Posts tagged with "Mayo Clinic"

Bruce Willis Aphasia Diagnosis in 360 MAGAZINE

BRUCE WILLIS – APHASIA DIAGNOSIS

Understanding Aphasia: Bruce Willis Diagnosis Puts Language Disorder in the Spotlight

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Sheds Light on Condition

The recent announcement by Bruce Willis’ family that the actor has been diagnosed with aphasia has brought attention to the language disorder, which is relatively common but not well known by the general public. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) encourages the public and media to seek out evidence-based information about this condition—and stresses that treatment is available from speech-language pathologists (SLPs).

Below is some information about the language disorder. More details are available on ASHA’s website.

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a language disorder that can occur when a person experiences changes in the brain from injury or disease. This is most often due to stroke; however, any type of brain damage can cause aphasia. Aphasia can make it hard for someone to understand, speak, read, or write. This depends on the parts of the brain that are affected. Aphasia is not associated with cognitive deficits. However, word-finding difficulty, a hallmark symptom of aphasia, may also be an early symptom of other neurological conditions such as primary progressive aphasia—which are accompanied by cognitive impairments.

How is Aphasia Diagnosed and Treated?

SLPs evaluate a person’s speech and language skills. In making a diagnosis, they will assess how well a person:

Understands words, questions, directions, and stories.
Says words and sentences. The SLP asks a person to name objects, describe pictures, and answer questions.

Reads and writes. The SLP will have a person write letters, words, and sentences—as well as read short stories and answer questions about them.

Aphasia can be treated in various ways, depending on the specific difficulties a person is having and what their goals are (e.g., getting back to work, taking care of family members, participating in specific life activities). SLPs work with people with aphasia one on one, as well as in groups to improve their communication skills. They may also help them find other ways to share ideas when they have trouble talking. This may include pointing, drawing, or using other gestures (called augmentative and alternative communication, or AAC). They also include family members who support their loved one’s communication.

How Can Loved Ones Help Someone With Aphasia?

Loved ones can help their family member or friend by connecting them with a certified SLP. A doctor can provide recommendations for local SLPs. A national database of these professionals is also available at www.asha.org/profind.

As you communicate with a person with aphasia in everyday life, use these tips:

•Get their attention before you start speaking.

•Keep eye contact as you speak. Watch their body language and gestures.

•Talk to them in a quiet place.

•Turn off the TV or radio.

•Keep your voice at a normal level. Don’t raise your voice unless the person asks.

•Keep the words you use simple but adult. Don’t “talk down” to the person.

•Use shorter sentences. Repeat keywords that you want them to understand.

•Slow down your speech.
Give them time to speak. Try not to finish sentences for them.

•Try using drawings, gestures, writing, and facial expressions.

•The person may understand those better than words sometimes.

•Ask them to draw, write, or point when they are having trouble talking.

•Ask “yes” and “no” questions to make it easier for them to respond. Let them make mistakes sometimes. They may not be able to say everything perfectly all the time.

•Let them try to do things for themselves. It may take a few tries. Help when they ask for it.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 223,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) identify, assess, and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders. www.asha.org

LGBT flag illustration by Symara Wilson for 360 Magazine

Netflix’s Pray Away Reveals Horrors of Conversion Therapy

By: Skyler Johnson

Edited By: Andrew Shibuya

Conversion therapy, or the pseudoscientific practice of changing someone’s sexual orientation, has been considered and practiced for over a century now. Dubious to many of its’ creators’ contemporaries, conversion therapy’s capacity for change has long been contested and considered futile. The practice itself is scientifically baseless and detrimental, and what is essentially man’s foolish and ineffectual attempt to change human nature. In recent Netflix documentary Pray Away, the effects and harms of this “therapy” are explored and uncovered throughout investigation of its century-long practice.

Pray Away follows ex-leaders and survivors of the “pray the gay away” movement, focusing on Exodus International, a conversion therapy organization that only ended eight years ago in 2013. The film follows several people as they detail their horrific experiences and the consequences of their both voluntary and involuntary participation in the practice.

