Stroke and sleep apnea: Strange bed partners

Stroke and sleep apnea manStroke researchers now know that sleep apnea is very common after stroke. We have found that about 75% of stroke patients have sleep apnea. This is important because sleep apnea has wide-ranging consequences for stroke patients.

Why it’s important for sleep apnea to be diagnosed in stroke patients

Sleep apnea is a predictor of poor outcomes following stroke, such as greater disability and higher mortality. The exact reasons for this are unknown at this time and warrant further study.

In addition, it is possible that sleep apnea contributes to increased stroke risk by promoting atherosclerosis, hyper coagulability (an abnormally increased tendency for the blood to clot) and adverse effects on cerebral hemodynamics (the forces involved in the circulation of blood in the brain).  Continue reading

‘A small timetable to get healthy’

Off-the-track concussion brings Olympic hopeful athlete to Michigan NeuroSport

Neuro_Medsport_061_BLOGShe’s no stranger to sports injuries, but hurdler and Olympic hopeful Candice Price had no idea what to do next when she was hurt in a bad car crash this fall. Price found herself with a concussion, and then debilitating headaches and some trouble keeping her balance.

“This has been one of the most challenging injuries,” Price says, “and there’s nothing visual I can point out to people, it’s just an injury to my brain.”

Price, an Ann Arbor-area native, visited sports neurologist Andrea Almeida, M.D., at the Michigan NeuroSport clinic right away to figure out how to improve her symptoms and get back to preparing for Rio de Janeiro this summer for the 2016 Olympics.

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Doll therapy helps people with dementia

Woman_with_dollsThe feelings many people get when they hold a sleeping baby in their arms are ones of warmth, comfort and happiness. Doll therapy can be a very therapeutic activity for those with dementia who don’t have actual babies in their lives.

Many of the behaviors that we see in those with dementia – pacing, agitation, boredom, sadness – are related to the idea that they don’t have a feeling of purpose. Providing a doll to someone with dementia (especially mothers, but this works with males and non-mothers as well) brings out the natural desire and ability to express affection, to nurture and to care for someone.

Doll therapy has been associated with a number of benefits, including a reduction in episodes of distress, an increase in general well-being, improved appetite and more engagement with others around them.  Continue reading

Longer sentences as you age?

Study investigates whether conversational interaction style can indicate cognitive impairment

Seniors_for memory loss

It’s important to know if your mental ability is decreasing as you age.

A lot of money is being spent on sophisticated indicators of dementia. For example, research is increasingly focused on identifying Alzheimer’s disease at the mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, stage, or even earlier (the so-called pre-symptomatic stage). Those patients would then have early access to interventions and clinical trials with the latest treatments.

A pair of U-M researchers, while investigating older people with and without MCI, recently happened upon an observation that could help: the subjects with MCI were very chatty.

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A one-stop shop

Michigan NeuroSport focuses on comprehensive care for athletes’ brains

Neuro_Medsport_004bFrom the field to the clinic to the lab, sports neurologists Andrea Almeida and Matt Lorincz are ready to sync up all aspects of Michigan NeuroSport in their new co-director roles.

With the help of their NeuroSport team, Almeida, M.D., and Lorincz, M.D., Ph.D., took the reins of the clinic this fall, dedicated to turning it into a one-stop shop for patients at all athletic levels, while they also focus on continuing to develop breakthroughs that will improve clinical care.

Current patients

The clinic treats everyone from Little Leaguers to professional athletes, and whether you got hurt while playing or you have a neurological condition that affects your sport, Almeida and Lorincz want to help.

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After stroke: A lot of life to live

Patient Jill Weatherly grateful for the gift of life

Jill_Weatherly_Family

Jill Weatherly and family

Jill Weatherly’s advice to anyone feeling the warning signs of stroke: “Get medical help when your symptoms start.” That’s what she did on July 25, 2015. Luckily, Weatherly’s husband drove her to the University of Michigan Health System Emergency Department, where the stroke team administered the clot-busting medication, tPA.

“They saved my life,” Weatherly says. “I got speech and motion back within 15 minutes. And every 15 minutes or so I could see improvement. I’m really grateful for the care.”

Weatherly and her husband were on their way to a leisurely late-morning breakfast. She was driving when she lost most of her speech and her right side went numb. With amazing presence of mind, she got out of the car, walked around to the passenger side and got in. Her husband drove the rest of the way—right to the doors of U-M Emergency.  Continue reading