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Why Kan’t Doc Zoe Write?

This blog fell from a supposed former adrenaline junkie.

When I say Kawasaki’s, I don’t mean a motorcycle.

Jan 20th 2009

jett_travoltaI have always doubted the news reports that Jett Travolta’s death was caused by Kawasaki’s disease (KD). Since I did not have all the facts straight on this news bit, I theorized that while it may be true that Jett had KD as a young child, he may have a concomitant disease which may have caused the seizures and his demise. And then I ran into this article stating what I –& possibly thousands of other doctors – have been doubting.

According to this article,“…Jett was autistic but was not being treated for problems associated with the disorder. The Travolta family had maintained that the teen did not suffer from autism and, after the item appeared, attorney Marty Singer told the New York Post that Travolta and Preston “have [taken] and they continue to take the best possible care of their children. To suggest anything to the contrary is very hurtful to a loving family and also would be false and defamatory.”

Kawasaki’s disease is a systemic vasculitis of unknown etiology that affects the small- and medium-sized blood vessels of the body, in particular, the coronary arteries. The following are key points in KD:

• The disease is named after a Japanese physician who first reported the syndrome in 1967. Kawasaki disease occurs throughout the world, with a higher incidence in Japan and Asia than in the United States, where 10 of every 100,000 children get the disease each year. The symptoms of Kawasaki disease can go away without treatment. However it may take 6-8 weeks for the symptoms to resolve and the child’s laboratory results to return to normal. The effects on the coronary arteries can last a lifetime. Though some children recover from Kawasaki disease without treatment, 15 to 25 percent have coronary artery damage. Damage can occur to many arteries, but the coronary arteries are the most vulnerable, making Kawasaki disease a leading cause of childhood heart disease.

• Kawasaki disease is an unusual and serious illness of young children that causes high fever, rash, red eyes and lips, swollen glands, and swollen hands and feet with peeling skin. The disease also causes damage of the coronary arteries in a quarter of untreated children and may increase the risk of atherosclerosis in early adulthood.

The coronary arteries are most often affected. Part of a coronary wall can be weakened and balloon (bulge out) in an aneurysm. A blood clot can form in this weakened area and block the artery, sometimes leading to a heart attack. The aneurysm can also burst, but this rarely happens.

The etiology remains unclear, although epidemiological data support an infectious cause. Thus far, the unknown agent generally is believed to be ubiquitous in the environment, causing noticeable disease only in those individuals with some as yet undiscovered genetic predisposition for the illness.

• Epidemiological studies suggest a controversial association of Kawasaki disease with recent carpet shampooing, flooding, and locations near bodies of water. These data have produced a water-borne vector hypothesis.

No laboratory test can diagnose Kawasaki disease with 100 percent certainty. Instead, a set of criteria described by the Centers for Disease Control are used.

Treatment for Kawasaki Disease is most effective if given in the first 10 days of the illness. There are two principal treatments. Intravenous gamma globulin (IVIG) is used to shorten the acute phase of Kawasaki disease and prevent some coronary damage. Aspirin is used to decrease inflammation and lower fever, as well as prevent blood clots.

It’s clear from this info that KD affects the coronary arteries and the heart.

In other words, it is likely that there is a concomitant problem and it’s quite possible that it wasn’t KD that caused Jett’s demise.

That, or there are some info that the Travolta family has kept to themselves (which we will, of course, respect); for instance: maybe it really wasn’t an episode of seizure that caused this, or that the family was better off saying that he has KD as opposed to autism.

Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t really matter. Personally, it would only matter if the kid we’re talking about is a patient and learning more from his case may be contributory to our knowledge of KD.

(So why am I even discussing this? It tickled my logical side for a few seconds, so I found it blog-worthy).

To learn more about what Sci Am found out about KD from Dr. Walter Mofolsky, Chief of Pediatric Neurology at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, click here.

To learn more about Kawasaki’s Disease – it’s causes, treatment and medication, click on these sites from The American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic and e-medicine.

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4 Responses

  1. true blood season 1 (1 comments) says:

    Nice articel thanks for posting !

  2. Rebecca@motorbikeleathers (1 comments) says:

    Great article. Id like to see more articles from you.

  3. This is a great information! thanks for posting. There’s a lot of people will benefit from this, especially those who are at risk in having coronary heart diseases. What are the other sugestions, advise or tips you can share to us?

  4. Residential Treatment Centers (1 comments) says:

    This is a serious case that a child who has this disease will suffer long. Doctors don’t know what is the cause of KD even any medicine that could cure on the KD. But for now as stated in the article aspirin and intravenous gamma globulin.

    The government must act and give a through study and research on this to know the cure and innovative medications to those who has this disease.

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