Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday News

Contents of This Week:

Definition: Anosognosia (Denial)

Anosognosia From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anosognosia (/æˌnɒsɒɡˈnoʊziə/, /æˌnɒsɒɡˈnoʊʒə/; from Ancient Greek ἀ- a-, "without", νόσος nosos, "disease" and γνῶσις gnōsis, "knowledge") is viewed as a deficit of self-awareness, a condition in which a person who suffers certain disability seems unaware of the existence of his or her disability. It was first named by the neurologist Joseph Babinski in 1914. Anosognosia results from physiological damage on brain structures, typically to the parietal lobe or a diffuse lesion on the fronto-temporal-parietal area in the right hemisphere. Whilst this distinguishes the condition from denial, which is a psychological defense mechanism, attempts have been made at a unified explanation. Both anosognosia and denial are almost always connected with damage in the right hemisphere. Split-brain research suggests that this asymmetry points to a neurological answer. Anosognosia is sometimes accompanied by asomatognosia, a form of neglect in which patients deny ownership of their limbs.


Video: Anosognosia (Denial)

SSTattler: Very common in recent stroke patients for a couple of weeks but some people have anosognosia (denial) for a long time...

Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran's Lecture on Anosognosia

Uploaded on Dec 17, 2011

SSTattler: A nice lecture but it takes about 50 minutes...

Anosognosia: The interface between neurology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis. The 5th Neuro-Psychoanalysis Congress, Rome 2004 on Splitting, Denial and Narcissism: Neuropsychoanalytic Perspectives on the Right Hemisphere.

Standard YouTube License @ AtheistKharm

Daily Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston

Canada Family Events
Scott Adams

Dilbert Office Events

Edmonton Journal
Malcolm Mayes
Politics Views from Canada

Garry Trudeau

Politics Views from USA


** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very, very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and

Eclectic Stuff

Definition: Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.


Amy Shissler
My Cerebellar Stroke Recovery
May 2, 2013

Denial is a strong, strong, strong, strong, strong thing.  Having a massive stroke at the age of 30 – kind of a big deal.  I had some people in my life that wanted to act like everything was OK after a few months and that I just got kinda sick.  NOPE.  Everything not OK.  Everything might never again be OK.  I mean I’ll be OK – I don’t know about some other people who I know.  If you had something life changing happen to you, especially something awful and devastating and traumatic, you have to deal with that shit.  Don’t pretend like things are fine, they’re so not fine.  One of my favorite things that Dr. Phil says is “you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”  I love Dr. Phil, although lately that show has been annoying me because I wanna beat up all of his guests.  Anyway, some people I know need to acknowledge some stuff.

See the original article:

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Anosognosia Is It Me?

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Sunday, September 14, 2014

When the subject of anaosognosia came up in the data base I wondered: What is it? And after reading about wondering if it was me? It sure sounds a lot like me in a lot of ways.

You know me. If I don't recognize something, I have to look it up. Blame it on my parents who made me look up words I didn't know or just inquisitive minds want to know.

Definition -
  1. Ignorance of the presence of disease, specifically of paralysis. Most often seen in patients with nondominant parietal lobe lesions, who deny presence of hemiparesis. The information shown above for anosognosia is provided by Stedman's.
It's basically denial of your current illness. A hear, see or speak no evil type of existence. I'll admit most of the time, I'm in this thought mode.

Maybe, it's just my stubbornness. "I can do everything, but I just have to figure out how." So I really don't have this because I KNOW I have hemiparesis (paralysis of half the body or half paralysis). But it's not on my mind dwelling and stewing up front and always present. Mainly because I have figured out how to do most things I want to do already.

Stroke and Living

Steven H. Cornelius
Music and Stroke 
May 23, 2012

The psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, an expert on death and dying, developed a model in which she outlined five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Other thinkers have modified the list or brought in additional aspects, including (for those having passed through nadir of depression): reconstruction and hope.

Perhaps it is self-centered for me to frame my stroke in Kübler-Ross’ terms, but losing control of half of my body and mind was plenty traumatic.

With that caveat in place, in this post I work through Kübler-Ross’ categories in terms of my own recovery. Perhaps the exercise will offer some useful insights.

