Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NFL partners with brain injury study

The NFL is creating a partnership with researchers at Boston University who are studying the longterm effects of brain injuries on players, the Associated Press reported.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Comparing US healthcare costs with Europe

Buzz, Indiana, US:"One day, back in 1992, I started feeling pain in my lower back, below the kidney and a gurgling feeling. I went to a local community hospital and the doctors examined me and indicated that I was having a heart attack.
"The doctors decided that if I were to survive I would need a heart transplant. I was then put on the top of a list for transplant recipients in the mid-west region. Within a couple of days, fortunately, I was able to get a heart and I had wonderful treatment at all three hospitals.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bury Speakeasy

Early speech therapy benefits stroke patients significantly

In an Australian first, a joint project between Curtin University of Technology and the State Health Research Advisory Council (SHRAC) has shown that early intense therapy can significantly benefit the communication recovery of stroke patients....more...

MICARDIS receives Health Canada approval to reduce the risk of non-fatal stroke

New treatment option will reduce cardiovascular risk for the up-to-44 per cent of patients who cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors

MICARDIS(R) (telmisartan) has received Health Canada approval to reduce the risk of non-fatal stroke or non-fatal myocardial infarction in..Next..

Friday, December 18, 2009

Words, Gestures Translated by Same Brain Regions

The brain regions that have been recognized as a center where words are decoded also are important in interpreting gestures, according to new research funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The findings suggest these regions may play a broader role in interpreting symbols than previously thought ..Next..

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Injured boy's mom wants helmet laws for skiers, snowboarders

VANCOUVER – Karen Condon's world turned upside down on Feb. 20, 2007, when a snowboard went through her son's skull, shattering it like a cracked eggshell...Next...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Make Strokes Less Deadly with This Vitamin

Having a stroke is a definite life crisis. But what if you could reduce the chances that it'll be deadly?
Enter vitamin D. New research is suggesting that vitamin D may help reduce a person's risk of dying from a stroke -- by as much as 50 percent!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Help Us Celebrate Our 25th anniversary in 2009 and 2010!

With one mission and one voice, National Stroke Association has been an active participant in fighting stroke

in America since 1984. By designing and implementing programs that provide education and support to carry

on after a stroke, to support stroke research and to help prevent strokes across the country, National Stroke

Association has been integral in continuing the fight against stroke for 25 years! Next...

Ask the Expert: Help for Undiagnosed Brain Injury

The resources and interventions suggested above will help with this. Person-

centered planning is a process for helping individuals with TBI move on in

their lives by focusing on what it is they want in life and on the steps needed

to get there.Next...

New research to aid stroke victims

December 8, 2009
Stroke-damaged brains could be repaired using adult stem cells from teeth, a

leading stroke physician says.

Associate professor Simon Koblar, from the University of Adelaide and

Adelaide's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, is leading a research project that

suggests dental pulp stem cells extracted from teeth may prove far more beneficial for brain repair than other stem cells.Next...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Brain wave recognition of words

Electrical and magnetic brain waves of seven subjects under three experimental conditions were recorded for the purpose of recognizing which one of seven words was processed. The analysis consisted of averaging over trials to create prototypes and test samples, to both of which Fourier transforms were applied, followed by filtering and an inverse transformation to the time domain. Next...

Man controls cybernetic hand with thoughts

European scientists have successfully built a brain-controlled bionic hand that could be used to kill or maim hundreds of humans in the coming robot versus humans' civil war. Or, far more admirably, allow amputees to feel hand sensations and manipulate their limb--via the brain--as if it were still there.

Pierpaolo Petruzziello--who lost his arm under the elbow in a car crash several years ago--has done just that, Italy's University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome<
/span> announced Wednesday. Next...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How our brains build social worlds

How can such behaviour be explained in terms of 

neuroscience? We think that two people performing

together in this way are best described as a single,

complex system rather than as two systems interacting.

