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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.  

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…

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.

Taking Charge of Your Health

June 17, 2015
It is important to take charge of your health. Being proactiveand setting up regular visits and health screenings with your medical care team is both necessary and beneficial.

Restoring Body Image and Sexuality after Cancer Treatment

June 17, 2015
Your journey to wellness begins as soon as your cancer treatment ends. One of the first challenges along that path can be getting used to a body that cancer has altered. How your body looks and functions may be different and unfamiliar. It is not unusual for body image to suffer during this time, which can create stress in relationships and diminish sexual enjoyment. Regardless of gender or type of cancer, you might want to try “returning to normal,” yet the lingering impacts of cancer treatment can make this an unlikely prospect.

Nutrition A Vital Component to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

June 17, 2015
Most people know that a healthy lifestyle is the ultimate goal; but often it isn’t very easy to achieve. There are several components to a healthy lifestyle:
  • A well-balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • A good night’s sleep
  • A moderate approach to reducing stress

Understanding the Difference Between IBD and IBS

June 17, 2015
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are two completely different conditions that share very similar acronyms.   Often I find people confused about them, even presuming they may have one, when in fact, they actually have the other.

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.

Protect Against Melanoma in Kids

June 08, 2015

A study recently reported that melanoma rates have risen 250% in children and young adults since the 1970s.  Another study found that between 1973 and 2009, pediatric melanomas (age 19 or younger) increased by 2% per year.  As medical providers we are seeing an upward trend in skin cancers in all age groups – but predominantly among young women, which is thought to be due to tanning practices.  We also know that even rare sunburns early in childhood can dramatically increase risk for melanoma later in life.  There are lots of ways that parents can help protect children from sun exposure – here are some tips to help us do our best as summer approaches!