I normally don’t ask for anything from tumblr, but My mom had a stroke and broke her leg in the shower. and the rehab center kicked her out and changed us for the stay when they realized our insurance would only cover 20 days. Worst part is they didn’t let us know until after it was too late.
So we are just asking for a bit of help to pay off the rehab center. We aren’t asking for a lot, just to cover the few extra days she had to spend there when we were getting everything set up for her being home.
In 2012, when she was 13, Georgia Schafer suffered from a Spinal Infarction, a stroke in the spinal chord.
She has been involved in ATA, the American Taekwondo Association, for six years, and this year has qualified for World Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas in the special abilities category. This being said, she has the opportunity as a fifteen year old girl to become a world champion, and therefore the first with that ranking out of our academy.
Unfortunately, due to limited funding, Georgia and her family cannot afford to travel from Western Pennsylvania, where we live, to Little Rock where the tournament is held.
We are hoping with some help, we will be able to raise the money needed. We also plan to fundraise at various churches and business in our area, but any donation you make would go a long way.
Even if you cannot donate, reblogging to spread awareness would be greatly appreciated!
David Washington of Fredericksburg, VA struck another vehicle with his after suffering a stroke. When police arrived on scene, Washington responded slowly due to his medical condition. Rather than ask questions or assume a man moving that lethargically may need medical attention, the officers immediately tried and convicted Washington of Driving While Black. “Get out of the car,” an officer…
We’ve all heard that an aspirin a day can keep heart disease at bay. But lots of Americans seem to be taking it as a preventive measure, when many probably shouldn’t.
In a recent national survey, more than half the adults who were middle age or older reported taking an aspirin regularly to prevent a heart attack or stroke. The Food and Drug Administration only recommends the drug for people who’ve already experienced such an event, or who are at extremely high risk.
However, many of the people taking aspirin daily have never had a heart attack or stroke.
Impaired vision is one of the most common consequences of a stroke. In rare cases, patients may even lose their ability to perceive depth. Such patients see the world around them as flat, like a two-dimensional
picture. This makes it impossible for them to judge distances accurately
– a skill they need, for instance, when reaching for a cup or when a
car is approaching them on the street. A patient with this particular
type of visual dysfunction has recently been studied in detail by the
research team at Saarland University led by Professor Georg Kerkhoff and
Anna-Katharina Schaadt in collaboration with colleagues at the Charité
university hospital in Berlin. The team has developed the first
effective treatment regime and have identified the area of the brain
that, when damaged, may cause loss of binocular depth perception. The
results of the study have been published in the respected academic
Strokes can result in a wide variety of visual impairments. ‘A
patient may, for example, be blind on one side so that he fails to
perceive obstacles or people on that side or have problems when
reading,’ explains Georg Kerkhoff, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology
at Saarland University and head of the Neuropsychological Outpatient
Service. In some cases, however, the consequences are even more serious.
Recently, the team around Kerkhoff and Schaadt collaborated with
Professor of Neurology Dr. Stephan Brandt and his colleague Dr. Antje
Kraft, both at the Berlin Charité, in treating and supervising a patient
who had lost his stereoscopic visual perception as a result of a
stroke. Although the patient was able to perceive all the details of his
surroundings, he was not able to assess distances with any accuracy.
‘Everything for him was flat, like on a painting,’ explains
Anna-Katharina Schaadt, a doctoral research student who is supervised by
Kerkhoff and is the study’s lead author. ‘He moved as if in slow-motion
and was very uncertain about how far away a coffee cup was on a table
or how quickly a car was approaching.’ Like a blind person, he used a
long cane to find his way around.
Kerkhoff and Schaadt’s team at the Neuropsychological Outpatient
Service on the Saarbrücken campus began by looking for the cause of the
patient’s visual impairment.
‘We discovered that the patient was unable to converge the visual
impressions from each eye into a single overall image,’ says Schaadt. In
healthy individuals, this process is known technically as ‘binocular
fusion’ and is important for three-dimensional vision.
Once the diagnosis had been made, the team of neuropsychologists
provided a three-week block of therapy during which the patient
undertook daily training to improve his visual perception of depth.
