Medical News Today: What is Ureaplasma?

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Medical News Today: Caring for a child with ADHD: 21 tips

Bringing up a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD comes with its own challenges. There are no hard and fast rules, as ADHD can have different degrees of severity and symptoms. However, children can benefit from person-centered or tailor-made approaches.

ADHD can cause a child to have poor impulse control, which can lead to challenging or inappropriate behaviors. But an important step for parents is to accept that ADHD simply represents a functional difference in the brain. It does not mean that their child cannot learn right from wrong, but that they may need to find other ways to support their child in developing positive behavior.

Parents and caregivers will need to adapt their own ways of interacting with the child. This includes speech, gestures, emotional language, and the physical environment.

For a child with ADHD, consistency is vital. By using a supportive and structured approach, challenging behaviors can be limited, and the child can flourish.

Twenty-one parenting tips for ADHD

The following tips have been compiled to help parents reduce disruptive behaviors and deal with challenges related to ADHD.

1. Keep it interesting

Father with daughter on his shoulder asking about parenting tips for ADHD
Encouraging exercise and giving praise are recommended parenting tips.

When a child with ADHD is doing a complex task, they are less likely to become distracted. Children with ADHD often get distracted if a task is not challenging enough. This is called distractability.

The opposite of distractability is hyperfocus, which is when a child is focused to the point of being unaware of their surroundings. Hyperfocus can also be challenging but can allow a child to get important tasks done.

Many hobbies and jobs call for a high degree of focus, so if a child enjoys challenging activities and can focus while doing them, it is worth encouraging them to continue.

2. Give praise and encouragement

Good behavior should be reinforced with praise. It is just as important for children with ADHD to learn what behaviors are acceptable by receiving praise, as it is for them to learn what is unacceptable.

3. Provide structure

Providing structure with a daily schedule may limit sudden distractions. Knowing what to expect can be calming for children with ADHD. It can also be a good way to introduce responsibility into a child’s life.

4. Encourage exercise

Burning off excess energy through exercise can help by:

  • lowering the risk of depression and anxiety
  • promoting concentration and focus
  • improving sleep patterns
  • stimulating the brain

Parents can encourage physical activity by providing active toys, such as balls and skipping ropes, teaching their child to ride a bike, or enrolling them in a team sport.

Children are also more likely to develop physically active habits if their parents are good role models in this area. Going on family hikes or playing outdoors together can help a child with ADHD expend excess energy and build healthful habits for the future.

5. Practice good sleep hygiene

Research has shown that low quality sleep can have a negative impact on ADHD symptoms. Good quality sleep can help to regulate energy levels the next day. It can also improve stress and mood.

To this end, parents may want to try and include regular bedtime hours into the structure of the day.

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6. Break tasks down

For someone with ADHD, some tasks can feel too complex and off-putting. Where possible, break tasks into achievable goals. As well as simplifying the picture, this can regulate the emotions associated with succeeding or failing.

If a child has been asked to clean their room, for example, it may be helpful to break this into smaller tasks, such as making the bed, putting any toys on the floor back into storage, or folding their clothes.

7. Think out loud

Children with ADHD often lack impulse control. This means they may say or do something without thinking it through. Getting them to pause and say out loud what they are thinking can have several benefits.

It can allow the parent to learn their child’s thought patterns. It can also give the child time to consider their thought, and whether or not to act on it.

8. Keep distractions to a minimum

If a child is easily distracted, it pays to keep their surroundings uncluttered. Depending on the child’s preferences, radios or televisions could be turned down or off.

Getting them to work on tasks away from the lure of TVs or games is important, and toys should be put away when they are doing something in their bedroom.

9. Explain rather than command

Parent talking to child on the front step
Explaining reasons for doing tasks in clear and positive language is helpful.

A parent or caregiver can give reasons for what they are asking, where it is age appropriate for the child. Keep it simple but expect to be asked to elaborate.

Explaining the reasons for doing a task can alleviate worry and confusion in a child with ADHD. When explaining things, a person should use positive and clear language.

Explaining the reasons for asking the child to do a task is also respectful, and self-respect is crucial if the child feels they may be different to others.

10. Introduce wait time

The idea behind wait time is similar to thinking out loud. If a child waits a few seconds before speaking or acting when they have a thought, they have time to consider if it is appropriate.

This will take a lot of practice, but it can be worth it, and it can give them a real advantage in their social life.

11. Do not get overwhelmed

When a parent is overly stressed, not only does their wellbeing suffer, but they can also be less effective in supporting their child.

If a person’s workload and obligations become overwhelming, it can be beneficial to ask for support. Friends, family, or local ADHD groups are potential sources of help. Even just dropping one thing from a person’s weekly schedule can reduce stress.

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12. Avoid using negative language

Positive feedback can help build a child’s confidence.

A child with ADHD may feel that they are disliked or that they always do things wrong. Reinforcing this with negative language can be hurtful and make disruptive behaviors worse.

It is impossible to be positive all the time, and so it is essential for a parent to find an outlet to express their concerns or worries. This might be a friend, partner, or a therapist.

There are also online groups where parents of children with ADHD can discuss their challenges with people in similar situations.

13. Don’t allow ADHD to be in control

While some allowances can be made, ADHD does not excuse poor behavior. Children and parents both need boundaries, and it is essential for children to learn that there are always consequences when they misbehave.

These consequences should be appropriate and consistent. If a child sees a parent does not always follow through on the consequences, this may encourage the unruly behavior.

14. Pick your battles

Living with a child who may demonstrate hyperactive and impulsive behavior can be a constant challenge. If a parent addressed every problem, every day would be stressful and unpleasant for everyone.

Learning to let the smaller things go can alleviate stress in the long-term, and help a parent focus on curbing the more important behaviors.

15. Do not see other adults as the enemy

It is natural for parents to feel protective, but when a child has ADHD, it can seem that other caregivers do not understand them or do not care enough. Good communication can help solve this problem.

It can help to talk with anyone your child has contact with about ADHD, explaining their preferences, and describing the most effective interventions for challenging behavior.

16. Keep working to modify behavior

If improvements to behavior stall or seem to have reached their limit, keep trying. Children with ADHD have huge potential.

Perhaps a strategy needs to be tweaked, or even just paused for a while. Children go through many developmental leaps and sometimes they plateau.

It is essential to be patient and keep trying to make positive changes, even if they take time.

