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Reclaiming the Holidays After a Neurologic Diagnosis

The challenges of a significant progressive neurologic condition like MS, Alzheimer's disease, or Parkinson's disease can be particularly pronounced during the holidays, and many people experience grief and loss at this time, but often they find ways to enjoy the celebrations again. In our Holiday Gifts feature, we talk to people who've been through the process who share their advice for reclaiming the holiday spirit after a neurologic diagnosis.

What MS Taught Me About the Holidays

Before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, this young woman pulled out all the stops at Christmas--baking cookies, cleaning the house top to bottom, and decorating every room in the house. After her diagnosis, spending time with family became her biggest priority and she conserved her energy accordingly. In this essay, she describes how she came to this realization..

Make Holiday Shopping Easier

Shelley Peterman Schwarz has had MS for more than 30 years. In that time, she's discovered or invented all the tricks of making life easier and shared them in six books in the Tips for Making Life Easier series (Demos Medical Publishing). Here she shares her tips for making the holidays more manageable and less stressful.

A Simpler Christmas

The author's childhood Christmases were exuberant, crowded, and joyous and her mother was an important and engaged presence. Now that her mother has dementia, the author has found new and meaningful ways—most of them simpler and quieter—to celebrate the holidays. Read more in the author's Speak Up essay.

Actor Blair Underwood Is a Passionate HIV/AIDS Activist

To mark World AIDS day earlier this month, we are reposting our feature on actor Blair Underwood (L.A. Law, Sex and the City, Madea's Family Reunion) who is a passionate activist on behalf of people with HIV/AIDS. Founder of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Blair Underwood Healthcare Center in Washington, DC, Underwood works especially hard to raise awareness of neuro-AIDS, which happens when the virus affects the central nervous system or from side effects of drugs used to treat the disease. Neurologic complications are seen in more than 50 percent of adults with HIV and can cause confusion, forgetfulness, behavioral changes, headaches, and loss of sensation in the arms and legs.

Resource Central
HELP FOR ALL NEUROLOGIC DISORDERS

American Academy of Neurology website
aan.com/patients
1-800-879-1960

CaringBridge® (free, personalized Web sites to support your health journey)
Caringbridge.org
651-452-7940

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
ninds.nih.gov

NINDS Clinical Trial Finder
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/clinicaltrials_us.htm

Well Spouse Association
wellspouse.org
1-800-838-0879

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The Basics

Neurology Now Basics provide key information on individual neurologic conditions, including what causes each condition, how common it is, how it is diagnosed and treated, and what research is being conducted.

Editor-in-Chief:
Orly Avitzur, MD, MBA, FAAN
New York Medical College

ISSN: 1553-3271

Online ISSN: 1553-328X

Frequency: 6 issues a year

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Latest Entry: 12/8/2016 Two L’Oreal Grant Winners Focus on Neurologic Disorders

The Neurologist Is In
Mary.Bolster, Fay.Ellis
Monthly insights and advice from a stroke specialist, a movement disorder expert, and a neuromuscular physician.

Latest Entry: 12/2/2016 Understanding Primary Progressive Aphasia

Caregivers' Corner

Resources for Caregivers

Find the tools and support you need, whether you’re a new caregiver or a longtime veteran.

Speak Up
Editor
Enjoy essays and poetry by people living with neurologic disorders and their caregivers. Readers can also find letters to the editor.

Latest Entry: 10/31/2016 My Mother’s Advocate

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Latest Entry: 12/2/2016 How to Access Your Medical Records

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For info on symptoms, diagnosis, & treatment of Pompe disease, see the Pompe Disease Awareness Resource.