FAQ - disease progression
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I would like to find out how to get free nascar merchandise for a diehard fan I know who has the disease hd?

What is Huntington's Disease?
Huntington's disease (HD) results from genetically programmed degeneration of brain cells, called neurons, in certain areas of the brain. This degeneration causes uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbance. HD is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation in the normal gene. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene. If a child does not inherit the HD gene, he or she will not develop the disease and cannot pass it to subsequent generations. A person who inherits the HD gene will sooner or later develop the disease. Whether one child inherits the gene has no bearing on whether others will or will not inherit the gene. Some early symptoms of HD are mood swings, depression, irritability or trouble driving, learning new things, remembering a fact, or making a decision. As the disease progresses, concentration on intellectual tasks becomes increasingly difficult and the patient may have difficulty feeding himself or herself and swallowing. The rate of disease progression and the age of onset vary from person to person. A genetic test, coupled with a complete medical history and neurological and laboratory tests, helps physicians diagnose HD. Presymptomic testing is available for individuals who are at risk for carrying the HD gene. In 1 to 3 percent of individuals with HD, no family history of HD can be found.

Is there any treatment?
Physicians prescribe a number of medications to help control emotional and movement problems associated with HD. Most drugs used to treat the symptoms of HD have side effects such as fatigue, restlessness, or hyperexcitability. It is extremely important for people with HD to maintain physical fitness as much as possible, as individuals who exercise and keep active tend to do better than those who do not.

What is the prognosis?
At this time, there is no way to stop or reverse the course of HD. Now that the HD gene has been located, investigators are continuing to study the HD gene with an eye toward understanding how it cause disease in the human body.

Try contacting the person's favorite racing team through their web site. Tell them your friend's story and see if they will help.  (+ info)

in aids virus how is it that we can determine the nature of the disease?

research has shown us that this particular disease has a specific nature, i'm wondering what that nature would be to any one's specific defence system or how it may effect it in the fututre of progression. I f any comments please give.

Actually, this "disease" is rather non-specific. "AIDS" Patients may have any one of 30 AIDS-defining diseases according to "AIDS", however, even immunodeficiency - considered the hallmark of "AIDS" is not necessarily required. For example, Kaposi's sarcoma, dementia, and weight loss may occur without immunodeficiency. Thus, there is no AIDS-specific disease.

AIDS patients have antibody against HIV in common only by definition-not by natural coincidence. AIDS-defining diseases of HIV-free patients are called by their old names.

nlike the West, AIDS in Africa is diagnosed without any laboratory tests. Patients are classified as AIDS cases without laboratory proof that they have either immunodeficiency or HIV infection. All that is required is to have various clinical conditions. But the conditions accepted as forming the "S"(syndrome) of "AIDS" in Africa bear no relationship to AIDS in the West. In the West, AIDS is diagnosed if a person has one or more of approximately 27 relatively rare diseases.

However in Africa, AIDS is diagnosed according to the World Health Organization's 1986/87 Bangui" definitions that can best be described as a collage of common non-specific symptoms, such as cough, fever, diarrhea, tuberculosis (TB) and a cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma. Every one of these diseases, including Kaposi's sarcoma, have been endemic in Africa for generations.

Kaposi's sarcoma, for example, was described in the Ebers papyrus dating from 1600 BC. (In the West, Kaposi's sarcoma is restricted to gay men.) Of the 661 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, 2-3 million have active TB with an annual mortality of 790,000. Despite this and the fact that in adults, "HIV infection" usually follows TB infection, TB has now become an AIDS defining illness. In fact, 30-50% of African "AIDS" deaths are from TB. In spite of all this, AIDS experts expect that we should accept that something "new" is afoot in Africa and that it is caused by a new agent, HIV. Suddenly, a new disease, caused by a new agent has appeared. The old diseases and their deleterious effects on the immune system are no longer operative.