17. Find specialist support

An ADHD therapist can help with parental stress in addition to a child’s behaviors. As well as professional help, there are also many local and national support groups. Input from other parents in a similar situation can be invaluable.

18. Take breaks

Spending the entire day focusing on any child can be exhausting. Take breaks where possible, either by arranging a babysitter or trading off responsibilities with a partner. The more energy a parent has, the better they can cope with stress.

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19. Stay calm

Remaining calm allows the brain to problem-solve and communicate better. There are many ways for a parent to stay calm in challenging situations. These strategies include:

  • meditating regularly
  • practicing yoga
  • sticking to a routine to eliminate the stress of “what next?”
  • walking in nature or other calming outdoor space
  • reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption

20. Remember that all children misbehave

It can be easy to think that all challenging behavior is caused by ADHD, but all children misbehave sometimes. Learn which behaviors need managing, and which ones are normal parts of growing up.

21. Be kind to yourself

It can be tempting to imagine that everyone else is coping better, but if a person speaks to other parents of children with ADHD, they will likely be feeling the same way.

Parents of children with ADHD should try to appreciate the challenges they have overcome and take pride in what they have achieved.

What to tell children about ADHD

Father speaking to his son outside of their house
As a child develops, conversations about ADHD can develop as well.

The average time of diagnosis of ADHD is 7 years of age. It may seem like a difficult conversation, but speaking to a child about ADHD can be beneficial for both the child and the parent.

A parent should use age-appropriate language and avoid giving too many unnecessary details at first.

Conversations about ADHD can keep happening as the child develops, and a child may be curious to learn more about their condition.

The following statements are good places to start talking about ADHD with a child:

ADHD is not a flaw

ADHD is not a weakness, a flaw, or a sign that the child is “bad.” It does make them different from other children, but those differences should be celebrated.

Similarly to many conditions, with the right support, ADHD does not need to impact negatively a person’s life.

ADHD does not affect intelligence

Having ADHD does not mean a child is not as smart as their classmates or siblings. When talking to older children, it can help to remind them that some of the greatest thinkers in modern history had ADHD, including Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison.

People with ADHD can succeed in life

It can help to provide children with positive role models of people with ADHD who have been successful. This can range from a neighborhood, friend, or family member working in a job they love, to a celebrity, such as Will Smith or Solange Knowles.

They are not alone

More than 1 in 10 children have ADHD in the United States. Other sources suggest this may be as high as 1 in 5 or 20 percent.

Having ADHD can feel isolating for a child, so it can help to reach out to groups that work with other children with the same and similar conditions.

Summer camps and after-school programs tailored to children with ADHD are available in many regions. These supportive environments can help a child develop their social skills and combat feelings of isolation.


Research into ADHD is ongoing. Whether medical, psychological, or sociological, new ways of living with the condition are constantly being tested.

There is more social acceptance of ADHD than ever before, and support for parents and other caregivers is increasing.

Life may need more planning and thought with a child who has ADHD. It can, however, be just as pleasurable and fulfilling.

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Medical News Today: What is the cause of drooling?

Drooling is expected in babies, who do not yet have full control over their mouths or swallowing muscles. But drooling is often embarrassing for children and adults. Many people may avoid discussing this symptom.

Drooling can occur for many reasons. Most people drool every once in a while. It is especially common while sleeping, when a person swallows less frequently. This can cause saliva to accumulate and seep from the sides of the mouth.

For those wondering how to stop drooling, the best method may depend on the cause.

The best ways to stop drooling

The following treatments may help:

Change sleeping positions

Woman sleeping in bed drooling
Certain sleeping positions may encourage drooling.

People commonly drool while sleeping.

If a person is drooling while asleep, switching to sleeping on the back may be a quick fix. Gravity will prevent saliva from seeping out of the mouth.

A wedge pillow can help a person to stay in one position all night, and many are available for purchase online.

Treat allergies and sinus problems

Sinus infections and allergies can lead to increased saliva production and a stuffy nose.

Having a blocked nose causes a person to breathe through the mouth, making it easier for saliva to escape.

Take medication

A doctor may recommend medicine to eliminate drooling, especially in patients with neurological conditions.

Scopolamine, also known as hyoscine, intercepts nerve impulses before they reach the salivary glands.

This medication is often delivered in the form of a patch placed behind the ear. The patch releases the medication continuously, and one patch typically lasts for about 72 hours.

Side effects of scopolamine may include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • an increased heart rate
  • dry mouth
  • itchy eyes

Glycopyrrolate is another option. It also decreases saliva production by blocking nerve impulses, but side effects can be more severe. They may include:

  • irritability
  • trouble urinating
  • hyperactivity
  • skin flushing
  • decreased sweating

Receive Botox injections

Injection of serum in syringe held by gloved hands.
Botox injections in the salivary glands may help to prevent drooling.

Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections have been used to treat drooling in people with neurological disorders.

A doctor injects Botox into the salivary glands, usually with the assistance of ultrasound imaging. The Botox paralyzes the muscles in the area, preventing the salivary glands from functioning.

The effects of an injection typically last for about 6 months and can be repeated.

A study from 2012 found that patients with neurological disorders who received Botox showed a significant decrease in drooling.

Attend speech therapy

Depending on the cause of drooling, a doctor may recommend speech therapy.

The goal is to improve jaw stability and tongue strength and mobility. This therapy can also help a person to close the lips fully.

Speech therapy may take time, but a person can learn techniques to improve swallowing and decrease drooling.

Use an oral appliance

An oral appliance is a device placed in the mouth to assist with swallowing. The device helps with tongue positioning and lip closure.

When a person is better able to swallow, they are likely to drool less.

Have surgery

Surgery is a last resort and is typically only used when an underlying neurological condition causes severe drooling.

A surgical method may be recommended for people who experience profuse and continuous drooling after other treatments have not worked.

Methods may include removing the sublingual or submandibular salivary glands.

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Common causes of drooling

Female doctor writingo n clipboard at desk with patient in foreground.
Various neurological conditions may cause poor control over the muscles around the mouth, making it harder to prevent drooling.

Infections, neurological conditions, and other issues can cause a person to drool, even when awake.

A review from 2015 noted that excessive drooling is common among people with:

Neurological disorders can affect the nerves and muscles that control swallowing. People with cerebral palsy, for example, may have difficulty controlling the muscles around their mouth, which can lead to drooling.

