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January 2011



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Archive for January 23rd, 2011

Liptov, Slovakia


Grabe Case Update “Accused murderer’s wife takes stand”:


“Parents sue district , principal over bullied son’s death”:


“Inseparable friends went for walk: only one came back”:


“Man tormented to death by yobs”:


“Ten police officers under investigation over deaths of Fiona Pilkington and disabled daughter”:


“Parents’ tribute to gentle giant”:


“2 LAPD Officers fatally shoot unarmed autistic man near Koreatown”:


“ACLU ‘disturbed’ by Los Angeles Police”:


“Local woman dies in Alaska; adventure was hallmark of her life, father says”:


“Search on for suspect in rape of severely autistic man”:


AAFP “Court again rejects vaccine-autism link”:


“Family of autistic boy filed a discrimination lawsuit against Bainbridge School District, citing sexual harassment”:


“Police searching for Piers Hopson seek men on CCTV film”:


“Parent of Chicago boy files lawsuit over controversial autism therapy”:


“National Autism Association applauds Congress for passing federal legislation to end abusive restraint and seclusion in schools”:


“Neglect turned son to heroin, mental health charity founder claims”:


“13-year-old autistic boy back home, found wandering in Hixson neighborhood”:


“Ulster Sheriff launches Project Lifesaver”:


“Cwmbran mum’s fury after autistic son is left wandering”:


“Mum’s anger at blue badge ruling”:


“Autistic/AS people call for more support”:


“Dimensions response statement to the Adult Autism Strategy”:


“Foster kid row claims first victim”:


“Privacy battle looms for social networking sites”:


“On the matter of extradition”:


“Hacker could get up to 25 years”:



“Obama wins historic Health Reforms battle”:


“Mental Health America Hails Enactment of Historic Health Care Reform Bill”:


“For consumers, some clarity on Health Care changes”:


“Neurologists on Capitol Hill to push for Health Care Reform”:


“Finding a better genetic test for autism”:


“Measles and mumps cases quadruple in one year”:


“Comparative effectiveness trial leads to evidence-based care for childhood epilepsy/Oldest epilepsy drug best for children”:


“Study faces up to the challenges of illness … Children have been helping Lancaster University psychologists better understand conditions including stroke, epilepsy and mental illness.”:


“Indigenous psychologists establish online presence – Australian Psychological Society”:


“Grinding teeth at night may be a sign of daytime stress”:


“BPS Research Digest: The Special Issue Spotter”:


“Moderate drinking before trauma leads to more flashbacks”:


“Tips to avoid burnout”:


“Loss of enzyme reduces neural activity in Angelman Syndrome”:


“What is Hydrocephalus(Water On The Brain) What causes Hydrocephalus?”:


“Latest on Depression: Includes When Personality Makes Drugs Ineffective, New Drug Strategy, Depression’s Upside, Down, Beating Depression After Divorce & More”:


“Social Anxiety and Drugs: A Lesson About Addiction from Monkeys”:


“Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook”:


“Mental Health: One Page Questionnaire is Effective Screening Tool/5 Tips If You Love Someone With Mental Illness”:


“Human brain becomes tuned to voices and emotional tone of voice during infancy”:


“Child Development: Do Baby Einstein DVDs Affect Language Development?, The Infant Brain, Role of Baby-Sign & More …”:


“Childhood Health & Behaviour: Behavioural Problems, Childhood Stress, Affects of Repeated Anesthesia on Learning, Unexplained Abdominal Pain, Teaching Self Control”:


“Happiness: Happy People Talk More Seriously, Counting Your Blessings, What’s In A Smile?”:


“Relationships: Men’s Preference For The Hourglass Figure, The Last Taboo, Teen Relationships & More”:


“Relationships: Playing Hard To Get, Does it Work?, The Truth About Open Marriage, Confidence, Grandparenting, Jealousy, Emotional Resiliency & More”:


“Medical alert jewelry has become more stylish”:


“Virtual Hospital”:



