Monday, February 28, 2011

My son's epilepsy changed our lives - mother
A MOTHER from Cheltenham has spoken out about the tough reality of bringing up a child with epilepsy.

Gemma Watkins, from Montreal Drive, was at home going about her daily chores when her son Taylor began convulsing on the floor. It was the first in a series of seizures, which confirmed the seven-year-old had generalised epilepsy.

Gemma said although life will never be the same again, the family has rallied round to help Taylor get back to some form of normality. Now she has vowed to do all she can to raise awareness about a condition she feels is under-publicised and underfunded. "When Taylor had his first seizure it was pretty frightening," she said. "We didn't know what was going on. We thought he had choked on something.

Read the rest of the article here.
Oprah Taps Man With Cerebral Palsy To Host New Show
By Michelle Diament
February 28, 2011

Zach Anner, who has cerebral palsy, will get his own travel show on Oprah Winfrey’s new cable television network after being handpicked by the TV legend herself.

Anner was one of two finalists in Winfrey’s “Your OWN Show” competition, a reality show contest designed to select a new television host. In a surprise decision, Winfrey said on the final episode, which aired Friday, that she would award shows to both Anner and another finalist, Kristina Kuzmic-Crocco.

Zach Anner is set to host his own travel show on the Oprah Winfrey Network. (Rahoul Ghose/OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
“Both of you have given your heart and the truth is that both of you really deserve to have your own show,” Winfrey said. “I’m going to make that happen.”

Read the rest of the article here.
Sleep Lab: An Inside Look
One woman’s exhausted journey into the world of sleep science.
By Sara Butler
WebMD FeatureReviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I snore. I’ve always snored, but I’ve only recently been able to admit it publicly.

When I was eight years old, my concerned parents took me to a specialist, who declared my adenoids unfit and scheduled an immediate surgical removal in the hopes of resolving my snoring problem. Normally, the medical team would take the tonsils at the same time, based on the theory that one bad set of vestigial organs may lead to another. Not mine. My doctor left my tonsils intact and when I awoke bewildered from surgery, I was greeted with orange sorbet and a pair of quietly ticking time bombs in my throat.

Why is this important? Fast forward 25 years, past annual bouts of severe tonsillitis and strep throat. Here I am, sitting on an examination table with an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist shining a light into my mouth with a thoughtful, almost reverent look on his face

Read the rest of the article here.
Sleep Apnea Should Not Be Overlooked

There are a lot of people who might have sleep apnea and not be aware of it. According to the Doctors, this is a prevalent disease and that the doctors should frequently ask patients about their sleep pattern. It is essential to seek medical advice for yourself or someone you know suffering from sleep apnea. The symptoms this disease might have is snoring and gasping in sleep.

What makes it all more an issue of concern is that sleep apnea is related to further complications in the sleeping and life pattern of a person. There may be other complications like high blood pressure and diseases of the heart.

Read the rest of the article here.
Experience with onabotulinumtoxinA (BOTOX) in chronic refractory migraine: focus on severe attacks.
Oterino A, Ramón C, Pascual J.
J Headache Pain. 2011 Feb 5
Service of Neurology, University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain.

The objective of this study is to analyse our experience in the treatment of refractory chronic migraine (CM) with onabotulinumtoxinA (BTA) and specifically in its effects over disabling attacks. Patients with CM and inadequate response or intolerance to oral preventatives were treated with pericranial injections of 100 U of TBA every 3 months. The dose was increased up to 200 U in case of no response. The patients kept a headache diary. In addition, we specifically asked on the effect of BTA on the frequency of disabling attacks, consumption of triptans and visits to Emergency for the treatment of severe attacks. This series comprises a total of 35 patients (3 males), aged 24-68 years. All except three met IHS criteria for analgesic overuse. The number of sessions with BTA ranged from 2 to 15 (median 4) and nine (26%) responded (reduction of >50% in headache days). However, the frequency of severe attacks was reduced to an average of 46%. Oral triptan consumption (29 patients) was reduced by 50% (from an average of 22 to 11 tablets/month). Those six patients who used subcutaneous sumatriptan reduced its consumption to a mean of 69% (from 4.5 to 1.5 injections per month). Emergency visits went from an average of 3 to 0.4 per trimester (-83%). Six patients complained of mild adverse events, transient local cervical pain being the most common. Although our data must be taken with caution as this is an open trial, in clinical practice treatment of refractory CM with BTA reduces the frequency of disabling attacks, the consumption of triptans and the need of visits to Emergency, which makes this treatment a profitable option both clinically and pharmacoeconomically.
ABSTRACT: Home based computer-assisted upper limb exercise for young children with cerebral palsy: A feasibility study investigating impact on motor control and functional outcome.
Weightman A, Preston N, Levesley M, Holt R, Mon-Williams M, Clarke M, Cozens AJ, Bhakta B.
School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Leeds.

OBJECTIVE: We developed a home-based rehabilitation exercise system incorporating a powered joystick linked to a computer game, to enable children with arm paresis to participate in independent home exercise. We investigated the feasibility and impact of using the system in the home setting.

CONCLUSION: Some improvements in self-reported function and quality of movement are observed. This pilot study suggests that the system could be used to augment home-based arm exercise in an engaging way for children with cerebral palsy, although a controlled clinical trial is required to establish clinical efficacy. The feasibility of this technology has been demonstrated.

Read the full abstract here.

Trends in Concussion Incidence in High School Sports: A Prospective 11-Year Study.

ABSTRACT: Trends in Concussion Incidence in High School Sports: A Prospective 11-Year Study.

Lincoln AE, Caswell SV, Almquist JL, Dunn RE, Norris JB, Hinton RY.
Sports Medicine Research Center, MedStar Health Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland.

