Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Neurology

  • Headache clinics can evaluate and treat cluster headaches. If your headaches become more severe and medicines aren't working, your doctor may refer you to a headache clinic for more intensive treatment. When you are looking for the right clinic, ask a few questions about the services provided—such as what types of...

  • An electronystagmogram (ENG) measures normal eye movement and involuntary rapid eye movements called nystagmus. It also checks the muscles that control eye movements. ENG checks how well the eyes, inner ears, and brain help you keep your balance and position (such as when you change from lying down to standing). ENG is...

  • The first symptom of Lyme disease in most people is an expanding red skin rash (called erythema migrans or an EM rash). In about a third of people, the rash looks like a bull's-eye, with a pale center area surrounded by a bright red rim. The rash is...

  • Discusses decompressive laminectomy, the most common type of surgery to treat lumbar spinal stenosis. Looks at how surgery may reduce pressure on nerve roots to relieve pain. Covers risks.

  • Learn how negative and positive thoughts affect the way you experience pain.

  • After you've had a stroke, you may be worried that you could have another one. That's easy to understand. But the good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of having another stroke. Taking medicine, doing stroke rehabilitation, and making healthy lifestyle changes can help. Take your...

  • Compare the pros and cons of having surgery for spinal stenosis.

  • Learn why it's important to take antiplatelet medicine after your stroke.

  • Learn what carotid artery stenting is and how it is done.

  • Learn about treatment choices for sleep apnea.

  • Learn what a stroke is and what problems it can cause.

  • Learn to track how well you are managing your pain.

  • A medicine blood level test measures how much of your medicine is in your blood. Your doctor checks it to make sure that you are taking a safe and effective dose. This testing is also called therapeutic drug monitoring.

  • People who have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia are sometimes easily confused. They may forget where they are, what day it is, and other common facts. Sundowning is a term to describe increased confusion that occurs in late afternoon and at...

  • Dementia is a loss of mental skills that affects daily life. It can cause problems with memory and with how well a person can think, plan, and communicate. Usually dementia gets worse over time. How long this takes is different for each person. Some...

  • Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a problem in the brain that causes you to laugh or cry for no reason. When you have PBA, sudden fits of tears or laughter can come from nowhere. This behavior usually has nothing to do with what you're doing or feeling....

  • When you work nights or rotating shifts, taking good care of yourself can be a challenge. It's common to feel "off," tired, or disconnected from the rest of the world. And that can make it hard to get in a good, healthy routine. The following tips may help you make some small, healthy changes. You can choose the ones...

  • Learn how to recognize stroke symptoms and know when to call.

  • Learn what steps you and your family can take to help you live well with this disease.

  • Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare condition that affects the spinal cord. It causes certain muscles and reflexes in the body to stop working normally. Anyone can get AFM. A doctor will do a physical exam to check for weakness, such as in the...

  • Two techniques can help you manage your energy when you have myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). They are: Staying within your energy envelope. Pacing yourself. These techniques can give you better control over your symptoms so that you can be as active as possible. They may also lead to...

  • Here's help understanding how your child's treatment plan can help manage and prevent seizures.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help when children bump their head.

  • Discusses causes, symptoms, medicines, home treatment, triggers, and prevention tips for children's migraine and tension headaches.

  • Discusses how you can get better sleep. Covers reasons for sleep problems, such as stress, depression, or insomnia. Offers sleep tips such as avoid caffeine and don't exercise in late afternoon. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders.

  • Minor arm injuries are common. Symptoms often develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury. Arm injuries are often caused by: Sports or hobbies. Work-related tasks. Work or projects around the home. Your child may injure his or her arm during sports or play or from accidental falls. The chance of...

  • Covers problems like swelling or arm pain caused by overuse, arthritis, and hormone changes. Links to info on bursitis and osteoarthritis. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Most people will have a minor back problem at one time or another. Our body movements usually do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Back problems and injuries often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home...

  • Meningococcal ACWY vaccine can help protect against meningococcal disease caused by serogroups A, C, W, and Y. A different meningococcal vaccine is available that can help protect against serogroup B. Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)...

  • Live zoster (shingles) vaccine can prevent shingles. Shingles (also called herpes zoster, or just zoster) is a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. In addition to the rash, shingles can cause fever, headache, chills, or upset stomach. More rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems...

  • Meningococcal B vaccine can help protect against meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B. A different meningococcal vaccine is available that can help protect against serogroups A, C, W, and Y. Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain...

  • Recombinant zoster (shingles) vaccine can prevent shingles. Shingles (also called herpes zoster, or just zoster) is a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. In addition to the rash, shingles can cause fever, headache, chills, or upset stomach. More rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia...

  • Includes info on dizziness, lightheadedness, and vertigo. Also has links to multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease as well as information on diabetic neuropathy and seizures.

  • Provides links to info about types of headaches and treatment. Covers tension and migraine headaches. Covers avoiding migraine triggers. Includes info to guide you through decision to take or not take medicines to prevent migraines.

  • Provides links to info about sleep problems. Includes insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, and testing. Also includes sleep problems in children.

  • Pain can be caused by many things, such as an injury, a surgery, or a health problem like low back pain or cancer. Long-term pain that isn't controlled can make it harder to enjoy life. But there are ways you can learn to manage pain. And managing pain can have a lot of benefits, like being able to do more activities or...

  • Discusses chronic pain caused by problems other than cancer. Covers symptoms and how chronic pain is diagnosed. Covers conditions that can be treated, like neck pain, low back pain, and arthritis. Info on treatment with medicine and lifestyle changes.

  • What is pain? Pain is your body's way of warning you that something is wrong. If you step on a sharp object or put your hand on a hot stove, the pain lets you know right away that you are hurt and need to protect yourself. You may have pain from an injury, after surgery, or from a health problem like cancer...

  • Children of all ages need plenty of sleep to grow and develop. School-age children may have trouble learning and developing socially if they don't get enough sleep. Children's sleep problems can cause stress for parents, who may worry about their children. Parents also may be awake much of the night trying to get a...

  • Topic guides you through the decision to get the shingles vaccine. Explains your chances of getting shingles and how well the vaccine works. Lists risks and benefits of getting the vaccine. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for sleep apnea. Discusses problems like depression and high blood pressure associated with lack of treatment. Covers alternatives to surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to have sleep study to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. Includes pros such as diagnosis that can lead to treatment. Also offers cons such as cost. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause confusion or make you less alert. A few examples are: Antidepressants. Antihistamines. Opioid pain medicines. Sedatives and tranquilizers. Medicines for bladder control problems (anticholinergics). Contact your doctor before you stop taking or reduce the...

  • Many health problems cause confusion or decreased alertness. It is not unusual for a person who is sick to be sleepy or confused when he or she wakes up. But extreme sleepiness may be a symptom of a more serious health problem. Confusion may range from mild to severe. Symptoms of confusion may include...

  • Carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a procedure that can be used to open a narrowed carotid artery. It involves placing a small, expandable tube called a stent in the narrowed artery. This procedure is also called carotid angioplasty and stenting. There are two carotid arteries—one on each side of the neck—that supply...

  • If pain is starting to get you down, let people know when you need a helping hand. Get family members or friends to help out with physical tasks you can't do right now. Here are some ideas to get you started: Divide up household chores. You take the...

  • Medicines may stop a cluster headache after it starts and prevent more headaches from occurring. Finding the right medicine can take some time. You may need a combination of medicines to effectively treat your cluster headaches. Treatments most...

  • Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots. Although they are called blood thinners, they don't really thin the blood. They slow down the time it takes for a blood clot to form. You have to be careful when you take blood thinner medicines. They can raise the risk of serious bleeding. But you can do...

  • Managing diabetes is all about setting a healthy routine of medicine, eating, exercise, and sleep. But when you work night shifts or have changing work shifts, it can seem like there's nothing at all routine about your life. It's definitely more of a chore to manage diabetes under such conditions, but it can be done...

  • Anosmia (say "ay-NAWZ-mee-uh") is the loss of the sense of smell. It can be a problem by itself or a symptom of another health problem. It can last a short time, such as when you have a stuffy nose from a cold, or it can be permanent. Some people...

  • Guides you through the decision to take warfarin or a different anticoagulant (apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, or rivaroxaban) to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants.

  • What is a traumatic brain injury? A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from a mild concussion to a severe head injury. It is caused by a blow to the head or body, a wound that breaks through the skull (such as from a gunshot), a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain. This can cause bruising...

  • Most people who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) are women in their child-bearing years. Questions about whether MS affects getting pregnant or about labor and delivery are common. Here are some answers: Most couples in which one partner has MS are able to have children without MS affecting the...

  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a term used to describe a group of painful conditions. Examples of earlier names for these conditions include reflex sympathetic dystrophy, causalgia, and Sudeck's atrophy. Pain is the main symptom of CRPS....

  • It's true—diabetes raises your risk of heart disease. That means your risks of heart attack and stroke are higher when you have diabetes. Diabetes is plenty to keep up with as it is. That explains why dealing with both heart risk and diabetes can seem like too much all at once. But it's also true that good...

  • Learn how taking medicine at the first sign of a migraine can help manage headache pain.

  • Learn some common headache triggers so you can plan to avoid the ones that affect you.

  • Learn how keeping a headache diary can help you find what's causing your pain.

  • Learn why taking headache pain medicine too often may be causing even more headaches.

  • Discover some lifestyle changes that can help with sleeplessness.

  • Learn tips for getting a good night's sleep.

  • Living with pain can be hard, especially if it's long-term—or chronic—pain. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for 3 months or longer. It can make you sleep poorly, feel tired and irritable, and have a hard time being active or working. It may strain your relationships with loved ones too, making it hard to be the kind of...

