Tag Archives: hearing

Leigh Syndrome

What is Leigh syndrome?
Leigh syndrome is a severe neurological disorder that typically arises in the first year of life. This condition is characterized by progressive loss of mental and movement abilities (psychomotor regression) and typically results in death within a couple of years, usually due to respiratory failure. A small number of individuals develop symptoms in adulthood or have symptoms that worsen more slowly.

The first signs of Leigh syndrome seen in infancy are usually vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) that leads to eating problems. These problems often result in an inability to grow and gain weight at the expected rate (failure to thrive). Severe muscle and movement problems are common in Leigh syndrome. Affected individuals may develop weak muscle tone (hypotonia), involuntary muscle contractions (dystonia), and problems with movement and balance (ataxia). Loss of sensation and weakness in the limbs (peripheral neuropathy), common in people with Leigh syndrome, may also make movement difficult.

Several other symptoms may occur in people with Leigh syndrome. Many affected individuals develop weakness or paralysis of the muscles that move the eyes (ophthalmoparesis); rapid, involuntary eye movements (nystagmus); or degeneration of the nerves that carry information from the eyes to the brain (optic atrophy). Severe breathing problems are common in people with Leigh syndrome, and these problems can worsen until they cause acute respiratory failure. Some affected individuals develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickening of the heart muscle that forces the heart to work harder to pump blood. In addition, a substance called lactate can build up in the body, and excessive amounts are often found in the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or urine of people with Leigh syndrome.

The signs and symptoms of Leigh syndrome are caused in part by patches of damaged tissue (lesions) that develop in the brains of people with this condition. A procedure called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reveals characteristic lesions in certain regions of the brain and the brainstem (the part of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord). These regions include the basal ganglia, which help control movement; the cerebellum, which controls the ability to balance and coordinates movement; and the brainstem, which controls functions such as swallowing, breathing, hearing, and seeing. The brain lesions are often accompanied by loss of the myelin coating around nerves (demyelination), which reduces the ability of the nerves to activate muscles used for movement or relay sensory information back to the brain.

How common is Leigh syndrome?
Leigh syndrome affects at least 1 in 40,000 newborns. The condition is more common in certain populations. For example, the condition occurs in approximately 1 in 2,000 newborns in the Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada.

Galaxy S5 Is An Accessible Phone

The Galaxy S5 is equipped with features that were designed with the needs of senior and disabled communities in mind. These features are highlighted on an accessibility menu that is listed by category, enabling users to easily identify and operate them.

The following features are included to make technology more accessible:

TalkBack reads text on the smartphone’s screen and works with the device’s camera by dividing the screen into nine sections to assist the user to locate faces before capturing photographs. If one person is identified, it guides the user to position the face in the middle of the screen.

Through this feature, the user can more easily utilise the Galaxy S5’s 16MP camera. This feature also enables the smartphone to read numbers that are pressed, out loud.

In order to protect the privacy of the visually impaired, the user can access the Galaxy S5’s features with the screen turned off. With this tool, the user can operate the device without having to be conscious of others in public places. When the device is operated with the screen off, power consumption is also reduced.

The Galaxy S5 provides seven different font sizes including smallest, very small, small, medium, large, very large and largest so that users can choose the font size they are able to read most comfortably.

It is equipped with a feature that reverses colours to increase readability on the display. Additionally, for those who have difficulty reading texts in certain colours, the device allows users to customise and fine-tune subtle colours.

The Galaxy S5 uses an Optical Reader to extract texts and data from images, documents, name cards and QR codes in order to identify patterns of colour and read text out loud. This enables the visually impaired to do more with their device, such as choosing an outfit by perceiving colours shown on the display.

Developed specifically for people who have a hearing impairment, the device vibrates to notify the user when the baby is crying. Users can also receive these alerts through Samsung’s extended wearable line of Gear devices, including Gear 2, Gear Fit and Gear 1. Users can easily distinguish these notifications by setting a different vibration pattern from incoming calls or alarm alerts.

The Auto Haptic allows the device to be switched to vibrate. This feature switches sound to vibration – the Galaxy S5 vibrates with sounds produced by certain applications for music, games and video for that enhanced sensory experience.

Users who are deaf or hard of hearing are able to utilise the Flash notifications alert function to notify them of any alerts, incoming calls and alarms. The light on the camera will start to flash to draw attention to the device, in order to respond to a message or to be reminded of a scheduled event.

The Turn Off All Sounds feature allows users to mute all smartphone sounds in one go, helping the hard of hearing to avoid mistakes such as having their phone ring in a library or during a performance.

Physical disabilities
The assistant menu is a virtual mouse pad designed for users with limited hand movement. It enables them to enjoy frequently-used features more quickly and easily. Frequently used menus can be set and the touch pad and cursor’s size are adjustable, as well as the speed of the cursor.

The smartphone additionally provides an “Assistant Plus” which displays menu options for favourite features such as photo gallery and contacts.

Air Gesture allows the screen to be switched on. This feature enables users who are unable to push hardware buttons to turn on the screen simply by waving their hand over the device.

Users can also customise the device input method with interaction control. This functionality lets the user choose an input method when using applications or settings. A user can disable the touch screen input, as well as the lock auto screen rotation and the hardware key, to prevent making accidental commands.

Accessibility features
In addition to the above-listed features, the Galaxy S5 offers functions that enable users to easily operate the device’s accessibility features. By pressing the home key three times while in any screen, one can easily set or disable accessibility, talkback, colour reversal and input control.

“The Galaxy S5 exemplifies Samsung’s commitment to ‘people-inspired’ innovation and through the development of ground-breaking technology we are confident that the practical and valuable features will empower individuals with disabilities and in turn, improve lives,” says Fleischer.