PURPOSE: To examine the incidence and relative risk of concussion in 12 high school boys' and girls' sports between academic years 1997-1998 and 2007-2008.

CONCLUSION: Although the collision sports of football and boys' lacrosse had the highest number of concussions and football the highest concussion rate, concussion occurred in all other sports and was observed in girls' sports at rates similar to or higher than those of boys' sports. The increase over time in all sports may reflect actual increased occurrence or greater coding sensitivity with widely disseminated guidance on concussion detection and treatment. The high-participation collision sports of football and boys' lacrosse warrant continued vigilance, but the findings suggest that focus on concussion detection, treatment, and prevention should not be limited to those sports traditionally associated with concussion risk.

Read the full abstract here.

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Sleep myths that make you tired

1. Many people are “short sleepers”

Fact: If you genuinely require less than 6 hours of sleep a night, you’re a rarity. A just-discovered genetic mutation does enable some people to function okay on 20 to 25% less sleep than average, but—here’s the catch—researchers estimate that fewer than 1% of people have the trait.

2. Napping only makes you more tired

Fact: Some people swear that quick naps make them sleepier, but a snooze that’s less than 20 minutes should perk most of us up.

3. Exercise too close to bed keeps you up

Fact: That’s not true for everyone. In fact, research shows that even vigorous exercise right before bedtime doesn’t cause trouble sleeping for many people (and in some cases it may help).

4. It’s normal to nod off during a meeting

Fact: It’s normal to feel slightly less energetic in the afternoon because of your body’s natural circadian rhythms. But you shouldn’t feel like your head’s about to droop while your group VP is giving a 4 PM presentation or when your preschooler is explaining why Superman is better than Batman. If your eyelids feel heavy, you’re too tired, says William C. Dement, MD, PhD, the Stanford University scientist known as the father of sleep medicine.

Read more at the link.
Keeping sleep apnea sufferers' airways open
There are bulky machines and small devices, but there's no cure-all.
By Amanda Leigh Mascarelli, Special to the Los Angeles Times
February 28, 2011

As Americans' waistlines continue to grow, so does the number of people who aren't getting a good night's sleep.

About 2% of women and at least 4% of men suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the airway collapses and blocks breathing for 30 seconds or even up to a minute or two. The brain senses that it isn't receiving enough oxygen and sends a signal to the person to wake up. The awakenings are brief enough that people usually are not aware of them, but sleep is disrupted continually throughout the night, leading to daytime fatigue and drowsiness. (...)

Some people have mild enough symptoms that the condition can be alleviated with minor changes, such as sleeping on one's side rather than on the back.

But for those with more stubborn cases, the most common treatment is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. There are many versions, though they all include a mask hooked up to a machine that blows air into the airway, acting like a virtual splint to help keep it open. Some masks cover the nose and mouth, while others cover the nose only or use tubes to blow air directly into the nostrils.

When used properly, CPAP is extremely effective. A study last month in the journal Sleep found that after three weeks of CPAP treatment, patients with severe symptoms saw marked improvements in daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

But not everyone wants to wear a mask to bed. "It's not very pretty, it's not very sexy and it can be uncomfortable at first," Ancoli-Israel says.

One new alternative is Provent, a much smaller device that emulates CPAP but uses the pressure created by a person's own breathing to maintain airflow. It consists of two circular stickers, each with a miniature valve in the middle. They cover the nostrils during the night — similar to a pair of Band-Aids — and are thrown away in the morning. A forthcoming study from the journal Sleep found that patients who used Provent consistently had significantly fewer apnea events and less daytime sleepiness.

Dental mouthpieces are another option for treating mild to moderate sleep apnea, especially for patients who are only modestly overweight. The devices are similar to retainers — they push the lower jaw forward, bringing the tongue forward as well and widening the airway as a result, Epstein says.
Read the rest of the article here.
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?
By Jacob Franek
Published February 27, 2011

As you awoke to the familiar buzzing of your alarm clock this morning, you were either recharged and refreshed or utterly unsatisfied. What exactly determined how you felt following your sleep? Is it an objective phenomenon or does it vary entirely from one person to the next?

AskMen explored these questions to answer, once and for all, how much sleep we really need. First, however, it’s important to understand how much sleep we're currently getting.

Read the rest of the article here.
'Brain Cooling' Prevents Devastating Consequences for Newborns
By Josie Budd
Published Feb 27, 2011

Every year in the UK, over 1000 newborn babies die or suffer brain injury as a result of lack of oxygen at birth.

Birth asphyxia is a devastating complication in otherwise healthy full-term infants, occurring when the blood flow to the brain is cut off during labour and childbirth. When the brain and vital organs are starved of oxygen, the risk of death or lifelong disability such as cerebral palsy is worryingly high.

Professor Marianne Thoresen at St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol has been pioneering cerebral protection treatments for brain injury in babies since 1998. She was the first to show that cooling babies after a lack of oxygen can protect the newborn brain, reducing and in some cases eliminating brain damage. Cooling techniques can reduce the death rate, risk of seizures and long term disabilities including cerebral palsy.

Read more at at the link.
B.C. family seeks unproven cerebral palsy treatment News Staff
Date: Sat. Feb. 26 2011

Parents of a little girl with cerebral palsy say they plan to seek out an experimental stem-cell treatment for their daughter south of the border. Langley, B.C., resident Nicole Morris gave birth to twin girls, Kaylee and Savannah, two-and-a-half years ago. Born premature, Savannah developed a brain injury from lack of oxygen that left her with cerebral palsy.

Now Savannah's parents say they want to try the experimental therapy they hope will make her move normally, opting to pay thousands of dollars to receive the treatment that has yet to be proven in clinical trials. "I want Savannah to walk so bad," Morris said. "That is more important than anything else."