  • Learn what you can do to keep someone safe during a seizure and when you need to call emergency services.

  • Learn how to keep your child with epilepsy safer at home, outdoors, and at school.

  • Spasticity is a condition in which muscles are tight or stiff. For example, your hand may stay clenched in a fist or your knee may be hard to bend. At times the muscles may jerk or spasm uncontrollably. It can interfere with your ability to move,...

  • Hear what others thought about as they decided whether to have herniated disc surgery.

  • Compare pros and cons, including risks and benefits, of having herniated disc surgery.

  • Learn how surgery can repair a herniated disc and how long it takes to recover.

  • Learn how home treatment of back and leg pain from a herniated disc can help you avoid surgery.

  • Learn how high cholesterol raises your risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Hear what others thought about when deciding whether to have back surgery.

  • Learn how surgery for spinal stenosis pain is done and how long it takes to recover.

  • Learn how home treatment and physical therapy can help you avoid surgery.

  • See why your doctor prescribed low-dose aspirin for your heart.

  • Learn what increases your risk for stroke and how you can lower your risk.

  • Learn how clot-busting medicines are used for emergencies like stroke and heart attack.

  • Learn why it's important to take blood-thinning medicine after your stroke.

  • Learn the symptoms of stroke and why it's important to call emergency services right away.

  • Learn how your self-care plan can help you manage after a stroke.

  • Learn how too little sleep affects your health, and how getting enough can undo these effects.

  • Learn how to reduce technology use before bed for better sleep.

  • Take steps to reduce your technology use before bed.

  • Learn what sleep apnea is and why it's important to treat it.

  • Learn what sleep studies are and why they're done.

  • Learn how CPAP works and how to use a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea.

  • Learn ways to get past common problems with using CPAP.

  • What is carotid artery disease? A carotid artery on each side of the neck supplies blood to the brain. Carotid artery disease occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in either or both arteries. The buildup can narrow the artery and reduce the blood flow to your brain. This can raise your chance of a stroke...

  • Learn what carotid endarterectomy is and how it is done.

  • Learn about the different ways that sleep apnea can affect the quality of your life.

  • Learn about the benefits of treating sleep apnea.

  • Learn what movements may help cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Get tips to help prevent it and manage symptoms.

  • Learn stretches that can help you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and manage your symptoms.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have a procedure to help prevent a stroke.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having a carotid artery procedure to help prevent stroke.

  • Learn about the range of emotions you may experience after you've had a stroke.

  • Learn how stroke rehab works and how it can help you get stronger and feel better.

  • Learn what raises your risk for having a heart attack or stroke and how you can lower your risk.

  • Why is sleep important to your child? A good night's sleep helps your child to grow, to form memories, and to learn. Sleep helps your child stay alert and focused at school and play. Children who don't get enough sleep over time can have behavior problems and trouble learning. They may become moody, sad, or...

  • Getting better after a stroke takes patience and effort. See how others found inspiration to keep going.

  • Get help thinking about ways to stay positive and hopeful after a stroke.

  • Learn about chronic pain and what you can do to feel better.

  • Learn about other ways to manage pain, in addition to medicine.

  • Hear how others found strength and support to manage their pain.

  • Learn to reduce your pain by changing negative thoughts.

  • Here's information to help you work with your doctor so you can take prescribed opioids safely.

  • Learn how medicines can help you manage chronic pain.

  • Learn about transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and what the risks are when you have one.

  • Everyone knows that sleep is important. Without it, you don't have the energy to get through your day. But sleep problems that go on for a long time can affect your health. How does sleep affect your health? Most adults do best when they get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. Sleep gives your brain a...

  • Spondylosis is age-related change of the bones (vertebrae) and discs of the spine. These changes are often called degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. These changes don't always cause symptoms. But they are a common cause of spine problems...

  • Guides you through the decision to have surgery for a herniated disc in the low back. Describes the types of surgery available, as well as nonsurgical treatment. Lists the benefits and risks of both types of treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is peripheral neuropathy? Peripheral neuropathy is a problem that affects the peripheral nerves. These are the nerves that control your sense of touch, how you feel pain and temperature, and your muscle strength. Most of the time the problem starts in the fingers and toes. As it gets worse, it moves into the...

  • Guides people not already diagnosed with coronary artery disease through decision to take statin medicine to lower risk of heart attack or stroke. Covers cholesterol and other risk factors. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to put a relative who has Alzheimer's or other dementia in long-term care. Lists reasons for and against. Covers types of long-term facilities available. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • When the liver has been damaged by cirrhosis, it may not be able to filter poisons from the bloodstream, especially substances in the blood produced by bacteria in the large intestine. As a result, these substances (which include ammonia) may build...

  • Briefly discusses brain aneurysm (also called cerebral aneurysm). Covers possible causes, including hardening of the arteries, hypertension, and smoking. Lists symptoms. Discusses treatment with surgery. Links to info on strokes.

  • Triggers of migraine headaches are different for each person. Triggers include changes in daily routine, foods, hormones, medicines, lights, odors, or other things in the environment. The most common migraine triggers are: Stress (either during a...

  • Guides you through the decision to have imaging tests to evaluate your headaches. Looks at the types of imaging tests used, including CT scan and MRI. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is cerebral palsy? Cerebral palsy is a group of problems that affect body movement and posture. It is related to a brain injury or to problems with brain development. It is one of the most common causes of lasting disability in children. Cerebral palsy causes reflex movements that a person can't control and...

  • Thrombolytics are medicines that rapidly dissolve a blood clot. They are used when a blood clot causes an emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. These clot-busting medicines help blood to flow normally again. Thrombolytics are used as soon as...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause sleep problems. A few examples of these medicines are: Antidepressants. Cold medicines. Steroid medicines. Nonprescription diet aids. Other substances Other substances that may cause sleep problems include: Alcohol. At first, drinking alcohol may cause...

  • What is meningitis? Meningitis is inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused by an infection. The infection occurs most often in children, teens, and young adults. Also at risk are older adults and people who have long-term health problems, such as a weakened immune system...

  • Meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis is sometimes referred to as meningococcal disease. Some people have Neisseria meningitidis in their throats without getting sick. But they can pass it to another person, who may get sick. Neisseria...

  • Childhood absence epilepsy develops between ages 4 and 10. It causes very brief absence seizures that may include staring into space, eye fluttering, and slight muscle jerks. Juvenile absence epilepsy develops between ages 10 and 17 and causes...

  • Guides through the decision to have a carotid endarterectomy or carotid artery stenting to prevent stroke if you have not already had a stroke or TIA. Lists pros and cons. Explains risks. Looks at other treatments. Has interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides you through decision to have or not have carpal tunnel release surgery. Looks at problems carpal tunnel syndrome can cause. Covers types of surgery and compares with wrist splint therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Keeping a headache diary may help you understand what types of headaches you get and what treatment works best for you. You also may be able to find out what your headache triggers are, such as certain foods, stress, sleep problems, or physical activity. Take your headache diary to your doctor. Together you can look at...

  • Thalamotomy is the precise destruction of a tiny area of the brain called the thalamus that controls some involuntary movements. Before surgery, detailed brain scans using a CT scan or MRI are done to identify the precise location for treatment. The person is awake during the surgery, but the scalp area where...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause ringing in the ears (tinnitus). A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Some blood pressure and heart medicines. Some antidepressants. Some cancer medicines. If ringing in the ears occurs after you...

  • An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain. Special sensors called electrodes are attached to your head. They're hooked by wires to a computer. The computer records your brain's electrical activity on the screen. Or it may record the activity on paper as wavy...

  • If you smoke, your chance of dying from a heart attack is 2 to 3 times greater than that of a person who does not smoke. About 1 out of 4 heart attacks is believed to be directly related to smoking. Smoking is a much more important risk factor for a...

  • A pinched nerve (nerve entrapment) in or near the elbow can cause elbow pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness of the arm, wrist, or hand. The nerve that most commonly gets pinched in or near the elbow is the ulnar nerve. It is located in the elbow area, on the little finger side when the palm is facing up. Less often...

  • Describes ketogenic diet and why it is used. Covers what to expect after treatment with diet as well as how well diet works. Lists risk factors and provides consideration points when using this treatment. Describes other special diets.

  • There are two types of stimulator devices for epilepsy. In both types, the devices send electrical signals to the brain to prevent the electrical bursts that cause seizures. The vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) is implanted under the skin, near your collarbone. A wire (lead) under the skin connects the device to electrodes...

  • An MRI scan is the best way to locate multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions (also called plaques) in the brain or spinal cord. An MRI scan is abnormal in more than 95% of people recently diagnosed with MS. But abnormal MRI results do not always...

  • There are many myths about Tourette's disorder (TD). Myth Truth "Everyone who has Tourette's disorder uses obscene words and gestures." Most people who have the condition do not have this symptom. "People who have Tourette's disorder often 'blow up'...

  • Guides you through treatment choices for lumbar spinal stenosis. Covers tests used to diagnose and guide treatment. Discusses treatment with medicines, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, or surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • If your child has epilepsy, there are many ways to lower his or her risk of injury and avoid embarrassment sometimes caused by seizures: Use waterproof pads on cribs and beds, and use padded side rails on your older child's bed. But don't use sleep...

  • After you have had a seizure, it can be difficult to predict whether you will have more seizures. This makes it hard to decide whether to begin treatment for epilepsy. The first seizure you report may not actually be the first seizure you've had....

  • Night eating syndrome is a condition in which people eat large amounts of food after the evening meal, often waking up during the night to eat. People with this condition may delay their first meal of the day for many hours. Experts still do not...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about spinal stenosis of the lower back, also known as the lumbar area. If you need information on spinal stenosis of the neck, see the topic Cervical Spinal Stenosis. What is lumbar spinal stenosis? Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back...

