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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lost Wrongly Blames Head Trauma for Sudden Language Loss

In last night's episode of Lost, "The Package," both dart guns and a new sonic fence (which we've fact-checked before) made an appearance. But we were more intrigued by the fact that Sun lost her ability to speak English, which Jack blames on aphasia, a disorder that affects the language center of the brain. Popular Mechanics talks to experts to find out if knocking your head on a tree could really cause the condition.
Published on: March 31, 2010

 For the first time in Lost history, Jin is more fluent in English than Sun. That's because his wife, fleeing from not-quite-Locke in last night's episode, "The Package," runs into a tree, hitting her head hard enough to knock herself unconscious. When she wakes up, she's lost her ability to speak English. "She hits her head and forgets English?" Miles asks, incredulous. "We're supposed to buy that?" But spinal surgeon Jack Shephard has an explanation: In addition to a slight concussion, Sun probably has aphasia. "It's a condition that's caused by trauma and affects the language center of your brain," Jack says. "It's usually temporary."

As it turns out, Miles was right to be suspicious. While it's perfectly possible to knock yourself out and get a concussion by conking your head on a tree, it's unlikely that this kind of injury would cause aphasia, according to Dr. Justin Sattin, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison department of neurology. "What's being described is aphasia," he says. "But it's usually not due to head trauma, it's usually due to a stroke. That's a much more common cause. To the extent that a head trauma would cause aphasia, it would usually be because there's been bleeding into the brain in that region as a result of the trauma." But you're not likely to get that kind of brain bleeding from a closed head injury. "It's one thing if you get shot in the head and it goes through that language part of your brain," Sattin says. "But to just conk your head
on a tree and have such a focal abnormality—meaning the language part of the brain affected and other parts spared—that's kind of a stretch."

Aphasia, Sattin says, is a disturbance of producing language, no matter how you're trying to produce it—so the fact that Sun is able to write in English doesn't jibe with reality. "Aphasia is a problem with generating language in general," he says. "There can be some unevenness there. The written can be a little bit better than the spoken. It's usually not cleanly divided where you just can't talk but you can write perfectly fine. That's not a scenario that we see."

Still, there have been reports of people being aphasic in one language and less in another, or where people have strokes and develop new accents. "Some of this weird stuff does happen, but the way they've described it here is too crude," Sattin says. "The idea that it's perfectly fine here, completely compromised there, and it's all due to what would otherwise be a fairly mild head injury just doesn't hang together well. Now, if she had a penetrating head injury or a stroke, it would be a much better story."

Of course, it could be that aphasia isn't the cause at all. Could it be that Flocke, in his desire to divide and conquer those who might stand against him, is to blame for Sun's sudden language loss? Most likely. We'll have to keep watching to see if she ever gets it back.
Lost Wrongly Blames Head Trauma for Sudden Language LossSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What does Aphasia mean?

Aphasia is a condition that occurs due to damage to part of the brain that is responsible for language and communication.
The onset of aphasia is usually sudden with stroke and severe head trauma as the primary causes.
Brain tumors, infection, and dementia are also known to cause aphasia but those occur slowly over time. Because it affects the part of the brain responsible for language, speech and even reading and writing are affected. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders the National Aphasia Association claims that, “…approximately 80,000 individuals acquire aphasia each year from strokes. About one million people in the United States currently have aphasia.”
There are two types of Aphasia: fluent and non-fluent. 
Fluent aphasia, also known as Wernicke’s aphasia, occurs from damage to the left side of the brain. Those who suffer from this type may speak in long, incoherent sentences, making up words while unaware of what they’re doing. No evidence of physical difficulties is observed.
Non-fluent aphasia, also known as Broca’s aphasia, results fromdamage to the frontal lobe of the brain. People with this type often omit words and will speak in short, choppy sentences but are fully aware of their difficulties. This type might also suffer from weakness on the right side of the body because the frontal lobe also affects movement.
A neurologist is usually the doctor to recognize and diagnose aphasia by performing tests that require the patient to follow a set of commands and tasks like naming objects, answering questions, and taking part in a conversation. If aphasia is diagnosed the patient will be referred to a specialist.
Recovery can happen for some patients without the need for speech therapy but it may take longer for others. Depending on the severity of the brain damage, which part of the brain was affected, and the age and Health of the patient, full recovery may be achieved but sometimes some aphasia will remain.
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dubuque native 'a living miracle'

