"Communication without words after trauma or disease"

There is a new machine that can help individuals that have lost the ability to speak talk again.

Cathy Wolf  lost her ability to speak, but through a new speech assist machine called the Brain-Computer Interface system, she can communicate again.

Cathy Wolf of Katonah, N.Y., is able to manage only a small amount of muscle movement in her face and neck. Still, she’s helping test an alternative communication system that, it’s hoped, will help her and others with ALS compensate for this loss of voluntary muscle control.

Wolf currently uses the WiViK onscreen keyboard, E-triloquist speech program software and a switch she can operate with her eyebrow. When the time comes, she says, she will use BCI full time.

The Brain-Computer Interface system reads electric currents created by nerve cells talking to each other in the brain. It allows users to control a computer and communicate through e-mail, other computer-based communication systems, or synthetic speech.

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) is under development by researchers at the Wadsworth Center, an arm of the New York State Department of Health, in Albany, N.Y. The BCI system — comprising a small laptop computer, an amplifier, a 20-inch monitor and a cap fitted with electrodes — “reads” the electric currents created by cellular activity in the brain, allowing the user to control a computer and communicate through e-mail, other computer-based communication systems or synthetic speech.

Brain signals instead of muscles It’s hoped that BCI will be made widely available for in-home use by people unable to communicate by other means as a result of disease or injury. Although it has potential for use by people affected by spinal cord injuries, stroke or other diseases, Wolf and the four other people currently testing the system all have ALS.

The BCI system is calibrated to the individual, and its use in anyone with advanced ALS requires a caregiver or someone else who can first put the cap containing the electrodes on the user’s head, and then start the system. From there, the user can control everything using brain signals instead of muscles, up to and including shutting down the computer.

In fall 1997, Wolf learned she has ALS. Since then, management of the disease has included a tracheostomy and ventilator, and a feeding tube. Unable to speak, Wolf communicates with her husband Joel and the rest of the world using a WiViK onscreen keyboard; E-triloquist speech program software; and a SCATIR switch that works through detection of a reflected beam of light and which she operates with her eyebrows.

***Compmed’s Director has been arrested****

by the MDA police.

Please help me post bail so I can continue my blogging work for you.

Arrested for a good cause. Please listen to my story and help me post bail.

All money goes to Jerry’s Kids for camp and to further research. http://bit.ly/cTzj3e

Resources

Excerpts and Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/dwk5Og

"Hope for traumatic brain injury"

“Brain injuries differ dramatically from patient to patient depending on the location, type, intensity, and duration of the injury. An injury can immediately cause rips in the white matter, brain hemorrhage, swelling, and, most commonly, bruising. One insult (i.e. hitting head, swelling, bleeding or residual trauma from an old injury to the brain)) is superimposed on another as, following the injury, the brain begins to experience reduced blood flow and oxygen deficiency…

Within minutes or hours after an injury, tiny holes rip through neuronal membranes and ion channels get stuck open, leaking proteins and neurotransmitters. Free radicals and calcium spread, causing cell death and tissue damage. Early gene activation of apoptotic enzymes sends more cells into a death spiral. Mitochondria sputter, then fall silent. Astrocytes swell. The damage can be isolated or extensive.

Researchers and doctors to date have had a very antiquated system of classification for TBIs. A new, validated system has now been devised which divides TBI patients into subgroups based on the type and location of injuries, not based on their consciousness. Then, therapies that benefit specific injury types can be targeted to those subgroups. It is the initial step toward a positive clinical trial for TBI.
Another ray of hope for the treatment of TBIs is the use of progesterone. It seems to pose the possibility of becoming the magic bullet for the treatment.
Through  Don Stein’s 27 years of research on progesterone is has been shown that progesterone  produced in the brain as well as the ovaries and can easily cross the blood brain barrier. Both men and women have progesterone receptors in their brains and it  prevents the expression of inflammatory cytokines in the brain, block apoptosis, stimulate growth-promoting factors, and even have a role in remyelination of neurons.

Thus progesterone decreases the accumulation of fluids in the brain after injury, reduces secondary neuronal loss, and improves outcomes in rats. “It’s the Swiss army knife of therapies,” laughs Douglas Smith, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair. “It can take care of everything.”

Human trials are soon to get under way.