  • Infantile spasms (West syndrome) are muscle spasms that affect a child's head, torso, and limbs. Infantile spasms usually begin before the age of 6 months. Most children with infantile spasms have below-average intelligence. More than half have...

  • Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy develops between ages 12 and 18. People with the disorder tend to have seizures that cause jerking in the shoulders or arms. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures and absence seizures may be present along with myoclonic...

  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of childhood epilepsy that causes frequent seizures. Several types of seizures are usually present at the same time, including atonic or tonic seizures. These seizures can cause injury. Lennox-Gastaut...

  • Temporal lobe epilepsy involves the portions of the brain that control emotions and memory. The temporal lobes are located on each side of the head just above the ears at the temples. Temporal lobe epilepsy can cause both partial and generalized...

  • Dizziness is a word that is often used to describe two different feelings. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel dizzy," because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the list of possible problems. Lightheadedness is a feeling that you are about to faint or "pass out."...

  • At one time or another, everyone has had a minor facial injury that caused pain, swelling, or bruising. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for mild bumps or bruises. Causes of facial injuries Facial injuries most commonly occur during: Sports or recreational activities, such as ice hockey, basketball...

  • Facial problems can be caused by a minor problem or a serious condition. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, or facial weakness or numbness. You may feel these symptoms in your teeth, jaw, tongue, ear, sinuses, eyes, salivary glands, blood vessels,...

  • Discusses fever seizures (also called fever convulsions) caused by a rapid rise in body temperature in a short period of time. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to seek care.

  • Details types of injuries to the fingers, hands, and wrists. Discusses possible emergency situations. Includes worksheet to help you decide when to seek care. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Covers finger, hand, and wrist problems caused by medical conditions and overuse. Offers symptom check list. Includes worksheet to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Looks at common causes of minor and serious head injuries. Discusses possible head injury emergencies. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Provides overview of head injuries in those age 3 and younger. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to see doctor. Discusses emergency symptoms and when to seek care. Offers prevention tips.

  • Provides info on common types of headaches and their causes. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Covers when a headache is an emergency.

  • Hip pain can make it hard to walk, go up and down stairs, squat, or sleep on the side that hurts. A clicking or snapping feeling or sound around your hip joint (snapping hip) may bother you or cause you to worry. But if your hip is not painful, in many cases the click or snap is nothing to worry about. Home treatment...

  • Epilepsy that causes partial seizures is sometimes called focal epilepsy, because the seizures start at a specific focus or location within the brain. In people with this type of disorder, the electrical charges that cause seizures begin in a...

  • Simple partial seizures occur in children and adults with some forms of epilepsy. They are about half as common as complex partial seizures. The person stays awake and aware during the seizure. The seizure may be only a strange smell or taste, sound...

  • Most women who have epilepsy deliver healthy babies. But the risk of birth defects, stillbirth, and seizure-related problems is higher for babies born to women with epilepsy. Most antiepileptic medicines increase the risk even more. If you have...

  • You sometimes may notice that your milk does not flow easily, or let down, when you attempt to breastfeed or use a breast pump. Emotional stress, fatigue, anxiety, smoking, pain, or being cold are common causes of poor let-down. With poor let-down, you may not experience the tingling and leaking of milk that usually...

  • Tremor is an involuntary shaking movement that is repeated over and over. Although it may affect any part of the body, tremor most often affects the hands and head. Your voice may also shake. Sometimes the feet or torso may also shake. Essential...

  • Covers different types of epilepsy and its causes. Addresses complications of seizures and lists risk factors. Guides through decision regarding when to call doctor. Covers exams/tests, treatments, medicines, and surgeries. Provides home treatment tips.

  • If you have seizures that alter your awareness, consciousness, or muscle control, you may not have the legal right to drive. Laws vary from state to state, but in many cases you have to be seizure-free for at least 6 months to 1 year before you can...

  • Epilepsy that causes generalized seizures is more common in children than in adults. Partial seizures start in a specific, often damaged area in the brain. But generalized seizures can't be traced to a specific location or focus. The abnormal...

  • Generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures are the easiest seizures to recognize. They happen most often in people with generalized epilepsy of unknown cause. A generalized tonic-clonic seizure begins with a sudden loss of consciousness. During...

  • Myoclonic seizures affect a small number of children and adults with generalized epilepsy of unknown cause (idiopathic). In children and teens with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, the seizures seem to occur most often after waking up or while falling...

  • An atonic seizure is a sudden loss of muscle tone in the muscles that hold the body and head upright. The seizure occurs without warning and usually causes the person to fall down. Some atonic seizures may be more limited, only causing the person's...

  • Tonic seizures are fairly uncommon. They occur mostly in people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. This is a severe form of generalized epilepsy that begins in early childhood. (Children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome may also have atonic seizures.) When a...

  • Complex partial seizures occur in children and adults with certain forms of epilepsy. They are the most common type of seizure in adults. An aura may occur at the beginning of a seizure. It may consist of a strange smell, taste, sound, or visual...

  • Medicine therapy for epilepsy can fail for several reasons: You do not follow the treatment plan. You have to follow your therapy routine exactly as your doctor orders, to have the best chance of keeping seizures under control. Missing a dose here or there or taking doses too close together can upset the...

  • It is easy to understand people's reasons for wanting to stop medicine. Some reasons are side effects and drug toxicity, the cost and inconvenience of medicine, and, for women who want to have children, the higher risk of birth defects associated with some epilepsy medicines. If you have not had a seizure in several...

  • While working with your doctor to plan a medicine routine for yourself or your child, it may help you to talk about some of the choices and issues involved. Some of the following questions might help you prepare. Some medicines for epilepsy have to...

  • Physical activity is one of the best things you can do to help prevent a heart attack and stroke. Being active is one part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, not smoking, and staying at a healthy weight are other ways you can be...

  • The most common triggers for tension headaches are physical and emotional stress. Sometimes stress is caused by conditions such as anxiety and depression. If you think you may have anxiety or depression, talk with your doctor. If you treat these...

  • There are two main types of migraine headache: Migraine without aura (common migraine). Most people with migraines have common migraines. This type of migraine causes a throbbing pain on one side of the head. The pain is moderate to severe and gets worse with normal physical activity. You also may have...

  • Discusses possible causes and symptoms of migraine headaches. Covers common warning signs like the aura, nausea, and light sensitivity. Discusses tests used to diagnose migraines. Offers home treatment advice and discusses treatment with medicine.

  • The eye is shaped like a round ball, with a slight bulge at the front. The eye has three main layers. These layers lie flat against each other and form the eyeball. The outer layer of the eyeball is a tough, white, opaque membrane called the sclera (the white of the eye). The slight bulge in the sclera at...

  • The following tips can help you keep your eyes healthy and your vision as clear as possible. Provide good light for reading, work, or study (soft background light plus a light on your task). Take regular breaks from close work and visually demanding...

  • A person's medical history and a physical exam are important parts of the evaluation when the person has symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. The doctor will ask questions during a medical history to assess a person's past and current...

  • A health professional may evaluate the day-to-day functioning of a person who has Alzheimer's disease by asking questions and observing the person. This often is done informally during the medical history and physical exam. Sometimes the health professional may use a more formal functional status exam to evaluate a...

  • Most people who develop Alzheimer's disease do not have a history of the disease in their families. But if you do have a family history of Alzheimer's disease (one or more members of a family have had the disease), then your risk of getting it is...

  • You can help protect the person in your care by making the home safe. Pad sharp corners on furniture and countertops. Keep objects that are often used within easy reach. Install handrails around the toilet and in the shower. Use a tub mat to prevent slipping. Use a shower chair or bath bench when...

  • A person who is aware of losing some mental and functional abilities may be depressed or frightened and may feel like a burden to those who take care of him or her. Helping the person stay active and involved may make it easier for both of you. Take...

  • People who have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia are sometimes easily confused and may forget where they are, what day it is, and other common facts. The following tips will help avoid confusion. Use familiar objects, such as a favorite chair...

  • Getting a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia to eat enough may be a challenge in some cases. Some of these tips may help you. If the person resists using a spoon or fork, don't force the issue. Some people may have vision or motor...

  • Communicating with a person who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can be very challenging. Changing your approach to the way you communicate may be helpful. First, make sure the person does not have a hearing or vision problem. Sometimes a...

  • Many people with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can become agitated or upset easily. It may be helpful to: Keep distractions to a minimum. Keep noise levels low and voices quiet. Develop simple daily routines for bathing, dressing, eating,...

  • Loss of bladder and bowel control (incontinence) can sometimes result from Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Several strategies may help you deal with this problem: Encourage the person to use the bathroom on a regular schedule, such as every...

  • Wandering can pose a major problem for the caregiver and can be dangerous for a person who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. Get a medical ID bracelet for the person so that you can be contacted if he or she wanders away. Try to figure...

  • Taking care of a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can be a difficult, stressful, and tiring job. It affects the caregiver's health and ability to rest and can be a source of stress and conflict for the entire household. The...

  • A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or another dementia often raises some important legal and financial issues for the future. The person with dementia should be involved in these decisions as long as he or she is able and willing to be involved....

  • One of the most difficult problems to deal with as a caregiver is the sometimes strange or disruptive behaviors that people with dementia develop. They may wander, do certain things repeatedly, or insist on unusual routines or activities. Some...

  • The decision to try medicine to treat behavior problems in Alzheimer's disease is different for each person. The decision weighs the risks and benefits of these medicines. Your doctor can help you decide. Medicines for behavior problems linked to dementia do not work very well for most people and may have serious risks...

