F.D.A. Is Said to Delay Decision on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Drug

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The Food and Drug Administration has put off making what is bound to be a controversial decision on whether to approve what could become the first drug cleared to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the company developing the drug said on Wednesday.

The agency was supposed to decide on the drug, eteplirsen, by Thursday, a nonmandatory deadline under a federal law aimed at speeding up drug reviews. However, the drug’s developer, Sarepta Therapeutics, said in a news release Wednesday morning that it had been informed that the F.D.A. would miss the goal and would “strive to complete their work in as timely a manner as possible.”

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Sarepta’s stock price rose more than 20 percent in premarket trading, as investors interpreted the delay as a hint that the drug might be approved. It is also possible, however, that the agency is procrastinating on making what would be an unpopular decision to reject the drug.

An F.D.A. spokeswoman said the agency was prohibited by law from commenting on pending applications because the information was considered proprietary to the applicant.

The agency is under heavy pressure to approve the drug from parents of boys with muscular dystrophy, who say the drug has allowed some children to continue to walk years after they would otherwise have been confined to wheelchairs. Members of Congress have also been urging the F.D.A. to be flexible. The situation is an example of the growing influence of patients over the agency’s decisions.

But the agency’s own reviewers concluded that Sarepta had not demonstrated that the drug worked. It had tested eteplirsen on only 12 boys and without an adequate control group for comparison, the reviewers said.

Last month, after an emotional daylong meeting in which parents, doctors and boys with the disease pleaded for the drug to be approved, a committee of outside advisers to the F.D.A. voted that the drug did not meet the standards for approval. However, one vote was very close.

The F.D.A. usually follows the advice of advisory committees but it is not unheard-of for it to go against the advice.

Categories: Health Updates

4 Possible Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Highlights

  1. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, neurological disease that can affect the central nervous system (CNS).
  2. The exact cause of MS is unknown. However, scientists believe that four factors may play a role in development of the disease.
  3. Immunologic, genetic, environmental, and viral causes are all considered to play a factor in MS.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological disease that can affect the central nervous system (CNS). Millions of nerve cells in the brain send signals throughout the body to control movement, sensation, memory, cognition, and speech. Every time you take a step, blink, or move your arm, your CNS is at work.

Nerve cells communicate by sending electrical signals via nerve fibers. A layer called the myelin sheath covers and protects these fibers. It ensures that each nerve cell properly reaches its intended target.

Immune cells mistakenly attack and damage the myelin sheath in people with MS. This damage results in the disruption of nerve signals.

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Part 2 of 10

What Causes MS?

Damaged nerve signals can cause debilitating symptoms, including:

  • walking and coordination problems
  • muscle weakness
  • fatigue
  • vision problems

MS affects everyone differently. The severity of the disease and the types of symptoms vary from person to person. The exact cause of MS is unknown. However, scientists believe that four factors may play a role in the development of the disease.

Part 3 of 10

Cause 1: Immunologic

MS is considered an immune-mediated disease. That is, the immune system malfunctions and attacks the CNS. Researchers know that the myelin sheath is directly affected, but they don’t know what triggers the immune system to attack the myelin.

Research about which immune cells are responsible for the attack is ongoing. Scientists are seeking to uncover what causes these cells to attack. They’re also searching for methods to control or stop the progression of the disease.

Part 4 of 10

Cause 2: Genetic

Several genes are believed to play a role in MS. Your chance of developing MS is slightly higher if a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, has the disease.

According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, if one parent has MS, the risk of their children getting the disease is estimated to be between 2 and 5 percent.

Scientists believe that people with MS are born with a genetic susceptibility to react to certain (unknown) environmental agents. An autoimmune response is triggered when they encounter these agents.

Part 5 of 10

Cause 3: Environmental

Epidemiologists have seen an increased pattern of MS cases in countries located farthest from the equator. This correlation causes some to believe that vitamin D may play a role.

Vitamin D benefits the function of the immune system. People who live near the equator are exposed to more sunlight. As a result, their bodies produce more vitamin D.

The longer your skin is exposed to sunlight, the more your body naturally produces the vitamin. Since MS is considered an immune-mediated disease, vitamin D and sunlight exposure may be linked.

Part 6 of 10

Cause 4: Infections

Researchers are considering the possibility that viruses and bacteria may cause MS. Viruses are known to cause inflammation and a breakdown of myelin (called demyelination). Therefore, it’s possible that a virus could trigger MS.

Several viruses and bacteria are being investigated to determine if they’re involved in the development of MS. These include:

  • measles virus
  • human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6)
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Part 7 of 10

Other Risk Factors

In addition to genetics, the environment, infections, and the immune system, other risk factors may increase your chances of developing MS. For example:

  • Sex: Women are two to three times more likely to develop MS than men are.
  • Age: According to the Mayo Clinic, MS usually strikes between the ages of 20 and 40.
  • Ethnicity: People of northern European descent are at highest risk of developing MS.

Part 8 of 10

What Can Trigger MS Symptoms?

There are several triggers that people with MS should avoid. These include:

Stress

Stress can trigger and worsen MS symptoms. Practices that help reduce and cope with stress can be helpful for people with MS. Add destressing rituals to your day, such as yoga or meditation.

Smoking

Cigarette smoke can add to the progression of MS. If you’re a smoker, look into effective methods of quitting. Avoid being around secondhand smoke.

Heat

Not everyone sees a difference in symptoms due to heat, but avoid direct sun or hot tubs if you find you react to them.

Medication

There are several ways that medication can worsen symptoms. If you are taking many drugs and they interact poorly, talk to your doctor about which drugs are vital and which ones you may be able to stop.

Some people stop taking their MS medicines because they have too many side effects or they believe they are not effective. However, these medicines are critical to help prevent relapses and new lesions, so it’s important to stay on them.

Lack of Sleep

Fatigue is a common symptom of MS. If you’re not getting enough sleep, this can decrease your energy even more.

Infections

From urinary tract infections to the cold or flu, infections can cause your symptoms to worsen. In fact, infections cause approximately one-third of all flare-ups of MS symptoms, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Part 9 of 10

Treatment for MS

Although there is no cure for MS, there are treatment options to help manage MS symptoms.

The most common treatment category is corticosteroids, such as oral prednisone and intravenous methylprednisolone, which reduce nerve inflammation. In cases that don’t respond to steroids, some doctors prescribe plasma exchange. In this treatment, the liquid portion of your blood (plasma) is removed and separated from your blood cells, which are then mixed with a protein solution (albumin) and put back into your body.

There are currently no therapies proven to slow the progression of primary-progressive MS. For relapsing-remitting MS, several disease-modifying therapies are available but they all entail significant health risks. Talk to your doctor about whether any are right for you.

Part 10 of 10

Takeaway

While much of what causes and prevents MS is a mystery, what is known is that those with MS are living increasingly full lives due to treatment options and overall improvements in lifestyle and health choices. With continued research, strides are being made every day to help stop the advance of MS.

Categories: Health Updates

20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person With Dyslexia

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It’s hard to understand it, isn’t it?

If you’re not one of the ten to fifteen percent of the population with dyslexia, it’s really hard to understand what it’s like.

It’s easy to think that it’s a bit of a scam. That if people with dyslexia worked harder, and really applied themselves, they could “get over it.” But that’s not the case.

Life is actually much more difficult for people with dyslexia. They have brilliant minds, but they’re hard to focus.

Dyslexia is a gift—the gift of being able to see things from lots of different points of view, all at once. But the gift comes with a curse, and the curse is that it’s hard to prioritize, or make sense of, all those perspectives.

People with dyslexia can be hard to live with, and hard to love, because their brains work so differently to ours. Even if you love someone with dyslexia, the day-to-day living with it can drive you insane. Because they can forget things, believe they’ve said or done things they haven’t, be incredibly messy and disorganized, and be less socially aware than other people.

The best thing you can do is to understand more about dyslexia, so you’re less exasperated and more sympathetic.

This is an insight into how their minds work.

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1. They have lifestyle challenges.

Dyslexia is much more than just having difficulty reading, writing, and using numbers. They see the world in a completely different way, communicate differently, and have trouble organizing things.

Some people describe it as a lifestyle challenge, others as a lifestyle curse, because it affects almost all aspects of their lives.

2. They can seem weird.

Despite their high intelligence, and because they see so many different perspectives at once, they can appear incoherent in conversation. They can come out with strange ideas, and lack the ability to check if their thoughts are suitable for conversation. They can seem almost autistic because they’re often unaware of social rules.

3. They find details exhausting.

Because their brain is less efficient at processing letters and sounds, it has to work harder—much harder. So any time spent reading, using numbers, or focusing on details is really, really exhausting.

4. They function differently on different days.

Some days they seem to function better than others, and can appear to be improving. Other days, it’s like everything is getting worse. There’s no reason, and no pattern. It just is.

5. They are highly creative.

Their ability to view the world from all perspectives makes them highly creative. They can come up with wildly creative ideas, partly because they’re not constrained by the laws of physics, mathematical logic, or the impossible.

6. They see things that others don’t.

Like words moving on the page, or even off the page, and letters flipping about. You know how challenging it can be to read letters and numbers incaptcha? Imagine reading a whole book like that. Or reading a book through a magnifying lens that a child is holding, and moving about.

They can even see the word cat more than 40 different ways.

7. They get overwhelmed by what they see.

They see so many possibilities that their thoughts can become garbled and distorted. It’s hard to sort through all that information and work out what’s important or appropriate. Without the ability to filter, this special gift becomes a tragic, confusing, disability.

8. They are more likely to have ADD.

People with dyslexia are more likely to have ADD. About 40% of people with dyslexia have ADD, and 60% of people with ADD have dyslexia.

9. They can experience thoughts as reality.

They can fully believe they’ve told you something, that they haven’t, or swear that you haven’t told them something that you have.

Often they express themselves in such a unique way that their message hasn’t come across coherently. And they may not realize that this aspect of their communication is part of their dyslexia.

10. They may not know they have dyslexia.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dyslexia can go undiagnosed for years, and may not be recognized until adulthood. This is one reason why it’s hard to calculate the number of people with dyslexia. And, unfortunately, people with undiagnosed dyslexia often label themselves as stupid or slow.

11. They think in pictures instead of words.

Not surprisingly, they tend to be highly visual, think in pictures, and utilize visual aids to help them plan and organize their lives. Rather than using self-talk, their thought processes are more subliminal. Most people with dyslexia are not even aware that they do this.

12. They will always have dyslexia.

They can learn to read and spell, but they will always have dyslexia. To make life easier, a font and a dictionary specifically for people with dyslexia are on the way.

The font is designed to avoid confusion, and add clarity, while the dictionary will favor meaning over alphabetical order.

13. They use their brain differently.

People with dyslexia don’t use their brain the same way that most of us do. Their brain underutilizes the left hemisphere—the area required for reading—and the bridge of tissue between the two sides of the brain (the corpus callosum) doesn’t function in the same way. So, their brain doesn’t always direct information to the correct place for processing.

14. They get it from their family.

Dyslexia is inherited, and most people with dyslexia have an aunt or uncle, or a parent or grandparent with dyslexia. Scientists have discovered that the DCD2 appears to be a dyslexia gene.

15. They often have low self-esteem.

People with dyslexia are just as intelligent as the rest of us. And they’re fully aware that other people can read and write much more easily than they can. So they feel stupid compared to other people.

As Albert Einstein said:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life thinking it’s stupid.”

16. They have different symptoms.

Dyslexia is a tricky thing, because no two people have the exact same symptoms. Some lose things, or have poor organization skills. Some are slow at reading or have poor comprehension. Some may have difficulty organizing ideas to write, or have difficulty processing auditory information. Some also have difficulty sequencing the days of the week, or months of the year.

17. They are full of contradictions.

They may be highly aware of their environment, but appear lost. They may recognize, or read, a word on one page but be unable to recognize it on the next. Their brains are often very fast, but they appear slow, because they’re filtering through all the possibilities that they see.

18. They have great strengths.

People with dyslexia are often very good at reading people, and have great people skills. They usually have fantastic memories, and rely on them. They’re often good at spoken language, and frequently spatially talented (think architects, engineers, artist and craftspeople). They are highly intelligent, and intuitive, with vivid imaginations.

19. They can be incredibly successful.

People with dyslexia can be incredibly successful, often because of their dyslexia.

Famous people with dyslexia include entertainers like Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Henry Winkler, Danny Glover and Cher. As well as artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Tommy Hilfiger, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.

Carole Grieder and Baruj Benacerraf utilized their dyslexia to becomeNobel prize-winning scientists. People with dyslexia also go on to be writers and journalists like Scott Adams (of Dilbert), Agatha Christie, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Fannie Flagg (the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café).

20. They can change the world.

People with dyslexia can, and have changed the world. People like George Washington, Richard Branson, Henry Ford and Stephen Spielberg have changed, and continue to change, the world we live in.

People with dyslexia are kind, creative, highly intelligent beings who are just as frustrated at their inabilities as you are. They just can’t take a break from the way their minds work.

Instead they rely on the people that love them to help them interpret the world, and to help them function in a world that’s not adjusted to their needs.

Yes, they can be frustrating to love at times, but they have incredible, unique, world-changing gifts.

With your help, maybe the person you love can change the world too.

Categories: Health Updates

Once-Daily Gabapentin Effective for Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain and Sleep Disturbance

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A once-daily extended-release formulation of the postherpetic neuralgia treatment gabapentin is well tolerated, offering effective pain relief and sleep improvement in patients with the condition, according to research presented here at the American Academy of Pain Management 21st Annual Clinical Meeting.

Treatment with standard, immediate-release formulation of gabapentin, which has been on the market for the treatment of neuropathic pain for about 10 years, is associated with problematic side effects related to the peaks and valleys of the drug’s short cycle, explained Michael Sweeney, MD, vice president of research and development with Depomed and a coauthor of the study.

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“Gabapentin needs to be taken 3 or 4 times a day and has a high incidence of side effects due to the very rapid peaks and troughs, so even though it is widely used, its tolerability is less than physicians would like,” he explained.

The most prominent side effects include dizziness, experienced in about 30% of patients, somnolence, in about 15%, and peripheral edema, in about 5% of patients.

To help address the issues and overcome the absorption limits of gabapentin, an extended-release formulation, given once daily, was developed. The formulation gradually releases gabapentin in the stomach over 8 to 10 hours.

The study on the new formulation involved 452 subjects randomized in an 11-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The subjects included 259 patients in the United States, 161 in Russia, and 32 in Argentina.

The average duration of postherpetic neuralgia among subjects was 6 months to 5 years, and the gabapentin and placebo groups had baseline pain intensity scores of 6.6 and 6.5, respectively, without concomitant analgesics for the pain.

After 1 week of baseline assessments, the subjects were randomized and titrated to either extended-release gabapentin, 1800 mg once daily with an evening meal, or a matched placebo for 2 weeks.

The treatment was followed by 8 weeks of stable dose treatment and 1 week of dose tapering. The primary endpoint was the change in average daily pain intensity score.

After the treatment, baseline observation carried forward scores showed changes in average daily pain intensity scores of −2.1 and −1.6, respectively (P = .013).

Secondary endpoints for the study included Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC), Clinician Global Impression of Change (CGIC), and Sleep Interference Score. More subjects receiving active treatment reported “much” or “very much” improvement on the PGIC (43% vs 34%, P < .04) and on the CGIC (44% vs 34%, P < .03).

Importantly, the extended-release group also showed reduced sleep interference compared with placebo (−2.3 vs −1.59, P < .0001), and the drug was well tolerated, with the most common adverse events being dizziness (11.3% vs 1.7%) and somnolence (5.4% vs 3.0%).

“Since plasma levels rise much more slowly with the extended-release formulation than with the immediate-release tablets, you get much less incidence of dizziness and somnolence,” Dr. Sweeney explained. “So the incidence of dizziness and somnolence with the extended-release formulation were only about a third of that seen with immediate-release gabapentin.”

The reduction in sleep interference is also highly important for the postherpetic neuralgia population, he added. “Sleep disturbance is a major problem in postherpetic neuralgia patients because their skin is so sensitive and the fabric against their skin wakes them up at night. We found that the extended-release significantly reduced the interference with sleep, so the patients got a better night’s sleep as well as reduced pain.”

The extended-release formulation of a drug with such well-known peaks and troughs will be a welcome improvement, said Perry G. Fine, MD, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City.

“Gabapentin is a very useful drug for neuropathic pain, but it’s very difficult to maintain dosing and stay on schedule when you’re on a medication that has to be taken 3 or 4 times a day for an extended period of time,” he said.

“There are the peak and trough effects of the drug, and if you’re dealing with an older population with memory issues, there’s a whole additional problem of remembering to take it, so adherence/compliance can be problematic.

“So a once-a-day dosing for a drug that has variable absorption anyway will certainly make life a lot easier for a lot of patients,” he said.

The study was supported by Depomed Inc. Dr. Sweeney is vice-president of research and development for Depomed. Dr. Fine’s disclosures include that he is on the advisory boards for companies including Alpharma, Forest Laboratories, Ortho McNeil, Purdue Pharma, Endo, Lilly, Cephalon, and King Pharmaceuticals.

Categories: Health Updates

New trampoline area and new sensory play area at Playtown in Southport

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There are exciting times ahead for Playtown in Southport , which is currently transforming its popular under four play facility to offer a fabulous sensory play area that will cater for children with special needs including autism.

The new play area will be in addition to all the usual facilities at the play place which is also introducing a large new trampolining area, with everything ready for its relaunch today (Friday, September 16).


Playtown in Southport has opened a new trampoline area and a new sensory play area

The team at Playtown is also looking to starting quiet nights at the premises on two nights each month which it is hoped will be a great time for those children with additional needs to benefit from the extra facilities, with days and times yet to be arranged. It is expected to be the first and last Friday of each month.

Playtown has been a popular play place for children for the past seven years and has been under new ownership for the past two years and has gone from strength to strength.

Owners Tanya and Louie Gaffney who are looking forward to their play centre offering something for everyone, said: “We are really excited and happy that children with special additional needs will now also be catered for at our play facility which means we now have something available for everyone to enjoy.”

As well as the new play area, changes are also underway with a fantastic new menu offering hot and cold food to suit all tastes and special dietary needs can be met.

Categories: Health Updates

How Marfan Syndrome Took Center Stage on NBA Draft Night, and in an Infant’s Life

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Victoria Everett knows Austin’s nightmare firsthand.

When the 27-year-old Philadelphian heard her baby boy diagnosed with Marfan syndrome earlier this year, she was not sure what to think. Neither she nor her family had any idea what the condition was.

When Josiah was only 33 weeks in the womb, he had already been diagnosed with an enlarged heart, but it wasn’t until after he was born on Jan. 10 that the true extent of his condition came into the grim light.

“He was on a breathing machine and he was having severe heart and lung problems. He was there [in the NICU] for about a month and a half,” Everett told The Root.

He was eventually sent home on oxygen, but he would be readmitted, going back and forth, until about March 29, when he returned to the hospital. Josiah would remain hospitalized until his death on June 29 from cardiac arrest.

“Because of [Marfan], his airways were floppy and his heart was enlarged, and it was leaning on his airways, so he had a lot of breathing support,” his mother explained, subdued. “He was on a feeding tube; he couldn’t eat.” Josiah also had the typically long fingers and toes and limbs associated with the condition.

Everett had been told up front that her child’s chances of survival were slim. “He was fighting and fighting to breathe, fighting for his heart. He was on several different medications, some of which weren’t even made for children,” she said.

Because of the severity of Josiah’s illness, it was recommended that Everett not work. She applied for Social Security for him but was unable to get benefits because of his extended stay in the system. She also had her 21-month-old daughter, Sophia, to take care of, and although she had the help and support of family members, the young mother recognized that just because her world was spiraling didn’t mean that she could expect others to drop what they were doing to take on her problems. “No one’s life stops because you’re going through a crisis. Even though people are willing to help, they still have to live their life,” she said.

Categories: Health Updates

7 Things NEVER to Say to Your Physical Therapist

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If you attend physical therapy, you probably have chatted a bit while working in the clinic. You most likely have noticed that your physical therapist is a pretty nice person, and you may feel like you can say just about anything to your physical therapist.

But there are a few things that you should not say to your physical therapist. Some things may irk your therapist, and some things may make your physical therapist push you a bit harder than you want to be pushed.

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Bottom line: some things are better left unsaid.

1 “You’re a great trainer.”

Some things are better left unsaid in physical therapy.
There are some things that you should NOT say to your physical therapist.. Getty Images
Personal trainers are valuable members of any fitness team. They can help keep you motivated and can help you get in shape.

Your physical therapist is not a personal trainer. He or she is a licensed professional with years of schooling and years of experience. Sometimes your therapist serves as a motivator, and occasionally your physical therapist may act a bit like a drill sergeant, but the level of healthcare education differs significantly between trainers and physical therapists.

2 “When do I get the rub down?”

Massage feels good. There are some studies that show that massage can be beneficial in the treatment of certain orthopedic conditions. Your physical therapist may use massage techniques to help decrease muscle pain and improve mobility.

But try not to call your massage a “rub down.” It sounds icky. And make sure that massage is not the only treatment you receive when you attend physical therapy. Most evidence indicates that exercise and movement are the best ways to care for most painful conditions and limitations in functional mobility.

3 “This exercise is way too easy.”

Your physical therapist will most likely prescribe specific exercises to help you move and feel better. Some exercises will be challenging, and some may be easy.

Sometimes the easy exercises and movements are meant to be that way. Your physical therapist is most likely having you perform simple movements so that they are done correctly. Plus, simple movements and exercises that are done repetitively help to ingrain the new movement patterns into your daily, functional life.

Sure, if all of your exercises are too easy and are not helping you get stronger or move better, you should speak to your physical therapist. He or she can make adjustments to your plan to ensure that your program is tailored exactly to your needs.

4 “My pain level is 15/10.”

Just about everyone has been asked about their pain level at one point or another. The pain scale generally runs from 0 to 10, with 0 indicating no pain, and 10 indicating that you require the services of an emergency room physician to manage the pain.

A score of 15/10 indicates that you should have been to the emergency room hours ago. Your physical therapist understands your pain and that sometimes it may feel like your pain is controlling your life. But try to keep your reported pain level within the 0 to 10 scale as instructed.

5 “Should I take the medicine my doctor prescribed?”

If your doctor has prescribed medicine for you to take, you should not ask your physical therapist if you should take the medicine. Your physical therapist did not prescribe the medicine, and he or she should not tell you if and when to take your medicine.

Your physical therapist may make some general suggestions about how your medication affects your rehabilitation, but any and all questions about prescription medication should be directed at your doctor.

Bonus related question: “Should I have the injection that my doctor recommends?”

6 “My shoulder hurts. Why?”

Your physical therapist is trained to examine your body and help decide what is causing your pain. Asking why your shoulder hurts is a valid question. In the clinic.

This question is a bit out of bounds if you ask it to your physical therapist at a dinner party, a barbeque, or at church. Most likely, your physical therapist will offer some possibilities as to why something hurts, but save the clinical questions for the clinic. There your physical therapist can provide you with a sound clinical examination to help determine the cause of your musculoskeletal problems.

7 “Your job is easy. All you do is tell patients what to do.”

While you are working hard in the clinic to regain range of motion or to strengthen your quadriceps muscle after an injury, your physical therapist may be watching your form or counting your repetitions. It may appear that your physical therapist is not really working that hard, but he or she is most likely hard at work making decisions about your care or thinking up ways to best keep you motivated during therapy.

Some physical therapists work in acute hospital settings, and they must work very hard to help patients transfer from a bed to a chair. This can require quite a bit of physical strength, especially with patients who are severely deconditioned.

Other physical therapists may not have the burden of heavy lifting, but are still hard at work making decisions to help develop strategies to help you move and feel your best.

Categories: Health Updates

Psychiatrist says borderline personality disorder sufferers need targeted treatment

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Recommendations made in two damning reports into Australia’s ability to treat patients with borderline personality disorder (BDP) have been ignored for two years by state and federal governments.

The reports detailed an illness that poses serious challenges to frontline medical staff.

Senior psychiatrist Dr Martha Kent was a lead author on both reports for the federal and South Australian governments on how to deal with BDP patients, and says the label can be misleading.

Rather than referring to a problem with a patient’s personality, the name traditionally refers to the mix of symptoms located on the border between psychosis and neurosis.

The condition can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms including wildly fluctuating mood swings, chronic self-harm, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and, for one-in-ten sufferers, the disorder can result in suicide.

“Virtually every major mental illness can be represented within a borderline personality disorder diagnosis,” she said.

7.30 can reveal Dr Kent’s reports highlighted major gaps in service delivery and found that patients are often treated poorly or not taken seriously by hospital staff.

“I am sure that people are harming themselves and dying as a result,” she said.

The reports recommended setting up targeted services in each state and more training for frontline staff.

Help that came too late

Lucy Henry’s family know too well the consequences of this lack of treatment.

“She was a very, very, very tortured woman,” her brother Andrew Henry said.

“In some ways, as sad as it sounds, I’d love to have her back, but I know that she’s at peace.”

Henry’s brother and girlfriend watched for years as she visited hospital emergency departments over and over again.

“In my mind it’s anywhere between two to three thousand entries into hospital for self harm,” Mr Henry said.

In 2003, Henry presented to a Hobart emergency department and threatened to set herself on fire.

She was not taken seriously, and was sent home.

Her brother recounts the incident clearly.

“She went outside to have a cigarette, mum and dad were finishing off dinner,” he said.

“She’d gone into the laundry and pulled out a bottle of metho, poured it onto her chest and set fire to it.

I’d like other people that have the diagnosis [to know] that it’s not a death sentence, and that it’s not a consignment to the too-hard basket … or it shouldn’t be.

Lucy Henry

“The next thing my father … saw his daughter walking around the backyard on fire and had to hose her down.”

The incident left Henry with horrific burns.

But against all the odds, Henry survived, recovered and began sharing her experiences in public.

In a video recorded years after the incident, Henry spoke about her motivation for telling others about her experiences with borderline personality disorder.

“I like to humanise it,” she said.

“I’d like other people that have the diagnosis [to know] that it’s not a death sentence, and that it’s not a consignment to the too-hard basket … or it shouldn’t be.”

In the end, though, borderline personality disorder was a death sentence for Lucy Henry.

In the weeks leading up to her death she was trying to raise money to access targeted services in Melbourne.

But the money did not come soon enough, and she suicided late last year.

Dr Kent had some dealings with Henry before her death.

“The opportunities for Lucy to receive the treatment that she needed simply were not available for her in Tasmania,” Dr Kent said.

Dr Kent says this experience is not uncommon for sufferers of borderline personality disorder.

She says people with the condition can present to hospitals over and over again often with self-inflicted wounds – prompting accusations that patients are just “seeking attention”.

“The people in the emergency departments become disillusioned, demoralised, frustrated, because it seems like nothing is being achieved here, that the person with BPD is just being difficult, and that whatever the staff do doesn’t seem to be effective.”

Melbourne clinic points way to future

The Spectrum clinic in Melbourne is one of only a handful of clinics that specialise in borderline personality disorder treatment.

Set up 15 years ago by the Victorian government, it is the model that Dr Martha Kent recommended should be replicated all over the country.

Dr Sathya Rao is the clinical director at Spectrum.

“It is no longer true to believe that borderline personality disorder is not a treatable condition … it’s a myth,” he said.

It is no longer true to believe that borderline personality disorder is not a treatable condition … it’s a myth.

Dr Sathya Rao

“However, treatments are to be undertaken by people who are trained to provide this sort of a service, and we have very specific psychological treatments that work for these patients.”

Henry’s family believe if she had the care she needed or access to a centre like Spectrum, she might still be alive today.

“Definitely, if there was a different approach with her and the information was available and frontline staff had it, and they were using different techniques, then I think definitely Lucy would still be around today.”

A spokesperson for SA Health says the report prepared for them by Dr Martha Kent into borderline personality disorder is going through its “final approvals process” and will be released “at some stage in the next couple of months”.

The office of Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton said his department would be conducting a thorough review of all mental health services and the report would form part of that review.

Categories: Health Updates

ROSIE O’DONNELL WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY SHOCKING? WHY COMEDIAN CHOSE GASTRIC BYPASS TO LOSE 40 POUNDS AFTER HEART ATTACK (PHOTOS)

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Rosie O’Donnell is the latest celebrity to lose weight with gastric bypass surgery. The comedian revealed this week that she lost 40 pounds after undergoing the procedure. O’Donnell had the weight-loss surgery last summer, a year after suffering a heart attack.

“I did it to save my life,” the comedian said at Friday’s Go Red For Women Luncheon in Detroit.

RELATED: Stars Who Lost Weight For Movie Roles

Rosie O’Donnell served as the keynote speaker for the event, which promotes women’s heart health.

“I did what many women do — and I did not take care of myself,” Rosie O’Donnell continued. “And that’s why I’m here, to try to get women to know you’re worth it; take care of yourself; and know the symptoms.”

RELATED: Jennifer Lopez Is Conflicted About Her Body Image

Rosie O Donnell

Rosie O’Donnell, seen here in 2010, spoke about women’s heart health at this week’s Go Red For Women Luncheon in Detroit.

The comedian has been open about the heart attack that led to her weight-loss surgery. In 2012, she wrote a poem on her blog about that day and urged women to seek medical help if they felt the symptoms.

“I became nauseous/my skin was clammy/i was very very hot/i threw up,” the poem read in part. “maybe this is a heart attack/i googled womens heart attack symptoms/i had many of them/but really? — i thought —– naaaa. i took some bayer aspirin/thank god/saved by a tv commercial/literally.”

Per E! Online, Rosie O’Donnell dropped from 230 pounds to 190 pounds after her weight-loss surgery. However, her doctors still want her to lose another 40 pounds.

RELATED: Is Kim Kardashian Desperate To Slim Down Before Wedding?

But Rosie O’Donnell is not the only celebrity to have weight-loss surgery. Here are five other stars who slimmed down thanks to gastric bypass.

1)     Lisa Lampanelli

Comedian Lisa Lampanelli lost nearly 100 pounds after weight-loss surgery. But the Queen of Mean did not lose her sense of humor.

“Before the surgery, I would treat food like some people treat alcohol,” she told San Antonio Current. “I would self-medicate. The surgery forced me to change my eating habits — those crutches I’ve had all my life. Exercising every day and eating four ounces of food every three hours is not pleasant at all. The good news is that I lost all this weight and now I don’t have to tip anymore because nobody recognizes me.”

2)     Star Jones

Star Jones originally hid her gastric bypass surgery from the public (Photo: Reuters).

Star Jones had gastric bypass surgery in 2003 after her weight climbed to 300 pounds. But the host stayed silent for years about how she slimmed down.

“Emotionally I made the decision not to discuss it publicly,” she said in 2012. “I was depressed and confused and not really ready. And I don’t apologize for it. I know people really want me to say that I wish I would have told everybody. I did it the way I needed to do it.”

3)     Randy Jackson

Former American Idol judge/current mentor Randy Jackson had gastric bypass surgery in 2003 after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He lost more than 100 pounds but soon realized surgery alone wasn’t enough to keep the pounds off. In 2010, tabloids noted that he looked heavier once again. But he now promotes a healthy diet and lifestyle.

“I am very attuned to knowing when I have had enough,” he told WebMD. “The signal to stop eating is going to come from your body, not an empty plate.”

4)     Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr

Even after gastric bypass surgery, Roseanne Barr had trouble keeping off the weight (Photo: Reuters).

Like Randy Jackson, Roseanne Barr struggled with weight loss even after her gastric bypass surgery. She recently admitted that she will likely always be heavy.“My stomach is the size of a walnut, yet I still gorge,” she told Daily Mail. “I’m still fat and always will be. I don’t care.”

5)     Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne lost more than 125 pounds after having lap band surgery in 1999. But her weight crept up again, so she had the band removed seven years later. Now, she loses weight the old-fashioned way and promotes the famed Atkins Diet.

“The band was not the solution to my weight struggles, as I had hoped it would be,” she wrote on herAtkins blog. “It was just like everything else, you find a way around it. And I found out that if I had a glass of wine, it loosened it up and I could eat whatever I wanted, so it became redundant. It’s taken me 60 years to realize that it’s not about a diet. It’s about a life change.”

6)     Al Roker

Al Roker’s weight-loss surgery had an embarrassing side effect (Photo: Reuters).

Al Roker learned a different negative consequences of weight-loss surgery. Last year, the weatherman revealed that he once pooped his pants during a visit to the White House. This “dumping” happened a month after his gastric bypass and is a common symptom of the procedure.

“One might be a gastrointestinal process that includes consumption of a high sugar load that leads to intestinal influx of fluid,” said Dr. Bipan Chand, who did not perform Roker’s surgery. “This can lead to diarrhea as well as vomiting and can occur in many post-Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients but does not occur in all of them.”

Categories: Health Updates

BELLA AND GIGI HADID SHOW THEIR SUPPORT FOR MOM YOLANDA AFTER LYME DISEASE SURGERY

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No everyone has been supportive when it comes to her battle with her chronic illness, but she can always rely on her children to have her back.

Bella and Gigi Hadid have backed their mother Yolanda’s fight against Lyme disease.

On Wednesday, Bella posted a sweet picture of herself and her sister cuddling their 52-year-old mom, a day after she underwent surgery.

Her protectors: Bella Hadid posted a sweet picture of herself and her sister Gigi cuddling mom Yolanda on Wednesday, a day after the 52-year-old underwent surgery

Yolanda – who now goes by Yolanda Hadid rather than Foster – is currently recovering after having what is known as a Transvascular Autonomic Modulation (TVAM) procedure.

While many have questioned her decision to have surgery – and many more have questioned whether she is actually sick – her daughters have always been her biggest supporters.

And on Wednesday it was no different with Bella showing support in behalf of herself and her sister on Instagram.

On the picture of the two girl’s cuddled up to their mom, she wrote: ‘Our beautiful mama we love you sooo.’

Staying positive: On Wednesday, Yolanda also shared an inspirational picture on Instagram of the sunrise over a beach in Malibu

Bella has also been diagnosed with Lyme disease – as has her brother Anwar – but has not experienced as severer symptoms as her mother.

On Wednesday, Yolanda also shared an inspirational picture on Instagram of the sunrise over a beach in Malibu.

Obviously feeling like she is turning a corner in her battle against Lyme, she wrote: ‘A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset, so when you wake up remind yourself what a privilege it is to be alive and healthy………… #Sunrise #Life #blessings #Malibu #Gratitude.’

Continuing her fight: Yolanda underwent a relatively new surgical treatment in order to alleviate the symptoms of Lyme disease, with the star having what is known as a Transvascular Autonomic Modulation (TVAM) procedure on Tuesday

Yolanda was also upbeat on Tuesday when the star shared a picture of herself recovering from her surgery.

In the photograph, the former Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills star was having her heart and blood pressure monitored as she tried to relaxed by playing cards with friend Paige and Lyme Disease advocate Daisy White.

TVAM is a relatively new procedure which has been suggested as a treatment for those suffering Multiple Sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.

Exploring every option: The surgery comes just four days after she returned from Seattle where she had met with Dr Dietrich Klinghardt at the Sophia Healing Institute

The endovascular procedure involves a doctor making a small incision is made and a small catheter is inserted in the patient’s jugular vein to expand it in the hopes of stimulating autonomic nerve fibers.

The procedure is not something done widely in the medical community but Yolanda seemed very hopeful that it would help her.

The star captioned the picture: ‘I am seeking, I am striving and I am in it to win it with all of my heart………… #LymeDiseaseAwareness #TvamSurgery #LastChapter #SearchingForACure #RemissionInSight.’

Cleaning house: Yolanda has been very positive about her illness of late, recently undergoing a master cleanse which saw her consume a lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper concoction for five days

The surgery comes just four days after she returned from Seattle where she had met with Dr Dietrich Klinghardt, who specializes in more holistic approach to the treatment of chronic illnesses, at the Sophia Healing Institute.

Following her visit, Yolanda wrote: ‘Homebound with a grateful heart, Thank you Dr.Klinghardt for bringing me to and shining light on the finishing line of my health journey.’

Yolanda has been very positive about her illness of late, recently undergoing a master cleanse which saw her consume a lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper concoction for five days.

‘Small victories’: On finishing the cleanse, the posted a picture of herself atop a mountain

On finishing the cleanse, the posted a picture of herself atop a mountain.

‘The journey of recovery from chronic disease is a long and winding road of small victories.’

Yolanda was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012 but her illness has been questioned by many including some of her co-stars on the Real Housewives.

Categories: Health Updates