We also believe the same kinds of description should be

applied generally to the brain activity that occurs 

when two people interact, because their brains also
become a single complex system.  Next...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Challenging The New York Times: Is FOXP2 really a "speech gene"?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kirk Douglas

11/25/2009 - Kirk Douglas (stroke survivor) - 2009 Thanksgiving Meal for the Homeless Served by The Los Angeles Mission and Hosted by Kirk & Anne Douglas - Los Angeles Mission - Los Angeles, CA. USA © Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos

Read more: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/Kirk-Douglas/pictures/2009-Thanksgiving-Meal-for-the-Homeless-Served-by-the-Los-Angeles-Mission-and-Hosted-by-Kirk-Anne-Douglas-412060#ixzz0Y7OPwABx

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Health Research Institute, have uncovered new information about the mechanism by which brain cells die following a stroke,

Scientists at the Brain Research Centre, a partnership of the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, have uncovered new information about the mechanism by which brain cells die following a stroke, as well as a possible way to mitigate that damage. The results of the study were recently published online in Nature Medicine. Next...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Improved vocabulary production after naming therapy in aphasia:

Background: Naming accuracy for nouns and verbs in aphasia can vary across different elicitation contexts, for example, simple picture naming, composite picture description, narratives, and conversation. For some people with aphasia, naming may be more accurate to simple pictures as opposed to naming in spontaneous, connected speech; for others, the opposite pattern may be evident. These differences have, in some instances, been related to word class (for example, noun or verb) as well as aphasia subtype. Given that the aim of picture-naming therapies is to improve word-finding in general, these differences in naming accuracy across contexts may have important implications for the potential functional benefits of picture-naming therapies. Next...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Intel Wants Brain Implants in Its Customers' Heads by 2020

If the idea of turning consumers into true cyborgs sounds creepy, don't tell Intel researchers. Intel's Pittsburgh lab aims to develop brain implants that can control all sorts of gadgets directly via brain waves by 2020.

The scientists anticipate that consumers will adapt quickly to the idea, and indeed crave the freedom of not requiring a keyboard, mouse, or remote control for surfing the Web or changing channels. They also predict that people will tire of multi-touch devices such as our precious iPhones, Android smart phones and even Microsoft's wacky Surface Table.   Next..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Words, Gestures Are Translated by Same Brain Regions, Says New Research: Findings May Further Our Understanding of How Language Evolved

Your ability to make sense of Groucho's words and Harpo's pantomimes in an old Marx Brothers movie takes place in the same regions of your brain, says new research funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health.
In a study published in this week's Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers have shown that the brain regions that have long been recognized as a center in which spoken or written words are decoded are also important in interpreting wordless gestures. The findings suggest that these brain regions may play a much broader role in the interpretation of symbols than researchers have thought and, for this reason, could be the evolutionary starting point from which language originated.

Speech Defects (Aphasia, Dysphonia, and Stuttering)

Because speech is essential to human communication, anything that interferes with it can be isolating and emotionally distressing. Primary mutism, in which a person cannot speak due to absent vocal cords or another structural defect, is rare. More commonly, difficulty speaking is secondary to other conditions, including paralysis, deafness, retardation or other mental disorders, and larynx cancer. In certain cases, a person knows how to speak but has difficulty forming words.

Three often encountered disorders are: Aphasia (from the Greek, meaning "without speech"), in which brain damage impairs a person's ability to speak and/or understand spoken or written words. Sudden aphasia usually is due to a stroke or a head injury, whereas the likely cause of slowly developing aphasia is a brain tumor or progressive dementia.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stem-Cell Repair Kit for Stroke

A novel matrix of neural stem cells and a biodegradable polymer can quickly repair brain damage from stroke in rats. Within just seven days of injecting the concoction directly into the damaged part of the brain, new nerve tissue grew to fill stroke-induced cavities.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Abigail Breslin to Play Helen Keller on Broadway

Little Miss Sunshine herself is headed for the Great White Way. Abigail Breslin has officially been tapped to play Helen Keller in the Broadway revival of William Gibson's 'The Miracle Worker.'

