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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
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Saturday, October 29, 2011
GPS Shoes for Alzheimer's Patients
From Fox News:
These boots were really made for walking.
The first batch of 3,000 shoes with integrated GPS devices -- to help track down dementia-suffering seniors who wander off and get lost -- just shipped from manufacturer GTX Corp. to the footwear firm Aetrex, two years after plans were announced to develop the product.
The company's first shoes -- dreamed up back in 2002 following the Elizabeth Smart case -- were intended to locate missing children. And safety is the driving force today behind the company's newest GPS-enabled shoe. According to AFP, The shoes will sell at around $300 a pair and buyers will be able to set up a monitoring service to locate "wandering" seniors suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.The system is implanted in the heel of an otherwise normal shoe, and lets caregivers or family members monitor the wearer and even set up alerts if a person strays outside of a predefined area.
GTX believes the market has great potential, given the soaring costs of Alzheimer's.
Health professionals say the new GPS shoes could be a real boon for the more than five million Americans who suffer from the disease, according to AFP. Andrew Carle, a professor at George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services, said the shoes may even save lives.
"It's especially important for people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's who are at the highest risk," Carle told AFP.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Special geoshoes could solve one of dementia's biggest challenges
An app and a unique pair of shoes are designed to help Alzheimer's caretakers
A new line of high-tech shoes could alleviate a very real problem for Alzheimer's and dementia patients who lose their way, whether wandering away from home or beyond the safety of an assisted living facility.
The shoes, made by GTX Corp., enable location-savvy real-time tracking, thanks to a GPS chip and cellular device embedded within the shoe itself. They can transmit location data directly to authorized parties (like loved ones or caretakers), who will be able to pinpoint their location through a new smartphone app designed to work in tandem with the shoes.
The shoes will also be capable of "geofencing": family members can actually map the boundaries of a safe area, and then receive alerts when their loved one wanders beyond the approved zone.
GPS-capable shoes offer a clear advantage over other kinds of tracking devices (phones, wristbands, etc.) that serve the same purpose, since the shoes would be on the tracked individual at all times — ideally at least. Dementia sufferers would be far more likely to remember to put on the special pair of shoes than incorporating an accessory into their everyday routine.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Fish could cut risk of dementia as it boosts blood flow to the brain
From The Daily Mail:
Eating fish may boost blood flow to the brain which could stave off dementia in later life, researchers have discovered.
The health benefits of a diet rich in omega-3, a fatty acid found in oily fish, have long been suspected, and the findings of two studies into its effects on young people suggest that it can improve reaction times in 18-35 year olds as well as reducing levels of mental fatigue after they perform tough tasks.
Although the results suggest that, contrary to popular belief, taking omega-3 or fish oil supplements may not have an impact on the mental performance of young adults, the researchers at Northumbria University say the increased blood flow to the brain it caused could be important for older people.
'Lead researcher Dr Philippa Jackson said: ‘These findings could have implications for mental function later on in life. The evidence suggests that regularly eating oily fish may prevent cognitive decline and dementia, and increased blood flow to the brain may be a mechanism by which this occurs.
If we can pinpoint both the behavioural and brain blood flow effects of this fatty acid in older healthy people, then the benefits for those with mental degenerative conditions associated with normal ageing could be that much greater.
Researchers now plan to conduct a study on omega-3 use in people aged 50-70.Read original source
Monday, October 24, 2011
More Florida Driver's Licenses Revoked
From The Miami Herald:
The number of Floridians who have had their driver's licenses revoked because they are deemed physically or mentally unfit has more than doubled in the last decade, according to state figures. The main reasons many lose driving privileges are related to dementia, stroke and seizures.
Last year, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles revoked 7,716 licenses for medical reasons compared to 3,559 in 2000. Most motorists lost their privileges because they didn't submit more detailed medical information requested by the state to show they still should be able to drive.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that a little-known Florida law allows anyone to notify the state about motorists with physical or mental conditions that could impair their driving. Many revocations started with reports from family members, the public or professionals reporting motorists to the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles after the drivers had been in accidents, became repeatedly confused or lost, or were consistently driving erratically.
The rise in revocations could also be attributed to Florida's growing number of older drivers, said Fran Carlin-Rogers, a senior transportation consultant from Orlando. Nearly one in five residents is over 65 years old now, according to census data.
Florida has required drivers age 80 and older to have their eyes tested every six years since 2004. The Sentinel reported 6,559 licenses were revoked by medical review last year for either failing the state's vision test or not submitting a vision report. The state's Medical Advisory Board makes the final decision in such cases.
One Jupiter woman, whose husband has Alzheimer's disease but asked not to be named because he was a well-known former professional, says a confidential reporting system is critical. She hoped his doctors would contact state officials after her spouse stole the car keys from her purse and drove to a nearby hardware store in his underwear. A doctor eventually started the paperwork last month on the incident last month.