Conversion therapy was publicly started in the 1890s, when Albert von Schrenck-Notzing stated in a conference that he was able to turn a gay man straight through hypnosis. Decades later, Eugen Steinach would later transplant the testicles of a straight man onto a gay man to “cure” homosexuality. Lobotomies, chemical castration, and aversion therapies became popular as “therapeutic” techniques. This lasted throughout the earlier half of the 20th century into the 1960s and 1970s, during the rise of the LGBT Rights Movement, when psychiatrists began to shy away from the practice. In 1973 the APA removed homosexuality from the DSM. Unfortunately, conversion therapy did not stop but was instead utilized by faith-based groups, including Exodus International.    

Talk therapy now makes up the bulk of all current conversion therapy procedures. While this may seem a lot less intimidating, the effects of this talk therapy can be powerful, especially when utilized by the wrong people. The film exposed how many ex-gay leaders weren’t licensed professionals, and how, if they believed someone were gay, it was because they had a poor relationship with their parents. And if not, they must have been sexually abused even if they were unable to recall any abuse. To a lot of young people, this thought process made sense, as many were too young to truly understand its flaws.

The film also displayed how the people involved in this movement were dishonest about the “progress” they were making. They included the story of John Paulk, once claiming to have become a straight man through the therapy. John later admits that the entire time he was consumed with gay thoughts and was mendacious about his reformation.

The documentary exhibited that there are a lot of people that still hold their beliefs. Organizations still exist that enforce conversion therapy. It’s not a thing of the past. This was highlighted by the film’s portrayal of the leader of the Freedom March, Jeffrey McCall, an ex-transgender woman living as a man with the belief that being trans is a sin. The organization’s Facebook page now has 10,000 followers and is still growing.

While the film primarily covers people that were able to escape the movement and live better lives, there remains great struggle that many people experience. The film’s director, Kristine Stolakis, decided to make Pray Away when her uncle, who had gone through conversion therapy, committed suicide. Julie Rodgers talked about self-harm, which is something that’s incredibly common, most notably in people who have undergone conversion therapy. Participants have been 8.4x more likely to commit suicide and 5.9x more likely to undergo severe depression. It’s also been connected deeply to an overall sense of hopelessness and an increase in self-hatred.

Conversion therapy is a practice that causes pain for the many people that were subjected to it. But the film did also evince that there is, at least somewhat, a way out. Many of the film’s subjects were able to enter into healthy homosexual relationships. On the film’s website, they list a variety of resources for those anguished by conversion therapy. These can be found HERE.

Healthcare Equity article illustrated by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE

The Importance of Education for Advancing Healthcare Equity

By: Maria Hernandez, Ph.D.

If you’ve been tracking the nation’s progress in the fight against Covid-19, physicians and public health officials of color have been highlighting the need for health equity in the national dialogue. As the data on mortality rates becomes clearer, there is no mistake that the pandemic is impacting African American and Latino communities to a much greater extent. Current mortality rates for Blacks and Latinos is almost 2.8 times that of whites suggesting significant health inequities exist. The discussion about why these inequities are taking place has been less clear and even less clear is how to address this reality.

The key may be in educating healthcare providers about the root cause of these inequities and empowering patients that access healthcare systems.

Health inequities are the differences in health outcomes due to unfair conditions or factors that different populations may face. These factors can include access to quality care, inadequate housing, lack of access to quality food, poverty and systemic racism. Public health researchers and healthcare providers have known about health inequities in the US for over 40 years and the research about what to do point to a confluence of factors that center on economic, educational and social change. Even before the pandemic, Native American and Black women are 2.5 times more likely to die in childbirth than Whites. Women are under diagnosed for heart disease.

Research points to the presence of unconscious and systemic bias as well as a lack of culturally competent care.

https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/tracking-the-covid-19-recessions-effects-on-food-housing-andThe pandemic exacerbated the impact of these factors in profound ways. If we look at the fact that essential front line workers–cashiers, bus drivers, food service providers, healthcare workers, postal carriers, warehouse workers, receptionists–have high concentrations of Black and Latino workers, it becomes much easier to understand why so many victims of Covid-19 are from these communities. And if we also explore the role poverty plays in the pandemic, we know that crowded housing conditions where social distancing is not possible has been a factor. The reality is that low income, hourly workers are not able to do their jobs remotely using telecommuting or video conferencing. Many of these workers also experience a harder time finding personal protective equipment that can be a burden for tight household budgets.

The pandemic has set the stage for profound changes in healthcare and its about time.

Two important responses that have emerged in the nation’s healthcare systems is an awareness that physicians, nurses and other caretakers must accept that–like all other human beings–they suffer from unconscious biases. It’s those snap judgements about a person’s race, ethnicity, age, ability, and socioeconomic status that enter into each encounter which can influence the recommended course of care. Those biases can be positive or negative but we all make those associations. The pandemic has accelerated the

extent to which hospitals are seeking training for front line staff and providers in order to reduce the likelihood of these biases and provide more culturally competent care.

These programs include an awareness of how bias impacts the experiences of patients and what may be important factors to consider in working with different populations. Culturally competent care encourages staff to look at how the patient may be experiencing their illness and what their own understanding of how to improve their health. It means taking into account the patients cultural of reference and listening to their unique needs.

Another response is the effort hospitals are making to partner with community clinics, faith based organizations and community organizations to win the trust of patients. This was present before the pandemic, but it has taken on a new sense of urgency as vaccine adoption rates have faltered in Black and Brown communities. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, not for profit hospitals which are the majority of facilities in the US have been asked to report what community benefits they provide to address known community needs.

Despite all of these approaches for improved healthcare services for diverse patients, it will take years before all health systems are aligned on their approach to advance health equity.

The most vulnerable patients need quality care now.

A visit to the doctor—even on-line—may require some key steps to ensure the best care is made available. Three steps that can make a big difference for patient visits. First, bring an advocate with you–a family member or friend who will join you in your visit and support your being heard or to help you ask the right questions. You’ll have to give them permission to be with you given privacy rules in healthcare but it’s worth it. Having a trusted advocate can be a big relief if there’s a lot of options to explore or if there’s different treatment steps involved. There’s a growing field of professional Patient Advocates — sometimes called Patient Navigators that help individuals with navigating treatment options, getting insurance payments, and arranging for home health care if needed. Your health may rely on having someone who understands the complexity of healthcare systems to support you.

Next, review the information your physician provides about the condition or illness and the medicines you may be asked to take. Ask your doctor what information you most need to understand for your treatment or what to do to support your health. Most physicians will provide information on a condition or point you to a reputable website for more information like the Mayo Clinic Review what your physician provides to be informed about the options and treatments presented.

Last, communicate with your care team throughout the course of your treatment or care. If you are struggling with side effects in your treatment or symptoms worsen, call your doctor or the nurse practitioner assigned to your care. Take an active role–with your advocate–to look at options for continued treatment. Poor communication with your physician can put you at greater risk for poor health outcomes. During these challenging days, preparing for each time you visit your physician can set the stage for you to receive the very best care available

About the author -Maria Hernandez, Ph.D., President and COO of Impact4Health is a thought leader in health equity and pay for success initiatives designed to address the upstream social determinants of health among vulnerable populations.  Maria currently leads the Alameda County Pay for Success Asthma Initiative which is testing the feasibility of reducing asthma-related emergencies using health education and proven home-based environmental interventions for children.  

Finding Peace With MantraBand

By Payton Saso

Finding peace of mind in today’s world seems almost impossible. With an election looming, a pandemic still happening and many uncertainties in everyday life, creating a positive outlook can be hard.

One company is working hard to impact peoples everyday lives in order to lead a lifestyle of optimism, positivity, and mindfulness.

MantraBand Bracelets has made it their mission to do just that. They believe that positive thinking and mindfulness can lead to a better life; and they’re not wrong.

Harvard researched the benefits of mindfulness in 2013 and found that “mindfulness also brings about a well-studied physiological change that can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen consumption, adrenaline levels, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”

But what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of mediation where one focuses vigorously on becoming aware of your senses and feelings in a moment without interpreting these things or feeling judgement, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Positive thinking has its own onslaught of benefits. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows positive thinking can provide: increased lifespan, lower rates of distress and depression, better immune system, better psychological and physical well-being, better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.

Adding this practice into one’s life isn’t just becoming blind to one’s problems and choosing to not acknowledge hardships, but the act of changing the outlook on these situations.

Positive thinking can be achieved through a few different techniques that have been proven effective, such as positive self-talk and positive imagery,” HealthLine explains. “What it will do is make problems seem more manageable and help you approach hardships in a more positive and productive way.”

Focus lies on changing the way you view the world and MantraBand knows having a daily reminder to do so can help this journey. That’s why MantraBand created their bracelets with custom mantras engraved facing the world with you or hidden inside just for you. They also offer an array of different styled bands to find the perfect fit.