Natural integrated care and medicine like homeopathic remedies and acupuncture and neuro- kinesiology can be used to augment traditional care. These energetic forms of care can monitor the trauma, by the changing pulses and the meridian flows to determine how the body’s energetic systems are dealing with the trauma and then homeopathy can neural-kinesiology can de-stress the neuronal circuitry to enhance the healing and recovery process.
For more information on integrated medicine’s care of brain trauma contact.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of       http://www.the-scientist.com
Excerpts courtesy of       http://bit.ly/bOMYrG
Image courtesy of       http://bit.ly/9fP0gH

"Hope for ADHD"

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder that affecting about 3% to 5% of children globally.  About 2% to 16% of school aged children suffer from this misunderstood condition.  30% to 50% of those individuals diagnosed in childhood continuing to have symptoms into adulthood.
Children with ADHD usually have attentional problems and hyperactivity. Their can be a genetic component to this problem.
Children and adolescents with ADHD tend to develop strategies and coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses both physical, mental and emotional that their restlessness and easy distractibility often create. School life can be painful and unrewarding, because they are unable to focus long enough to use the high intelligence they have. Misunderstood and with an educational and work environment that often is not organized or supported properly to nourish success, these children often do not receive help they need to succeed. Then the challenged and emotional  distress is carried over into adulthood with  4.7 percent of American adults thought to be living with ADHD.
ADHD is diagnosed more often in boys as in girls though studies suggest this discrepancy may be due to subjective bias of referring teachers.
Hope

ADHD management traditionally includes medications, behavior modifications, lifestyle changes, and counseling.  However, their are integrated medicine therapies such as homeopathy, neuro-emotional acu-non therapy, nutritional support and supplements, to name a few. Contact Complementary Medicine Association for more information.
A combination of individualized therapies can release the physical, emotional and neural stress that has built up within these individuals so they can reach their potential.
Resources
Excerpts
courtesy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperactivity
Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adhd/DS00275/
Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd

"Yawning helps you win"

“Yawning seconds before the biggest moment of his career, Apolo Anton Ohno. surprized many spectators and viewers around the world.

Yawning does not indicate boredom or exhaustion, but it is a natural response of the body to release stress by taking in oxygen.  Under stress the body gets depleted of oxygen and yawning refuels the oxygen going to the brain. In turn the brain sends out messages through the nervous system to inhale deeper and relax. Next the chest expands and the body becomes more relaxed and able to focus on the task at hand.

There was some research done on a group of students that practiced controlled yawning for a few minutes before they took a college exam and their grade point went up a letter grade from Cs to Bs and from Bs to As by practicing controlled yawning. Ohno himself confirmed,  “It makes me feel better,” he said. “It gets the oxygen in and the nerves out.”

Animals of all kinds yawn

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/bvRdjT

Image courtesy of    http://bit.ly/cV5yiG

"High levels of toxic cadmium found in Disney, Walmart and other kids toys"

It is all about how cheap we can make cheap jewelry and toys.

If it works and no one complains about the toxicity level of certain metals used then keep doing it. China’s low-cost jewelry makers, it was an open trade secret: The metal cadmium is shiny, strong and malleable at low temperatures, regardless of its health hazards. And it’s cheap.It is being used now to keep the cost down since lead was banned a few years ago. Profit at all costs above childrens health. Cancer, learning disabilities and permanent IQ loss are some of the known side effects.  Tao Xinyao, a metals expert who works in the Yiwu factory for jewelry maker Neoglory, said she noticed an upserge in the use of cadmium around 2003, when prices of the metal hit a low. Jewelry makers discovered they could work with cadmium at much lower temperatures than they could zinc, the most common nontoxic material, she said.

The Associated Press bought and tested more than 100 pieces of childrens jewelry made in China

and sold at Wal-mart and other retailers around the country.

Cadmium content of a few toys

"Best Friend's" toxic jewelry pendants

Deadly costume jewelry

12% of the cheap jewelry trinkets contained at least 10 %

Disney’s “Princess and the Frog” pendants -25 to 35 %

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer charm – 91 %

Best Friend’s Bracelet charms  – 89 and 91 %

Signs of cadmium overdose

“Acute exposure to cadmium fumes may cause flu like symptoms including chills, fever, and muscle ache

Severe tracheo-bronchitis, pneumonitis, and pulmonary edema. Symptoms of inflammation may start hours after the exposure and include cough, dryness and irritation of the nose and throat, headache, dizziness, weakness, fever, chills, and chest pain.

Inhaling cadmium-laden dust quickly leads to respiratory tract and kidney failure..

Ingestion of any significant amount of cadmium causes immediate poisoning and damage to the liver and the kidneys.

Compounds containing cadmium are also carcinogenic.

