Category: medical

Dementia’s Signs May Come Early

Dementia Continues Among the ElderlyThe man complained of memory problems but seemed perfectly normal. No specialist he visited detected any decline.

“He insisted that things were changing, but he aced all of our tests,” said Rebecca Amariglio, a neuropsychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. But about seven years later, he began showing symptoms of dementia. Dr. Amariglio now believes he had recognized a cognitive change so subtle “he was the only one who could identify it.”

Patients like this have long been called “the worried well,” said Creighton Phelps, acting chief of the dementias of aging branch of the National Institute on Aging. “People would complain, and we didn’t really think it was very valid to take that into account.”

But now, scientists are finding that some people with such complaints may in fact be detecting early harbingers of Alzheimer’s.

Full story of dementia signs at the New York Times

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Houston Chiropractor Maintains Interactive Website to Help Patients

Chiropractor Maintains Interactive Website for PatientsA Houston chiropractor is using the power of the Internet to boost his ability to help his patients. Dr. Terry Smedstad of Woodway Wellness Family Chiropractic maintains a variety of extra resources and services through the clinic’s official website, myhoustonchiro.com — including a blog, a resources page, an appointment scheduling portal, and detailed information about the clinic’s chiropractic services. “People today rely on the Web to help them find quick answers to nagging problems, including back pain and health concerns,” says Dr. Smedstad. “This site helps our patients understand their available treatment options.”

The Houston chiropractor states that he regards patient education as a critical aspect of chiropractic care. To that end, he tries to provide visitors to the clinic’s website with clear, useful descriptions of the various symptoms he treats and the treatment protocols he uses. He cites back pain, a fairly common complaint, with many possible causes, as an example.

“Sufferers from back pain can definitely benefit from blog articles on the underlying conditions that can cause this discomfort, and from information of spinal decompression, manual adjustments and other techniques that correct those underlying conditions,” Dr. Smedstad says. The Houston chiropractor notes that recent blog articles have addressed such diverse topics as shoulder pain and how to exercise for wellness.

Full story of chiropractor and interactive website at Market Watch

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HIV: New East Bay program gives prevention pill to high-risk youths

Prevention Pill to HIV High-Risk YouthsDavid was skeptical. It sounded too good to be true. A once-a-day pill that could help healthy people avoid HIV infection?

But David also knew he was at high risk because his partner was HIV-positive.

So after careful research, the 21-year-old Oakland resident decided to join an unusual program that will give the drug known as Truvada to more than 100 East Bay youths, along with safe-sex counseling and other sexual health services.

Those overseeing the program hope it can help solve a serious problem: The number of people nationwide who are newly infected with HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS, has held steady at about 50,000 annually in recent years after dropping sharply in the late 1980s, despite health professionals’ best efforts to tackle the problem.

“There is a degree of frustration — we don’t seem to be able to reduce the level of transmission,” said George Lemp, director of the University of California Office of the President’s HIV/AIDS Research Program.

“A lot of people felt that we needed more aggressive approaches,” he said.

Full story of prevention pill to high-risk youths at Mercury News

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From Brain Injury to Inspiring Entrepreneur

Brain Injury to EntreprenuerWhen Greg Marischen woke up in a hospital bed in 1991, the first question he asked was, “Will I play basketball again?” The doctors said no. The University of Minnesota law student had been run over by a boat; his skull was fractured, which caused a traumatic brain injury that left him unable to move the right side of his body. “I just didn’t believe them,” Marischen recalls.

And he acted like it. Through a rigorous course of physical and occupational therapy, and benefiting from cutting-edge research on neuroplasticity, Marischen regained 60 percent mobility on his right side and eventually was able to leave his wheelchair.

Those years of therapy are what drew Marischen to Brain Balance Achievement Centers, a franchise that takes a drug-free, integrated approach to underlying issues in many behavioral, developmental and learning disorders in children, such as ADHD, dyslexia, processing disorders and Asperger’s syndrome. The curriculum is based on the work of chiropractic neurologist Robert Melillo, who suggests that an imbalance between the brain’s right and left hemispheres is at the root of most neurobehavioral disorders in children. While Melillo’s work is controversial, the Brain Balance techniques appealed to Marischen because they are similar to therapies that helped him after his accident.

Full story of TBI to entrepreneur at Entrepreneur.com

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12 odd pain relief tricks that work

pain-reliefAfter, oh, age 8 or so, you no longer get away with wailing when you get stung by a bee or stub your toe. But unfortunately—whether it’s a much-needed bikini wax or your annual mammogram—pain is a part of our everyday lives. It turns out, though, that you don’t have to rely only on your OTC aspirin to get relief. Research reveals some quirky but effective natural ways to reduce aches without popping a pill.

