history of MND or by testing positive for a known genetic mutation associated with the disease. The following genes are known to be linked to ALS: Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase SOD1, ALS2, NEFH (a small number of cases), senataxin (SETX) and vesicle associated protein B (VAPB).
Symptoms usually present themselves between the ages of 50-70, and include progressive weakness, muscle wasting, and muscle fasciculations, spasticity or stiffness in the arms and legs, and overactive tendon reflexes. Patients may present with symptoms as diverse as a dragging foot, unilateral muscle wasting in the hands, or slurred speech.
Neurological examination presents specific signs associated with upper and lower motor neurone degeneration. Signs of upper motor neurone damage include spasticity, brisk reflexes and the Babinski sign. Signs of lower motor neurone damage include weakness and muscle atrophy.
Note that every muscle group in the body requires both upper and lower motor neurones to function. The signs described above can occur in any muscle group, including the arms, legs, torso, and bulbar region.The symptoms described above may resemble a number of other rare diseases, known as "MND Mimic Disorders". These include, but are not limited to, multifocal motor neuropathy, Kennedy's disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia, spinal muscular atrophy and monomelic amyotrophy.
A small subset of familial MND cases occur in children, such as "juvenile ALS", Madras syndrome, and individuals who have inherited the ALS2 gene. However, these are not typically referred to as MND, but by their specific names
Currently there is no cure for ALS. The only drug that affects the course of the disease is riluzole. The drug functions by blocking the effects of the neurotransmitter glutamate, and is thought to extend the lifespan of an ALS patient by only a few months.
The lack of effective medications to slow the progression of ALS does not mean that patients with ALS cannot be medically cared for. Instead, treatment of patients with ALS focuses on the relief of symptoms associated with the disease. This involves a variety of health professionals including neurologists, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, respiratory therapists, social workers, palliative care specialists, specialist nurses and psychologists.
Most cases of MND progress quite quickly, with noticeable decline occurring over the course of months. Although symptoms may present in one region, they will typically spread. If restricted to one side of the body they are more likely to progress to the same region on the other side of the body before progressing to a new region. After several years, most patients require help to carry out activities of daily living such as self care, feeding, and transportation.
MND is typically fatal within 2–5 years. Around 50% die within 14 months of diagnosis. The remaining 50% will not necessarily die within the next 14 months as the distribution is significantly skewed. As a rough estimate, 1 in 5 patients survive for 5 years, and 1 in 10 patients survive 10 years.Professor Stephen Hawking is a well-known example of a person with MND, and has lived for more than 40 years with the disease.
Mortality normally results when control of the diaphragm is impaired and the ability to breathe is lost. One exception is PLS, which may last for upwards of 25 years. Given the typical age of onset, this effectively leaves most PLS patients with a normal life span. PLS can progress to ALS, decades later. Around a third of all MND patients experience labile affect, also known as emotional lability, pseudobulbar affect, or pathological laughter and crying.
The incidence of MND is approximately 1–5 out of 100,000 people. Men have a slightly higher incidence rate than women. Approximately 5,600 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. By far the greatest risk factor is age, with symptoms typically presenting between the ages of 50-70. Cases under the age of 50 years are called "young onset MND", whilst incidence rates appear to tail off after the age of 85.
Tentative environmental risk factors identified so far include: exposure to severe electrical shock leading to coma, having served in the first Gulf War, and playing Association football (soccer). However, these findings have not been firmly identified and more research is needed.
There are three "hot spots" of MND in the world. One is in the Kii peninsula of Japan, one amongst a tribal population in Papua New Guinea. Chamorro inhabitants from the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean have an increased risk of developing a form of MND known as Guamanian ALS-PD-dementia complex or "lytico bodig", although the incidence rate has declined over the last 50 years and the average age of onset has increased.
Putative theories involve neurotoxins in the traditional diet including cycad nut flour and bats that have eaten cycad nuts.The search for a drug that will slow MND progression is under way. Agents that are currently in trials include ceftriaxone, arimoclomol, IGF-1, lithium and coenzyme Q10 to name but a few.
In conclusion, Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a rare disease that affects the mobility of the body which in some cases will eventually lead to death. Currently, there is no known cure for this disease. However, we should not underestimate the people who have this disease as they can be strong and survive long enough to benefit the society such as Stephen Hawkings.


Dyslexia is a learning disability that manifests primarily as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading and spelling.

Dyslexia symptoms vary according to the severity of the disorder as well as the age of the individual.

With pre-school age children
It is difficult to obtain a certain diagnosis of dyslexia before a child begins school, but many dyslexic individuals have a history of difficulties that began well before kindergarten. Children who exhibit these symptoms have a higher risk of being diagnosed as dyslexic than other children. Some of these symptoms are:
* Delay in learning to speak
* Learns new words slowly
* Has difficulty rhyming words, as in nursery rhymes
* Late in establishing a dominant hand

With Early elementary school-age children
* Difficulty learning the alphabet
* Difficulty with associating sounds with the letters that represent them.
* Difficulty identifying or generating rhyming words, or counting syllables in words
* Difficulty segmenting words into individual sounds, or blending sounds to make words
* Difficulty with word retrieval or naming problems
* Difficulty learning to decode words
* Confusion with before/after, right/left, over/under, and so on
* Difficulty distinguishing between similar sounds in words; mixing up sounds in multisyllable words

With Older elementary school children
* Slow or inaccurate reading
* Very poor spelling
* Difficulty associating individual words with their correct meanings
* Difficulty with time keeping and concept of time
* Difficulty with organization skills
* Due to fear of speaking incorrectly, some children become withdrawn and shy or become bullies out of their inability to understand the social cues in their environment
* Difficulty comprehending rapid instructions, following more than one command at a time or remembering the sequence of things
* Reversals of letters (b for d) and a reversal of words (saw for was) are typical among children who have dyslexia. Reversals are also common for children age 6 and younger who don't have dyslexia. But with dyslexia, the reversals persist.
* Children with dyslexia may fail to see (and occasionally to hear) similarities and differences in letters and words, may not recognize the spacing that organizes letters into separate words, and may be unable to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word.


