Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
* Is he dead? Doctors are telling me he is _brain_ dead, but his heart is beating…
* Doctors are telling me he will never regain consciousness, do they know for sure?
* In a coma sense me?
The _**palliative care team i**_s gently let you know that everybody will be better off if we pull the plug:
* The hospital cannot continue pouring money on this case
* Your wear and tear will be over
* It won't make any difference : He is dead to the world without possibility of communication, never mind recovery
_**So what is the medical knowledge about coma, vegetative states, and consciousness?**_
Well, Neuroimaging  has an article showing "..patients with little or no behavioral evidence of conscious awareness may retain critical cognitive capacities…Neuroimaging shows cognition in some patients without motor responsiveness…" The Journal of psychophysiology published a work  along similar lines.
The key here is the use of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). That technique consists in imaging the change in blood flow (hemodynamic response) related to energy use by neurons (Wikipedia} 
Below is a Wikipedia commons of an fMRI brain scan showing blood flow changes related to neuronal activity
fMRI visualization of brain activity
_**So what is the definition of "brain dead".**_ A good article was published on how brain death is currently certified by doctors  . Most of the criteria seem to rely on the body's reaction to various stimuli and reflexes. After all , what else does the doctors have access to? Well, maybe neuroimaging of the type we just talked about could be useful, because it does not rely on the body's reaction, it is more of a direct proof of non activity. Remember  mentioned neuroimaging showed "cognition in some patients without motor responsiveness". Does "no motor responsiveness" include the lack of response of stimuli and reflexes of ? Not sure, but it seems that way.
Both studies mentioned in [5,6] agree, _neuroimaging has moved the frontier of conscious life _, and this has legal and ethical implications in palliative care.
Naturally, controversy has erupted: The interview by the German magazine Der Spiegel, of a Rom Houbin, a Belgian man , _while he was in coma_ could be bogus 
An excellent entry on current concepts in consciousness can be found in Scholarpedia 
[ Neuroimage] ;"Coma and consciousness: Paradigms (re)framed by neuroimaging"
 [Journal of psychophysiology] ; "Functional Neuroimaging Approaches to the Changing Borders of Consciousness"
 [Wikipedia ; "Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging"]
[ Indian Journal of Critical Care] ; "The diagnosis of brain death"
[ Progress in Brain Research]: "A new era of coma and consciousness science"
 [Nature Reviews Neurosciences; ] Functional neuroimaging in the vegetative state
 [Wired ; ]"Reborn Coma Man's Words May Be Bogus"
 [Scholarpedia] ; "Medical Ethics: Consciousness Levels and Palliative Care (Scholarpedia)"
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/fMRI-of-Brain.png (fMRI of Brain)
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
At MND, keep an eye on the hype factor for nutrients, sometimes the good news seem compelling. Take the latest on vitamin D's anti-cancerous properties: Nutraingredients posted on a Harvard study , Since we like to hear it from the horse's mouth we followed the link to the study itself .