“Court awards bullied student $800,000/Family of Autistic boy file discrimination lawsuit/Keeping all Students Safe Act passes House”:


PEI “Autism Society backs parents”:


“School criticised for putting autistic kids in pen”:


Communication – Tobii Assistive Technology “Children learn to speak with their eyes”:


“A pioneering new way to face up to dyslexia”:


“Computers help dyslexics learn better”:


“Tom Heaffey: The boy whose blue-tinted glasses have cured his Meares-Irlen syndrome”:


£1.8m plans for new school unit”:


“Horses help teach special education students”:


“Special Education terms and procedures: What all teachers should know”:


“Little Shop of Horrors: Teen with Asperger Syndrome takes root in horrors”:


“TES Connect Download Resources: Young Geographers Go Local”:


“TES Connect Download Resources: Things That I Like”:


“TES Connect Download Resources: Things I Dislike”:


“TES Connect Download Resources: SEN Top TEN Motivational Staffroom Poster”:



“Only 15% of autistic people in jobs, expert says”:


“IT jobs for autistic people”:


“DH launches autism strategy”:


Skills for Care welcome new strategy to boost training for workers supporting autistic people”:


“Program gives autistic students confidence to join work force”:


Position Available “Principal/Headteacher at Hillingdon Manor School”:


Position Available “Mainstream Teacher at Snowsfields Primary School”:


“Worker to help autistic people in Cambridgeshire”:


“Disabled ‘wrongly denied’ benefit, Citizens Advice says”:


“NAS response to the Not Working Report by Citizens Advice, UK”:


“Creative Support Ltd”:


“Autelligent Laboratories

We believe all people have a contribution to make and deserve an opportunity to be productive.

With your caring and excellent help, we are creating jobs for the 40 million people worldwide who are diagnosed with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Today less than one in five of us are currently employed. We are motivated and competent and we deserve equal employment. Help make this a reality.

Autelligent Laboratories is dedicated to creating a space where autistic software engineers can more than contribute, we can excel.”:


Luxury Quality Scented Candles “Humbolt Candles – Autism & Disability Employment Company”:


Individuality, Diversity, Equality, Achievement

Auties..org is an Aspie & Autie friendly site for all people on the Autistic Spectrum who are ready to dare reach out to occupation and employment, open the doors to the community and market their abilities directly to the public and for those interested in supporting these pioneers.




Linking job seekers with vacancies in work related to autism, Aspergers and ASDs


“Current job vacancies within the NAS”:


For further employment information, please view”:



“Why my special son is a joy to the family”:


“Book group gives girls a safe place to speak out”:


“Special-needs and autism-friendly Philadelphia-area egg hunt”:


“At home with the android family”:


Aspect “Autism website soldiers on despite hacking”:



“Enchanted Learning Easter & Spring Crafts”:


“Kaboose Easter Crafts for Kids”:


“Activity Village Easter Crafts for Kids”:


“Family Fun Website: Kids’ Easter Crafts”:


“Easter Around the World”:


“Better Recipes: Easter”:


“Easter Recipes”:



Slovak Flag


Spolocnost na pomoc osobám s autizmom (SPOSA)
Fedakova 5
P.O.Box 8
841 O2 Bratislava 42
tel/fax: 004212/ 544 11 774
e-mail: sposa@pobox.sk
Website: http://www.sposa.sk

Bojnice Castle

Bojnice Castle

“ANED – Slovakia”:


Europe's Courtyard

Europe’s Courtyard
Located in the centre of Komárno, Slovak Republic. Construction began in 1998 and is almost complete. The idea was to create a mini Europe with all the various architecture styles represented. Komár in the Slovak language means Mosquito. This rings true to the fact that the town was built on a marsh which would have originally housed swarms of mosquitos.

“A mission to promote disability rights in Slovakia”:


Primate's Palace

The Primacialny Palace (Primate’s Palace) in Bratislava Slovak Republic. The building where in the hall of mirrors in the early 1800s, Napoleon signed the document that ended the Holy Roman Empire. The statue of St. George at Primacialny Palace stabbing a three headed dragon.

