Named the most popular psychiatrist in America by the Washington Post
Find out what helps and hurts brains and what causes your brain to prematurely age. The good news is even if you haven’t taken care of your brain up to now, you can still reverse the damage.
Dr. Amen tells you what you need to do FIRST.
Since 50% of people age 85+ will be diagnosed with some form of dementia, this is a topic EVERYONE needs to care about, including teenagers.
According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers. Find out why it’s critical to pay attention to brains first.
Dr. Amen talks to Mark Alyn about what has a negative impact on your kid’s brain AND adult brains, and what has a positive impact.
Children and teens are vulnerable because they’re experiencing increased stress when their brains aren’t fully developed and won’t be until their mid-to-late 20s. Find out the number one thing kids can do to improve their brain’s health.
Dr. Amen says ignoring environment, nutrition, physical, spiritual and mental health can result in behavior problems, depression and anxiety.
Dr. Amen also answers questions about playing football and your brain, the use of marijuana or CBD and your brain.
We’ve heard a lot of opinions on this topic. Find out what the brain expert says based on hundreds of thousands of brain scans. He has seen first-hand what helps or harms your brain.
Dr. Amen has scanned over 160,000 brains and what he’s learned is something everyone needs to know, especially kids, who currently face increased on and offline pressure.
And test performance requirements, and competitiveness to get accepted into colleges.
Mark Alyn, Host of Late Night Health talks to Dr. Amen about how to boost your brain power and prevent it from aging faster than you do.
Dr. Daniel Amen co-authored more than 70 professional articles, 7 scientific book chapters and 40-plus books, including the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, “The Daniel Plan” and “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.”
“Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades,” includes editorial contributions from his teenage daughter, Chloe Amen, and niece, Alizé Castellanos.
Late Night Health host, Mark Alyn and Dr. Amen share funny stories about raising daughters and what it’s like to have a psychiatrist Dad.
Known for his work in treating the most complex psychiatric issues through eight Amen Clinicsaround the country that hold the world’s largest database of functional brain scans on behavior.
With the release of his 40th book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades,” Dr. Daniel Amen provides students, parents and teachers simple steps to improve brain health for better performance in school and in life
When I think of a frog I think of an amphibian, Kermit, a science experiment or Prince Charming.
This weekend, I learn frogs are also a delicacy, when my friend Adam Yenser confidently orders frog legs, right after I order brussel sprouts as an appetizer at the lovely Bayou restaurant in Easton, Pennsylvania.
I carry on about Brussel sprouts being one of the healthiest foods in the world — a cup a day offers an amazing dose of antioxidants. But frogs?!?
Adam says they’re real high in protein. We knew I’d research it, so we photograph the specimen. Below is the crispy fried frog baby.
You’d never even know what’s under the bread crumbs if the menu didn’t say FROG LEGS.
Turns out, Adam is correct. Frog legs ARE healthy AND real high in protein. Men’s Health calls them a nutritional powerhouse. Apparently, frog legs are one of the better-known delicacies of French and Chinese cuisine.
The most common kinds of frogs eaten are bullfrogs and leopard frogs, as these are abundant in most of the country, including the South. Although the consumption of wild native frogs is generally discouraged, the harvest and cooking of invasive bullfrogs, especially in the Western US, has been encouraged as a form of control and to promote local cuisine.
I was squeamish to taste a tiny sliver, which tastes like real tender, mild chicken.
And it actually can be prepared in a variety of ways: deep fried, steamed, stewed or grilled, crumb breaded or battered.
Here’s more information about the nutritional value of frog legs:
Real low in fat, a 100g serving has only 0.3g compared to 3g in similar serving of grilled chicken breast
Real high in protein
Lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your brain & heart
High in vitamin B12, B6, E, D, A, and some K
Rich in iron, copper, zinc, selenium, minerals, potassium, phosphorus, and some calcium
Low in calories, a quarter of a similar serving of chicken thigh at 280 calories
Taste is mild, like fish or chicken. Now, I’m wondering are these frogs that already died a natural death or are they being killed for consumption? Hmm. I’ll have to find out later.
Four caveats. First, it’s recommended you use less salt when cooking them. Secondly, they’re not considered kosher. Despite that, it’s estimated that humans consume up to 3.2 billion frogs for food around the world every year. Wow. That’s one heck of a lot of frogs.
I recall once reading an article in the New York Times about frogs mysteriously dying and vanishing from Costa Rica. Scientists couldn’t figure out why. They were actually testing them in labs and couldn’t do anything to make them die.
The weird thing is they not only found so many of them dead, but when they returned later, they were gone. I’m thinking they may want to consider murder. Nancy Drew here thinks when you have billions of customers, lots of money is involved. Think wildlife trafficking. Case solved. You’re welcome.
And I may have just answered my own question above. Oh, it’s not natural causes.
Back to more caveats. Environmentalists urge the restriction of frog consumption, especially those harvested from the wild, because amphibian populations are declining (see? murder!) and frogs are an essential element of ecosystems.
Finally, edible frogs need to be raised in an environment free of toxicity.
I’m not sure how you check how the frog on a menu was raised. I suppose you rely on the quality of the restaurant you’re in.
Here in Easton, PA healthy living is a thing, so those were probably healthy frog legs.
Now you know eating frog legs is healthy! Murdering them is not.
Maybe one day we’ll be hearing, “A frog leg a day keeps the doctor away!”
Until then, I may return to being vegan. Meantime, when Adam isn’t contributing to the murder of high protein amphibian limbs, he’s a comedian and Emmy Award-winning writer for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. A native of Pennsylvania, Adam began performing stand-up at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He has appeared on Conan, has written for The Oscars, and has been a freelance contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update. Adam mixes sharp observational humor with a uniquely conservative political perspective and was named Best New Political Comedian at Politicon 2015. He can be seen on Ellen as a correspondent and in the recurring hidden camera segment “Kevin the Cashier Played By Adam.” Adam is a graduate of Penn State University, where he recently returned to serve as a commencement speaker.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is on hiatus for summer, so he will be performing live next in PA at the Mohegan Sun Wisecrackers in Wilkes-Barre, PA Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14 and at The Hamilton in Allentown, PA next Friday, July 20!