Many AIDS experts also expect us to believe that unlike the story in the West, in Africa AIDS is spread predominantly by heterosexual contact. Indeed, since the number of heterosexual cases in the West is too small to be statistically meaningful, the African "evidence" is used to forecast the same predicament in the West. The claim of heterosexual spread in Africa is based on absence of "evidence of homosexual transmission or intravenous drugs" and the approximately equal numbers of males and females who have AIDS as well as positive antibody tests. The latter certainly does not prove that AIDS is heterosexually spread-influenza and appendicitis also have an equal sex distribution.  (+ info)

Alzheimer's Disease Progression? My Mom has AD. She rarely speaks now, but can still walk. She is 66 now.

She has been on Aricept for 4 years. Recently, she has begun to hit dad and scream uncontrollably at times. She also removes her clothes and wanders at times. Her doctor has added sedatives to try to keep her calm and at home as long as possible. She cannot be left alone at all now. She is still able to control her bladder and bowels. She eats little, but can still eat. She weighs 84lbs now.

What happens now? I know it gets worse instead of better. Can anyone tell us what you have seen in your loved ones with this disease and how it progresses. How much longer does he have with her? And how can we convince him that he can get help instead of trying to do it all alone? We would like to see home health care come in at times.

Do you have any information or suggestions?

I am a home care nurse. You're right I wont lie to you it is only going to get worse. All of the symptoms you describe are classic. Some relief may come when she is no longer able to walk but, that's when the heavy lifting, diapers, bed sores, and choking really start to happen. In my opinion (I am not a doctor) your mother is already gone. The woman you knew just isn't able to show herself anymore. Its you father you really need to be worried about. I don't know where you live but if you email me I will do my best to locate resources in your area that may be able to help. It sounds like she is nearing the end. I would say this will probably be over within eight months to a year. Sorry your family is going through this. I see it everyday and the damage it does not only to the patient but the whole family...Its a NASTY disease that robs a person of their own existence. Hope I can help.  (+ info)

Does anyone know the progression of ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease??

like a timeline

My friends husband just died from that disease this past June. He was diagnosed a year ago in July with an advanced stage, so we figured he had it for a long time. His doctor gave him a year to a yearand a half, but he only made it10 months. This is one hell of a disease, and I pray some day they will find a cure.  (+ info)

What's a good exercise program for a person with a Parkinson's disease?

Please include intensity, duration, frequency, modality, and methods utilized to determine progression of the exercise program.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to exercise for Parkinson's disease.

As you already know, stiffness-rigidity, balance, breathing, depression, gait issues can make exercise much more difficult.

How one exercises may depend upon physical symptoms, the current physical condition of the patient, finances, accessibility to therapy centers and so on.

Many patients, especially younger patients already had an exercise routine and try to continue with that. They play sports and they work out in a variety of ways. Jogging if possible, lifting weights, swimming.

At a therapy center each patient is observed and a specific routine is designed for them. My husband's program was designed specifically for him.

He uses mostly nautilus equipment and the swimming pool at the center. He has a check list of exercises and reps. He also uses the recumbent bike. The center recently added another type of recumbent, an elliptical one which took a while to learn as the settings are different.

He has not been in the pool recently because he felt that due to the pain from an arthritic knee on his "bad" side he needed to strengthen his leg muscles.

Swim therapy is mostly walking, knee bending and the like because the water supports a patient with poorer balance. He has still not been given the go ahead to use the treadmill even after many months. In total his time at the center is about an hour a day or almost 2 hours when he uses the pool.

Every few months he meets with a therapist who observes and tests him to determine his progress and revise his program. He says this particular therapist was even more thorough than his neurologist.

