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Hydrocephalus

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition:
Hydrocephalus comes from the Greek "hydro" (that means water) and "cephalus" (that means head). Hydrocephalus is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), within cavities called ventricles, inside the brain.

CSF is formed in a region of the brain known as the choroids plexus. CSF usually circulates through the ventricles of the brain, and also flows around the outside of the brain and through the spinal canal.

HIV

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a viral infection that can gradually destroys the immune system if left untreated. With Anti Retroviral Drugs (ARV's), the progression of HIV can be stopped and prevent Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the final and most serious stage of HIV, which causes severe damage to the immune system. With proper care and treatment, an individual can live a full and healthy life, with undetectable viral loads of HIV.

Hepatitis C Virus

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Definition
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a viral infection transmitted through blood, which focuses its attack on the body’s liver.

Causes
The virus is transmittable only through direct infection of blood. This includes blood transfusions done before 1990 and contaminated needles (injections, tattoos, piercing, drugs). There is a very small chance of the disease being transmitted through sex or giving birth as well. However, the disease is not transmittable through coughing, sneezing, physical contact, saliva, or insect bites.

Hepatitis B Virus

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Definition
Hepatitis B is one of the most common virus in the world.  It is a disease which attacks and inflames the liver.  It is transmitted directly through blood and other infected bodily fluids.  The disease can remain dormant, or develop actively, into a chronic condition which may threaten life by destroying liver functions. 

Helicobacter Pylori

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Helicobacter Pylori (HP) is a bacteria that lives in the stomach of a patient. It can survive the harsh acid climate of the stomach by hiding in the mucous lining, which protects the stomach from its own gastric juices. White blood cells arrive to defeat the invading infection but they are unable to do so. They die trying, and their death releases toxins, which were supposed to be used against intruders. Instead their deaths damage the stomach causing pain and often ulcers.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE) are classified under Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD is a medical diagnosis for a birth defect syndrome caused by alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol is a “teratogen” that is toxic to the baby’s developing brain. Damage can occur in various regions of the brain, depending on which areas are developing at the time the alcohol is consumed.

Causes

Failure to thrive

Definition
Failure to thrive is a description applied to children whose current weight or rate of weight gain is significantly below that of other children of similar age and sex. Failure to thrive usually affects young children, especially under the age of 2.

Causes
It is important to determine whether the failure to thrive results from medical problems with the child or from psychosocial factors in the environment, such as abuse or neglect.

There are multiple medical causes of failure to thrive:

Epilepsy

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Epilepsy is a condition in which recurrent electrical discharges in the brain disturb the normal functioning of the nervous system. These episodes of disturbance are called seizures. Seizures can involve a temporary loss of consciousness or temporary changes in behaviour. The exact changes of behaviour depend on the area of the brain that is being stimulated by the electrical discharge.

Eczema

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Eczema is a skin condition which affects many different people of all different ages. It has varying degrees of intensity from dry, to cracked and bleeding skin.  In its most severe form, eczema can be quite disfiguring, however it is not contagious and the symptoms are treatable.

Causes
Eczema can be hereditary, passed from parents to child, or it can be a reaction to allergens in the environment, chemicals, or detergents. The individual’s immune system can react severely, causing irritated, inflamed, sensitive skin.

Down Syndrome

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Children with Down Syndrome are born with an extra copy of chromosome 21 (thus the medical term: "Trisomy 21"). It is a chromosomal anomaly, or mix-up, in the genetic blue-print that occurs at conception.

Causes
Approximately 1 in 700 live births is a child with Down Syndrome in Canada. It is important to know that nothing the mother does during her pregnancy could cause this to happen. The chance of having a baby with Down syndrome increases significantly with age of the mother.

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