The show, scheduled to open March 3 with previews beginning February 12 at Circle in the Square Theatre, will be produced by David Richenthal, longtime friend of Gibson, and directed by Kate Whoriskey. Breslin, a 13-year-old New York native, will also be joined onstage by Alison Pill, playing the role of Helen's unwavering teacher Annie Sullivan.NEXT................

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Web Exclusive Chronically Upbeat After a Stroke, a Song?

Harvey Alter's voice suggests a man in search of his song. His speech has a musical tone, but at some moments the words themselves seem computer-generated, intended simply to spit out thoughts that make sense. His deeply human laugh begins in his belly when he strains to say something he knows is funny. But this is a vast improvement. For Harvey, a 62-year-old criminologist, there used to be only silence.

* Discuss Richard's Column and Chronic Illness in the AARP Online Community
* Biologics: New Miracle Drugs (November & December 2009)
* Inspire Awards 2009 Honoree Richard M. Cohen (January & February 2009)
* Drug-Free Remedies for Chronic Pain (January & February 2009)
* Super Healing: Tap Into Your Powers of Recovery (November & December 2008)
* New Hope for Treating Chronic Disease (AARP Bulletin Today)
* Americans With Chronic Disease Get Mixed Messages From Caregivers (AARP Bulletin Today)
* AARP.org's Health Encyclopedia: Learn About Multiple Sclerosis
* Subscribe to the AARP Health Newsletter

His journey began one day in 2003. Harvey was in his Greenwich Village apartment, putting the leash on his dog in preparation for their ritual morning stroll around the neighborhood. "Suddenly, I was disoriented and felt dizzy," he remembers. "I stumbled and tried to gain control, but couldn't." Harvey was having a stroke.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Opposition Leaders to experience ‘Wednesday Without Words’

State Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek and Deputy Leader Lawrence Springborg will take part in a ‘Wednesday Without Words’ function today with the Aphasia Association Queensland.

Guests at the function on the Speakers Green at State Parliament today will take part in activities with the Aphasia Association to better understand the difficulties experienced in communicating only through facial expressions and gestures.

Aphasia Association Queensland branch spokesman Peter Stuart said the event aimed to draw attention to the thousands of Australians who are unable to speak as a result of a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and brain injuries.

“Aphasia is a devastating communication/speech disability that affects about 80,000 Australians, yet less than five per cent of the population know what aphasia is and how it affects people,” Mr Stuart said....next....

NextUp.com Text to Speech Software

TextAloud and NextUp Talker are modestly priced software titles offering real voice-communication alternatives to high-priced gadgets and devices costing thousands of dollars (and more)

Clemmons, NC (PRWEB) September 23, 2009 -- With health care coverage a hot-button issue in recent weeks, one topic that continues to make headlines is the fact that health insurers are repeatedly willing to cover devices and options that cost patients thousands of dollars, yet those same insurers will not cover the modestly priced, everyday alternative gadgets that are proving far more useful to those battling illnesses or other afflictions day to day. The issue is a familiar one for the software creators at NextUp Technologies (http://www.Nextup.com), which specializes in Text to Speech software for PC users everywhere. The company's top two software titles NextUp Talker and TextAloud are bestsellers in part because they have been adopted and championed by those with illnesses or disabilities, and because they are not only affordable solutions (both titles are priced at under $100), they simply work better than machines or devices that often cost hundreds or thousands of dollars....Next......

SIDCUP: Queen Mary's Hospital thanks teenage CSV volunteers

A HOSPITAL has thanked more than 150 teenagers who volunteered for work over the summer.

The teens helped patients and staff at Queen Mary’s Hospital during the holidays in a scheme run by volunteering charity Community Service Volunteers...next...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Accessibility Changes Lives

  • Accessibility Changes Lives

Apple's universal access symbolThis is the first post in a series about assistive technology. I want to show you why accessibility, adaptive technology, assistive technology, and other disability-friendly practices matter. Really matter.

Accessibility changes lives.

I don’t mean “changes lives” like buying a new house might change your life … accessibility changes lives so completely it’s almost impossible to imagine if you haven’t been there.

