Category: Medical Breakthrough
|January 18, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Alzheimer's Disease, Medical Breakthrough|
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and our government says it’s time we do something about it! It is a very exciting time for people affected by the neurological disease, as our nation has announced its blue prints for our first National Alzheimer’s Plan (According to the Center for Disease Control).
But of course, it won’t be easy. Funding for this plan has not yet been established despite their hopes to have an effective treatment by 2025. Today, an estimated 5.4 million people have Alzheimer’s and research shows that by 2050 that figure could triple (As shown on CBSnews.com).
Those affected by the disease either having been diagnosed themselves, or caring for a loved one living with the diagnosis, know how devastating Alzheimer’s can be. If the proper attention can be put towards finding a successful treatment, or better yet, a cure, than quality of life can potentially be improved drastically for millions. By setting this deadline, keeping up hope just got a little bit easier.
|November 28, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Health, Medical Breakthrough, Sleep|
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can lead to apnea or hypopnea episodes that hinder a person’s ability to breathe in their sleep.
It is common for a person’s muscles to relax during sleep, but for some people, this relaxation of the muscles that help keep the airways open can cause an obstruction in the throat. This can lead to a stop in breathing for sometimes more than 10 seconds.
There are treatments and procedures that aid people in managing their sleep apnea. The most common, CPAP, is a machine that provides a constant airflow at a prescribed pressure through a tube to a facial mask. It helps to hold the person’s airway open to avoid obstruction.
The pillar procedure is a new treatment to the sleep apnea market, and it is proving to be very effective. Just a minor outpatient surgery, the pillar procedure inserts 3 small polyester rods into the soft tissue to stiffen it and reduce relaxation.
|November 21, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Aging, Caregiving, Medical Breakthrough, Stroke|
After my grandfather experienced his first stroke, the man who was known for his sharp mind and quick wit suddenly had fallen silent. As a practicing lawyer before his stroke, his lost ability to help people through his kind and guiding words left him feeling defeated. We watched him strain to put together sentences or find ways to express all of the thoughts he was still having, only to find that his words wouldn’t come out right.
Like so many stroke patients, my grandfather lost his ability to communicate the way he once could. Aphasia, or the disorder that occurs from damage to the part of the brain that controls language, is very common in stroke patients. This can cause difficulty in the areas of both written and spoken language, and less in the area of understanding.
Not unlike my grandfather, your loved one may know exactly what they want to say, but have a hard time being able to express it. As caregivers, this can be nearly as difficult for us to find ways to comfort our loved one and help understand what they are trying to tell us.
There are different forms of treatment for aphasia. Short, but intensive rounds of speech therapy have been shown to help in the progress of patients with aphasia. Learning how to speak again can be a very challenging process for both the patient and caregiver, but new treatments are shining light on faster and more successful recoveries.
Recently, a magnetic treatment for stroke patients afflicted with aphasia that has yielded very promising results. By using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), patient’s language skills were significantly improved. TMS is a non-invasive technique that targets areas of the brain that control language, and aims to affect the activity in that area.
With continual research and studies done on aphasia and its treatment, your loved one has better opportunities to regain their sense of expressive freedom, and get back to a life worth talking about.