2013

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Is someone with multiple sclerosis an MSer?

September 05, 2013

A survey from the United Kingdom published in the Journal of MS and Related Disorders polled 396 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) about how they would like to be referred to in conversation. The winning term ("MSer") was supported by 43% of the respondents, while "person with MS" received 34% votes. When a United States-based blog reported on the story, 2 out of 3 respondents disagreed.

What do you think? Comment below with your preference and why.

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(Ed. note: You can comment anonymously - feel free to use your initials if you are more comfortable sharing that way.)

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis Week 2: Gazpacho

September 03, 2013

Last week, I shared the first of a few recipes that are easy to prepare, and don’t require heating up the kitchen on a warm summer day.

Heat sensitivity can be a serious issue for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), causing a temporary worsening, or exacerbation, of their symptoms.

This week’s no-cook meal is a tomato-based soup that is traditionally served cold. It’s chilled serving temperature makes it a popular dish for summer months and it’s veggie content makes it a nutrient-packed part of your meal.

Signs of Hearing Loss for Babies and Children

September 02, 2013

Early identification and intervention of childhood hearing loss is linked to improved outcomes in communication and learning. Most newborns receive a hearing screening before being discharged from the hospital. However, some children may experience hearing loss sometime after that initial screening. Childhood hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors including family history, health problems at birth, syndromes, persistent middle ear fluid, chronic ear infections, and exposure to loud noise or head trauma. Children with normal hearing typically demonstrate similar listening and vocalization behaviors. If your child does not display these behaviors, it may be a sign of possible hearing loss or other problems.

Does your baby…

 

Birth – 3 months

  • Wake or startle in response to a sudden noise?
  • Seem to be soothed by your voice?

4-6 months

  • Move ...

Robotics and the future of rehabilitation for multiple sclerosis

August 29, 2013

I am pleased to write some of my thoughts after attending the International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR) in June. This bi-annual meeting brings together biomedical, design, and mechanical engineers as well as providers that work in the field of rehabilitation robotics.

Robotic devices are part of the future of neuro-rehabiltation for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.  ICORR displayed designs and prototypes of upper extremity devices and lower extremity gait orthosis devices that hold promise for MS patients.

Using these devices in clinical rehabilitation practice would improve patients’ ability to perform the frequent, repetitive movements that we know are essential for the brain to adapt to change, re-grow myelin and build connections between neurons ( 1 comment(s)|Read More

Beat the heat! Easy, healthy, no-cook meals for multiple sclerosis

August 27, 2013

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have heat and temperature sensitivity.  Hot weather, running a fever, strenuous exercise or taking a hot bath or shower can cause a temporary worsening of symptoms. The last thing you probably want to do the mercury rises this summer is turn on your stove or stand over a hot burner. Fortunately, many healthy meals can be made quickly without ever cranking up the heat in the kitchen.

Each week for the next four weeks, I will share a new no-cook recipe; each with in a healthy, low fat diet. Each recipe will highlight one ingredient as a nutritional standout with an explanation for why these foods should be included in your diet. They all make about 4 servings, but can be adjusted up or down as needed, and are ready in 20 minutes or less.

This summer, don’t let the heat be an exc...

Life-saving technology and getting the word out about radiosurgery

August 26, 2013

Twice last week I received phone calls from grateful family members thanking us for taking care of their loved ones when treatment options were dwindling. One patient is now 4 years past his CyberKnife treatment for inoperable lung cancer and is going strong and living life to the fullest. The other patient was recently treated and is feeling great and planning a European vacation. Both families are extremely appreciative for the care they received but both voiced frustration that they stumbled upon this treatment option by chance and that we need to do a better job of publicizing the radiosurgery modalities. As the person receiving these calls, I am thrilled to hear how our center has positively impacted so many lives but struggle with how to get the word out to those who may benefit from radiosurgery in the future. So with our patients’ stories fresh in my mind, here is an introduction to radiosurgery.

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Second Annual Oral Cancer Walk for Awareness

August 24, 2013

Last year marked Seattle’s first oral cancer awareness walk. The Swedish Head and Neck Surgery Clinic was proud to get behind the cause and walk alongside of our patients. The 2012 walk was a great success with about 300 participants and close to $60,000 generated in funds. Next month we hope to surpass that goal by raising $75,000 on September 14, 2013, with the second annual 5K walk for oral cancer awareness. The walk is a fundraising event for the whole family, set to take place at Magnuson Park.

Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that, unfortunately, is on the rise. This is the most common site of cancer in the head and neck. We used to see  ...

Study Makes Waves in Treating Essential Tremor

August 23, 2013

The treatment of neurologic disease took a major step forward this past week with the publication of a clinical trial that used ultrasound waves to treat Essential Tremor.  Essential tremor affects about 10 million people in the USA and can be extremely disabling. For patients that fail medical therapy invasive surgical options are considered, including deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS surgeries involve drilling a hole in the skull and implanting an electrode into structures deep in the brain to turn off the unwanted signals that cause the tremor.

A study of 15 patients lead by Dr. Jeff Elias (University of Virginia) was published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week and describes how researchers used ultrasound waves to effectively treat Essential tremor non-invasively – no cutting or drilling:

 

Dirt is good for kids

August 23, 2013

I remember one day during my pediatric gastroenterology fellowship, a mother and child were walking in front of my professor and me, as we made our daily rounds in the hospital.  When the pacifier fell out of the toddler’s mouth and the mother picked it up and put it right back into the child's mouth, my professor remarked to me, "mark my words....that child will never get Crohn’s disease!"   My professor was referring to the theory of the "Hygiene Hypothesis".  This theory  is thought to explain (at least in part) why so many more people in developed nations become afflicted with autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD - Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis) as well as food allergies, compared to people in non-developed nations. 

In non-developed countries, where children are...

Free relaxation & stress reduction classes for multiple sclerosis

August 22, 2013

Stress is something we all experience. At work, home and in relationships—life is a balancing act. For people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), stress can also come from managing major transitions and other emotional changes.

How we respond to stress that determines how it affects our lives. Luckily, we have some control. Learned relaxation techniques can help us manage how we respond to stress and lower its affects before we become overwhelmed ...