Bottom line from the Harvard study:"._.Among participants in five large prospective cohorts, higher plasma levels of 25(OH)D were associated with a lower risk for pancreatic cancer.." _
The study consisted of a pooled analysis of nested case–control studies with 451 cases and 1,167 controls from five cohorts through 2008…"
That is a good size study. So conversely, low level of Vitamin D in your blood would raise the pancreatic cancer risk. Is it true for other forms of cancer? Couple studies suggest it, but the evidence seems weak :'…Low levels of vitamin D may be associated with increased cancer incidence and mortality in men, particularly for digestive-system cancers…" The overall cancer incidence reduction was 17%
_Note that  has this interesting data:"..The vitamin D supplementation necessary to achieve a 25(OH)D increment of 25 nmol/L [threshold for benefit] may be at least 1500 IU/day…"_
But then having a low 25(OH)D was associated with other ills than cancer, particularly
* Multiple Sclerosis 
* Urinary Tract Infection 
* Cognition 
* Chronic Pain [7,8]
_**Warning:** Another study sounds a caution alarm, deeming Vitamin D immunosupressive ._
**_Since so many studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D blood serums are associated with disease risk, we are waiting for studies showing that actual supplementation is helpful._**
**Talk to your Doctor**
Vitamin D Creation Through Your Skin
 [NutraIngredients] ; "[Vitamin D may slash pancreatic cancer risk: Harvard study]" ; 14 December 2011
 aacrj journals, Cancer Epidemiology, markers and Prevention; "Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer" ; Aug 30, 2011
[ JNCI (Journal of The National Cancer Institute)] ; "Prospective Study of Predictors of Vitamin D Status and Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Men" ; 2005
 MediNewsDigest: [Study Shows Expectant Mothers Taking Some Vitamin D Could Reduce The Risk Of Multiple Sclerosis in Offsprings]
 MediNewsDigest: [Urinary Tract Infections: Vitamin D could help]
 MedNnewsDigest: [Vitamin D intake associated with cognitive performance in older women (Neurology)]
 MediNewsDigest: [Does Vitamin D Help Chronic Pain?]
 MediNewsDigest: : [Chronic Pain, Gender Differences, and Vitamin D and Fish Oils Treatments (sciencedirect)]
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/VitaminD_canstockphoto5990634-e1325017600145.jpg (VitaminD_canstockphoto5990634)
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Like the_** i****nfamous Amanita phalloides below:** The Amanita's toxin alpha-Amanitin or α-amanitin is a cyclic peptide of eight amino acids. It is possibly the most deadly of all the amatoxins, toxins (Wikipedia)_
_**Acknowledgement:** All mushroom photos in this post come from Wikipedia Commons_
Nothing that a little education cannot cure…
For most everybody, it is much safer to obtain the mushrooms as farm raised. As usual, there will be controversies about the potency and Green credentials of farm raised versus wild caught (sounds like fish doesn't it ?, keep in mind mushrooms are not considered plants). But the risk is too great.
Mushroom have been used for centuries, or rather millenia for medicinal purposes: Research has indicated mushrooms have possible cardiovascular, anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiinflammatory, hepatoprotective, and glycemic, activities. (Wikipedia)
The list of mushrooms below is by no means exhaustive, but is meant to draw your attention to this corner of nutrition.
Some are even beautiful…
**Benefits:** anticancer, antiviral, and immune-system enhancing effects .May also help control both high blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
_**Benefits:**_ anti-viral and anti-cancer , anti-cholesterol . _It is also one of the most readily available in US supermarkets._
The Reishi is not usually appreciated for cooking, can but taken dry as a tea, or in supplement capsules.
**Benefits:** Improve immune function and inhibit the growth of some malignant tumors.Significant anti-inflammatory effects, reduces allergic responsiveness, and protects the liver. 
**Benefits:** The blue chanterelle variety has been shown to have cognitive benefits, helping warding of Alzheimer's. Chanterelles exposed to UV can produce substantial amounts of vitamin D2 
**Benefits:** Anti-Tumor, help against diabetes, asthma and certain allergies by enhancing the immune system and boosting its healing capabilities 
Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster)
This mushroom's cousin the indian oyster grows in the pacific north-west.
**Benefits:** Studies have shown that oyster mushrooms could help cholesterol issues because they contain up to 2.8% [lovastatin] on a dry weight basis. 
If you want to go the capsule supplement route here got to [Aloha Medicinals]: USDA organic and Kosher
 [The Health Manna ];
 [Wikipedia ; Medicinal mushrooms]
[ Dr Weil]; "are mushrooms good for your health?"
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Amanita-phalloides1-e1324578154382.png (Amanita phalloides)
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Mataike-Mushroom-e1324530839978.png (Mataike Mushroom)
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Shitake_canstockphoto1602717-e1324530961689.jpg (Shitake_canstockphoto1602717)
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Reishi-Mushroom-e1324531069394.png (Reishi Mushroom)
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Chanterelle-Mushroom-e1324536995147.png (Chanterelle Mushroom)
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Shimaji1-e1324537434776.png (Shimeji)
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Oyster-Mushroom-e1324582933900.png (Oyster Mushroom)
: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovastatin (Lovastatin)
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Cassy Churchill of Superior Van and Mobility and Tim Hargis of BraunAbility pose next to Kentucky State Police Chief Lieutenant and Glen Franklin.