Two years ago, a study at Duke University gave umbilical cord stem cells to another young cerebral palsy patient named Dallas Hextell. Researchers hypothesized that the stem cells would migrate to his brain and might help repair damage.Within five days of the infusion Dallas began to say words. Two years later, he's starting swimming lessons and playing soccer.

A pair of studies are now underway in the U.S. to shed more light on whether stem cells can indeed help children with cerebral palsy.

Read the rest of the article here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

ABSTRACT: The Sleep Elaboration-Awake Pruning (SEAP) theory of memory: long term memories grow in complexity during sleep and undergo selection while awake. Clinical, psychopharmacological and creative implications.
Charlton BG, Andras P.
Med Hypotheses. 2009 Jul;73(1):1-4. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Long term memory (LTM) systems need to be adaptive such that they enhance an organism's reproductive fitness and self-reproducing in order to maintain their complexity of communications over time in the face of entropic loss of information. Traditional 'representation-consolidation' accounts conceptualize memory adaptiveness as due to memories being 'representations' of the environment, and the longevity of memories as due to 'consolidation' processes. The assumption is that memory representations are formed while an animal is awake and interacting with the environment, and these memories are consolidated mainly while the animal is asleep. So the traditional view of memory is 'instructionist' and assumes that information is transferred from the environment into the brain. By contrast, we see memories as arising endogenously within the brain's LTM system mainly during sleep, to create complex but probably maladaptive memories which are then simplified ('pruned') and selected during the awake period. When awake the LTM system is brought into a more intense interaction with past and present experience. Ours is therefore a 'selectionist' account of memory, and could be termed the Sleep Elaboration-Awake Pruning (or SEAP) theory.

Read the full abstract here.

ABSTRACT: Is automatic CPAP titration as effective as manual CPAP titration in OSAHS patients? A meta-analysis.
Gao W, Jin Y, Wang Y, Sun M, Chen B, Zhou N, Deng Y.
Center of Sleep-Disordered Breathing Medicine, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, 300052, China.

PURPOSE: It is costly and time-consuming to conduct the standard manual titration to identify an effective pressure before continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. Automatic titration is cheaper and more easily available than manual titration. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of automatic titration in identifying a pressure and on the improvement of apnea/hyponea index (AHI) and somnolence, the change of sleep quality, and the acceptance and compliance of CPAP treatment, compared with the manual titration.

CONCLUSION: Automatic titration is as effective as standard manual titration in improving AHI, somnolence while maintaining sleep quality similar to the standard method. In addition, automatic titration has the same effect on the acceptance and compliance of CPAP treatment as manual titration. With the potential advantage of time and cost savings, automatic titration was recommended to be applied in identifying a proper pressure for CPAP treatment instead of manual titration in clinical practice.

Read the full abstract here.
Football Searches for the Cause of Another Tragedy
By Jeffrey Kluger Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brains don't give up their secrets easily. An enlarged heart is self-evidently sick; a cirrhotic liver may look nothing like a healthy one. But a scrambled, damaged, degenerating brain may look perfectly fine — at least until you turn a microscope to it.
Dave Duerson, two-time Super Bowl-winning safety for the Chicago Bears and New York Giants, knew that. That's why he shot himself in the chest last week instead of in the head; that's why he texted his ex-wife first; and that's why he left a note that said essentially the same thing his cellphone message had said: "Please, see that my brain is given to the NFL's brain bank."

Read the rest of there article here.
When Good Sleep Habits Aren’t Enough

What happens when you follow all the lifestyle recommendations for sound sleep, like turning off the TV and cutting out the coffee, but you still can’t get a good night’s sleep? This was among the hundreds of questions about insomnia readers recently posed to the Consults blog.

Q.Some new evidence indicates that good sleep hygiene like not napping and relaxing before bed work for the average person having a bout of sleeplessness but don’t work for many chronic insomniacs (who may be people with unusually high levels of stress hormones). What suggestions can you offer for these people?

Gigi, Ithaca, N.Y.
Read the answer at the link.
House butts heads over concussion bill
Associated Press - February 24, 2011 4:55 PM ET

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Members of the state House butted heads over a bill that aims to better protect student-athletes who suffer concussions while playing school prep sports.

Senate File 38 faces two more votes in the House. The bill sets standards on when student-athletes who suffer concussions can play again. The proposed bill applies to junior- and high-school students in Wyoming's public schools. Coaches also would be required to get training about concussions.

Proponents say sports concussions need to be addressed to protect athletes from dangerous head injuries. However, opponents say lawmakers should leave such details up to the high school athletic association. The proposed bill would apply to events sanctioned by the Wyoming High School Activities Association. These activities include football and cheerleading.

Concussion Leaves 14-Year-Old Basketball Player Amnesic, Left-Handed
By KATIE MOISSE, ABC News Medical Unit
Feb. 24, 2011

The 14-year-old from Spangle, Wash., was shoved to the ground after snatching a rebound during a high school basketball game.

"She didn't black out, she didn't grab her head in obvious injury," Wilson's dad, Michael, told ABC News affiliate KXLY 4. "She just got up and noticed her head hurt a little bit on the back. But basketball these days is a very physical game, and there's lots of contact."

After a fouled Wilson shot her free throws, she played two more quarters for the Liberty High Lancers. It wasn't until the team gathered after the game when Wilson asked her mom, Lorie, "Who are those girls dressed just like I am and why are they looking at me?" that anyone noticed anything wrong.

Read the rest of the article here.
NEW Dayton family copes with child's severe epilepsy
It is hoped that eventually diet will keep it in control without needing drugs.

DAYTON -- Until about 18 months ago, Jayden was a typical preschooler, busy mastering riding his bike, playing with his little sister, kicking a soccer ball. The stuff of a 4-year-old's life.

