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Friday, October 30, 2009

Brain stroke third largest killer in India, but awareness very low

Bombay News.Net
Thursday 29th October, 2009 (IANS)

Brain stroke is the third largest killer in India after heart attack and cancer. And on World Stroke Day Thursday, experts say that awareness and immediate medical help can save the life of a person suffering a stroke.

A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which was released in June, says that the incidence of stroke in India is around 130 per 100,000 people every year. It further says that about 20 percent of heart patients are susceptible to it.

P.N. Renjen, a senior consultant of neurology at the Apollo hospital, said that stroke is the most common cause of disability with more than 70 percent of stroke survivors remaining vocationally impaired and more than 30 percent requiring assistance with activities for daily living.

'Studies show that on an average, a person waits for 13 hours after experiencing the first symptoms of stroke before seeking medical care. Forty two percent patients wait for as long as 24 hours,' said Renjen, who is also associated with a health NGO, Subhadra Nambudiri Foundation (SNF).

'Therefore, awareness on the issue is a must because it is critical to recognise the symptoms of stroke and seek immediate emergency attention,' he added.

Taking it forward from here, Renjen said that SNF will organise a National Stroke Awareness Day Dec 18, followed by a National Stroke Awareness Month in July next year.

A brain stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts, causing the brain to starve.

If deprived of oxygen for even a short period of time, the brain cells begin to die. Once this happens, the part of the body controlled by that section of the brain is affected, impairing language, motor skills or vision or causing paralysis.

'Compared to heart attack, awareness about brain stroke, which is even more debilitating, is very limited. Therefore awareness is a must to improve the scenario,' Renjen added.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Lifeline for People with Aphasia and their Families

A Lifeline for People with Aphasia and their FamiliesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

YDAC fundraiser to feature local guitarist

Posted on October 29th, 2009

Guitarist Erik Patterson is among the talented guests who will perform at the York Durham Aphasia Centre’s 20th anniversary celebration of communication through art, music, words and dance.

The fundraiser will be held at the Lebovic Centre of Arts and Entertainment - Nineteen on the Park on Nov. 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. Actor and singer Whitney Barris and Stouffville dance collective Motus O will also star in the fundraising event, which will include an show of artwork by YDAC clients and a silent auction.

Aphasia is a language disorder that can impair a person’s speech and make it hard for him or her to understand the speech of others. It can also impair reading and writing abilities. It is a common result of a stroke, head injury or brain disease.

For tickets and information call 905-642-2053.
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Join us as we cheer for National Stroke Association's NYC Marathon Team on Nov 1

Dear National Stroke Supporter,

Three days from today, National Stroke Association's team of 29 brave individuals will participate in the ING NYC Marathon to raise funds and awareness for stroke! This is our first marathon team to participate in this event and we can't wait to be there to cheer them on! From marathon veterans to first time runners, our team is composed of stroke survivors, health care professionals, caregivers, and board and staff members. Each participant has a unique connection to stroke and a personal desire to make a difference.


We will be gathering to watch our runners but most importantly give them our support and encouragement. Please join us on Sunday, November 1 as we cheer them on! Drop by anytime after 10:30AM at the SW Corner of 89th and 1st Ave. (This is between miles 17 and 18.) Together let's encourage our runners and support them as they make a difference in the world of stroke!

We will have a few signs to identify our group but please bring your own so that not only our runners, but other spectators as well, will know we are there as we raise awareness of stroke.

W would love to see you there!

P.S. To learn more about our team and read their stories, check out
our webpage: www.stroke.org/nymarathon
http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nymarathon
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Frightful Fill-In

October 28, 2009, 5:09 pm
By Katherine Schulten

Directions: Fill in the blanks in the first four paragraphs of the 2008 article “Another Day, Another Bloody Corpse .”

You can try to fill them in with your own words before you see the choices, or click “read more” below to see a scrambled list of the words that were removed.


Every year, Leonard Pickel warns his wife, Jeanne, not to ________ at the man wielding the ________. But Mrs. Pickel can’t help herself.

She ________. She leaps. She is chased in circles around her husband, a ________ Texan with a hangdog jowl, who stands as ________ as a post.

This scene plays out, the Pickels said the other day, in one haunted house after another each ________. “I always say the easiest way to make the guy with the chainsaw look ________ is not to ________,” Mr. Pickel explained. “Because when he gets up to you, he either has to ________ you or turn and walk away.”

The Pickels are haunted house ________, the owners of Haunted Attraction ________ (“the premier publication of the dark amusement industry,” according to its cover) and the proprietors of a handful of businesses that serve what they call ________. Each fall, they ________ the country, visiting dozens of haunted houses along the way. This year, their first stop was New York.

Word Choices: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/frightful-fill-in/#more-6793
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Speed of Processing Task Using A Deck of Cards

by Admin on October 28, 2009

Are you ready to work on your speed of processing?

I found that Speed of Processing is a very nice task. Try it and tell them what you think. http://cognitiverehabtherapy.com/?cat=24

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treat Aphasia

Posted on October 27, 2009

Magnetic therapy research is trying to explore the field of complementary therapy and alternative medicine to address some challenging diseases affecting the children off late. One such techniques is the Transcranial magnetic stimulation used to treat Aphasia. This article tries to gain further insight.

Basics required to appreciate the technique:

* The brain is the organ which orders all the other organs of the body to function.
* It passes orders in the form of electrical signals.
* There are millions of cells in the brain called neurons which capture and transmit these signals from one corner to other corner.
* When disturbances take place in the passing of these signals from one neuron to other, disorders like Aphasia take place.
* Patients suffering from this disorder of the brain cannot speak, write and comprehend properly.
* According to an estimate 80,000 people get affected by this disorder every year either by head injury or by stroke.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation:

* This technique is based on the law of electromagnetic induction in Physics.
* According to this law, whenever the direction of magnetic field chances, electrical current can be produced.
* Using this principle, electrical signals are artificially generated in the neurons of the aphasia patients.
* These generated signals on continuous basis carry out functions of the body in these patients.
* Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine and VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts carried out the study of transcranial magnetic stimulation technique on Aphasia patients with positive results.
* The recent findings about aphasia treatment definitely raises hopes in the hearts of the millions.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aphasia?s Speech And Language Problems Targeted For Speech Therapy

The following article covers a topic that has recently moved to center stage–at least it seems that way. If you’ve been thinking you need to know more about it, here’s your opportunity.

Aphasia can bring about a lot of speech and language problems that are to be treated for speech therapy. The kind of speech and language problems brought by Aphasia would highly depend on the kind of Aphasia that you may have.