Other conditions that can lead to drooling include:

  • Epiglottitis: This infection causes swelling of the epiglottis, a plate of cartilage in the back of the throat that helps a person to swallow.
  • Bell’s palsy: This condition causes mild to severe muscle weakness on one side of the face.
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome: This autoimmune disorder harms nerves throughout the body.

Complications from drooling

Drooling can have medical and psychosocial impacts on a person’s life. This symptom can be embarrassing in social situations and affect the self-esteem.

Severe drooling can lead to chapping, irritation, and a breakdown of the skin.

If a person cannot swallow, saliva often seeps out as drool. However, in serious cases, it can pool in the throat. When inhaled, this can lead to a lung infection called aspiration pneumonia.

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Simple solutions can reduce or eliminate drooling during sleep.

If a person suspects that they have an underlying medical condition, it is essential to seek treatment. Depending on the severity of the condition, drooling can have negative medical and psychosocial effects if left untreated.

Management methods are often successful.

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Medical News Today: How dogs could help us explore our own gut health

Scientific researchers often work with animals. These might not provide perfect models for human biological systems, but some mammals — such as pigs and rats — come pretty close in many ways. But could dogs actually be more fitting models?
Researchers have made a surprising finding: dogs’ gut microbiomes are actually very similar to our own.

Many studies investigating human diseases and other health conditions start by looking at how the same or similar conditions work in animals, and how they might be treated or improved.

Some animals encounter the same or extremely similar diseases to those that affect humans, making them viable models for preclinical research.

Moreover, certain animals have similarly structured internal systems — such as the digestive system — which means that they can provide a good approximation of how our own biological mechanisms work.

Therefore, mice and rats are often used to study human diseases, whereas pigs are a favorite go-to model for researching gut health. But now, scientists are looking to another animal that they argue has an even more similar gut microbiome to that of humans: humans’ best friend, the dog.

Luis Pedro Coelho — who currently works in the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany — plus colleagues at the EMBL and the Nestlé Purina Research laboratories in St. Louis, MO, hypothesize that dogs may be also be our best friends when it comes to learning more about our own gut health.

However, the same idea applies the other way around, too — if dogs and humans are similar in this respect, perhaps we can apply what we know of managing obesity in humans to our canine companions.

“Dogs are very important in many people’s lives and (like us), they increasingly suffer from obesity,” Coelho told Medical News Today, explaining why the research team had decided to focus its attention on these animals.

“Thus,” he went on, “knowing more about their microbiome and how it is (or is not) affected by diet is an important question.”

Their research, the results of which are now published in the journal Microbiome, indicates that dogs’ gut microbiomes overlap a lot more with own than those of mice or pigs.

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Humans and dogs’ surprising similarities

The study — which was co-funded by the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company — was a randomized controlled trial, for which the scientists selected 64 dogs of two breeds: beagle and Labrador retriever.

They worked with an equal number of dogs from each of these breeds, and they also made sure that half of all the canine participants were overweight and that half had a healthy body weight.

Over an initial period of 4 weeks, all of these dogs were fed the same commonly available dog food sold on the market.

Then, the dogs were randomly divided into two groups: one that was to only receive food that was high in protein content and low in carbs, and another that was fed a low-protein, high-carb diet. This stage of the experiment lasted for another 4 weeks.

The researchers collected 129 samples of dog stool, once at the 4-week mark and then again at the end of the study. These samples allowed them to map the gene content of the dogs’ microbiomes, identifying 1,247,405 genes in total.

Coelho and team then compared this “gene catalogue” to existing data on the gut microbiomes of mice, pigs, and humans. This allowed them to assess how similar these microbiomes were to each other in terms of their genetic content, plus how the dogs’ microbiomes were altered by changing diets.

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The team was surprised to find that the microbiomes of dogs were much more similar to the human gut microbiome than those of mice and pigs.

They found a 20 percent overlap between the murine and human gut microbiomes and a 33 percent overlap between our gut microbiomes and those of pigs, but a 63 percent overlap between dogs’ gut microbiomes and our own.

“These results suggest that we are more similar to man’s best friend than we originally thought,” Coelho says.

Still, when speaking to MNT, he warned that these similarities do not mean that we can think of dogs’ microbiomes and our own interchangeably.

“[I]t is also important,” he explained, “to note that there is significant host-specificity: we share many species [of microbes] with our dogs, but strains are host-specific and human microbiomes are more complex than those of dogs.”

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‘A better model for nutrition studies’?

The scientists also noted that low-carb, high-protein diets and high-carb, low-protein diets influence the gut microbiome in similar ways in the case of both humans and dogs, independently of breed and biological sex.

Overweight dogs responded more strongly to a high-protein diet than their slender counterparts, presenting more drastic changes in the composition of their gut microbiomes.

This sensitivity confirms the existing idea that overweight individuals are more vulnerable to health threats due to the instability of their gut microbiomes.

Looking at the results of their study, the researchers believe that, in the future, humans’ best friend may be able to help us gain a better understanding of the mechanisms at play in our own health.

These findings suggest that dogs could be a better model for nutrition studies than pigs or mice, and we could potentially use data from dogs to study the impact of diet on human gut microbiota.”

Luis Pedro Coelho

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Medical News Today: Macrocytic anemia: Symptoms and treatment

Macrocytic anemia is a type of anemia that causes unusually large red blood cells. Like other types of anemia, macrocytic anemia means that the red blood cells also have low hemoglobin.

Hemoglobin is an iron-containing protein that transports oxygen around the body. Deficiencies in vitamin B-12 or folate often cause macrocytic anemia, so it is sometimes called vitamin deficiency anemia.

In this article, we look at the causes and symptoms of macrocytic anemia, the treatment options, and how to prevent complications.

What is macrocytic anemia?

Macrocytic anemia occurs when red blood cells are larger than normal
Macrocytic anemia occurs when the red blood cells are unusually large.

Macrocytic anemia occurs if the red blood cells are unusually large. A unit called femtoliters (fL) is used to measure the size of blood cells. Usually, red blood cells are between 80–100 fL.

Red blood cells larger than 100 fL are considered macrocytic. When the cells grow too large, there are fewer of them than there needs to be and they carry less hemoglobin. This means the blood is not as oxygen-rich as it should be. Low blood oxygen can cause a range of symptoms and health problems.

Macrocytic anemia is not a single disease, but a symptom of several medical conditions and nutritional problems.

One of the most common types of macrocytic anemia is megaloblastic macrocytic anemia. This happens when red blood cells produce DNA too slowly to divide.