Just read The Introverts Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone by Matthew Pollard with Derek Lewis. It’s an absolute must read for entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs of startups and anyone launching, selling or promoting something.
If you’re an expert in your field, people need you, but you also need to sell them on your skills and services. Sales is a separate job, but as anyone who has built an empire can tell you –it’s often the person with the most skin in the game —you that it falls to.
“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.” -Henry Ford
Pollard hits the nail on the head on how so many people who excel at what they do would rather focus on just that –skills and services, rather than sales.
Now, this is a health blog and you may wonder why I’m blogging about a how to sell book on it. It’s because people like me, who are seen as extroverts, but in reality are introverts, do experience a lot of anxiety when it comes to promoting themselves, rather than others. We can promote the heck out of someone else, but freeze when it comes to promoting ourselves. It’s the old fight or flight response. This book helps alleviate that.
“In selling as in medicine, prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.” -Jim Cathcart
Somehow, we introverts manage to attract clients effortlessly, but if we fine-tune the process, that success scales beyond unicorn territory.
Pollard steps in with a roadmap tailored precisely to people who don’t attend every networking event because they’re busy getting the job done. Their passion is in the work, not in selling. Yet, they have all the knowledge, so they end up being the best ones to sell it. Their WHY is strong. If you’ve ever met someone truly passionate about their business their face lights up like a Christmas tree when discussing it.
Pollard’s roadmap is based on his own success, after finding that introverts consistently outsold everyone on his own team.
Ironically, the author himself is an introvert, yet in 2014, after moving to the United States and knowing no one outside his girlfriend, he won several government proclamations for his work with small business and was invited to events as one of the most connected people in the city, all within less than a year.
He has transformed over 3,500 struggling businesses into success stories, and has worked with solopreneurs and startups to enterprises such as Microsoft and Capital One. He is the founder of the nationwide Small Business Festival, and has created five multi-million dollar ventures from scratch.
AND he’s a self-procraimed introvert at his core.
Most introverts are so great at their functional skills, they prefer to focus on the work. I’d posit to say Mark Zuckerberg is probably one of these people. Bill Gates too. Many lawyers, consultants electricians are the same.
“Introverts beat their (extroverts) ‘gift of gab’ counterparts, hands down. Contrary to all the myths and beliefs, I discovered that introverts make the best sales people.” -Matthew Pollard
According to Pollard, sales is simply just another skill geniuses and smart people can learn. Extroverts rely more on their personalities. He says introverts have an advantage because they rely on the system, and they’re not deterred by emotion.
So much of what he writes in this book resonates with me. One thing I’ve encountered on social media is being pitched constantly. A huge turn-off for me is when someone immediately pitches me without even establishing any sort of rapport. In his 7-Step System, establishing rapport and trust is at the top.
I have to agree, and I know colleagues will too. I even had to remove names from my Referrals on Linked In, because people I didn’t know were using my name to reach out to people who recommended me asking them for jobs. Since I’ve known these people for decades, they alerted me.
They weren’t even asking for entry-level positions, advice or an internship. No. They jumped right to “Can you get me a producer job on Good Morning America?” and they were often right out of school. To top that off, I didn’t know them. They were simply a social media connection.
They didn’t establish initial rapport with me OR the other person. No one wants to feel used. And that’s the exact feeling you get when someone you don’t know asks for a favor –and a huge one at that. One that has tremendous value encompassing all your knowledge, skills, experience, contacts and hard work.
Pollard talks about his early days and how he learned a lesson the hard way.
“…when I got in front of the business owner, I’d launch straight into my spiel. Without any kind of rapport –without any sort of personal connection –I was just a commodity, a nameless, faceless salesman trying to land a sale…establishing even the slightest connection on a personal level helped make a person’s attitude toward me more positive.”
So true. It made my mind flash back to those people I do respond to professionally on Linked In or Facebook, and it’s those people who do that. They are rare. The majority of people are like people who start working out at the gym without warming up. They end up in pain and ditch going back. Their fitness goals don’t get met. In business, your sale, pitch or promotion doesn’t get results.
Credibility is another biggie. Since introverts don’t self-promote, we as”sume anyone approaching us has done their homework and knows our background and that we’ve worked with the best and achieved results.
Authentic rapport + credibility is what establishes trust. Trust is at the foundation of all relationships, albeit business or personal.
“If people like you, they’ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” -Zig Zagler
When your intentions are right (and they absolutely should be), you are there to provide a product or service that people actually need or want.
“It (your product or service) should make their lives easier help them solve a problem, make them money, save them money, or in some way truly benefit them.”
“Think of it like going to the doctor. I’m not a medical expert; when something’s wrong, I just know that something’s wrong. I don’t go see the doctor already armed with the knowledge of my treatment plan, the prescriptions I need, and which tests need to be run. I need help, but I lack the expertise to figure out what that looks like…that’s why we pay for experts: Doctors draw on their experience with past patients to identify potential causes and the continue to ask more and more specific questions until they have a pretty good idea of the cause of the pain. Your back pain may actually be kidney trouble. Your weight gain could be indicative of a thyroid problem…”
You, the introvert expert must ask probing questions, so you can tap into all your experience, knowledge and skills to provide their solution.
Henry Ford is regarded as one of the greatest businesspeople and industrialists ever, beating dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of other automobile manufacturers to become a titan. He’s one of the top ten richest people who ever lived in modern history. His secret?
He never stopped improving the process.
I don’t want to give away the entire book here because it’s worth every penny for every introvert in business or person who wants to be in business for themselves or is an introvert closing deals on behalf of a larger corporation. Improving the process step-by-step is exactly what Pollard helps you do.