  • Discusses a form of mental decline (also called dementia). Looks at possible causes. Covers symptoms like memory loss or changes in mood or behavior. Covers treatment with medicines to help with memory and thinking problems. Offers tips for caregivers.

  • What is encephalitis? Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. This inflammation can cause symptoms such as confusion, a fever, a bad headache, and a stiff neck. Sometimes it leads to symptoms like seizures and personality changes. It can also cause long-term problems, such as trouble with speech or memory...

  • Children with Down syndrome can learn to eat by themselves with your help and encouragement. Eating independently is a developmental milestone that involves the use of small muscles (fine motor skills), large muscles (gross motor skills), and...

  • As your child with Down syndrome enters puberty, grooming and hygiene become increasingly important. Your child may need to learn new habits to stay well groomed. Cleanliness is very important for proper socialization and acceptance by peers. Stress...

  • Children with Down syndrome have reduced muscle tone, which can delay development of their motor skills. Children with delays may roll over, sit up, pull up, stand, and walk later than other children their age. Encourage motor skill development...

  • Children with Down syndrome usually have delayed speech and language development. Typically, these children have a much harder time learning to talk (expressive language) than with understanding what they hear (receptive language). On average,...

  • What is Down syndrome? Down syndrome is a set of physical and mental traits caused by a gene problem that happens before birth. Children who have Down syndrome tend to have certain features, such as a flat face and a short neck. They also have some degree of intellectual disability. This varies from person to person...

  • Spina bifida is a type of birth defect called a neural tube defect. It occurs when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) don't form properly around part of the baby's spinal cord. Spina bifida can be mild or severe. The mild form is the most common. It...

  • What is Tourette's disorder? Tourette's disorder is a brain condition that starts in childhood. Children with Tourette's make sounds or movements—such as coughing or twitching—that they can't control. These are called tics. Tics usually start at about age 2. They may be at their worst by age 12. Tics tend to decrease...

  • What is Bell's palsy? Bell's palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop. The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This...

  • What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease in which certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord slowly die. These nerve cells are called motor neurons, and they control the muscles that allow you to move the parts of your body. ALS is also called Lou Gehrig's...

  • What is post-polio syndrome? Post-polio syndrome is an illness of the nervous system that can appear 15 to 50 years after you had polio. It affects your muscles and nerves, and it causes you to have weakness, fatigue, and muscle or joint pain. Although post-polio syndrome can make some day-to-day activities more...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of cluster headaches. Covers medicines and treatment that either help reduce frequency or severity of headaches or stop a headache after it has started.

  • Cognitive impairment problems can be caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) and may include difficulty with: Memory, especially short-term memory. Problem solving. Keeping attention on a mental task, such as a math calculation. Finding the right words to...

  • Finding out that you have multiple sclerosis (MS) can be frightening. Even if you know a lot about MS, it is hard to predict how the disease will affect you. Some questions you might ask include the following: Will I have to use a wheelchair? MS affects how nerves in your brain and spinal cord communicate...

  • Exercise is an important part of home treatment for people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). It has benefits in both early and advanced stages of the disease. Regular exercise can help you: Maintain muscle strength and improve coordination. Maintain...

  • There is no cure for multiple sclerosis (MS). So far, the only treatments proved to affect the course of the disease are disease-modifying medicines, such as interferon beta. Other types of treatment should not replace these medicines if you are a candidate for treatment with them. Some people who have MS report...

  • If you have trouble moving around or if you become tired easily because of multiple sclerosis (MS), it may help to make some changes in your home. For instance, it might be helpful to: Change the location of furniture so that you can hold on to...

  • A person with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have difficulty emptying the bladder completely, because the muscle that helps to retain urine cannot relax (a form of spasticity). Sometimes urination can be stimulated by pressing or tapping the bladder...

  • Before conducting a neurological examination for multiple sclerosis (MS), the doctor will collect information about your symptoms. The kinds of symptoms, as well as how and when they occur, are important in evaluating whether you might have MS. Even symptoms that you might have had several years ago can be important...

  • An evoked potential test measures the time it takes for nerves to respond to stimulation. The size of the response is also measured. Nerves from different areas of the body may be tested. Types of responses are: Visual evoked response or potential (VER or VEP). This response occurs when the eyes are stimulated...

  • Covers the four courses of MS: relapsing-remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive, and progressive relapse. Discusses early and advanced symptoms. Also covers complications. Discusses diagnosis and treatment. Includes info on pregnancy and MS.

  • Neurosyphilis refers to the infection of the brain and spinal cord by the syphilis bacteria. This can lead to destruction in many areas of the nervous system, causing loss of function of a person's arms or legs, loss of vision, and altered mental...

  • Doctors do not use lab tests to diagnose fibromyalgia. The results of lab tests done on people with fibromyalgia should be normal unless another condition is present. You may have lab tests to rule out other diseases or to find out whether you have...

  • Exercise is one of the most important treatments for fibromyalgia. Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles, increase blood flow to the muscles, and increase your endurance. It also may reduce the risk of tiny injuries to the muscles that may...

  • If you have chronic pain, such as with fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome, you may have a hard time sleeping or you may wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed. Some experts believe poor sleep can make pain worse. Getting a good night's...

  • Nondrug methods of relieving pain may be helpful for people who have fibromyalgia. These can include: Applying heating pads or taking warm baths or showers. Gentle massage of painful muscles. Regular exercise to help strengthen muscles, which will...

  • Information on fibromyalgia, a syndrome that causes people to feel pain even when there is no injury. Covers symptoms and how it is diagnosed. Includes info on treatments such as medicines, exercise therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

  • What is congenital hydrocephalus? Congenital hydrocephalus is a buildup of excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain at birth. The extra fluid can increase pressure in the baby's brain, causing brain damage and mental and physical problems. This condition is rare. Finding the condition early and treating it...

  • The Brandt-Daroff exercise is one of several exercises intended to speed up the compensation process and end the symptoms of vertigo. It often is prescribed for people who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and sometimes for labyrinthitis. These exercises will not cure these conditions. But over time they...

  • Ulnar tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the ulnar nerve at the wrist. This nerve is found on the pinkie-finger side of the wrist. Overuse or repetitive use of your hands or wrist may cause swelling or thickening of the tissues close to the ulnar nerve. Swelling from a ganglion can also affect the ulnar nerve...

  • Repeated hand and wrist movements, especially if they are done in awkward positions such as with the wrist bent forward or back, can cause swelling or thickening of tissues within the carpal tunnel. The swelling makes the carpal tunnel smaller and...

  • A wrist splint is a brace that looks like a fingerless glove. It stabilizes your wrist in a straight and sometimes slightly bent-back position. Wearing a wrist splint minimizes pressure on the median nerve and allows you a period of "relative rest"...

  • Covers open surgery to release pressure on the median nerve to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms in your hand. Looks at how the surgery is done, how well it works, and what to expect after surgery. Includes info on risks.

  • Covers endoscopic surgery to release pressure on the median nerve to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms in your hand. Looks at how the surgery is done, how well it works, and what to expect after surgery. Includes info on risks.

  • Discusses carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition caused by pressure on the median nerve. Covers causes and symptoms such as tingling or numbness in the hand, forearm, or wrist. Discusses what increases your risk. Covers nonsurgical and surgical treatment.

  • An electromyogram (EMG) measures the electrical activity of muscles when they're at rest and when they're being used. Nerve conduction studies measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals. Nerves control the muscles in the body with electrical signals called impulses. These impulses make the...

  • The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by round, flat discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. If they become damaged, they may bulge abnormally or...

  • Discectomy is surgery to remove lumbar (low back) herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord. It tends to be done as microdiscectomy, which uses a special microscope to view the disc and nerves. This larger view allows the surgeon to use a smaller cut (incision). And this causes less...

  • A hemorrhagic stroke develops when a blood vessel (artery) in the brain leaks or bursts (ruptures). This causes bleeding: Inside the brain tissue (intracerebral hemorrhage). Near the surface of the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage or subdural...

  • Stroke is the most common cause of disability resulting from damage to the nervous system. A stroke may affect: Movement. You may not be able to use your arms or walk. This is usually because of weakness or paralysis on one side of the body (hemiparesis). Speech and language. You may not...

  • Exercise helps lower high blood pressure, which is an important risk factor for stroke. Exercise can help you control other things that put you at risk, such as obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. It is important to exercise regularly. Do...

  • After a stroke, keep in mind that you are the most important person in your own recovery. You need to have a major say in the decisions about your care. This may be hard for you, and you may sometimes feel like sitting back and letting others take...

  • It is common for a person who has had a stroke to feel sad and become depressed about the disabilities caused by the stroke. Sometimes the injury to the brain from the stroke can cause depression. Depression is a serious condition that needs...

  • A stroke often affects movement and use of one side of the body, so getting dressed is often difficult for people after a stroke. Getting dressed may be easier if you use stocking/sock aids, rings or strings attached to zipper pulls, and...

  • Some people have speech and language problems after a stroke. These problems may involve any or all aspects of language use, such as speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the spoken word. Speech and language problems, such as aphasia,...

  • Some people who have a stroke suffer loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) after the stroke. But this is usually temporary. And it can have many causes, including infection, constipation, and the effects of medicines. If you have problems...

  • After a stroke, you may not feel temperature, touch, pain, or sharpness on your affected side. You may have: Feelings of heaviness, numbness, tingling, or prickling or greater sensitivity on the affected side. No sense of how your muscles and joints...

  • If you have a family member who has had a stroke, you may be concerned about how the stroke is going to affect your family's lifestyle. You may be concerned about finances and changes in family roles and responsibilities. Here are some ways to help...

