April is both Autism and Parkinson’s awareness month at Capital Institute for Neurosciences, board certified neurologists offer focused programs for people with these neurological disorders. This includes extensive diagnostic evaluations and targeted therapies. For patients, this means a more convenient place for the very specialized care they need so they no longer need to travel outside the area. Learn about these disorders, what the red flags and symptoms are, and the specialists available at Capital Health by visiting capitalneuro.org or call 609-537-7300.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 American children are on the autism spectrum – a ten-fold increase in prevalence over a 40-year period. It is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the country. Autism spectrum disorder and autism refer to a group of developmental disorders. In varying degrees of severity, these disorders are identified by difficulties in social interaction and verbal/ nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
Red flags in young children*
- No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
- No babbling by 12 months
- No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
- No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
*First Signs, Inc. ©2001 – 2005.
Parkinson's disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders. Usually presenting itself after the age of 50, Parkinson’s is a progressive disease and varies in intensity from patient to patient, affecting their day-to-day lives very differently. Early symptoms are subtle and occur gradually.
The four primary symptoms of PD*
- Tremors, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face
- Rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
- Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement
- Postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease may also suffer from depression and have difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking. Additionally, they may experience disruption to their sleep; urinary problems or constipation; and skin problems.
*From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.