National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month
In January 2006, Bob Woodruff, a television correspondent for ABC News, was in an armored tank that was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Woodruff sustained shrapnel wounds to his head and was rushed to surgery where he underwent a craniectomy to relieve pressure in his brain. Despite a shattered skull and extensive damage to his brain, Woodruff made a remarkable recovery. Now he's trying to ensure similar outcomes for other TBI survivors. To learn how he's doing that, visit bit.ly/NN-Woodruff. For other stories and information about TBI, visit our archives here.
Dancing Helps People with Parkinson's Disease
Letting loose on the dance floor may help those with Parkinson's disease. Whether it's tango, tap, or modern dance, what matters is moving. Patients say dance therapy can loosen tight joints, improve overall movement, and banish the blues. In our story on a dance company in New York that held classes for people with Parkinson's, students report feeling lighter, less clumsy, and more expressive. To read the details, click here. For other stories about dance and neurologic disease, click here.
National Suicide Prevention Awareness
People with neurologic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, and dementia may be more at risk for suicide than the general population. For example, an analysis of data from more than 220,000 stroke survivors in Sweden found that they were twice as likely to commit suicide as people in the general population, with the risk being higher in the first two years after the stroke. People with amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are six times more likely to commit suicide, according to another large study from Sweden. To protect loved ones from the risk of suicide, families and friends can learn to spot the signs of an inclination toward suicide. To learn more about those signs, view the story here. For more stories about preventing suicide, view our archives.
I'm Still Here
More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and 200,000 of them are diagnosed before the age of 65. In response to these statistics, support groups have popped up for people with younger-onset Alzheimer's who may be less self-conscious about their disease and more willing to talk about it and more aggressive about treating it. In our January/February 2007 issue, we profiled several people with early-onset Alzheimer's to find out how they and their families manage. To read the full story, click here.
National Yoga Awareness Month
Research about the effects of yoga on neurologic symptoms is increasing, says Arlene Schmid, PhD, an occupational therapist at Colorado State University who has studied how yoga may benefit people with stroke, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain. The fact that yoga is low-risk has persuaded some neurologists to recommend it to their patients. People with Parkinson's disease like Sharon Krischer report that yoga has helped improve their balance, strength, and flexibility. Studies also show that it may help reduce fatigue, pain, stress, and anxiety. To learn more about how yoga may ease neurologic symptoms, visit bit.ly/NN-Yoga.