Seizures come in all different shapes and forms, from absence seizures where the person seems to just lose focus to grand mal seizures, which involve loss of consciousness, loss of bladder or bowel control, and generalized jerky body movements. For the purposes of today’s article I will focus on grand mal seizures. Seizures are caused by a sort of electrical short circuit of the brain. Abnormal brain wave activity may be seen on electroencephalogram (EEG). Seizures need to be differentiated from other conditions that may look similar including syncope (sudden loss of consciousness), movement disorders, and other brain conditions. Hallmark seizure symptoms include tongue biting, incontinence, and a post-ictal phase. The post-ictal phase

There is a phenomenon known as the “French paradox.” The French have a low risk of developing heart disease despite eating a rich diet. This discrepancy has been attributed to their high rate of consumption of red wine. Red wine contains phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties. A recent study explored this phenomenon. The study, done (naturally) in France, examined the blood and urine chemistry differences in two groups of non-smokers who smoked three cigarettes each. The aim was

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States. It is caused by either herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 (HSV-2), a virus that almost exclusively causes genital infections, or HSV type 1 (HSV-1) which causes oral and lip infections (cold sores) and genital herpes. HSV-2 is estimated to infect more than 45 million US residents aged 14 to 49 years. HSV-1 now causes 10 to 20 percent of all new cases of genital herpes. Congential herpes

Rosacea is a common chronic skin disorder of the central face that is estimated to affect more than 16 million Americans. It is a syndrome that consists of various signs and symptoms including skin redness, telangectasias (red dots), swelling, papules and pustules (pimples), eye lesions, and rhinophyma (excess growth of skin on the nose). Also included may be burning and stinging of the skin and the feeling of something in the eye. Rosacea typically first appears between the ages of 30 to 60

Rest has long been the cornerstone of the management and treatment of concussion, especially in children and adolescents. This advice includes both physical and cognitive rest. Physicians have been advising both rest at home and avoidance of classwork for many years. A recent study out of Ottawa, Canada, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, casts more doubt on the current recommendations for concussion management. There is limited evidence in the medical literature that

In general, hospice care falls under the category of palliative care, however the two have different indications and goals, and are often provided in different settings. The first palliative care unit was opened in 1976 at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Quebec by Dr. Balfour Mount. His motivation for opening the unit was his perceived neglect of dying patients in the acute care setting. Since then, palliative care has evolved and is used in many different settings including caring for a

Statins (Lipitor, Crestor, etc.) have been proven to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol), which has been shown to prevent or delay the onset of heart disease. They also help to stabilize heart disease in someone who already has it. The problem for both clinicians and patients is determining when to start statin therapy because there are a number of guidelines available and they all differ in their recommendations.

The first step in deciding when to

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