QC Info

Qualifying Condition Information Summaries

Positive Status for HIV is laboratory evidence of HIV infection. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is the late stage of HIV infection associated with multiple symptoms and complications. AIDS was first described in 1984. National awareness day for both is September 18.

Alzheimer’s Disease disease is a pathophysiologic process involving β-amyloidosis and limbic and iso-cortical neurodegeneration with tauopathy. The condition produces a cognitive disorder that usually progresses to severe dementia in which anterograde amnesia is the initial dominant symptom. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. Its awareness day is September 1.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive injury and cell death of lower motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord, as well as upper motor neurons in the motor cortex. The condition is also referred to as Charcot’s Disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and ALS. Awareness day is June 21.

Cachexia is a complex metabolic syndrome associated with an underlying illness and characterized by loss of muscle with or without loss of fat mass. Another name for the condition is wasting syndrome. Cachexia is commonly associated with cancer (lavender ribbon) and AIDS (red ribbon). Their respective awareness days are November 7 and September 18.

Cancer refers to any one of many diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably, can infiltrate, and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer cells have the ability to spread throughout the body. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in U.S. Cancer awareness day is November 7 and its color is lavender.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a syndrome that occurs following head trauma (usually sufficiently severe to result in loss of consciousness) and includes a number of disparate symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty in concentration and performing mental tasks, impairment of memory, insomnia, and reduced tolerance to stress, emotional excitement, or alcohol. Awareness day is January 30.

Epilepsy (and other Seizure Disorders) is a central nervous system disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures (sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain) or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of awareness.  Many types of seizures have been described. Nearly all other qualifying conditions are associated with seizures. The national awareness day is March 26.

Fibromyalgia is the current term for individuals with chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, for which no alternative cause can be identified. Other past names for the condition include rheumatism, muscular rheumatism, and fibrositis named in 1904 and was not changed to fibromyalgia until 1976. Fibromyalgia awareness day is May 12.

Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy in which progressive damage to retinal ganglion cells and their axons results in the characteristic loss of optic nerve tissue and damage to the peripheral and central visual field. Elevated intraocular pressure is the principal risk factor for the onset and progression of glaucoma. March 12 is glaucoma awareness day.

Hepatitis C is defined as a confirmed infection with the Hepatitis C virus. During the chronic phase of illness symptoms include jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes), easy bruising and bleeding, dark-colored urine, light-colored stools, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fever, ascites (accumulation of fluid and swelling of the abdominal cavity), a star-shaped vein pattern developing on the swollen belly around the navel, and itching. Awareness day is July 28.

Huntington’s Disease is a fully penetrant autosomal dominant (inherited) neurodegenerative disorder caused by a mutation in the gene for the protein huntingtin located on chromosome 4. The condition is also called Huntington’s Chorea. Huntington’s disease causes movement, cognitive, and psychiatric disorders, with symptoms widely varying between individuals. Awareness day is May 15.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. The two most common types include Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). CD is characterized by mucosal ulceration and transmural inflammation anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract. UC involves the mucosa of the colon and rectum. The awareness day for IBD, Crohn’s and UC is May 19.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease characterized by multifocal areas of demyelination in the brain and spinal cord, with associated inflammatory cell infiltrates, reactive gliosis, and axonal degeneration. It is considered an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks cells in the brain and spinal cord. Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist, defined and named multiple sclerosis in 1868. MS awareness day is May 30.

Pain (Chronic and Severe or Intractable) is defined as pain lasting or recurring for more than 3 to 6 months. The pain may be in addition to the pain of the original health condition. Unexplained chronic pain can occur as well a long-term pain from many other conditions. The State Medical Board has released a position statement concerning chronic pain to include complex regional pain syndrome, chronic migraines, and arthritis. September is the awareness month for pain.

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive degenerative disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movements, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. The condition is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It is second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. World Parkinson’s Day is April 11.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops following a traumatic event characterized by intrusive thoughts about the incident, recurrent distress/anxiety, flashback and avoidance of similar situations. Other names for this condition include shell shock, combat fatigue, and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS). PTSD is not limited to war veterans. National awareness day for PTSD is June 27.

Sickle Cell Disease in an inherited blood disorder where red blood cells (RBCs) become sickle/crescent shaped causing frequent infections, swelling in the hands and legs, pain, severe tiredness, and delayed growth or puberty. It is an autosomal recessive condition. Sickle Cell awareness day is June 19.

Spasticity is defined as increased rigidity of muscles due to brain or spinal cord injury or disease. Some common symptoms include increased muscle tone, overactive reflexes, involuntary movements, which may include spasms (brisk and/or sustained involuntary muscle contraction), and clonus (series of fast involuntary muscle spasms), and pain. Two common causes of spasticity are multiple sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord disease (SCD). Awareness days are May 30 (MS) and September 5 (SCD).

Spinal Cord Disease (SCD) or Injury results from either an intrinsic disorder of the cord or from external factors such as trauma. The spinal cord may be compressed due to a bone fracture, spinal degeneration, or abnormalities, such as a hematoma, tumor or herniated disk. Internal damage to the spinal cord can be caused by cysts, vascular disorders, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, and syphilis. SCD awareness day is September 5.

Terminal Illness or end-stage disease is a condition that cannot be cured or adequately treated and is reasonably expected to result in the death of the patient. This term is more commonly used for progressive diseases such as cancer, dementia or advanced heart disease than for injury and is often defined as life expectancy of less than 6 months. Many of the Ohio Qualifying Conditions can result in a terminal illness specification.

Tourette’s Disease (TD) or Syndrome (TS) is a condition of the nervous system causing people to have “tics” which are sudden, repetitive, nonrhythmic motor movement or vocalization involving discrete muscle groups. Tourette’s Disease is named for Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described this disorder in 1885. TD’s awareness day is June 7.

Traumatic Brain Injury can occur from a head injury causing damage to the brain by external force or mechanism causing long term complications or death. The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. TBI awareness day is March 20.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is characterized by recurrent abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort and alteration in bowel habits. IBS is further categorized into four disease subtypes:  diarrhea predominant (IBS-D), constipation predominant (IBS-C), mixed (IBS-M), and un-subtyped (IBS-U). Irritable Bowel Syndrome awareness month is April.