  • Depending on what part of the brain was affected by a stroke, the way a person acts may be different from how he or she acted before the stroke. A person who was very concerned about details before a stroke may become sloppy and care little about...

  • Emotional reactions after a stroke may be different from normal emotional reactions. The reaction may have little or no clear connection with what is happening around the person. Often reactions can be easily interrupted by diverting the person's...

  • When a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, a person's ability to judge distance, size, position, rate of movement, form, and the way parts relate to the whole is affected (spatial-perceptual problems). People with these problems may have...

  • Some people who have had a stroke ignore or are not aware of one side of their body. This can happen when the stroke damages one side of the brain. Caregivers may notice signs that the person is ignoring, or neglecting, the affected side, such as:...

  • A stroke often causes memory problems. In stroke rehab, you might try ways to help improve memory. If your family member has problems with memory, you might get helpful tips from the stroke rehab team. These tips may include: Set a daily routine, if...

  • Rehabilitation after a stroke usually involves a number of health professionals. These may include the following people. Doctors and nurses Rehabilitation doctor. The rehabilitation doctor is in charge of your medical care after a stroke. This may be a physiatrist (a doctor who specializes in...

  • Discusses carotid endarterectomy surgery to remove plaque buildup in the carotid arteries to prevent stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Includes info on how surgery can help prevent future strokes. Looks at long-term aspirin treatment.

  • Discusses ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and TIA (transient ischemic attack). Describes stroke symptoms and importance of acting fast if symptoms develop. Covers stroke treatment and prevention.

  • Covers surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Discusses why it may be done such as for a bulging disc, to relieve pain, or help prevent serious nerve damage. Looks at how well it works and risks.

  • Discusses herniated disc, which is also called a slipped or ruptured disc. Covers symptoms like back pain, numbness, and weakness. Looks at sciatica and bulging disc. Discusses nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. Offers prevention tips.

  • Discusses transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke. Covers causes, including blood clot as a result of atherosclerosis. Looks at treatment with medicines, surgery, and lifestyle changes. Discusses prevention steps.

  • A lumbar puncture (also called a spinal tap) is a procedure to collect and look at the fluid ( cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF ) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. During a lumbar puncture, a needle is carefully inserted into the spinal canal low in the back (lumbar area). Samples of CSF are collected. The samples are...

  • If you were exposed to ticks and you get an expanding, circular rash (erythema migrans), your doctor may treat you for Lyme disease without doing a blood test. Blood tests done in the first few weeks may not show Lyme disease even when you have the illness. This is because the body's immune system responds slowly to the...

  • What is speech and language development? Speech and language are the skills we use to communicate with others. We form these skills during the first years of life. By age 6, most children learn the basics. Try to talk and read to your child often to boost these skills. What is the difference between speech and...

  • What are labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis? Labyrinthitis (say "lab-uh-rin-THY-tus") is a problem inside the inner ear. It happens when the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear that helps control your balance, gets swollen and inflamed. Vestibular neuritis is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve. The nerve is...

  • What is myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)? Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) (say "my-AL-jik en-seh-fuh-loh-my-uh-LY-tus") is a disease that makes you feel so ill that you can't do your normal daily activities. Sleeping problems occur along with...

  • You may find it helpful to change your schedule to take advantage of times when you have more energy and feel less tired. Keep a diary for a week or so, and record the times of day when you have energy and when you are tired. If there is a pattern to how your energy levels change during the day, try to...

  • People who have chronic health problems, such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), often benefit from support groups. These groups can be a good source of information and tips for managing your illness and a chance to share your frustrations and problems with others who are in a similar...

  • In some people who have long-lasting pain, biochemical changes are triggered in the body, causing a different type of chronic pain (neuropathic pain) that doctors currently find difficult to diagnose and treat. Pain signals are somehow triggered by...

  • The nerves that carry messages to and from your legs come from your low back. By checking your muscle strength, your reflexes, and your sensation (feeling), your doctor can tell whether there is pressure on a nerve root coming from your spinal column. He or she can often also tell which nerve root is involved. Muscle...

  • Snoring is a major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But even though most people who have sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when the flow of air from the mouth or nose to the lungs is disturbed...

  • Sleep patterns naturally change as you get older. Compared to younger people, older adults: Sleep fewer hours and take longer to fall asleep. Sleep less deeply and wake up more often during the night. Have more trouble adjusting to changes in...

  • Fiber-optic pharyngoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look into the upper part of your respiratory system. He or she may use it to help decide how to treat your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). You remain awake during the procedure. Your...

  • Oral devices (also called oral appliances) are sometimes used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). They push the tongue and jaw forward, which makes the airway larger and improves airflow. This also reduces the chance that tissue will collapse...

  • Continuous positive airway pressure therapy ( CPAP) uses a machine to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn't collapse when you breathe in. When you use CPAP, your bed partner may sleep better...

  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are surgeries to remove the tonsils or adenoids. They are: Used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. Rarely used to treat snoring in adults. Not used to treat snoring in children. The surgeries almost always require a stay in the hospital.

  • Information on uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Explains that UPPP is a procedure to remove excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider. Discusses effectiveness and risks.

  • Discusses tracheostomy to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This surgery is done only for severe OSA. Explains that permanent opening in windpipe is created. Discusses possible complications, including lung infection, trouble talking, or scar tissue.

  • Focuses on obstructive sleep apnea. Discusses causes, including narrowed airways and obesity. Covers symptoms like snoring, gasping during sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Info on treatment with CPAP and oral or nasal breathing devices.

  • Discusses antibody test used to detect Lyme disease. Covers two types of test (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot test). Covers why and how they are done. Includes info on what results mean.

  • What is Guillain-Barré syndrome? Guillain-Barré syndrome (say "ghee-YAN bah-RAY") is a problem with your nervous system. It causes muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, and numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, face, and other parts of your body. This rare condition can cause paralysis and lead to death. But...

  • Misdiagnosis of Lyme disease is common. The bacteria that cause the illness are hard to detect with current lab tests. People often test positive for Lyme disease when in fact they have a different bacterial illness. People may test positive because...

  • What is Reye syndrome? Reye syndrome is a rare but serious disease that most often affects children ages 6 to 12 years old. It can cause brain swelling and liver damage. It may be related to using aspirin to treat viral infections. Reye syndrome can lead to brain damage, liver damage, and death. But if the...

  • Discusses shingles, a condition caused by the virus that causes chickenpox (herpes zoster). Discusses who is most likely to get it. Describes how shingles rash causes pain and the treatment for it. Includes info on the shingles vaccine.

  • Discusses Lyme disease, an infection spread by ticks. Includes info on deer ticks. Covers symptoms and Lyme disease tests. Covers treatment with antibiotics. Includes info on complications from not treating Lyme disease. Offers prevention tips.

  • Problems with sexual function in people with Parkinson's disease are common. Muscle stiffness and movement may make sexual activity difficult. Depression or anxiety may result in a loss of interest in sex or, in men, erection problems. These often...

  • In Parkinson's disease, freezing (sometimes called motor block) is a sudden, brief inability to start movement or to continue rhythmic, repeated movements, such as finger-tapping, writing, or walking. Freezing most often affects walking, but it also...

  • Most people know that Parkinson's disease is a condition that affects how you move. But the breakdown of nerve cells in Parkinson's disease can cause other symptoms. These other symptoms, also called "non-motor" symptoms, include: Constipation. This is a common problem, mostly related to the breakdown of...

  • When you have Parkinson's disease, you may find that making simple changes to your home and in your daily activities can help you stay independent for a longer time. Simplifying your daily activities may help you to save your energy for activities...

  • The tremor of Parkinson's disease is not always severe, but it may affect many of your daily activities. To help control tremor in your hand or arm when you are trying to use the hand, press the affected elbow against your body to stabilize your...

  • Most people with Parkinson's disease can eat the same healthy, balanced diet recommended for anyone. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Early in the disease,...

  • Exercise is an important part of home treatment for people with Parkinson's disease. It has benefits in both early and advanced stages of the disease. Regular exercise can help you: Keep and improve muscle strength and endurance. Control your weight...

  • Parkinson's disease can affect the muscles of the lips, tongue, throat, voice box (larynx), and lungs, all of which are involved in producing speech. Stiff, slow muscles in these areas may lead to: Low voice volume or soft speech. Imprecise speech...

  • Parkinson's disease can change many of the muscles used for speech, chewing, and swallowing. Changes in these muscles may cause: Weight loss and nutrition problems. Slow eating. Fatigue during eating. Food "sticking" in the throat. Coughing or...

  • As part of a healthy diet, eat at least two servings of fish each week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best. These fish include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines. Fish is an important part of a heart-healthy...

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS) uses electrical impulses to stimulate a target area in the brain. The stimulation affects movement by altering the activity in that area of the brain. The procedure does not destroy any brain tissue. And stimulation can be changed or stopped at any time. Surgery is required to implant the...

  • In Parkinson's disease, a part of the brain called the globus pallidus is overactive. This causes a decrease in the activity of a different part of the brain that controls movement. In a pallidotomy, the surgeon destroys a tiny part of the globus pallidus by creating a scar. This reduces the brain activity in that...

  • What is Parkinson's disease? Parkinson's disease affects the way you move. It happens when there is a problem with certain nerve cells in the brain. Normally, these nerve cells make an important chemical called dopamine. Dopamine sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement. It lets your muscles move...

  • Helps you check symptoms of leg problems not caused by injury. Covers symptoms like pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness, and lumps and bumps under the skin. Includes pictures of bones of lower leg, thigh, and muscles and tendons.

  • An adult central nervous system tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain and/or spinal cord. There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may begin in different parts of the brain or spinal cord. Together, the brain and...