Three different training methods were employed. Special visual training
equipment (prisms, vergence trainer and cheiroscope) were used to
present the patient with two images with a slight lateral offset between
them. By using what are known as convergent eye movements, the patient
attempts to fuse the two images into a single image. This involves
directing the eyes inward towards the nose while always keeping the
images in the field of view. With time, the two separate images fuse to
form a single image that exhibits stereoscopic depth, i.e. the patient
has re-established binocular single vision. ‘It was as if a switch had
been thrown; the patient was suddenly able to perceive spatial depth
again, judge distances correctly and reach out and hold objects with
confidence’, describes Schaadt. The patient has now returned to work as a
lawyer. At a follow-up examination a year later, the patient still
exhibited good stereoscopic depth perception, and can therefore be
considered to be permanently cured according to Professor Kerkhoff.
The procedure could be used in future by therapists to help treat
other stroke patients suffering from this extreme form of visual
impairment. The results of the study are also of interest to researchers
working in the field, as Professor Brandt explains: ‘The results
illustrate the very specific functional organization of our brains.
Damage to the areas known as V6 and V6A in the parietal lobe is
associated with impaired three-dimensional visual perception. This area
of the brain has been studied in primates. However, further research is
required to understand its function in humans.’
The Blind Woman Who Sees Rain, But Not Her Daughter’s Smile
Imagine a world that is completely black. You can’t see a thing — unless something happens to move. You can see the rain falling from the sky, the steam coming from your coffee cup, a car passing by on the street.This was the world that Milena Channing claimed to see, back in 2000, shortly after she was blinded by a stroke at 29 years old. But when she told her doctors about these strange apparitions, they looked at her brain scans (the stroke had destroyed basically her entire primary visual cortex, the receiving station of visual information to the brain), and told her she must be hallucinating.
“You’re blind and that’s it,” Channing remembers them saying to her.
Frustrated and convinced these visions were real, Channing made her way from doctor to doctor until she finally found one who believed her: Dr. Gordon Dutton, an ophthalmologist in Glasgow. He told her he’d once read about such a case — a soldier in World War I who, after a bullet injury to the head, could only see things in motion.
Here’s why: If this is about motion, only being able to see things in motion, she’d be able to see the stationary world, at least a little, if she herself started moving.
It helped. In the weeks and months after her visit (after employing other techniques like shaking her head), Channing began to see the world more vividly. And when she finally visited a team of neuroscientists in Canada (five years after her stroke), they filled in the picture. It turns out that one area of her brain ’s cortex — an area reserved specifically for processing motion (visual area MT, for middle temporal area) — had been preserved. So even though information wasn’t going through the primary visual cortex, somehow it was still getting out to the part of the brain that can register objects in motion.
Cue the cars. And the rain. And the coffee steam. Channing was truly seeing them.
But here’s the catch. Though this compartmentalized nature of vision may have been Channing’s blessing, it’s also proving to be a quiet curse. Just as there seems to be an area of the brain that processes motion, there is one for faces; and as much as Channing’s vision continues to improve, she still can’t recognize — even perceive — a face.
Channing says that every now and then, that hard boundary of what she can and can’t see frustrates her. “Who does she look like?” Channing wonders, as she gazes straight at her daughter’s face.
For an artist’s rendition of Milena Channing’s world, watch the video above, which also explains a bit more about the modular nature of vision.
Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution May Pose Risk to Brain Structure, Cognitive Functions
Air pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a
factor in raising the risk of stroke. A new study led by scientists
from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston University School
of Medicine suggests that long-term exposure can cause damage to brain
structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older
Writing in the May 2015 issue of Stroke, researchers who
studied more than 900 participants of the Framingham Heart Study found
evidence of smaller brain structure and of covert brain infarcts, a type
of “silent” ischemic stroke resulting from a blockage in the blood
vessels supplying the brain.
The study evaluated how far participants lived from major roadways
and used satellite imagery to assess prolonged exposure to ambient fine
particulate matter, particles with a diameter of 2.5 millionth of a
meter, referred to as PM2.5.
