Cholinergic urticaria is a type of skin rash commonly called hives that occurs in some people when their body gets too warm and sweats. The rash usually develops very quickly after a person gets too hot. In most cases, the condition clears up quickly on its own with no real lasting effects. However, some people may find cholinergic urticaria adversely affects their ability to exercise. Rarely, people with cholinergic urticaria may experience severe reactions to heat that result in a life-threatening allergic reaction. The word "cholinergic" refers to a part of the nervous system that controls muscle contraction, dilation of the blood vessels, and slowing the heart rate. In this article, we examine the signs and symptoms of cholinergic urticaria, along with what can be done to treat it. We also take a look at what can cause cholinergic urticaria and how people can prevent it. Cholinergic urticaria tends to occur very quickly after a person begins to sweat or gets overheated. The rash … [Read more...] about What is cholinergic urticaria and how is it treated?
Neurology / Neuroscience
Hydranencephaly is a rare disability present at birth that causes a central nervous system disorder. When it occurs, the front hemispheres or cerebrum of a baby's brain are missing. In their place, the cerebrospinal fluid that typically cushions the brain fills the space. The condition affects both male and female babies at equal rates. Some babies may be at higher risk of developing it if either of the parents carries genes that are suspected of causing the disorder. While some scientists suspect genetics may play a role in hydranencephaly, the exact cause is unknown, and there is no cure for the condition. Often, a baby with hydranencephaly will die in the womb or within a few months of birth. When a baby is born with hydranencephaly, there may or may not be obvious symptoms that the baby has the disorder. In clear cases, the baby's head appears enlarged. When the head is not enlarged, it may take weeks or even months for symptoms to be observed and suspected. Often, a baby may have … [Read more...] about What is the outlook for hydranencephaly?
A pain in a person's buttocks can be worrying and uncomfortable. If someone has this kind of discomfort, it is advisable to find the cause and the right medical treatment. Though most causes of buttock pain do not lead to serious complications and may go away on their own, in some instances, there may be an underlying reason that needs treatment to relieve symptoms. While many causes of buttock pain are not concerning, there are instances when an underlying condition may mean medical attention and treatment is advisable. Sciatica is a common cause of pain in the buttocks. Sciatica is not a condition in itself, but rather a symptom of various conditions. Sciatica can occur due to a condition that is known as piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is a muscle that starts in a person's lower back and runs down to their thigh. When a person injures or overworks the piriformis muscle, it can press on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs down from the lower spine through to the buttocks … [Read more...] about Could sciatica be causing the pain in your buttocks?
Endorphins are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress. They are often called "feel-good" chemicals because they can act as a pain reliever and happiness booster. Endorphins are primarily made in the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, though they may come from other parts of the body as well. The well-known "runner's high" that is felt after lengthy, vigorous exercise is due to an increase in endorphin levels. The level of endorphins in the human body varies from person to person. People who have lower levels may be more likely to have depression or fibromyalgia, but more research is needed in this area. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain. They work similarly to a class of drugs called opioids. Opioids relieve pain and can produce a feeling of euphoria. They are sometimes prescribed for short-term use after surgery or for pain-relief. In the 1980s, scientists were studying how and why opioids worked. They … [Read more...] about Endorphins: Effects and how to increase levels
Battle's sign is a bruise that appears after a person breaks a bone at the base of their skull. This type of break is known as a basilar skull fracture. Basilar skull fractures can lead to permanent brain injury, meningitis, or other complications. Minor basilar fractures, however, have a good outlook if the person receives immediate medical care, is carefully observed in hospital, and follows proper aftercare at home. Battle's sign is a crescent-shaped bruise that appears behind one or both ears. It was named after an English surgeon, Dr. William Henry Battle, and can be an indication of a serious head injury. The skull is made up of more than 20 different bones. The basilar bones at the base of the skull protect the following structures: eyes nerves to the head and neck ears brain stem cerebellum or coordination and balance center When one of the basilar bones is broken, blood may pool behind the ear, creating the Battle's sign bruise. While Battle's sign may look like an ordinary … [Read more...] about What causes Battle’s sign?
