Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

Date: May 15- June 15, 2022

June is Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month.

What is Tourette Syndrome?

According to the Tourette Association of America, tics are involuntary, repetitive movement and vocalizations. They are the defining feature of a group of childhood-onset, neurodevelopmental conditions known collectively as Tic disorders and individually as Tourette Syndrome.

Tics are common in childhood. The estimated prevalence of Tourette Syndrome disorder range from 3 to 8 per, 1,000 in school-aged children. Males are more commonly affected than females. Some people may have tic-free periods of weeks to months.

There are three types:
  1. Motor tics cause a movement including eye blinking, facial grimacing, jaw movements, and head bobbing
  2. Vocal/phonic tics produce a sound including throat clearing, grunting, hooting, and shouting
  3. Provisional tic disorders involve a person who experiences involuntary motor and/or verbal tics for one year.
Signs and Symptoms:

Tic Disorders:

  • eye blinking
  • coughing
  • throat clearing
  • sniffing
  • facial movement
  • shoulder shrugging

Vocal Tics:

  • barking or yelping
  • grunting
  • repeating what someone else says
  • shouting
  • sniffing
  • swearing
Co-Occurring Disorders Include:
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive -Compulsive Disorder
  • Learning difficulties
  • Behavior problems
  • Anxiety
  • Mood problems
  • Sleeping issues
  • Social skills and deficits

Resources:

Ways to raise awareness: Participate in Awareness Month – Tourette Association of America

Transforming the lives of people with Cystic Fibrosis

Published by: Queens University- Belfast

A Queen’s University research team have transformed the lives of thousands of people with Cystic Fibrosis by leading on the clinical development of treatments that address the underlying genetic disorder.

Summary of the impact

The Queen’s University Cystic Fibrosis research team is recognised as world leading, having worked for over 12 years supporting the development of drugs that improve the function of CTFR.

Prior to their work, treatments for Cystic Fibrosis have been focused on symptom control. However, during the last decade, Queen’s University Belfast has been at the forefront of major advancements in drugs targeting the underlying genetic deficit.

This work included the development of clinical trial protocols, and inclusion of key outcome measures such as; lung function (FEV1), pulmonary exacerbation rate, and Quality of Life (QoL) tools for use in clinical trials of new therapeutics.

Extensive clinical trial experience coupled with the Clinical Trial Network infrastructure established by Queen’s and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, resulted in Queen’s playing a pivotal role in a drug development programme working alongside Vertex Pharmaceuticals to deliver trials for single, double and triple therapies in Cystic Fibrosis.

Working with industry, clinical trial networks and contract research organisations and colleagues at other Higher Education Institutes such as Imperial College, Queen’s University has developed expertise in the delivery of clinical trials of single and multiple combination therapies. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Prevalence of Dysphagia in People with Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review

Introduction

The purpose of this study is to summarize international research that has been conducted on the prevalence of dysphagia in people with intellectual disabilities.

Methodology

The authors reviewed studies that were published from 1990 to July 2016. The studies were identified through using databases including Medline, Cinahl, PsyINFO, and Web of Science. Further information was obtained through email requests and cross-citations.

Through this method, twenty studies were identified. The study selection required that the studies were peer reviewed, and samples of people where at least 50% had an intellectual disability

Findings

  • Dysphagia is common in people with an intellectual disability and my be under-recognized.
  • Improved recognition and management of dysphagia may reduce the occurrence of associated health conditions and reduce hospital admissions and premature death
  • Organizations that are providing services and supports to individuals with an intellectual disability need access to resources that provide comprehensive information on topics relating to dysphagia.

 

Reference

Robert, J.; Chadwick, D.; Baines, S.; Emerson, E.; Hatton, C. (2017). Prevalence of Dysphagia in People with Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 55(6). 377-391

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder Fact Sheet

This is a download on Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Learn more with the download and share with others.

Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

Date: May 1- May 30, 2022

May is Williams Syndrome Awareness Month.

What is Williams Syndrome?

Williams Syndrome also known as Williams-Beuren syndrome was discovered in 1961 by J.C.P. Williams, a Cardiologist from New Zealand. Williams Syndrome is a rare disorder with a prevalence of in 7,500 to 20,000 caused by the deletion of genetic material from chromosome 7. Williams syndrome symptoms include heart problems, low birth weight, l problems and developmental delays. 75 are diagnosed with mile to moderate intellectual disabilities or a learning disability.

Facts and Statistics
  • It is a genetic condition that is present a birth.
  • It is a developmental disorder
  • Tend to have a mild or moderate intellectual disability.
  • It is also known as Beuren Syndrome and Williams-Beuren Syndrome.
  • The symptoms were first described by John C.P. Williams in 1961.
  • A year later, German Physician, A.J. Beuren described three new incidents of patients with similar facial features.
  • It is caused by the spontaneous deletion of 26-28 genes on Chromosome #7
  • The deletion is caused by either the sperm or the egg.
  • The deletion is present at the time of conception
  • The most common symptoms of Williams Syndrome includes unusual facial features and heart defects.
  • The diagnosis is typically confirmed after identifying facial features and genetic testing.
  • An individual with Williams Syndrome has a 50% chance of passing the disorder on to their children.
  • Williams Syndrome affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide.
  • An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States are affected.
  • It occurs in both males and females equally
  • It is found in every culture
  • Individuals with Williams Syndrome tend to be overly friendly.
  • People with Williams Syndrome often have difficulty with visual-spatial tasks
  • Congenital heart defects (CHD) occur in approximately 75 percent of children
  • By the age of 30, the majority of individuals with Williams Syndrome have pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Physical characteristics include:

Musculoskeletal

Almond shape eyes

Broad forehead

long neck

Longer upper lip

Puffiness around the eyes

sloping shoulders

Small chin

Small upturned nose

Wide mouth

Learning Characteristics

During Williams Syndrome Awareness Month, You can create a fundraising page or team

Download awareness event planning tools

purchase an awareness t-shirt

For more information: Awareness Month | Williams Syndrome Association (williams-syndrome.org)