nonprofit foundation created in 1999 by six parents of girls with rett syndrome that is dedicated to finding a treatment and cure. For address, see Appendix I.
Reye's syndrome A rare condition, nearly exclusive to children under age 15, characterized by brain damage following chicken pox, influenza, or an upper respiratory infection. Because it has been associated with the administration of aspirin, physicians recommend that children never be given aspirin for viral infections or fever of unknown cause. Reye's syndrome is a leading cause of death among children beyond infancy.
The death rate from this condition has dropped dramatically from 60 percent to 10 percent as scientists begin to understand the disorder. The chances for recovery are not as good for those who experience seizures or deep coma. Severe attacks carry the risk of lasting brain damage.
About a week into the viral illness, signs of Reye's syndrome begin with vomiting, confusion, lethargy, disorientation, and jaundice. As the brain swells, it may trigger seizures, coma, heart disturbances, and breathing problems.
There is no specific treatment; corticosteroid drugs and mannitol infusions control brain swelling; dialysis or blood transfusions may correct blood chemistry changes; a ventilator may assist breathing. This type of supportive care has reduced the death rate to 10 or 20 percent. (See also national reye's syndrome foundation [for address, see Appendix I].)
right brain The right cerebral hemisphere, linked with spatial skill. See handedness; split-brain RESEARCH.
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