Stage 1: Denial. Clearly I experienced denial. On the night of the Big Event something was definitely wrong, but it didn’t sink in for me that it might be serious. After all, I was in perfect health. Wasn’t I?

Even at the hospital, at the point they tried to give me an MRI, I was semi-functional. Refusing to go inside, I pulled myself out of the machine, found a way to sit up on the gurney, and threatened to leave the hospital.

I wasn’t as functional as I thought, however. My next clear memory comes three days later.

The Stroke(s)

Rocky Mountain Stroke Survivor
February 3, 2013

My first noticeable stroke… well, let me just stop there a moment.  It took some practice to be able to connect myself with a stroke.  It’s oddly reminiscent of when we first saw those two pink lines on the pregnancy test.  I practiced over and over before I told anyone, “I’m pregnant.”  Saying, “I had a stroke” was more difficult and I had less time to practice before I had to start telling the family.  There were no twelve weeks of preparation to get used to the idea; we heard the news and moments called my sister to come help with the kids.  And that was the first thing I learned about strokes: they are not only unexpected, they are sudden.  Fine one moment, stroked the next.

Anyhow, my first noticeable stroke happened at 4 in the morning.  We don’t know which morning because, denial being the powerful thing that it is, I didn’t go to the emergency room or tell anyone about it outside my husband and two small children, all of whom believed me when I said I was fine.  We know it was early January.

I woke up with a tension headache and muscle spasms in my neck, a common problem after working at an office that was built before the ergonomics of personal computers were a consideration, and did what I always do: I stretched my neck.  My neck pain and headaches had been excruciating all through the month of December, so I was used to waking up with headaches.  I remember pushing my chin to the left to get just a little more stretch out of it, hoping that it might even “pop” and relief the spasm, allowing me to go back to sleep.  And then suddenly I was spinning to the left.  Spinning and spinning and spinning.  I felt like I was going to throw up but didn’t.  I felt like maybe if I did I’d feel better, but I thought maybe I wouldn’t.  I was cold and clammy and apparently something in my voice told my husband that this was serious because he actually woke up as soon as I called for him.  Unfortunately, so did our baby whose cries then woke our three-year-old.  Hubby held the two little ones and they sat and watched while knelt on the bed, clinging to the sheets and describing the sudden acceleration of my world.

My Social Media Story for Webicina

Dean Reinke
Deans’ Stroke Musing
Monday, November 21, 2011

There is a competition at on uses of social media to empower patients and medical staff. This is my story.

As a 5 year stroke survivor, there is a lot to be thankful about; I’m alive and slowly rehabilitating. May 21, 2006 was the day it started. I had just returned from a 6 day strenuous whitewater canoeing trip on the Dog River in Ontario. This included a 1.5 mile portage so I was definitely in shape and excellent health. I drove home alone thru the UP of Michigan. I collapsed the next morning walking across my bedroom floor, called to my wife to help me get up but she was already calling 911. It was a massive stroke leaving me in critical condition. I received tPA within the hour but still ended up with huge dead spot in my brain and left side paralysis.

I was waiting for my medical staff to give me some concrete information on rehabilitation and then I could follow that and recover. That never occurred, I don't think my doctors in 30+ years of practice had ever figured out anything about stroke rehab. Since my cognitive abilities were spared, as soon as I got access to a computer I found a number of stroke forums and everyone on them was looking for information that no-one had gotten from their doctors. It became painfully obvious that all stroke survivors are on their own, they need to figure out their own therapy protocols.


Barb Polan
Barb’s Recovery
22nd June 2010

When my cognitive abilities were evaluated after the stroke, one of my identified problems was called Anosognosia, a condition my neurologist defined as "generally used to signify not understanding the extent or significance of one's deficits." In other words, I suffer from the inability to recognize my limitations caused by the stroke. In some brain-injured people, this phenomenon results in some significant risk-taking behaviors - like continuing to drive after having a stroke.