Broca’s Aphasia

Broca’s Aphasia is also known as motor aphasia. You can obtain this, if you damage your brain’s frontal lobe, particularly at the frontal part of the lobe at your language-dominant side.

If Broca’s Aphasia is your case, then you may have complete mutism or inability to speak. In some cases you may be able to utter single-word statements or a full sentence, but constructing such would entail you great effort.

You may also omit small words, like conjunctions (but, and, or) and articles (a, an, the). Due to these omissions, you may produce a “telegraph” quality of speech. Usually, your hearing comprehension is not affected, so you are able to comprehend conversation, other’s speech and follow commands.

Difficulty in writing is also evident, since you may experience weakness on your body’s right side. You also get an impaired reading ability along with difficulty in finding the right words when speaking. People with this type of aphasia may be depressed and frustrated, because of their awareness of their difficulties.

Wernicke’s Aphasia

When your brain’s language-dominant area’s temporal lobe is damaged, you get Wernicke’s aphasia. If you have this kind of aphasia, you may speak in uninterrupted, long, sentences; the catch is, the words you use are usually unnecessary or at times made-up.

You can also have difficulty understanding other’s speech, to the extent of having the inability to comprehend spoken language in any way. You also have a diminished reading ability. Your writing ability may be retained, but what you write may seem to be abnormal.

In contrast with Broca’s Aphasia, Wernicke’s Aphasia doesn’t manifest physical symptoms like right-sided weakness. Also, with this kind of Aphasia, you are not aware of your language errors.

If you don’t have accurate details regarding Speech Therapy, then you might make a bad choice on the subject. Don’t let that happen: keep reading.

Global Aphasia

This kind of aphasia is obtained when you have widespread damage on language areas of your brain’s left hemisphere. Consequently, all your fundamental language functions are affected. However, some areas can be severely affected than other areas of your brain.

It may be the case that you have difficulty speaking but you are able to write well. You may also experience weakness and numbness on the right side of your body.

Conduction Aphasia

This kind is also known as Associative Aphasia. It is a somewhat uncommon kind, in which you have the inability to repeat sentences, phrases and words. Your speech fluency is reasonably unbroken. There are times that you may correct yourself and skip or repeat some words.

Even though you are capable of understanding spoken language, you can still have difficulty finding the right words to use to describe an object or a person. This condition’s effect on your reading and writing skills can also vary. Just like other types of aphasia, you can have sensory loss or right-sided weakness.

Nominal Or Anomic Aphasia

This kind of aphasia would primarily influence your ability to obtain the right name for an object or person. Consequently, rather than naming an object, you may resort to describing it. Your reading skills, writing ability, hearing comprehension, and repetition are not damaged, except by this inability to get the right name.

Your may have fluent speech, except for the moments that you pause to recall the correct name. Physical symptoms like sensory loss and one-sided body weakness, may or may not be present.

Transcortical Aphasia

This kind is caused by the damage of language areas on your left hemisphere just outside your primary language areas. There are three types of this aphasia: transcortical sensory, transcortical motor, and mixed transcortical. All of these types are differentiated from others by your ability to repeat phrases, words, or sentences.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit my latest venture: GVO to claim your $1 trial membership!

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Finding a voice through artwork

FOUND his voice… Dennis Blackhurst with one of his paintings.
FOUND his voice… Dennis Blackhurst with one of his paintings.
Ruhubia Akbor
October 24, 2009

A ROYTON man who lost the ability to speak after a stroke has now found his voice through art.

Two years ago Dennis Blackhurst, 59, suffered a debilitating stroke leaving him with severe physical and communication difficulties.

Although now on the road to recovery the Consort Avenue resident is forced to use a wheelchair and suffers from aphasia – a condition which makes finding the right words really difficult.

But through his new-found love of painting Dennis is once again able to communicate to the wider world.

And what makes his work all the more remarkable is that right-handed Dennis is forced to paint with his left hand because of his condition.

He said: "When I was little I used to do a little bit of painting.

"I watched a programme by American artist Bob Ross and he made it look so easy.

"I don’t know why I love it but they make me happy.

"It was hard with my left hand at first but I just kept at it.

"I’m not going to stop for nothing and I need to keep busy."

Over the past year Dennis has painted canvasses which range from landscape scenes to abstract faces.

He is adamant that they are not for sale but currently has two paintings on show at the Gallery Oldham’s Open Exhibition.

He also has high hopes to build a boat and sale around the world looking for more inspiration.

His proud wife Barbara is fascinated by his new-found skill.

She said: "The painting just came out of the blue. It relaxes him more than anything.

"Once he gets started on a painting he can spend hours perfecting it.

"He becomes oblivious of what’s going on around him.

"I think they’re wonderful.

"He doesn’t want me to hang them up, he likes having them to hand to be able to show people.

She added: "It’s been really difficult but he is determined to carry on.

"The stroke was completely out the blue and when I saw him I thought the worst.

"When he told me what was wrong I knew it was a stroke.

"He lost his speech within hours and the doctors thought he wouldn’t ever be able to talk or walk again but he’s improving every day."

Dennis had to give up his job as a welder and started attending the Stroke Association's communication support service to work on alternative ways of communication.

He is now working on the once simple tasks to try and rebuild his life while having more time to pursue new interests such as swimming, playing bowls and cookery classes.

Despite his difficulties Dennis even managed to use his existing DIY skills to build a little brick wall to sit on and keep Barbara company while gardening.

She said: "He was absolutely determined to do this thing, so I didn’t stand in the way.

"He worked so hard to build this little perch for himself.

"He even surprised me one day when I came home from work by making tea for me with the help of his carer."

Julie Ainscow, from the Stroke Association, said: "The courage and creativity that Dennis has shown after his stroke is commendable.

"He and Barbara clearly demonstrate that there really can be life after stroke."

For more information about stroke visit www.stroke.org.uk or call 0845 303 3100.

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Omega-3 deficiency may be hurting our hearts

Nutritional shortage tied to obesity, cardiovascular disease, researchers say
Image: Omega-3 benefits of fish
Joe Raedle / Getty Images file
Scientists believe Americans are suffering from a widespread deficiency of fatty acids which are found in foods such as fish, leafy greens and grass-fed meats.

By Susan Allport
Prevention Magazine
updated 4:43 p.m. ET, Fri., Oct . 23, 2009

When Lisa Kepp (*name has been changed to protect privacy) was 2 years old, she was diagnosed with a neurological condition. She had not said a word in her short life — and it wasn't for want of trying. Lisa was so frustrated at not being able to form the words she clearly wanted to say that she flew into temper tantrums four or five times a day. The family was on pins and needles waiting for the next time the little girl would explode.

