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“The Brain Matters”

AAN Foundation patients website

American Academy of Neurology Foundation

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


Alzheimer's Association


Alzheimer's Disease Education & Referral Service


Alzheimer's Foundation of America



Neuropathy Association



National Sleep Foundation


Narcolepsy Network


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The Brain in the Computer Age: On Scans and Online

One of the most fascinating places to see today's computer-generated brain images is, fittingly enough, on your computer. Check out the following mind-boggling websites.

The Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at UCLA may target scientists as befits the world-leading research center, but the general public would also find the site's brain maps captivating. The still image sequences in the brain mapping article on page 10 that opens our Special Section are only teasers for the animations in 3D and even 4D on the site's “Visualization Showcase.” Pioneering time-lapse videos track normal brain development through childhood and changes over a life span. Other videos show disease-specific digital brain atlases, dramatically tracking progression of Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, tumors, etc.

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“The Whole Brain Atlas” features many scans of brains in health and in disease. The Harvard Med School site takes you inside the brain from several angles with several imaging techniques, comparing brain slices that pass through a spot of your choosing in different directions. Its easy-to-navigate sections look at the “Top 100 Brain Structures” and video tours of disease progression.

The Radiological Society of North America's web section for patients answers your questions on the many radiological procedures and therapies. Through animated videos such as “Radiology 101” and “The X-Ray Files,” it tells you the purpose of all the various scanning procedures, how they're performed, and so on.

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A Father's Memoir of His Daughter's Courageous Journey By James Reston Jr. (Harmony, 2006) A renowned author tells the heart-wrenching saga of his daughter Hillary's life after mysterious fevers turned an active toddler into a developmentally disabled child suffering from “brain storms” harrowing seizures with violent outbursts. He chronicles a two-decade quest to identify her neurological condition while carving out a family life around her mounting needs.

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A Film by Edmund Messina, M.D. (2006)

In this documentary, 13 chronic headache sufferers recount their experiences with friends, family, coworkers and medical professionals who often failed to understand their neurological ailment. “For decades, I watched people suffer from headache without knowing why,” explains Dr. Messina, medical director for the Michigan Headache Treatment Network. “This film is a message to seek help.”

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The Emergence of a New Science of the Mind By Eric R. Kandel, M.D. (W.W. Norton & Co., 2006) Leave it to the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who discovered how memories stem from conversations between nerve cells to present the mind/brain relationship in an accessible way. And to do so by weaving in his own searing memories of fleeing the Nazis in 1939.

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Careful Planning for the Long Term

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Choosing the right long-term care insurer is as important as picking the right policy. Consumer Reports found that just 3 of 47 California such plans were a safe bet for long-term solvency and recommended only buying a policy from a company with at least a B+ rating by one of the top three rating bureaus.

You can check online ratings from A.M. Best (, Moody's (, and Standard & Poor's (

“Long-term-care insurance may be a lousy deal, but right now it's just about the only deal,” the report concluded.

National Care Planning Council

Comprehensive long-term care info

American Health Care Association

Having Your Say: Advance Directives Guide for Families

Planning Ahead: Consumer Guides to Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities

Helpguide: Rotary Club and Center for Healthy Aging

Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education


Consumer Reports

©2006 American Academy of Neurology