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Being Multicellular

Explorations in science.

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biology

What is Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMT)?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a group of diseases that damage the nerves that are outside the brain and spinal cord- the peripheral nerves- which control the muscles and sensory stimuli. CMT is caused by an abnormality in one of the genes (sometimes inherited from parents) that control the development of the peripheral nerves leading to the nerves becoming damaged. The reason why CMT is the umbrella term for ‘a group’ of diseases is because no single gene or fault causes CMT, there are a range of genetic faults that can damage the peripheral nerves. One of the genes that cause CMT causes the myelin sheath to wear down and so the axon, the part of the nerve cell that transmits electrical impulses, become damaged without the protection the myelin sheath provides; therefore, impulses to the brain and muscles are affected leading to numbness and weakness.

It is a progressive condition; it gets worse as the individual gets older. CMT may cause muscle weakness and numbness in the feet, ankles, legs and hands, have very arched feet and curled toes, cold hands and feet due to poor circulation and having an uneven gait. These symptoms may appear in childhood, usually between five and fifteen years old, but they may not develop until middle age [1]. A common sign is when a child has difficulty walking due to having trouble lifting their feet of the ground.

There is no cure but there are treatments that can increase mobility and the independence of the individual such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and walking aids and surgery can be used to flatten the arch of the foot and correct muscles contractions where the muscles shorten which limits the range of movement[1].

[1] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Charcot-Marie-Tooth-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx

©Being Multicellular 2017. All Rights Reserved.

What is Hepatitis?

It’s World Hepatitis Day and so I’d like to briefly explore what Hepatitis is. Before research for this post, I didn’t know that there were so many types of hepatitis and that for some of them, especially autoimmune, the causes are unknown.

Hepatitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the liver. The causes are viral infection or liver damage by alcohol. The type determines whether the hepatitis will

Continue reading “What is Hepatitis?”

Genetics in Eating Disorders

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder all have many possible genes that predispose the individual to the particular disorder in accompaniment to the main psychiatric aspect. Is it the media and unrealistic magazine images that ‘encourage’ this disorder or something that is predetermined by our DNA? Continue reading “Genetics in Eating Disorders”

Why Do People Sleepwalk?

Definition: a sleep disorder characterized by walking or other activity while seemingly still asleep- Psychology Today

Synonyms: somnambulism, parasomnia

Sleep walking usually occurs when a person is in deep sleep and most sleep walking episodes last for less than ten minutes. 30% of all adults are thought to have sleep walked at least once in their lives. Sleep walking itself is only one of the complex behaviours carried out while a person is asleep like sitting up in bed and looking around, some even drive! Why does this happen? Continue reading “Why Do People Sleepwalk?”

Why Are Women More Likely to Get Alzheimer’s?

In the US, out of 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s, 3.2 million of these are women [1] and I thought that this was due to women living longer than men collectively but this gap between living ages of men and women is not substantial enough to be the whole story; Alzheimer’s is a disease that can last for as long as 20 years before the individual passes away and so the life expectancy of 5-8 years doesn’t add up. Continue reading “Why Are Women More Likely to Get Alzheimer’s?”

Norovirus- The Christmas Stomach Bug

Norovirus is a stomach bug most common during winter time and is aptly named the ‘winter vomiting bug.’ It causes the deaths of 200,000 a year but this risk is limited to those that are immunosuppressed or the very young/old as they have trouble remaining hydrated.

The symptoms of norovirus appear after two days after infection and last for about the same amount of time. I would assume, in the same way that flu is a virus more common as we get closer to Christmas, norovirus is more stable in cold air and low humidity which allow the virus to remain in the air for longer,  survive for longer, increasing the chance of a person inhaling the virus. Continue reading “Norovirus- The Christmas Stomach Bug”

Top Mankillers 1- Movember

Heart Disease
By BeingMulticellular.

What do you think is the next biggest mankiller? Also, why do you think that men drink more than women? Happy Movember!

© Being Multicellular 2016. All Rights Reserved.

 

Sources

http://www.medicinenet.com/mens_health/page4.htm

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Top-12-First-Issues-That-Kill-Men-63066.shtml

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-lower-cholesterol-risk#1

https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/risk-factors/smoking

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-alcohol-your-heart

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/diseases/alcohol-and-heart-disease/

 

Sticky Blood- The disease with five names.

Sticky blood has many other names: Hughes Syndrome, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, APS and is an autoimmune disorder where abnormal antibodies attack phospholipids which have an important role in maintaining the consistency of blood; the blood becomes too sticky which increases the risk of blood clots. Continue reading “Sticky Blood- The disease with five names.”

CRPS- What is it?

 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome was first described by Ambroise Pare who reported that after blood-letting King Charles IX, who had persistent pain. This fits into what can trigger the disorder: burns, cuts, surgical procedures, sprains. In the past CRPS was linked with the word causalgia which depicts a burning sensation.

About 1 in 3,800 people a year are diagnosed with CRPS and 7% of people who experience in one limb will later experience it in another limb.

Continue reading “CRPS- What is it?”

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