There are many different types of headaches, and their causes and symptoms can vary. Although most are short-lived and rarely a cause for concern, being able to recognize which kind of headache a person is experiencing can inform them how best to treat it and whether to see a doctor. Headaches are a common complaint. According to the World Health Organization, most people will experience a headache from time to time. While they can be sometimes painful and debilitating, the majority can be treated with simple painkillers and will go away within several hours. However, repeated attacks or certain types of headache could be a sign of something more serious. This article looks at some of the most common types of headaches, along with their causes, treatment, prevention, and when to see a doctor. The International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) defines more than 150 different types of headaches. These are divided into two main categories: primary and secondary. A primary … [Read more...] about What different types of headaches are there?
Gluten ataxia is an autoimmune disorder in which the antibodies that are released when digesting gluten attack part of the brain by mistake. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Though most people have no trouble with digesting this protein, many people have a gluten sensitivity or a disease called celiac sprue. People who have issues digesting gluten may develop digestive problems and cause damage to the small intestine when they eat something containing gluten. In some cases, the body's reaction to gluten can become quite severe. In these cases, the body starts to attack the central nervous system, which may cause gluten ataxia. When somebody has gluten ataxia, the antibodies that are released when they digest gluten attack part of the brain called the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of the brain located in the back of the head above the neck. The cerebellum is responsible for movement and has a direct impact on activities such … [Read more...] about What happens in gluten ataxia?
Misophonia is a disorder where people have abnormally strong and negative reactions to the ordinary sounds humans make, such as chewing or breathing. It is not unusual for people to occasionally be irritated by some everyday sounds. But for individuals with misophonia, the sound of someone smacking their lips or clicking a pen can make them want to scream or hit out. These physical and emotional reactions to innocent, everyday sounds are similar to the "fight or flight" response and can lead to feelings of anxiety, panic, and rage. No specific medications or treatments for misophonia have been found yet. Mimicking offensive sounds is an unconscious response some people have to the sounds that trigger their condition. This mimicry may enable them to handle the uncomfortable situations they find themselves in better. Individuals with misophonia have also developed other coping mechanisms to give themselves some relief. Tips for managing sound sensitivity include: using headphones and … [Read more...] about What is misophonia?
Central serous retinopathy is a medical condition where fluid builds up behind the retina in the eye. It can cause sudden or gradual vision loss as the central retina detaches. This central area is called the macula. While medical intervention is not always needed to regain vision loss, a person experiencing any gradual or sudden vision loss needs to consult a doctor to ensure vision loss does not become permanent. Early treatment is often key to making a full recovery. Central serous retinopathy is a build-up of fluid underneath the retina inside the eye. The retina is responsible for translating light taken into the eye as images the brain can understand. The build-up of liquid can cause the retina to detach, and this can cause vision problems. In some cases, no medical intervention is required, and the person will recover their vision after a short period. However, people should see their doctor immediately if they start to notice changes in vision. Blurry vision is a common … [Read more...] about What to know about central serous retinopathy
Parkinsonism is a disease that occurs when a person has symptoms and brain dysfunction commonly associated with Parkinson's disease but also has other symptoms related to an additional condition or cause. A person who has Parkinsonism will also have another disorder that causes additional neurological symptoms, ranging from dementia to the inability to look up and down. Parkinson's disease itself refers to dysfunction and cell death of the portion of the brain that produces dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter — a chemical that transmits signals between brain and nerve cells. It is partially responsible for making controlled movements in the body. In this article, we take a look at the symptoms of Parkinsonism, how the disease is diagnosed, and what can be done to treat it. A person with Parkinsonism usually starts developing symptoms at anywhere from age 50 to 80, according to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Parkinson's disease can cause varying and … [Read more...] about What is Parkinsonism?