Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturdays News - Health at Google and T.E.D. Talks

Health at Google and T.E.D. Talks

David Agus (born January 29, 1965) is an American physician and a co-founder of Navigenics, a personal genetic testing company, and, the largest online cancer resource and virtual community and Applied Proteomics. He is a Professor of Medicine and Engineering at the University of Southern California.
See as well David Agus From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and See David Agus From YouTube.

Eric J. Topol, M.D. is an American cardiologist, geneticist, and researcher. Much of Topol's career was spent at the Cleveland Clinic, where he served as chairman of cardiovascular medicine and founded the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Topol was one of the first researchers to question the cardiovascular safety of rofecoxib (Vioxx), culminating in the drug's ultimate withdrawal from the market. Topol's advocacy on the subject led to what the New York Times described as an "unusually public dispute" with the Cleveland Clinic's leadership over ties between the academic institution and the pharmaceutical industry, ultimately leading to Topol's departure from the Clinic after his academic position was abolished. Topol currently serves as Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California.
See as well Eric Topol From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and See Eric Topol From YouTube.

Dr. David Agus with Connie Chung - 4 Things You Can Do Right Now To Prolong Your Life

(SSTattler: This lecture only a synopsis but it is good = 10 minutes).

Dr. David Agus talks Connie Chung on four things you can do to prolong your life -- take baby aspirin, a statin (like Lipitor), get your flu shot and wear better shoes.

92YU unites the best minds from universities and organizations all over the world and welcomes them to 92Y! Lecturers from the Ivy League and beyond take on the most extraordinary ideas, people and creations of our time.

Every session includes not just a lecture, but a chance for each class to share ideas and perspectives. Join us this fall to enjoy the best of the university experience ... without the exams!
See all 92YU Events.

Dr. David Agus - The End of Illness

(SSTattler: This a long lecture at Health at Google but worth it. It takes about 1 hour).

Can we live robustly until our last breath? Do we have to suffer from debilitating conditions and sickness? How can we add years to our lives? New York Times best-selling author and doctor, Agus will present a tour of the human body, ultimately showing us how a new perspective on our individual health will allow each of us to achieve a long, healthy life.

David Agus: A New Strategy in the War Against Cancer Traditionally, David Agus explains, cancer treatments have had a short-sighted focus on the offending individual cells. He suggests a new, cross-disciplinary approach, using atypical drugs, computer modeling and protein analysis to treat and analyze the whole body.

Eric Topol - The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care

Dr. Eric Topol visits Google to talk about his book: The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care
"Until very recently, if you were to ask most doctors, they would tell you there were only two kinds of medicine: the quack kind, and the evidence-based kind. The former is baseless, and the latter based on the best information human effort could buy, with carefully controlled double-blind trials, hundreds of patients, and clear indicators of success.
"Well, Eric Topol isn't most doctors, and he suggests you entertain the notion of a third kind of medicine, one that will make the evidence-based state-of-the-art stuff look scarcely better than an alchemist trying to animate a homunculus in a jar. It turns out plenty of new medicines—although tested with what seem like large trials—actually end up revealing most of their problems only once they get out in the real world, with millions of people with all kinds of conditions mixing them with everything in the pharmacopeia. The unexpected interactions of drugs, patients, and diseases can be devastating. And the clear indicators of success often turn out to be minimal, often as small as one fewer person dying out of a hundred (or even a thousand), and often at exorbitant cost. How can we avoid these dangerous interactions and side-effects? How can we predict which person out of a hundred will be helped by a new drug, and which fatally harmed? And how can we avoid having to need costly drugs in the first place?
"It sure isn't by doing another 400-person trial. As Topol argues in The Creative Destruction of Medicine, it's by bringing the era of big data to the clinic, laboratory, and hospital, with wearable sensors, smartphone apps, and whole-genome scans providing the raw materials for a revolution. Combining all the data those tools can provide will give us a complete and continuously updated picture of every patient, changing everything from the treatment of disease, to the prolonging of health, to the development of new treatments. As revolutionary as the past twenty years in personal technology and medicine have been—remember phones the sizes of bricks that only made calls, or when the most advanced "genotyping" we could do involved discerning blood types and Rh-factors?—Topol makes it clear that we haven't seen a thing yet. With an optimism matched only by a realism gained through 25 years in a tough job, Topol proves the ideal guide to the medicine of the future—medicine he himself is deeply involved in creating."

Among the Innovations Covered:

At home brain-monitors helping us improve our sleep.  Sensors to track all vital signs, catching everything from high blood pressure to low blood sugar to heart arrhythmia without invasive measurements to inconvenient and nerve-wracking—or even dangerous—hospital stays (which kill some 100,000 every year, due to infections caught there, or patients getting someone else's medicine). Improved imaging techniques and the latest in printing technology are beginning to enable us to print new organs, rather than looking for donors. Genetics can reveal who might be helped by a drug, unaffected by it, or even killed by it, helping avoid problems as were seen with Vioxx.

Eric Topol at TEDMED 2009

Eric Topol talks about digital medical wireless devices and how they will shape the future of medicine.

Saturdays Comics - Nov/24/2012

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston / 2007-05-19
"As if he'd never had a stroke at all."

Scott Adams / 2012-11-20
"Persistence is the key to success. The other..."

Jim Davis / 2012-11-20
"It's not healthy to feed pets to people food!"
Delainey & Rasmussen / 2012-11-19
" 'Find My Employees' it's one of our apps!"
For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well  the author Lynn Johnston).
** 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 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
*** Changed from "Pickles" to "Betty" -- "Betty" is a excellent cartoon and Gary Delainey & Gerry Rasmussen are authors/artists/cartoon-strips and they live in Edmonton.

Saturday - Eclectic Stuff & Articles - Nov/24/2012

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

Eclectic: Regina - Enjoying the Outside During Winter

Regina - SSTattler

By Regina Price

Sometimes during the winter, people who have had strokes or similar problems don’t think they could go out during the winter. On sunny, cheerful days, it would be helpful to our souls and attitude to sit and enjoy the weather from being outside. Sometimes, people who are mobile would really enjoy walking through a park or wilderness centre to observe some of the birds and rabbits and take in the fresh air and sunshine.

I am glad that I am able to be outside on sunny, warm days. I am particularly grateful that I can go cross-country skiing because I also can get my heart beating and it is good for my body as well as my outlook about my life. This year is phenomena l-- because for me, I had never thought that I could go cross-country skiing during the months before Christmas — usually it is too cold and not sunny enough. So far, I went out for two ski treks and, hopefully, more during November and December.

When we watch the news, we might be thinking the world is close to ending because of rioting and violence and killing. It might be wrecking our sleeps. Going out during warm, sunny days changes our outlook and makes us realize that we need to enjoy the minute (and hour) of our lives. I never thought about this before my aneurysm rupture and now I am very glad that I am “about being in the moment” and really enjoy every single day.

If you can’t be outside -- think about outside and how it feels and how you enjoy the sounds and feel the warm of the sun on your face. Think about the woods, trees, frozen lakes or creeks, birds chirping and squirrels clicking, crisp snow and how your feet feel walking through it. Think about remembering going walking or skiing or skating outside (remember when you were a kid) because thinking about this would make you feel better and cheerful. Sometimes it is more important to think about it than it is about doing it — because it heals our body and mind.

If you are thinking about it sometimes our body exercises and that makes us stronger. Sometimes, we can think our way into a newer life — a life you would enjoy immensely. Enjoy your new life!

Article: Healthbeat – Why is it that after a stroke, some patients recover faster and better than others?

Written by: Graham Strong on November 22, 2012 From

Dr. Jane Lawrence-Dewar of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI) will be investigating how the brain re-maps itself after a stroke. This baseline research will help future scientists develop better ways of helping stroke patients recover.

THUNDER BAY – Health News – Why is it that after a stroke, some patients recover faster and better than others? And are there ways we can help that process?

Those are two of the questions that Dr. Jane Lawrence-Dewar of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI) will be investigating shortly. At first, her research will concentrate on hand coordination, how that coordination is affected by stroke, and how it recovers or adapts after stroke.

“We know that following a stroke injury, many patients can recover some hand function, but that amount is always variable,” Dr. Lawrence-Dewar said. “We really just don’t know what is happening in the brain in order to make that happen.”
Generally speaking, the brain is often able to “re-map” itself after an injury, creating new pathways around the injured area. But this happens differently in each patient.

“I’m interested in what changes in the patterns of brain activity in order to facilitate that recovery.”

Dr. Lawrence-Dewar uses a method called functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging or fMRI. This method detects brain activity based on changes in blood flow and blood oxygenation. It is a non-invasive technique that doesn’t require a contrast or radiation.

The study itself will measure the brain activity of a stroke patient while they are simply lying down inside the MRI. Then, the patient will be asked to do some sort of task, at which point certain areas of the brain will light up.

“What I aim to do is try to piece together the differences in the patterns laid out when people recover well versus when they aren’t as well,” she said. “If we can learn what areas of the brain we need to get active, perhaps we can use that knowledge in order to make our rehab methods more effective or develop new tools that can better target that re-mapping.”

What makes the research even more complex is that every stroke patient will be different, both in injury and recovery.

“This is one of the challenges – and one of the arguments for having techniques that enable personalized medicine,” Dr. Lawrence-Dewar said .....

Read the full article Healthbeat – Why is it that after a stroke... in

Eclectic: Jackie - International Bike Design Competition

University of Alberta Industrial Design students Justin Chan, Andrew Lesniak, Mina Lee, and Paul Czarnietzki won the International Bike Design Competition with the Triciclo recumbent trike. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Jackie - SSTattler
A University of Alberta team is gearing up for a three-wheeling adventure.

Industrial design students Paul Czarnietzki, Andrew Lesniak, Justin Chan and Mina Lee of Team Triciclo have designed a recumbent tricycle that will be shown off at the Taipei International Cycle Show in Taiwan next spring.

The Gran Turismo trike was designed for a school project, and wound up winning the International Bike Design Competition over 590 other submissions from 45 countries.

“When we originally started this it was just a school project, and now all of a sudden we get to travel the world,” said Czarnietzki. “It’s pretty crazy.”

The bike, which currently exists only as a computer rendering, is a stylish three-wheel vehicle designed for riding comfort and safety, with a dash of style and a built-in exoskeleton to protect riders from minor-impact collisions. It also features cargo space and pedal-powered LED headlights.

Czarnietzki, who has worked as a mechanic at United Cycle for five years, said the suave design was inspired by Italian sports cars.

“The idea originally was to make this really functional, but boring and silly looking thing into something cool and racy,” he said. “So we took Ferrari, Lamborghini, that sort of style and innovation, and tried to put it into our design.”

The students will travel to Taipei this week for a technical workshop with engineers and industry experts, before returning for the design show in March. When they first got the news, it was bittersweet — the prize did not cover the cost of plane tickets.

That’s when Czarnietzki turned to his employer for help. United Cycle owner Jason Bots took him up on his request and decided he would cover the trip.

“We’re ecstatic for his participation in our project,” Czarnietzki said.

The team hopes its exposure will pique the interest of a company that might want to manufacture a prototype. If all goes well, Czarnietzki hopes the project leads to a career in bike design.

“I would love to design bikes for a living. That would be something else,” he said.

Article: Dean - Do Doctors Exhibit Plasticity?

Dean's Stroke Musing
This is the title of one of the chapters in The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution (Amazon) will create better health care by  Eric Topol. A couple of quotes...

Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet:
Medical education is fundamentally conservative, indoctrinating  new generations into the failed ways of the old. For too long we have hugged the shore of safe and acceptable tradition.
Jay Parkinson, Fast company:
We're using 3,000 year old tools to deliver health care in the richest country on the planet.
Dr. Topol states:
Of all the professions represented on the planet, perhaps none is more resistant to change than physicians. If there were ever a group defined by lacking plasticity, it would first apply to doctors.
My doctor fell into this non-plastic group, no knowledge of plasticity, Saebo or any idea how to communicate. In the 1960s, Paul Bach-y-Rita proved neuroplasticity.  Some fascinating ideas in the book on continuous monitoring - for us that could be blood pressure, warfarin/INR levels. Read it and bring those ideas to your researchers.

See the original article  Do Doctors Exhibit Plasticity? in Dean's Stroke Musing.

Article: Dean - Circulating Endothelial-Cell Test May Predict Plaque Ruptures

Dean's Stroke Musing
This was also news in my local paper today. I don't see why the same test couldn't be used to predict strokes from ruptured plaque. Of course I don't see what they could do to prevent the stroke. Maybe hypothermia in advance, blast you with warfarin. See the original article Circulating Endothelial-Cell Test May Predict Plaque Ruptures in  -- Dean's Stroke Musing.

Physicians may soon be able to determine which patients with chest pain are on the brink of an acute MI with a blood test that measures circulating endothelial cells (CEC), a study by researchers at the Scripps Translational Science Institute shows

"We have used a very robust technology to quickly and accurately identify circulating endothelial cells in a STEMI [ST-segment elevation MI] population as compared with healthy controls. [This is a] significant advance beyond the previous trials, in that we used rapid technology to do this," Dr Paddy Barrett (Scripps Translational Science Institute, La Jolla, CA) told heartwire. "[The study results] show that, at a morphological level, these cells are grossly different between the MI group and the healthy control group, as they display vastly different morphological characteristics."

The project at Scripps was launched and led by senior author Dr Eric Topol; Barrett has now taken over the project, trying to apply this knowledge into a point-of-care test for acute MI ......

See the full article Circulating Endothelial-Cell Test May Predict Plaque Ruptures
                          in Dean's Stroke Musing.

Eclectic: Jackie - These really work!!

Jackie - SSTattler
I checked this out on the net!. 
Amazing, simple home remedies:

  1. Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold the vegetables while you chop.
  2. Avoid arguments with the females about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.
  3. For high blood pressure sufferers ~ simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure on your veins.  Remember to use a timer.
  4. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
  5. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you'll be afraid to cough.
  6. You need only two tools in life - wd-40 and duct tape.  If it doesn't move and should, use the wd-40.  If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.  
  7. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem. 

Thought for the day:
Some people are like slinkies - not really good for anything but they bring a smile to your face when they're pushed down the stairs.

Some additional advice:
Never, under any circumstances, take a laxative and sleeping pills on the same night.

Eclectic: Diane - Progress at Rehab! But...

Diane - The Pink House OTC
Don't you just hate that word: "but..."?

When Bob started Outpatient Rehab back in August, he couldn't stand at the parallel bars without two therapists holding him up in a big bear hug, like this

Bob at the parallel bars in August

Plus, he could not hold his head up at all and was leaning horribly to the left.

First time with
the hemi-walker.

Since then, he has gradually progressed to working with one single therapist.

The first time up on the hemi-walker, he was literally falling over backward and the therapist was holding him up like this:

This past week, Bob had another 4 week evaluation. At that time, he was able to walk 160 feet at the parallel bars unassisted and without hardly leaning to the left at all. And he stood with the hemi-walker for a total of 1 minute and 30 seconds unassisted. And the therapist measured his head drop which has improved dramatically by several degrees and he is now able to hold his head up for the count of 15 in a perfectly "neutral" position unassisted ....