Anemia develops gradually, so a person may not notice any symptoms until it is severe. When symptoms appear, they may include:

Macrocytic anemia is just one type of anemia. The symptoms of anemia are similar across all types, so it is important to use blood tests to diagnose the specific anemia a person has.

When people develop macrocytic anemia due to B-12 deficiency, they may have other symptoms. These include:

  • weakness, pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • instability when walking
  • memory loss

These symptoms may resolve after treatment, but they can become permanent if left untreated.

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macrocytic anemia is caused from a lack of vitamin b-12 which is found in animal products
Macrocytic anemia is usually caused by a deficiency of folate or vitamin B-12, which is abundant in animal products.

Macrocytic anemia is almost always due to a deficiency of folate or vitamin B-12. A person may have a deficiency of one of these if their body cannot absorb vitamins due to an underlying disease, or because they do not eat enough foods with these vitamins.

B-12 is abundant in animal products, so vegans and vegetarians are more at risk of a B-12 deficiency. In some cases, people may eat enough foods with B-12 but are unable to absorb the vitamin due to autoimmune disorders, cancer, alcohol addiction, or inflammatory bowel disease.

A folate deficiency, sometimes known as vitamin B-9 deficiency, can also cause macrocytic anemia. Pregnant and breast-feeding women use more folate and have a higher risk of becoming deficient.

People who do not eat enough folate-rich foods can also become deficient. Diseases that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrition, such as celiac disease, can lead to a folate deficiency.

Other causes of macrocytic anemia may include:

  • medications, including HIV drugs, cancer drugs, and others that suppress the immune system
  • liver disease
  • hypothyroidism
  • rare metabolic disorders

Each of these factors can make it more difficult for the body to absorb and metabolize essential nutrients.

In very rare cases, macrocytic anemia can be caused by a bone marrow disorder that prevents the body from producing enough healthy blood cells.


Doctors classify macrocytosis into two broad categories:

  • Megaloblastic macrocytosis is the most common form. It occurs when DNA cannot be produced because of a vitamin deficiency.
  • Nonmegaloblastic macrocytosis, which can happen when there is a problem with the liver, spleen, or bone marrow.


When a person shows signs of macrocytic anemia, a doctor will take several blood tests to find the underlying cause. They may also ask questions about a person’s diet, lifestyle, and other symptoms.

In most cases, vitamin injections are the first line of treatment. Injecting vitamins ensures the body can absorb these even if an underlying condition, such as celiac disease, prevents vitamin absorption.

Eating more foods containing vitamin B-12 may improve symptoms if a person is deficient in this vitamin because of their diet.

Other treatment options include:

  • changing medications when a drug interferes with vitamin absorption
  • taking medication for certain autoimmune or liver diseases
  • taking medication for thyroid disorders
  • making lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol
  • having blood transfusions or bone marrow transplants for bone marrow disorders

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Macrocytic anemia can cause heart failure
When left untreated, macrocytic anemia can cause heart failure, an enlarged heart, and circulatory problems.

When the blood does not have enough hemoglobin, it will not have enough oxygen. The body may try to fix this by increasing the heart rate or blood pressure. Left untreated, anemia can cause heart failure, an enlarged heart, and circulatory problems.

When macrocytic anemia is due to a problem with the bone marrow or an organ, this underlying cause can trigger further complications. For example, people with untreated bone marrow disorders may develop leukemia.

Most cases of macrocytic anemia are due to vitamin deficiencies, which can cause different complications depending on the vitamin:

Vitamin B-12 deficiencies

A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause:

  • neural tube defects in babies born to women with a B-12 deficiency
  • infertility
  • stomach cancer
  • mobility problems and tingling in the hands and feet
  • memory loss

Folate deficiencies

A folate deficiency can cause:

  • neural tube defects in babies born to women with a folate deficiency
  • infertility
  • an increased risk of some cancers, including colon cancer
  • cardiovascular health problems
  • an increased risk of premature labor in pregnant women
  • an increased risk of a placenta rupture before or during childbirth


Most cases of macrocytic anemia can be managed with vitamin injections. A doctor will continue to monitor a person’s B-12 or folate levels and use blood tests to determine whether red blood cells have returned to their normal size.

While most people recover with prompt treatment, they may need periodic checks for anemia.

When macrocytic anemia is due to an underlying disease, the outlook depends on what disease is causing the deficiency, and how it is treated.

Macrocytic anemia often goes undiagnosed until it becomes severe. People who have symptoms of anemia, a family history of anemia, or who have or are at risk of a condition linked to macrocytic anemia should see a doctor for a blood test.

Regular blood tests can help detect all forms of anemia before they undermine a person’s health. Most cases of anemia can be easily diagnosed and treated.

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Medical News Today: Could this vitamin A derivative cure liver cancer?

A new study reveals how a derivative of vitamin A called acyclic retinoid could help to eradicate the most common form of liver cancer: hepatocellular carcinoma.
a representation of liver cancer
Researchers shed light on how a synthetic form of vitamin A could help to eradicate liver cancer.

Led by researchers from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in Japan, the study found that acyclic retinoid blocks the expression of a gene that gives rise to liver cancer tumors.

Study leader Soichi Kojima, of the Micro-Signaling Regulation Technology Unit at the RIKEN Center, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Around 22,000 men and 9,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with liver cancer every year.

The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This cancer may begin as a single liver tumor that gets bigger over time, or it can start as multiple cancer nodules throughout the liver.

The biggest risk factor for liver cancer is infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C; these viruses can lead to liver cirrhosis, which can cause cell damage that gives rise to cancer.

Previous research has found that acyclic retinoid — which is a synthetic derivative of vitamin A — has the potential to stop the recurrence of HCC in individuals who have undergone surgical removal of primary tumors.

The precise mechanisms underlying this association, however, have been unclear.

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Acyclic retinoid reduces MYCN expression

To learn more about how acyclic retinoid might prevent HCC, the researchers investigated how the compound affects the transcriptome of cells, or the collection of RNA molecules that regulate gene expression.

The scientists found that, compared with untreated cells, cells exposed to acyclic retinoid showed a reduction in the expression of a gene called MYCN. This gene has been linked to the development of cancers such as neuroblastoma.

The researchers then suppressed MYCN gene expression in cancer cells. This not only halted cell proliferation, slowed cell-cycle progression, and stopped colony formation, but it also triggered cancer cell death.