It all changed on Aug. 31, 2009, a day his mother Kassandra Dedloff remembers as "a normal summer day." Jayden had a grand mal seizure. Two weeks later he had another one, and "then it all started," Dedloff said. After several months of seizures and failed medications, Jayden was diagnosed with intractable/refractory epilepsy.

The seizures occurred day and night.

Not all the seizure events were the grand mal type. He also had drop seizures, where he would simply fall, and absent seizures, where he would stare and be unresponsive.

Read the rest of the article here.
'Less than 6 hours of sleep may cause heart attack'
Umesh Isalkar, TNN, Feb 25, 2011, 12.10am IST

PUNE: 'Early to bed and early to rise' is a good habit, but 'late to bed and early to rise' may not be a prudent thing to do, says a study published in the 'European Heart Journal'.

The University of Warwick in the UK studied 4.7 lakh people across eight countries to establish this equation. "If you sleep less than six hours a night and have a disturbed sleep, you stand a 48 per cent greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15 per cent greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke," the university team said. "Late to bed and early to rise is a ticking time bomb for health."

Read the rest of the article here.
Josh Blue delivers punchy humor
By Quentin Young
© 2011 Longmont Times-Call

America got to know Josh Blue when he was a contestant on the TV show “Last Comic Standing” in 2006. He was notable because he was very funny and because much of his humor centered on his having cerebral palsy.

In a question-and-answer session he once did during a live performance, he explained part of the reason self-deprecation is one of his tactics.

“You make fun of yourself before someone else can and then they do it, they look really dumb,” he said during the session, a video of which is posted on YouTube.

In an interview last week, he also said that he found the need to be open about his disability to help make audiences feel comfortable with him.

Read the rest of the article here.
Cerebral palsy doesn’t stop Windsor woman from seeing the world
Linda Sutton
Special to the Star

Life holds many challenges for Nola Millin.

She has cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair. Her speech is impaired. She requires help with the basics of everyday life — feeding, dressing, bathroom activities. She’s a diabetic who requires regular insulin injections. She uses several devices to communicate with people who cannot understand her speech. These include a word board and a Dynavox 5, nicknamed “V”, which speaks whatever she types into it.

But Millin, 47, loves to travel, so when she learned that a conference she regularly attends was to be held in Barcelona last July, she decided to take the opportunity to see a little bit of Europe via a cruise of the western Mediterranean.

“I wasn’t travelling that far to be cooped up in buildings all day,” Millin says. “I wanted to actually see places, so we decided to take a Mediterranean cruise.”

Read the rest of the article here.
Desert Arc and United Cerebal Palsy combine as one group
7:05 PM, Feb. 24, 2011

As federal and state funds dwindle for many nonprofit organizations, the demand for their charitable programs grows, prompting some groups to turn to one another for help.

Two organizations that recently combined advocacy efforts are Desert Arc in Palm Desert and United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire in Cathedral City.
“Merging advocacy efforts together with United Cerebral Palsy will make a larger presence for the disabled,” said Mitch Blumberg, Desert Arc deputy executive director.

Read the rest of the article here.

Madi's Speech: Teen with Tourette Syndrome embraces life
By Cathy Zimmerman
The Daily News The Daily News Online

She's bubbly, beguiling and articulate, so it's a jolt when Madi Allis lets out with a violent fusillade of harsh syllables, grunts and burps. As fast as they happen, they're gone. And Madi glides along, describing her interests, plans and the "best part" of who she is: Tourette Syndrome.

The Longview 18-year-old was diagnosed in third grade with the brain disorder that causes "tics" — uncontrollable vocal outbursts and muscle spasms.Named for Gilles de la Tourette, the French neuropsychiatrist who first diagnosed the disorder in the late 1800's, Tourette is a genetic anomaly that is thought to affect the brain chemicals dopamine and seratonin.

Read the rest of the article here.
Therapy may lessen Tourette's tics in kids

Tourette syndrome — a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics such as blinking, head-jerking and loud sounds — can be devastating for children, setting them up for teasing and ostracism. Drugs used to treat the condition have significant side effects. Now, a study has found that behavioral therapy may help lessen tics in children and teens about as effectively as medication.

In the study, released this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 126 children ages 9 to 17 who had Tourette or a chronic tic disorder were randomly assigned to 10 weeks of a behavioral therapy designed to reduce ticking, or to a control group that received support therapy and education. About one-third of all children were also on anti-tic medication. The study treatment also included a functional intervention to better manage anxiety-producing social situations.

At the end of the study, about 53 percent of the children in the therapy group were judged significantly improved, compared with 19 percent of the children in the control group. Tics worsened in one child in the therapy group and in four in the control group.

Read the rest of the article here.
Beauty and Your Sleep: Study Spells Out the Science Behind Beauty Rest
Sleep-Deprived Individuals Appear Less Healthy and Attractive, Study Finds
Dec. 15, 2010

Did you get your beauty rest last night?

Swedish researchers say there's an important link between sleep and your physical appearance. In a study published today in the British Medical Journal, researcher John Axelsson and his team at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that sleep-deprived individuals appear less healthy, more tired, and less attractive than those who have received a full night's worth of sleep.

"Sleep is the body's natural beauty treatment," Axelsson said. "It's probably more effective than any other treatment you could buy."

Read the rest of the article here.
Mirror Movements Might Reflect ADHD in Kids
Simple Finger Tapping Test Could Aid in Diagnosis, Researchers Say
13 comments By KATIE MOISSE
ABC News
Feb. 15, 2011

The cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which affects roughly 5.4 million kids in the United States alone, remains unknown. But new research into "mirror movements" sheds light on the mysterious neurobehavioral disorder and might even aid in its diagnosis.

Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore studied 50 children between the ages of 8 to 13 who had been diagnosed with ADHD, and 25 who hadn't, as they tapped the fingers of one hand while resting the other in their laps. The ADHD kids showed increased mirror movements, meaning the voluntary finger taps in one hand were involuntarily reflected in the other.

Read the rest of the article here.
Living with ADHD
24 February 2011

One in 20 school children are affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It's a complex condition where children find it difficult to concentrate or are hyperactive and impulsive. Sometimes it can be hard to work out whether a child's behaviour is normal or the sign of a behavioural disorder. Unless it is recognised it can result in the child being labelled as naughty or disruptive.

BBC Cornwall's Laurence Reed has been looking into the condition.

Read the rest of the article here.
Andres Torres' emotional saga featured in film
Henry Schulman, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle February 23, 2011

It takes very little to make Andres Torres cry. During a town-hall meeting the night before FanFest, it was a question from Mike Krukow: "What did last season mean to you professionally?" Words failed Torres. He bowed his head as tears welled in his eyes. The emotion was palpable as the attendees, including two rows of Giants teammates, broke into a half minute of applause. Krukow put his arm on Torres' shoulder and said, "That's a pretty good answer, best answer I've ever heard."

The scene is captured on YouTube. Soon, Torres is going to cry before a larger audience. The 33-year-old center fielder will star in a documentary that chronicles his life and improbable rise from a decade of futility in the minor leagues to starting center fielder for a World Series championship team.

This is not merely a baseball story but meant to inspire people, particularly children, with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD often is misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all and disrupts concentration so much a person sometimes cannot function.

The feature-length film, titled "Gigante," could be released this summer. It was conceived and financed by a Giants owner, William Chang, who had an intimate motivation. Though never diagnosed, the 54-year-old native of Japan is certain he had ADHD as a child.

Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Foothill High senior is the picture of victory over autism
Computer graphics student writing a children’s book with aid of parents, teachers

Foothill High School senior Ben Nelson is a precocious artist who meticulously draws colorful illustrations that look like they came straight out of a Disney-Pixar movie.

The 17-year-old computer graphics student adroitly operates professional software, spending hours each day perfecting his digital artwork. Lately, Ben has been carrying his portfolio around, just in case he has to launch into an impromptu discussion about his latest project: publishing his first children’s book.

“This is Red, the protagonist,” he said, holding up one of his sketches. “He’s a housefly. He’s kind and friendly, but kind of forgetful.” Watching Ben work, it’s impossible to tell that he is autistic, diagnosed with the developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills when he was 3 years old.

Read the rest of the article here.
At the Boston Conservatory, autistic students learn from music lessons
February 24, 2011 11:45 AM
By Anna Westendorf, Globe Correspondent

The Boston Conservatory is renowned for its intensive training in the performing arts, but on Saturday mornings, this Fenway institution offers a unique program: providing music lessons to children and young adults with autism.

The Conservatory, a private performing arts college, united with the Autism Higher Education Foundation in 2007 to form the Boston Conservatory Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum.

This little-known program pairs each child with a single teacher, who also works with a consulting team that includes a music therapist, a speech pathologist, a special educator and professionals in the music industry who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis.

Read the rest of the article here.
Bill Gates: Vaccine-autism link 'an absolute lie'
By Danielle Dellorto, CNN February 4, 2011

Davos, Switzerland (CNN) -- Microsoft founder Bill Gates sat down recently with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta in Davos, Switzerland. The billionaire philanthropist was attending the World Economic Forum to push his mission of eradicating polio by 2012. Gates, through his foundation, also pledged $10 billion to provide vaccinations to children around the world within a decade.

Gupta asked Gates for his thoughts about the alleged autism-vaccine connection. He also asked: Who holds ultimate accountability for the billions of dollars being spent on aid? Is a certain amount of corruption and fraud expected?

Read the transcript of the interview here.
Using brain waves to predict autism spectrum disorder in infants
Can brain activity show infants with autism?

Posted: 02/23/2011
By: Linda Hurtado

TAMPA - Watching two young brothers play at a park near Lowry Park Zoo, you would never know one of them has a common disorder that left him at one point unable to play and uncommunicative. Mom Kimberly LaRochelle explains, “We'd take him to park and all the kids his age and younger would be playing around, climbing and he'd just sit there. I would try to encourage him and he would just sit there.”

This mother’s gut instinct told her something was wrong with her infant. “It was so hard. It was just so hard knowing in your heart and struggling, what's wrong with my child what's wrong with my child.” Years and years of doctor appointments later, experts finally diagnosed Levi with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

A study in the journal BMC Medicine suggests that it may one day be possible to predict which infants are at risk of developing ASD based on patterns of brain activity. The authors studied 79 infants, some at high risk of autism. They measured brain waves as the children watched a researcher blow bubbles. The pattern in the high risk group was different.

Read the rest of the article here.
New, Practical CPAP for Truckers on Display at March 2011 Healthy Trucking Association of America Summit
First Venue to Exhibit Transcend Sleep Apnea Therapy System

The Healthy Trucking Association of America (HTAA) Summit will be the first venue to exhibit the new Transcend Sleep Apnea Therapy System. To be held at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta on March 1-3 this year, the HTAA Summit is the trucking industry's premiere health and wellness event focused on improving the health of the nation's professional driver population. Attracting trucking fleet safety directors, HR directors, recruitment and retention managers, and other fleet executives and industry leaders, this year's Summit will feature sessions on sleep disorders, obesity and weight loss, hypertension and heart health, respiratory health, diabetes, and more.