“Slovakia Guide”:


Slovak National Theatre

Slovak National Theatre

“Slovakia Facts”:


Bridge over Danube, Bratislava

Bridge over Danube, Bratislava

“Slovakia – Official Tourism Sites & More”:


View from Kraliky, Greater Fatra

View from Kalikry, Greater Fatra.  Learn More …  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Fatra

Mountain Village of Rybo

Slovakian mountain village Rybô in the south part of the Greater Fatra.

The High Tatras

The High Tatras

High Tatras, Gerlach

High Tatras, Gerlach 2656m.

Belianske, Tatry Mountains

Belianske Tatry Mountains

Main Road in Kosice

Main Road in Kosice

Kosice Fountains

Kosice Fountains

Stream in Smrekovica

A stream in Smrekovica

Jozef Murgas

Jozef Murgas  (17 February 1864 – 11 May 1929) was a Slovak inventor, architect, botanist, painter, patriot, and Roman Catholic priest. He contributed to wireless telegraphy and help develop mobile communications and wireless transmission of information and human voice. MurgaÅ¡ was nicknamed the Radio Priest and deemed a Renaissance man.  Learn More … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jozef_Murga%C5%A1 List of Famous Slovakians:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Slovaks


“Ritalin and Methylphenidate: Side Effects for Adult Users of this ADHD medication”:


“Treating ADHD without medication (Video 4:28)”:


“Guide to ADHD”:


“Physician’s Focus: Multimodal Treatment of ADHD in children”:


“Building strong parental relationships with ADHD kids”:


“Cats attracted to ADHD drug, a feline posion”:


ADRES “Adverse Drug Reaction Electronic System(Adverse Drug Reactions Website)”- This website provides patients, doctors, and other medical professionals with a comprehensive examination of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), side effects, and other safety information for both prescription and over-the-counter medications.. Our goal is to allow users of our website make informed decisions when taking (patients) or prescribing (doctors) drugs. We are providing unmatched information and analysis tools.


Our objective is to promote awareness to AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and to provide information and as much free practical help as we can to those affected by the condition, both adults and children, their families in the UK and around the World via this website.


“ADDISS” The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service…




“hi2u ADHD Pages”:





“Hockey program giving special athletes a chance for ice time”:


“Hannah steps up for autism charity”:


“Swimming Challenges ~ Includes Great Swim Series 2010(June – September 2010)”:

The Great Swim series is taking place at various locations during summer 2010. There will be four televised one-mile outdoor swims, staged in lakes, lochs and docks around the UK.


“10-kilometre runs”:


“Trek the Sahara – 5-25 March 2010 or 29 Oct-8 Nov 2010”:


“Trek the Inca Trail – 22-31 May 2010”:


“Trek Snowdon – 11–3 June 2010”:


“Trek the Jurassic Coast – 16-18 July 2010”:


“Trek Mount Kilimanjaro – 29 Sept-10 Oct 2010”:


“Trek the Great Wall of China – 9-18 Oct 2010”:


“Trek to Everest Base Camp – 5-21 November 2010”:


“Cycle Cuba – 14-22 March 2010”:


“London to Paris 2010 – 5-8 June”:


“L’Etape du Tour 2010 – 18 July 2010”


“Sky Diving – All Year Round”:



“Little Ellie is YouTube hit”:


“Chords for Kids lets autistic kids experience a live classical concert”:


“David Lucas celebrated for contributions to musical composition and production … His most recent work has been with the Miracle Project – a cause devoted to Autism awareness. Lucas has helped produce a song written by his son Jason Lucas called “Butterfly,” which features Chaka Khan in a duet with the eight year old autistic talent Gina Incandela.”:


“Rock band Spoon is no overnight success but the members like it that way”:


“The AutisMusic Project”:



“Stephen Wiltshire to visit Sydney, Australia – 19-24 April 2010”:


“Rainbows and Monsters: Show spotlights artwork of autistic students”:


“The Help Group and Bear Givers celebrate young artists with autism spectrum disorders”:


Closing Date: Wednesday 24th March 2010 “Young Brits at Art, Suggested Topic, Your Rights”

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is asking young Britons to express their vision of a world free from prejudice for Young Brits at Art 2010. This year the national art award invites 11-19 year olds to explore their beliefs, opinions and judgments by asking: “What would the world look like if we lived without prejudice?” Young Brits at Art 2010 includes new categories such as photography, sculpture and motion animation, as well as its previous sections for painting and drawing.