Next, Kojima and colleagues took their investigation to cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are self-renewing cells that can drive the formation of tumors. As the researchers note, cancer stem cells manage to evade cancer treatments, so they are key players in cancer recurrence.

The team found that when MYCN gene expression was heightened in human HCC cell lines, this increased the expression of various markers that are linked to cancer stem cells, suggesting that MYCN gene expression is involved in HCC.

As Kojima explains, “The most interesting part of our finding is when we then looked at different subpopulations of heterogeneous cancer cells. We found one specific group of EpCAM-positive cancer stem cells, where MYCN was elevated.”

This spurred the team to investigate whether the anti-cancer effects of acyclic retinoid might be down to its effects on EpCAM-positive cancer stem cells.

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A step closer to curing lung cancer?

When the researchers exposed HCC cancer stem cells to acyclic retinoid, they discovered that the compound selectively targeted and destroyed cells that were EpCAM-positive — the higher the dose of acyclic retinoid, the greater the effects on EpCAM-positive cancer stem cells.

Kojima and his colleagues then took liver biopsies of 12 people with HCC whose cancer had been eradicated following liver resection or ablation.

Six of these patients had received 600 milligrams of acyclic retinoid per day for 8 weeks, while the remaining six received 300 milligrams of the compound each day for 8 weeks.

The researchers found that the biopsies taken from patients who took the higher dose of acyclic retinoid showed lower MYCN expression.

Taken together, these findings indicate that acyclic retinoid could prevent HCC recurrence by reducing MYCN expression in EpCAM-positive cancer stem cells.

It is remarkable that the acyclic retinoid clearly targets a certain category of cancer stem cells, and this provides us with important hints for decreasing cancer recurrence and truly curing patients.”

Soichi Kojima

The researchers note that acyclic retinoid is currently being tested in a phase III clinical trial for its ability to stop the recurrence of HCC.

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Medical News Today: What does it mean if you’re born with more than five fingers on a hand?

Polydactyly is a condition where someone is born with one or more extra fingers or toes. It can occur on one or both hands or feet.

The name comes from the Greek poly (many) and dactylos (finger). The extra fingers or toes are described as “supernumerary,” which means “more than the normal number.” For this reason, the condition is sometimes called supernumerary digit.

A range of treatments is available depending on the type of polydactyly, and the cause is often genetic.

What are the symptoms?

Ulnar or postaxial polydactyly or small finger duplication. Image credit: Radke / Otis Historical Archives of
Small finger duplication is the most common form of polydactyly.
Image credit: Radke / Otis Historical Archives of “National Museum of Health & Medicine”. (1979, September)

Polydactyly is a condition where a person is born with extra fingers or toes on one or both of their hands and feet.

The way polydactyly presents can vary. It may appear as a:

  • small, raised lump of soft tissue, containing no bones (called a nubbin)
  • partially formed finger or toe containing some bones but no joints
  • fully functioning finger or toe with tissues, bones, and joints

There are three main types including:

  • Ulnar or postaxial polydactyly or small finger duplication: This is the most common form of the condition, where the extra finger is on the outside of the little finger. This side of the hand is known as the ulnar side. When this form of the condition affects the toes, it is called fibular polydactyly.
  • Radial or preaxial polydactyly or thumb duplication: This is less common, occurring in 1 in every 1,000 to 10,000 live births. The extra finger is on the outside of the thumb. This side of the hand is known as the radial side. When this form of the condition affects the toes, it is called tibial polydactyly.
  • Central polydactyly: This is a rare type of polydactyly. The extra finger is attached to the ring, middle, or most often index finger. This form of the condition has the same name when it affects the toes.

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Polydactyly may be passed down in families.

When polydactyly is passed down, it is known as familial polydactyly. This form of polydactyly typically happens in isolation, meaning a person may not experience any associated symptoms.

Polydactyly may also be associated with a genetic condition or syndrome, which means it may be passed down along with a genetic condition. If polydactyly is not passed down, it occurs due to a change in a baby’s genes while it is in the womb.

Conditions associated with polydactyly include:

  • syndactyly (webbed hands or feet)
  • asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy
  • Carpenter syndrome
  • Ellis-van Creveld syndrome (chondroectodermal dysplasia)
  • Laurence-Moon-Biedl syndrome
  • Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
  • trisomy 13

Some types of polydactyly are more likely to be passed down. Others are more likely to be associated with a genetic condition.

Small finger duplication is often hereditary. This form of the condition is 10 times more common among African-American people than other groups.

In African-Americans, small finger duplication tends to occur in isolation, inherited from a specific dominant gene. In Caucasians, it is more likely to be associated with a genetic condition or syndrome.

Thumb duplication often occurs in isolation and on only one hand or foot.

People who have central polydactyly may also have webbed hands or feet.

How is it diagnosed?

X-ray of Ulnar polydactyly in toes. Image credit: Hellerhoff, (2011, January).
An X-ray may be used to diagnose polydactyly of fingers or toes.
Image credit: Hellerhoff, (2011, January).

Doctors will examine a person and use X-ray imaging to diagnose polydactyly. This helps them to see the bone structure of the affected hand or foot.

Each type of polydactyly has subtypes that depend on how formed the extra digit is and where it is positioned. An X-ray helps the doctor to identify these.

The doctor will also ask questions about their family and medical history to help them to diagnose the cause.

Questions may include:

  • Does anyone else in the family have additional fingers or toes?
  • Is there a family history of genetic conditions?
  • Are there other symptoms or health concerns?

A doctor may also carry out further tests including:

  • chromosome studies
  • enzyme tests
  • metabolic studies

Sometimes, polydactyly is diagnosed during the first 3 months of pregnancy. This is done using an ultrasound or embryo fetoscopy.

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Treatment depends on which type of the condition a person has:

Small finger duplication

Small finger duplication may not require treatment, as it does not usually affect how people can use their hand. However, they may still want to treat it for cosmetic reasons.

If an extra small finger is only partially formed and does not contain any bones, it may be easy to remove. A doctor may do this by tying a tight string around the base of the extra finger. This cuts off the blood supply, allowing excess soft tissue to fall away naturally. This procedure often takes place in the first year after birth.

If an extra small finger is more fully-formed or functional, it may require surgery to remove.

Thumb duplication

Treatments for thumb duplication are more complicated because the extra thumb may affect the function of the other thumb.

For this reason, it may not be possible to remove the extra thumb simply. Surgery may be needed to reconstruct one functioning thumb, using parts of both thumbs.

