August 2013
Blog

August 2013 posts

MS Research Roundup: Cannabinoids and new trials for progressive MS

A couple recent announcements may be of interest to people living with multiple sclerosis. Read the articles below and click through the links for more information about the individual studies.

Trial shows no benefit of cannabinoid in slowing multiple sclerosis progression

A UK trial of dronabinol (delta-9-THC) in 498 patients did not slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to placebo. Critics will point out that this is only one of many cannabinoids found in marijuana; and that the placebo arm did better than expected (thus limiting the ability to detect the effects of the drug). Nonetheless, the result is the strongest argument yet against the neuroprotective effects of THC in MS population.

New trials in progressive MS are coming

Later this year, two trials will ...

Swedish multiple sclerosis neurologists educate about MS with country artist Clay Walker

Neurologists from the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center spoke Tuesday evening in Seattle at an educational program featuring country music artist Clay Walker.

Drs. James Bowen and Lily JungHenson gave an update on advancements in multiple sclerosis research to about 200 patients and care partners living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Clay Walker shared his experience living with relapsing-remitting MS and how he manages his symptoms with a busy career.

Ted Ormbrek – An Extraordinary Volunteer and Gentleman

Mr. Ted Ormbrek doesn’t require much to be happy. “All I need is my church and my work,” he claims, smiling. Spend any time with him, and you’ll have no doubt that it’s true.

Mr. Ormbrek is the rare kind of gentleman whose work and life achievements immediately humble you.

Born in 1925 in Woodinville, WA, Mr. Ormbrek and his siblings were raised by their widowed Norwegian grandmother in Ballard. He attended Ballard High School, fought in WWII from ’43-’46 and, under the GI Bill, received a free education at University of WA School of Engineering. He married his sweetheart in 1951, raised three children, retired at the age of 60 as a senior engineer for the city, and all the while shared his passion and talent with the community by singing in the choir of his Presbyterian Church.

But he nearly lost everything he’d worked for in life, due to one devastating secret.

Bike the US for MS riders donate $25,000 to the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

The Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish welcomed 30 cyclists Sunday for the finale of their coast-to-coast ride for multiple sclerosis (MS). Cyclists and a crowd of supporters and loved ones continued the celebration inside where they presented the Swedish MS Center with a $25,000 donation.

The ride was extremely significant for one of the cyclists, Diane Mattens, who is also a patient at the Swedish MS Center. Diane has been living with multiple sclerosis for nearly three decades and is the first woman with MS to complete a Bike the US for MS tour.

Diane credits Dr. James Bowen, who has been her doctor for the past 15 years, saying he "knows me all too well." In addition to raising more than $15,000 for her ride, Diane’s goal is to help change the face of MS and inspire other people living with the disease to keep moving.

“I think just knowing the fact that I can [complete the ride] is pretty motivating in itself,” Diane told KING-5 News. “You can’t waste one day because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

We are extremely grateful for ...

Sports Concussion Clinic and Community Education

This past Wednesday, July 31, Dr. Renee Low and I provided a class on sports concussion education to Issaquah youth athletes, their parents, soccer club coaches and trainers.  We hosted about 47 attendees and discussed signs and symptoms of a concussion, risk factors and prevention, when to seek medical attention, and baseline testing. (Click here for a PDF that explains concussions and some of the symptoms.)

We also discussed Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) now being offered at Swedish.  Swedish Spine, Sports, and Musculoskeletal Medicine is now offering a sports concussion clinic for youth and adult athletes.  We provide assessment of concussion severity, physical evaluation, ongoing monitoring, neuropsychological evaluation, education, return to play, and academic support.

Handling stress with kids in the hospital

As the back to school sales begin, we are reminded that soon our kids will be back on the bus and returning to school routines.  As adults we may look forward to the return of a consistent routine or dread the increased activity that comes with sports, homework and friends.  For our children school can be both exciting and anxiety producing as well.

Stress can be a contributor to many illnesses and is something that we all can use help managing. (Want to find out how much you know about stress and your kids? Take this 5 question quiz here.) The questions bring up some great ways to manage stress daily for our kids; but what about the stresses of chronic illness or hospitalization?  What can you do for your child to decrease their anxiety in the hospital?

A New Contribution to Cardiothoracic Surgical Education

There is nothing more satisfying for a clinician than when a patient understands their ailment, comprehends the nature of the pathology involved, and is clear on the treatment/procedure they are about to undergo. This "satisfaction" is a joyous emotion reflecting successful communication -- it is what parents feel when their children first begin to read, and what educators aspire to when their students master the material at hand.

It is a privilege to share our most recent contribution to the cardiothoracic surgery community, the TSRA Primer of Cardiothoracic Surgery...

 

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