GLIMPSE – the talents of the autism community

They are painters, sculptors and photographers; poets and storytellers; musicians and creators of amazing video games. They are kids, teens and adults. Last year, a new online publication arose to celebrate the talents of autistic individuals and other developmental disabilities: GLIMPSE, offered by ICDL (The Interdisciplinary Council of Developmental and Learning Disorders). In late 2008, Volume 2 of GLIMPSE was released, and was expanded into a print book and notecards. The works are serious, humourous, deeply personal and illuminating. See it for yourself, share it with others, submit your own/your child’s work for inclusion in Volume 3, to release later this year. Find information and ordering details at www.icdl.com

“ARTROOM ………where under 17s can make and display art online”:



“Actors for Autism”:


“Will Hadcroft: Writing can make a difference”:


“Arts Activities for Children and Young People in Need: Helping Children to Develop Mindfulness, Spiritual Awareness and Self-Esteem”:


“Motivate to Communicate!: 300 Games and Activities for Your Autistic Child”

Simone Griffin and Dianne Sandler


“Providing Practical Support for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Supported Living in the Community”

Denise Edwards

Foreword by E. Veronica Bliss


“ADHD – Living without Brakes”

Martin L. Kutscher MD

Illustrated by Douglas Puder, MD


“Caring for Myself: A Social Skills Storybook”

Christy Gast and Jane Krug

Photographs by Kotoe Laackman


“Planning to Learn: Creating and Using a Personal Planner with Young People on the Autism Spectrum”

Keely Harper-Hill and Stephanie Lord


“Supportive Parenting: Becoming an Advocate for your Child with Special Needs”

Jan Starr Campito


“Helping Children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities to Flourish: A Guide for Parents and Professionals”

Marilyn Martin

Foreword by Michelle Berg



“How to Train Your Dragon (3D)”

Release Date: March 26, 2010.

Official Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHUhygdAZIw

Synopsis: From the studio that brought you “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda” comes “How to Train Your Dragon.” Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges he and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.


“Clash of the Titans”

Release Date: March 26, 2010.

Offical Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcdP8YAW-8A

Synopsis: In Clash of the Titans, the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods. But the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing left to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth. Leading a daring band of warriors, Perseus sets off on a perilous journey deep into forbidden worlds. Battling unholy demons and fearsome beasts, he will only survive if he can accept his power as a god, defy his fate and create his own destiny. Read More … http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/clash_of_the_titans_2010/


“Mystery Tales of Time Travel” (Nintendo DS)

Release Date April 1, 2010.


“Doctor Who Becomes Doctor Wii”:


“New guitar game is the real thing”:


“New Playstation Controller”:


Console-Killing Game System Unveiled …

OnLive “The Death of Games Consoles – Coming Soon!”:


“Wii could help prevent elderly falls”:



Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2

“Babbage Nanomachine Promises Low-Energy Computing”



“Neptune May Have Eaten A Planet And Stolen Its Moon”


Take Care,


Liptov, Slovakia

Liptov, Slovakia


We trawl the world’s journals so you don’t have to:

Team Innovation, Knowledge and Performance Management (European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology).

Prisoner’s Mental Health (International Journal of Prisoner Health).

Activism and Emotional Sustainability (Emotion, Space and Society).

Improving Outcomes for Children and Young People in Care (Vulnerable Children and Young People).

Processing the Chinese language (Language and Cognitive Processes).

Beyond Psychopathology: Interrogating (Dis)Orders of Body Weight and Body Management (Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology). 