Best of all…
“The Introverts Edge” by Matthew Pollard is based on you being authentically you. That’s a healthy recipe in business AND life. -Maria Dorfner
“This book will be a game changer for any introvert who hates selling or believes they just can’t do it. You can!” -Neil Patel, New York Times bestselling author
Pollards mission is to bridge the chasm between someone’s struggling dream and a rapid growth business they love. I’d say he’s doing so with this book because he himself has the introvert’s edge: focus, compassion, empathy, understanding and a unique ability to listen intently and thoroughly prepare.
I’m reminded on this historic day of The Royal Wedding how Princess Diana was quiet and shy. Yet, the entire world embraced her as The People’s Princess. There is also a quiet shyness to Prince Harry and Meghan.
Together, they quietly embrace doing great charity work together. In fact, it’s how they fell in love. Helping others. As Rev. Curry so beautifully stated, there is power in love. GREAT power. Congratulations to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex and His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex. You personify The Introvert’s Edge. ~Maria Dorfner
New research now links sleep problems with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s.
Cleveland Clinic’s Stephen Rao (pronounced Ray-Oh) did not participate in the new study but says results suggest people who have trouble sleeping may be at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.
CG: Stephen Rao, PhD /Cleveland Clinic: “The basic finding is that the more disturbance of sleep that people reported, the more likely that they were going to have pathology in their spinal fluid that related to Alzheimer’s disease.” [:15]
RESEARCHERS SURVEYED JUST OVER ONE-HUNDRED PEOPLE AT HIGH RISK OF DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER’S WHO HAD NORMAL THINKING AND MEMORY ABILITIES.
PARTICIPANTS WERE ASKED ABOUT THEIR SLEEP QUALITY AND ALSO PROVIDED A
SPINAL FLUID SAMPLE.
RESULTS SHOW THAT PEOPLE WHO REPORTED HAVING SLEEP PROBLEMS HAD MORE
BIOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IN THEIR SPINAL FLUID THAN FOLKS WHO DID NOT REPORT SLEEP PROBLEMS.
DOCTOR RAO NOTES THAT WHILE THE STUDY SHOWS A LINK BETWEEN SLEEP
AND ALZHEIMER’S IT’S A BIT OF A CHICKEN AND EGG SCENARIO, IN THAT DOCTORS AREN’T SURE WHAT COMES FIRST. THE ALZHEIMER’S OR THE SLEEP PROBLEMS.
HE SAYS MORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE TO BE SURE.
CG: Stephen Rao, PhD/Cleveland Clinic: “We don’t know what the chicken or egg cause is here, it may very well be that sleeping longer will help us to prevent us from developing or slow down the process of Alzheimer’s disease but we certainly don’t have the definitive answer as yet.”
Complete results of this study can be found online in the Journal NEUROLOGY. [:10]
“A multitude of factors may cause insomnia, but I bet the primary cause is your choice of food or beverage before turning in. Technology is a biggie, but if you’re sleepy you won’t want to look at your phone or computer.
Your brain requires healthy food and beverages to stay sharp and sleep well.
Numerous foods and beverages are already proven to disrupt sleep including high-fat foods, soda, chocolate, caffeine, heavy spicy foods, alcohol 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, meat and high protein intake. Even prescription and over-the-counter cold medications may contain caffeine. Let’s also not rule out tobacco usage.
Healthy foods that promote sleep include nuts, seeds, eggs, bananas and a few crackers & cheese. Water no later than 8 p.m. is a healthy go-to beverage.
Daily exercise also helps you sleep well.
I’d love to see “further studies” include two groups of people “at risk” for developing Alzheimer’s: 1. sedentary people who eat and drink disruptive foods and beverages, use tobacco and take prescription medications 2) compared to people that exercise daily, eat and drink healthy foods and beverages and do not take OTC or prescription medications or use tobacco.
Then, compare how well these two different groups sleep, along with their biological markers for Alzheimer’s disease.
Bottom line: Missing piece to this puzzle may be finding out what causes sleep problems. I posit people more at risk have unhealthy habits leading to sleeplessness.
Remember, you have the power to change your daily habits and choices.
It’s time to research and study causes, so people can practice prevention instead of seeking treatment for symptoms, or worse believing the symptom is a cause. ”
NATIONAL MEDIA: See Pathfire #: 10826 dated July 5, 2017 for soundbites/voiceover
I read an article about “experts” wondering how much exercise you need to keep your brain sharp. The experts answer it is unknown.
Not true! I once again felt like a kid raising my hand again in school, only to be told, “Let someone else answer, Maria.” Finally, when no one else does, I get to answer.
A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by Joseph Northey, University of Canberra in Australia is the first to identify the key role played by resistance training, such as weights or core strength activity, in boosting brain function.
And 45 minutes is how much you need to keep your brain sharp. I can’t say this is the first study because Super Body, Super Brain is all about how resistance training combined with aerobics is what fosters neurogenesis (new brain cell growth).
They say until now, research focused on aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, fast walking or jogging, as being good for the brain.
They now believe, however, that resistance training benefits the brain in different ways, stimulating additional areas of growth.
Study confirms it’s 45 minutes of resistance training for people in fifties or over.
The 45 minute mark of any activity is when you feel most alert and decisive.
Other brain benefits include slowing down cognitive decline.
Joseph Northey, who led the research at the University of Canberra, says doctors should be proactively prescribing exercise as a form of preventative medicine.
“Even exercising on one or two days of the week seemed to be effective, but the most important thing we found was the intensity of the exercise,” he said.
“It should be moderate, but aiming to get some vigorous intensity in there as well.”
In the April 2017 meta-analysis, University of Canberra researchers analyzed results of 39 previous studies on exercise and cognitive function in adults age 50 and older.
Although the studies look at different types of exercise, they all came to similar conclusions when compared side-by-side:
Getting up and moving at a moderate intensity for at least 45 minutes at a time was linked to improved cognition (memory and overall brain function included) — and the more days a week that person squeezed in those 45-minute sessions, the greater cognitive benefits they reaped!
Researchers also found aerobic exercise helps with learning, reasoning, reading, thinking. Resistance training helps with organizing, planning and memory.
They recommend mixing aerobic exercise and resistance training for best results.
Your 45 minutes can include walking, cleaning, bike riding, gardening, swimming, golf, tennis, dancing, bowling, shopping or anything else that gets you moving.
People work out for their body, but having a sharp mind is even more attractive.
It looks like my friend’s books are ahead of their time.
Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, author of Super Body, Super Brain already stated resistance training causes neurogenesis (new brain cells grow) and backed it up with scientific research. Dr. Gregory Lombardo from Columbia University, who serves on the board of Super Body, Super Brain with me, recommends it to patients.
I highly recommend reading:
Super Body, Super Brain by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace
Tesla reportedly curled his toes 100 times on each foot before sleep, believing that stimulated brain cells. Funny, I do that to warm up my Flintstone feet.
Charles Dickens carried a navigational compass with him at all times to ensure that he was always facing north while he slept. He believed that this practice improved his creativity and writing (and perhaps his ability to always know what direction he was facing at any given time). [source: Ashlee Christian, FreelancersUnion]Salvador Dalí thought sleep was for the birds, or you know for all the other organisms that actually need to sleep for more than one second at a time. He would nap in a chair with a key in his hand above a plate, and the second he fell asleep the key would fall, hit the plate, and wake him up. Similar to the Uberman cycle, it is a form of hypnagogic sleep that Dalí felt enhanced his creativity. [source: Ashlee Christian, FreelancersUnion]
Thank you Ashlee Christian for adding two women to the list. I’ll find more and add to the end. Actually, my siblings are going to have a laugh at this one.
Charles Dickens carried a navigational compass with him at all times to ensure that he was always facing north while he slept. He believed that this practice improved his creativity and writing (and perhaps his ability to always know what direction he was facing at any given time).Salvador Dalí thought sleep was for the birds, or you know for all the other organisms that actually need to sleep for more than one second at a time.He would nap in a chair with a key in his hand above a plate, and the second he fell asleep the key would fall, hit the plate, and wake him up. Similar to the Uberman cycle, it is a form of hypnagogic sleep that Dalí felt enhanced his creativity.
It’s important to know how much sleep you need to be at your best and most productive. For me, it’s 10 hours. People think I don’t sleep at all, when it’s actually the opposite.
I get ten hours, but it may be at odd times. For instance, if I’m working at a network from midnight to 8 a.m. I sleep from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and get on a bus at 8 p.m. to arrive 10 p.m.
If I’m dayside, I adjust time. If I’m on my own, as long as I get 10 hrs. in there somewhere, I’m good. If sleep is interrupted, multiple power naps come in handy, but they’re never a replacement for a good night’s sleep.
A lot of writers in history like Fran Kafka wrote from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and slept around that schedule. Basically, if you work from home you can find when you’re most productive and be up then, but you have to make sure you work in 9 hours of sleep around it.
Today is National Nap Day.
These days are created to raise awareness, which begs the question about a lot of stupid ones out there. I digress. It’s today because you lost an hour of sleep yesterday when the clocks jumped forward, so you may feel sluggish today. Hence, National Nap Day to let you know it’s okay to close your door and take a nap today.
Good luck with that in open work environments. One sneeze and the whole team get sick. Seriously, who came up with open work environments? Collaborative? That’s 2 or 3 people in one office, not an open zoo hearing everyone’s conversations or chewing gum, smelling cologne, perfume or food –the list can go on about how these people pretend to work and secretly can’t wait to get the heck out of there.
I can walk into any company and know if it’s a healthy office or team. The irony is some of them profess to be about health when they’re the Canal Street of Madison Avenue. You can buy a fake watch, but as genius Steve Jobs learned, you can’t buy into anything fake when it comes to health. I don’t know how many hour Jobs slept a night, but he was known to call designers up at 3 a.m. My guess is he probably could have used someone with his best interests at heart advising him on healthy habits. It’s so dangerous to get yes men or women or those trying to sell something around you when you’re successful or worse, those giving you misinformation.
I promised earlier I would find more women. OPRAH! I already said I know she loves power naps, but I am curious how many hours of sleep she gets a night. She reports she is at her best at 5 and a half hours of sleep each night. Oh no. There you have it. That’s why she has had weight issues her whole life. Why hasn’t any expert told her this?? At that amount of sleep her body is releasing something called cortisol and it keeps the hunger gremlins turned ON, ON, ON all the time while causing inflammation in the body. Why didn’t Dr. Oz catch this? Rest is critical to the body. If she changed this ONE habit she will be amazed at the results.
The world needs people to rest. Less illness. People think when you have a million or a billion dollars you should sleep like a baby. NO! Not true. Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t sleep the night before Christmas because you were too excited?! Well, having a billion dollars is initially like that. Then, stressors appear like competition, relationships, fake people suddenly inviting you to be a part of this or that event, dinner or organization just because you have money. You’ll wonder where these people were when you had no money. They are not your friends. When you realize the fakeness in all the fundraising and pay to play things out there you realize some things can not be bought. Everything real can not. True friendship. True love. True health. True happiness. Another thing happens when you have money. Friends without money can’t do everything you want to do because they don’t have money or free time. That’s where it’s lonely at the top come from. So, there is stress. If a wealthy person or a poor person do not sleep enough the results are the same. They will both experience a rise in cortisol, the fear hormone which causes inflammation inside your body. Too many yes men or women or ill informed people around you really can cause you to be sick. Make sure you have a healthy reference group in your circle.
