Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thank You, Dick Wolf & Chicago Med!!

Loved the November 24th episode of Chicago Med!  They had a story about an older woman, believed to have dimentia, who turned out to have Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH).  In addition, they got the facts right!  Sadly, it is true that eighty percent of NPH cases aren't diagnosed.  They are most often written off as having Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or some form of dimentia, so they go untreated.  No need to create drama where it naturally exists.  Only wish they had shown the installation of the shunt.  No one is perfect.

Another aspect of the story I loved was showing the woman on her way to living a full life afterwards.  It was also great showing the spouse's side of things.

The only other show that has done an excellent job with telling a hydrocephalus story has been Gray's Anatomy (Thanks, Shonda Rhimes!).  Showing us not 'suffering' with our condition, but living full lives is always something to be embraced and celebrated.

Last Saturday's meeting was great.  It was small, with some members being out of town early for the holiday.  We talked about what is going on with us this month.  We also had a conference call with one out of town member.  Another topic of discussion was ideas for the 2016 Brain Awareness event.  That is tentitively going to be in March, 2016.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Heading The Ball

I saw an interview with Dr. Cantu recently, concerning the heading of balls in soccer.  While I was glad to see Dr. Cantu interviewed, in general, everyone else missed the point of the concern around this part of soccer.

It isn't that heading the ball itself is going to necessarily cause a concussion, but it DOES cause problems in the frontal lobe region, especially for children.  The brain isn't meant to be rocking back and forth in the skull.  The cerebral spinal fluid, which surrounds the brain, helps to protect the brain, but it doesn't make bruising or impacts to the brain itself impossible.  The inner part of the skull is rough and bumping the brain itself against it can cause bruising, bleeding and even short term damage that isn't readily apparent.  Some of that damage may be cumulatively damaging.

Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, neurosurgeon, has also been interviewed on the subject of concussions.  While it is quite possible for someone, specifically a child, to acquire a concussion through a bike accident, it is also possible to acquire a condition, like hydrocephalus, from such an accident.

There have been soccer players who have talked about 'safe' heading of the ball in soccer in the past, who have more recently altered their position, agreeing that there is no 'safe' heading of the ball, especially for kids who's brains are still developing.  There is still so much that is unknown about the brain and its development.

November Meeting: Happy Thanksgiving!

As always, it seems like only yesterday we were looking at the October meeting coming up.  Doesn't seem like November is here already!  This month's meeting will be held on the 21st, from 12:45 pm to 3:00 pm in the Casey Conference Room at Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill campus (17th & Jefferson, Seattle).

Friends, family members, caregivers and those, of all ages, living with the condition of hydrocephalus are welcome to attend.  Drop ins and kids are welcome.  We will be having one or two members calling in during the meeting.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.