Source: http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2009/09/special-issue-spotter.html

UFO hacker Gary McKinnon to learn of Supreme Court appeal

14 September 2009

Self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon, who gained unauthorised access to multiple Pentagon computer systems, will learn this week whether an application for an appeal in his case will be heard by the Supreme Court, the new highest court in the UK.

If the appeal goes ahead, then Infosecurity understands an extradition of McKinnon would be unlikely to happen before next spring.

McKinnon, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, has admitted his hacking exploits, but has claimed all along that he carried out his unauthorised accesses merely to prove the existence of UFOs and the fact that they have been investigated by the US military.

The Supreme Court application for an appeal comes as a cross party group of MPs attempted earlier this month to apply fresh political pressure on the current Home Secretary Alan Johnson to halt the extradition of McKinnon.

The delegation of three Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat members told Johnson in a Home Office meeting last week that he has the “power and the duty” to step in to prevent McKinnon from being sent for trial in the USA.

David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne and Michael Meacher, the former Labour minister, all joined forces for the meeting looking at the case of McKinnon.

Read Article in Full:  http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/3950/ufo-hacker-gary-mckinnon-to-learn-of-supreme-court-appeal/

Wednesday 30 September 2009, 5:30 PM

McKinnon fight goes to Brighton

Posted by Tom Espiner

Campaigners against the extradition of Nasa hacker Gary McKinnon have garnered more support at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.

McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that MP Keith Vaz had agreed to write to American civil liberties campaigner Jessie Jackson outlining McKinnon’s case.

The hacker, who admits accessing US systems in 2001/02, claims to have been searching for evidence of UFOs. Last summer McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has requested a meeting with Sarah Brown, the prime minister’s wife, to discuss McKinnon’s situation, a NAS spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Wednesday.

McKinnon faces extradition to the US to face hacking charges.

Read in Full:


Previous Updates

“Gary McKinnon Updates: Protestors Challenge McKinnon Extradition/American Civil Liberties Union Attacks David Miliband over UK/US Extradition Treaty”:

14 September 2009

A young autistic boy from Swindon is hoping to challenge perceptions of autism after he created a series of computer games online.

Jack Booth, 11, of Beech Avenue, in Pinehurst has been busy creating games to challenge players around the world, reports the Swindon Advertiser.One of Jack’s games – which he says he can create in half an hour – City Of The Dead, is proving a real challenge for worldwide players as nobody has managed to complete the game in over 2,000 attempts. Now Jack hopes his achievements will help to challenge perceptions of autism. “I would like to show people they shouldn’t be scared to be friends with me,” he told the news provider.

Read Article in Full:


Mosing MA, Gordon SD, Medland SE, Statham DJ, Nelson EC, Heath AC, Martin NG, Wray NR.

Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; School of Psychology, University of Queensland, QLD, Australia; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia; Department of Psychiatry, Washington, St. Louis, Missouri

Background: Major depression (MD) and anxiety disorders such as panic disorder (PD), agoraphobia (AG), and social phobia (SP) are heritable and highly co-morbid. However, the relative importance of genetic and environmental etiology of the covariation between these disorders, particularly the relationship between PD and AG, is less clear.

Methods: This study measured MD, PD, and AG in a population sample of 5,440 twin pairs and 1,245 single twins, about 45% of whom were also scored for SP. Prevalences, within individual co-morbidity and twin odds ratios for co-morbidity, are reported. A behavioral genetic analysis of the four disorders using the classical twin design was conducted.

Results: Odds ratios for MD, PD, AG, and SP in twins of individuals diagnosed with one of the four disorders were increased. Heritability estimates under a threshold-liability model for MD, PD, AG, and SP respectively were .33 (CI: 0.30-0.42), .38 (CI: 0.24-0.55), .48 (CI: 0.37-0.65), and .39 (CI: 0.16-0.65), with no evidence for any variance explained by the common environment shared by twins. We find that a common genetic factor explains a moderate proportion of variance in these four disorders. The genetic correlation between PD and AG was .83.