Nearly 40 years ago, Trooper Steward (Glen) Franklin was shot twice during the undercover arrest of a bootlegger in Kentucky. One of those shots pierced his spinal cord and left him paralyzed with no movement in his lower body. It wasn't until nearly four decades later that he was finally recognized for his bravery in the field and his years of service.
The recognition happened last week in Frankfort, where the Kentucky State Police presented Trooper Franklin with the Guthrie Crowe Award, given to officers who have sustained a severe injury while in the line of duty. Franklin knew about the presentation (which was attended by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear along with dozens of fellow officers, family and friends). What he didn't know was his state police family had helped raise over $40,000 to help him buy a new [wheelchair van ]- a 2011 Honda Odyssey Entervan through Superior Van and Mobility.
> "This just kind of blows our socks off," Franklin says. "They'll never know how much I appreciate it."
Franklin owns an older van that was in need of significant repairs. When his fellow troopers realized the extent of its disrepair, they encouraged fellow officers across Kentucky to make a donation. And once the funds were collected, they knew exactly where to go -[ Superior Van and Mobility], the mobility dealer who had worked with the Franklins in the past and new exactly what van would fit Glen and his wife's lifestyle best.
A few members of both Superior Van and[ BraunAbility] were on hand for the presentation. The event and the surprise of the van was a phenomenal success. "This just kind of blows our socks off," Franklin says. "They'll never know how much I appreciate it."
As much as he's endured for the past four decades, Franklin feels blessed just to be alive. "I feel like I've had a blessed life," he said. "It may not look that way on the surface, but my wife has stood by me and my family has stood by me. It's been a good life."
In our opinion, there's no greater gift than mobility wrapped in a little love! Merry Christmas to the Franklin family and to the generous people who made sure this deserving man received the recognition and the respect he deserved. [Click here] for a look at the news coverage of the day's events.
: http://www.braunability.com/abilityvoice/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/cassy-145-300x225.jpg (cassy-145)
Monday, December 19, 2011
John Vcelka and Daniel Hersch at a fundraiser for BOEC, an outdoor education center that focuses on activities for individuals with disabilities.
We've used the phrase "Necessity is the mother of invention" to describe why Ralph Braun designed his first [wheelchair van]. The same adage was true for John Vcelka, creator of [Sports Abilities], an online resource and calendar for adaptive athletics across the country.
John started promoting local adaptive sports in his home state of Colorado. But it wasn't until he spent a few months in Chicago - where for weeks he tried and failed to find an organization that offered wheelchair tennis - that he recognized an opportunity. "I figured that if someone who didn't know where to look was searching online, they would have given up by now," he said.
The concept behind [Sports Abilities] was ambitious…give every state, every adaptive sports organization the ability to post their events and updates. When athletes wanted to know about events or facilities or opportunities while traveling, or if they simply wanted to keep up with the scoreboard, they'd have a one-stop website to do so.
The cause was especially important to John because of the impact athletics has had on his own life. It's been a terrific social outlet and has given him the chance to try new things; but perhaps most importantly, it's helped him manage his pain and attitude. "I have a pretty significant amount of nerve pain in my legs," explained John, a paraplegic, and physicians were often quick to prescribe pain medications to help manage the symptoms. "But when I'm participating in sports, I'm so focused on the activity, I don't even recognize that I have pain."
John regularly volunteers with Craig Hospital in Colorado and helps introduce SCI patients to sports and recreational activities.
In fact, through his participation in sports, he's managed to wean himself off all the medications he'd been prescribed in the past. "I just find myself happier after I take part in an athletic event," he said, "and I hope that enthusiasm is contagious."