These particles come from a variety of sources, including power
plants, factories, trucks and automobiles and the burning of wood. They
can travel deeply into the lungs and have been associated in other
studies with increased numbers of hospital admissions for cardiovascular
events such as heart attacks and strokes.
“This is one of the first studies to look at the relationship between
ambient air pollution and brain structure,” says Elissa Wilker, ScD, a
researcher in the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Our findings suggest that air
pollution is associated with insidious effects on structural brain
aging, even in dementia- and stroke-free individuals.”
Study participants were at least 60 years old and were free of
dementia and stroke. The evaluation included total cerebral brain
volume, a marker of age-associated brain atrophy; hippocampal volume,
which reflect changes in the area of the brain that controls memory;
white matter hyperintensity volume, which can be used as a measure of
pathology and aging; and covert brain infarcts.
The study found that an increase of only 2µg per cubic meter in
PM2.5, a range commonly observed across metropolitan regions in New
England and New York, was associated with being more likely to have
covert brain infarcts and smaller cerebral brain volume, equivalent to
approximately one year of brain aging.
“These results are an important step in helping us learn what is
going on in the brain,” Wilker says. “The mechanisms through which air
pollution may affect brain aging remain unclear, but systemic
inflammation resulting from the deposit of fine particles in the lungs
is likely important.”
“This study shows that for a 2 microgram per cubic meter of air (μg/m3)
increase in PM2.5, a range commonly observed across major US cities, on
average participants who lived in more polluted areas had the brain
volume of someone a year older than participants who lived in less
polluted areas. They also had a 46 percent higher risk of silent strokes
on MRI,” said Sudha Seshadri, MD, a Professor of Neurology at Boston
University School of Medicine and Senior Investigator, the Framingham
“This is concerning since we know that silent strokes increase the
risk of overt strokes and of developing dementia, walking problems and
depression. We now plan to look at more the impact of air pollution over
a longer period, its effect on more sensitive MRI measures, on brain
shrinkage over time, and other risks including of stroke and dementia.”
Stroke is the leading cause of severe long-term disability in the
United States, and less than 40 percent of patients who experience the
most severe form of stroke regain functional independence if they
receive the standard drug intervention alone. Now a study by an
international group of stroke physician-researchers has found that
removal of the clot causing a severe stroke, in combination with the
standard medication, improves the restoration of blood flow to the brain
and may result in better long term outcomes.
The findings of the Swift Prime trial (Solitaire With the Intention
For Thrombectomy as PRIMary Endovascular treatment) were reported April
17 in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine and are scheduled to be published in the journal’s June 11 print edition.
“These findings are a game-changer for how we should treat certain types of stroke,” says Demetrius Lopes, MD, surgical director of the comprehensive stroke center at Rush
and a co-author of the study. “These outcomes are the difference
between patients being able to care for themselves after stroke and
Rush was one of the 39 centers in the U.S. and Europe that participated in the Swift Prime trial.
Out, damned clot!
More than 795,000 people have a stroke
each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. About 87 percent of these incidents are ischemic strokes,
which result from clots in vessels supplying blood to the brain.
The standard treatment for ischemic stroke within the first three to
four and a half hours of symptoms is intravenous tissue plasminogen
activator (IV tPA), a medication which dissolves the clot. However in
the approximately 20 percent of cases in which one of the major arteries
is blocked, resulting in a severe stroke, IV tPA alone may not be
sufficient to dissolve the clot. If a patient experiencing a severe
stroke is brought to a qualified hospital in time, doctors also may be
able to perform a minimally invasive procedure called thrombectomy to
remove the clot.
During thrombectomy, a neurovascular surgeon threads a catheter
through an incision in the patient’s groin, snaking it through the blood
vessels and into the brain. The doctor then uses a device attached to
the catheter to grab and dislodge the clot and pull it all the way out
through the incision, a bit like an angler reeling in a fish.