A pediatric neurologist diagnosed verbal apraxia, a speech disorder, and recommended that she receive intensive speech therapy. He suggested no other treatment. Lisa's mother had heard, though, about studies linking omega-3 fatty acids to intelligence and healthy brains, and she thought she'd give them a try. She purchased a bottle of Nordic Naturals' Children's DHA in liquid form and began putting half a teaspoon in her daughter's orange juice every morning. Within a week, the young girl was babbling and her tantrums stopped. Amazed, her mother spoke to the doctors, but none of them would engage her, as she puts it, in a conversation about omega-3s. So Lisa continued speech therapy — and her omega-3s — for a year and will be starting preschool this fall with her peers.

A happy anecdote, to be sure. Ask any scientist, though, and he will admit that without testing, we can't be certain that omega-3s fueled Lisa's recovery. But he can point to a growing body of scientific literature that touts the benefits of omega-3 supplementation. Studies show that these special fatty acids accumulate in the brain and can aid children with learning disabilities, reduce violence in prison populations, and even improve everyday mood.

We can only obtain these fats through our diet. They are essential to the development of healthy brains and other metabolically active tissues. Indeed, research from the world's top universities shows that these fats do much more than regulate our brains: They can also lower risk of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. They even help fight wrinkles and may block fat-cell formation.

How could omega-3s possibly be this powerful? Scientists believe it's because Americans are suffering from a widespread deficiency. A recent study conducted by Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, found that the absence of these fatty acids in our diet is responsible annually for up to 96,000 premature deaths in this country. Scientists, however, are learning that fixing this nutritional deficiency is a bit more complicated than simply telling people to eat more fish.

Our collective omega-3 deficiency
Every once in a while, a discovery comes along that changes everything about the way we see the world. In the early 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus had such a moment when he discovered that Earth was not the center of the universe. Our new understanding of essential fats is that kind of discovery, and I was lucky enough, as a science writer, to make a small-yet-key contribution. While researching a book on omega-3s, I realized that the essential fats — the omega-3s and their close cousins, the omega-6s — change with the seasons. It might sound like a small idea, but it may soon fundamentally change the way you think about food.

3 easy ways to increase omega-3s

The competition of omega-3s and omega-6s is happening all the time, not just when we take our fish oil capsules. The best way to ensure you have a healthy balance of essential fats is to have a source of omega-3s — and not too many omega-6s — at every meal.

1. Eat more greens
Leafy greens, legumes, and potatoes have a better balance of omega-3s to omega-6s than most seeds and grains. Omega-3s live in leaves as the omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Animals (like us) convert ALA into even more dynamic omega-3s: EPA and DHA. This conversion is somewhat inefficient, however, and that's why the next steps are so important.

2. Eat healthier meats
Cows raised on grass produce meat, milk, and cheese with many more omega-3s than their corn-and soy-fed counterparts. Chickens fed a diet rich in flax and greens produce eggs that are as high in EPA and DHA as many species of fish. Some would argue that grass-fed meats are more expensive than grain-fed, but the former come without the very steep medical price tag of a diet high in omega-6s.

3. Eat fish
Fish can also be a sustainable part of our new diet, as moderate fish consumption will be more effective when our diet has fewer omega-6s. Try to eat at least two meals of fish per week. Fish oil supplements can also help, as toddler Lisa's mother found, though they're not a long-term solution to this widespread nutritional deficiency.

First, let's start with omega-3s, what I'll call the spring fats. These are likely the most abundant fats in the world, but they don't originate in fish, as many believe. Rather, they are found in the green leaves of plants. Fish are full of omega-3s because they eat phytoplankton (the microscopic green plants of the ocean) and seaweed. In plants, these special fatty acids help turn sunlight into sugars, the basis of life on Earth. The spring fats speed up metabolism. They are fats that animals (humans included) use to get ready for times of activity, like the mating season. They're found in the highest concentrations in all the most active tissues: brains, eyes, hearts, the tails of sperm — the flight muscles of hummingbirds. Because fish have so many of these fats in their diets, they can be active in cold, dark waters. These fats protect our brains from neurological disorders and enable our hearts to beat billions of times without incident. But they are vanishing from our diet, and you'll soon understand why.

Our omega-6 surplus
Next up are the omega-6s, what I'll call the fall fats. They originate in plants as well, but in the seeds of plants rather than the leaves. The fall fats are simply storage fats for plants. Animals require both — omega-3s and omega-6s — in their diets and their tissues. But omega-6s are slower and stiffer than omega-3s. Plus, they promote blood clotting and inflammation, the underlying causes of many diseases, including heart disease and arthritis. Omega-3s, on the other hand, promote blood flow and very little inflammation, which may prevent things like heart disease. The proper mix of these two fats helps create tissue with the right amount of blood flow and inflammation. But because they're in constant competition to enter our cells, if your diet consists of too many omega-6s, your body will be deficient in omega-3s. And that is what's been happening to us as we've been eating more and more seed fats in the form of soybean, corn, and other vegetable oils.

Since 1909, according to the USDA, Americans have more than doubled their daily intake of omega-6s — from about 7 grams to around 18. One hundred years ago, heart disease was much less common in this country. Over the past century, though, heart disease has risen in tandem with our increasing intake of these seed fats, or omega-6s, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). So have neurological disorders like Lisa's, as well as depression, arthritis, obesity, insulin resistance, and many cancers. While other dietary factors such as increased consumption of calories, trans fats, and sugar undoubtedly contributed, our essential fatty acid imbalance is a key player in most of these illnesses.

More stories from Prevention

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Friday, October 23, 2009

What is Apraxia Of Speech? How Can It Be Treated?

by Isa Marrs

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is known by many names. Developmental Verbal Apraxia, Childhood Verbal Apraxia, and Developmental Apraxia of Speech are just a few of the names; however, CAS is the current preferred term for the severe speech disorder.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech affects 2-3 children per 1000. There is no universal criteria list used to diagnose the disorder like there is with Autism or ADHD. And there are no chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome or Apert Syndrome. Recently there has been a gene linked to the disorder; however, far more research is required in the area of genetics.

How it is Diagnosed

There are several standardized measures used to diagnose Childhood Apraxia of Speech. This has lead to over-diagnosis. The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America is currently working on guidelines for Speech Language Pathologists for diagnosis and treatment of the disorder, which should help.