Ruden battles back from a brain injury suffered in a bike accident.
Bridgid Ruden, of Iowa City, is a Dubuque native nurse 
practicioner who is recovering from a serious brain injury.
Photo by: TH: Erik Hogstrom
Bridgid Ruden, of Iowa City, is a Dubuque native nurse practicioner who is recovering from a serious brain injury.
The May 2008 bike accident threw Bridgid Ruden 30 feet and into an ordeal from which she continues to emerge.
Training for the Quad Cities Triathlon, Ruden pedaled down a hill when she slid into mud and water. The impact from the accident cracked her bike helmet and seriously injured her brain.
"I was in and out of consciousness and I had blood coming from my right ear and nose," said Ruden, an Iowa City nurse practitioner and Dubuque native.
Ruden discussed her continuing recovery from a serious brain injury during a presentation Friday at The Finley Hospital. The bike accident caused a number of injuries, including a fractured skull, brain bleeding, bruising and a fractured vertebra.
The daughter of Dubuque's Donald and Jeananne Freymann, Ruden spent eight days in a coma and a full month hospitalized at the University of Iowa. Doctors surgically removed the left bone flap of her skull to relieve the pressure of swelling.
It was at the University of Iowa that Ruden developed an abscessed bacterial infection that nearly killed her. An MRI image taken at the time showed Ruden's swollen brain bulging out of the left side of her head. "I can't
tell you how many doctors have told me:'Bridgid, you are a miracle,' " she said.
Doctors replaced a missing skull flap with a titanium plate in August 2008 -- Ruden's fourth surgery following the accident.
Ruden began an arduous recovery, involving physical, occupational and speech therapy and Eastern medical approaches. She battled vertigo and a pair of grand mal seizures. "This is a woman I call a living miracle," said one of Ruden's friends, Patrick Sterenchuk, of Dubuque.
Ruden faced the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder, too, dealing with depression and anxiety. She endured memory problems and continues to overcome aphasia -- an injury-related communication impairment that affects the ability to speak, understand, read and write. "Never would I wish this to happen to anyone," Ruden said.
Ruden's recovery involves a diet rich in "brain healthy" foods -- including dark green leafy vegetables and fish -- therapy sessions, chiropractic care, exercise, Reiki (an ancient Japanese healing practice) and dance.
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The United States Senate passed the health care reconciliation bill today

March 25, 2010

The United States Senate passed the health care reconciliation bill today, so the long road to better health care is over, at least for now. We are all curious to find out exactly what is in the new health care bill, so here is a summary of the important points.

•       Insurance companies cannot drop you if you get sick or make a claim.
•       If you previously could not get insurance because you have a pre-existing condition, you will immediately be able to get quality insurance through an “insurance pool”. This shares the risk fairly among insurance companies.
•       New private plans and Medicare must provide free preventative care. Other Medicare benefits will not be changed.
•       There is a ban on life time caps on coverage. Yearly caps cannot be overly restrictive.
•       Consumers will be able to directly appeal any coverage decisions by their insurance company.
•       Insurance companies must spend at least 80% of the premiums that they are paid on actual health care – or send a rebate to their consumers.
•       If you are on Medicare, drug companies will give you a 50% discount on drugs. Also, hit the “donut hole” for drug coverage, you will get a rebate check starting this year. Over time, the amount of the rebate will increase, until the “hole” is filled.

Children will be covered under their parents’ health care until they are 26, and they cannot be dropped if they have a pre-existing condition.

Employers will receive tax credits and assistance for insuring employees and people who take early retirement.

If you do not have insurance through work, you will receive help to afford it
Tax credits
•       Insurance companies cannot deny you credit
•       They cannot charge you more because you did not have insurance before, or because you have a pre-existing condition.

Starting in 2014, everyone will have to buy health insurance. To help, the government will give subsidies to moderate income families, and low income families will be covered by government plans (like Medicaid).

Starting in 2018, there will be a 40% tax on “luxury” health care plans. This will in essence provide a cap on how much insurance companies can charge for insurance, because few people will be able to pay the high premiums.

There are also some other changes that will help improve health care.
•       Community health centers will be built to greatly increase access to medical care.
•       There will be more money available to train doctors, nurses, and public health workers.
•       Improved coordination of care will save money and result in better outcomes.

Although personally I was hoping for a single payer option, I am satisfied that this law will remove some of the worst abuses of the insurance companies. It also helps make insurance more affordable for individuals and families, and protects children and those on Medicare.
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The National Aphasia Association's Winter Newsletter

The National Aphasia Association Newsletter
January - March, 2010

Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List

Throughout the cold winter months, the National Aphasia Association has managed to stay warm by creating yet another newsletter for your enjoyment.

Inside you will find the usual goodies: our "Group of the Month," a personal story from a caregiver and so much more.  Also, don't miss some special testimonials about our new DVD, "It's Still Me," as well as information about our upcoming regional conference in Washington D.C.!

We know you can't wait to begin reading!  To do so, click here or paste into your web browser.
Here's to a Happy Spring!

Ellayne S. Ganzfried, Executive Director
Amy Coble, Info & Admin Coordinator
The National Aphasia Association
The National Aphasia Association's Winter NewsletterSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Paul Berger & Stephanie Mensh’s Stroke Survivor NEWS & ATTITUDE FOR YOU - MARCH 2010

~~~<<~~ IN THIS ISSUE ~~>>~~~

1. NEWS: RESEARCH on Stroke Recovery & Rehabilitation: Wii(tm) Video Games Improve Stroke Arm Function
2. PAUL’S SURVIVORS TIPS: Exercise With Music *** Celebrate Brain Awareness Week ***
3. STEPHANIE'S CAREGIVERS TIPS: Emotional Intelligence *** Intensive Aphasia Therapy News ***
4. PAUL'S FAVORITES: Heavy weight
5. WHAT'S NEW on:
6. SUPPORT NIH FUNDING FOR STROKE: Stroke Research Only 1% of NIH Budget
7. Stroke Reading Problems? Free Read-aloud Software
1. NEWS: RESEARCH on Stroke Recovery & Rehabilitation: Wii(tm) Video Games Improve Stroke Arm Function

Intensive sessions on the Wii(tm) TV-based virtual reality video gaming system resulted in a 30% improvement in stroke survivors' affected arm, with better speed and grip strength compared to a group of survivors who participated in conventional recreation therapy. Both groups had 8 sessions of 60 minutes each.

       The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, used the Wii games playing virtual tennis or virtual cooking (cutting, peeling, etc.).

Pamela Duncan,PhD, a spokesperson for the American Stroke Association (ASA), noted that the Wii activities reflect the basics of rehabilitation: combining motor control and motor learning, with engagement of attention, vision, movement, and fun.

To read the ASA News Release visit:

       <><><>See Article #6 below on NIH and a link to a cool video report on hot topics in research.<><><>

For additional resources to help you find information on medical, health, rehabilitation, recovery, self-empowerment, and more, we have collected our favorite links at:



3 all-new E-books are near ready for launch:
* Paul Berger's Conquering Stroke & Aphasia TODAY!
* Stephanie Mensh's Conquering Stroke for Caregivers
* Articles to Take With You

Contact us at or 703-241-2375. Special introductory rates with many bonuses!


2. PAUL’S TIPS FOR SURVIVORS: Exercise With Music

I read that physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Regular aerobic physical activity -- moving around -- increases your fitness level andcapacity for exercise. Here  are my tips:

       * My favorite exercise is walking around my neighborhood. It's more fun and the 30 minutes goes faster when I listen to music. I recorded music on a miniature digital recorder that I bought at the discount office supply store for a quarter of the cost of an I-pod.

       * When the snow was too high, winds too strong, or rain too heavy to go out, I used Stephanie's old aerobics video, "Sweatin' to the Oldies."  The old rock-and-roll tunes made me feel happy, and watching people of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities working out gave me motivation. I could not do all of the exercises, so I walked around the room and moved my good arm to the beat of the music.

       * My physical therapist's office is a few blocks from a large indoor shopping mall. Walking around the mall after PT, I noticed they played soft music to put customers in the mood to shop.

What music will motivate you to get moving?

Other insights and tips for coping with life and taking control of your recovery after stroke are available on my website at

Do you have a tip to share?  Send it to me at for a free gift if we use it.


*** Celebrate Brain Awareness Week ***

Celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2010, March 15-21, the annual campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research, sponsored by the Dana Foundation. They have activities scheduled around the world, and a map you can click on to see events in your area.

       11 years ago we celebrated Brain Awareness week with the release of the first edition of "How to Conquer the World With One Hand...And an Attitude," now in its 3rd printing, and available as a recorded book, unabridged on 8 CDs.

You can celebrate with our new discount combo offers of:
       "How to Conquer the World With One Hand ...And an Attitude" and
       "YOU CAN DO IT, 105 Thoughts, Feelings and Solutions to Inspire You"

       Combination set #1 offers both books in paperback book format for a discount of $3.50 !!

       Combination set #2 offers both books in audio CD format for a savings of $7.00 !!

For details on these award-wining books and CDs, please visit:

To learn more about the Dana Foundation and its work on celebrating and understanding the brain visit:


3. STEPHANIE’S TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS: Emotional Intelligence

I know that I'm smart about certain things--and an expert in my professional field. But I realized that I could use some help in understanding the way I handle my emotions, stress, awareness of my own feelings, and my sensitivity to how others react to me.

       I attended a business networking lunch where the speaker suggested that to be very successful in networking you should be the "magnet"--the person that attracted everyone's interest. She said it was easy to do--put on the most positive attitude you have, and act confident--no matter how bad the morning has been.

Many times, I've let the stresses in my life pile up and overwhelm me. I get angry with myself and others, I yell at Paul, and withdraw from my coworkers and friends. Usually, a little time goes by, the stress lets up a little, and I'm back on balance. Recently, however, my stress response
resulted in a big problem at work.

       I found a resource to help me cope with stress and increase my emotional intelligence, at .

It's a non-profit website with free articles from healthcare professionals and a series of video lessons that describe ways to understand and gain control over emotions, respond flexibly to stress, build self-esteem, and convey a positive, constructive attitude.

I've listened to the first few lessons, and will review them and find a study partner as recommended to get the best results.

For more tips for caregivers, please visit:

*** Intensive Aphasia Therapy News ***

As the readers of my newsletter know, I am continuing speech therapy with Bill Connors at the Pittsburgh Aphasia Treatment, Research and Education Center (PATREC).

I am in Virginia and Bill is in Pittsburgh, but I see him 3 times a week over the Internet using my webcam on Skype or ooVoo. I set my goals and the pace. I have lots of homework, most that I do alone on my own schedule. Sometimes I study with one of Bill's clients.

       This month, I am working on vowel sounds with Bill and a practice partner (another client with aphasia) during group sessions or with my practice partner on ooVoo. We sound very funny saying EE, OO, AE, EE, OO, AE, OO.

My friends tell me they are impressed with my continuing improvement. I enjoy Bill's innovative approach and tools at

       For a complimentary consumer Q&A fact sheet, contact Bill Connors at or phone 724-494-2534.


4. PAUL'S FAVORITES: Heavy weight

My right hand is paralyzed, so when I need to hold open my checkbook or reference books or other items, I use a set of angle weights made out of a heavy, non-magnetic metal. I also use them in my hobbies and crafts to join or hold 2 parts together. These "angle plates" come in a set of 3 weights: 1 inch, 2 inches and 3 inches squares with a 90 degree angle.

I found them with other hobby supplies at MicroMark:,7134.html

For details on other Paul-tested helpful books and products, visit: and


5. WHAT'S NEW on the Stroke web site.

We're adding helpful new things to our web site all the time. Coming soon are links to:

       * Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association

We have many useful links for survivors, families and professionals on rehabilitation, motivation, and to regain fulfillment posted to our Resource Links pages. Visit:



Contact us at or 703-241-2375. Special rates for newsletter & web:!

Would you like to view a previous month's newsletter? Visit our newsletter archive at:


6.SUPPORT NIH FUNDING FOR STROKE: Stroke Research Only 1% of NIH Budget

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and stroke is number three. Stroke is the leading cause of disability among adults. Yet only 4% of the federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget goes to heart disease and only 1% goes to stroke.  Research supported by
NIH has pushed forward understanding and treatment for heart disease and stroke.

We visited our Congressional offices last week to urge support for an increase in NIH funding. We learned that in the U.S., 25% of deaths are caused by heart disease, but it gets only 4% of NIH funding; 23% of deaths are caused by cancer, which gets 19% of NIH funding; and 6% of deaths are caused by stroke, which gets only 1% of NIH funding.

       Story Landis, Ph.D, Director of NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, told our lobby-day lunch that the pharmaceutical and biotech industry is abandoning research into acute stroke and neuroprotective drugs that could extend the window for tPA treatment beyond three hours. This means that NIH will be left to develop new treatments.

President Obama's proposed 2011 budget for NIH is $32 billion. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is asking Congress to budget $35 billion for NIH.

Contact your members of Congress and voice your support for NIH. For information, visit the American Heart Association's advocacy, "You're the Cure," webpages at:

       <><><> For an interesting report with cool videos (including Clyde Yancy,MD, President of the American Heart Association) on how the federal Recovery Act (Stimulus bill) grants to NIH have contributed to medical research and clinical improvements, visit:  <><><>


7. Stroke/Aphasia Reading problems?

After a stroke, many people have reading and other language problems, known as "aphasia." Hearing a sentence read aloud helps to understand it. You can hear this newsletter read aloud while each word is highlighted on the computer screen with the FREE text reader software described at:



Stroke survivors, family, friends, professionals...anyone seeking inspiration, motivation, and more!

       Find books, audio-books, tapes, and special tool, created for stroke recovery by stroke survivor-expert, Paul Berger at:
Paul Berger & Stephanie Mensh’s Stroke Survivor NEWS & ATTITUDE FOR YOU - MARCH 2010SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, March 19, 2010

Girls often giggle than originally suffering from

March 18th, 2010 • 18:03
a 10-year-old girl six months ago, there were some strange symptoms: the sudden cave-like side of being a point of physical weakness, headache and so on, eventually even people silly smile. Recently, the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital to identify their causes, the original is very rare, “moyamoya disease” for worship.
大阴 girl who lives in Hangzhou, has been reasonably good health. Ran from six months onwards, yet somehow her strange phenomenon occurs: one at home, she suddenly screamed headache, while the side of the body and facial numbness occurs. Some few minutes later, this strange discomfort go away. Because of its young age is difficult to accurately describe the discomfort, coupled with the symptoms quickly disappeared, we were not attention.
surprising is that not long after this strange phenomenon from happening again, but as time goes by, the interval between attacks become shorter and shorter. Recently, 大阴 more severe and bizarre symptoms, the incidence of human even when they were silly smile, and urinary incontinence. This time, his family alarmed. Was removed to Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, by angiography, MRI and other tests, and finally grasp a culprit – a very rare “moyamoya disease.”
Moyamoya disease was first discovered in Japanese, was considered to be unique to Japan as a difficult disease. As early as 1960, Japanese scholars have noted the emergence of moyamoya disease, officially reported in 1961 the first one cases of moyamoya disease. In 1969, Japanese scholars and Takahisa Suzuki to MOYAMOYA released the name of the first papers from moyamoya disease to be officially recognized. The highest incidence of moyamoya disease is Japan, South Korea and China, Southeast Asia, male and female incidence rate of 1:1.6 times, slightly higher than men, women.
learned that the disease incidence rate is about one in a million in China is limited to equipment and technology, the detection rate is even less than the actual incidence rate.
Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, Dr. Chen Shuda, director of neurosurgery and so on, for the purposes of patients with brain – meninges – arteries – blood vessels fusion and double the amount of longitudinal crack patching periosteum to form new brain vascular network. Returned to normal after girl, recently discharged.
introduced, according to Chen Shu-da, “moyamoya disease” can not be understood as the name suggests the smoke of cigarettes and other harmful violation of the proceeds disease, but a chronic progressive disease, cerebral vascular occlusion.
due to intracranial vascular occlusion, resulting in the small blood vessels compensatory haphazard manner soaring, abnormal capillary muddle a group, these small vessels do angiography, the appearance looks like a curl from the smoke, the formation of smog-like, so called “moyamoya disease.”
“moyamoya disease,” the clinical manifestations of cerebral ischemia or major bleeding, the patient, there may be headache, epilepsy, sudden weakness numbness, paresthesia, loss of reading, aphasia, depending on the material is unclear, hemiplegia , hemianopia, mental deterioration and so on. The general attack on their own after a few minutes to a few hours to alleviate, the symptoms may be recurrent, alternating, slow increase.
“smoke” disease clinical severity of cerebral ischemia due to different light were mainly manifested as headaches, seizures, limb weakness and visual changes; weight may lead to cerebral infarction or cerebral hemorrhage from disease, in the event of serious bleeding, infarction, or save her would be life-threatening. Through the surgery, the main is another “establish” a new vascular network, to ensure that the brain’s blood supply (of smoke-like abnormal vessels can be abandoned). The disease is very difficult to be very dangerous operation, timely detection is very important that when the above-mentioned symptoms should be highly vigilant.
Girls often giggle than originally suffering fromSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Getting Disability Benefits for Developmental Aphasia

Brain damage can cause serious, lifelong problems for people.  One problem caused by brain damage is developmental aphasia.  Developmental aphasia can be complete or partial language impairment.  It often has a significant impact on a person’s life and ability to succeed with basic life skills, make adequate educational progress, or maintain employment.

Symptoms of Developmental Aphasia

Aphasia can affect any area of language.  It, therefore, has many possible symptoms including a difficulty with or inability to:
  • Comprehend language;
  • Pronounce language or form words;
  • Speak spontaneously or name objects;
  • Read; or
  • Write.
These symptoms must not be due to other conditions or to lack of education or other environmental factors.  Instead, the symptoms must be present because of an abnormality in the person’s brain.

Proving This Disability

In order to prove developmental aphasia, it is important to have a diagnosis of developmental aphasia from a qualified specialist or doctor.  For example, a child may be screened for developmental aphasia by a speech and language pathologist as part of a special education evaluation.  Any screening should be confirmed by a medical doctor.
Social security disability will consider developmental aphasia to be a disability if it has lasted, or is expected to last, for more than one year.  The diagnosis and prognosis must be carefully documented in the person’s medical records.

Filing a Claim and Getting Benefits

A person under age 18 will need to prove that his or her developmental aphasia is so significant that it results in marked and severe functional limitations.  A person over the age of 18 will need to prove that the condition prevents them from working.
A claim may be filed online, over the phone or in person at a social security office.  It is important to fill out the claim completely and to provide all required supporting documentation.


If your claim is denied then you have the right to appeal or ask for a reconsideration.  It is important to consult a lawyer and have the lawyer ascertain why the claim was denied so that you can ensure to provide all of the necessary information when you file your appeal.
Your lawyer can help not only on appeal, but also when you file your initial claim.  Developmental aphasia is a serious condition that can severely limit your life.  Your lawyer understands that and will fight to get you the benefits that you deserve.
Getting Disability Benefits for Developmental AphasiaSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Communication disorders affect millions of Canadians

Published Thursday March 18th, 2010
(NC) - Imagine going through life not being able to understand what people are saying to you; having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves; not knowing what's expected of you or how to behave.
Imagine what it's like when you can't express your feelings to your family, friends or, especially, strangers.
Imagine the sense of isolation, frustration, anger.
For millions of Canadians who live with a speech, language or hearing difficulty, these experiences can be an everyday occurrence. But it doesn't have to be that way.
The ability to hear, understand and be understood is fundamental to our development as productive citizens and when hearing and speech problems go undetected and untreated, the results can be severe.
According to the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA), the organization that represents 5,400 speech, language and hearing professionals across Canada, dealing with this crisis is an up-hill battle.
One of the biggest challenges is getting referrals - being put in touch with people who need help. Often, individuals with hearing or speech disorders are labeled as having some type of behavioural problem. They're seen as either uncooperative or withdrawn, or unpredictable and hostile.