Transcend is a new wearable OSA therapy device designed to overcome hurdles associated with using a bulky, hassle-ridden traditional CPAP. Weighing about 1 lb, the FDA-approved Transcend is the smallest CPAP on the market. It is easy to operate, uses low power, replaces the messy humidification chamber with heat moisture exchange technology, and has optional battery back-up. Transcend will be on display at the Summit on March 2 and 3.

Read the rest of the article here.
Could Autism be a protein problem?
Wednesday, 23 February 2011

San Diego was an autism spotlight weeks ago, with the University of California-San Diego publishing two studies regarding the disability. Their most recent was featured in the Journal of Biological Chemistry September issue, and found that misfolding of a certain protein, caused by gene mutations, results in deficiencies that can lead to abnormal communications between neurons. Genetic misfoldings prevent normal formation of neuronic synapses and has been noted in autistic people. Genetic mutations in autistic people were discovered just seven years ago, but could increasing understanding behind what causes autism and what influences the disability most, a good question with talk of environmental vs. genetic factors behind autism spectrum disorder. Discovering these mutations can also offer new targets for therapies.

Read the rest of the article here.
Side Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

“If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie.

And most of us would know the truth behind this statement. The human body needs atleast eight hours of rest everyday to function in a proper and efficient manner. Rejuvenation of body cells and muscles are a must if you need to feel refreshed and for this our body requires the good old slumber therapy. (...)

Physical Side Effects
  • - Headaches, blurred vision and dizziness are some of the first signs of sleep deprivation.
  • - It also leads to feelings of nausea and sometimes a weakening of the immune system. A person might feel feverish and develop colds and other illnesses rather easily.
  • - Chronic sleep loss can generally have an adverse effect on the overall health of a person and may lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other lifestyle illnesses.

Mental Side Effects
  • - Some of the effects include: lack of concentration, slow reaction time, hallucinations, memory loss, irritability and psychosis.
  • - Lack of sleep leads to stress and anxiety, which leads to a state of acute depression and despair.
  • - Mental confusion, extreme indecisiveness and a clouding of thoughts are all definitive signs of insufficient sleep.

Effects On Children
  • Surprisingly, children are the most prone to any of the above symptoms and the only potent solution is to nip the problem in the bud itself.
  • Kids who fight sleep are most often the hyperactive ones and that also can be a disorder in itself. Surprised? Yes, when a child is bursting with energy all day long without rest, then he is probably in the danger zone. So, be careful!
  • Another lesser known fact is that children who stay extremely active all day and show no signs of tiring even beyond their bedtime are most probably restless (and not energetic as you thought) from all the exertion of the day and are so fatigued that sleep doesn’t come easy to them.
These are some of the side effects of sleep deprivation. To prevent and fight this disorder, simple steps like sleeping earlier than usual, relaxing a bit before bedtime and ensuring good physical health can be adopted as regular lifestyle choices. We hope that this article answered a few of your questions and made life a little easier for you!

Read the rest of the article here.
Sleep apnea causing problems for more Texas kids
Posted on February 23, 2011 at 10:28 PM

PLANO — At her Plano pediatric sleep clinic, Dr. Hilary Pearson has diagnosed more youngsters than ever with serious sleep disorders.

"Obstructive sleep apnea is seen in anywhere from three to five percent of kids," she said. "That's actually a high percentage for a medical condition to be occurring."

In Texas, allergies and high rates of childhood obesity are partly responsible for the growing problem.

Read the rest of the article here.
Home temperature, sleep loss tied to obesity: study
Wed Feb 23, 2011

NEW YORK - Cooler homes and a better night's sleep might help rein in the current obesity epidemic, according to an Italian study.

When researchers led by Simona Bo at the University of Turin in Italy followed more than a thousand middle-aged adults over six years, they found that sleep habits were related to the risk of obesity -- with the odds of their becoming obese declining by 30 percent for each hour of sleep people typically got.

This was true even when other factors such as physical activity level and TV watching were taken into account, according to the study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Then there was temperature. Compared to people who kept their homes no warmer than 20 C (68F) in the fall and winter, those who liked a toastier home were twice as likely to become obese.

Read the rest of the article here.
Junior conquers epilepsy, returns to school
By Mary Petrides
Published: Thursday, February 24, 2011

When Ashley Baumann, now a junior, was 8 or 9 years old, her mother asked her to shut her father's office door. Baumann didn't respond.

She didn't hear. It was her first experience with epilepsy, which has plagued her throughout her life — that is, until this September. Baumann took last semester off for brain surgery, but this semester, she's back on campus and hitting the books.

Baumann said she used to have seizures every three weeks or so, "in a clump," but they became more frequent in college because of stress. Her seizures were minor, usually lasting 30 to 45 seconds.

"I feel like I'm plunged into darkness and fear," she said. "I can't hear or see."

Read the rest of the article here.
Elevator out in Bronx building for 2 months
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BRONX (WABC) -- Residents say for the last two months the elevator in their six-story apartment building in the High Bridge section of the Bronx has been out.

"This is terrible," said one resident.

For the seniors and the disabled living inside the 36 apartments, it has been more than inconvenience. "I am prisoner in my own home," said another resident.

Rosa Batista is desperate. She and her family live on the 6th floor. Her 10-year-old son has cerebral palsy and without the kindness of neighbors to help bring him up and down the stairs, she would not have survived this long.

Read the rest of the article here.

Need for daycare centre for Cerebral Palsy kids
Thursday, February 24 2011

President of the Cerebral Palsy Parents’ Association, Crystal Jones, is pleading with the Minister of the People and Social Development, Glenn Ramadarsingh and Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar to have established, a daycare centre for children with Cerebral Palsy.

They also noted a severe need to provide counselling for parents who are overwhelmed by their situation.