I try to learn as much as I can in regards to the treatment and diagnosis of CAS. It is one of my areas of expertise in which I provide therapy and am often called in to provide a second opinion or training to a treating therapist.

So What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

To put it simply, the structures of the mouth are adequate yet the message is not getting from the brain to the mouth to produce clear speech.

Some characteristics of CAS include, but are not limited to, vowel distortion, more sound errors with longer sentences, and inconsistent sound errors. Children with this severe speech disorder are extremely difficult to understand and may or may not develop clear speech as adults. Similar characteristics may be seen in other severe speech disorders as well, making diagnosis difficult.

Appropriate Speech-Language Therapy is Key

Good, appropriate speech-language therapy is key in helping children with CAS learn to produce intelligible speech. Multiple short therapy sessions have proven to be most effective. The more a sound is produced in therapy the faster the progress as the skill must be learned and become automatic.

There is no one “right” therapy however there is a “wrong” therapy. If you have a child with CAS (or any other severe speech disorder) beware of oral-motor therapy that is used to teach clear speech.

Oral motor therapy is therapy that does not involve speech production while moving the mouth. To improve speech, speech must be worked on. As a feeding therapist I often use oral motor therapy to help with chewing, swallowing, and drooling. However, while effective with feeding, there is no research proving that these exercises will improve speech.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech remains a challenge for speech language pathologists, parents of children with the disorder and the children themselves. While research is underway we are only at the beginning of understanding this severe and complex disorder.

For more information, resources or to request a consultation call (914) 488-5282 or use the form to your right.

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Revisiting Apraxia

Every few days or so, I read through recent comments posted throughout the blog and attempt to address the questions that have been raised by our readers. One of the most pressing issues that is frequently raised by parents reading the blog is apraxia.

When I review the questions and concerns asked by parents, I can hear the intense concern and worry in their messages. It seems as though most of these parents have taken steps to secure early intervention services for their child and may even be paying for some private therapy; however most feel that what their child is receiving is simply not enough. They are concerned that progress is not fast enough and time is slipping away. These fears are legitimate and widespread.

Back in January of this year I interviewed Sharon Gretz, MEd. She is the founder and current executive director of the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA). She also is the parent of a child diagnosed with apraxia of speech.

Our interview occurred over 2 posts published on January 27th and January 30th 2009. In this interview we discussed in detail many topics including the following information:

  • Sharon's personal story regarding her son and his diagnosis of severe apraxia at age 3
  • The "multi-sensory" techniques that worked for her son, as well as the additional and numerous strategies that were implemented into his dynamic therapy plan.
  • Advice for parents hearing the "apraxia" diagnosis for the first time: where to turn, where to begin.
  • The wonderful resources the CASANA Web site offers families and therapists.

If you are a parent whose child has either received the "apraxia" diagnosis or you suspect that this may be what is underlying your child's speech delay, please refer back to my two-part interview with Sharon Gretz, MEd from January, 2009 and her information which can be found at the CASANA Web site.

Also please USE the interview to help guide discussions you may need to have with both parents and therapists. The interview was designed to act as an informational resource for therapists treating apraxia and parents who have children diagnosed with the disorder.
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The remarkable comeback of Amber Gray

By Michael D. Clark • mclark@enquirer.com • October 14, 2009

It was a shocking image last August for anyone who ever saw the former Ohio Basketball Player of The Year glide effortlessly about the court.

Amber Gray led the Lakota West High School girls' team historic run to the 2008 state championship game.

But there she was, this nationally recruited athlete who went on to play last fall for the famed University of Tennessee "Lady Vols," slowly limping out of Cincinnati's Drake Center with a closed eyelid, double vision and her arm in sling. She had barely survived a stroke.

Photos: Amber Gray's recovery
Photos: Amber Gray's basketball career

Her young and promising life had been threatened by a broken blood vessel in her brain a month earlier, forcing an emergency 12-hour operation and desperate measures to save her life.

And even when early physical therapy allowed the 19-year-old to walk gingerly away from her month-long stay at Drake, a return to normal life - much less college basketball - seemed a million steps beyond possibility.

But now there's a new image of Gray and it is miraculously merging with her past.

To the surprise of her doctors, Gray is back on the court.

A recent afternoon found Gray at her old Butler County high school gym, dribbling a basketball and shooting.

Most of all she was smiling.

"I've already shed tears of joy and tears of gratitude," she says with a satisfied grin after her quarter-speed shoot-around.

"I've been blessed with being alive and having a second chance at life," says the deeply religious Gray.

Faith binds her world and family and perseverance is in her genes.

Gray is a great-granddaughter of famed civil rights leader and former NAACP president Benjamin Hooks, who courageously marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the often dangerous 1960s battles for racial equality.

Hooks and Gray were always close but after her stroke, "Poppa" as she affectionately calls the famed Baptist minister, have grown even closer.

"I talk to him on the phone every day. He calls me his miracle child," she says chuckling.

She took strength from Hooks' lifetime of faith that fueled her own.

During the weeks after surgery, waiting for her vision to clear and her droopy eyelid to spring back, "I prayed every morning for weeks for my eye to open back up."

Eventually it did, as did her ability to walk and then jog.

Dr. Mark Goddard, rehabilitation specialist for Drake Center, marvels at Gray's recovery.

"She had a really, really bad brain aneurism with a lot of nerve pain in her brain and at first she couldn't open her eyes. But she kept saying from day one that she was going to play basketball again," says Goddard.

"Her motor strength and balance all improved dramatically in weeks. In most people it would have taken months," he says.

Gray lifts weights now in hopes of playing with her team again in 2010 and almost all her symptoms from the stroke have faded except for weakness in her left leg, which she estimates is at 75 percent and improving.

She is still a member of the Tennessee team as a medically red-shirted athlete for this basketball season and is still on athletic scholarship.

Soon she will return to the Knoxville campus to resume her classes part time before upping that to full-time classes in January.

When she does return to competitive basketball, Gray will initially have to wear protective headgear to protect the site of her brain injury, but doctors predict a full return to playing among the NCAA's college elite is possible.

Injury may have saved her

Gray injured her shoulder during a March practice at the University of Tennessee and scheduled surgery on July 2 in Knoxville.

Two hours after that surgery, Gray's blood pressure began to fluctuate and fluid filled her lungs. A brain aneurysm - unrelated to her rotator cuff injury - began to hemorrhage, causing a stroke.

Later, a medical helicopter took her to University Hospital in Cincinnati for surgery lasting more than 12 hours.

"I don't know if it was so much a miracle, but God has something planned for me and I haven't gone through it yet," Gray said at an August press conference prior to her release from the Drake Center.