What the therapist observed was my husband walking, the distance he could walk, the way he walked (shuffled) stride, posture. Range of motion was tested in arms and legs. Ability to turn and maintain balance. The pitch of his feet - his left foot rolls over

Warm up on a recumbent bike for 10 minutes. Leg curls on nautilus 15 reps, abdominal machine 15 reps, triceps press separately on each arm 15 reps each, "vertical chest" pushing and pulling 50lbs or right side and then 30 lbs on left (bad) side. Exercise on table to stretch upper torso. Yoga neck exercises and then feet exercises. Then onto the semi-recumbent eliptical trainer bike for 15 minutes of cool-down.
Leg extension, leg curls are also included.

My husband walks slowly with a cane but can manage turning carefully - it is different for PD patients with stiffness and balance issues. If he didn't have such painful arthritis, I think that his gait and balance would be quite different. He doesn't like to walk through the pain and is concerned about his knee giving out.

There are a number of other specific exercises which can be done at home, in a chair or lying down to help individual areas. Breathing/swallowing/voice exercises are also a crucial part of an exercise routine for PD.

You can read about home exercises and see some photos by checking here:
Just scroll down the right column to the topic by topic index and also for quick voice exercises and photos.

It is important to exercise during "on" times if you are on levadopa meds. Equally important to be aware of balance issues so that you are working on them through exercise and do not put yourself in a posistion where you are alone but could fall.

Exercise is best in the morning or afternoon. It is not a good idea for PD patients to exercise in the evening - a few hours before sleep as sleep issues can be a serious problem for the PDer and late exercise can interfer.  (+ info)

Husband was just diagnosed w/Kennedy's Disease & I want to know what the progression & disabilities will be.?

The Dr.s have spent the past 3 yrs trying to figure out what was causing my husband to have severe muscular erosion and atrophy. He was losing his balance constantly while doing basic day to day activities. The Dr.s went through a list of things they thought he might have, the major ones being ALS and Lyme Disease. Kennedy's is neurological and is similar to ALS in that it may and most often results in loss of arms,legs, requiring wheelchair, in some cases a feeding tube & constant care, it will not affect the mind or the ability to make sane and sound choices. The only way the Dr.s could 100% say it was Kennedy's & not ALS was to do a muscle biopsy on my husbands thigh. We know that Kennedy's is passed on from mothers to their sons and that the daughters only carry the gene & therefor will pass on the disease itself to their sons.

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I am writing a story, I need to know the name of a terminal disease with quick onset and progression.?

The disease needs to have a very quick onset, maybe up to a week, and it needs to progress fairly quickly. Also it has to be a terminal diseae. For it to be a terminal disease it needs to be deadly if not caught soon enough or if advanced treatment is needed for it to be treated.

-Character needs to die fast (one to two weeks or so)

-No super noticeable outward signs until too late

Nobody is supposed to be able to tell she is dying. It is supposed to come on too quickly for anybody to do anything about it. Also the only medical help available is a small town doctor.

Any suggestions?

  (+ info)

How can I help someone I know who has Parkinson's disease accept the fact that it is progressing? She is 80?

and feels sad alot and cries alot. It has progressed alot in the last few months. She says she cries because she can't do the things she used to do. Any advice on how to get her to understand that there is a progression to Parkinson's.
She is already taking an antidepressant.