Let’s look at some other sleeping habits. Marissa Mayer reports 4 to 6 hours. Again, not good. Lordy, Martha Stewart reports 4 hours.
President Obama reports sleeping from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. That’s only 6 hours a night.
It’s so important the President be well-rested. I bet whoever they put on the White House team for health writes prescriptions when someone can’t sleep instead of really caring and or knowing about health.
The world needs people who brag about getting a good night’s rest. The funny thing is it shows on their faces and bodies and ability to make good decisions. I forgot to mention that the release of cortisol in your body also ages you faster. I know so much about cortisol, but this blog is about NAPPING and the sleeping habits of Geniuses, so will save that for another time. Until then, hope you’ve learned something that makes you healthier. It’s never too late to change a habit for the better.
When your basic daily habits are healthy you should only need to see your physician once a year to get a compete physical, and for recommended screenings for your age group. That’s when your doctor says, “Everything looks great. Keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF PALLIATIVE CARE by Maria Dorfner
In 2000, I practically lived at the Cleveland Clinic. In fact, they wanted to put me up at a hotel, but I preferred to be closer to the patients I was writing stories about. One of those patients was dying from AIDS. He was in the Palliative Care Unit. I spent time speaking to him, his partner, his family and his caretakers.
I’d been a professional health journalist since 1993, after working in media as a researcher, producer and writer for 10 years. I love covering health, studied it since I was a kid and covered it on college newspapers. I couldn’t afford to go to medical school, but think journalism ranks up there as one of the most important callings in the world. We filmed a documentary on Palliative Care and it was an extremely touching story.
He was an in-patient, but his room was beautiful and he shared how comfortable he was knowing he had the best physicians around him and that family could visit any time. We talked so comfortably about everything not even minding the camera in the room. One day prior to it being released I got a call. The patient died. His partner was devastated. His partner thanked me for creating the most beautiful keepsake he had –the video. Through his tears, he asked if I would refrain from airing it. It was something he and the patient had talked about prior to his passing away –that they would only want it to air if they could watch it together. They knew the possibility existed that it would not happen.
I honored their wish.
The need for a healing touch continues even after a cure is no longer possible.
What is Palliative Medicine?
Palliative medicine is comprehensive medical care for patients with life threatening disease that focuses on control of cancer symptoms, management of complications, and quality of life. It cares for patients and their families and treats the cancer symptoms of body, mind and spirit. It is most successful when done with a multidisciplinary team approach to treating the cancer symptoms.
What are the goals of Palliative Medicine?
To provide excellent care of patients and their families dealing with advanced disease throughout the illness and during bereavement
To advocate effectively for patient comfort, dignity and choice
People with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), AIDS, heart failure, chronic lung disease or other serious illness experiencing symptoms or repeated hospitalizations
Patients or families dealing with the stress of a life threatening illness and cancer symptoms
What does a Palliative Medicine team do for my family and me?
We strive to help people live as well as they can despite their illness and to cope with cancer symptoms. We focus on controlling any cancer symptoms that may be interfering in the quality of life, defining goals for any subsequent treatment, and maintaining the best physical and emotional well-being possible despite complex problems. The medical specialist functions as the quarterback of a team, including the patient and the family in what can be difficult decisions. Family conferences are routinely held to ensure that everyone involved is aware of and involved in the plan of care.
Who is on the team?
The patient and the family
The referring physician
The palliative medicine physician
Music and art therapist
Home health aides
What services are provided?
Cancer Symptom Control: There is no need for anyone to suffer from uncontrolled pain, nausea or dyspnea (shortness of breath). Medical science knows how to effectively control these cancer symptoms most of the time. Making sure this happens is one of the primary goals of this program.
Case Management: People with serious illness often have many doctors involved in their care making. It is difficult to determine who to contact when a problem occurs. In this program, each patient has a registered nurse case manager assigned. That person is then a link to all other caregivers and available after hours.
The Harry R. Horvitz Center: Most people can be managed in an outpatient setting, but in crisis, this 23-bed inpatient unit is available for comprehensive multidisciplinary care.
Inpatient Consultation Service: Comprehensive assessment and management of symptoms in other areas of the hospital is provided to ensure maximum comfort for all hospitalized patients. The attending physician must request this service.
Outpatient Clinic: Specialty follow-up and consultation are available in this clinic. Nurse case managers maintain contact with their patients in this setting also.
Home Care and Hospice: As people become more ill they may need assistance at home which can be provided by Cleveland Clinic Home Care Ventures. As end of life approaches, the Hospice of the Cleveland Clinic is available at home for the special multidisciplinary care so critical at this time of life. Inpatient hospice care in the community is also available. Continuity is maintained throughout with the staff of the Palliative Medicine Program.
What is special about the Harry R. Horvitz Center?
Dr. Declan Walsh first developed the program at the Cleveland Clinic in 1988. At that time nothing of its kind existed in the United States. It still remains one of the few fully integrated programs in this country. In 1991 it was recognized by the World Health Organization as “a unique model of a much needed service” and designated a WHO Demonstration Project. The program had the first endowed chairs in Palliative Medicine in the USA.
The 23-bed inpatient unit was built in memory of Harry R. Horvitz, lifelong resident of Cleveland, recognized by his friends and associates as a man of integrity and compassion. The unit consists of the following facilities:
13 private patient rooms
5 semi-private patient rooms
Glass enclosed solarium
Family dining room
Donor recognition area
The Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine also conducts important cancer research and educational programs in pain management, symptom control and nutrition. Donations made to the Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine are allocated for this vital research.
Advances made at the Cleveland Clinic have minimized unwanted side effects of treatment and enhanced quality of life for patients with advanced disease and painful cancer symptoms.
Cancer Answers & Appointments
Speak with a cancer nurse specialist for appointment assistance and for answers to your questions about cancer locally at 216.444.7923216.444.7923 or toll-free 1.1.866.223.8100 FREE866.223.8100866.223.8100 FREE.
Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (ET).
Resources for medical professionals
Outpatient appointment referrals: 216.444.7923216.444.7923 or 866.223.8100866.223.8100 FREE
This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
Psychiatric hospitalizations of Latino children and young adults in California are rising dramatically — at a much faster pace than among their white and black peers, according to state data.
While mental health hospitalizations of young people of all ethnicities have climbed in recent years, Latino rates stand out. Among those 21 and younger, they shot up 86 percent, to 17,813, between 2007 and 2014, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. That’s compared with a 21 percent increase among whites and 35 percent among African Americans.
No one knows for certain what’s driving the trend. Policymakers and Latino community leaders offer varying and sometimes contradictory explanations. Some say the numbers reflect a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services for Latinos and a pervasive stigma that prevents many from seeking help before a crisis hits.
“Often, they wait until they are falling apart,” said Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, a professor at the University of California, Davis Medical School and director of the university’s Center for Reducing Health Disparities.
Others blame stress from the recent recession, family disintegration and an influx of traumatized children fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.
Still others suggest the trend might actually be positive, reflecting an increasing willingness among Latino parents to seek treatment for themselves and their children, at least when they are in crisis.
Among Latino adults, psychiatric hospitalizations rose 38 percent during the same period. Similar hospitalizations of black adults increased 21 percent, while hospitalizations of white adults remained flat.
Margarita Rocha, the executive director of the nonprofit Centro la Familia in Fresno, said mental health issues are starting to be discussed more publicly in the Latino community.
“That’s helping people to come forward,” she said.
Ken Berrick, CEO of the Seneca Family of Agencies, which serves children with emotional disturbances in a dozen counties, agreed. Because more Latinos are now getting mental health services, children are more likely to be identified as requiring hospitalization, he said.
“I know for a fact that access to service is better now,” said Berrick, whose operation has a crisis stabilization unit in Alameda County, Calif.
Kids’ psychiatric hospitalizations overall rose nearly 45 percent between 2007 and 2014, regardless of ethnicity, a pattern experts attribute to various factors including a shortage of intensive outpatient and in-home services, schools’ struggles to pay for mental health services through special education and a decline in group home placements.
“Those kids have to be treated somewhere,” said Dawan Utecht, Fresno County’s mental health director, of the move to keep kids out of group homes.
“If they don’t get those services in a community setting, they’re going to go into crisis.”
The rise among Latino youths is remarkable in part because hospitalization rates for that population historically have been relatively low.
Latino children remain much less likely to receive mental health treatment through Medi-Cal, the state and federal coverage program for poor and disabled residents. Between 2010 and 2014, less than 4 percent of Latino children received specialty mental health services through the traditional Medi-Cal program. That’s compared with 7 percent of eligible black and white children, according to state data. The numbers don’t include those enrolled in managed care.
(Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders seek treatment at a rate even lower than Latinos. Although hospitalizations are also increasing rapidly among that population, the raw numbers remain relatively small.)
Leslie Preston, the behavioral health director of La Clínica de La Raza, in East Oakland, says that the shortage of bilingual, bicultural mental health workers limits Latino kids’ access to preventive care, which could lead to crises later on.
“Everybody’s trying to hire the Spanish-speaking clinicians,” she said. “There’s just not enough clinicians to meet that demand.”
Access to care can be even harder for recent immigrants. Spanish-speaking children who have been referred for a special education assessment, which can help them become eligible for mental health services, sometimes wait months or years before someone tests them, she said.
“The families don’t know the system,” she added. “They don’t know their rights.”
Other clinicians point to relatively low health insurance coverage among Latinos, particularly those without legal status, and a cultural resistance to acknowledging mental illness.
Dr. Alok Banga, medical director at Sierra Vista Hospital in Sacramento, said some immigrant parents he encounters don’t believe in mental illness and have not grasped the urgency of their children’s depression and past suicide attempts. Many are working two or three jobs, he said. Some are undocumented immigrants afraid of coming to the hospital or having any interaction with Child Protective Services.
But the biggest problem, from his perspective, is the shortage of child psychiatrists and outpatient services to serve this population.
“The default course for treatment falls on institutions: hospitals, jails and prisons,” he said.
Jeff Rackmil, director of the children’s system of care in Alameda County, said sheer population growth — particularly, an increase in Latino children insured under Medi-Cal — may also be part of the explanation for the rise in hospitalizations.
Yet the state’s Latino population aged 24 and under increased less than 8 percent between 2007 and 2014, which doesn’t nearly explain an 86 percent increase in hospitalizations.
Some California communities are working to bring more Latino children into care and to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
At Life Academy of Health and Bioscience, a small, mostly Latino high school in East Oakland, students grow up amid pervasive violence and poverty. “We’re just told to hold things in,” said 17-year-old Hilda Chavez, a senior.
Students often don’t seek help because they fear discussing mental health problems will earn them a label of “crazy,” Chavez said.
Last year, the school, in conjunction with the Oakland-based La Clínica de La Raza, started a program to interest students in careers in mental health care. The program provides training in “first aid” instruction to help people in crisis, and places students in internships with mental health organizations.
Nubia Flores Miranda, 18, participated in the program last year and now is majoring in psychology at San Francisco State University. Miranda said she became interested in a career in mental health after she experienced depression and anxiety during her freshman year at Life Academy.
Seeing a school counselor “changed my life around,” she said.
But she saw that her peers were wary of seeking help from counselors at the school, most of whom were white and lived in wealthier, safer neighborhoods. Once, when a classmate started acting out at school, Miranda suggested she talk to someone.
“She told me she didn’t feel like she could trust the person — they wouldn’t understand where she was coming from,” she said.
The shortage of services is especially evident in the Central Valley, where many agricultural workers are Latino. Juan Garcia, an emeritus professor at California State University, Fresno, who founded a counseling center in the city, says the drought and economic downturn have exacerbated depression, anxiety, substance abuse and psychotic breaks among Latinos of all ages.