She led Lakota West to within seconds of a state championship in 2008. She was recruited to play for the national powerhouse Lady Vols by legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt. Gray impressed Summitt enough last season that she broke into the playing rotation as a freshman.

Goddard attributes Gray's recovery to her youth, athleticism and faith.

"From a neurological standpoint she is making a full recovery. Youth is always helpful and it's amazing how young brains can recovery from this type of stroke. And athletes have a work ethic that is just incredible and to them nothing is insurmountable," explains Goddard.

"But her spirituality has been crucial. She is a faith-based person and so is her family and their support have been very crucial," he says.

Amber's father - former NFL player Carlton Gray - smiles as he watches her shoot baskets.

Without the shoulder injury and surgery, Amber's single, weakened brain blood vessel may have gone undiscovered and even ruptured under the exertion of playing college basketball, possibly killing her.

"We've always known our blessings come from God," says her father. "Whatever we have now is better than her being in a box in the ground."


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Your brain on music

Highlights from 158th Acoustical Society of America Meeting in San Antonio

October 21, 2009 -- Everyone listens to music at least now and then. For many of us, music is a casual experience, a moment's entertainment. But for those who practiced in a school orchestra or who play a musical instrument professionally, the musical experience can be something more.

Some of the world's leading experts on music and brain will discuss the latest scientific evidence supporting the benefits of music for the mind at the upcoming meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) in San Antonio, TX. See the end of this press release for more information about the meeting itself.

Here are some of their principal findings:

TRAIN THE BRAIN

Does musical training modify the auditory cortex -- the part of the brain where the processing of sound takes place -- in a measurable way? The answer, based on analysis of the brain's electrical and magnetic signals, is yes.

Laurel Trainor, a scientist at McMaster University in West Hamilton, Ontario and colleagues compared preschool children who had taken music lessons to those who did not. Those with some training showed larger brain responses on a number of sound recognition tests given to the children.

Could one make even larger claims for musical training? As a separate but related question, does training change thinking or cognition in general?

Trainor, who is the director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind, again says yes. Even a year or two of music training leads to enhanced levels of memory, attention and executive control in the same sort of tests that monitor electrical and magnetic impulses in the brain.

"We therefore hypothesize that musical training (but not necessarily passive listening to music) affects attention and memory, which provides a mechanism whereby musical training might lead to better learning across a number of domains," says Trainor. The reason for this, she suggests, is that the motor and listening skills needed to play an instrument with other people appear to heavily involve attention, memory, and the ability to inhibit actions. Merely listening passively to music (the "Mozart effect") does not produce the same changes in attention and memory.

The talk "Effects of Musical Training on Brain Development" (4aMU2) by Laurel Trainor is at 9:05 a.m. on Thursday, October 29.

A lay-language summary of the talk is available at: http://www.acoustics.org/press/158th/trainor.htm

TONE DEAFNESS AND DYSLEXIA CONNECTED

Harvard researcher Gottfried Schlaug has also studied the brain and cognitive effects of musical training. He and his colleagues also see a correlation between early-childhood training in music and enhanced motor and auditory skills as well as enhancements in verbal ability and nonverbal reasoning. This modification of the brain is depends on the type of training. Singing, for example, is a specialized form of music training and changes the brains of singers in locations that are slighting different from those affected by playing, say, the keyboard or a stringed instrument.

The correlation between music training and language development is even more striking for dyslexic children. Schlaug says the results he and his colleagues have found, "suggest that a music intervention that strengthens the basic auditory music perception skills of children with dyslexia may also remediate some of their language deficits."

Schlaug's main report at the meeting, however, deals not with the brain and cognition so much as with the brain differences between professional singers, occasional singers, and those who are tone deaf---that is, those who can't sing in tune and can't properly differentiate pitches. He reports that tone-deaf individuals often have a reduced or absent arcuate fasciculus (AF), a fiber tract connecting the frontal and temporal lobes in the brain. A reduced or damaged AF has been implicated in people with various acquired language problems such as aphasia but also in children with dyslexia. (Paper 4aMU1, "Singing in the Brain: professional singers, occasional singers, out-of-tune singers")

The talk "Singing in the Brain: Professional Singers, Occasional Singers, and Out-of-Tune Singers" (4aMU1) by Gottfried Schlaug is at 8:35 a.m. on Thursday, October 29. An abstract of the talk is available at: http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.oct09/asa478.html

BRAIN CELLS PREFER MUSIC

Still more evidence that formal music training strengthens auditory cortex responses comes in a study performed by Antoine Shahin and his colleagues. On average, musical training gives a child the same acoustic responsiveness as someone two to three years older. At the meeting Shahin will refer to his own work and to the studies of others. He cautions that these studies do not necessarily show that musical training leads to enhanced IQ or creativity.

How does the increased responsiveness come about? Shahin, who now works at Ohio State University, says that when listening to sounds over and over, especially music or speech that is harmonic or meaningful, the appropriate neurons get reinforced, responding preferentially to those sounds compared to other sounds. This neural behavior was examined in a study by Shahin and colleagues which looked at the degree of auditory cortex responsiveness to music and non-familiar sounds as children age.

The specific tests Shahin carried out consisted of measuring the time lag between the moment a sound was made and when a population of neurons in the subject's auditory cortex (the part of the brain devoted to processing sound signals) became active. He presented a particular sound to each subject 100 times. If the sound evoked a response after a consistent time lag, it was said to be strongly phase-locked. If, however, the response occurs with varying lag times, then it was less phase-locked. Phase-locking indicates how responsive neurons are to sounds.

Shahin's main findings are that phase-locking to musical sounds grows with age for all frequency bands of the auditory response and that the greatest increase occurs between age 10 and 13. This most likely indicates this as being a sensitive period for music and speech acquisition.

The talk "Development of Auditory Phase-Locked Activity for Music Sounds" (3aMU4) by Anthony Shahin is at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, October 28. A lay-language summary of the talk is available at: http://www.acoustics.org/press/158th/shahin.htm

SO DOES MUSIC MAKE YOU SMARTER?

In San Antonio, Glenn Schellenberg of the University of Toronto will address the question "Does musical ability makes you smarter?" Such assessments concerning children are always difficult because other factors, such as parental income and parental education, might play a role. Nevertheless, some findings seem robust. Passive listening to music seems to help you perform certain cognitive tests, at least in the short run. Actual music lessons for kids, however, leads to a longer lasting cognitive success. The effects of musical training on cognition for adults, Schellenberg says, are harder to pin down.