According to Jones, because many parents have no one to take care of their disabled children, parents usually have three options: leave the disabled child at home alone while they go to work; don’t work and stay home to take care of the child, or leave the disabled child with siblings.

Read the rest of the article here.
Is There Such a Thing as a ‘Mini-Migraine’?

Many readers of the Consults blog wanted to learn more about “mini-migraines,” low-level headaches that are not as debilitating as full-blown migraine attacks.

Q. I suffer from occasional severe migraines, but I’ve also noticed that I get frequent slight headaches that mimic my migraines’ location and type of pain. They are like mini-migraines, at a low level that is not debilitating (although they are unpleasant). Is this common? What is the best way to treat these low-level migraines — with ordinary aspirin or with the triptans I take for major migraines?

Read Dr. Dodick's answer and the rest of the article here.
Can Foods Trigger Migraines?
July 26, 2010, 11:02 am
Can allergies to certain foods trigger migraines? What about food additives like MSG? Dr. David Dodick of the Mayo Clinic responds to readers’ questions about migraines.

Q. I had a blood test for food allergens, cut them out, and my migraines were greatly diminished in frequency and intensity. Is this a common experience? Are there good studies supporting this?

Read the Dr. Dodick's response and the rest of the article here.
The Ups and Downs of A.D.H.D.
February 23, 2011, 12:23 pm

Is there an upside to A.D.H.D.? Are certain careers more suited to the person with attention deficits than others? How does someone with A.D.H.D. deal with the daily ups and downs of the disorder? These are among the questions recently posed by readers of the Consults blog. Here, Dr. Russell Barkley, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, responds.

Q. Perhaps most frustrating to me is that some days I am completely “on” and “in the zone,” whereas other days, I can’t even buy my own attention, let alone anyone else’s. Are such drastic fluctuations common in A.D.D/A.D.H.D. patients?

Read Dr. Barkley's response and the rest of the article here.
Hand Movements May Send ADHD Signals
By Nancy Walsh, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: February 15, 2011
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner

Measuring unintended hand movements in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may help reveal the severity of the disorder -- and ultimately may help shed light on its causes -- researchers predicted.
In a study that utilized a one-handed finger-tapping test and measured the excessive movements in the other hand, children with ADHD had twice as much of this "overflow" movement as normally developing children (P=0.01), Stewart H. Mostofsky, MD, of Johns Hopkins, and colleagues reported.

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

15 Ways to Teach Better Organization to ADHD Kids
How teachers and parents can help children with ADHD master better organization and time-management skills at school and at home.

Work with your ADHD student or child to build systems or routines that encourage better organizational skills. Here are some ideas for getting started...

Classroom Solutions
1. Color-code academic materials. Use green for all science notebooks, binders, and folders, plus keep related classroom materials in matching green bins.
2. Post steps for routines. Hang colorful signs to show where homework, lunchboxes, and parent-teacher correspondence should be placed. A reminder about dismissal might read: Did you clear off your desk? Did you pack your book bag? Do you have your jacket, lunchbox, and homework assignment?
Post procedures for special periods, such as library time or computer lab, and hand out copies for students to keep in their binders.

Read the rest of the article here.
Will This Be on the Test?
Sometimes securing academic accommodations for ADHD means forsaking popularity with college professors.
by Christine Brady

My school, like many colleges, has special accommodations for those with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) and other learning differences.

A testing center is set up to provide extended time and other helpful arrangements. More often than not, I would rather take the test with the other students in my class. This, however, may lead to failure, loss of financial aid, probation, disenrollment, and, ultimately, spending my life under a bridge. So I force myself to schedule a time at the testing center to take my tests.

It is not easy to approach a teacher, in high school or college, to ask for accommodations in testing. I, personally, would rather ask them their preference in deodorant.

Read the rest of the article here.
Epilepsy: How Your Diet Plays a Role
Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011 04:21 PM

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures. Epilepsy can be controlled with medication but special epilepsy diets are also used to increase efficacy of treatment. The diet for epilepsy is called a ketogenic diet, and it works by changing the composition of nutritional elements in the body that result in the control of epileptic fits.

In the early 20th century, seizures were controlled by a period of fasting which led to the removal of the toxin that was responsible for creating the fits from the blood stream.

With advances in medicine, the most efficient epilepsy diet today is a ketogenic diet. It is a high fat, moderate-protein, low carbohydrate diet that was developed almost eighty years ago. A ketogenic diet simulates a "starvation" state in the body by flooding it with fats and no carbs. As a result, the body uses fats for energy and not carbohydrates. Normally, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose which fuels the brain. In an epilepsy diet, there exists a low-carb environment. Therefore, fats are broken down into fatty acids and ketone bodies. An increased amount of ketones in the body produces a condition called ketosis which reduces epileptic seizures.

Read the rest of the article here.
Epilepsy fear over Kanye West video

The latest video from hip hop star Kanye West could cause epileptic seizures, experts have warned. Those with photosensitive epilepsy should avoid the video for All of the Lights, which features singer Rihanna.

Epilepsy Action said the extensive use of flashing images could trigger seizures in some people, and there is no warning at the start of the video to alert them to the risks. The video has received almost five million hits on file sharing website YouTube.

In 2007, Epilepsy Action received calls from people who had suffered fits after seeing animated footage promoting the 2012 Olympics in London. It was removed from the organisers' website and the video was re-edited.

Read the rest of the article here.
Magnesium Sulfate and Protecting Against Cerebral Palsy?
Bret Stetka, MD; Rohan D'Souza, MD, MRCOG, FCPS, DNB, DGO, DFP; Amarnath Bhide, MD, FRCOG

Hello, I'm Dr. Bret Stetka, Editorial Director at Medscape. Welcome to the F1000 Practice-Changing Minute, where we report commentaries from the Faculty of 1000 on highly rated studies that may change clinical practice. Our commentary today covers the study "A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Magnesium Sulfate for the Prevention of Cerebral Palsy," from Rouse and colleagues, published in The New England Journal of Medicine.[1] The Faculty of 1000 Medicine has given this a ranking of Changing Clinical Practice and Must Read with a factor of 8.