There are a variety of different surgical options available depending on the position and formation stage of the extra thumb.

Central polydactyly

Central polydactyly causing person to have six fingers. Image credit: Wilhelmy, (2014, March 2).
Central polydactyly may lead to a fully-functioning extra finger. In this case, removal would be needed only if the person desired the digit to be removed.
Image credit: Wilhelmy, (2014, March 2).

There are some surgical options for central polydactyly. These include:

  • keeping the additional central finger, but operating on tendons and ligaments to avoid deformities
  • removing the extra central finger and reconstructing the one it is attached to
  • removing both fingers and reconstructing one new finger

The doctor will discuss these options with the person who has polydactyly. Together they can decide the most appropriate treatment.

Are there any complications?

Complications from surgery are rare but may include:

  • risk of infection
  • tender lump where the digit or nubbin has been removed
  • restricted movement of the reconstructed digit

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There are many surgical options available for polydactyly. Most are simple and usually have positive outcomes.

Small finger duplication, which is the most common type of polydactyly, may not require treatment. If it does, this is generally for cosmetic reasons.

If someone has polydactyly due to an underlying genetic condition, this may require additional treatment. A doctor can help a person find the best way to manage their condition.

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Medical News Today: Can avocado oil strengthen my hair?

The health benefits of eating avocado are well-known. Could using avocado oil on the hair help to keep it strong and healthy?

Taking care of the hair by practicing good hygiene can have a big impact on how shiny and healthy it appears. Using certain oils can also have benefits in keeping the hair strong and smooth.

Avocado or persea gratissima oil may have specific benefits due to its composition of vitamins, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats.

In this article, we take a look at the benefits of using avocado oil in the hair, how to use it in hair masks or scalp massage, and we discuss the possible risks of these treatments.

Benefits of avocado oil for hair

Avocado oil which can be used on the hair
Research suggests that vegetable oils may help prevent hair breakage.

Oils have an essential role in stopping hair from breaking. A person’s scalp naturally creates oil, but sometimes an uneven balance of oil or environmental factors can make a person’s hair dry or brittle.

According to a 2015 research paper, using some kinds of vegetable oils near the scalp can coat the hair follicles to prevent damage at the base of the hair and to prevent hair from breaking later, as it grows out.

Some oils are better for this than others. Saturated and monosaturated oils are better able to penetrate the hair than polyunsaturated fats. Avocado oil contains monosaturated fats, making it a good choice for hair treatments.

Avocado oil also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that some believe can help keep a person’s hair strong and healthy. It may have the following benefits:

1. Reducing dandruff

Well-hydrated skin on the scalp can make hair appear healthier. If the skin is dry or flaky, massaging oil into the scalp before washing and conditioning hair may help.

Avocado oil used on the scalp could also help reduce the appearance of dandruff. Moisturizing the skin using oils can help to prevent it from drying out and flaking.

2. Preventing breakage

The strands of the hair can break if they are dry and brittle. Coating the hair with a thin layer of oil can make it more flexible. This may help to prevent hair from breaking when a person brushes it or ties it up.

A person should treat their hair gently to prevent breakage. A good way to untangle the hair is by brushing the ends first, rather than tugging a brush through it.

People should also avoid using elastic bands rather than hair bands, or tying hair up too tightly, as this can damage the hair strands or roots.

Bleaching, heat treatments, and relaxing hair can all cause damage.

Using avocado oil on hair is unlikely to undo severe hair damage, but it may help to prevent further breakage by lubricating the hair strands.

3. Detangling hair

Applying avocado oil to the ends of the hair may help to detangle it. Using the fingers, coat the ends of the hair in a small amount of oil for smoother brushing.

Using a wide-toothed comb, gently comb through tangles until the hair begins to unknot. A smaller toothed comb or hairbrush can then be used to continue brushing the hair.

4. Protecting hair from damage

Environmental damage, including pollution, sunlight, seawater, and chlorine can dry out a person’s hair shafts.

A person may find that applying oil to their hair can protect it from some of the effects of environmental damage. Before swimming in the sea or sunbathing, they can coat their hair with a thin layer of avocado oil. Long hair can be tied up in a bun or a plait to stop the oil from getting onto the skin.

When in strong sunlight, it is important also to protect the head with a hat and to wear sunscreen always. Rinsing hair after contact with seawater or chlorine can help to prevent it from drying out.

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How to use avocado oil for hair

Lady running avocado oil through her hair
Running avocado oil through the hair from root to tip may help condition the hair.

There are several methods that a person can use to apply avocado oil to the hair or scalp. Avocado oil can be purchased in supermarkets, health shops, or online stores.

Using avocado oil in the following ways may have benefits for a person’s hair:

1. Scalp massage

According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, moisturizing the scalp by massaging oils into the base of the hair may help to treat a dry, flaky scalp. If done regularly, this could help to prevent dandruff.

How to massage the scalp:

  • warm a small amount of oil in a bowl, either in a jug of hot water or microwave for just a few seconds
  • gently separate the hair and apply a little oil to the scalp using the fingertips or a cotton ball
  • massage oil into the affected areas of the scalp, using small, circular motions with the fingertips

A person may wish to leave the oil on the scalp for a short while to absorb before rinsing out using their usual shampoo routine.

2. Hair mask

A person can use mashed avocado as a hair mask. The oils in the avocado may help to lubricate the hair and make it appear more shiny and healthy.

How to make an avocado hair mask:

  • remove the stone and peel from an avocado, and mash half in a bowl
  • add 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of honey
  • combine the ingredients
  • apply to clean, damp hair and leave for 30 minutes
  • rinse hair thoroughly and dry

As a hair treatment, this can be used once a fortnight if needed.

3. Conditioner

After washing the hair with shampoos, which can dry out some people’s hair, avocado oil can be used as an intensive conditioner. This may be especially beneficial if a person has dry or damaged hair.

After washing hair with shampoo, apply a small amount of avocado oil to the fingers and then run the fingers through hair from root to tip. Repeat as many times as needed to coat the hair with oil.

After leaving avocado oil on the hair for a short time, rinse out the oil with warm water.


Avocado allergies are not as common as other food allergies, but they do occur. Avocado allergies are more common if a person is allergic to latex.

Before using avocado oil for the first time, a person should test the oil on a small patch of skin before applying to the hair. If it causes redness or discomfort on the surrounding skin, a person should stop using this remedy and try a different oil instead.