One more out of every four
The Swift Prime study randomly divided patients with severe ischemic
strokes into two groups, one receiving IV tPA alone, and the other
receiving combination therapy of IV tPA and thrombectomy within six
hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. (IV tPA currently is the only
treatment for ischemic stroke approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, but the use of thrombectomy is allowed in clinical
trials.) In all, 196 patients — 98 in each group — at 39 centers in the
U.S. and Canada participated in the study between December 2012 and
The researchers assessed each patient’s level of disability after 90
days using a standardized measurement. The study found that the patients
who received IV tPA plus thrombectomy exhibited reduced disability
across the entire range of the measurement, with a functional
independence rate of 60 percent compared to 35.5 percent for those
patients who received only IV tPA.
“For every 2.6 patients treated, one additional patient had an
improved disability outcome; for every four patients treated, one
additional patient was independent at 90 day follow-up,” the New England Journal of Medicine article declares.
The study also found that patients who received thrombectomy had
better cerebral blood flow rates: At 27 hours after treatment, 82.8
percent of those patients had blood flow that was 90 percent of normal
or better, versus 40.4 percent of patients who only received IV tPA. The
study’s findings depart from three previous trials that did not find
thrombectomy provided greater benefits than IV tPA alone. “The Swift
Prime trial used better technology, better imaging and quicker
intervention, and we obtained a different result,” Lopes says.
In fact, Swift Prime was one of four recent worldwide studies that
evaluated newer thombectomy devices and techniques. The result of the
first study, reported in the New England Journal in December, found such
strong evidence of the benefit of thrombectomy that the other trials
“Ethically, we can’t deny patients a treatment when we have such
strong evidence it’s better for them,” Lopes says. At Rush and other
study locations, thrombectomy now is a standard treatment within the
first few hours for patients with severe strokes.
‘Time equals brain’
However, time remains crucial in stroke treatment. For every minute
that a stroke is untreated, a patient loses 1.9 million brain cells and
14 billion connections between brain cells – a phenomenon underlying the
stroke awareness adage “time equals brain.”
“The majority of the positive results of these trials were found in
patients treated within four hours, six hours tops,” observes James Connors, MD, medical director of the Rush comprehensive stroke center.
Of all the participating sites in the Swift Prime trial, Rush was
found to provide the fastest times from patient arrival to insertion of
the catheter and from initiation of the procedure to restoration of
blood flow, both of which are critically important to improving
The Rush stroke team also was recognized for having the best workflow
among a larger group of 203 sites in the U.S., Europe, Canada and
Australia that participated in Swift Prime and two other affiliated
stroke studies. Workflow refers to the coordination of the stroke team –
including emergency medicine personnel, neurologists, neurosurgeons and
neurointensive care specialists – to provide quick treatment.
Time for a change
Lopes and Conners believe the results of these studies demonstrate
the need for a different approach to stroke care. Conners notes that
nationwide, the average usage of IV tPA in U.S. stroke cases is only
about five percent. “It’s far below where we need to be,” he says.
He believes that educating people to recognize signs of stroke and
call 911, and taking steps to make sure they’re taken to the right
facility, would improve usage to 50 percent. “We’re constantly working
with the city’s Emergency Medical Services division and the emergency
department at Rush to get the stroke recognized and treated as soon as
possible,” Conners says.
Lopes points out that Rush currently is one of only a few hospitals
in Chicago that can perform thrombectomy. “Many of the stroke patients
who could benefit from it can’t be brought here in time,” he says. “We
need to make the treatment standard.”
In addition, Lopes feels that paramedics need additional training and
equipment that would enable them to screen stroke patients in the field
and determine which ones would benefit from thrombectomy.
“Rush is doing great from getting our patients from the door of the
hospital to fixing the problem,” he says. “We can do even better as a
city if we can get patients who need thrombectomy even faster to the
hospitals that can provide that care.”
An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel (artery) supplying blood to an area of the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot. About 80 out of 100 strokes are ischemic strokes. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks or bursts (ruptures). (Source)
This beautiful woman is my mom, she is the strongest woman I know and has undergone so much in the past few months. I’ve set up a GoFundMe, incase any of you are interested in helping my family out with the medical bills and care my mother will need.