The investigators of this trial and the subsequent Cochrane review have unequivocally recommended the antenatal use of magnesium sulfate for fetal neuroprotection in women deemed at a high risk for preterm labor, and this has been endorsed by various other authorities.[5,6] The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in their committee opinion paper[6] have encouraged physicians electing to use magnesium sulfate for the purpose of fetal neuroprotection to develop specific guidelines in regard to inclusion criteria, treatment regimens, concurrent tocolysis, and maternal-fetal monitoring. This should encourage more widespread use of this easily available drug with the primary intention of reducing the risk for neurologic adverse outcomes in this vulnerable group of infants.

Read the rest of the article and watch the video here.
N.J. rock climbing group helps children with special needs reach for the top
Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 8:00 AM

FAIRFIELD — Noah Schramm didn’t want to waste time. He entered the gym, walked to a back room, and stared up at his goal.

The peak of the sheer rock climbing wall — more than 20 feet up — seemed impossibly high for an 11-year-old. But Noah was undaunted — he knew what he wanted and he was ready to go.

But before strapping on his harness and roping up, he had to do one more thing. He went over to a blue mat and tossed down his canes. Then a group of volunteers helped him on with his harness. Finally, he placed his first foot on the wall.

Read the rest of the article here.
Cerebral palsy sufferer Jake takes first unaided steps after operation

BRAVE cerebral palsy sufferer Jake Storr has taken his first steps unaided after undergoing groundbreaking surgery in America. It's a day he always hoped would come and it means the happy-go-lucky nine-year-old, from Holton-le-Clay, is making strides towards achieving his dream of playing football with his friends.

But first he hopes to walk out on to the pitch at Blundell Park by becoming a Grimsby Town mascot before the end of the season. As reported, Jake's trip across to America to undergo the life-changing surgery was made possible thanks to a £40,000 fundraising appeal supported by the Grimsby Telegraph.

Doctors hoped the revolutionary selective dorsal rhizotomy operation would allow Jake – who, at the time, could only manage a few steps with crutches – to walk unaided. Now almost a year later, plucky Jake has delighted both his parents and medical experts by walking unaided indoors.

Read the rest of the article here.
Get Some Sleep: When people act out their dreams

The second time Charlie was awakened by his wife’s screams because he was slapping her in his sleep, he decided to move into the guest bedroom. The third time he hurled himself from his bed and put a big gash in his forehead, he decided to come to the sleep center.

Charlie has REM behavior disorder, or RBD. For each violent episode, he could recall the dream that he was having that prompted him to action. It is very common, and was true in this case, that when the person with RBD attacks his bed partner, usually he is dreaming that he is saving his spouse. In the dream, it is the bad guy he is hitting.

Read the rest of the article here.
Breakthrough Cognitive Training Program Treats ADHD and Dyslexia Via Internet
Brain Potential Institute launches one-on-one online brain training program to treat people with ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, autism, and central auditory processing issues.
Magnolia, TX (Vocus/PRWEB) February 22, 2011

Brain Potential Institute, the leading cognitive-training center that provides advanced cutting-edge treatment for people with ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, autism and other neurological deficiencies, has announced the launch of its innovative one-on-one online program. This is the first time a one-on-one cognitive training program of this intensity will be offered via the Internet without the use of a pre-packaged computerized software.

Read more at the link.
Heart Disease Risks Common in Migraine Sufferers

ISLAMABAD: Men and women who suffer from migraines are also likely to have risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, a new study finds.

A report in the Feb. 22 issue of Neurology concludes that migraine sufferers were more likely to smoke, have parents who had a heart attack or stroke, and have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. However, they were less likely to drink, the researchers said.

"Migraine, particularly migraine with aura, is known to be associated with an increased risk of stroke," said lead author Ann I. Scher, from the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in Bethesda, Md. "We were interested in looking at whether people with migraine were more likely to have classic risk factors for cardiovascular disease," she added.

Read the rest of the article here.
Tech-savvy teenagers tend to suffer from headaches
23 Feb, 2011

KOLKATA: An increasing number of computer-savvy teenagers are suffering from acute headaches which neurologists attribute to prolonged stress on the eye and brain.

"Increasing use of computers, laptops, video games and other electronic gadgets are triggering acute headaches among teenagers in major cities of India," neurologists at the Fortis Hospital here said.

They said that though no systematic study has been conducted on the issue, prevalence of headache is found to be around 47 percent globally and is nearly identical in India too.

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mom and Dad Were Right
Students with ADD - your parents were right: procrastinating and finishing in the nick of time doesn't always cut it at college.
by Christine Brady

By nature, I'm a loyal and trustworthy person. However, you can't trust me to be on time any more than you'd trust me to handle sub-atomic particles. Recently, I learned the hard way not to commit to deadlines I can't keep (and, incidentally, to avoid helping a friend with her work before I have finished my own... ).

As a student with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD), I frequently run into something I call "fake ambition" - or maybe it runs into me. In class, I make plans to type up my notes, read ahead, help someone study - in other words, be a complete nerd for a given amount of time
Then when I get back to my room, actually doing all the work I have assigned myself just... isn't... appealing. That's fake ambition. I lose the urge to do work the second I get comfortable. Therefore, I suggest going to the most uncomfortable place you can find when you're working under a deadline. If you're sitting on a hard chair in the library at seven in the morning, relaxation isn't an option and you can stay focused.

Read the rest of the article here.