She said dementia patients often won't listen to their family's pleas for them not to drive. For now, her husband still has a valid driver's license.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
NFL concussion saga moves to new phase: litigation
After congressional hearings, increased media attention and revised rules, the NFL's concussion saga has entered its next phase: litigation.Continue reading.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Questions and answers for caregivers
Who are the caregivers?
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Stimulating the Senses of Dementia Patients
From Injury Board:
Choosing a nursing home for a love one with diagnosed dementia adds additional stress to an already stressful situation. Not only are you likely worried that your loved one will receive proper medical treatment, but you may also be concerned that your loved one will receive sufficient interaction and stimulation from the staff.Read at original source.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Bancroft to launch continuing education program for brain-injury professionals
Last week we received this email from Bancroft. We'd never heard of them, but noticed that they are located in the same New Jersey town as some of our family members. After looking into who they are and what they do, we think this information could be helpful to some of our readers.
"I wanted to bring to your attention to a series of monthly webinars Bancroft will be hosting to share its expertise in rehabilitation for people with acquired brain injuries. Specifically designed for case managers, social workers, rehabilitation therapists and other brain injury professionals, the webinars will afford participants the opportunity to learn – and earn continuing education units – remotely, rather than having to make time to attend in-person seminars."
This series of monthly webinars, titled “Heads-Up,” will provide
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Scientists Unlock Genetic Code of World's Oldest Person
From Fox News:
A Dutch woman who held the title of the world's oldest person when she died, aged 115, credited her longevity to a daily meal of herring, not smoking and limiting her alcohol intake.
Visit original source.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Intelligence protects against dementia, Scottish study finds
From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
In 1947, all 11-year-old Scottish children had IQ testing. About 60 years later, Edinburgh researchers were curious about what had become of these children, so they tracked them down.
They found those 11-year-old children who were of above-average intelligence were less likely to develop dementia by age 70.
Other findings were equally intriguing.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
8 Tips for Coping with Elderly Parents and Advanced Dementia
From Caregiver Support:
A parent's physical decline or loss of memory due to dementia or Alzheimer's can cause anxiety, depression or just a niggling feeling of malaise inside.
A great way for coping with the stress of a parent’s declining health due to dementia is to acknowledge the anxiety, depression, or the general feeling of unease felt. Then you can decide how best to manage these feelings and live through them as they arise.
Realizing that a parent can no longer look after themselves alone, or that they no longer know who you are, can cause stress of varying degrees. Nevertheless, the challenge is to persist with acknowledging those moments of anxiety first, and then designing and implementing a plan when you feel anxiety or stress levels increase. All of us do better when we have put some thought into how to respond to circumstances that are upsetting.
Feeling Stressed about an Elderly Parent Suffering from Dementia
An elderly parent’s deteriorating dementia may prompt an adult child to experience anxiety or stress and feel any of the following:
Continue reading for 8 Tips to Manage Anxiety Prompted by a Parent’s Advancing Dementia
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Starting Again After a Brain Injury
From The New York Times Sunday Review:
Jane Rosett is an artist at work on a multimedia project, “Adaptivitudes: Navigating My Brain Injury Rehabilitation,” and currently a brain injury patient at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
“WANT a piece of gum, Jane?” asked my friend Andrée.
“What?” I asked her.
I didn’t know what she was talking about.
It was delicious.
That evening, I told my friend David about my day’s big discovery. “It’s called gum and you chew it and it’s fun and there’s this one kind that will let me blow bubbles!”
“Yes, it’s called bubble gum, Jane,” he told me, patiently.
Fifty-nine months ago, I was wearing my seat belt and my car was stopped when another vehicle hit me, causing my head to fracture the windshield. That damaged my right temporal lobe, one of my neurologists explained when he told me I had a traumatic brain injury. I lost my long-term memory, and have been a brain injury patient within Harvard Medical School’s teaching hospitals ever since.
At 45, I was jolted into an entirely new existence. Memories that connected different parts of my life fragmented and vanished. It took 26 months before I was able to thread my way back unattended to the house I had lived in for 17 years.
I am often amazed to find that people recognize me when I have no recollection of them. People who love me grieve what they claim to experience as the loss of elements of my personality that I cannot recall having been part of me. Others tell me that I seem to have become an altogether different person. I am told that I used to be a real “people person.” Today, however, I can barely stand being around people. And I can get irritable in a nanosecond. I am told that my work before the accident pertained to the AIDS pandemic; I was a treatment activist, founder of several early AIDS organizations and a photojournalist, as well as an artist. But I have no more memory of a photo on the cover of The New York Times of an exhibition I curated 10 years ago than I do of a watercolor I painted when I was 3 years old. When I see my pre-accident work, I am introduced to it as if for the first time. As if it was created by anonymous. Did I make that? So I’m told.