  • Getting enough sleep is needed for both physical and mental health. Sleep is an important part of physical and mental health. While we sleep, the brain and body do a number of important jobs that help us stay in good health and function at our best. Getting the sleep we need: Improves our ability to learn, remember, and...

  • Delirium is a confused mental state that can occur in patients who have cancer. Delirium is a confused mental state that can occur in patients who have cancer, especially advanced cancer. Patients with delirium have problems with the following: Attention. Thinking. Awareness. Behavior. Emotions. Judgement. Memory...

  • A childhood brain or spinal cord tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain or spinal cord. There are many types of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may begin in different areas of the brain or spinal cord. The tumors may...

  • Medulloblastoma and other central nervous system (CNS) embryonal tumors may begin in embryonic (fetal) cells that remain in the brain after birth. These tumors tend to spread through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to other parts of the brain and spinal cord. Medulloblastoma and other CNS embryonal tumors may be malignant...

  • Central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the brain. Central nervous system (CNS) atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is a very rare, fast-growing tumor of the brain and spinal cord. It usually occurs in children aged three years...

  • Describes what happens when diseases or injuries affect the nervous system. Covers emergency symptoms like loss of consciousness, seizure, or confusion or behavior changes. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. The motion commonly is described as a feeling of spinning or whirling, but it also can include sensations of falling or tilting. Vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting. It may be hard to walk or stand, and you may lose your...

  • Good posture and the way you move your body can help prevent tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. If your headaches seem to be related to tension in this area, be aware of your posture and position during daily activities. This...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of tension headaches. Looks at managing headaches with over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Includes stress reduction and getting sleep and exercise. Includes getting treatment for depression or anxiety.

  • Covers symptoms of seizures caused by epilepsy, other health problems, or medicine. Explains why seizures, or convulsions, occur. Covers home treatment. Includes interactive tool the help you decide when to see a doctor.

  • What to watch for after a head injury A minor head injury is sometimes hard to distinguish from a more serious injury to the brain even when there is no visible bleeding or injury on the outside of the skull. Check for the following changes immediately after a head injury: A significant change in the child's level...

  • Taste changes may include the complete loss of taste (ageusia), partial loss of taste (hypogeusia), a distorted sense of taste (dysgeusia), such as a metallic taste, or an unpleasant or revolting taste (cacogeusia). A decrease in or loss of taste is common in older adults. It is part of the normal aging process and may...

  • Minor cuts on the head often bleed heavily because the face and scalp have many blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Although this amount of bleeding may be alarming, many times the injury is not severe and the bleeding will stop with treatment you can do at home. But it is important to know the difference...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription drugs can cause weakness and fatigue. A few examples are: Antianxiety medicines. Antidepressants. High blood pressure medicines. Statin medicines for high cholesterol. If you think a prescription or nonprescription medicine may be causing your weakness or fatigue, call your...

  • The possibility of a spinal injury must be considered anytime an accident involves the head, face, neck, or back. Permanent paralysis may be avoided if the injured person is kept from moving (immobilized) and is transported correctly. Do not move the person if you think he or she may have a spinal injury...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause symptoms related to the nervous system. A few examples are: Antipsychotic medicines. Medicines taken to control nausea. Medicines used to treat Parkinson's disease, restless legs syndrome, and other nervous system problems. Nervous system problems are often...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines and supplements can cause headaches. A few examples are: Medicines that contain hormones, such as birth control pills and hormone therapy for menopause. Medicines for erection problems. Caffeine (because of caffeine withdrawal). Some heart and blood pressure...

  • Discusses various sleep problems of those 12 and older. Covers insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. Offers tips to improve sleep. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Sleep apnea occurs when you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that airflow to your lungs is reduced (hypopnea). This is called the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI)...

  • Whether a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia should still be allowed to drive is a common dilemma faced by people who have the disease and by their caregivers. Taking away driving privileges may reduce the person's sense of independence and increase dependence on family and friends. But it is extremely...

  • Covers risk of heart disease and stroke in women. Lists things that increase risk. Lists prevention steps, such as diet, exercise, not smoking, managing cholesterol and blood pressure, and making decisions on birth control and hormone therapy.

  • Children with sensory processing disorder have difficulty processing information from the senses (touch, movement, smell, taste, vision, and hearing) and responding appropriately to that information. These children typically have one or more senses...

  • Discusses taking aspirin to prevent a first and second heart attack for people who have coronary artery disease. Covers aspirin therapy to help lower risk of a stroke. Discusses if aspirin therapy is for you. Looks at things to avoid while taking aspirin.

  • Guides you through decision to take medicines to treat MS (called disease-modifying therapy). Covers medicine choices. Covers side effects. Lists reasons for and against taking medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses diabetic neuropathy, nerve disease caused by diabetes. Covers the three types: peripheral, autonomic, and focal. Discusses symptoms of each type. Covers diagnostic tests. Includes info on treatment with medicines, physical therapy, and TENS.

  • Diabetic focal neuropathy, sometimes called mononeuropathy, affects a single nerve, most often in the wrist, thigh, or foot. It may also affect the nerves of the back and chest, as well as those that control the eye muscles. Focal neuropathy is far less common than peripheral or autonomic neuropathy. It occurs mostly...

  • Regular exercise may help control your diabetes, which can reduce your risk of severe diabetic neuropathy. Depending on what areas of your body have been affected by nerve damage, though, you may need to modify some aspects of your exercise program so that other problems don't develop. Before beginning an exercise...

  • Autonomic neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves that help control the involuntary functions of the body ( autonomic nervous system), such as heartbeat and blood pressure, sweating and temperature regulation, digestion, urination, and some aspects of sexual function. Heart and circulatory system problems...

  • Movement problems (motor fluctuations) are the most common complication of long-term levodopa use. The majority of people who take levodopa develop these problems within 5 to 10 years. The main types of levodopa-related motor fluctuations include: The wearing-off effect. Wearing-off periods occur when the...

  • You may be taking one or more medicines to prevent seizures. To get the most benefit from them, you need to consistently take the right dose of the right medicine at the right time. This can be difficult. But by following a few key tips, you can do it. Become informed about the medicines you are taking. Learn their...

  • The injection of botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, has become very popular for reducing wrinkles and rejuvenating the aging face. The effects are only temporary, but the injections can be done quickly, require no recovery time, and are not as complicated as many other cosmetic procedures for the face. Botulinum...

  • Many people experience an occasional ringing (or roaring, hissing, buzzing, or tinkling) in their ears. The sound usually lasts only a few minutes. Ringing in the ears that does not get better or go away is called tinnitus. You may hear a sound, such as a ringing or roaring, that does not come from your surroundings...

  • The best way to manage migraine headaches is to avoid them. And to avoid them, you need to know what things (or triggers) bring them on. By finding and avoiding your triggers, you can limit how often you get migraines and how bad they are. Try to avoid as many triggers as you can. Triggers add up, so the fewer you have...

  • Guides you through ways to reduce the severity of a headache and prevent it from coming back. Looks at combining stress management with medicines. Includes things you can do every day to help prevent headaches.

  • Fill out this sleep journal every morning for 1 to 2 weeks. It can help you see what gets in the way of a good night's sleep. It could also help your doctor know more about what affects your sleep. Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 What time did you go to...

  • The following suggestions may help you develop a plan to help a family member who has an ongoing problem with memory, problem solving, judgment, or the ability to handle daily tasks. These suggestions are basic and do not include all the information you will need to care for your family member. Your doctor may have...

  • People with nonepileptic seizures (NES) have periods of seizure-like activity. NES are characterized by a loss of or change in physical function without a central nervous system problem. The loss or change causes periods of physical activity or inactivity that resemble epileptic seizures. A person can have both...

  • Aura is the term used to describe symptoms that may occur before a seizure. An aura may include: Visual changes. Examples include: Bright lights. Zigzag lines. Slowly spreading spots. Distortions in the size or shape of objects. Blind or dark spots in the field of vision. Hearing voices or sounds (auditory...

  • Describes symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome such as tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers, thumb, or hand that occur with pressure on the median nerve. Offers prevention tips. Offers links to more info on carpal tunnel syndrome and office ergonomics.

  • Sleep problems are common during pregnancy. Sleep studies tell us that hormonal changes, plus the discomforts of later pregnancy, can break up a pregnant woman's sleep cycle. The first trimester can bring insomnia and night waking. Most women feel the need to take naps to battle daytime sleepiness and fatigue. The...

  • Spondylolysis is a defect or fracture of one or both of the wing-shaped parts of a vertebra. These "wings" help keep the vertebrae in place. When a "wing" is absent, defective from birth, or damaged, a vertebra can slide forward or backward over the bone below, sometimes pressing on the spinal cord or a nerve root. This...

  • Botulinum toxin A is a protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, the same bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning. When injected into muscle in tiny amounts, botulinum A (Botox) can stop or reduce muscle spasm by blocking nerve signals to the muscle. This treatment has been used since the early 1990s...

  • Covers using an electrical current to treat chronic pain. Explains how peripheral nerve and spinal cord stimulation is done, why it is done, and how well it works. Includes possible risks related to the treatment.

  • Experts disagree about the use of heat after an injury. Some experts: Do not recommend using heat because it may increase swelling, especially in the first few hours right after the injury. If you decide to use heat and you notice that the swelling increases, stop using heat and return to cold treatments. Think heat...

  • Guides you through decision to put a loved one who has had a stroke into long-term care. Lists reasons for and against. Covers types of long-term centers. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers causes of sciatica such as a bulging or ruptured disc, spinal stenosis, and bone spurs. Looks at symptoms such as pain in your back or buttocks. Includes treatment with a cold pack, medicines, and exercises to relieve pain.