1. Shout a four-letter word

Next time you take a spill, don’t hold your tongue. Swearing can increase your tolerance for discomfort, found British researchers. People could keep their hands submerged 35% longer in a tub of ice-cold water when they repeated an epithet in lieu of a more acceptable word. Swearing may trigger a series of physical and hormonal reactions that ease the sting of an injury.

2. Flip through photos

Scanning your iPhone for loving faces before an uncomfortable test like a mammogram may make it more bearable. Women who viewed pictures of their partners during a lab test reported less pain than those who looked at inanimate objects or strangers. A loving face may spur the release of chemicals that shut down pain-processing areas of the brain.

Full story of pain relief tricks at Fox News

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Study shows citywide policy may help stroke patients recover

City Policy May Help Stroke Victims RecoverA citywide policy enacted in 2011 — involving Chicago ambulance crews taking suspected stroke patients directly to accredited hospitals with accredited stroke centers — was associated with increased usage of a therapy that can reverse the effects of a stroke if received in time, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Neurology on Monday.

Before the change, rates of stroke patients getting what’s known as intravenous tPa was 3.8 percent of all patients. After, it improved to 10.1 percent.

Intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPa) is used to restore blood flow through blocked arteries that occurs when someone has an acute ischemic stroke. But it needs to be administered within 4.5 hours of the time a stroke happens in order to be effective.

The study, led by Dr. Shyam Prabhakaran at Northwestern University, is the best indication yet that the creation of an established stroke system in Chicago has had a positive effect on stroke patients.

Full story of policy to help stroke victims at Chicago Sun-Times

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Chiropractic Benefits Include Solutions for Stress Relief Says Lexington Chiropractor

Chiropractic Care Helps Relieve StressLynch Chiropractic Center in Lexington, KY is raising awareness about the benefits of chiropractic care for stress relief. While chiropractic’s benefits for pain management and injury rehabilitation are well known, chiropractor Dr. Kevin Lynch says that the treatment is also beneficial for managing stress. Dr. Lynch recommends combining chiropractic care with deep tissue massage, exercise rehabilitation and nutritional detoxification for maximum stress relief.

Lexington chiropractor Dr. Kevin Lynch is working to help patients better manage stress through natural, drug-free treatments. “Today’s high stress world is literally killing many of our patients — and they don’t even realize it,” said Dr. Lynch. “Individuals who are under constant stress are at increased risk for chronic health problems, including heart disease. Many have poor eating and sleeping habits as they constantly rush from one thing to the next. It’s no surprise that our patients feel overwhelmed, exhausted and just plain worn out.”

Dr. Lynch says that chiropractic care, along with natural treatments, helps manage stress by bringing balance back to the body. When the body is under stress, the brain signals the adrenal glands to produce hormones, including cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones trigger the body’s “flight or fight” response.

Full story of chiropractic care and stress relief at The Wall Street Journal

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Migraine With Aura May Be Linked to All Stroke Types

Migraines Linked to All Stroke TypesWomen who have migraine headaches with aura are at increased risk for stroke, a new study indicates.

Migraine with aura is a migraine that’s preceded or accompanied by visual effects such as flashes of light or blind spots, or by tingling in the hand or face.

 

A study of almost 28,000 women in the United States found those who had migraine with aura were at greater risk for all types of strokes, according to the researchers, who are scheduled to present the findings Wednesday at a meeting of the International Headache Congress in Boston.

“Migraine with aura has been consistently linked with increased risk of ischemic stroke and there is also some evidence that it increases risk of hemorrhagic stroke,” lead author Dr. Tobias Kurth, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said in a congress news release.

An ischemic stroke is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain while a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain.

“In this study we sought to determine the importance of migraine with aura in stroke occurrence relative to other stroke risk factors,” Kurth added.

Full story of migraines linked to strokes at U.S. News Health

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Nurse practitioners play an important role in preventing errors

Nurse Practitioners Play Important Role in Medical Error Prevention“To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health Care System,” was published in 1999 by the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) and brought attention to the need for the reduction of medical errors in the US health-care system.

As a result of this publication, efforts were made at both the macro and micro levels of health care to improve patient safety. Hospitals implemented policies for improved medication administration. Surgeons were encouraged to adhere to “time out” procedures prior to initiating surgical interventions, during which they state the name of the patient and the duties of each clinician present. State licensing boards require continuing education be completed on the prevention of medical errors prior to licensure and again on renewal.

A medical error is defined by the IOM as “the failure to complete a planned action as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim.” Awareness of the responsibility to prevent medical errors and improve patient safety is widely discussed and is addressed in the curriculum for registered nurses. Registered nurses are usually encouraged to be the patient’s advocates through this role, and much of the time they are the last line of protection against an error. This background often makes nurse practitioners better at completing the planned action as intended and using the correct plan to accomplish an aim.

Full story of nurse practitioners and error prevention at The Clinical Advisor

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