Oh I have seen that, my mother has had PD for 13 yrs now and I would say the first 4 to 5 years was emotionally challenging for my mother. The things she would say, like "If I was a horse, they'd take me out in the field and shoot my #ss" that is something that was out of character for her to say. She would cry as well, and she didn't even tell her best friend about her diagnosis until many months later.
It wasn't until I began to show mom that humorous attitude is the way around these emotions, to laugh at PD, not let it get the best of us and I say us because never should it be a one person disease, this is OUR disease and we will fight this together and that is the attitude to take with PD. My mother also felt like a burden and I sat with her and expressed how much I enjoy helping, and though she may through time not be able to do what she used to do, we will work around it.
The one thing you must not do is act like she cannot do something, in other words, if she tries to do something allow her to do it until you see frustration or struggling and then just assist. Losing our independance is very difficult and takes time to accept not only the parkinson's but the challenges that come with it.
She began to have a better attitude with the humor, she would freeze at gait and get stuck in place, I would act like something was in her way and say "now how did THAT get there", act like I was moving it and we'd laugh. Another time I took her shopping and went to put her groceries on the table, came back out front to get her and she was stuck in place leaning against the back of my car and I came out on the front step looked over at her, she looked up at me and I said
"you're still out here, what the heck are you waiting for?" we both laughed. I always have to put my foot in front of her one foot while supporting under her arm, when something is in front of her foot, the brain then sends a wave to "Step over" it helps her get going and sometimes even in public, no matter who's around I will sing "we're off to see the wizard" rythym also helps the brain to tell the feet to get moving along to the rythym. and we laugh, I am 42 and sing The wizard of oz, as idiotic as it sounds you'd be surprised at how many people look at us and smile. They have no clue why I sing it to her, they only see I am being silly with mom.
You say she is on anti depressants, is it lexapro? I ask because this medication does not interact with pd meds and is not a narcotic, many physicians give this to PD patients because it is one of the best suitable for them.
Progression with PD varies, it is amazing how I have seen my mother go for many many months and have slow progression and then suddenly she needs a medication adjustment.
My mother is 73 now, 13 years since diagnosed, in her 7th year of PD within about a week's time she went from walking "freezing at gait but walking" to wheelchair bound, I became very angry and knew it was just too soon for her to be in a wheelchair. I asked her neurologist if mom would benefit from Amantadine, though he says sometimes patients may hallucinate from Amantadine, we wanted to try it and it was like a miracle, mom went from wheelchair bound to walking in just over 24 hours after taking Amantadine.
So medication adjustment is very important as is a good neurologist, and a good neuro will not be a pill pusher, our neuro never increases mg, only dosage times. Mom takes a sinemet every 3 hours now, and also 1/2 mirapex (mirapex causes compulsive behavior and she was spending grocery money on lottery tickets so we cut the mirapex back to 1/2 pill 2x a day. She takes 2 amantadine a day as well.
If you need to talk, please feel free to contact me and I also have a group online in yahoo groups at
There is progression to parkinson's but there are things she can do to maintain, exercise, give her soup cans, allow her to do arm lifts left, right, left right, do these with her, it will help maintain her balance as balance is something patients often lose with pd.
Also set examples to her that yes she has pd but if she looks around, she should see how blessed she truly is. My mother's mother was blind and had an imputated leg, we have seen many people with disabilities along our journey, and my mother lost quite a few friends to cancer, I shared these thoughts with my mother, my mother could have something much worse wrong, like her friends who fell severely ill with cancer, suffered and then passed away. I told her she should be thankful too that she doesn't have to endure such an awful thing as that. PD isn't so great either but you don't die from PD, you die WITH pd, you can die from it's complications but as our neuro stated to my mother that she will most likely die from natural causes before she dies from complications of PD.
Big hugs to her and to you!  (+ info)

Given that my husband's mother has been diagnosed with late stage Alzheimer's Disease?

Why is she so capable of a normal conversation-even though it is always about what happened to her 50 years ago!
I thought once you were Double incontinent ,that the progression was inability to communicate!
I have read every web site available.She seems so normal in so many ways-but it is just she doesn't care !

Long term memory is stored in a different part of the brain to short term memory. People with Alzheimers can often remember things from their past quite clearly.

If someone is doubly incontinent it refers to loss of control over bowel and bladder function.

I have worked with older people with dementia for many years and at times their lucidity can take you by surprise.  (+ info)

Do you think there will ever be a cure for ALS(Lou Gehrigs) Disease?

I know the is one drug out the that lets you live a couple months longer. I have also read in a couple places that marijuana is a nerve protector, and that it can drastically slow the progression of als.

god i hope so. ALS is a horrible way to die.  (+ info)

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