Dyslexia is an inherited condition. Researchers have determined that a gene on the short arm of chromosome is responsible for dyslexia. That gene is dominant, making dyslexia highly heritable. It definitely runs in families.

Dyslexia results from a neurological difference; that is, a brain difference. People with dyslexia have a larger right-hemisphere in their brains than those of normal readers. That may be one reason people with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right-side of the brain, such as artistic, athletic, and mechanical gifts; 3-D visualization ability; musical talent; creative problem solving skills; and intuitive people skills.

In addition to unique brain architecture, people with dyslexia have unusual "wiring". Neurons are found in unusual places in the brain, and are not as neatly ordered as in non-dyslexic brains.

In addition to unique brain architecture and unusual wiring, studies have shown that people with dyslexia do not use the same part of their brain when reading as other people. Regular readers consistently use the same part of their brain when they read. People with dyslexia do not use that part of their brain, and there appears to be no consistent part used among dyslexic readers.

It is therefore assumed that people with dyslexia are not using the most efficient part of their brain when they read. A different part of their brain has taken over that function.


Multi-Sensory Approach

The multi sensory approach takes the importance away from reading and directs it more towards hearing the material and getting involved with it while learning. For example, for a child to be more fluent read out loud, try letting them listen to the book on tape while following along before reading it out loud by themselves. Younger children can also learn by tracing the letters of the alphabet and saying the sound that the specific letter makes. Then when they get stuck they can think of the shape and connect the sound with the shape. This approach is all about making the right connections in order to avoid the difficulties that comes with dyslexia.


Encouragement is just as important as any other treatment options. If a child/student feels discouraged they are not going to want to eve attempt the treatments. One of the most popular ways to encourage a child is to show them how many successful people have dyslexia. Show them a list of great athletes or writers and name all of them, then, point out that they were all dyslexic. Showing them that they can still be just as successful or even better then people without their disability.

"bed" trick

For students that get their “b's” and “d's” mixed up they can use the bed trick. Students take each hand and connect their forefinger and their thumbs together. The left hand forms a b and the right hand forms a d, and if they picture an “e” in the middle. It will spell "bed". Then whenever they get stuck they can think of the "bed" trick and remember what each letter looks like.

"bed" trick




Monday, April 26, 2010

Down Syndrome

The physical structure of Down syndrome babies
The image of the extra of the 21st chromosomes

Down Syndrome, otherwise known as Down's Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder where there is an extra of the 21st chromosome. This syndrome was named after the physician who described the syndrome in 1866, John Langdon Down. The condition is characterized by a combination of major and minor differences in structure. Down Syndrome foetus can be identified with amniocentesis during pregnancy or in a baby at birth.

Many of the common physical features of Down syndrome may also appear in people with a standard of chromosomes , including, abnormally small chin, unsually round face, protuding tonge, wide forehead and many more. Down syndrome includes a higher risk for compulsive heart defects, recurrent ear infections , thyroid dysfunctions and more. Some physical genetic limitations of Down syndrome cannot be overcome. However, education and proper care will improve the quality of life of a Down syndrome individual.

The medical consenquences of the extra genetic material in Down syndrome are highly variable and may affect the function of any organ system or processes of certain cells. Down syndrome can result from several different genetic mechanisms. This results in a wide variety in individual symptoms due to complex gene and environment interactions. Prior to birth, it is not possible to predict the symptoms that an individual with Down syndrome will develop. Some problems are present at birth such as, heart malformations. Others become obvious over time such as epilepsy. The most common indications of Down syndrome are the facial features, venticular septal defect, hearing deficits , short stature and more.

In education, mainstreaming of children with Down syndrome is becoming less controversial in many countries. Mainstreaming is whereby the process of differing students with different abilities to be placed in classes with their chronological peers. Children with Down syndrome may benefit from mainstreaming provided that some adjusments are made to the curriculum. Some european contries such as Germany and Denmark advise a two-teacher system , whereby the second teacher takes over a group of children with disabilities within the class. A popular alternative is cooperation between special schools and mainstream schools. The core subjects are taught in seperate classes, which neither slows down the typical students nor neglects the students with disabilities.

Treatment of individuals with Down syndrome depends on the particular manifestations of the disorder. For instance, individuals with cognital hear disease may need to undergo major corrective surgery soon after birth. Other individuals may have relatively minor health problems requiring no therapy. Plastic surgery has sometimes been advocated and performed on children with Down syndrome, based on the assumption that surgery can reduce the facial features associated with Down syndrome ,therefore, decreasing social stigma , and leading to a better quality of life.

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Done by ;
-Nurul Aiman
-Aliah Hisham
-Nur Sarah