  • What is spondylolisthesis? Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one bone in your back ( vertebra) slides forward over the bone below it. It most often occurs in the lower spine ( lumbosacral area). In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed. This can cause back pain and...

  • What is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury. You...

  • What is pudendal neuralgia? Pudendal neuralgia is a rare problem with the pudendal nerve that can affect both men and women. The pudendal nerve runs through your pelvic region, including your genitals, urethra, anus, and perineum. Your perineum is the area between your anus and genitals. The condition is also known as...

  • Cervical spinal fusion ( arthrodesis) is a surgery that joins selected bones in the neck ( cervical spine). There are different methods of doing a cervical spinal fusion: Bone can be taken from elsewhere in your body or obtained from a bone bank (a bone graft). The bone is used to make a bridge between vertebrae that...

  • Chronic pain often requires both counseling and medical treatment, because it can have a wearing effect on both the body and the mind. At a pain management clinic, you can get multidisciplinary treatment from a team of specialists, including: Physiatrists. These medical doctors specialize in physical medicine and...

  • What is mad cow disease, and does it infect people? Mad cow disease is a fatal disease that slowly destroys the brain and spinal cord ( central nervous system ) in cattle. It also is known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. People cannot get mad cow disease. But in rare cases they may get a human form of...

  • Discusses sleep problems caused by cancer or side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Offers tips like get daily exercise and use a sleep mask and earplugs to improve sleep. Warns to check with your doctor before taking sleep medicine.

  • Anyone who has a head injury during a sporting event needs to immediately stop all activity and not return to play that day. Being active again before the brain returns to normal functioning increases the person's risk of having a more serious brain injury. Every person involved in a sporting event (every coach...

  • Provides brief discussion on nerve block for pain relief. Explains that it is done by injecting a drug into or around a nerve or into the spine. Covers when and why nerve blocks are used. Also covers risks.

  • Guides you through the decision to take an anticoagulant to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Lyme disease can go through several stages. It may cause different symptoms, depending on how long you have been infected and where in your body the infection has spread. Stage 1: Early localized Lyme disease (1 to 4 weeks) Early localized Lyme disease develops days to weeks after you become infected. You may have...

  • Phantom limb pain is pain that is felt in the area where an arm or leg has been amputated. Although the limb is gone, the nerve endings at the site of the amputation continue to send pain signals to the brain that make the brain think the limb is still there. Phantom limb pain can be mild to agonizing and even disabling...

  • It can be hard for your doctor to tell whether you have migraine headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, cluster headaches, or a combination of these types. The symptoms of these headaches are often the same, and no test can diagnose headaches. Listing a few key features of your headaches may help your doctor...

  • Guides you through the decision to take drugs for migraines. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Feverfew ( Tanacetum parthenium) is an herb that has been studied a lot for migraine prevention. Some small studies show that it may help prevent migraines in some people. Feverfew is available as dried leaf powder, tablet, capsule, and tea. You might find it under the name MIG-99. If you would like to try feverfew to...

  • Guides through the decision to take prescription drugs for tension headaches. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antianxiety medicines. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through identifying and avoiding tension headache triggers. Helps you reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. Explains common triggers. Includes stress management, treatment for depression, and regular exercise and sleep.

  • Briefly describes seizures. Lists ways to help someone during and after a seizure. Covers things to watch for during a seizure as well as when to seek medical attention.

  • Multiple sclerosis, often called MS, affects the central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord. It can cause problems with muscle control and strength, vision, balance, feeling, and thinking. Rehabilitation programs often help. They include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive...

  • Generally, multiple sclerosis (MS) follows one of four courses: Relapsing-remitting, where you have alternating periods of active disease when symptoms flare up and periods when symptoms fade. This cycle can occur for many years. The disease does not advance during the remissions. Secondary progressive, where you...

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects different people in different ways. For people who have only mild symptoms from time to time, the disease may not have much impact on their everyday lives. People with more severe MS have frequently recurring or ongoing symptoms and may become disabled within a few years. Most people...

  • Parkinson-plus syndromes are a group of neurological conditions that are similar to Parkinson's disease but have unique characteristics. These syndromes can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other conditions. Following are the four most common types of Parkinson-plus syndromes. Progressive supranuclear...

  • Guides you through decision to take medicines for Alzheimer's disease. Covers medicine choices and their side effects. Lists reasons for and against taking medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is restless legs syndrome? Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder related to sensation and movement. People with restless legs syndrome have an unpleasant feeling or sensation in parts of their bodies when they lie down to sleep. Most people also have a very strong urge to move, and moving sometimes makes them...

  • Restless legs syndrome can be a secondary problem caused by another condition. Researchers continue their efforts to understand and define the relationship between this syndrome and: Iron deficiency or related anemia. The way the body metabolizes iron and certain proteins in the brain may be related to restless legs...

  • What is stuttering? Stuttering is a speech problem in which you may repeat, draw out, not complete, or skip words or sounds without meaning to. The problem can range from mild to severe. Stuttering that starts during a child's early language-learning years (ages 2 through 7 years) and goes away on its own before...

  • Normal disfluency is stuttering that begins during a child's intensive language-learning years and resolves on its own sometime before puberty. It is considered a normal phase of language development. About 75 out of 100 children who stutter get better without treatment. The most common normal disfluency in children...

  • A child's failure to reach speech and language milestones as expected may be a "red flag," or warning, meaning a speech and language development problem. If your child does not reach developmental milestones on schedule, it does not necessarily mean there is a problem. But he or she should be evaluated by a health...

  • Orthopedic surgery is used to treat tight muscles and spasticity related to cerebral palsy. An incision is made in the skin over the affected muscle. Parts of the muscle are then cut to release the tightness.

  • Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is the most common nerve surgery for symptoms related to cerebral palsy (CP). During SDR, a surgeon cuts the skin over the lower part of the spinal cord. The surgeon then finds and cuts the nerves in the cord that are causing muscle tightness in the legs.

  • What is periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)? Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a condition in which a person's legs, and sometimes arms, move repetitively and uncontrollably while he or she is asleep. These episodes of limb movement can disrupt the person's sleep, causing insomnia or daytime sleepiness...

  • Your child may have developmental delays as well as other problems that can make children, teens, and adults who have Down syndrome vulnerable to abuse, injury, and other types of harm. You can help manage and prevent these types of problems by...

  • People with Down syndrome usually have some level of independence by the time they become adults. Different types of specialized therapies, counseling, and training can help them learn necessary skills and manage emotional issues. The common types...

  • Children with Down syndrome who do not have severe physical disabilities can learn to dress themselves. Teach your child how to dress himself or herself by taking extra time to explain and practice. Explain what you are doing when you dress your...

  • Significant speech and language delays are directly related to developmental or health issues. But some people blame speech and language delays on factors that are not the cause of true delays, such as: Developmental variation. Mild and temporary speech delays can occur. And some children learn new words...

  • Kernicterus is a very rare type of brain damage that occurs in a newborn with severe jaundice. It happens when a substance in the blood, called bilirubin, builds up to very high levels and spreads into the brain tissues. This causes permanent brain...

  • Jerry, 32, works in customer service at a call center. So he's hunched over a computer for most of his work day. "I love my job, but it can be stressful. I hold my stress in my shoulders and neck. My shoulders are always up around my ears. A lot of times, I leave at the end of the day with a big headache." Jerry...

  • Carole lost a lot of time to migraines. Instead of playing with her children, she would lie on her bed in the dark, with a bag of ice on her head. "I kept thinking I could stop the migraines if I would just lie down and be still and quiet," says the 41-year-old mother of two. "It hardly ever worked." When a migraine...

  • Discusses causes of dementia, which include strokes, tumors, or Alzheimer's disease. Covers symptoms like memory loss and forgetfulness. Covers how dementia is diagnosed. Looks at treatment options. Covers issues for caregivers.

  • Some people have memory loss but do not have dementia. They have what is known as mild cognitive impairment, a middle ground between normal aging and dementia. People with this condition are at risk for developing dementia. But not all people with mild cognitive impairment will progress to dementia. People with mild...

  • Huntington disease is a rare condition that causes parts of the brain to break down, or degenerate. It is also called Huntington chorea. The disease causes rapid, jerky body movements and the loss of mental skills ( dementia). Huntington disease can cause personality changes, behavior problems, and memory loss. Symptoms...

  • Guides people who have not had a heart attack or a stroke through decision to take daily aspirin. Discusses benefits and risks. Looks at who can take daily aspirin. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is for people who have trouble sleeping because they work a night shift or rotating shifts. If you have trouble sleeping because of other reasons, see the topic Insomnia. What is shift work sleep disorder? Shift work sleep disorder is trouble sleeping because you work nights or...

  • Your child's tics related to Tourette's disorder may seem worse in certain situations or during times when he or she experiences strong emotions. Common triggers include: Stressful events, such as a family fight or poor performance at school....

  • Contains information on snoring. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders. Includes info on what causes snoring. Discusses things you can do to stop snoring. Covers snoring treatments such as medicines, oral breathing devices, or surgery.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a procedure used to remove excess tissue in the throat to widen the airway. This sometimes can allow air to move through the throat more easily when you breathe, reducing snoring. The tissues removed may include: The small finger-shaped piece of tissue ( uvula) that hangs down from...

  • Several oral devices have been tested to treat people with snoring, including a tongue-retaining device that is worn while sleeping. It pushes the tongue and jaw forward, improving airflow. Changing the position of the lower jaw enlarges the airway and decreases the chance that it will collapse when you inhale. This may...

  • Your doctor may talk with you about your risk for heart and blood flow problems, including heart attack and stroke. You and your doctor can use your risk to decide whether you need to lower it and what treatment is best for you. What might you be at risk for? Your doctor is checking your risk of having a...

