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Parkinson's Disease (also known as Parkinson disease, Parkinson's, idiopathic Parkinsonism, primary Parkinsonism, PD, or paralysis agitans)

is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking,rigidity,slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioural problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. PD is more common in the elderly, with most cases occurring after the age of 50.

Motor Neurone Diseases (MND) or Motor Neurone Diseases

are a group of neurological disorders that selectively affect motor neurones, the cells that control voluntary muscle activity including peaking, walking, breathing, swallowing and general movement of the body. They are generally progressive in nature, and can cause progressive disability and death. The drug riluzole can slow progression slightly; apart from this the medical care is supportive. The condition was first described in full by the French neurologistJean-Martin Charcot in 1869.

Muscular Dystrophy (MD)

is a group of muscle diseases that weaken the musculoskeletal system and hamper locomotion. Muscular dystrophies are characterised by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue.

Arthritis

inflammation of a joint. The term is often used by the public to indicate any disease involving pain or stiffness of the musculoskeletal system. Arthritis is not a single disease, but a group of over 100 diseases that cause pain and limit movement. The most common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Lymphoedema

also known as lymphatic obstruction, is a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system. The lymphatic system returns the interstitial fluid to the thoracic duct and then to the bloodstream, where it is recirculated back to the tissues. Tissues with lymphedema are at risk of infection. Symptoms may include severe fatigue, a heavy swollen limb or localized fluid accumulation in other body areas, including the head or neck, discoloration of the skin overlying the lymphedema, and eventually deformity (elephantiasis). Lymphedema should not be confused with edema arising from venous insufficiency, which is not lymphedema. However, untreated venous insufficiency can progress into a combined venous/lymphatic disorder which is treated the same way as lymphedema.

Cerebral palsy

(CP) is a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement. Cerebral refers to the cerebrum, which is the affected area of the brain (although the disorder may involve connections between the cortex and other parts of the brain such as the cerebellum), and palsy refers to disorder of movement. Furthermore, paralytic disorders are not cerebral palsy – the condition of quadriplegia, therefore, should not be confused with spastic quadriplegia, nor tardive dyskinesia with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, nor diplegia with spastic diplegia, and so on. Cerebral palsy's nature as a broad category means it is defined mostly via several different subtypes, especially the type featuring spasticity, and also mixtures of those subtypes. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or after birth up to about age three. Resulting limits in movement and posture cause activity limitation and are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, depth perception, and other sight-based perceptual problems, communication ability; impairments can also be found in cognition, and epilepsy is found in about one-third of cases. CP, no matter what the type, is often accompanied by secondary musculoskeletal problems that arise as a result of the underlying disorder.

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) (or the Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome

after the Canadian physicians who described it in 1963) is a degenerative disease involving the gradual deterioration and death of specific volumes of the brain. Males and females are affected approximately equally and there is no racial, geographical or occupational predilection. Approximately 6 people per 100,000 population have PSP. It has been described as a tauopathy.

Stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA)

is the rapid loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood flow) caused by blockage (thrombosis, arterial embolism), or a hemorrhage. As a result, the affected area of the brain cannot function, which might result in an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field. A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage and death. Risk factors for stroke include old age, high blood pressure, previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), diabetes, high cholesterol, tobacco smoking and atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke. It is the second leading cause of death worldwide. An ischemic stroke is occasionally treated in a hospital with thrombolysis (also known as a "clot buster"), and some hemorrhagic strokes benefit from neurosurgery. Treatment to recover any lost function is termed stroke rehabilitation, ideally in a stroke unit and involving health professions such as speech and language therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Prevention of recurrence may involve the administration of antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin and dipyridamole, control and reduction of high blood pressure, and the use of statins. Selected patients may benefit from carotid endarterectomy and the use of anticoagulants.

What are they? How do they affect seating someone?

Multiple Sclerosis (abbreviated to MS, known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata)

is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty meylin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in women. It has a prevalence that ranges between 2 and 150 per 100,000. MS was first described in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot. MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other effectively. Nerve cells communicate by sending electrical signals called action potentials down long fibres called axons, which are contained within an insulating substance called myelin. In MS, the body's own immune system attacks and damages the myelin. When myelin is lost, the axons can no longer effectively conduct signals. The name multiple sclerosis refers to scars (scleroses—better known as plaques or lesions) particularly in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord, which is mainly composed of myelin. Although much is known about the mechanisms involved in the disease process, the cause remains unknown.

Osteo-Arthritis (OA)

which is also known as osteoarthrosis or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a progressive disorder of the joints caused by gradual loss of cartilage and resulting in the development of bony spurs and cysts at the margins of the joints. The name osteoarthritis comes from three Greek words meaning bone, joint, and inflammation.

Huntington's Disease (HD)

is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline and psychiatric problems. It typically becomes noticeable in mid-adult life. HD is the most common genetic cause of abnormal involuntary writhing movements called chorea, and indeed the disease used to be called Huntington's chorea.

Oedema

"swelling", formerly known as dropsy or hydropsy, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium, which are locations beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body. It is clinically shown as swelling. Generally, the amount of interstitial fluid is determined by the balance of fluid homeostasis, and increased secretion of fluid into the interstitium or impaired removal of this fluid may cause edema.

Dementia

(taken from Latin) originally meaning madness, from de- (without) + ment, the root of mens (mind) is a serious loss of global cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. It may be static, the result of a unique global brain injury, or progressive, resulting in long-term decline due to damage or disease in the body. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it can occur before the age of 65, in which case it is termed "early onset dementia". Dementia is not a single disease, but a non-specific illness syndrome (i.e., set of signs and symptoms). Affected cognitive areas can be memory, attention, language, and problem solving. Normally, symptoms must be present for at least six months to support a diagnosis. Cognitive dysfunction of shorter duration is called delirium. In all types of general cognitive dysfunction, higher mental functions are affected first in the process. Especially in later stages of the condition, subjects may be disoriented in time (not knowing the day, week, or even year), in place (not knowing where they are), and in person (not knowing who they, or others around them, are). Dementia, though often treatable to some degree, is usually due to causes that are progressive and incurable, as observed in primary progressive aphasia (PPA). Symptoms of dementia can be classified as either reversible or irreversible, depending upon the etiology of the disease. Fewer than 10% of cases of dementia are due to causes that may presently be reversed with treatment. Causes include many different specific disease processes, in the same way that symptoms of organ dysfunction such as shortness of breath, jaundice, or pain are attributable to many etiologies. Delirium can be easily confused with dementia due to similar symptoms. Delirium is characterized by a sudden onset, fluctuating course, a short duration (often lasting from hours to weeks), and is primarily related to a somatic (or medical) disturbance. In comparison, dementia has typically an insidious onset (except in the cases of a stroke or trauma), slow decline of mental functioning, as well as a longer duration (from months to years). Some mental illnesses, including depression and psychosis, may produce symptoms that must be differentiated from both delirium and dementia. There are many specific types (causes) of dementia, often showing slightly different symptoms. However, the symptom overlap is such that it is impossible to diagnose the type of dementia by symptomatology alone, and in only a few cases are symptoms enough to give a high probability of some specific cause. Diagnosis is therefore aided by nuclear medicine brain scanning techniques. Certainty cannot be attained except with brain biopsy during life, or at autopsy in death. Some of the most common forms of dementia are: Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. It is possible for a patient to exhibit two or more dementing processes at the same time, as none of the known types of dementia protects against the others. Indeed, about ten per cent of people with dementia have what is known as mixed dementia, which may be a combination of Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia.