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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

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