This can be especially true with children. In many cases, this kind of behaviour is often merely the symptom of a more profound hearing or speech disorder and unless these individuals are referred to a hearing or speech specialist, the problem can go undetected and untreated.
Daycare workers, teachers, social workers, public health nurses and doctors need to understand that behavioural problems that appear to be purely psychological can often be traced to a hearing or speech disorder. Call in the experts - they know what to look for - the subtle signs that are so often missed by professionals in other disciplines.
CASLPA acknowledges that there are currently an insufficient number of the professionals that are needed to provide Canadians with an adequate level of service.
Communication disorders affect millions of CanadiansSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions about Mild Cognitive Impairment

cognitive exerciseSome episodes of memory lapses, like forgetting an appointment or when the car is parked is normal for all the world, especially those who are aging. When you have concerns or are too worried about something, should not be punished for forgetting to buy cheese for spaghetti or may not remember where you placed the car keys. However, you should start worrying when there is a pattern of forgetfulness and when his friends or family members begin to comment on the frequency of memory
lapses as they already can show symptoms of mild cognitive impairment.
What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?
Mild cognitive impairment, also known as benign senescent forgetfulness, is a disorder in which nerve cells responsible for functions specific, or cognitive abilities such as memory, language, reading, attention, trial, and writing are damaged. However, many experts believe that most of victims of MCI show impaired memory area.
If your friends or family to begin to notice that is showing a pattern of forgetfulness, as ever forget your appointment with your dentist or missing the exit that is supposed to take to get home, you should see a neurologist or psychiatrist immediately. Remember, MCI cases may lead to more serious conditions if left untreated for a long time.
What are the different types of Mild Cognitive Impairment?
There are two types of MCI: amnestic, which affects memory and, ultimately, can lead to Alzheimer's disease and amnestic not, affecting cognitive abilities other than memory and which can develop dementia or primary progressive aphasia. Research shows that about 12% of people over 70 suffer from this disorder and 3-4% of cases of MCI eventually lead to Alzheimer's disease.
What causes this disorder?
Apart from trauma or serious injury in the forebrain, MCI usually develops due to several underlying causes. Depression, extreme stress or other psychiatric disorders that can affect the state mood, memory and concentration, degeneration of the brain cells, and problems related to the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the brain may lead the development of mild cognitive impairment. People with high blood pressure or low also at high risk for MCI in the future.
What must be done to prevent the development of MCI?
Despite all the technological advances that our generation is enjoying in the field of medicine, an ounce Prevention is still much better than cure. Why would anyone risk having a degenerative disease that can lead to very serious problems when there are multiple ways to prevent disease? Here are some ways that can reduce your risk of MCI having:
The address of your pressure problems blood
One of the first things you can do to help prevent MCI is doing something to normalize high or very low blood pressure. Actually, there are many therapies and medications that can help meet their blood pressure problems.
Make the necessary changes Lifestyle
Studies have shown that people who are physically active, mentally and socially are less likely to have MCI, as they get older. To reduce the risk of MCI, then you need to ensure that the exercise regularly. Swimming, brisk walking and other forms of cardiovascular activities can really help produce new brain cells.
Apart from physical exercise, should also begin to develop the habit of reading a lot, play puzzles, and problem solving and mathematical equations in his head. Finally, learn how to properly handle the stress and increase their social activities such as going out with friends, going out to dinner with your family or help with various extension programs.
Mind your diet
Eating a large amount of vegetables and fruits instead of junk and processed foods, is beneficial not only for the health of your body, but the health of your mind. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants such as vitamins E and C which are needed to help restore the cells in the brain. You can also take supplements containing ginkgo and other herbs that are known to help improve cognitive function. One product that is specially designed to provide the nutrients needed by the brain's neurovascular. If you are interested in learning more about this supplement, just visit

How can I deal with cognitive impairment (fibro fog) caused by fibromyalgia?

Makes any another person suffers from fuzzy thinking and memory due to fibromyalgia or a similar condition? How do I handle. it is ruining my life. I lost my last job because of her, and now i cannot get a job. Its preventing me from learning to drive too. I tried many things, eating healthily, drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, plenty of exercise, therapy, but nothing seems to work. Some days its so bad I cannot use my brain at all. Please help, is there anything else I can help you manage or improve it. It is ruining my life and now I am losing hope in life because i cannot get a job or anything. Any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Thanks to all person who answers. I keep asking doctors what can I do to the scabies, but you just said "we know"
You should talk to your doctor about going on stimulant medication like Ritalin. They can give you some extra mental pep when needed. Be Ritalin may seem extreme, but you said yourself that this "fog" is ruining his life.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mild Cognitive ImpairmentSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


