Neurology Now:
Department: Resource Central
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    Good Night, And Good Luck

    Insomnia is a big problem–in more ways than one. First, there's the huge number of people affected by it. Then, there's the fallout from sleeplessness: damage to overall health and quality of life.

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    And making matters worse, a large number of insomniacs aren't getting help–even though poor sleep can be easily treated. According to a recent report by the National Institutes of Health, fewer than half of patients who suffer from insomnia have discussed their fragmented sleep with a physician. Part of the problem may be shorter office visits that don't leave physicians time to ask about sleep if the patient doesn't bring the issue up, the NIH report concluded.

    If you want to beat your insomnia, the first thing to do is to see your doctor.

    In the meantime, for more information on insomnia and other sleep problems, visit the following websites.

    National Sleep Foundation

    Provides a comprehensive look at all aspects of sleep disturbance and related problems.

    American Insomnia Association

    Provides information on the causes of insomnia and detailed explanations of the various therapies to treat it.

    American Academy of Sleep Medicine

    This patient site covers a broad range of sleep problems and includes detailed descriptions of the latest studies on sleep.

    The professional organization provides a list of sleep experts who have trained and been board certified in cognitive behavioral therapy by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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    The Insomnia Answer

    A Personalized Program for Identifying and Overcoming the Three Types of Insomnia

    By Paul Glovinsky, Ph.D., and Art Spielman, Ph.D. (Perigee, 2006)

    If you'd rather try to fix your sleep on your own, this book can walk you through the steps. Two sleep experts explain why sleep is so easily spoiled and why some people are more prone to insomnia than others. The authors describe the process of sleep consolidation–a therapy that works like glue to stick fragmented sleep back together. They tell the reader how to straighten out sleep patterns by changing bedtimes and rising times and how to implement lifestyle changes that promote sound sleep.

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    Assistance Directory


    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

    “The Brain Matters”

    AAN Foundation patients website

    American Academy of Neurology Foundation


    Alzheimer's Association


    Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Service


    Alzheimer's Foundation of America



    Epilepsy Foundation


    Helping Paws of Seizure Dogs

    To find out more about Canine Assistants, the organization featured on page 27 in the article on seizure-response dogs, call 1-800-771-7221 or visit To find other organizations and trainers that offer seizure-response dogs, search the Delta Society's website at


    National Headache Foundation

    1-888-NHF-5552 (1-888-643-5552)


    Huntington's Disease Society of America



    National Multiple Sclerosis Society

    1-800-FIGHT-MS (1-800-344-4867)

    Multiple Sclerosis Association of America



    ALS Association


    Muscular Dystrophy Association

    1-800-FIGHT-MD (1-800-344-4863)


    American Pain Foundation

    1-888-615-PAIN (1-888-615-7246)

    Neuropathy Association



    National Parkinson Foundation


    Parkinson's Disease Foundation


    Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research



    American Stroke Association

    1-888-4-STROKE (1-800-478-7653)

    National Stroke Association

    1-800-STROKES (1-800-787-6563)


    Brain Injury Association of America


    National Spinal Cord Injury Association


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    Fight Insurance Denials

    If you've been denied coverage for needed medical services, following are some places you can go for help navigating the insurance maze (as covered in the article on page 36):

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    Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness


    Medicare Rights Center


    Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals


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    Listening to Depression

    Science keeps transforming outdated notions of depression from an illness of the mind to a disease of the brain. Not only are MRI scans allowing researchers to see exactly how the brain malfunctions, but also, as our story on page 30 shows, neurosurgeons are now reaching into the brain to treat depression at its source.

    For more information about depression, visit these websites:

    Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance,, 1-800-826-3632

    National Alliance for the Mentally Ill,, 1-800-950-6264

    National Institute of Mental Health,, 1-866-615-6464

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    Against Depression

    By Peter D. Kramer, M.D. (Penguin, 2006)

    Over a decade after his landmark bestseller Listening to Prozac revolutionized how we think about antidepressants, the famed psychiatrist defi nitively refutes the romantic notion of “heroic melancholy” with what he calls “an insistent argument that depression is a disease to be opposed wholeheartedly.” Exploring the gap between societal perceptions and scientifi c understanding of depression, he walks readers through groundbreaking research that confirms its status as a devastating disease of the brain.

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    ©2006 American Academy of Neurology