Monday, April 30, 2007

Canavan Disease

A rare genetic, degenerative disease, turning the brain into a spongy mush, describes Canavan disease. CD is named after Myrtelle Canavan, the researcher who in 1931 first described the condition. It afflicts infants, and death is common before the age of 4. Those that live a few years longer are prone to seizures and may suffer from blindness and paralysis. CD is most common among Ashkenazi Jews from eastern Poland, western Russia, Lithuania, and Saudi Arabians.

Symptoms such as hypotonia(abnormal muscle tone), macrocephaly (very large head), and head lag in an infant after the age of three to five months should raise a red flag to parents.

There is no real treatment, other than keeping the child well fed, hydrated, comfortable and maintaining an open airway.

You can learn more about Canavan Disease here:
Canavan Foundation

Information on other Jewish genetic diseases

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Do you recognize the Blue Screen of Death? If not, you will!

Today we're digressing from the usual topics to preview a product that many of us need, but didn't know about!

What would you do if your computer crashed today? Can you afford to lose ALL your data? Did you know that computer crashes occur on the average of once every three years! Now, I've had a hard drive last me well for 10 years! But, I've also had a well used hard drive crash after 9 months use! Sadly, I often learn things the hard way, and after losing my data once, I vowed to never let it happen again!

You've probably spent a lot of time organizing and collecting data on your PC or laptop. Do you do use your PC for bookkeeping? Are you writing the great American novel? Do you store family photos on your laptop? What if they were gone in a flash? If you're like me, you have a plethora of irreplaceable photos and tax and banking business stored on your hard drive. If your hard drive fails, where will you be?

Sure, I've burned things to CDs, but I'm not the best organizer. It would be hard to locate and re-organize all my work and downloads!

Recently I read about Carbonite Online back-up service, on the ScrapGirls site. I decided if a business with a huge amount of data to store trusted this service, I would learn more! I read about it, and decided to try it. I love it! I was at the point of buying another external hard drive, but the size I would need would cost over $500. Carbonite costs $5 per month, with no size limits. If you pre-pay for $49 for a year, it comes to $4.16 a month! I could not buy an external drive with enough life span to beat Carbonite's price!

Once you back up your hard drive, Carbonite does incremental back ups, meaning it will automatically back up the newest additions to your hard drive, and not start from the beginning! Stored files will have a small dot by them, so you KNOW they are backed up.

Restoring files is a snap! Your data is encrypted before it leaves your computer, so it is secure, and Carbonite also has redundant security, so you will never lose data!

You can Carbonite free for 15 days. The upload for the trial version is very slow, but worth it. You can still use your PC while backing up though! I highly recommend it! Click the Carbonite logo below to read more! You will be happy you did!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mal de Debarquement (Disembarkement Syndrome)

Mal de Debarquement (Disembarkement Syndrome)

Imagine taking the cruise of your life! You feel pleased that you gained your 'sea legs' quickly, and have a wonderful time at sea. However, after getting home, on terra firma, you still feel as if you're walking on your sea legs! You feel somewhat disoriented, you feel you are still walking on a rocking ship! You may have the following syndrome:

Disembarkement Syndrome is not an uncommon condition that causes a sensation of movement, after one departs a train, ship, or even after lying on a water bed. It can last weeks or years! Medical researchers do not think the problem comes from the inner ear, as in some cases of vertigo and dizziness. In fact, people who suffer from disembarkment syndrome do not experience vertigo, dizziness, nausea, or vision problems.

It is believed that the brain somehow adapts to ship/train motion, and in this condition, is unable to readjust once the motion stops. Some believe disembarkment syndrome is a variant of migraine headaches, suffered more by women, than men. Typically used motion sickness drugs, such as meclizine, diphenhydrinate, and scopolamine are ineffective.

Some medications such as tri-cyclic antidepressants and seizure medications offer limited efficacy. Another “remedy” is watching the horizon while walking.

According to The Hearing Review, there are several theories as to why symptoms persist.

These include:

1) Possible abnormal perception of linear acceleration, the result of a dysfunction of the otolith system—specifically the utricle;

2) A possible hormonal imbalance having an interaction with the vestibular system and brain, which would explain the greater female prevalence of the condition;

3) The central nervous system’s inability to integrate and adjust to the requirements of a new stable environment;

4) Hain, Hanna & Rheinberger7 suggest that, because of the gender distribution and the late onset of the symptoms, a psychogenic origin was unlikely (however, psychogenic factors cannot be totally dismissed).

Read about one woman’s experience here:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

On Vacation

Cardiagra is on vacation for a few weeks. Please return then for more interesting medical cases!
Thank you!