November Awareness

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November is the month for the following awareness campaigns:

Child Mental Health

Epilepsy

Lung Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

October Awareness

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Please check back during the month of October for more information on the following awareness campaigns:

AIDS

Breast Cancer

Down Syndrome

Psoriasis

Rett Syndrome

August Awareness: Psoriasis

Boy psoriasis

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What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disease of scaling and inflammation that affects greater than 3 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 5 million adults. Although the disease occurs in all age groups, it primarily affects adults. It appears about equally in males and females.

Psoriasis occurs when skin cells quickly rise from their origin below the surface of the skin and pile up on the surface before they have a chance to mature. Usually this movement (also called turnover) takes about a month, but in psoriasis it may occur in only a few days.

In its typical form, psoriasis results in patches of thick, red (inflamed) skin covered with silvery scales. These patches, which are sometimes referred to as plaques, usually itch or feel sore. They most often occur on the elbows, knees, other parts of the legs, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet, but they can occur on skin anywhere on the body. The disease may also affect the fingernails, the toenails, and the soft tissues of the genitals, and inside the mouth. Although it is not unusual for the skin around affected joints to crack, some people with psoriasis experience joint inflammation that produces symptoms of arthritis. This condition is called psoriatic arthritis.

What Causes Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin disorder driven by the immune system, especially involving a type of white blood cell called a T cell. Normally, T cells help protect the body against infection and disease. In the case of psoriasis, T cells are put into action by mistake and become so active that they trigger other immune responses, which lead to inflammation and to rapid turnover of skin cells.

In many cases, there is a family history of psoriasis. Researchers have studied a large number of families affected by psoriasis and identified genes linked to the disease. Genes govern every bodily function and determine the inherited traits passed from parent to child.

People with psoriasis may notice that there are times when their skin worsens, called flares, then improves. Conditions that may cause flares include infections, stress, and changes in climate that dry the skin. Also, certain medicines, including beta-blockers, which are prescribed for high blood pressure, and lithium may trigger an outbreak or worsen the disease. Sometimes people who have psoriasis notice that lesions will appear where the skin has experienced trauma. The trauma could be from a cut, scratch, sunburn, or infection.

How Is Psoriasis Treated?

Doctors generally treat psoriasis in steps based on the severity of the disease, size of the areas involved, type of psoriasis, where the psoriasis is located, and the patient’s response to initial treatments. Treatment can include:

  • medicines applied to the skin (topical treatment)
  • light treatment (phototherapy)
  • medicines by mouth or injection (systemic therapy)

All medicines can have side effects. Some medicines and side effects are mentioned in this publication. Some side effects may be more severe than others. You should review the package insert that comes with your medicine and ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have any questions about the possible side effects.

Over time, affected skin can become resistant to treatment, especially when topical corticosteroids are used. Also, a treatment that works very well in one person may have little effect in another. Thus, doctors often use a trial-and-error approach to find a treatment that works, and they may switch treatments periodically if a treatment does not work or if adverse reactions occur.

Information provided by:  National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) http://www.niams.nih.gov

For more information go to the National Psoriasis Foundation at www.psoriasis.org

August Awareness

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Please check back during the month of August for more information on the following awareness campaigns:

Psoriasis

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Happy 4th of July!

4th of July

 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

H.O.P.E. Resources wishes you a wonderful Independence Day!  Have Fun and Stay Safe!

July Awareness

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Please check back during the month of July for more information on the following awareness campaigns:

Juvenile Arthritis

National Therapeutic Recreation Week (11-17)

 

June Awareness: Scoliosis

spine- scoliosis

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Who can get Scoliosis

People of all ages can have scoliosis, but this publication focuses on children and adolescents. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (scoliosis of unknown cause) is the most common type and typically occurs after the age of 10. Girls are more likely than boys to have this type of scoliosis. Because scoliosis can run in families, a child who has a parent, brother, or sister with idiopathic scoliosis should be checked regularly for scoliosis by the family doctor.

What causes Scoliosis

In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown; this is called idiopathic scoliosis. Before concluding that a person has idiopathic scoliosis, the doctor looks for other possible causes, such as injury or infection. Causes of curves are classified as either nonstructural or structural.

Treatment Options

The doctor will suggest the best treatment for each patient based on the patient’s age, how much more he or she is likely to grow, the degree and pattern of the curve, and the type of scoliosis. The doctor may recommend observation, bracing, or surgery.

Information provided by National Institute of Arthritus and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Fore more information contact The National Scoliosis Foundation at www.scoliosis.org.

World Sickle Cell Day 6/19/2015

sickle cell pic

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The term sickle cell disease (SCD) describes a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells.

Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

“Inherited” means that the disease is passed by genes from parents to their children. SCD is not contagious. A person cannot catch it, like a cold or infection, from someone else.

People who have SCD inherit two abnormal hemoglobin genes, one from each parent. In all forms of SCD, at least one of the two abnormal genes causes a person’s body to make hemoglobin S. When a person has two hemoglobin S genes, Hemoglobin SS, the disease is called sickle cell anemia. This is the most common and often most severe kind of SCD.

Hemoglobin SC disease and hemoglobin Sβ thalassemia (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh) are two other common forms of SCD.

Sickle cell disease is a life-long illness. The severity of the disease varies widely from person to person.

In high-income countries like the United States, the life expectancy of a person with SCD is now about 40–60 years. In 1973, the average lifespan of a person with SCD in the United States was only 14 years. Advances in the diagnosis and care of SCD have made this improvement possible.

At the present time, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only cure for SCD. Unfortunately, most people with SCD are either too old for a transplant or don’t have a relative who is a good enough genetic match for them to act as a donor. A well-matched donor is needed to have the best chance for a successful transplant.

There are effective treatments that can reduce symptoms and prolong life. Early diagnosis and regular medical care to prevent complications also contribute to improved well-being.

Information provided by the U.S. Health & Human Services

 

For more information go to www.sicklecelldisease.org

June Awareness: Scleroderma

Scleroderma means hard skin. It is a group of diseases that cause abnormal growth of connective tissue. Connective tissue is the material inside your body that gives your tissues their shape and helps keep them strong. In scleroderma, the tissue gets hard or thick. It can cause swelling or pain in your muscles and joints.

Symptoms of scleroderma include:

  • Calcium deposits in connective tissues
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon, a narrowing of blood vessels in the hands or feet
  • Swelling of the esophagus, the tube between your throat and stomach
  • Thick, tight skin on your fingers
  • Red spots on your hands and face

No one knows what causes scleroderma. It is more common in women. It can be mild or severe. Doctors diagnose scleroderma using your medical history, a physical exam, lab tests, and a skin biopsy. There is no cure, but various treatments can control symptoms and complications.

Information provided by:  NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

For more information go to the Scleroderma Foundation at www.scleroderma.org

June Awareness Month

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Please check back during the month of June for more information on the following awareness campaigns:

Scleroderma

Scoliosis

World Sickle Cell Day (6/19)