Conclusion: MD, PD, AG, and SP strongly co-aggregate within families and common genetic factors explain a moderate proportion of variance in these four disorders. The high genetic correlation between PD and AG and the increased odds ratio for PD and AG in siblings of those with AG without PD suggests a common genetic etiology for PD and AG.


This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.  |  Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

Interactions Between Herbal Medicines and Prescribed Drugs: An Updated Systematic Review

Izzo AA, Ernst E.

Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Naples Federico II, via D Montesano 49, Naples 80131, Italy.

The concomitant use of herbal medicines and pharmacotherapy is wide spread. We have reviewed the literature to determine the possible interactions between seven popular herbal medicines (ginkgo, St John’s wort, ginseng, garlic, echinacea, saw palmetto and kava) and conventional drugs. Literature searches were performed using MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and EMBASE and we identified 128 case reports or case series, and 80 clinical trials.

Clinical trials indicate that St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), via cytochrome P450 (CYP) and/or P-glycoprotein induction, reduces the plasma concentrations (and/or increases the clearance) of alprazolam, amitriptyline, atorvastatin, chlorzoxazone, ciclosporin, debrisoquine, digoxin, erythromycin, fexofenadine, gliclazide, imatinib, indinavir, irinotecan, ivabradine, mephenytoin, methadone, midazolam, nifedipine, omeprazole, oral contraceptives, quazepam, simvastatin, tacrolimus, talinolol, verapamil, voriconazole and warfarin.

Case reports or case series suggest interactions of St John’s wort with adrenergic vasopressors, anaesthetics, bupropion, buspirone, ciclosporin, eletriptan, loperamide, nefazodone, nevirapine, oral contraceptives, paroxetine, phenprocoumon, prednisone, sertraline, tacrolimus, theophylline, tibolone, tryptophan, venlafaxine and warfarin.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) decreases the plasma concentrations of omeprazole, ritonavir and tolbutamide. Clinical cases indicate interactions of ginkgo with antiepileptics, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), diuretics, ibuprofen, risperidone, rofecoxib, trazodone and warfarin.

Ginseng (Panax ginseng) may interact with phenelzine and warfarin.

Kava (Piper methysticum) increases the clearance of chlorzoxazone (a CYP2E1 substrate) and may interact with alprazolam, levodopa and paroxetine.

Garlic (Allium sativum) interacts with chlorpropamide, fluindione, ritonavir and warfarin; it also reduces plasma concentrations of chlorzoxazone (a CYP2E1 probe).

Echinacea might affect the clearance of caffeine (a CYP1A2 probe) and midazolam (a CYP3A4 probe). No interactions have been reported for saw palmetto (Serenoa repens).

Numerous interactions between herbal medicines and conventional drugs have been documented. While the significance of many interactions is uncertain, several interactions, particularly those with St John’s wort, may have serious clinical consequences.


Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved.

Natural Herbal Supplements Aren’t Always Safe

Thursday, August 13, 2009

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Natural doesn’t always mean safe when it comes to herbal supplements, according to the August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

When used properly, many herbal supplements may be safe and possibly beneficial to health. However, a few supplements can cause life-threatening problems or dangerous interactions with medications.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers some of the known interactions between herbal supplements and medications:

St. John’s wort: This supplement can greatly increase or decrease the potency of many medications and cause serious side effects. Patients who take antidepressants, anti-blood-clotting drugs, certain asthma drugs, immune-suppressing medications or steroids should probably avoid St. John’s wort.

S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e): This can cause serious side effects when taken with antidepressant medications that affect serotonin.

Garlic, ginseng, ginger and feverfew: Patients who take anti-clotting medications such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin) and clopidogrel (Plavix) should avoid these supplements. They may increase the risk of bleeding. Supplements chondroitin and glucosamine also may interfere with warfarin.

