Wellness Warrior meets Wellness Warrior – Jess Ainscough interviews Lissa Rankin

http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2013/05/mind-over-medicine-my-interview-with-dr-lissa-rankin/

Two of my favourite wellness warriors get together to discuss Lissa Rankin’s new book ‘Mind over Medicine’.

Both of these ladies are very much on my page when it comes to health.

This interview is well worth listening to.

Important points raised during the interview are;
What does your body need to heal? What prescription does your body need you to prescribe for yourself? What would you do if you could do anything you wanted, to make yourself better?

– Leave your abusive relationship?
– Leave your horrible job?
– Go to college?
– Move countries?
– Get married?
– Do something you always wanted to do?
– Get a new job with a better employer? 🙂

Lissa’s idea about letting the patient write the prescription for themselves is really liberating.

In the context of epilepsy research I think it is relevant to the epilepsy research project what treatment would you prefer?:

http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/research/take-part/projects-you-can-take-part-in/patient-preferences-treatment-options

https://epilepsymeandneurology.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/national-epilepsy-week-19th-may-23rd-may-2013-what-treatment-do-you-prefer/

Nobody is the same, so everyone will need different treatment.

Healing is not neceserraly curing.

The moral of the story – Turn off your stress response, it could save your life.

I love epigenetics!

National Epilepsy Week 19th May 23rd May 2013 What Treatment Do You Prefer?

National Epilepsy Week this week and there is a reason to celebrate, because this month Epilepsy Action magazine published an article about an epilepsy research project titled; ‘Which treatment would you prefer?’.

A very sensible question, its always nice to be asked what you want!

🙂

you can take part by following the information in this link;
http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/research/take-part/projects-you-can-take-part-in/patient-preferences-treatment-options

BIG THUMBS UP TO THIS PORJECT!

*Actually its full title is ‘People’s Preferences and Priorities for Treatment Options and Outcomes in Epilepsy’ but I like to get to the point.

Epilepsy Research Is Getting Cool So Your Brain Isn’t Smoki’n!

http://www.epilepsy.com/newsletter/may13/brain_cooling?utm_source=Epilepsy+Therapy+Project&utm_campaign=bc6a33ff69-Epilepsy_News_5_1_13&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cf0feb6500-bc6a33ff69-12439845

Following in the brain cooling tips of ‘The Lazarus Effect’(1) for cardiac arrest Dr Sirven of ETP (see link above) this week gives us the lowdown on brain cooling research for epilepsy treatment.

This excerpt says:

‘In the early view version of the journal, Epilepsia, Drs. Motamedi and colleagues from the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Georgetown University School of Medicine present a critical review and opinion article. It is known that brain cooling, otherwise known as therapeutic brain hypothermia, is already a standard of care for a condition such as cardiac arrest in adults, or in neonates in the situation of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. However, there has been an increasing number of research papers that have looked at the concept of utilizing hypothermia to help control seizures that might be used as part of an implantable device to cool the brain in a specific region. In this well written review, Drs. Motamedi and colleagues discuss research innovations in developing cooling as a viable option for the treatment of drug resistant epilepsy.’

So should we all be booking holidays in Iceland or heading for our refrigerator’s frozen broccoli and bags of peas to get out of the heat?

Well it is a bit soon to tell, but as this article from Kaitllyn Roland (2) emphasises the importance of being sensible about the type of exercise you do, and how to take care about body temperature in particular if you are prone to seizures.

I for one won’t be booking my trip to Spain in the middle of August or trying to navigate the Sahara desert, but everyone has their limits!

I hope this article finds you chilling out with some sunny weather keeping cool in the shade, spring may have finally arrived in the UK, or is it our summer?. 🙂

1) https://epilepsymeandneurology.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/%ef%bb%bfheart-brain-and-out-of-body/

2))http://kaitlynroland.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/hell-being-competitive-and-hot-yoga/#comment-504

Singing for Alzheimer’s and Mysicophilia by Oliver Sacks

 

I recently had cause to dig out my copy of Oliver Sacks book Musicophilia and lend it to a friend, because she has started to volunteer for an organisation that is using singing to help people with Alzheimer’s. This improves memory, health and wellbeing.

For those of you that are interested the Alzheimer’s society project link is very interesting.

http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=760 and shows a video of the project and has links explaining what it is.

I know a lot of people who have said sound effects their epilepsy, I found this  newspaper review that explains what Musicophilia has to say about Alzheimers and epilepsy.

If anyone wants to borrow my copy just let me now and I can lend it to you when it gets back to me!

‘Sacks tells some very moving stories about those with terrifyingly profound amnesia, or Alzheimer’s disease, for whom music can “restore them to themselves”. People with aphasia can be taught to speak again through singing. On the other hand, previously healthy people begin to have “musical hallucinations”, blasted by intrusive ghostly music during every waking second; and others have seizures in response to music, or “musicogenic epilepsy” – which, intriguingly, can be selective. One woman Sacks cites “had seizures only in response to ‘modern, dissonant music,’ never in response to classical or romantic music” – and her husband was a composer of the type of music that gave her seizures, which one suspects may be a hint. But such a violent response to certain music might be more common than suspected: “Many people, [one researcher thought], might start to get a queer feeling – disturbing, perhaps frightening – when they heard certain music, but then would immediately retreat from the music, turn it off, or block their ears, so that they did not progress to a full-blown seizure.” Indeed, certain styles of free jazz have always made me physically nauseous.’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/nov/03/scienceandnature.music review Stephen Poole The Guardian Newspaper

Natural Approaches to Epilepsy Alan R. Gaby, MD

 

The Alternative Medicine Review Volume 12, Number 1 2007 published this excellent article by Alan R Gaby on epilepsy alternative natural treatments. It goes into the multiple variables including vitamins, minerals and hormones that surround epilepsy diet, and therapy such as Ketogenic and Atkins diet therapy. (great reading list at the back in the references!)

Useful information for all people with epilepsy with or without anticonvulsant medication.

A good example of epigenetic study into epilepsy diet. See here for full article:

http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/12/1/9.pdf

Hoping that all readers (with or without epilepsy) are feeling beautiful today! I am feeling much better, thank- you Sita and Natalya.

Guest Post – Autism And Epilepsy Combined

I would like to thank http://rosewinelover.com/ epilepsy action advocate once again for taking the time to write a guest post.

This month epilepsy me and neurology  has asked me to write a brief (or not-so brief) piece on what it’s like to live with both epilepsy and autism; I shall endeavour to do my best. Continue reading

life at full volume – meditation and diet fatigue fighting and side effects of anti epileptic drugs – GREAT blog!

Life at Full Volume

550131_425393197537643_1221104998_nAs a person living with epilepsy, I not only fight seizures, but I fight fatigue. And I fight fatigue with a mighty vengeance, baby. You’re probably wondering why I’m so fatigued. Well, I’m on a lot of Anti Epileptic Drugs (that’s just a fancy way of saying medication, but I kinda like Anti Epileptic Drugs. It sounds fancy!) and a common side effect of all of them is fatigue. So I can easily have a solid eight hour sleep and still feel tired throughout the day. It’s not the kind of tired where it’s like “Oh, a little coffee could cure this!” It’s the kind of tired where you feel like you could fall into bed and sleep for hours. And hours. And HOURS. But the thing is, sleep does absolutely nothing to fix this side effect. In my opinion, it just makes it worse, because you’re throwing off your…

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And Now For Something a Little Bit Different … Epilepsy and the Electromagnetic Spectrum – What’s the frequency Kenneth?

This post started out as something else. I wanted to talk about my relationship with the electric light box and was looking for information on television and computers and epilepsy. BUT, like many of my searches this one turned into an EPIC surf.

Way back in the days when there was such a thing as black and white televisions, I had my first seizure in front of one. It was the first of many, but since then my relationship between TV, strip lights, computers, patterned carpets and mobile phones has been ‘complicated’.

One of my friends told me that her friend with epilepsy couldn’t put a mobile phone within 3 inches of her head without having a seizure. I am not quite that bad, BUT I always wanted to know why?

Photosensitive (1) epilepsy according to Epilepsy Action is experienced by about 3 in every 100 people with epilepsy. Most people with photosensitive epilepsy are sensitive to 16-25 Hz. Some people may be sensitive to rates as low as 3 Hz and as high as 60 Hz.’

For people with photosensitive epilepsy the number of times a computer screen or television ‘refreshes’ or flickers may case a seizure.

With the dawn of a digital age things have changed slightly (a lot!) since I had my first seizure and so liquid crystal screens have replaced the old cathode ray tubes in televisions that used to be such a bother to people with the wrong seizure threshold. This is obviously for the better in my case! (2) However the risk has not been completely removed because the newer screens are brighter and have more contrasting colors.

Is it me or does anybody else find the electric light box just a teensy, weensy bit hypnotic??

Obviously new technology has brought many benefits to the epileptic brain, for example MRI scanning, EEG, FMRI scanning, TMS, CAT scans and of course for anyone with broken bones there is the X-ray.

Now there is even have electric stuff they can attach to your head for seizures see Epilepsy Talk post (3)

Where would we be without the magnetic resonance image? And just what is an FMRI? Online research studies are so plentiful that you’d think in China FMRI is the new ‘digital camera’ of brain research, and everyone else is ditching Polaroid fast to follow not far behind. The American Military find photographing the brain with FMRI quite fascinating as well. Has to make you wonder –WHY? There are some quite interesting studies about ELF and the brain coming from China as well (4) and there are some detailed studies of radio-frequency and Electromagnetic fields online (5)

(6)Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging is described by wiki as;

‘The fMRI concept builds on the earlier MRI scanning technology and the discovery of properties of oxygen-rich blood. MRI brain scans use a strong, permanent, static magnetic field to align nuclei in the brain region being studied. Another magnetic field, the gradient field, is then applied to kick the nuclei to higher magnetization levels, with the effect depending on where they are located. When the gradient field is removed, the nuclei go slowly back to their original states, and the energy they emit is measured with a coil to recreate the positions of the nuclei. MRI thus provides a static structural view of brain matter. The central thrust behind fMRI was to extend MRI to capture functional changes in the brain caused by neuronal activity. Differences in magnetic properties between arterial (oxygen-rich) and venous (oxygen-poor) blood provided this link.[7]

So obviously for brain imaging this is a very useful piece of technology.

Then there is TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. (7) TMS has some seriously interesting effects on the epileptic brain.

‘Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive method to cause depolarization or hyperpolarization in the neurons of the brain. TMS uses electromagnetic induction to induce weak electric currents using a rapidly changing magnetic field; this can cause activity in specific or general parts of the brain with minimal discomfort, allowing the functioning and interconnections of the brain to be studied. A variant of TMS, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), has been tested as a treatment tool for various neurological and psychiatric disorders including migraines, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tinnitus, depression and auditory hallucinations.’

Could this explain why a mobile phone could cause a seizure? What are the risks of TMS?

‘Although TMS is often regarded as safe, the greatest acute risk of TMS is the rare occurrence of induced seizures and syncope.[4] More than 16 cases of TMS-related seizure have been reported in the literature, with at least seven reported before the publication of safety guidelines in 1998,[5] and more than nine reported afterwards. The seizures have been associated with single-pulse and rTMS. Reports have stated that in at least some cases, predisposing factors (medication, brain lesions or genetic susceptibility) may have contributed to the seizure. A review of nine seizures associated with rTMS that had been reported after 1998 stated that four seizures were within the safety parameters, four were outside of those parameters, and one had occurred in a healthy volunteer with no predisposing factors. A 2009 international consensus statement on TMS that contained this review concluded that based on the number of studies, subjects and patients involved with TMS research, the risk of seizure with rTMS is considered very low.[4]

Besides seizures, other risks include fainting, minor pains such as headache or local discomfort, minor cognitive changes and psychiatric symptoms (particularly a low risk of mania in depressed patients).[4] Though other side effects are thought to be possibly associated with TMS (alterations to the endocrine system, altered neurotransmitter and immune system activity) they are considered investigational and lacking substantive proof.[4]

All very interesting studies that relate to the use of electromagnetic technology and brain science.

So what other studies have been carried out?

Solar Power

Perhaps the most unusual studies I have read about are those carried out by scientists in Calcutta. (8)

Correlation between convulsive seizure and geomagnetic activity.

Rajaram M, Mitra S.

Abstract

‘The annual percentage of patients with convulsive seizure in the Neurological Department of the Bangur Institute of Neurology, Calcutta, is found to be significantly correlated with the annual values of sunspot numbers and geomagnetic activity indices for the period 1955–1971. For a particular geomagnetic activity index the correlation coefficient is significant at a 99% confidence level. The study shows that a proper choice of elements in the series is important in studies undertaken to establish the biological effects of solar activity.’

One blogger has even explored his wife’s relationship with solar flares (9) and in February 2011 the epilepsy.com forum (10) became host to a really interesting conversation and debate about the effects of solar and geomagnetic stress on epilepsy. If you like me think that lunar events effect your seizures then check out the solar activity!

At Aaron’s reality blogspot (11) he writes the hypothesis on solar flares –‘With this compression of the earth’s magnetosphere pushes the electrical fields in the neural network from their neurons. This shuts down the brain. The body reacts by sending signals back to the medulla oblongata. This low level neural network is more robust. With every autonomic contraction the body is trying to send low level input data back to the brain. This slow recovery is necessary.’

I thought that a report on how vitamin D deficiency has been found to improve seizure control was interesting because of the vitamin D production in the skin when exposed to sunlight. (12)

This you tube video sums up nicely some of the unusual results of solar research and the brain. (see abouve).

In relation to geomagnetism one study appears to be making comparisons to human EEG measurement and earthquake measurement.

For me this begs the question; ‘During a seizure is your body having an earthquake?’ (13)(14)

Apparently scientists in Regional Epilepsy Centre, Department of Neurology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA, asked patients with epilepsy this very question in a survey following the earthquake in February 28, 2001 Nisqually. 23% of the epileptic patients volunteered that they initially thought they were having a seizure during the earthquake. (15)

The Epilepsy Therapy Project(16) recently reported on a study in Japan showing an increase in epileptic seizures in the 8 weeks following the tsunami in japan in 2011. The theory behind this is that higher stress triggered the increase in seizures. The study does not mention any increase in seizures on the day or in the days preceding the earthquake.

For me epilepsy is an ideal area to begin to look at the complex relationship we have with the electromagnetic spectrum, physics and biology or biophysics (17).

1) http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/photosensitive-epilepsy

2) http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/photosensitive-epilepsy/computer-television-screens

3) http://epilepsytalk.com/2013/03/04/predicting-seizures-7-amazing-new-breakthroughs-3/

4) http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0054376China Study

5) http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317133827077Health effects from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields full report – Report of the independent advisory group on non-ionising radiation 348 pages

6)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_magnetic_resonance_imaging

7) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcranial_magnetic_stimulation

8) ) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7254715 Correlation between convulsive seizure and geomagnetic activity.

Rajaram M, Mitra S.

9) )http://johndavidpowell.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/6-open-blog-friday-japan-earthquake-solar-flares-gas-boycott-and-more/

10) http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f23/seizures-solar-geomagnetic-activity-11768/

11) http://aaronsreality.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/certain-types-of-epilepsy-and-solar.html  solar flares

12) http://blog.vitamindcouncil.org/2012/04/18/correction-of-vitamin-d-deficiency-improves-seizure-control-in-epilepsy/

13) http://arxiv.org/pdf/1209.3803v1.pdf Earthquakes

14) Dynamical analogy between epileptic seizures and seismogenic electromagnetic emissions by means of nonextensive statistical mechanics

Authors:Konstantinos Eftaxias, George Minadakis, Stelios. M. Potirakis, George Balasis

(Submitted on 17 Sep 2012)

15)http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f23/seizures-solar-geomagnetic-activity-11768/index6.html  Earthquake and seizures

16) http://www.epilepsy.com/newsletter/feb13/japan_earthquake

17) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophysics

Neurological Rock Stars 4 – Dai Greene Captain GB Athletics Team

http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/WhatWeDo/News/DaiGreenecaptainsGBteam

I came across this piece in epilepsy society about Dai Greene, a fellow welsh person and his inspiring athletics career. His career in athletics  has assisted him to manage his seizures without medication.

There is a link to an interview with Dai Greene in Epilepsy Review issue 2 2011.

He talks about combating common problems with epilepsy by health, lifestyle and sleep management.

He talks about the differences between his seizure management and his brother who also has epilepsy.

Really impressive and inspiring story!