The talk "Musical Abilities and Cognitive Abilities" (3aMU4) by Glenn Schellenberg is at 9:35 a.m. on Thursday, October 29. A lay-language summary of the talk is available at: http://www.acoustics.org/press/158th/schellenberg.htm

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Wife of newsman who received brain injury in Iraq calls trauma nurses saints in talk at Alvernia


By Greta Cuyler
Reading Eagle
Reading Eagle: Ben Hasty
Lee Woodruff, the wife of ABC newsman Bob Woodruff, signs copies of her book Tuesday at Alvernia University. She spoke at a traumatic brain injury conference at the university about the important work nurses did after her husband was injured by a roadside bomb while on assignment in Iraq in January 2006.

Lee Woodruff and her four children were in Walt Disney World when she received the phone call.

It was Jan. 29, 2006.

Her husband, Bob Woodruff, an ABC News correspondent and co-anchor of "World News Tonight," had suffered a traumatic brain injury while embedded with the U.S. military north of Baghdad.

Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were riding in a convoy when a roadside bomb packed with rocks detonated.

Whisked away by helicopter to a field hospital about 20 miles away, Woodruff was in surgery 47 minutes after the blast. Doctors wearing body armor worked on his skull as mortars exploded nearby.

Woodruff was put into a medically induced coma. Doctors marked his hospital chart "expected," which meant he was expected to die.

But Lee Woodruff kept hoping for a miracle.

It came 36 days later, after her husband was transferred back to the United States, and on the same day she was planning to look at nursing homes near Washington for him.

At 3 a.m. he sat up in bed and said "Where is my life?"

It was the beginning of a long recovery.

Lee Woodruff was at Alvernia University on Tuesday, the keynote speaker during a conference for nurses on traumatic brain injuries. Her lecture was heard by a packed house of about 140 people.

She also spoke about her experiences and the books she's written about her life as part of the university's 2009 Literary Festival.

Woodruff said doctors used big words and told about the bad things she could expect with her husband's condition, but it was nurses who gave her hope and compassion.


"You are saints. You are miracle workers," she told the audience. "Even on the worst day when you've had a fight with your spouse and are grumpy, you make a difference to someone like me."

Bob Woodruff underwent extensive therapy and spent months regaining memory and relearning words. He suffers from aphasia, a condition that affects speech patterns, making it difficult to find the right words.

He said "Where is my life?" but meant "Where is my wife?" Lee told the audience.

Woodruff made his first return broadcast

on ABC in February 2007. He continues to work as a correspondent.

The Woodruffs wrote "In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing" to help put a face on traumatic brain injury among returning Iraq War veterans and others. Lee had also written another book, "Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress."

The couple also founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Web site ReMIND.org in an effort to help wounded servicemen and their families get long-term care and help them reintegrate into their communities.

According to foundation, more than 320,000 of the 1.65 million U.S. service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 have suffered traumatic injuries.

"She really is a testament to hope," Alvernia nursing professor Kathleen Z. Wisser, said of Lee Woodruff.

The women met at a Pennsylvania State Nurses Association meeting last year.

Lee Woodruff had an opportunity to meet and thank the medics - ages 19 and 20 - who transported her husband from the blast site and helped saved his life.

They told her they were just doing their job. And that's what nurses say too.

"You were just doing your job, but what you do is exceptional," Woodruff said Tuesday. "What you do changes people's lives every day."

Contact Greta Cuyler: 610-371-5042 or gcuyler@readingeagle.com.
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Reduce Brain Damage During Stroke

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new Ohio State study finds that increased oxygen may help stroke victims lessen their brain tissue damage.

Previous studies have concluded that adding oxygen causes more damage to the brain, but these studies did not account for the status of the brain flow during the time the oxygen is added.

Timing plays a crucial role. “The use of supplemental oxygen after blood flow is restored in the brain appears to actually cause harm by unleashing free radicals,” Savita Khanna, assistant professor of surgery at Ohio State University was quoted as saying. “The resulting tissue damage was worse than stroke-affected tissue damage that received no treatment at all.” But, adding the oxygen while blood flow is blocked in the brain is a benefit to the patients, reducing the brain damage.

Researchers tested their theory on five groups of lab rats, each induced with an ischemic stoke, meaning the clot is blocking blood flow to the brain. Groups either received normal oxygen or pressured oxygen, before or after blood flow was restored. One control group did not receive added oxygen. Imaging scans two days after the stroke showed significantly less brain damage in patients who received supplemental oxygen treatment while blood flow was blocked.

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Currently the “clot-busting” drug must be administered within the stroke’s first three hours to treat effectively, although the average time between a patient’s stroke and their entrance into a hospital is four hours.

Researchers hope that once technology offers a fast, real-time measurement of blood flow, an oxygen treatment can be used to treat and benefit stroke patients. Without the development of a quick blood flow measurement, experts say adding oxygen remains too high a risk.

SOURCE: Presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago, October 19, 2009

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Two stroke books with a book overview

Dorothy Bove' links these two books to - Living Successfully with Aphasia.

Fire Winthin: A True Srory of Triumph Over Tragedy
By Valerie Greene


Source: books.google.com
Book overview
THE Fire Within is a must read for anyone who has ever suffered a loss. Valerie Greene writes her true story about her journey to overcome the obstacles she faced after suffering a massive stroke at the young age of 31. Although it is a story of triumph over tragedy, it is much more. Valerie shares her insight and knowledge as she strives to become a survivor instead of a victim. Her constant enthusiasm and drive is a true inspiration. Readers will cheer her on with each page. The Fire Within is uplifting and inspiring. It demonstrates the power of the human spirit and how all things are possible! Allow Valerie's compelling story to ignite the fire within!

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain
Scientist's Personal Journey

By Jill Bolte
Source: books.google.com
Book overview
Jill Taylor was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain. Through the eyes of a curious scientist, she watched her mind deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Because of her understanding of the brain, her respect for the cells in her body, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered. In My Stroke of Insight, she shares her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the two halves of her brain. When she lost the skills of her left brain, her consciousness shifted away from normal reality where she felt "at one with the universe." Taylor helps others not only rebuild their brains from trauma, but helps those of us with normal brains better understand how we can consciously influence the neural circuitry underlying what we think, how we feel and how we react to life's circumstances.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Language Disorders in Adults

In conduction aphasia / phonological anomia (phonemic / literal paraphasias) inferior parietal / arcuate fasciculus. – important for maintaining phonological representations ... Aphasia group therapy – provide opportunities to take turns; provide support to look at the person who is speaking and ...