The response to the site has been incredibly positive. When it first launched, there were 54 pages in total, which included the home page, a resource guide and 50 state calendars. In just five months the site grew to over 630 pages, including activity-specific calendars, a classified section that allows athletes to post adaptive athletic equipment for sale, links to other disability-related blogs ([AbilityVoice] included!), and lots of other multimedia resources.
As much as SportsAbilities has grown in the past five months, John and the other volunteers behind the site know it has plenty of room to expand. If you have an event you'd like to post, just click on the menu tab "[Get Your Event Listed]", fill out the online form, and SportsAbilities will post the event on the appropriate calendar. Or you can email John directly at [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Larger organizations with several events can be granted access to their own calendar that would automatically post events to the site. The state calendars offer the ability to post specific news and team results too, a useful outlet for not only the organization but for participants too.
Best of luck to John and the crew at Sports Abilities. We'll be keeping in touch!
: http://www.braunability.com/abilityvoice/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/screen-shot-2011-12-15-at-23301-pm-300x198.png (screen-shot-2011-12-15-at-23301-pm)
: http://www.braunability.com/abilityvoice/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/screen-shot-2011-12-15-at-23412-pm-300x207.png (screen-shot-2011-12-15-at-23412-pm)
Saturday, December 17, 2011
We have discussed probiotics and their pros and cons in several previous posts. What transpires from our previous posts is that there is healing potential in probiotics, particularly about immune system. This is not too surprising, because after all, we are talking about bacteria in our bodies. The healing would pertain to:
* Inflammatory Bowel Disease
* Ulcerative Colitis
* Immune system boost
But before we introduce live beasts in our guts, it is common sense to certify that they are _safe, at the very least_, never mind their efficacy.
BifidobacteriumAnimalis, one of the many guests to your digestive system
So the FDA has taken a very defensive stance about probiotics, but I am not sure we should, as the food industry is doing, blame them.
What the did NDI document say  ?
_"…You should include a complete description of the organism, including:_
* _the strain,_
* _methods used to establish the identity of the** strain,** such as identification by internationally recognized third-party repositories (e.g., the American Type Culture Collection), and_
* _the relationship of the strain to the strain(s) of the same species used to establish the history of use or other evidence of safety for the dietary ingredient._
* _FDA considers each strain of a bacterial or yeast species to be a separate ingredient…._
* _The notification should explain the relevance of **safety information** presented about other **strains** from the same species._
So what has the food industry livid? The FDA requirements are attached to the strain of bacterium , not its genus or species, so they are much more specific.
The industry claims the US Government should stick to require only data at the genus/species level.
Take the well known pathogen E. Coli: From its Wikipedia entry, "… While many Escherichia are harmless commensals, particular strains of some species are human pathogens…"
You can have good and bad strains of the same genus
E. Coli : Some strains benign, others harmful (Wikipedia, US Dept. Agri.)
So the industry's position is that bacteria with strains having a history of safety should not be considered "new". ** T**_**he question is obviously does a past history of safe strains guarantee that no other unsafe strains exist?**_
As Joe Public, I need to be convinced….
[ Federal Drug Administration's Draft on what constitutes a New Dietary Ingredient ]; "Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues"
 MediNewsDigest: [Study Claims Immune System Boost from Specific Probiotic Bacterium Strain]; November 22, 2011
 MediNewsDigest: [Are Probiotics Gut Bacteria Good or Bad For Multiple Sclerosis Or Other Autoimmune Diseases?] ; October 30, 2011
 MediNewsDigest: [Understanding The Bacteria World In Our Bodies Is Critical To Our Health] ; April 25, 2011
 MediNewsDigest: [Nutrition and Probiotics: Bacillus Coagulans could be baked, boiled and even frozen.] ; January 30, 2011
 MediNewsDigest: [Probiotics could be helpful against gingivitis (NutraIngredients)] ; October 5,2010
 [Nutraingredient]s ; " [Probiotic NDIs: Leading groups argue for genus/species vs strain]" ; Stephen Daniells, june 2011
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/BifidobacteriumAnimalis_Wiki-e1324017393433.jpg (BifidobacteriumAnimalis_Wiki)
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/E.-Coli1-e1324181338313.png (E. Coli)
I'm looking for anyone with info I've been watching ebay without any luck so far.