and the
The meeting of the Saint Vincent's Rehabilitation Department Aphasia Speech Therapy Clinic will take place this
 Saturday, March 20, 2010
from 10 AM to 2 PM
In the Cafeteria
Complimentary Coffee upon arrival and Lunch will be served
Co-Survivors are urged to attend.
The address of Saint Vincent's is 171 West 12th Street off of 7th Avenue
This session consists of  small group individual therapy
                                                                                 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
                                                                                        Harvey Alter, President IAM

These services are provided at no cost to Aphasia Survivors and their Co-Survivors and are sponsored by The International Aphasia Movement - a not for profit organization - in co-operation with Saint Vincent's Rehabilitation Department, Columbia University Teachers College, the UFT, Western Kentucky University and The City of New York Public Schools.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

VA meetings 3/2010 Evaluations and SLP Sessions

Evaluations and SLP Sessions
Client evaluation and SLP collaboration sessions in the Northern Virginia area
I will be in my VA office and will be available for a limited number of new client evaluations and consumer consultations next week on 3/24; 3/25; and 3/28. We will also be meeting with SLPs to discuss our new participating and collaborating partnerships.   Please feel free to contact me for information or to refer clients.

On 3/26 and 3/28 I will be presenting a workshop and meeting SLPs at our exhibitor table at the MD state convention.


p.s.,  We will be presenting two presentations at the International Aphasia Conference in Montreal in June, 2010 as well as a workshop in Windsor in May, 2010.  

Contact us at 724.494.2534 or for information.  
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No Stroke of Luck

Released: 3/16/2010 11:00 AM EDT
Source: Pennsylvania Medical Society
Understanding the signs of a stroke, and what you can do to help
Newswise — The luck of the Irish didn’t always apply to the Finneran family. At the age of 19, Pennsylvania Medical Society member and Reading area cardiologist William Finneran, III, MD, FACC, nearly lost his father to a debilitating stroke. His dad, a successful New York City attorney, was only 49 years old. Several years earlier, his father’s older brother, also an attorney, had suffered a stroke at age 45.
“My dad had a high stress job as a partner in a large law firm. He was overweight, smoked, and never exercised. Something was bound to happen,” recalls Dr. Finneran. And it did. One evening, while working on his taxes, the elder Finneran started talking to his wife and wasn’t making sense. “I remember my mother saying to him ‘Why are you speaking Latin to me?’”
His dad was exhibiting aphasia, a disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. He had suffered a brain bleed and would spend the next several months learning how to speak again. Because he never fully regained his ability to read, write, or speak, he retired at the age of 53.
“What happened in my family prompted me to become a doctor. It also made me realize that I’d better maintain an active lifestyle,” adds Dr. Finneran.
According to the American Heart Association, someone in America has a stroke every 40 seconds . Strokes are the third leading cause of death in Pennsylvania.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen to the brain either bursts or becomes blocked by a clot. When part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, it begins to die. Addressing the risk factors associated with strokes can help prevent their often devastating consequences.
Dr. Finneran advises patients to “know your numbers.” Pay attention to your blood pressure, waist size, BMI (Body Mass Index), and your cholesterol. Keep those numbers in the healthy range through regular exercise, a healthy diet, and not smoking to minimize your risk of a stroke.
The Institute for Good Medicine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society urges patients to be aware of these typical stroke symptoms:
1. Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
2. Weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including the face
3. Difficulty speaking
4. Disorientation, confusion, or memory loss
5. Dizziness, loss of balance, or loss of coordination
6. Severe headache that comes on suddenly with no apparent cause
If you think someone is having a stroke, ask them to perform three simple actions:
1. Ask the person to smile
2. Ask the person to raise both arms above his or her head
3. Ask the person to speak a simple sentence
If the person has any problems completing these steps, call 911 immediately and describe these symptoms.
The patient-doctor relationship has been the priority of the Pennsylvania Medical Society since its founding in 1848. While there are many issues being debated about health system reform, the physician members will continue to focus on better health for all Pennsylvanians. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Medical Society, visit the web site at
No Stroke of LuckSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Aphasia: How Caregivers Can Help with Communication

By Nancy Dunn Thompson, PhD

When someone has a stroke or other brain injury, the part of the brain connected to communication may be involved and communication may be impaired. The condition is called aphasia. Aphasia affects about 25-40% of stroke survivors.
Aphasia cannot be cured. There are no miracle drugs. Speech and language therapy is often effective, but insurance and Medicare coverage is increasingly limited. When people are discharged from the hospital after a stroke, they and their families may receive little information about the condition and simple things that might help.
There are simple steps recommended by Joan Peters of the National Aphasia Association that spouses, caregivers, friends and relatives can take to further communication and make the condition less devastating:
Many people with aphasia say their aphasia gets worse when they are in a stressful or pressured situation. Give the person with aphasia time to finish his/her sentences. Even if you think you know what they are going to say, wait until you get a clear signal that your suggestion would be welcome.
Be sensitive to background noise and turn off radios, TVs, appliances. Keep your voice at a normal level as shouting will not help. Group conversations and family dinners can be difficult for people with aphasia.
Try using pictures, gestures, writing, and facial expressions. The important thing is to get the point across, not that one's speech is perfect.
Use yes/no questions to check that the person with aphasia has understood you. (But make sure they are using "yes" and "no" appropriately; some people with aphasia will say "no" when they mean "yes," especially right after their stroke).
Learn more about aphasia by going to the National Aphasia Association website at
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

What Are the Effects of Stroke on Our Body

March 7, 2010 by admin
Stroke (cerebrovascular Accident, CVA), is  marked by ineffective blood flow to the brain. The result is cell death, brain damage, and possibility of becoming permanently disabled.  Each area of the brain controls certain functions in the body.  Loss of function occurs relative to the area of the brain that sustained the CVA.
There are four lobes to the brain, and each has it’s own specific function.  When brain damage occurs, the function of that area is lost. Depending on the location and severity, the effects can be temporary, or result in severe disability.
Physical Effects:
The effects of stroke are different in each person. Some people recover in a few days, while others may take a year or more, depending on the damage and location of the infarct.  Additionally, the amount of time from stroke onset to medical treatment will have an effect on the body, such as paralysis or weakness on one side of the body.  Get help immediately if you or any one near you may be having a stroke.
Effects On The Body:
Inability to speak: Or aphasia, is characterized as difficulty speaking or understanding speech.  This is a problem with the language center located in the left side of the brain. The good news is the right side of the brain is able to compensate for the left side of the brain.
Dysphagia: Is difficulty swallowing, which can cause nutritional deficits.  This person will benefit from speech therapy sessions in which he can relearn how to swallow, as well as speak.  There also exists a choking hazard, as food can be aspirated into the lungs or lodge in the throat causing sever respiratory distress.
Depression:  Depression is very common after a stroke.  The person may be having body image issues, as well as communication and motor movement difficulties. These life changes can easily result in depression in the stroke survivor.
Hemiplegia: Is paralysis on the left or right side of the body.  The person may experience muscle spasms of the affected extremity which can be quite painful.
Recovery Care:
Specialty care is available for those suffering the effects of stroke.  Most, function can be restored with hard work and dedication during the rehabilitation phase. The person will need physical therapy to help restore motor function.  This can be accomplished by utilizing the services of a home health agency who will send a nurse into the home for assessment of particular needs.  The nurse will then coordinate the services of physical, occupational, and speech therapists, who will also visit the home to administer their treatment specialty.
Rehab Therapy:
Rehabilitation is beneficial and desirable for those suffering the effects of a stroke. With rehab, patients are able to regain strength in weak extremities, learn to walk, talk, and swallow.  Many patients are able to recover fully through rehab and become independent again in most cases.
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Music can repair brain after a stroke

Posted on March 6, 2010 at 5:50 PM
Two years ago, Rosemary Page could barely speak after a stroke. Today, she has sentences, and that began as songs.
Music therapist Jenny Rook says Rosemary's stroke caused what's called expressive aphasia.
"The capacity to produce music and musical phrases is not damaged so people with aphasia are usually able to sing songs when they can't talk," said music therapist Jenny Rook.
An everyday phrase set to music retrains the brain to find a new way to talk.
"So when there's a damaged area that's inhibiting speech, music can typically go around those damaged areas," said Rook.
If Ted Rubinstein were in fact a patient, singing with a therapist, the act of singing would ignite his memory far more than finishing a spoken sentence.
"We use melody to help somebody remember the word that they know they know. But they can't form it. Every time we hear music, a new neuro pathway is being created," said Rubinstein.
New research also shows that music improves motor skills in Parkinson's patients, sparks memories in those with Alzheimer's, and can even help kids with attention deficit disorder.
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

aphasia workshop - only two weeks away! Friday, March 19

Don't miss this great workshop!
Only two weeks away!

Advocacy and Aphasia:  Perspectives from our Elected Officials
Friday, March 19th
Kean University
  NJ Senator Loretta Weinberg (keynote), NJ Senator Barbara Buono, Sheriff Joseph Spicuzzo
Our speakers will share not just their professional views but their personal perspectives as well.  They each have firsthand experience with aphasia or have seen it in their families.

A unique workshop for people with aphasia, their families, students and professionals.

See the attached flier for details.

Wendy Greenspan, MA, CCC-SLP
Institute for Adults Living with Communication Disabilities
Institute Coordinator
Kean University
Department of Communication Disorders and Deafness
1000 Morris Avenue
Union, New Jersey 07083
ph:  908-737-5811
fax:  908-737-5805

aphasia workshop - only two weeks away! Friday, March 19SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend