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May Is Stroke Awareness Month

Each year about 795,000 Americans experience a new or recurring stroke. About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic, which means they are caused by blockage of a blood vessel, usually by a blood clot. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in or near the brain. Learn more of the basics here. To read more about stroke, including risk factors and ways to lower those risks, visit our archives.

Ease Chronic Pain with Meditation

Chronic pain is a symptom of many neurologic diseases—and can be challenging to manage. Now a new study offers hope of another therapy option. Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the study shows that mindfulness meditation may reduce perceptions of pain by as much as 24 percent—and that meditation may use a different pathway in the brain than opioids to block pain. Read more about the study and its implications for pain here.

Essential Massage

For many people with neurologic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, migraine, and neuropathy, a massage is more than a luxurious indulgence. It's therapeutic, helping to restore circulation and mobility, reduce pain, and improve well-being. Learn more about the benefits of massage, including how to do it at home, here.

Art Triggers Memory

Painting, drawing, and other forms of art therapy help people with Alzheimer's disease access memories. People with Parkinson's disease whose tremors prevent them from holding a pen to write, often find fluidity when painting a canvas. Stroke survivors who can't speak may find their voice after engaging in art therapy. Scientists are still puzzling out the mechanism behind art therapy's ability to trigger memory and language. Find out more here.

A Stroke Leaves Writer Unable to Read

In January 2008, Esmeralda Santiago, the author of the memoir When I Was Puerto Rican and novels including America's DreamThe Turkish Lover, and Conquistadora, had a stroke. One of the consequences of her stroke was the inability to read—no small matter for a writer. Learn how she reclaimed the world of books here.

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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: 5/16/2016 FDA Approves New Drug to Treat Parkinson’s-Related Psychosis

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: 4/28/2016 5 Advances in ALS Research

Caregivers' Corner

Resources for Caregivers

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

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

Latest Entry: 3/23/2016 Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster of MS

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Latest Entry: 5/18/2016 Find an Early-Stage Clinical Trial

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