Well With Movement Disorders
(NAPSI)—Innovative technology for the treatment of Parkinson’s
disease and other movement disorders was recently implanted for the 100,000th time worldwide, inspiring people like longtime fitness trainer Roy Roden to
pursue previously impossible goals.
Roden has always had an adventurous spirit, and the 55-year-old and his
wife Lynn enjoy participating in many interesting outdoor activities
together. This month, Roden and his wife embarked on their most challenging
journey together yet—a 4,500-mile cross-country bike ride to raise
awareness and research funds for Parkinson’s disease.
Just a few months ago, these activities would have been unmanageable for
Roden, who is one of the more than 1 million Americans living with Parkinson’s.
Diagnosed in 2008, he began experiencing difficulty over time with basic
tasks, such as eating and getting dressed. Each day, he was taking 10
different medications, and their effectiveness was waning.
“It was crazy—I was taking some medications purely to control
the symptoms from other medications,” Roden said.
Last July, Roden made the decision with his neurologist and family to
pursue Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy, during which a small,
pacemaker-like device sends electronic stimulation to a specific area of the
brain that controls movement. The stimulation suppresses the unwanted motor
symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The device is placed under the skin in
the chest, and very thin wires connect the device to the brain to enable the
electrical stimulation to reach the source of symptoms.
Roden says the tremors he experienced before the surgery have decreased
thanks to Medtronic DBS therapy.
“DBS therapy has given me things I never would’ve had without
it. I didn’t want to be looking in the mirror in 15 years, wishing I
had done the surgery,” he said.
Roden added that when a cure is discovered for the disease, he will be
ready. “The therapy is reversible, so when they find a cure, my doctor
can just take the device out.”
Medtronic DBS therapy can reduce several motor symptoms associated with
Parkinson’s disease, including stiffness or inflexibility of the limbs
or joints; slowness/absence of movement; and involuntary, rhythmic shaking of
a limb, the head, or the entire body. Results with the therapy vary; not
every individual will receive the same benefits or experience the same
complications. Patients should discuss potential risks and benefits of DBS
with their physician. Medtronic DBS therapy is the only FDA-approved DBS
therapy in the
for Parkinson’s disease, as
well as essential tremor and dystonia (through a Humanitarian Device
“DBS therapy has harnessed advanced technology to meet the varied
needs of patients and enabled them in many cases to improve their ability to
live well with movement disorders,” said Bruno V. Gallo, M.D., Roy’s
neurologist and Director of Intraoperative Neurophysiology & DBS at the
University of Miami’s Department of Neurology.
That is certainly true for Roden. Feeling healthy and strong, his mission
is to educate people who have Parkinson’s about their options for
managing their disease. Roy, his wife and brother-in-law are currently on their
3.5-month-long bike ride, which started in
and will end in
South Florida, and are
making frequent stops to speak to community groups and raise funds for
“People’s amazing response to what we’re doing has
restored my faith in humanity,” he said.
Roden sees his ability to bike cross-country as a true gift.
“DBS therapy has opened a door for me. It’s been a great ride
For further facts about Medtronic DBS Therapy, go to www.knowbeforeyouneed.com or
follow Roden’s journey at www.pdchallenge.com.
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Simple Tips For A Healthy Heart
(NAPSI)—Getting on the road to a healthier lifestyle is as easy as taking
better care of your heart. According to internist and researcher Dr. Steven
Lamm, “Caring for your heart is one of the most important things you can do
for your body, and simple steps can make a big difference.”
Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in
, it’s always a good time
to take steps to reduce your risk of heart disease:
1. Get plenty of exercise—at
least 30 to 60 minutes most days. You don’t have to do it all at once,
however; several 10-minute sessions work just as well to help lower your
weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. Plus, activities such as gardening,
housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count as exercise.
2. Eat a heart-healthy diet. If
you’re like most Americans, that means eating more fruits, whole grains and
vegetables (five to 10 servings a day) and more foods rich in omega-3 fatty
acids, such as salmon, mackerel, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and
canola oil. Try to limit the amount of red meat and fried food you eat and
dairy products should be low or no fat.
3. Take aspirin to lower your
risk of getting blood clots, if recommended by your doctor.
4. Try to manage stress. Deep
breathing, meditation or yoga may help.
5. Take supplements. Dr. Lamm
recommends the natural supplement Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) to help
maintain healthy circulation and assist blood flow. It supports healthy blood
pressure and offers healthy cholesterol maintenance.
6. Don’t smoke. Even smokeless
tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes are risky. Also, try to avoid
secondhand smoke. The good news: Smokers who quit cut their risk of heart
disease by half after a year.
7. Drink alcohol only in moderation—no
more than two drinks a day for men, one a day for women.
8. Get regular checkups. Your
doctor should test for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can
damage your heart and blood vessels. Diabetes is also a risk factor for heart
9. Maintain a healthy weight. Reducing your weight by just 10 percent can decrease your blood pressure,
lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of diabetes. Men are
considered overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches;
women, if it’s greater than 35 inches.
Find out more about the health benefits of Pycnogenol by visiting www.pycnogenol.com.
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Cause And Coincidence: There’s A Difference
(NAPSI)—It happens all the time: You’ve been swimming a lot
and then one night when your head hits the pillow you suddenly notice that
your ear hurts. You’ve got swimmer’s ear—but what causes
it? Surprisingly, swimmer’s ear is not caused by swimming at all. It’s
simply associated with swimming. It’s actually caused by bacteria or
fungi that invade the ear canal.
Understanding the details behind this sort of thing is what the scientists
known as toxicologists routinely do—that is, they determine the difference
between what might cause an adverse health effect and what might only be
associated with it.
Understanding causation versus association can be difficult, especially
when it comes to health and the possible factors in producing or preventing a
For example, people used to believe that stomach ulcers were caused by
stress and spicy food. It’s now known that ulcers are caused by the
bacteria H. pylori. There was an
association among ulcers, stress and spicy food, in that they often occurred
simultaneously, but stress and spicy food don’t cause ulcers, bacteria
Causality, toxicologists say, can be proven only by demonstrating how
something actually leads to an effect. The challenge in cases of such
conditions as Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS, autism, ADHD
or Parkinson’s disease is that it’s extremely difficult to know
if a toxin or some other factor is involved with the disease. Certainly, no
one would suggest giving a known or even potentially toxic substance to
people on purpose, so most such medical research can only indicate
correlations. That means any potential role of environmental or dietary
factors in human disease must be done through studies that investigate the
common factors among people (diet, habits, workplace) that could provide a
connection to the disease. These epidemiology studies are still limited in
that they can only reveal potential associations and can never prove
Even when scientists warn there’s more work needed to prove
causation, many people leap to thinking they should eat or not eat a specific
food or take a specific nutritional supplement. One hears “eating fish
prevents heart disease” when in fact the research found only that heart
disease is less frequent among persons consuming fish—an association
but not necessarily a cause—and fish eaters do still get heart disease.
That’s why, when new research comes out on potential associations
between agents or activities and disease, everyone should carefully weigh the
information before making any lifestyle changes.
You can learn more from the experts at the Society of Toxicology at www.toxicology.org and (703) 438-3115.
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Myths About Diabetes: Needles Hurt
(NAPSI)—New needle innovations are helping patients with diabetes
more comfortably inject insulin, helping dispel the myth that injections are
painful. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects
25.8 million Americans. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age but is often
diagnosed in children, teens or young adults. Type 2 most often occurs in
adulthood. Treatment options can include diet, exercise and medication that
may require multiple injections a day, such as insulin.
While millions of patients inject insulin every day, many people may not
know that new, shorter needles can help make injecting more comfortable. New
pen needles as short as 4mm with a thinner gauge and a modified needle tip
have been designed and shown to improve the comfort of injections. These
shorter needles also lower the chance of accidentally injecting insulin into
the muscle, which can be painful. Needles as short as 4mm are effective for
children as well as adult patients, even those with a high body mass index (BMI).
Longer needles could go too deep into the patient’s body and actually
deliver insulin into the muscle, where absorption could be unpredictable and
potentially create unanticipated hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) conditions.
Another benefit of using a 4mm needle is that most patients don’t
have to “pinch up” the skin when injecting, making it possible to
use only one hand. With a one-handed technique, patients can be more discreet
when injecting and also rotate to more injection sites—such as the
upper arm and buttocks—to avoid getting bumps (called “lipos”)
under the skin. The American Association of Diabetes Educators recommends
patients select the shortest needle possible.
Continued needle advancements can help ease the hesitation or fear that
patients might feel about injecting. If you or a loved one is new to
injection therapy, you may wish to review shorter needle options with your
healthcare professional. For patients who need to inject multiple times a day
and are looking to improve comfort, consider switching to a shorter needle
length with a thinner gauge. For more information, visit www.bd.com/nano.
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Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski Shares Insight Into
His Battle With Osteoarthritis
Krzyzewski never thought he would see this moment. As the
men’s basketball team stood
on the podium to receive its 2012 Olympic gold medal, Coach K thought back to
a more difficult time, when he was in constant pain.
The pain started in his groin and began to consume his daily life. As the
men’s basketball coach at
University, he needed
to support his team, actively running up and down the court. But his pain
slowed him down and eventually caused him to coach from a sideline chair.