I am sometimes fed my own résumé by strangers in the street. One day, a woman introduced me to her children as “one of Mommy’s sponsored artists.” I looked more confused than her 1-year-old.
In 2007, I ran into Alice and Amma, a couple who said we’d been friends and colleagues for over 20 years. Amma recently reminded me that at first I didn’t believe them, and how upset they’d been. And that it was Rifkah, my dog Rifkah, who solved the standoff by recognizing them. I figured that if Rifkah knew them then maybe I did, too. I have no idea.
I once believed that I could not grieve for what I do not remember. I no longer believe that. I do grieve for what I can no longer connect with. Phantom memories. “Your pies!” “Your bread!” Friends tell me they miss my baking. One woman whom I still don’t recognize told me I used to shred beets into my chocolate cake batter. Her comment reintroduced me to an evaporated passion I no longer remembered and had not missed until then.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
VA launches TBI awareness campaign
From The American Legion Health Center:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a campaign to increase awareness about traumatic brain injury (TBI) and services provided by the VA for veterans and servicemembers recovering from TBI and co-occurring complex injuries.
The campaign debuted with a 25-minute documentary last week highlighting individual stories of recovery for some of the most severely injured and wounded veterans through the VA Polytrauma System of Care at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Va. The documentary and other videos can be viewed online.
VA has released a series of products to promote awareness of TBI and services available to veterans, including public-service announcements featuring Golden Globe, Emmy, and Screen Actors Guild SAG Award winner and Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise.
The pieces highlight the fact that effects of TBI can range from mild to severe, lasting for a brief or prolonged period of time. Treatment is available and VA provides specialized services to support veterans and servicemembers through evaluating and diagnosing TBI, related problems, and enabling their recovery. More information about TBI and VA's Polytrauma/TBI System of Care is available online.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Emergency Department Visits For Youth With Traumatic Brain Injury Has Risen By 60%
From Medical News Today
According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last 10 years emergency department visits for recreation- and sports-related traumatic brain injuries has increased by 60% among children and adolescents. Experts at the CDC believe the increase is due to more adults becoming aware that the young individuals needed to be seen by a health care professional.The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealed that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) increased from 153,375 in 2001 to 248,418 in 2009, with the main activities contributing to TBIs being football, bicycling, soccer, playground activities and basketball.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Undetected strokes increase risk of dementia, Toronto researcher says
From Canada NewsWire:
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
10 Types of Dementia: What to Look For
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Medicine of Cycling releases concussion guidelines for cyclists
From Bike World News:
USA Cycling and the Medicine of Cycling group have released recommendations for treatment of riders who have sustained head trauma in cycling. Foremost amongst the guidelines is that any rider with a witnessed loss of consciousness during training or competition should be immediately removed from competition for evaluation by a medical professional trained in diagnosing traumatic brain injury or concussion.
“Concussion can occur without direct impact or loss of consciousness, and can result in physical, cognitive or emotional symptoms that may be evident immediately or evolve over days or weeks,” explained Dr. Anna Abramson of the University of California, San Francisco and co-founder of Medicine of Cycling. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 1.7 million people that sustain a traumatic brain injury annually. Concussions can occur during falls, motor vehicle accidents, struck by/against events, and assaults. However, concussed cyclists are more likely to have impaired function that could lead to a repeat crash, potentially hurting themselves and others. Those with previous concussions are at increased risk of repeat concussions and brain injury, and are most susceptible during the post-concussion period. This is dangerous in the short term and has long term implications of post-concussion syndrome.”
Labels: cycling, cycling team, Cyclists, disease control and prevention, doping, independent group, loss of consciousness, medical professional, post concussion syndrome, traumatic brain injury, USA Cycling
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Alzheimer's drugs 'delay care home move by a year' compared with those not on medication
Drugs for Alzheimer’s can delay older patients going into a nursing home for around a year, researchers claim.
New evidence shows dementia drugs can help patients stay in their own homes for longer, compared with those who are not taking medication.
Psychiatrists Dr Emad Salib and Dr Jessica Thompson studied a total of 339 people with dementia, who were referred to psychiatric services in Peasley Cross Hospital in St Helens in 2006.
One in four patients - 127 of them - had been prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors such as Aricept, which at the time were restricted to those with moderate symptoms.
The remaining 212 patients in the study were not prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors. After four years, the researchers followed up all 339 patients to see if they had been placed in care or remained in their own home.
The researchers found that, on average, patients who did not take anti-dementia drugs moved to care homes sooner than patients who did.Continue reading.
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