My reality was that even the morning I had the stroke, I didn't recognize any drastic change from what was normal inside my head. Sure, I had trouble putting weight on my left ankle so that I fell over whenever I stood on my own and my ability to squeeze with my left hand came and went, plus I had a headache right behind my right eye ( when I never had headaches before that). But those were all physical issues; everything inside my brain - thinking, feeling and logic - felt normal and has continued to do so. That's a symptom, I suspect, of the agosognosia condition - I don't feel incapable of thinking clearly and figuring out things as I used to - I have retained my ingrained "How hard can it be?" attitude. I observe that I make more mistakes now and for a while, calendars were far more baffling than they used to be. Maps and spatial relationships, as always, continue to confound me. Recovering cognitively is much harder for me to assess compared to recovering physically - if I can lift the yellow ball with both arms, I can see that today I am capable of more than I was in December, but, if all along I have been clueless about the whack my cognitive skills took, how do I assess progress? I am pleased that I can usually complete the daily crossword puzzle in the Gloucester Daily Times and I can often complete the Crytoquote, but the I was not able to come anywhere near completing the crossword puzzle in the Sunday Globe, something that I did regularly before the stroke - it might have taken me the whole week, but I generally completed it every week.

See the original article:

Quick Action, Right Action Can Turn Lives Around

Jeff Porter
Stroke of Faith
Monday, March 07, 2011

Darrell Figy certainly didn't plan for a stroke that day. But quick action turned his life around. From a story in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader:
"You would never know just looking at me that I ever had a stroke, the way I talk, the way I walk, the way I dress," Figy said. 
Only about 5 percent of stroke patients receive the drug Figy got -- tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved tPA for stroke patients if given within three hours of the patient showing stroke symptoms. Many don't get to the hospital in time. 
"A lot of people don't complain," [Dr. Scott] Duff said. "It's painless. They're in a state of denial, or the stroke has taken away their ability to recognize that there's a problem."

See the original article:

Stroke After Stroke: A Rower's Pilgrimage

Publication Date: September 5, 2014

Stroke After Stroke is the personal story of a recreational gig rower who survived a stroke at age 52, and of her relentless pursuit of recovering from the resulting hemiparesis (the loss of the use of her left side) even 5 years later, despite the medical establishment's stance that recovery for her has already ended.

Based on the blog she started 6 weeks post-stroke, the book chronicles how Barbara Polan has faced the losses concomitant with her injury, and the struggles of incorporating current recovery therapies into her attempts to resume her pre-stroke life. In the process, she re-shapes her new life into one that better suits her.

She has written the book she had hoped to read immediately after having a stroke.

Barbara has first-hand experience with the relentless repetition needed to establish new neural pathways that are needed to regain lost functions, and promotes investigation and optimism as necessary ingredients in any recovery. In addition, she offers helpful information and insight into the logistics and the emotional reality of survivors' altered lives, along with helping survivors understand that they are not alone.

This book will be appreciated by anyone whose life has been affected by stroke - survivors and their caregivers, family members and friends.

SSTattler: See as well The Murphey Saga by Jo Murphey -- New Release~Stroke After Stroke: A Rower's Pilgrimage by Barbara Polan.

The Most Important Tool for Speech Recovery After Stroke and Aphasia

September 12, 2014

There is not a day that goes by that I don't receive information about a new app, piece of technology, diagnostic big $ machine that is supposed to either do the therapy, help the therapist do the therapy, or a piece of software that is designed for the patient to improve speech if he sits down behind a computer or I Pad or does the therapy exercises out of a manual or book.

Isn't it amazing the comparison of  public school resource materials and equipment for therapy, versus home health, private practitioners, "world's greatest rehab hospitals" and college/university clinics?  These settings can have every app, test, computer program, standardized test, therapy equipment and the "latest and greatest," while other settings have a minimum of computers, i pads, workbooks, and technology.   Is one setting better than the other? 

Then there are the "intensive" programs sponsored by Universities and colleagues where people with aphasia and their caregivers go for 1-4 weeks.  Is this the answer for those looking for the "latest and greatest?"

So what is the best therapy machine, app, program, or "Method?"  Does all the technology, intensive programs, apps, software, etc really make a significant difference in speaking improvement?

Have You Been to ‘Hell’s Gates?’ #InvictusGames #strokesurvivor

Kate Allatt
Stroke Recovery Tips
September 13, 2014

Watching the truly remarkable Invictus Games Prince Harry has so brilliantly pioneered, made me think, ‘bloody hell those ex-servicemen and women have also been to Hell’s gates and back, big time.’