If bracelets aren’t your thing, MantraBand has a whole collection that includes necklaces, rings and products made for men. As well as a lifestyle section with t-shirts, mugs, stickers and books to subtly add a mantra into your everyday life.

MantraBand isn’t just dedicated to impact individuals lives that purchase the bracelets, but the global community as well.

They are members of 1% for the Planet, which is an organization where companies donate 1% of their annual sales to non-profit organizations that help the environment. They also have a CharityBands line, in which $5 of each sale is donated to the charity tied to the bracelet.

We could all use a little reminder nowadays to be present and mindful, and Mantraband has created a way we can have that.

Hormone Disruptors

The 5 Biggest Disruptors Wreaking Havoc On Your Hormones

As 2019 dawns, some people are taking a “new year-new you” approach. They’re determined to make self-improvements that provide a fresh, positive outlook and strong sense of well-being.

But sometimes health factors undermine those good intentions, such as depression and its link to hormone imbalances. There are myriad ways both men and women suffer adverse effects to their hormones, says Don Colbert, M.D., and many of them are avoidable.

“We are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals on a regular basis in the air, water and food,” says Colbert, author of Dr. Colbert’s Hormone Health Zone. “Some of them are hormone disruptors because they disturb your endocrine system, wreaking havoc and creating hormonal imbalances.

“Not only are the effects of all these disruptors depressing to think about; they actually cause depression, along with countless other ailments such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and more. But the basic principle is this: decreasing the number of disruptions will improve your health.”

Dr. Colbert breaks down the top hormone disruptors affecting men and women along with ways to minimize the disruption or stop it:

Lifestyle choices. “Whether it’s weight gain and a lack of exercise, anger and unforgiveness, drinking too much alcohol or some other thing that can be controlled, your hormone levels drop and you begin a slow slide to poorer health,” Dr. Colbert says. “Make better choices, and that dramatically decreases the chances of having any hormone deficiency symptoms.”

Medications. Medications affect the body’s cells, and sometimes side effects manifest in major problems. For example, Dr. Colbert cites Mayo Clinic research showing a prescription statin drug that lowered cholesterol could result in liver damage, memory loss or type 2 diabetes. “I estimate that 55 percent of the entire US population is taking pills that directly and negatively affect hormone levels,” Dr. Colbert says. “Get off these harmful medications you hate.”

Things you touch. Chemicals entering the body through the skin can cause long-term damage. Dr. Colbert notes phthalates, disruptors found in household cleaners, cosmetics, toys and numerous other products. “Phthalates negatively affect both men’s and women’s ability to use the testosterone that is in our bodies,” Dr. Colbert says. “Another is BPA (bisphenol A), found on the inside of metal-canned foods and plastic food-storing containers. Specifically, BPA has been found to cause or contribute to cancer, fertility problems, developmental issues and heart disease. I recommend buying glass jars of food and storing in ceramic containers.”

Diet deficiencies. “The standard American diet is usually low in key nutrients that support a healthy thyroid,” Dr. Colbert says. “Many patients with hormone imbalances have low iodine. The best solution is eat more vegetables, ideally raw or steamed.”

Aging. Dr. Colbert says estrogen levels for women begin to decline around the age of 50; for men, testosterone levels can drop low around age 45-50. “Aging is a natural combatant as a hormone disruptor,” he says, “but we can slow the acceleration of the effects of aging by optimizing our hormones. Healthy habits can make a huge difference.”

“Symptoms of serious problems indicated by hormonal imbalance can be reversed by those who focus on health in their diet, lifestyle and living environment,” Dr. Colbert says. “Then they can enable all of their systems to function optimally.”

About Don Colbert, M.D.
Don Colbert, M.D., is the author of Dr. Colbert’s Hormone Health Zone. He has been a board-certified family practice doctor for more than 25 years and has offices in Orlando, Fla., and Dallas. The author of over 40 books, he wrote two New York Times best-sellers – The Seven Pillars of Health and Dr. Colbert’s “I Can Do This” Diet – has sold more than 10 million books and treated 50,000-plus patients. Dr. Colbert is a frequent show guest of Christian leaders Joyce Meyer, John Hagee, and Kenneth Copeland and has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Fox News, ABC World News Tonight, and in periodicals such as Newsweek and Reader’s Digest.