“I really came close to retiring from coaching because the pain was
getting unbearable both on and off the court, despite daily medication and
physical therapy,” said Coach K. “That ‘99 season could very well have been my
last if I had not gotten help.”
Coach K’s Journey To Hip Replacement
He finally saw a doctor and found out the pain was caused by severe
osteoarthritis in his left hip. In 1999, after consulting with an orthopaedic surgeon, he had his left hip replaced. A
couple years later, when he experienced similar symptoms in his right hip,
Coach K didn’t wait as long. He spoke with his orthopaedic surgeon right away and they decided to replace his right hip. Following both
procedures, he underwent post-surgery rehabilitation to facilitate his
But Coach K isn’t the only one who has had severe joint pain. In fact, one
in five Americans suffers from a debilitating joint disease called
osteoarthritis, a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Osteoarthritis
begins with stiffness and pain from the affected joint and can eventually
lead to long-term health problems if left untreated. The disease wears down
the cartilage in the affected joints, which causes the bones to rub together
and results in swelling, pain and limited range of motion. Still, people wait
up to 11 years before seeking hip and knee replacement surgery.*
Resource for Those Experiencing
Severe Joint Pain
In an effort to encourage those suffering from severe joint pain to talk
to their doctor about treatment options, Coach K teamed up with DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. to
share his experience with osteoarthritis and hip replacement surgery. His
story is part of the booklet “Had I Known Then,” edited by Ellyn Spragins, author of the best-selling “Letters to My
Younger Self®” book series. “Had I Known Then” includes letters from joint
replacement patients to their younger selves to provide encouragement and
insight about their own experiences.
“With the benefit of hindsight, I realized that, for all those years when
I was suffering from osteoarthritis, I was bringing other opponents to the
basketball court—pain, fatigue, lack of movement—and that really limited my ability
to be a good leader and coach. I was battling a lot of opponents, not just
those on the court. I really wish I would have had my hip replaced sooner,”
said Coach K.
Through speaking with Coach K and others who suffered from osteoarthritis,
Ellyn Spragins discovered that few people reflect
on the impact their health has on their lives, even though physicality is
intimately tied to emotional well-being. With this collection of letters, she
hopes the booklet inspires people to learn from the examples of other joint
replacement patients and consider the impact that arthritis pain is having on
them and their families now and how treatment could affect the course of
To read the booklet, including Coach K’s letter
to his younger self, visit www.HadIKnownThen.com.
Important Safety Information:
The performance of knee and hip replacements depends on age, weight,
activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery
takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have
knee or hip replacement surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can determine if knee or hip replacement is required based on an
individual patient’s condition.
Note: The third-party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their
*DePuy Hip: A&U/Segmentation. Final Report
January 2008. Data on file.
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Be Smart About Stroke
(NAPSI)—Knowing a little about stroke may help you to reduce
disability or save a life.
Consider what happened to Juaquin “Hawk” Hawkins, a
professional basketball player, 34 years-old and in top physical condition.
He had a stroke-and didn’t recognize the warning signs, nor did the
people around him.
According to the American Stroke Association, a division of the American
Heart Association, only two out of three Americans know at least one of the
stroke warning signs. Yet stroke is the No. 4 killer for all Americans and
the No. 1 preventable cause of disability.
That’s why the American Stroke Association’s Together to End
Stroke initiative, which is nationally sponsored by global medical products
company Covidien, is helping Americans recognize the stroke warning signs in
an easy way. Just remember F.A.S.T. and the symptoms that come on suddenly:
F - Face drooping
A - Arm weakness
S - Speech difficulty
T - Time to call 9-1-1.
When you recognize a stroke and act fast by calling 9-1-1, you have a
greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and improving
“Stroke can happen to anyone at any time and it is largely
preventable, treatable and beatable,” says Hawkins. “The American
Stroke Association can help to empower you to prevent stroke. When you learn
to prevent stroke, you improve the outlook for your future and live a
According to the American Stroke Association, the actions you take to
prevent stroke can also help you to prevent heart disease. For more
information about stroke and a complete list of the warning signs, visit www.strokeassociation.org/warningsigns.
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Powerful, Precise Treatment, Fewer Side Effects For Lung Cancer Patients
(NAPSI)—According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer
(small-cell and non-small cell) is by far the leading cause of cancer death
The five-year survival rate is just 15 percent among those diagnosed with the
disease—but recent technological advances in treatment may change all
About 30 to 50 percent of lung cancer patients have locally advanced
tumors that require a combined treatment regimen that includes radiation
therapy. Because the lungs are close to several critical structures in the
body, it's challenging to deliver an adequate dose of radiation to a
cancerous tumor while sparing these nearby normal tissues. That's where
proton therapy has the advantage for many lung cancer patients.
