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MS Center BBQ

July 09, 2015
Come join the Swedish MS Center for the Summer BBQ on July 25! There will be a catered lunch with live music, as well as a talk by Dr. James Bowen.

When: Saturday, July 25
Time: 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Where: MS Center at Swedish
1600 E. Jefferson St., A Level
Seattle, WA 98122
RSVP: Janice Huertas, 206.320.2200

Fatty Liver Disease in Children: It's About Sugar, Not Fat!

July 08, 2015
It’s common knowledge that over the last few decades there has been a significant increase in the number of children with obesity in the U.S. One of the complications of obesity is a condition termed metabolic syndrome, which consists of the combination of high cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and waist circumference. Having metabolic syndrome has long been a well-known risk factor for heart disease, but less known is the relationship between obesity, metabolic syndrome and liver disease.

As a pediatric specialist who treats children with liver diseases, I am often asked to see children with a condition called “fatty liver disease.” In fatty liver disease, fat accumulates within the liver as a direct result of obesity and metabolic syndrome. The curious thing about this type of liver disease, however, is that it is identical to the liver disease seen in alcoholics.

Rehabilitation Enhances Brain Plasticity

July 06, 2015
If you overhear a research meeting at the Swedish MS Center, it may come up that the rehabilitation studies are not sub-listed under, "disease modifying therapy trials." That is when I usually pipe up and say, "Rehabilitation is disease modifying in MS!" In fact, it is one the of proven disease modifiers in progressive MS. Below is a summary of the recent article from the Italian MS group that reviewed improvements in brain plasticity from motor and cognitive rehabilitation in patients with MS. The Italian researchers do an excellent job in quantifying outcome measures from rehabilitation interventions using imaging.

Top 5 Things to Know about Your Child's IBD

June 29, 2015

As tears well-up in her eyes, I notice her husband's arms reaching over to comfort my patient’s mother. I continue to describe the disease that has been ravaging at their son's intestines, probably for the last several months.  Although his parents had suspected something was seriously wrong when their son’s abdominal pain and diarrhea (which had initially seemed like the “stomach flu”) got progressively worse, nothing could’ve them prepared them for what I had just confirmed during his colonoscopy: Crohn’s disease.  

Lymphatic System in the Brain and MS

June 25, 2015

A recent report has generated excitement in the scientific community. This report announces the discovery of a lymphatic system in the brain.

Our Behaviors Influence Our Kids

June 24, 2015

Driving home recently, I heard a story on the radio about a state commissioner wanting to reduce restrictions on “junk food” offered in public schools.  Surprisingly, this story jarred a long-forgotten memory from my childhood…

Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease: A Patient's Perspective

June 22, 2015

On our Pediatric unit, we see a number of patients with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Some are well-established in their care, some are newly-diagnosed and just beginning treatment, and some are being seen by the doctor to explore if their symptoms warrant a definitive diagnosis of Crohn’s or UC. I interviewed one patient (referred to as our “Crohn’s Champion” for privacy) regarding his experience for the last 18 months since being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 9 years old. 

8 Things Nobody Told You About Being in a Wheelchair

June 20, 2015

As someone living with multiple sclerosis and a patient of Dr. James Bowen, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about living with a wheelchair.

Making the Mental Shift: From "Doing" to "Being"

June 18, 2015
Over the years, the World Health Organization’s discussion around disability has changed from “impairment, disability, and handicap” to “impairment, activity, and participation.”  In other words, the focus has shifted to that of function through activity and participation.  This shift in perspective is important but not sufficient.

Chair Yoga for Your Mind Body and Spirit

June 17, 2015
For years, yoga advocates have eagerly shared their thoughts about the benefits of this type of exercise. However, you don’t have to just take your neighbor’s word for it. These first-person anecdotes are endorsed by several comprehensive research studies. This research shows that a regular yoga routine has a positive effect on a person’s mind, body and spirit. This is particularly encouraging for cancer patients who may have limited energy to dedicate to exercise.