May 2013
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May 2013 posts

Family Meals with Young Children

Many parents don’t realize how much eating meals together as a family helps their children’s development and well-being in addition to being known to reduce the risk of obesity and improve the nutrition of children. Eating meals together is a valuable lesson and practice in sharing. By eating the same foods, hearing about someone else’s day, and telling stories, kids learn to compromise and show respect. Sitting around the table with the family is a great setting for children to see how they are a part of something bigger than just themselves.

When you have young children, it is a key time to start eating meals as a family and develop this lifetime habit. Even babies old enough to sit in a high chair but not old enough to eat everything everyone else is eating will benefit from joining the family at the table.

Here are some tips to make mealtimes more pleasant with young ones:

4th Annual Multiple Sclerosis Art Show accepting entries

 

The Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center Art Show is accepting entries for its 4th annual exhibit. Art will be displayed July 6-7 at the Seattle Center Armory.
 

Who can enter?

The exhibit features art created by people who have been touched by multiple sclerosis (MS). Anyone with a connection to MS--whether diagnosed, family, caregiver, friend or colleague--is welcome and encouraged to enter. Read full guidelines.

What can I enter?

What is voice therapy and how does it work?

You have seen an otolaryngologist about a voice problem and have now been referred for voice therapy. And you may wonder - what in the world will that involve?  You might think, I already know how to talk! 

Voice production is complex. It involves many muscles, multiple systems, and the balance and coordination of these systems in order to produce a healthy voice. Often these muscles or systems can become tight, strained, or imbalanced.  This can either cause a voice problem, or result from a voice problem.  The system can also become imbalanced following voice strain; with a weak vocal fold or a vocal fold lesion; after a cold; or from other sources of throat irritation such as reflux.

Think about pulling a muscle in your back.  Over time, other muscles may become strained by trying to guard, protect or compensate for the initial muscle injury. Your throat is like that too, although many people don’t realize it until something goes wrong with their voice.

Voice therapy is like physical therapy for your voice.  Just like athletes work with trainers and physical therapists after an injury, people with vocal issues benefit from working with a speech pathologist.

During voice therapy sessions you may be asked to:

Manage Cholesterol to Prevent Stroke

Next time you think about burgers and fries, think about this: these and some other foods are high in saturated fat and can cause arteries to become blocked through the gradual build-up of cholesterol, also known as plaque.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat (lipid) that is required for the body to form cell membranes, some hormones and vitamin D. However, excess cholesterol or frequent consumption of saturated and trans fats can cause trouble. Cholesterol is made within the body and can also be ingested in some foods, such as eggs, meats and dairy products.

Cholesterol or plaque build-up in the arteries can block normal blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. Approximately 1 in 4 Americans have elevated cholesterol levels, with 63% of those individuals unaware of their status. 

Here are some facts you should remember to help prevent stroke:

MS Research Update: New MS tests could improve predictions of cognitive impairment

Cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS) is a recognized, but poorly understood phenomenon. Detection of cognitive dysfunction is hampered by the fact that cognitive testing is often long, sometimes costly and at times frustrating for patients. A brief, acceptable screening tool for cognitive dysfunction in MS is lacking.

A new study shows potential progress toward such a tool. Authors of a paper published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal describe a 10-minute battery of computerized tests that was able to identify with fairly good sensitivity those patients who experienced cognitive impairment. This study, like several other similar efforts, awaits verification before they are more broadly accepted. It is hoped that such tools will come at no or minimal cost to the patients.

Identifying cognitive dysfunction early may be important because, according to a second study published in Neurology, early treatment is more likely to ...

BRCA Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

In today’s New York Times, actress and director Angelina Jolie bravely and openly discusses her experience with BRCA genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer:

The 37 year old Ms. Jolie – who has not had cancer – underwent genetic testing because of her family history of cancer. She was found to carry a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which puts her at significant risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Ms. Jolie, the mother of 3 adopted and 3 biological children, elected to undergo a risk-reducing double mastectomy, and plans to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed soon to lower her risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Ms. Jolie’s story opens a public conversation about the importance of genetic testing in helping to reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. This very personal decision about mastectomy by someone widely regarded as one of the most beautiful women in the movies also helps women recognize that their body image and sexuality does not have to be defined by their breasts. Not every woman will make the decision to have major surgery, but genetic test results can also make sure that your breast cancer screening is appropriate for your level of risk; women who carry a BRCA gene mutation need ...

Ten Ways To Recognize Hearing Loss

  • Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone?
  • Do you have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time?
  • Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?
  • Do you have to strain to understand conversation?
  • Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy background?
  • Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves?
  • Do many people you talk to seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?
  • Do you misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?
  • Do you have trouble understanding the speech of women and children?
  • Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say?

If you or a loved one answered yes to three or more of the above questions, you may want to make an appointment with an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist) and/or an audiologist for a hearing evaluation.

Hearing loss can be caused by ...

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