Although doctors have noticed that fathers-to-be can experience weight gain, morning vomiting, heartburn, and restlessness, as well as more random symptoms like toothaches and leg cramps, there hasn't been any agreement as to what causes it. Say hello to Couvade Syndrome aka 'Male Sympathetic Pregnancy'. [more inside]
Portrait of a Young Man with Down Syndrome. A father reflects on his son's search for employment.
Science journalist and NOVA correspondent extraordinaire Miles O'Brien was working on a story in Japan and the Philippines when a piece of luggage fell on his arm causing minor swelling. The next day his arm was amputated due to Acute Compartment Syndrome. He recounts his experience with as much humor and grace as one can muster.
GQ Gaffe in naming Boston Worst Dressed City: GQ Magazine in its "The 40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America" described Boston as suffering "from a kind of Style Down Syndrome" (since redacted). In a constructive response, Dr. Brian Skotko responds, "Mock my pants, not my sister." [more inside]
How 'The Fridge' lost his way. A profile of William 'The Refrigerator' Perry.
Charlie and Spike are two kittens with Myotonia Congenita, also known as fainting goat syndrome. [more inside]
AJ has come forward. Last year ericb told us about Hyperthymesia, a condition where the affected individual has a superior autobiographical memory. AJ is Jill Price, author of The Woman Who Can't Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science—A Memoir.
Do you have Asperger's Syndrome? Answer these questions and find out. I'm skeptical about this, but I find it fascinating. For years, I've suspected I'm an Aspie, and, as it turns out, I answered the questions exactly the way the researchers predict an Aspie would answer them. My "normal" wife answers them they way "normal" people do. I am almost incapable of understanding the "normal" answer. To me, the Aspie answer is obviously correct. Here is a great discussion about the research. Here is the original research paper (MS Word file). [more inside]
All pregnancies are now recommended to be screened for Down Syndrome. 90% of those tested positive have opted for an abortion, while some in support groups discourage this to avoid becoming a vanishing minority with less funding. Now that campaign promises are being made to those with special needs, while vowing to outlaw abortion, a parent or voter might want to know more details. The costs used in this analysis were $146 for first-trimester screening, $66 for the second-trimester Triple Screen, and $86 for a second-trimester Quad Screen. A consultation with a genetic counselor is estimated at $68, and if a diagnostic procedure is also done, the total cost is $1,308. Terminations of pregnancy done in the first and second trimester are $648 and $1,146, respectively. The societal cost of raising and caring for an individual with Down syndrome is $762,748. Previously on Metafilter.
There are lots of people who post weight loss videos on Youtube. But none of them faced as many challenges as Jeremy did. Morbidly obese, and bedridden, we watched while he struggled to walk again and defeat obesity. Despite those that were rude to him, nobody seemed to have as much spirit and drive as Jeremy did. Even Jeremy's last video was filled with optimism. But even though so many of us struggle against obesity, some of us lose the fight. Even though Jeremy has passed, Roberta's videos dealing with his loss remind us how fortunate we really are.
Williams syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by distinctively "elfin" facial features, an uncanny ability to socialize with strangers, and, often, enhanced musical abilities.
After a six hour swim, Karen Gaffney finished crossing Lake Tahoe. She's also done the English Channel as part of a relay. Karen also has Down syndrome and is a motivational speaker. [more inside]
Coping: A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome. A short, to-the-point guide to the unwritten rules of life.
...In March 1991, a few days after the end of the gulf war, American soldiers exploded two large caches of ammunition and missiles in Khamisiyah, Iraq. Some of the missiles contained the dangerous nerve gases sarin and cyclosarin. Based on wind patterns and the size of the plume, the Department of Defense has estimated that more than 100,000 American troops may have been exposed to at least small amounts of the gases. When the roughly 700,000 deployed troops returned home, about one in seven began experiencing a mysterious set of ailments, often called gulf war illnesses, with problems including persistent fatigue, chronic headaches, joint pain and nausea. Those symptoms persist today for more than 150,000 of them, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than the number of troops exposed to the gases.Gas May Have Harmed Troops, Scientists Say
The National Potrait Gallery held a competition for new entries into the gallery. The winner is a fabulous painting by David Lenz. There is a great deal of focus in the exhibit of imagery that is truthful, but not necessarily flattering. The winner is both truthful and flattering. Lenz's subject is is his son, who has Down syndrome. The title, "Sam and the Perfect World" is quite poignant. There is a long NPR program covering the entire topic of portaiture in general and this portrait specifically.
Penis panic, is a type of body dysmorphia, among other strange afflictions. Also known as koro, it may be induced by cannabis, superstition or fear.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month - at a time when eugenics was socially sanctioned, John Langdon Down pioneered many of the techniques that are considered best practice today for encouraging the development of children with Down syndrome. Not long ago, standard practice in the United States was institutionlization from birth, which led to short, unhappy lives. Only in the past generation, have we rediscovered that with care and medical treatment, people with Trisomy 21 can and do flourish. Find a local Buddy Walk near you and get educated.
"Munchausen" isn't just a fabulous movie it's a syndrome where you pretend to be (or believe you are) sick in order to get attention. There is also a well-known syndrome called Munchausen By Proxy where a parent makes a child sick. And now (here it comes) there's Munchausen By Internet people pretending to have illnesses on the net to get attention. It's a subject I would have scoffed at a few days ago, but now....