The hair on the head is made up of dead cells. This means that they cannot absorb nutrients in the same way that skin does. A person may experience positive effects from using avocado oil on the hair, but these may not be long-lasting.

Using products on the hair cannot promote hair growth. This happens from within the body and is usually at a steady rate for most people. This means that it cannot be sped up. Eating a healthful diet may help to encourage healthy, strong hair to grow.

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Hair grows from a hair shaft and can only take in nutrients at this point. Nutrients come from the body, so eating well is key to healthy hair. Using avocado oil in cooking, as part of a balanced diet, may help to keep hair hydrated.

Just like healthy skin, a person can also get healthy hair by eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting enough sleep.

The best way to care for hair is to wash and dry it regularly and trim any split ends. Using avocado oil as a mask or conditioner may help hair to appear shinier.

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Medical News Today: What home remedies can stop flatulence?

While farting can seem embarrassing to some people, it is a natural part of the digestion cycle. Everybody does it, and it is a sign that a person’s digestive system is working as it should.

It is, in fact, essential that the gas produced by the body is released. If it is not, it can build up and become very uncomfortable.

People can expect to fart between 5 and 15 times per day. This may seem like a lot, but it is entirely normal. Most farts do not smell and are not noisy, and so they go unnoticed.

Many people may feel as though they are unusually gassy, but it is probably just because they are more aware of their farts than anybody else’s.

For those who feel as though they have excessive gas, there are several steps to reduce flatulence. Here, we look at 12 possible remedies.

Ways to stop farting

How to stop farting
Eating quickly causes excess air to enter the body, which can lead to trapped wind.

There is usually no need to worry about farting. While some people do it more than others, it is a regular part of how the body works.

However, if a person feels that their farting has changed, or it is making them feel particularly embarrassed and uncomfortable, there are some things they can try to reduce the amount they fart:

1. Eat meals and snacks slowly and carefully

The majority of gas produced by the body forms because of swallowed air. A person cannot completely avoid swallowing air, but certain habits can cause excess air to enter the body. Eating too quickly is one of them.

Eating slowly with the mouth closed will reduce the amount of air a person swallows at mealtimes. People should try to sit down and take time over food rather than eating on the go.

2. Stop chewing gum

Many people chew gum to keep their breath fresh and to help avoid snacking. However, those that do may find they have more gas than others. Chewing gum means continually swallowing air, which builds up and increases the number of times a person needs to fart.

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3. Look out for food intolerances and allergies

Different people may be sensitive to different foods and may have allergies that bring about a reaction in the body. These can lead to gas and other unpleasant symptoms, such as bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.

A person with excessive gas may find that an elimination diet helps. An elimination diet is where a person would cut out all of the known gas-causing foods before introducing them back in, one at a time, to find out which ones cause the problems.

4. Avoid tight-fitting clothes

Loose clothing helps to ensure a person remains as comfortable as possible should bloating occur. Wearing clothes that are not too tight also helps when gas does occur, allowing it to pass freely out of the body.

5. Avoid or reduce intake of gas-producing foods

Some foods are known to increase gas production. Carbohydrates that contain fructose, lactose, insoluble fiber, and starch ferment in the large intestine. Gas releases as they ferment.

Cutting these foods out entirely, however, is not recommended, as they are an essential part of a healthful, balanced diet.

Fruit and vegetables can often cause gas, but eating several portions of fruit and vegetables a day is more important than eliminating gas. However, reducing the amount of these gas-producing foods may help to minimize a person’s flatulence.

Foods to eat less of include:

  • Beans, green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus. These vegetables contain complex sugars that are difficult for the body to break down.
  • Soft drinks, fruit juice, and other fruits, as well as onions, pears, and artichokes. All of these foods contain fructose, a gas-producing ingredient.
  • Dairy products as dairy foods and drinks contain lactose, which can also cause gas to build up.
  • Fruits, oat bran, peas, and beans. These foods all contain insoluble fiber.
  • Starchy foods, such as potatoes, pasta, corn, and products that contain wheat.

6. Give up smoking

People who smoke swallow more air than those who do not. The more frequently a person smokes, the more air they swallow. There are, of course, lots of other health benefits to giving up smoking, too.

People who use e-cigarettes also swallow more air than people who do not, so avoiding e-cigarettes could also help when a person has excess gas.

7. Do more exercise

Regular exercise helps keep the digestive system in good shape. A gentle walk after large meals can also help kick the digestive system into action and move the food along smoothly.

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How to stop farting by staying hydrated
Staying hydrated reduces the likelihood of constipation, by allowing waste to pass smoothly through the digestive system.

8. Drink plenty of fluids

Staying well-hydrated encourages waste to pass smoothly through a person’s digestive system. This helps keep their stools soft, and so drinking enough through the day is essential.

Also, a lack of fluid may cause constipation, which can result in smelly wind.

People should try to drink a glass of water with every meal to help the body digest foods more easily.

9. Avoid carbonated beverages

Carbonated beverages contain air bubbles, and a person who drinks a lot of carbonated beverages may find they burp and fart more than others.

When someone reduces or removes these types of drinks from their diet, it may help cut the amount of gas they have.

10. Take probiotics

Probiotics are supplements that contain the healthy bacteria already found in a person’s digestive tract. These good bacteria help to break down food, and can even work to break down the hydrogen gas that is produced during digestion.

Occasionally, probiotics may cause an increase in gas and bloating. This is usually short-lived, and it will probably lessen when the body gets used to the new bacteria.

Many probiotic supplements are available online.

11. Try enzyme supplements

Research suggests that enzyme supplements can aid the breakdown of proteins and complex carbohydrates. This means they could help with numerous digestive diseases and their symptoms.

If complex carbohydrates can be broken down in the small intestine, a person will produce less gas.

However, if they do not break down in the small intestine and move to the large intestine, it is the gas-producing bacteria that work to break them down. This means more gas will develop that will need to be released.

Lactase enzyme supplements may help people whose excess gas is caused by lactose intolerance. Lactase is the enzyme that helps people digest dairy products, and so can make people less gassy after eating meals that include dairy. These supplements are also available to purchase online.

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How to stop farting by drinking peppermint tea
Peppermint tea can settle the stomach and aid digestion, which may reduce excess gas.

12. Tackle constipation

Constipation could be a cause of excess gas. If stool remains in the colon for extended periods of time, it will continue to ferment inside the body. This produces extra gas that can smell particularly foul.