I am completely bedridden with my disability; I can’t sit up enough to use a wheelchair, so I spend 24 hours a day lying in a hospital bed set up in my living room. I can’t hold up a book or magazine long enough to read. I can’t open the curtains during the day because my eyes are too sensitive to light. I can’t paint or draw because I don’t have the stamina and strength. I can’t listen to music for more than 5 minutes or so, because of the sensory overload. Pretty much all that I can do is passive activities: listen to talk radio and audio book CDs, watch a little TV, talk to people on the phone.

The 20 inch Apple Cinema Display mounted over my bed.If it wasn’t for my accessible computer setup, that would be my entire life. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure that life would be worth living.

With my accessible computer setup I can do almost anything I can imagine. I’ve used it to compose and play music. I browse and shop on the internet. I run support groups via mailing lists. I advocate for myself and others. I take care of all my finances and banking. I meet new friends who have then become RL friends who visit my physically. And, of course, I have created and maintain this blog and several others. My life is interesting and productive, and full of things I can’t wait to do.

I think we need more information around showing people with disabilities using technology, so able-bodied people can get a glimpse of how much this really changes lives.

I’m going to make a series of posts about it - this is just the beginning. This series won’t be specific to people using technology on Mac computers or Apple products. For just this one series, I’m going to include everything I can my hands on that shows the effects of accessible, partially accessible, and inaccessible technology, including showing and discussing how difficult it is for us to work around inaccessibility.

For a start, I want you to go and read about why closed captioning makes a big difference to online video. Go read it now, and then come back.

Now imagine that 99.9% of all the videos on the internet are like that for you; that they make no sense without the captions. That’s one thing that happens to people who’ve lost most or all of their hearing, and those who have an auditory processing disorder or disability such as aphasia.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Insurers Fight Speech-Impairment Remedy

SAN FRANCISCO — Kara Lynn has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or A.L.S., which has attacked the muscles around her mouth and throat, removing her ability to speak. A couple of years ago, she spent more than $8,000 to buy a computer, approved by Medicare, that turns typed words into speech that her family, friends and doctors can hear.

Student-athlete works his way back from brain injury

By Jonathan Raymond Globe Correspondent / September 20, 2009

By Jonathan Raymond Globe Correspondent / September 20, 2009
Text size +
And 10 months after being hit, he was back on a basketball court, suiting up as a small forward for the Hamilton-Wenham varsity boys’ team...next

Sunday, July 19, 2009

WALTHAMSTOW: Ex-footballer admits attempted murder of teenager

She was left with paralysis down one side of her body as well as a condition known as aphasia, meaning she was unable to communicate.

But she has since recovered and nine months after the attack, she was able to tell officers that Celaire, now calling himself McNish, had admitted unintentionally killing Miss McDermott.

Miss Hoyte told detectives she had found court papers relating to Celaire's 2002 trial and that he had confessed the killing when she confronted him.

His acquittal for murder was subsequently overturned at the Court of Appeal and he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Next...

Friday, July 17, 2009

U-M program helps stroke victim recover

by Lisa Carolin | The Livingston Community News
Wednesday June 24, 2009, 4:35 PM

Terri Thompson was working out at a gym with her sister in January 2007 when her world suddenly changed.

Thompson, 49, of Putnam Township, suffered a stroke and, although she received medical attention quickly, she couldn't move her right arm and leg, and she couldn't speak. Next..

GE Healthcare And Its Partners Launch Major Stroke Campaign With The Support From China's Ministry Of Health

22 Jun 2009 , Beijing, China : GE Healthcare and China’s Ministry of Health announced today the official kick off of the “Stroke Prevention and Control Project” organized by the Chinese Association of Geriatrics Research, the Chinese Health Development Foundation and GE Healthcare. The project aims to build a national stroke prevention and control network in China in an effort to reduce stroke incidence and mortality rates, improve people's health and quality of life as well as to reduce the stroke-related cost burden for the country. Next..

Acquired Childhood Aphasia

Aphasia is an acquired condition. In other words, it occurs in children whose language skills had been developing normally. The language loss or impairment follows damage to the brain caused by, for example, tumour, head injury, stroke or infection. The aphasic child may have a partial or total inability to NEXT..