“The services to this population lag decades behind where they should be,” he said.
In Fresno County, psychiatric hospitalizations of Latino youth more than tripled, to 432, between 2007 and 2014. Hospitalizations of their white and black peers about doubled.
Liliana Quintero Robles, a marriage and family therapy intern in rural Kings County, also in the state’s Central Valley, said she sees children whose mental health issues go untreated for so long that they end up cutting themselves and abusing alcohol, marijuana, crystal meth and OxyContin.
“There’s some really, really deep-rooted suffering,” she said.
Out in the unincorporated agricultural community of Five Points, about 45 minutes from Fresno, almost all of the students at Westside Elementary School are low-income Latinos. When principal Baldo Hernandez started there in 1981, he’d see maybe one child a year with a mental health issue. These days, he sees 15 to 30, he said.
He blames dry wells and barren fields, at least in part.
“I’ve had parents crying at school, begging me to find them a home, begging me to find them a job,” he said.
In some parts of the Valley and other places, the closest hospitals that accept children in psychiatric crises are hours away. Children can be stuck in emergency room hallways for days, waiting for a hospital bed.
“It makes for a very traumatized experience for both families and children,” said Shannyn McDonald, the chief of the Stanislaus County behavioral health department’s children’s system of care.
Recently, the county expanded its promotora program, which enlists members of the Latino community to talk to their peers about mental health.
In the small town of Oakdale, a slim, energetic 51-year-old promotora named Rossy Gomar spends 60 to 70 hours a week serving as cheerleader, educator and sounding board for many of the Latino women and children in the town.
Gomar’s office in the Oakdale Family Support Network Resource Center is cluttered with open boxes of diapers and donated children’s toys and clothing.
“Look at my office,” she laughs. “We don’t fit.”
Gomar says many of the women she works with don’t recognize that they are depressed or abused. Children see their parents’ problems and don’t know where to turn for help.
“There are many young people who don’t have any hope,” she said.
But little by little, she has seen some good results.
One 17-year-old client is a student at Oakdale High School. The girl, whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy, said that earlier this year, problems at school and a break-up with her boyfriend had her struggling to get out of bed each morning. She began drinking, using drugs and thinking about suicide. She was scared to talk to her parents, she said, and kept everything inside.
One day, she walked into Gomar’s office and started crying.
“She told me ‘Everything is ok. We want you here,’” the girl said. “When I was talking with her, I felt so much better.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, The Mediterranean diet is healthy for the brain. It’s rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fish and uses olive oil as the primary cooking fat.
Here are other steps that promote good overall health:
Control vascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits and lean protein, particularly protein sources containing omega-3 fatty acids.
Be physically and socially active, including engaging in aerobic exercise.
Take care of your mental health.
Use thinking (cognitive) skills, such as memory skills.
A pill commonly used for cancer may prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
The catch is you have to take it in your 30s.
They say in the future millions of 30-somethings may be taking it
It would be the first ever drug to work like a statin does on the heart.
Researchers say the pill didn’t work in past studies because it was given too late.
Prof Chris Dobson, Master of St. John’s College, University of Cambridge told the Telegraph, “You wouldn’t give statins to someone who had just had a heart attack, and we doubt that giving a neurostatin to an Alzheimer’s patient who could no longer recognize a family member would be very helpful…
But if it reduces the risk of the initial step in the process, then it has a serious prospect of being an effective preventive treatment.”
The drug targets the first step in the toxic chain reaction that leads to the death of brain cells and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Tests showed it delayed the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, both in a test tube and in nematode worms.
When the drug was given to worms genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s disease, it had no effect once symptoms had already appeared.
But when the drug was given before any symptoms became apparent, no evidence of the condition appeared.
• Human mini-brains to speed up Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research
The drug works by preventing a process called “primary nucleation.”
What is that? Primary nucleation occurs when proteins in the body mis-fold and begin to clump together, eventually forming sticky plaques that cause dementia.
“The body has a variety of natural defences to protect itself against neurodegeneration, but as we age, these defences become progressively impaired and can get overwhelmed,” said Prof Michele Vendruscolo of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, the paper’s senior author.
“By understanding how these natural defences work, we might be able to support them by designing drugs that behave in similar ways.
“This, in terms of an approach for Alzheimer’s disease, would be the equivalent of what statins do for heart conditions. So you would take them well in advance of developing the condition to reduce your risk.
“I think the spirit should be similar to the way statins are used, so they are given to people that are more at risk of disease and given fairly early.
“There is some evidence that amyloid-beta aggregation takes place in middle age, so we may start in people in their 30s.”
Enjoy brain challenges like puzzle activities, cards and board games.
In related news be sure to check out the New York teen, Kenneth Shinozuka who invented an in-sole sensor that can track Alzheimer’s patients when they wander.
Kenneth Shinozuka has invented a new wearable sensor called the SafeWanderer that can help keep Alzheimer’s patients safe. Inspired by his own grandfather’s battle with the disease, the 15-year-old came up with a device that can keep tabs on patients if they begin to wander off. The sensor works by reacting to pressure and can notify a caregiver through a smart phone app when a patient is on-the-go.
MARIA DORFNER is the founder of Healthy Within Network. This is her blog. It curates and shares best in health from around the world without conflicts of interest for consumers & media. Maria’s interest in health began in childhood. She won first place in science fairs and has always loved research, writing and creating. She covered the health beat in college and began professionally specializing in health after ten years of working in media. The letters of gratitude she received from viewers after her medical segments aired is what gave meaning and purpose to her vocation. Some people wrote to say seeing a segment saved their life. She began as an executive intern at NBC News in 1983. In 1989, she helped launch CNBC, NBC’s cable station. In 1993, she began specializing in health. She founded NewsMD Communications and developed 7 half-hour original health series and pitched them to CNBC. She senior produced and co-anchored them on CNBC for 3 years. She has since worked as director of research for Ailes Communications and as an associate producer, producer, field producer, medical/health writer, and on-air host. She has also written, produced and directed 21st Century Medicine, a documentary series covering future health, breakthroughs and pioneering medicine, airing on Discovery Health. She helped launch the Cleveland Clinic News Service (CCNS) on-site, and MedPage Today. Her award-winning original programs include Healthy Living, Healthcare Consumers, Lifestyles & Longevity, Healthcare Practitioners and Green Magazine. She has also produced for The Cutting Edge Medical Report and Healthy Women. She is the author of 3 books including Healthy Within available on Lulu Publishing. She is the founder of NewsMD Communications, LLC. Her alma mater, Pace University and Women in Corporate America awarded her an Outstanding Leadership Abilities award.
Neurogenesis or growing new brain cells while exercising makes sense because your brain is receiving more oxygen and blood. At 45-minutes your mind is at its sharpest.
Society is obsessed with working out for their body, but it’s the brain that will lead you to take the right actions, make good decisions and naturally secrete endorphins and naturally alleviate anxiety, depression and inflammation.
Here are 10 ways you can keep your brain vibrant, sharp and constantly improving.
1. Learn what is the “It” in “Use It or Lose It”. A basic understanding will serve you well to appreciate your brain’s beauty as a living and constantly-developing dense forest with billions of neurons and synapses.
2. Take care of your nutrition. Did you know that the brain only weighs 2% of body mass but consumes over 20% of the oxygen and nutrients we intake? As a general rule, you don’t need expensive ultra-sophisticated nutritional supplements, just make sure you don’t stuff yourself with the “bad stuff”.
3. Remember that the brain is part of the body. Things that exercise your body can also help sharpen your brain: physical exercise enhances neurogenesis.
4. Practice positive, future-oriented thoughts until they become your default mindset and you look forward to every new day in a constructive way. Stress and anxiety, no matter whether induced by external events or by your own thoughts, actually kills neurons and prevent the creation of new ones. You can think of chronic stress as the opposite of exercise: it prevents the creation of new neurons.
5. Thrive on Learning and Mental Challenges. The point of having a brain is precisely to learn and to adapt to challenging new environments. Once new neurons appear in your brain, where they stay in your brain and how long they survive depends on how you use them. “Use It or Lose It” does not mean “do crossword puzzle number 1,234,567″. It means, “challenge your brain often with fundamentally new activities”.
6. We are (as far as we know) the only self-directed organisms in this planet. Aim high. Once you graduate from college, keep learning. The brain keeps developing, no matter your age, and it reflects what you do with it.
7. Explore, travel. Adapting to new locations forces you to pay more attention to your environment. Make new decisions, use your brain.
8. Don’t Outsource Your Brain. Not to media personalities, not to politicians, not to your smart neighbor. Make your own decisions, and mistakes. And learn from them. That way, you are training your brain, not your neighbor’s.
9. Develop and maintainstimulating friendships. We are “social animals”, and need social interaction. Which, by the way, is why ‘Baby Einstein’ has been shown not to be the panacea for children development.
10. Laugh. Often. Especially to cognitively complex humor, full of twists and surprises.
DRUMROLL PLEASE…# 11 COMES TO US FROM A READER NAMED, JOHN. I love the hobbies he mentions as they’re my own and they do serve to keep the mind sharp. John has a beautiful blog. I encourage you to take a look at it. The link for it is: http://realtruelove.wordpress.com/
11. Write, journal, blog (as well as draw, paint, play an instrument, learn photography). And read decent books (and poetry); give yourself some real food for thought. And when you read decent books, read slowly enough to explore–and even better, to journal–your own thoughts in relation to what you are reading. Developing and refining our own personal philosophy or “life map” is a huge part of using it and not losing it.
Now, remember that what counts is not reading this article-or any other-, but practicing a bit every day until small steps snowball into unstoppable, internalized habits…so, pick your next battle and try to start improving at least one of these 10 habits today. Revisit the habit above that really grabbed your attention, click on a link below to learn more, and make a decision to try something different today!
Super Body, Super Brain by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace
My Review of Super Body, Super Brain. I serve on the board.
SUPER BODY, SUPER BRAIN by Michael Gonzalez Wallace is my #1 pick for a fitness book. It’s based on the very latest, cutting-edge brain research. Michael’s program is unique in that it provides a whole brain workout that requires thinking and precision through specific left to right, and front to back movements.
This is the first time someone has created a program, which taps into how complex circuits in our brains connect to our muscles through voluntary and intentional movement. Huge implication for aging. For more than a century, medical science firmly believed that our brain could not repair itself and that we were born with all the brain cells we would ever have.
Over the last 20 years, research has shown neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells, actually does occur in the brain with the right training. Michael brilliantly harnesses this knowledge to provide expert training on how your brain connects to your body through motor and sensory pathways.
In SUPER BODY, SUPER BRAIN he provides compelling evidence that exercise is not only good for your heart, but also good for your brain. He aptly demonstrates an exciting daily fitness program that stimulates your brain cells during your workout. He shows you how to work out smarter, instead of longer.
As someone who has specialized in medical/health for over two decades, I strongly endorse Michael’s program. When you first learn of it, you’ll think it must be a gimmick. It’s not. As mentioned, it’s based on decades of scientific research. I use the program myself and have known Michael for years.
He’s the real deal; extremely passionate about the program because he knows it works and can help others improve their energy level and entire well being from the inside out. In today’s ever-competitive world, it’s not enough to have a Super Body. You absolutely need a Super Brain. Michael shows you how to build both at the same time.
The benefits of his unique program are long overdue within the entire health community. Super Body Super Brain by Michael Gonzalez Wallace is definitely the future of fitness. Everyone at any fitness level from beginner to pro will take something away from this book that improves his or her health.