Proton therapy is an advanced type of radiation treatment that uses a beam
of protons to deliver radiation directly to the tumor. Its precision and
ability to reduce the risk of short- and long-term side effects appealed to
One Man's Story
In 2007, at the age of 37 and a year after surviving bladder cancer,
devastating news. A routine chest X-ray revealed a mass in his right lung,
which turned out to be stage IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer.
A team of cancer experts at MD Anderson told
Martinez about proton therapy and the MD
Anderson Proton Therapy Center. Dr. Ritsuko Komaki, the director of MD
Anderson's Thoracic Radiation Oncology Program, explained how proton therapy
precisely delivers high doses of powerful radiation directly to the tumor
with less damage to nearby healthy organs.
"Knowing that proton therapy would allow my team to target the
radiation directly to the tumor in my lung and protect my esophagus, spine
and heart was extremely encouraging and all I needed to hear," said
Martinez, who was
concerned about side effects. "I knew I was going to receive the most
advanced radiation treatment technology."
Dr. Komaki, who has treated many lung cancer patients with proton therapy,
agrees that it is an excellent option for patients who have tumors located in
sensitive areas of the body, like the lung or in the chest.
"Proton therapy allows us to precisely target the radiation just
where the patient needs it," Dr. Komaki explained. "With the
location of Chuck's tumor, it was critical to limit the radiation dose to
surrounding areas of his body, especially since he was on concurrent
Every weekday for about seven weeks,
had chemotherapy at the MD Anderson main campus and proton therapy treatments
at the nearby MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. He tolerated both therapies
well and was able to maintain his weight during treatment.
is a state-of-the-art facility. I liked the fact that I was going to a place
where they were experts in cancer and proton therapy," he said.
"The staff and therapists were fantastic."
has been cancer free for more than five years. A former drummer for a cover
band, he still gets together with his old bandmates to play every now and
then. Most of his time, however, revolves around his wife, Lora, and their
9-year-old daughter, Mia.
He also now lives a healthier, more active lifestyle. He ran his first
half marathon in 2011, raising money for the charity CanCare, Inc., an
organization whose volunteers regularly visit cancer patients.
"It was one of the hardest and yet most rewarding things I've ever
who has now run several half marathons. "It is very meaningful for me to
be here and to be able to share such an accomplishment with my wife after all
we've been through."
For more information about the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center, visit MDAndersonProton.com or call toll free 1-866-632-4782.
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Understanding And Overcoming An Ultra-Rare Bleeding Disorder
(NAPSI)—Imagine a mother holding her newborn baby in her arms when,
suddenly, she notices considerable bleeding from the site of the baby’s
umbilical cord. And it simply won’t stop. In moments, her joy and
happiness turn into an unimaginable sense of fear and a frantic search for a
For people born with one of the rarest bleeding disorders in the world,
such bleeding is often one of life’s first challenges.
Congenital fibrinogen deficiency, or Type 1 CFD, is a rare, potentially
life threatening, hereditary bleeding disorder that can result in
spontaneous, unexplained, ongoing bleeding. The condition affects
approximately one person per million, with an estimated prevalence of 300
patients in the
. In people with Type 1 CFD, the
body does not produce fibrinogen, a protein essential for the formation of
blood clots. Or the body produces very low levels of fibrinogen.
Often diagnosed at birth through blood tests, early symptoms of Type 1 CFD
may include excessive bleeding at the umbilical cord site or excessive
bleeding following circumcision, heel stick or blood draw. Other symptoms,
which vary based on the severity of the condition, include:
• easy bruising
• frequent or prolonged nosebleeds
• excessive bleeding from the gums or during dental procedures
• prolonged or excessive bleeding following injury or surgery
• heavy menstrual bleeding
• internal bleeding.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of dangerous bleeding is important for
people who suffer from CFD so they can receive treatment in a timely manner.
Bleeding of the head, neck, chest or abdomen can be life threatening and may
require immediate medical attention. This is especially important given that
CFD-related bleeding can occur spontaneously.
“While Type 1 CFD is a lifelong condition, effective management of
fibrinogen levels can offer patients a normal lifestyle,” said Dr.
Jonathan Bernstein, Medical Director of the Children’s Specialty Center
of Nevada and the Hemophilia Treatment Center of Nevada. “It is crucial
to avoid bleeding triggers, such as medications that may increase bleeding
risk or contact sports, and to work closely with a hemophilia treatment
center to maintain appropriate fibrinogen levels.”
Treatments for acute bleeding episodes of Type 1 CFD include an
FDA-approved fibrinogen concentrate that raises fibrinogen levels to an
appropriate threshold in a person’s body.
For more information on the signs and symptoms of congenital fibrinogen
deficiency, visit www.allaboutbleeding.com.
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