See the full article Progress at Rehab! But... in The Pink House On The Corner.

Article: SSTattler - The End of Illness by David Agus.

John - SSTattler

The End of Illness?

A ‘rock star’ doctor says throw away the vitamins, load up on baby aspirin, and keep moving.

From MACLEANS by Brian Bethune on Monday, January 23, 2012

Take statins if you’re over 50, and baby Aspirin, too. Drop the vitamin supplements like they were a lit cigarette. Junk the juicer. If the vegetables at the supermarket aren’t today-fresh, opt for fresh frozen. Wear sensible shoes. Eat lunch and go to bed at the same time every day. Get your flu shot. Move around a lot, even when you aren’t exercising. Digitize your medical records, family history and genetic profile, and store this information on a USB stick. Carry it with you always. Share it, anonymously, with the world.

Think of yourself as a system: cancer is not something the body gets and health is not something it has—both are states, dynamic processes really, that the body undergoes. And your system is not the same as anyone else’s: the daily glass of red wine that does wonders for your friend may be killing you. Take note of the specific, unchanging details of your system. Is your ring finger longer than your index finger? That ups the risk of prostate cancer for a man, and of osteoarthritis for a woman. (No one knows quite why, but the marker is well-established.) Keep an eye on your more changeable fine points. Check your nails: yellowish hue bad (go for a diabetes check); white crescent at the base good (iron levels are sufficient). Check your ankles: indentation marks from your socks or loss of hair could mean circulatory problems and increased risk of blood clot.

Do all these things, which essentially add up to two commandments—cut down on daily sources of life-threatening inflammation and take an active part in your own health care—and you stand a very good chance of living to see the end of illness.

So argues Dr. David Agus in The End of Illness, a passionate and provocative assault on the rut in which he believes modern medicine is stuck, especially his own speciality, oncology. It’s been almost a century since deadly infectious disease was pushed into the background of the West’s mortality tables. Yet while deaths from the leading chronic killer, heart disease, have declined by 60 per cent in the developed world since 1950, the cancer death rate has barely budged ......

See the full article The End of Illness? in   MACLEANS.CA 

Eclectic: SSTattler - Edmonton Youth Orchestra in Concert

John - SSTattler
SUNDAY, NOV 25, 2012, 2 – 4PM

Location:    Winspear Centre for the Arts
             4 Sir Winston Churchill Square
City/Town:   Edmonton
Event Venue: Winspear Centre
Description: Edmonton Youth Orchestra
Category:    Concerts / Performances
Cost:        Adults $15 and Seniors/Students $10
             (plus service fee)

Tickets:     TIX on the Square,
             or phone: 1.877.888.1757


  • Fireworks Music by Handel
  • St. Paul Suite by Holst
  • Fantasia on Greensleeves by Vaughan Williams 
  • From “London Symphony” no.104 by Haydn
  • Symphony no. 2 “London” by Vaughan Williams
The Edmonton Youth Orchestra, founded in 1952, is an integral part of Edmonton’s Cultural life. The Edmonton Youth Orchestra Association supports both the nationally renowned Edmonton Senior Orchestra, and the Edmonton Intermediate Orchestra. The EYO program is widely regarded as one of the finest youth orchestra programs in Canada. EYO provides the highest possible standard of orchestral training and experience to over 150 young musicians from Edmonton and Northern Alberta from age 11 to 24. Opportunities are provided for young musicians to develop their orchestral skills, to increase their knowledge and appreciation of music, and to enrich the cultural life of the community through concerts and benefit performances.

Michael Massey has been conductor of the EYO since 1977. He is Pianist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and is widely respected as a conductor, soloist, teacher and accompanist. In 2002, for his contribution to the cultural life of Edmonton, Mr Massey was inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame, as an Artist Builder, and also received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

The EYO program includes regular weekly rehearsals from September through May, and a concerto competition jointly sponsored by the EYO and the Alberta Registered Music Teachers” Association. Players for both orchestras are selected by competitive auditions held each May.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturdays News - Depression

Stroke Recovery and Post-Stroke Depression 

from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

Depression is a commonly reported consequence of stroke and is seen in anywhere from 25-50% of patients. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR) defines post-stroke depression as “a mood disorder due to a general medical condition (i.e. stroke) that is judged to be due to the direct physiological effects of [that] condition.” Post-stroke depression may involve depressed mood and decreased interest and pleasure that impairs social and occupational functioning, but does not necessarily need to meet the full criteria of a major depressive disorder.

The first studies to look for an association between specific stroke lesions and the occurrence of depression reported a correlation between left frontal lesions and major depression. Damage to the frontal noradrenergic, dopaminergic, and serotonergic projections were thought to cause a depletion of catecholamines that lead to depression. However, more recent studies have demonstrated that the anatomic aspects of a lesion do not necessarily correlate with the occurrence of depression. Other psychological factors can lead to the development of depression including personal and social losses related to the physical disabilities often caused by a stroke.

The incidence of post-stroke depression peaks at 3–6 months and usually resolves within 1–2 years after the stroke, although a minority of patients can go on to develop chronic depression. The diagnosis of post-stroke depression is complicated by other consequences of stroke such as fatigue and psychomotor retardation – which do not necessarily indicate the presence of depression. Loss of interest in activities and relationships should prompt an evaluation for depression.

Chemical structure of the tricyclic antidepressant
amitriptyline. Notice its three rings.

Traditionally, tricyclic antidepressants  (TCAs), such as nortriptyline, have been used in the treatment of post-stroke depression. More recently, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine and citalopram, have become the pharmacologic therapy of choice due to the lower incidence of side effects. Also, psychologic treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and family therapy are reported to be useful adjuncts to treatment.

Overall, the development of post-stroke depression can play a significant role in a patient’s recovery from a stroke. For instance, the severity of post-stroke depression has been associated with severity of impairment in activities of daily living (ADLs). By effectively treating depression, patients experience a greater recovery of basic ADLs such as dressing, eating and ambulating, as well as instrumental ADLs, such as the ability to take care of financial and household matters. In essence, recognition and treatment of post-stroke depression leads to greater functional ability for the patient over time.

See the full article Stroke Recovery and Post-Stroke Depression from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

Depression in Stroke Survivors

Following a stroke, many people are understandably depressed. Here's help for dealing with this emotional time.

Tackling Depression After Stroke

Saturdays Comics - Nov/17/2012

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston / 2007-05-17
"Boxcar. Nothing broken. Torquing nuts."

Scott Adams / 2012-11-16
"I'm so tired today. SPLOOSH!"

Jim Davis / 2012-11-17
"Usually dogs look ridiculous in sweater."
Delainey & Rasmussen / 2012-11-17
"I've programmed the dishwasher ...."
For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well  the author Lynn Johnston).
** 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 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
*** Changed from "Pickles" to "Betty" -- "Betty" is a excellent cartoon and Gary Delainey & Gerry Rasmussen are authors/artists/cartoon-strips and they live in Edmonton.

Saturday - Eclectic Stuff & Articles - Nov/17/2012

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

Eclectic: SSTattler - Christmas onTheSquare Holiday LightUp

Christmas on the Square Holiday Light Up
SATURDAY, NOV 17, 2012, 4 – 6:30PM

John - SSTattler
Location:       Churchill Square
City / Town:    Edmonton
Event Venue:    Downtown
Description:    Christmas on the Square
Event Category: Family / Children, Free

Come early to take part in the family fun and entertainment, including music, dancers, choirs, stilt-walkers, mascots, and free face-painting and balloon animals. Treat yourself to mini-donuts, hot chocolate and other yummy treats from the on-site food vendors. Spread the holiday cheer by bringing a donation for the Edmonton Food Bank.

At 6pm join Santa in the countdown to the lighting of the giant Christmas Tree in Sir Winston Churchill Square, followed by an amazing fireworks show!s !!

Article: Sharon - What Happens if I Can’t Drive?

Sharon - SSTattler
You know that Dr. Hans Selye, the person who pioneered modern knowledge of stress hired a driver because driving was stressful and he could get all kinds of work done while caught in traffic.  He let the driver worrying about time and traffic jams -- he just carried on with his work, his reading, or he could even daydream. There is a rumour that he ate garlic before getting on a plane so people wouldn’t talk to him as well.

Driving does provide convenience and many people miss the spontaneity of not being able to jump in the car and go somewhere for a break.

However, to play with the alternatives to driving as Hans Selye did— there are many reasons not to drive and other ways to get around or get the things you want or need.

What About a Taxi?

Often I hear from people that taxis are expensive—but people don’t even think about the cost of maintaining a car, buying the insurance, paying for parking, and paying for the gas. Here in Edmonton, parking downtown to go shopping or to the theatre may cost more than $10 for a couple of hours. Maybe taxis can fulfil that need for spontaneity or a late night when the buses aren’t running.

What About Living Local and Saving the Environment?  Walking, a Scooter, or Electric Wheelchair?

Eclectic: Diane - Broken Ribs, A Cursed House, Blood Tests & Falling Over Backward

Diane - The Pink House OTC
I tell you, this has been some crazy week and I haven't had time to blog, let alone think straight.

My parents, along with my aunt and uncle, are in town for their annual visit -- which is an event I do look so forward to -- but this year it has been downright stressful.

Immediately after their arrival, my father tripped and fell in the motel parking lot. An ambulance was called, but my dad felt "fine" and they checked him over and left. But the next day, he was not feeling so fine and finally, two days later, he went to the emergency ward and it was discovered he broken a rib.

Then my aunt has decided she will not come to our house because she believes it is cursed. I kid you not.

This rather bizarre idea stems from an incident last year when my aunt was standing on our front porch and this 19 year old kid ......

See the full article Broken Ribs, A Cursed House, Blood Tests & Falling Over Backward
                          in The Pink House On The Corner.

Eclectic: Jackie - Canadian Speed Control !

Jackie - SSTattler
Speed control being used in Canada. How's this for effective speed  control?

I  don't know about you, but his would certainly slow me  down!

People slow down and actually try to "straddle" the hole.

This  is an actual speed control. Device  that is currently in use. It  is MUCH cheaper than speed cameras, radar guns, police officers, etc.

Article: Dean - Many Stroke Patients Treated for Depression Without Diagnosis

Dean's Stroke Musing
But is that a bad thing? See 1. Poststroke Depression (Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin), for the positive effects of antidepressants  in helping stroke recovery. They may inadvertently be helping recovery and depression without knowing about it.

Rant On - Seems to be the common theme in stroke rehab, we don't know if this helps but try it anyway. Evidence based therapy could be helpful but then we may not get any therapy at all since there is not a defined way to bring back dead brain functions. Oh joy to the insurance companies, No EBM, no therapy, more profits. We're screwed. Be careful what you wish for. Rant Off.

According to new Canadian research, many stroke patients are being prescribed antidepressants without a proper diagnosis, suggesting that some patients are being over-treated while others are getting overlooked.
“A lot of people are being treated for depression, but we don’t know if they’re the right ones,” said lead researcher Katherine Salter of Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario.  
“This study found that 40 percent of stroke patients were treated for depression, but most were not screened or diagnosed. Who are we treating?”
Depression is the most common mental health condition after a stroke, affecting more than a one-fourth of all stroke patients. Depression may get in the way of a patient’s ability to participate in post-stroke therapy and is linked to slower rehabilitation and a longer stay in the hospital.

For the study, researchers looked at the medical charts of 294 patients discharged from five in-patient rehabilitation programs over a six-month period. Only three of 294 patients given an antidepressant were formally screened, assessed and diagnosed with depression first .....

See the full article Many Stroke Patients Treated for Depression Without Diagnosis 
                          in Dean's Stroke Musing.

Eclectic: Monty - Sleeping Dogs Compilation !

Monty - SSTattler
Sleeping Dogs Compilation You know the phrase "let sleeping dogs lie?" Well, I quite agree, but would also add — "and be sure to grab your camera."

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Article: Mark - Resiliency

Mark - The Teaching of Talking


Isn't resiliency a great word?

It means the power or ability to return to the original form, or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched. Sounds like an injury, or a stroke? Resiliency is also the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, or adversity.

I am amazed at the capacity and resiliency of today's caregivers who provide love and care to their loved ones who have suffered from head injuries or strokes. Likewise, parents of children who have not been developing the ability to speak, have shown an uncanny ability to rise to the occasion and do whatever it takes to help their loved one speak better.

I would like to tell you the story of Diane, who has a husband who suffered from a stroke and was in such a tizzy regarding his speech diagnosis and how to go about helping her husband speak. She was told by many speech therapists that her husband's speech was "functional", and informed he would be discharged. Diane knew there were answers and ways to help her husband speak again. I read her blog last week and she announced to thousands of people who read her blog, that she actually had the first conversation with her husband since his stroke! She states, like other caregivers who are learning how to stimulate language that the language stimulation methods used are working and are now yielding spontaneous speech  and other speaking surprises each and every day. Her husband Bob is coming up with more and more independent speech that is self generated. (Speech that comes out freely without cues).

And then there is Rhonda whose husband has a severe dysarthria, .....

See the full article Resiliency (July/2012)
                          in The Teaching of Talking.

Eclectic: Jackie - Surprise ...

Jackie - SSTattler
A married couple went to the hospital to have their baby delivered.

Upon their arrival, the doctor said that the hospital was testing an amazing new high-tech machine that would transfer a portion of the mother's labor pain to the baby's father. He asked if they were interested. Both said they were very much in favour of it.

The doctor set the pain transfer to 10% for starters, explaining that even 10% was probably more pain than the father had ever experienced before. But as the labor progressed, the husband felt fine and asked the doctor to go ahead and kick it up a notch.

The doctor then adjusted the machine to 20% pain transfer. The husband was still feeling fine. The doctor then checked the husband's blood pressure and was amazed at how well he was doing.

At this point they decided to try for 50%. The husband continued to feel quite well.

Since the pain transfer was obviously helping the wife considerably, the husband encouraged the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him.

The wife delivered a healthy baby with virtually no pain and the husband had experienced none. She and her husband were ecstatic.

When they got home they found the mailman dead on the porch.

Article: Stroke Engine - November 2012

Please read the Newsletter of Stroke Engine (Nov/2012 from Montreal)

Article: SSTattler - Google Inside Search - All Tips & Tricks

Google Inside Search - All Tips & Tricks

For a basic search for only SSTattler you will try the simple search at the very top left side. Mostly, it will give you the correct result (but be careful e.g. "cathy" is not the same word is "cathy's" etc).

For more complex query use the Google engine at Google.  First watch the YouTube Optimizing Your Google Search (below) by Taubman Health Science Library, University of Michigan.  You will appreciate the powerful search engine and very simple commands and operators to invoke it.

Then look at  Google Inside Search or look at the list of menu at the bottom of this article - Menu of Commands in Google.  A couple of sample in Google are:
  1. cathy jenkins                                           -- About 5,740,000 results (0.40 seconds) 
  2. cathy jenkins   -- 8 results (0.39 seconds)  i.e. in SSTattler
I think your results are better for you is #2 (above) most times!

This revised and updated video demonstrates how to effectively search for health related information using Google. Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Details and exceptions ( Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Menu of Commands in Google:

(SSTattler: I mark "**" useful commands for me -- every person has a little different slant).