Medical breakthroughs are bringing new hope to people with traumatic brain injuries September 6, 2008, was a clear-blue Indian summer day in Nebraska. Jennifer Ruth sat in the stands and watched her 12-year-old son, Derek, run with the football. She was unconcerned when he was tackled in a routine play. But as he fumbled the ball, she remembers seeing his right arm drop oddly, almost in slow motion. “He never does that” flickered through her mind. The coach noticed a glazed look on Derek’s face in the team huddle. He pulled him aside and asked him for the date, score, and his brothers’ names. Derek answered correctly. Then, minutes later, he screamed, “My head,” pulled off his helmet, and collapsed.

Derek was taken to a trauma center and went into surgery. After several weeks in the ICU and months of therapy, he is regaining his physical and cognitive abilities. At first, he could only give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down response to questions; now he reads at a sixth-grade level and tackles algebra problems NEXT...

Selective aphasia in a brain damaged bilingual patient [Neurophilosophy]

N THE 1860s, the French physician Paul Broca treated two patients who had lost the ability to speak after suffering strokes. When they died, he examined their brains, and noticed that both had damage to the same region of the left frontal lobe. About a decade later, neuropsychiatrist Carl Wernicke described a stroke patient who was unable to understand written words or what was said to him, and later found in this patient’s brain a lesion towards the back of the left temporal lobe. Next..

ViVA / Potential Advantages for Aphasiacs

As the average age of humans increases, a person will face the increased likelihood of developing at least one chronic condition that may have an impact on his/her cognitive abilities (Czaja, Gregor, & Hanson, 2009). Aging can have physical, cognitive, and eve Next...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Health Talk: Foreign Accent Syndrome

Imagine a Caucasian speaking English with an exotic Chinese accent. Strange as it sounds, patients with the Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) do just this.FAS is a rare brain disorder often caused by a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or multiple lesions. Only around 50 cases have been reported since 1941.

People with this syndrome speak their native languages with a foreign accent. FAS has been documented in cases around the world, and accent changes from Japanese to Korean, British ....next....

Cyclist Crashes Head First Into Telephone Pole at 27mph

n July of 2005, Mark was competing in an annual race in Winston-Salem. The road was slick from an earlier rain shower, and the rider in front of Mark fell. When Mark tried to avoid the fallen cyclist, he crashed headfirst into a telephone pole going about 27 miles per hour. Mark was not expected to live and only due to the proximity of his accident to a level 1 shock trauma unit at Bowman Grey was he able to be in surgery in 30 minutes. Mark received a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Mark's brain injury forced him to relearn everything, including how to walk, talk, eat, and get dressed. The severity of the injury made him lose all of the function in his right arm, which causes him tremendous pain. Three years later, Mark is ambulatory and slowly recovering his ability to speak. He has aphasia, thus making it difficult for him to speak effectively with people or to express his thoughts and questions. He is continuing to make progress in his communication. Mark also has other cognitive deficits including loss of short-term memory, mood swings, and the inability to read or write.....next....

Obama's Slip On Jay Leno Show and My Aphasia

by Phil Staudt
March 21, 2009

After my stroke it took me many months to learn how to talk again. I had never heard of aphasia, much less understood it. But I have been able to pick up on it with people who I would have previously thought were "under the influence" or mentally challenged. I have asked people up front if they have aphasia, and they get so relieved that somebody understands. I was fortunate to have minimal damage from having a stroke, and I have been able to overcome my aphasia enough for most people to not notice it unless they have known me a long time. Now when I see people on television or anywhere making fun of peo......Next....

Yesterday I got this update from my mentor about his cancer: "I had a drastic turn about in how I was feeling and ended up going into the emergency r

Yesterday I got this update from my mentor about his cancer:

"I had a drastic turn about in how I was feeling and ended up going into the emergency room. They kept me there for two days and stabilized my "stats" so that I could fly home on Tuesday. What I experienced on Sunday was a severe case of expressive aphasia, due to a combination of complications caused by the chemo drugs I was taking. I am still experiencing some of the aphasia but am working through that. next...