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CHARITY WALK SET FOR SATURDAY AT DAWES

NEWARK --The first Central Ohio Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech will be Saturday morning at Dawes Arboretum.

The walk will raise awareness of verbal apraxia, a neurological disorder that causes difficulty in speaking.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m. Participants can chose between a 1-mile walk or a 3-mile walk.

Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for children. All proceeds benefit the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America.

For more information, or to sign up, visit www.apraxia-kids.org/centralohiowalk.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Aphasia Treatment



Description of causes and origins of Aphasia. Its implications and treatment discussed in detail.
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Accomplishments

The following is a list of all accomplishments. If you have more people with aphasia accomplishments then email to administrator@aphasianyc.org. This is seen on aphasianyc.org page http://aphasianyc.org/accomplishments.htm.


People With Aphasia(listed alphabetically by last name)
Some people with aphasia have notable accomplishments.
Here are some people with aphasia and links to their websites.
Add Accomplishment(s)

Description
Lou AlbertIs a stroke survivor with a web siteMyWebPage
Harvey AlterThe New York Times - April 14, 2008 - Patient Voices: Stroke MyWebPage
Paul BergerIs a stroke survivor. He is the author of several books, including "How to Conquer the World With One Hand and an Attitude" and "You Can Do It! 105 Thoughts, Feelings and Solutions to Inspire You"MyWebPage
Steve BrownStoke and ApraxiaMyWebPage
Kate ConwayHas a card company. You can find her contact information atMyWebPage
Peter CornelisStarted the Hope for Stroke organization to help other stroke survivors and co-survivors. He has a monthly e-newsletter that reaches out to stroke survivors. To learn more, go toMyWebPage
Mary Drylewicz The exact date of this video is unknown. Mary Drylewicz, a former data analyst, found great artistic ability after suffering a stroke. This segment was used as part of News12 New Jersey's To Your Health segment. MyWebPage
MyWebPage
Robert Gellman An unusual way of Playing GuitarMyWebPage
Edwin JelksWrote an e-book about the experience of having a stroke. He did not have aphasia, but he wrote movingly about his hemiplegia and mental changes. You can read his e-book "On Being Struck By A Stoke - Causing My Body To Go On Strike"MyWebPage
Winston Lindsley I am a stroke survivor. I have aphasia and apraxia. WinGO Global Website A resource site for patients and support personnel dealing with Speech Aphasia and Apraxia issues MyWebPage



Robert MuniDesire’s the fuel of life. I feel really alive when I want something more than basic survival needs. Life’s hard. It’s supposed to be. If you don’t suffer, we wouldn’t learn a thing. Memory is a wonderful thing if you don’t have to deal with the past. Memory’s never finished as long as we are alive. What’s lost is lost.MyWebPage
Barbara NewbornHad a stroke at the age of 21. She wrote a book about her experience "Return to Ithaca: A Woman's Triumph Over the Disabilities of a Severe Stroke." Today she is a yoga instructor.MyWebPage
Herb SilvermanHad a stroke at the age of 27. After many years of recovery and life experience, he is now a senior product and IT specialist, and a motivational speaker. Read what Herb saysMyWebPage
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Communicating confidence

A NEW project is helping people gain a greater insight into those living with aphasia. Health Reporter Helen Rae finds out more.

Speech and language therapist Kath Mumby aims to help stroke patients 'get their life back'

A NEW project is helping people in Tyneside who have suffered a stroke to get back to everyday life and improve the way they communicate.

Aphasia is a condition which impairs people’s ability to communicate and is caused by brain damage suffered from stroke.

It can affect all aspects of communication including speech, understanding what is said, reading, writing and sometimes numbers.

Many people benefit from speech and language therapy to help their recovery after a stroke, but often they also need help to adjust long term in everyday life.

This is where CHANT comes in.

The name Communication Hub for Aphasia in North Tyneside was chosen by the very people the project aims to help.

CHANT is funded through North Tyneside Council and is run by Kath Mumby, a speech and lang-uage therapist with North Tyneside Primary Care Trust and Sarah Taylor, a communication support coordinator for The Stroke Association.

Dr Mumby said: “The aim is to support people with long-term aphasia after stroke, and their partners or carers, to help them adjust to their communication problems and ‘get their life back’.

“But to be a real success the project needs volunteers.

“We want to use the skills of people with aphasia as they are the experts.

“With support they help train volunteers and other key people in North Tyneside to have increased insight into aphasia and how to help communication.

“There are no particular qualifications for volunteering: just the ability to be a good listener.”

Volunteers are trained to offer both one-to-one and group support. They help people make the first steps to further independence, or encourage them at home.

CHANT offers group and individual support for people returning to real life activities in terms of work vocation and leisure. To achieve this CHANT runs short courses to give people confidence and skills before trying something new. Volunteers may also support people trying to use existing services such as libraries and adult learning courses.

Dr Mike Guy, medical director for NHS North of Tyne, said: “Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the single largest cause of adult disability in England.

“In the event of someone suffering a stroke we have a range of services in the North of Tyne area delivered by specialist staff to treat and rehabilitate patients in hospital and rehabilitation units.

“When a patient is ready to return home, they will be able to access rehabilitation and support in their own home.”

If you want to volunteer contact Dr Katharyn Mumby on 07554 334 981 or email Katharyn.Mumby@northumbria-healthcarenhs.uk or Sarah Taylor on 07534 915 763 or email sarah.taylor@stroke.org.uk.

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Motorist helps injured biycle rider

Motorist helps bicycle rider with serious injuries

Shane Opatz

Bonnie Nierenhausen helped Bob Bleskachek after Bob's bicycle accident. Bonnie Nierenhausen stopped to help Bob Bleskachek after he was seriously injured in a bicycle crash Sept. 4 in rural Chippewa County. Days later Nierenhausen checked in on him and brought him a bike helmet. By Christena T. O'Brien

Posted: Monday, October 12, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 11:32 pm, Sun Oct 11, 2009.

Bonnie Nierenhausen refers to Bob Bleskachek as "the man in the middle of the road."

More than a month ago, Nierenhausen left her town of Colfax home early to pick up her children - Nicole and Tanner - from school in Colfax and came upon a dazed and bleeding Bleskachek in the middle of the road at the bottom of a hill.

The 66-year-old avid cyclist had fallen off of his bike about five miles from his town of Wheaton home, trying to keep the hat he was wearing to shade his eyes from blowing off his head.

Nierenhausen stopped to help the injured cyclist, parking her car to protect him from vehicles that might come over the hill. Fortunately, none did.

