Friday, July 30, 2010

Two great things in one story

I"m a fan of the BBC television show Doctor Who - and a fan of efforts to help people hit by a condition called aphasia, which affects the speech of many stroke patients.

So I had to include a link to a story about a recurring Doctor Who character - the Dalek - and its use in an event to raise money to serve aphasia sufferers:

A Dalek was the menacing attraction as the Ewell Village Fair became the first fund-raising event this year for the chosen charities of the borough's new mayor.

The fair, held at Ewell Castle School, was in aid of Dyscover, the Samaritans and Meru, and Councillor Clive Smitheram, mayor of Epsom & Ewell, has plenty more in the pipeline. ...

Based in Walton-on-the-Hill, Dyscover provides specially designed speech and language programmes for those suffering with a brain condition called aphasia, helping them to adjust on a long-term basis.
A quick quote with more details about aphasia:

Aphasia is an impairment of language which occurs when someone suffers injury to the language areas of the brain. Aphasia can affect language in many ways including its production (ability to speak), and its comprehension (ability to understand others when they speak), as well as other related abilities such as reading and writing. Over 20% of all people who suffer a stroke develop some form of aphasia.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Help wanted: Stroke awareness

A stroke can happen at any age
This month, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. [British Columbia] and Yukon launched a two-year campaign to familiarize people with the five signs of stroke -- rapid onset of weakness, speech impairment, vision problems, severe headache and dizziness -- and the urgency of immediate treatment.

The stroke awareness campaign is needed, according to statistics from the foundation.

- A survey in 2007 found fewer than 54 per cent of British Columbians could name just two of the five stroke warning signs.

- About 1,500 people (roughly one-third of stroke victims) in B.C. die within a year of their stroke.

- A conservative estimate pegs the annual cost of strokes in B.C. at more than $330 million.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A note of caution - for the not-so-old

Young and healthy? Check cholesterol anyway
Using data from 2,587 young adults — men aged 20 to 35 years; women aged 20 to 45 years — from the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, Dr. Elena Kuklina and colleagues tested to see whether the frequency of cholesterol screenings was higher for patients who had one or more risk factors for coronary heart disease, which include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity or family history of heart disease before age 50.

Rates of heart disease and related conditions as well as risk factors were high among the adults in the study — consisting of 59% of the sample. So were the rates of elevated "bad," or LDL, cholesterol. Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol were present in 7% of young adults with no risk factors, 12% with one risk factor, 26% with two or more risk factors and 65% of those with heart disease or related conditions.

"This is worrisome," said Kuklina, a fellow at the CDC's division of heart disease and stroke prevention. "Not only do a lot of young adults have [coronary heart disease] or its equivalents, but a large majority have high cholesterol too."
(Image from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Needs for awareness, prevention are clear

I always pay special attention to news from my home state, Arkansas. A recent article from a newspaper called the Paragould Daily Press illustrates a life reclaimed thanks to clot-busting tPA and lists some statistics showing the need for stroke awareness and prevention in Arkansas:
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Arkansas had 1,875 stroke-related deaths in 2005, the most recent year for which data is available. Arkansas also ranks third highest among all states in stroke deaths, with 61 per 100,000, according to the CDC. The nationwide direct and indirect cost of medical and institutional care of permanently disabled stroke victims was more than $70 billion in 2009.

Since the program began Nov. 1, 2008, 99 stroke patients have been treated by Arkansas SAVES neurologists and 15 have received the t-PA.

(Map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

'Nothing is too hard for you'

Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Comforting words from Jeremiah for those who are struggling. Have faith. Look at all what God has done. You are important to him - and nothing is too hard for him to accomplish.

Yes, it might or might not take the form you expect. But he is there beside you. With his outstretched arm.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Never get tired of Isaiah 40:31

[B]ut those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

These words in Isaiah can be powerful reminders that with God, your strength is not just your own, your source of strength is beyond your own. God renews that strength.

I run, and I can tell you, this human body does grow weary. But Isaiah isn't talking about the mere human condition, the human body. He is not talking about strength that can be counted by the pound. No - he's talking about strength in faith. It's about strength in faith that will carry stroke survivors and caregivers and yes, they will soar on wings like eagles.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Good words from stroke survivor - honoring God

Ran across this short video featuring great entertainer Della Reese. She suffered a stroke when she was at the height of her entertaining career. She was on set of NBC's "The Tonight Show."

The video was her response after recognition from the National Stroke Association:

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Read the labels - lower your stroke risk

Most Americans get too much salt -
... {S]alt is so pervasive in the food supply it's difficult for most people to consume less. Too much salt can increase your blood pressure, which is major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

"Nine in 10 American adults consume more salt than is recommended," said report co-author Dr. Elena V. Kuklina, an epidemiologist in the Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention at the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Kuklina noted that most of the salt Americans consume comes from processed foods, not from the salt shaker on the table. You can control the salt in the shaker, but not the sodium added to processed foods, she said.