Friday, December 16, 2011
ETMC Regional Healthcare System to Make Sure Deaf or Hard of Hearing Patients Receive Interpretation Services
Thursday, December 15, 2011
White House Announces New Rules to Provide Minimum Wage & Overtime Protections for Nearly 2 Million In-Home Care Workers
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
U.S. Department of Labor & Congressional, Community Leaders Reflect on Office of Disability Employment Policy's 10-Year Anniversary
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
_**Inward or outward progression, matters to target drugs in the early stages of the disease. Also important is the confirmation of MS as an inflammatory process
This what Dr Luchinetti says:
"…The primary question was quickly answered: cortical demyelinating lesions of early-MS patients resembled those found at autopsy in every way but one -- the ea_**rly lesions were highly inflammatory**_. These findings were reassuring because they indicated that treatments targeting inflammation in the disease may ameliorate MS effects on both the **cortex** as well as the **white matter..**."
Here is a clear sketch according to Korbinian Broadmann, an early German neurologist
The Brain's Cortex and White Matter (Harvard)
The Cortex has sensory and motor areas, as the white matter is more involve in transmission of signal 
So inflammation would be the source of much of Multiple Sclerosis. As opposed to neurodegeneration like Alzheimer's .
[ MarketWatch: MayoClinic; Press Release] ; "From the Outside In: Mayo Clinic Collaboration Finds Multiple Sclerosis Often Starts in Brain's Outer Layers"
: http://www.medinewsdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Brain_Cortex_Harvard-e1323835780229.png (Brain_Cortex_Harvard)
Monday, December 12, 2011
[![Sister Karen and her BraunAbility Entervan ]]
Sister Karen and her BraunAbility Entervan
_Sister Karen Zielinski is a _[_BraunAbility_]_ customer and frequent contributor to AbilityVoice. She's the proud owner of a wheelchair van (a _[_Chrysler Entervan_]_) and contributes frequently to multiple sclerosis publications across the country. _
I sent an email to a friend recently asking a simple "How ya' doing?". Her response was overwhelming - and certainly a bit depressing. She told me how she was homebound, desperate about her health and no doctor could help her. That was followed with an entire lunch conversation with a coworker who spoke only about the many specialists she's seen for the many conditions she has and the many diets her doctors have recommended. I finished both of these conversations feeling lucky I had multiple sclerosis!
Obsessing about our health - we all do it to a degree. And depending on the state of our health (both mental and physical), we all need to vent once in a while. But listening to my friends reminded me of a very important reality check: it's not about me!
I've been guilty of talking about my multiple sclerosis maybe a little more than needed, but when I catch myself doing this, I stop. When asked about my health, I'll answer, but I've learned to say just enough and then change the subject. It's not denying or lying about my health - it's shifting the conversation and my focus.
Turning our thoughts and our energies outside of our own anxieties and focusing instead on other people, other ideas, can feel like the equivalent of a great night of sleep. If being a better person isn't enough motivation, a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service shows volunteers live longer, have higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease.
It doesn't take a lot of money or even a lot of time to do it. In the case of my friend in the lunchroom, I told her I'd pick her up in my [wheelchair van] and take her out for coffee. She got a lift (pardon the pun), and I was able to help get her out of her home and gain a new perspective…and a little fresh air. It's just one example, but these little visits have made a big impact on her outlook.
So, instead of a New Year's resolution to be more active, lose weight or read more books, I'm resolving to do a better job of shifting my mental energy from my health and my worries to making life a little easier for others. Let's all put health in it's proper place - not ignoring it, but not making it our one and only focus (or the focus for others).
: http://www.braunability.com/abilityvoice/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/sr-karen-z_2-180x300.jpg (sr-karen-z_2)