Everyone has tough times but when you hear of the physical and emotional traumas these people have suffered, you can only imagine (in your worst nightmare), if we really understand what a tough life really is? Should we put ourselves more out for others?

Do we moan unnecessarily in life? Should we be more grateful for what we have each day?

This is ABSOLUTELY not to say people can’t OR shouldn’t suffer mental illness for lesser experiences at all, as we all have different coping thresholds, but we must celebrate the inspirational way these people choose to cope with their massive set-backs.

Spasticity I: The "Magic" "Cure" for Spasticity Reduction?

Peter G. Levine
Stonger After Stroke
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why do I have spasticity? What can I do to get rid of spasticity? When will it go away?"

People who have any number of pathologies can suffer from spasticity. Spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and other pathologies have spasticity as a sequela. This column will discuss spasticity as it relates to acquired brain injury which includes traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy and stroke.

Most clinicians provide patients with overly simplified, incomplete and often inaccurate information about what spasticity is, its etiology and its cure. Therapists generally believe that patients don't want detailed explanations. But patients need to understand their spasticity. Why? Having patients understand their spasticity is essential because spasticity will only reduce if executive control over the spastic muscles, by the brain, is restored. And executive control over muscles will only happen with repeated firing of the muscle in question, and repeated firing will only happen if the patient wants it to happen.

Spasticity II: The Explanation

So how can you explain spasticity to patients and their significant others in a way that is easy to understand and scientifically valid?

Outpatient Rehab Continues

The Pink House On The Corner
Sunday, September 14, 2014

We are still going to Outpatient Rehab twice a week, though now, I drive Bob there in the Bobmobile, which is so much easier, I must say, then pushing him there six blocks!

Therapy days are Mondays and Wednesdays, and Bob starts with an hour of Speech Therapy. The ST has really been challenging Bob and he really loves the process. They are now working on getting Bob to form complete spontaneous sentences, instead of his usual one or two words. She works with photos and pictures and a chart reading "Who" "Action" and "What", basically trying to get Bob to come up with sentences like "The guys (who) are playing (action) football (what)". She is also working a lot on "categories", having Bob say as many words in a category as he can think of, example: "animals".  Speech Therapy is fun, filled with lots of laughter, and Bob tries really hard to impress the ST.

Escaped Convict

Jackie PoffStroke Survivors Tattler
A man escapes from prison where he has been for 15 years. He breaks into a house to look for money and guns and finds a young couple in bed.

He orders the guy out of bed and ties him to a chair, while tying the girl to the bed he gets on top of her, kisses her neck, then gets up and goes into the bathroom.

While he's in there, the husband tells his wife: "Listen, this guy's an escaped convict, look at his clothes! He probably spent lots of time in jail and hasn't seen a woman in years. I saw how he kissed your neck. If he wants sex, don't resist, don't complain, do whatever he tells you. Satisfy him no matter how much he nauseates you. This guy is probably very dangerous. If he gets angry, he'll kill us. Be strong, honey. I love you."

To which his wife responds: "He wasn't kissing my neck. He was whispering in my ear. He told me he was gay, thought you were cute, and asked me if we had any Vaseline. I told him it was in the bathroom. Be strong honey. I love you too!"

SOMEBODY Please Teach Us to Turn

Rebecca Dutton
Home After a Stroke
September 14, 2014

The photo shows the turns I take to prepare a glass of iced tea and a bowl of cereal with a sliced banana for breakfast.  I put the banana on a paper plate to hold the banana still while I slice it.

The photo is so complicated that I omitted the turns I make to get out yogurt to take my pills.  I will not even try to diagram the turns it takes to prepare a hot meal.  Walking in straight lines in the PT gym and walking around the block at home did not prepare me for this.  After I fell and broke my forearm while turning I got scared.  I learned to take itsy bittsy baby steps until I complete a turn before taking normal size steps in the new forward direction.