  • What is a spinal cord injury? A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a soft bundle of nerves that extends from the base of the brain to the lower back. It runs through the spinal canal, a tunnel formed by holes in the bones of the spine. The bony spine helps protect the spinal cord. The...

  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can be classified based on function (how much feeling and movement you have) or on where the damage occurred. When a nerve in the spinal cord is injured, the nerve location and number are often used to describe how much damage there is. For example, a C7 injury is associated with the seventh...

  • People who have had a spinal cord injury (SCI) don't always have the ability to cough forcefully. A forceful cough is important, because it will help you bring up mucus in the lungs, which can help prevent some lung complications, such as pneumonia. But some people shouldn't try assisted cough. Don't use an assisted...

  • A spinal cord injury (SCI) makes movement difficult. Movement is what keeps your muscles and joints flexible and helps prevent spasticity. If you cannot move your muscles and joints easily, you may lose some of your range of motion. This will make it harder to perform daily activities, such as getting dressed or moving...

  • What is spondylosis? Spondylosis is age-related change of the bones (vertebrae) and discs of the spine. These changes are often called degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. These changes don't always cause symptoms. But they are a common cause of spine problems that can range from mild to severe. What causes...

  • When you are recovering from a spinal cord injury (SCI), it is best to work with a group of health professionals known as a rehabilitation (rehab) team. Your rehab team designs a unique plan for your recovery that will help you recover as much function as possible, prevent complications, and help you live as...

  • Rehabilitation (rehab) for a spinal cord injury (SCI) is typically done in a special center. You and your family work with a rehab team, a group of health professionals that designs a unique plan for your recovery. This plan will help you recover as much function as possible, prevent complications, and help you live as...

  • Pain in a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be complicated and confusing. There are different types of pain, and they are often described in different ways. You may feel pain where you have feeling. But you may also feel pain in an area where otherwise you have no feeling. The pain may be severe at some times. But at other...

  • Talking with your partner may help your sexual function, whether it be erection problems for men or lack of arousal for women. Couples often wrongly assume that they each know what the other person likes when it comes to sex, but likes and dislikes may change after a spinal cord injury (SCI). Talk about how the SCI...

  • Sensual exercises may help you enjoy sexual intimacy and find satisfaction after a spinal cord injury (SCI). You may find that your old methods of finding satisfaction still work or that they no longer do. Doing sensual exercises with your partner may help you relax and focus more on the pleasurable touching of...

  • Lung and breathing problems are common in a spinal cord injury (SCI). This is because you may not be able to use some of the muscles necessary for breathing, or they may be very weak. This makes it difficult to breath, cough, and bring up mucus from the lungs, which leads to a greater risk of lung infections such as...

  • Mobility is an important aspect of a spinal cord injury (SCI). The ability to move lets you participate more fully in community life and do the things you would like to do. You are not "confined" to crutches or wheelchairs—they make you independent. Mobility devices can help you get to work, go shopping, and get around...

  • When you leave a rehabilitation (rehab) center for your home after a spinal cord injury (SCI), you need to have your home ready for your special needs. Following are some of the adaptations and adaptive equipment you may need. Talk with your rehab team about what you will need specifically and the best way to proceed...

  • After your spinal cord injury (SCI), you may need a wheelchair. Moving from your wheelchair to other locations is known as a transfer. If you have enough upper body strength, you may be able to do this yourself. Your injury and strength will determine what type of transfer you do. But there are general things that are...

  • Autonomic dysreflexia is a syndrome in which there is a sudden onset of excessively high blood pressure. It is more common in people with spinal cord injuries that involve the thoracic nerves of the spine or above (T6 or above). Be prepared to call your spinal cord injury therapist, , or other emergency services if you...

  • You can't wait to go to your sister's wedding and see family and friends. But you're not so thrilled at the idea of the long cross-country flight from California to North Carolina. You feel fine for a while after you get there. But later that night, you have trouble sleeping, even though you're tired. And your stomach...

  • Discusses problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Covers causes such as stress, depression, lack of exercise. Discusses other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Covers treatment and includes alternative medicines like melatonin.

  • A pain diary may help you and your doctor find out what makes your pain better or worse. Use the diary below to keep track of when you have pain, how bad it is, and what you are doing to treat it. This figure has been reproduced with permission of the International Association for the Study of Pain® (IASP®). The figure...

  • The purpose of physical therapy is to decrease pain and allow you to gradually return to your normal activities. Physical therapy for spinal stenosis involves treatment with physical or mechanical means, such as through exercise or heat. Physical therapy may reduce pain in the soft tissues (such as the muscles...

  • Covers narrowing of spinal canal in the neck. Looks at symptoms like pain or numbness in neck, shoulders, arms, hands, or legs caused by squeezing of nerves and cord. Discusses treatment with medicine, exercise, physical therapy, and surgery.

  • If your baby is born with Down syndrome, you will likely have many questions and strong emotions. Your doctor can help answer your questions. And he or she can guide you to appropriate resources to help you manage your feelings and plan for your...

  • If your baby is born with Down syndrome, you will likely have many questions and strong emotions. Your doctor can help answer your questions. And he or she can guide you to appropriate resources to help you manage your feelings and plan for your...

  • If your child who has Down syndrome is between the ages of 1 and 5 years, you will likely have ongoing questions and concerns. Your doctor can help answer your questions and guide you to appropriate resources to help you manage your feelings and...

  • If your child with Down syndrome is between the ages of 5 and 13, you will likely have ongoing questions and concerns. Your doctor can help answer your questions. And he or she can guide you to appropriate resources to help you manage your feelings...

  • If your child with Down syndrome is an adolescent or young adult between the ages of 13 and 21, you will likely have ongoing questions and concerns. Your doctor can help answer your questions. And he or she can guide you to appropriate resources...

  • Many things work together to cause foot problems in people who have diabetes, especially poor circulation and nerve disease (neuropathy). Neuropathy significantly dulls awareness of your feet, making you more susceptible to extensive injury-related damage. Also, diabetes can impair your ability to heal by both damaging...

  • What is the body clock? The body's "biological clock," or 24-hour cycle ( circadian rhythm), can be affected by light or darkness, which can make the body think it is time to sleep or wake up. The 24-hour body clock controls functions such as: Sleeping and waking. Body temperature. The body's...

  • What is chronic myofascial pain? Most people have muscle pain from time to time. But chronic myofascial pain is a kind of ongoing or longer-lasting pain that can affect the connective tissue (fascia) of a muscle or group of muscles. With myofascial pain, there are areas called trigger points. Trigger points are usually...

  • Weakness and fatigue are terms that are often used as if they mean the same thing. But in fact they describe two different sensations. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel weak" or "I am fatigued" because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the possible causes of your symptoms...

  • Radiofrequency palatoplasty is a new procedure that uses an electrical current to shrink and stiffen the back part of the roof of the mouth ( soft palate and uvula). When the soft palate and uvula are stiffer, they are less likely to vibrate and you are less likely to snore.

  • Take sleeping pills for a short time, along with making lifestyle changes. Treat your sleep problems with only lifestyle changes. Insomnia can be caused by menopause or problems such as depression, anxiety, and sleep apnea. Treating these conditions may get rid of your sleep problem. This topic is for people...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic covers rehabilitation after a stroke. For information on stroke itself, see the topic Stroke. What is stroke rehabilitation? The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation ("rehab"). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain...

  • After a stroke, the injury to the brain can cause muscles to contract or flex on their own when you try to use an arm or leg. The sensation can be painful. It has been described as a "wicked charley horse." Because the muscle cannot move in its full range of motion, the tendons and soft tissue surrounding the muscle can...

  • After a stroke, problems with your vision, speech, or ability to move can change your ability to drive safely. So you'll need to get approval to drive again. This may be hard to accept. You may feel that this is a big loss of independence. But this approval is for the safety of yourself and others. Talk with your...

  • Offers tips on improving sleep. Covers sleep disorders like insomnia. Discusses things that affect sleep. Covers habits like drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed. Suggests exercising daily and no napping. Discusses sleep diaries.

  • Asks questions that help you find out if your low back problem might be helped by surgery. Results help you talk with your doctor about back pain or other symptoms like leg pain. Helps you talk with your doctor about surgery and other treatment options.

  • "Fibro fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that can go along with fibromyalgia syndrome. These problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion, losing your train of thought, or forgetting or mixing up words or details. You can take steps to manage fibro fog. Try some of the...

  • Tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands are common during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. These problems are usually caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, and they usually go away after pregnancy. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a specific group of symptoms that can include tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain...

  • It is common to have trouble swallowing, also called dysphagia, after a stroke. You may not be able to feel food on one or both sides of your mouth. You may also have problems chewing or producing enough saliva. Or you may have other conditions that make eating difficult and increase your risk of choking or breathing in...

  • What is Morton's neuroma, and what causes it? Morton's neuroma is a swollen or thickened nerve in the ball of your foot. When your toes are squeezed together too often and for too long, the nerve that runs between your toes can swell and get thicker. This swelling can make it painful when you walk on that foot...

  • Having a sleepless night now and then can be annoying. But when you have restless legs syndrome (RLS), going without sleep night after night can make life miserable. You may be so tired that you just feel like crying. If restless legs are robbing you of sleep, you're not alone. But there may be some things you can do...

  • What is nerve ablation? The destruction (also called ablation) of nerves is a method that may be used to reduce certain kinds of chronic pain by preventing transmission of pain signals. It is a safe procedure in which a portion of nerve tissue is destroyed or removed to cause an interruption in pain signals and...

  • Guides through decision to stop driving because of age. Discusses how aging affects the ability to drive and when it is time to stop driving. Offers other transportation options. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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