Bleskachek was holding a handkerchief to his face, which was badly swollen and bleeding, and it appeared he had injured an arm.

"I took one look at him, and I knew he had to go to the hospital," Nierenhausen said.

However, there is no cell phone service in the remote area where the accident happened, so she took a rag she had used to wash the windows in her vehicle and wrapped one of Bleskachek's arms before helping him into her car and loading his bicycle into the trunk.

Once in the car, Nierenhausen asked Bleskachek where he lived. He told her 34th Street, but that didn't mean anything to her. She started to drive and continued to question him, but his aphasia - a communication disorder brought on by a cancerous tumor doctors had removed from his brain in December 2003 - made his speech a little difficult to understand.

Nierenhausen asked Bleskachek if he lived near certain people or places, such as Albertville, and as she drove he eventually told her to take a right and began describing his house.

Once they found his home, Nierenhausen realized she knew him - vaguely. Her daughter, Nicole, had been to Bleskachek's house, selling Girl Scout cookies the year before, but Nierenhausen didn't recognize him because of his injuries.

Nierenhausen went inside the house, calling to Bleskachek's wife, Pam. Calmly, Nierenhausen told her she had brought Bleskachek home and he was hurt.

Pam Bleskachek went for some ice, and Nierenhausen told Bob Bleskachek - who was worried about his bicycle, which had been damaged in the crash - to sit down. She also offered to drive the couple to the hospital. Pam Bleskachek said they'd be fine and drove her husband to Luther Hospital's emergency department.

Tests revealed Bob Bleskachek had suffered two brain bleeds. He also had a concussion, a cut above his swollen left eye that took 10 stitches to close, and lots of abrasions to his arms and knees, some of which are still healing. Doctors initially thought he had broken both wrists, but that was not the case.

Bleskachek returned home after an overnight stay in the trauma unit, where Nierenhausen works at the hospital. She was off for a weekend camping trip but tried checking on him several times over the following days. She returned to his house four days after the accident with a bike helmet.

"In my day we didn't wear bike helmets," Bleskachek said as he, his wife and Nierenhausen sat around his kitchen table last week.

The same is true when Nierenhausen was growing up. However, everyone in her family, which includes husband Bruce, wears helmets.

"Where I work, I see people coming in with injuries that possibly could have been avoided if they had been wearing helmets," said Nierenhausen, who has worked in the same unit at Luther for more than 13 years.

Bleskachek - who has since returned to cycling after fixing his bike - later stopped by Nierenhausen's house to thank her with a large Hershey's kiss, which her children gobbled up, and tell her he wears the helmet.

"She's Bob's guardian angel," Pam Bleskachek said of Nierenhausen, who has the same first name as the couple's oldest daughter. Her husband agrees.

Nierenhausen, who had taken Sept. 4 - the day of the accident and her 45th birthday - off from work, said she was simply in the right place at the right time.

O'Brien can be reached at 830-5838, 800-236-7077 or christena.obrien@ecpc.com.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Learning New Tricks Improves Wiring in the Brain

October 11, 2009

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Adults who learn new tricks such as juggling can improve the "wiring" of their brains, British scientists said on Sunday.

The scientists said their research showed newly trained jugglers had better connectivity in parts of the brain involved in movements needed to catch the balls -- and the improvement lasted for weeks, even after they stopped practicing juggling.

"We tend to think of the brain as being static, or even beginning to degenerate, once we reach adulthood," said Heidi Johansen-Berg of Oxford University's department of clinical neurology, whose study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience on Sunday.

"In fact we find the structure of the brain is ripe for change. We've shown that it is possible for the brain to condition its own wiring system to operate more efficiently."

White matter consists of bundles of long nerve fibers that conduct electrical signals between nerve cells, while grey matter consists of nerve cell bodies where the processing and computation in the brain is done.

Scientists have already shown that grey matter function can be improved by learning or experiencing new things, but improvements in white matter have not previously been shown.

The scientists took two groups of 24 adults, none of whom could juggle. One group had weekly juggling training sessions for six weeks and was asked to practice 30 minutes a day. The groups were scanned using special Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) diffusion before and after the six-week period.

After the training, there was great variation in skill levels, the researchers said. All of them could juggle three balls for at least two cascades, but some could juggle five balls and perform other tricks.

But all the newly trained jugglers showed changes in white matter -- suggesting the benefit was down to time spent training and practicing rather than ability.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Acquired Aphasia, Third Edition

Publisher : Academic Press
Number Of Pages: 670
Publication Date: 1998-09-15
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0126193223
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780126193220
Binding: Hardcover

Product Description:
With chapters containing up to 50 percent new coverage, this book provides a thorough update of the latest research and development in the area of acquired aphasia. Coverage includes the symptoms of aphasia, assessment, neuropsychology, the specific linguistic deficits associated with aphasia, related disorders, recovery, and rehabilitation. This comprehensive compilation, written by some of the most knowledgeable workers in the field, provides an authoritative text and reference for graduate students, clinicians, and researchers.


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Sticky Finger

The first time I heard of sticky finger's was 7 years ago. I took Adobe Photoshop and had some trouble, so I asked the teacher what do I do and she said use sticky finger's. I was amazed at the results.

Cognitive rehab therapy http://cognitiverehabtherapy.com/?p=204. Follow these rules.
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MedicAlert Foundation News

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MedicAlert Foundation Member News | October 2009
Feature Story

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Facts* Pink Beaded ID Bracelet

  • Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the United States.
  • 75% of cases occur in women over the age of 50.
  • More than 180,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
  • More than 43,000 women may die from the disease this year.
  • In the United States, one out of nine women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.

The encouraging news is that breast cancer is being detected earlier, while the tumor is very small. With prompt treatment, the outlook for women with breast cancer is good. When cancer is detected early, treatment is more likely to save your life.

Men with breast cancer are rare, but about 1,600 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Like women's breast cancer, men's breast cancer can be cured or controlled if it is detected early and treated promptly.

MedicAlert Foundation recommends to those who have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy and who are also at risk of developing lymphedema (swelling of the soft tissues of the arm or hand) to wear a MedicAlert ID. Your engraved ID will alert medical personnel to avoid taking blood pressure measurements or drawing blood on your at-risk arm, thus reducing your risk of developing lymphedema.

*Source: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu

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Specials Autumn Sale!

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Offer ends October 31, 2009. Discount cannot be combined with any other offer.

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My husband also carries a copy of my MedicAlert card in his wallet in case my purse is unavailable and he needs to give medical personnel the information like my medications, drug allergies, etc. My card is worth the cost of the service! It has saved us both time and pain more than once."

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