Bones become soft (osteomalacia), lose bone mineral density (osteoporosis) and become weaker. This causes the pain in the joints and the back, and also increases the risk of fractures. In extreme cases of cadmium poisoning, mere body weight causes a fracture.

The kidneys lose their function to remove acids from the blood in proximal renal tubular dysfunction. The kidney damage inflicted by cadmium poisoning is irreversible and does not heal over time. The proximal renal tubular dysfunction creates low phosphate levels in the blood (hypophosphatemia), causing muscle weakness and sometimes coma. The dysfunction also causes gout, a form of arthritis due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints because of high acidity of the blood (hyperuricemia). Another side effect is increased levels of chloride in the blood (hyperchloremia). The kidneys can also shrink up to 30%.

Other patients lose their sense of smell (anosmia).”

Children as well as adults are susceptible to cadmium poisoning.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadmium_poisoning

Excerpts courtesy of   http://news.yahoo.com/ap_us/cadmium_jewelry_factories

Excerpts courtesy of    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/12/health/main6087982.shtml

Image 1. courtesy of   http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/12/health/main6087982.shtml

Image 2. courtesy of   http://i.usatoday.net/2010/01/11/cadmiumx.jpg

Worms spread by not washing your hands

tapeworm

Do you or someone you love need another reason for good hands hygiene?

Watch the video below; then read the rest of this post.

http://media2.foxnews.com/112008/worm_tumor_700.wmv

Trichinosis is a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork and wild game infected with the larvae of a species of roundworm Trichinella spiralis, commonly called the trichina worm. The few cases in the United States are mostly the result of eating undercooked game, bear meat, or home reared pigs. It is most common in the developing world and where pigs are commonly fed raw garbage.

Signs and symptoms

The great majority of trichinosis infections have either minor or no symptoms and no complications. Trichinosis initially involves the intestines. Within 1-2 days of contagion, symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, dyspepsia, and diarrhea may appear; the severity of these symptoms depends on the extent of the infection. Later on, as the worms encyst in different parts of the human body, other manifestations of the disease may appear, such as headache, fever, chills, cough, eye swelling, joint pain and muscle pain, petechiae, and itching.

Most symptoms subside within a few years. The most dangerous case is worms entering the central nervous system and the brain stem. They cannot survive there, but they may cause enough damage to produce serious neurological deficits (such as ataxia or respiratory paralysis), and even death.

Life Cycle of the worm

The worm can infect any species of mammal that consumes its encysted larval stages. When an animal eats meat that contains infective Trichinella cysts, the acid in the stomach dissolves the hard covering of the cyst and releases the worms. The worms pass into the small intestine and, in 1–2 days, become mature. After mating, adult females produce larvae, which break through the intestinal wall and travel through the lymphatic system to the circulatory system to find a suitable cell. Larvae can penetrate any cell, but can only survive in skeletal muscle. Within a muscle cell, the worms curl up and direct the cell functioning much as a virus does. The cell is now called a nurse cell. Soon, a net of blood vessels surround the nurse cell, providing added nutrition for the larva inside.

A blood test or muscle biopsy can identify trichinosis. Stool studies can identify adult worms, with females being about 3 mm long and males about half that size

Symptoms can be treated with aspirin and corticosteroids. Thiabendazole can kill adult worms in the intestine; however, there is no treatment that kills the larvae. Correct diagnosis and surgery may be needed.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichinosis

Parasites and human behavior

Half of the world’s human population is infected with Toxoplasma gondii, parasites in the body—and the brain. Commonly found in cats intestines; it sheds eggs that are picked up by rats which forms cysts in the bodies of the intermediate rat hosts, including in the brain.
This parasite coexhists with the rat.

Oxford scientists have discovered that this parasite alters the  minds of the infected rats so they will be attracted to cat urine instead of avoiding it as a normal rat would do. The parasite alters the mind (and thus the behavior) of the rat for its own benefit.

What effect might Toxoplasma have on human mind/ behavior?

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey (Associate Director for Laboratory Research at the Stanley Medical Research Institute) noticed links between Toxoplasma and schizophrenia in human beings, approximately three billion of whom are infected with T. gondii:

* Toxoplasma infection is associated with damage to astrocytes, glial cells which surround and support neurons. Schizophrenia is also associated with damage to astrocytes.

* Pregnant women with high levels of antibodies to Toxoplasma are more likely to give birth to children who will develop schizophrenia.


Mind Control by Parasites By Bill Christensen

http://www.livescience.com/technology/060210_technovelgy.html