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An A to Z glossary of disabilities

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Term Main definition
Arthritis
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Arthritis can affect anybody, at any age. In the UK around 10 million people live with the condition which causes pain and inflammation in the joints. There are two main types of arthritis…Osteoarthritis – The most common form which affects the smooth lining of the joint & Rheumatoid Arthritis – A result of the body’s immune system targeting affected joints leading to pain and swelling. The latter is usually found people aged between 40 and 50 and is three times more likely to affect women.

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Bulimia
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

People with Bulimia are usually unhappy with their physical appearance. To lose weight they binge out on food until they vomit in order to lose weight, another method involves taking laxatives. The eating disorder, which is also classed as a mental health condition, can be connected with depression, low self-esteem, self-harm and alcohol misuse.

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gender dysphoria
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

When a person suffers stress and anxiety because there is a mismatch between their gender identity and their biological sex.

Also known as gender identity disorder (GID) the condition can appear at an early age – some children who know they have been born in the wrong body may refuse to wear standard clothes and participate in games suited to their biological sex

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learning disabilities
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Learning disabilities can affect how a person understands new or complicated situations, live an independent lifestyle and/or adapt to new skills. Around 1.5m people across the UK have some form of learning disability and 350,000 cope with a severe form of the condition. A learning disability can range from being mild, moderate or severe.

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Parkinsons
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A condition which attacks the brain and becomes progressively worse over the years.

Those living with the condition may experience tremors across the body, slow movement and stiffness in the muscles.

Other symptoms include constipation, insomnia, memory loss and depression.

The illness is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra located in the brain.

Around 1 in 500 people are affected with Parkinson’s disease in the UK.

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Synonyms - Parkinson's
Parkinson’s
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A condition which affects parts of the brain and becomes progressively worse over the years.

The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s are stiff muscle movements, slow movements and tremors. Those living with the illness can also suffer from constipation, depression, anosmia (loss of sense of smell) and insomnia.

Parkinson’s is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called substantia nigra which reduces the dopamine chemical in the brain.

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

There are three main types of PCOS – Ovaries which aren’t regularly releasing eggs, high levels of ‘male hormones’ known as androgens in the body and cysts which develop in the ovaries. Studies show one in five women have polycystic ovaries – half of them have no symptoms, which can be weight gain, irregular or no periods, acne, hair loss and excessive hair growth.

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Polymicrogyria
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A condition which affects the brain also known as PMG

The surface of the brain has many ridges or folds known as gyri.

People with polymicrogyria produce too many gyri’s which produces an abnormally thick cortex on one or multiple regions of the brain.

Symptoms include recurrent seizures (epilepsy), delayed development, crossed eyes, problems with speech and swallowing, and muscle weakness or paralysis

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tetraplegic
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Also known as quadriplegia, the term is given to people who have lost the use of all their limps and torso as a result of a serious injury or illness.

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Synonyms - tetraplegic
achondroplasia
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

The most common form of dwarfism which can be diagnosed before birth.

People with achondroplasia are usually born with disproportionately short limbs.

The average height of somebody with the condition is 131 cm (52inches/ 4ft.4 inches) in men and 124 cm (49 inches/ 1 inch) in women.

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Addisons disease
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

An uncommon disorder that occurs when the body is unable to produce enough of particular hormones.

The adrenal glands, above the kidneys, produce too little cortisol and, in most cases, too little aldosterone.

Those with Addison's disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency, can experience a range of symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain, irritability, depression, nausea, salt craving, muscle or joint pain, low blood pressure and body hair loss or sexual dysfunction in women.

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ADHD
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be found in people with an intellectual ability, although most patients with the behavioural condition cope with leaning difficulties. The condition is usually diagnosed before a child reaches their teens. Symptoms include impulsiveness, restlessness and having a short attention span.

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agenesis of the corpus callosum
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A rare birth defect where there is a complete or partial absence of the nerve tract, located in the brain, known as the corpus callosum.

Symptoms include vision loss, low muscle tone, difficulty feeding, unusual facial and head features, difficulty sleeping, high tolerance to pain, hearing loss, seizures and chronic constipation.

Cognitive characteristics include problems reading facial expressions or voice tone, difficulty with problem-solving and complex tasks, lack of ability in assessing risk, difficulty understanding abstract concepts and difficulty understanding emotions.

ACC can also cause development delays with walking, speech, sitting and toilet training as well as difficulty with social and behaviour.

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agoraphobia
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Feeling scared that something dramatic can go wrong in common situations such as leaving the house, shopping or travelling on public transport.

A person living with the illness can feel sweaty, sick and have a rapid heartbeat when they feel they are in a vulnerable situation.

Some people confuse agoraphobia with a fear of open spaces, but it’s a more complicated illness.

The condition is usually triggered by a complication of a panic attack.

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Aicardi syndrome
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

People with Aicardi syndrome have missing or underdeveloped tissue between the left and right areas of the brain which can trigger seizures from a very young age, known as infantile spasms, which can progress to recurrent seizures (epilepsy) as the child grows older.

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