Help is emerging.  Chen and associates trained stroke survivors on a straight or a turning-based treadmill (1).  See the parallel bars in the diagram on right. Subjects who trained on the turning-based treadmill were significantly better at turning 360 degrees in place and standing on a cushion with both eyes closed and arms crossed over their chest.  Turning away from a kitchen counter is done by stepping backwards as you turn so information from the inner ears about how far from vertical you have stepped back is crucial.  Paradoxically, the turning-based treadmill group also walked significantly faster in a straight line with more equal time weight bearing on each foot as they walked.

PTs and OTs need to incorporate these findings into clinical practice.  Learning to turn needs to begin with how to turn around after you shut the bathroom door and again after you flush the toilet.

  1. Chen, I, Yang, Y, Chan, R, Wang, R. Turning-based treadmill training improves turning performance and gait symmetry after stroke. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 2014;28 (1):45-55.

See the original article:

Hans Rosling and Ola Rosling:
         How Not to be Ignorant About the World

Published on Sep 11, 2014

How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.

Standard YouTube License @ TED

Development and Control of a Robotic Exoskeleton for Shoulder, Elbow and Forearm Movement Assistance

Sharon D. Anderson
Stroke Survivors Tattler

Applied Bionics and Biomechanics

Volume 9, Issue 3, 2012, Pages 275-292

Development and control of a robotic exoskeleton for shoulder, elbow and forearm movement assistance  (Article)

a  Electrical Engineering Department, GREPCI, (Room A-2612), École de Technologie Supérieure, 1100 rue Notre-dame Ouest, Montreal, H3C-1K3, Canada
b  Department of Mechanical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, QC, Canada
c  School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
d  Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation, Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital, Laval, QC, Canada
View additional affiliations


World health organization reports, annually more than 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke and cardiovascular disease, among which 85% of stroke patients incur acute arm impairment, and 40% of victims are chronically impaired or permanently disabled. This results a burden on the families, communities and to the country as well. Rehabilitation programs are the main way to promote functional recovery in these individuals. Since the number of such cases is constantly growing and that the duration of treatment is long, an intelligent robot could significantly contribute to the success of these programs. We therefore developed a new 5DoFs robotic exoskeleton named MARSE-5 (motion assistive robotic-exoskeleton for superior extremity) that supposed to be worn on the lateral side of upper arm to rehabilitate and ease the shoulder, elbow and forearm movements. This paper focused on the design, modeling, development and control of the proposed MARSE-5. To control the exoskeleton, a nonlinear sliding mode control (SMC) technique was employed. In experiments, trajectory tracking that corresponds to typical passive rehabilitation exercises was carried out. Experimental results reveal that the controller is able to maneuver the MARSE-5 efficiently to track the desired trajectories. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Tadpole Update - Spokes Fighting Strokes - Sep/20/2014

Anacortes, Washington to Key West, Florida
The Cast: Dan, Catherine, Bill, Dana, David

Date            | Start           ✔︎ = DONE
Jun 29 Stage  1 | Anacortes, WA; 462 miles ✔︎
Jul 16 Stage  2 | Sandpoint, ID; 342 miles ✔︎       
Aug 03 Stage  3 | Cutbank, MT; 544 miles ✔︎       
Aug 17 Stage  4 | Dickinson, ND; 413 miles ✔︎ 
Aug 30 Stage  5 | Pierre, SD; 485 miles ✔︎
Sep 13 Stage  6 | Council Bluffs, IA; 559 miles - So far: 361 miles (581 km) / 6 days.
Sep 28 Stage  7 | St. Louis, MO; 570 miles
Oct 12 Stage  8 | Tishomingo, MS; 454 miles
Oct 25 Stage  9 | Mobile, AL; 570 miles
Nov 08 Stage 10 | St. Augustine, FL; 533 miles
Nov 23 Stage 11 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL; 189 miles
Nov 29 End   12 | Key West, FL; End of Ride

Some details from Spokes Fighting Strokes and CrazyGuyonaBike:

DanTrikeMan - Spokes Fighting Strokes:
"Road to Margaritaville" 9/17/14

Smithville to Hardin MO 59.6miles 2845ft climbing, max speed 37.11mph 64-68degree we wake raining we had TV interview left camp late 10:45 we stop Lawson for lunch & interview with newspaper! Check out David click on journal my website 

Attitude is 90% of life, think positive! "Fins Up

David Babcock - CrazyGuyonaBike:
Day 82: Henrietta to Arrow Rock

Thursday Sep/18/2014, 64 miles (103 km) - Total so far: 2,647 miles (4,260 km)

Fog. That would be today's word. At least the word for this morning. It is cold and clammy outside, and very foggy. There is a light breeze blowing and when you stand outside for very long moisture condenses on you as if it were raining. We check the humidity level and it is 98% - can't get much higher than that I guess.

We try to get an earlier start today because it will be a pretty long day. Between the mileage and the predicted stops we will be out a while. Everyone is on on the road by 8:45. Not exactly crack-of-dawn but earlier than the last few days.

RMR: Rick Installs Solar Panels

Uploaded on Sep 28, 2011

Mike Holmes joins Rick in Oshawa, ON to install a rooftop solar panel system.

Standard YouTube License @ Rick Mercer Report

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday News

Contents of This Week:

         Toastmasters International for Stroke Survivors

Toastmasters International
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SSTattler: Just in Edmonton, Toastmasters has 71 clubs; most cities has Toastmaster clubs for stroke survivors / recovery - find it by looking Toastmaster International in any country.

Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International (TI) is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Through its thousands of member clubs, Toastmasters International offers a program of communication and leadership projects designed to help people learn the arts of speaking, listening, and thinking.

The organization grew out of a single club, Smedley Chapter One Club, which would become the first Toastmasters club. It was founded by Ralph C. Smedley on October 22, 1924, at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California, United States. Toastmasters International was incorporated under California law on December 19, 1932. Throughout its history, Toastmasters has served over four million people, and today the organization serves over 292,000 members in 122 countries, through its over 14,350 member clubs.


The Beginning of Toastmasters Clubs

         Toastmasters International for Stroke Survivors

SSTattler: Great Toastmasters - some has difficulties with various speech problems but they will delivered a very nice talk...

Toastmasters Inspirational Speech on Happiness

Published on Feb 19, 2014

My Boston Toastmasters speech recording on living life happy and surviving a stroke and moving forward with your life in spite of life's set backs and hard ships.

Standard YouTube License @ JP Amolat

Daily Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston

Canada Family Events
Scott Adams

Dilbert Office Events

Edmonton Journal
Malcolm Mayes
Politics Views from Canada

Garry Trudeau

Politics Views from USA


** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very, very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and

Eclectic Stuff

Definition: Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Fascinating Research About Learning Brains

Jeff Porter
Stroke of Faith
Thursday, September 04, 2014

We know so little about the human brain. And for a lot of reasons - including improving stroke recovery results - this knowledge is so important.

Interesting item about research - admittedly, just monkeys - in which
scientists are plugging into a learning brain:
“We looked into the brain and may have seen why it’s so hard to think outside the box,” said Aaron Batista, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a senior author of the study published in Nature, with Byron Yu, Ph.D., assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. 
The human brain contains nearly 86 billion neurons, which communicate through intricate networks of connections. Understanding how they work together during learning can be challenging. Dr. Batista and his colleagues combined two innovative technologies, brain-computer interfaces and machine learning, to study patterns of activity among neurons in monkey brains as the animals learned to use their thoughts to move a computer cursor. 
“This is a fundamental advance in understanding the neurobiological patterns that underlie the learning process,” said Theresa Cruz, Ph.D., a program official at the National Center for Medical Rehabilitations Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). “The findings may eventually lead to new treatments for stroke as well as other neurological disorders.”
As we all know, monkeys aren't people. However, this kind of research might well lead to advances. Worthy of watching.

See the original article:

Stop the &%$%^ Cap!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Peter G. Levine
Stronger After Stroke
Let's say you've had a stroke. Not much of a stretch, huh? Now imagine a federal algorithm that determines the amount of therapy you'll get before you even have a stroke. Can't be done you say? Every stroke is different and so would need a different amount of therapy.

You'd think the amount of therapy you'd get would be based on what the clinicians sitting in front of you think you need. But yeah, no. That's not the way its done.

For stroke survivors the amount of rehabilitation available has progressively fallen as subacute stroke inpatient stays have dropped to an average of less than 16 days and as Medicare has capped the number of outpatient therapy sessions to 15/year.

And what really confuses me is why the Federal guidelines are not in concert with what the research says!

So, if you're with me on this, click the red image above and let 'er rip.

PS, the congressman who had a stroke, how much therapy did he get given the insurance provided congress? "...nearly a year of intense, grueling physical and occupational therapy."

See the original article:

Kids' Wisdom

Jackie Poff
Stroke Survivors Tattler
Several years ago, I returned home from a trip just when a storm hit, with crashing thunder and severe lightning.  As I came into my bedroom about 2 a.m., I found my two children in bed with my wife, Karey, apparently scared by the loud storm.  I resigned myself to sleep in the guest bedroom that night.

 The next day, I talked to the children and explained that it was O.K. to sleep with Mom when the storm was bad, but when I was expected home, please don't sleep with Mom that night. They said OK.

After my next trip  several weeks later, Karey and the children picked me up in the terminal at  the appointed time.  Since the plane was late, everyone had come into the terminal to wait for my plane's arrival, along with hundreds of other folks waiting for their arriving  passengers.

As I entered the waiting area, my son saw me, and came  running shouting, "Hi, Dad! I've got some good  news!"

As I waved back, I said loudly, "What's the good  news?"

Alex shouted, "Nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this time!"

The airport became very  quiet, as everyone in the waiting area looked at Alex, then turned to me, and then searched the rest of the area to see if they could figure out exactly who his Mom was.

Lake Michigan Beach Walking

Dean Reinke
Deans’ Stroke Musing
Sunday, September 7, 2014

This was both great and depressing. Great because in the really loose sand I can now walk barefoot without turning my ankle. We did walk 1/2 mile down the beach on packed sand and then watched the waves from beach chairs for an extended period. Depressing because looking at the 2-3 foot waves rolling in and I can't get in my sea kayak and paddle thru them to the calmer waters further out. It was an 1.5 hour drive to get to a friends house  in Saugatuck, after the beach we visited art galleries and drank wine.

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What Have You Done for the 1st Time Since Your #stroke? @fightingstrokes

Kate Allatt
Stroke Recovery Tips
September 6, 2014

Since your stroke what was the first time you:

  • Ate a meal with both a knife and fork?
  • Wiped your own ass?
  • Got into a car?
  • Brushed your hair or teeth yourself?
  • Tied you shoelaces?
  • Tied your hair in a ponytail?
  • Had sex?
  • Walked unaided?
  • Applied mascara or plucked your eyebrows yourself?
  • Slept throughout the night?
  • Really appreciated the love, support and care of your proactive loved-ones?
  • Really understood what actually happened to you?
  • Really understood the meaning of true friendship?
  • Drove a car again?
  • Felt in control again as a parent?
  • Returned to paid employment?
  • Accepted the stroke happened to you?
  • Found ways to cope with the ignorance of most non-stroke survivors?

So what would you add to this list?

Stroke affects so many things.

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The Importance of Being Encouraging

Barb Polan
Barb’s Recovery
28th July / 2014

Our son recently turned 30, but we weren’t able to celebrate it properly until yesterday, when his future in-laws threw a joint birthday party for him and his fiancée (who will turn 30 in a couple of days).

The birthday and the celebration have made me reminisce about the circumstances of his birth. Tom and I were 27 and 26, respectively, when Brian was born; no wonder we look so young in his baby pictures.

At the time, I was pretty small, Brian was on the big side (8 lbs, 10 oz), and he’s my first-born, so labor was a bear. I am not at my most charming when scared and in pain. Tom, on the other hand, calmly held my hand and encouraged me to breathe as taught in our natural-child-birth class. It irked me, given that Tom hadn’t bothered to learn when to use which breathing pattern, and, in the middle of labor, I didn’t remember, although I HAD bothered to learn when to use them.

So, there’s the back-story – me in pain, and irked. AND there were no clean bedpans when I had to pee, but the nurses wouldn’t let me out of bed because my water had broken before getting to the hospital; the nurses told me to wet the bed and then they rolled me back and forth on the bed so that they could replace the sheets under me.

Obviously, I was in a foul mood.