Treatment for constipation varies. However, drinking lots of water and increasing fiber intake can help to reduce the risk of it occurring.

Certain medications and stool softeners, which are available online, can also help.

General tips


  • eat little and often, and avoid huge meals
  • take time to chew food and take sips rather than large gulps of drinks
  • take regular exercise, which will help to improve digestion
  • eat a healthful, balanced diet
  • drink peppermint tea, which is thought to aid digestion and settle the stomach

Do not

  • smoke
  • chew gum, suck pen tops, or hard sweets
  • wear dentures that do not fit properly
  • eat any trigger foods that are hard to digest, or foods known to cause farts

If a person is embarrassed about excessive wind or farts that smell, they can speak to a pharmacist. A pharmacist may recommend specific medication or remedies to help.

Charcoal tablets are thought to absorb excess gas in the stomach, which could reduce flatulence.

A person who has smelly wind could also try special underwear and pads that absorb the smells.

Causes of farting

Many farts are due to swallowing air throughout the day. Swallowing air is not something a person can entirely avoid.

Other gas develops as the gut works to break down the foods a person eats.

Farts are a combination of mostly odorless gases, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sometimes methane.

Excessive or smelly wind can occasionally be a sign of a medical problem. If a person has concerns about their flatulence, they should make an appointment with their doctor.

Farting can be a symptom of conditions that may require medical treatment, such as:

Certain medications can also cause excessive or smelly wind. It is essential always to consult with a doctor before stopping or switching medication.

When to see a doctor

Excess gas is not usually anything to be concerned about. Making a few lifestyle changes can often help improve symptoms.

However, in some instances, excess farting could be a sign of something more serious. A person should make an appointment with their doctor if excess gas is accompanied by:

  • stomach aches or pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • unexpected weight loss
  • blood in stool
  • continual instances of constipation or diarrhea
  • high temperature or feeling hot and shivery

If flatulence affects a person’s life badly, and dietary and lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications have not worked, they should see a doctor for further advice.

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Medical News Today: What is Crouzon syndrome?

Crouzon syndrome is a rare genetic condition that affects the shape of the head and face.

In Crouzon syndrome, certain bones in the skull fuse too soon. This process is called craniosynostosis. There are other effects of this condition and ways to manage them.

This article explores the symptoms, treatments, and outlook for Crouzon syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

Crouzon syndrome causes abnormalities in the shape of the head and face and may be apparent at birth. Image credit: KateVUk, (2018, April 13)
Crouzon syndrome causes abnormalities in the shape of the head and face and may be apparent at birth.
Image credit: KateVUk, (2018, April 13)

Craniosynostosis is not usually associated with a genetic syndrome. In the rare case that it is caused by genetics, the condition is likely to be Crouzon syndrome.

It affects about 16 in every million babies that are born.

Crouzon syndrome causes premature fusion of certain bones in the skull and impacts the shape of a person’s head and face.

Signs of Crouzon syndrome include:

  • abnormal face shape
  • shallow mid-face, which may lead to breathing difficulties
  • high forehead
  • wide-set, bulging eyes
  • shallow eye socket, which may lead to vision problems
  • eyes that point in different directions (strabismus)
  • a small beak-like nose
  • underdevelopment of the upper jaw which may lead to trouble eating
  • dental problems
  • low-set ears
  • hearing loss with possible narrow ear canals

A less common sign is an opening in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate) or lip (cleft lip).

For some children symptoms are severe, for others they are milder. The condition affects each person differently.


Around 30 percent of children develop hydrocephalus, a condition that affects the flow of fluid in the brain and spinal canal.

It may lead to increased pressure in the skull (intracranial pressure), which can affect brain development and cause learning difficulties.

Another complication is breathing difficulties, which may be life-threatening if left untreated.

Anyone with Crouzon syndrome who is at risk from intracranial pressure and breathing difficulties may require surgery.

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This section explores genes and how they affect the bones in the head:


DNA genetic code 3D render.
A mutation in the genes causes Crouzon syndrome, which may be passed from parent to child.

Crouzon syndrome is genetic. It is not caused by anything that happens during pregnancy.

The condition is caused by mutations in a gene called FGFR2. As an embryo grows, this gene controls when immature cells become bone cells.

In Crouzon syndrome, a mutation in the FGFR2 gene affects the FGFR protein, causing it to behave abnormally in certain growing bones in the skull.

This leads to the premature fusing of the fibrous joints (sutures) between these bones.

Someone with Crouzon syndrome has a 50 percent chance of passing the condition on to their child.

Crouzon syndrome is not always inherited. Some babies are born with the condition and are the first in their families to have the syndrome. When this happens, it is called a de novo mutation.


Symptoms typically appear in the first year of a child’s life. Sometimes, the symptoms will progress until the child is 2 or 3 years old. Other times, the condition is apparent at birth.

If a doctor suspects Crouzon syndrome, they will carry out a physical examination and ask questions about the family’s medical history.

A doctor may carry out further tests including:

  • X-rays
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • computed tomography (CT) scans
  • genetic testing

Treatment options

Surgery may be performed during infancy to ensure the brain has room to grow.
Surgery may be performed during infancy to ensure the brain has room to grow.

Crouzon syndrome affects every child differently.

Treatment of Crouzon syndrome may include surgery. This is to improve symptoms, prevent complications, and help physical and mental development.

If the fused sutures are causing intracranial pressure, this may lead to brain injury.

This is treated with craniofacial or open vault surgery.

The purpose of surgery is to ensure there is enough space in the head for the brain to grow. It may also improve the appearance of the child’s face and head.

If a person is experiencing breathing problems due to facial abnormalities, they may require a tracheostomy, which is a surgical procedure to make an opening in the windpipe to help them breathe.

As well as surgical treatments, people with Crouzon syndrome and their families may benefit from genetic counseling and support. These therapies often help them to cope with the psychological effects of living with a genetic condition.

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Research into how to prevent the genetic mutation that causes Crouzon syndrome is ongoing.

A 2006 study using animal cells reported on a potential treatment that shows promise for prevention. This treatment aims to prevent sutures in the skull fusing in the womb.

This treatment is not yet fully developed or tested in animals or people.


Once cranial abnormalities have been treated surgically, there is a reduced risk of complications.

After treatment, most children with Crouzon syndrome go on to live healthy lives.

With treatment, the condition does not affect life expectancy.

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