Ginkgo: Ginkgo may increase the risk of bleeding in patients taking anti-clotting medications. Ginkgo can counteract the blood pressure-lowering benefits of thiazide diuretic drugs. It also can interfere with anti-seizure medications.

Kava: Kava is a sedative herb and is associated with serious liver problems, even when taken for a short time. Many medications, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, pose a risk of liver damage. Taking kava may increase the risk of liver problems even more.

It’s always best to keep health care providers informed about supplement use, especially when starting a new medication or preparing for a medical procedure. Some supplements need to be discontinued two to three weeks before certain surgical procedures, because they affect blood clotting, response to sedation and blood pressure control.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit www.healthletter.mayoclinic.com.


Common qualities linked to resiliency in victims

Charles Anzalone – University at Buffalo

People who live through an extreme traumatic experience such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks or an airplane crash often have the capacity to bounce back or even grow to a higher level of functioning and personal strength, according to a University at Buffalo researcher and expert in the effects of horrifying trauma.

And at the heart of these extensive findings is a surprisingly optimistic conclusion: Most people recover well following devastating events, and even among those who struggle with the experience, many of them can find some benefit from the experience, despite the negative effects of the event in their lives.

Even when people go through a horrible life-threatening event, or endure huge losses and very difficult circumstances, many of them actually find some positive aspects to the experience and are able to grow from it.” says Lisa D. Butler, associate professor in UB’s School of Social Work, whose multiple studies on the trauma following 9/11 and other severely disruptive life events have been published in numerous professional journals, including the April issue of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

That does not negate the pain of what they have been through or the lingering effects in their lives, by any means,” Butler says. “But there is room for some positive changes as well.

Butler has been instrumental in research that concluded there were a number of qualities associated with people who were resilient in the face of devastating events beyond their control. She also found that others reported positive changes in their lives from living through such ordeals.

Her research has found that the qualities that are common to people who are the most resilient include:

  • *Less emotional control. Those able to recover well shared a willingness to express sadness or pain in a reasonable way. Those who tamped their emotions down inside were less able to get beyond the toxic effects of their tragedy.
  • *Less catastrophic views of the world. Those who avoided interpreting the tragedy as confirmation of a bleak and unforgiving world were less distressed in the both immediate and longer term by the experience.
  • *Social support, both personal and within a community. Those enduring these devastating losses with a network of people supportive to their needs were more apt to survive their grief and find hidden reserves. The survivors who were able to turn to these interpersonal resources were also those more able to discuss their psychological pain in an open manner.
  • *Less media exposure. Those who watched repeated images of the same monstrous calamity over time, such as the World Trade Center attacks, tended to have higher feelings of distress than those who watched fewer.

When we put these factors in an equation to examine how well they predict levels of distress, we find that together they are very good predictors of whether a person recovers,” says Butler. “But we also find that the strongest factor seems to be whether the person developed a negative world view — if they did, then it appeared to undermine the person’s ability to overcome the traumatic event.” For example, in one of Butler’s studies, participants were asked whether a series of negative and pessimistic beliefs about the world (“My life has no meaning” or “I don’t look forward to the future anymore”) applied to them. And those who reported a significantly more pessimistic world outlook also experienced higher levels of what the researchers called “distress.”

As well, even among people who were the most highly distressed right after the event, those who found positive aspects to the experience were often able to grow from it over time, according to Butler.

This kind of an event often opens up possibilities for people to improve their relationships with others, for example,” says Butler. “They may also come to realize they are stronger than they realized or they feel an enhanced appreciation for life. And in some cases they may became more spiritual.

In my view, looking at resilience and growth following something as shattering as 9/11 is, in a way, positive psychology meeting trauma psychology. It’s a way of finding something good in what happened.

Butler is currently studying the effects of people enduring the threat of living in fear.

The Obama Plan

Stability & Security For All

If You Have Health Insurance

More Stability and Security

*Ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.  Over
the last three years, 12 million people were denied coverage directly or
indirectly through high premiums due to a pre-existing condition.  Under the
President’s plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny
coverage for health reasons or risks.

*Limits premium discrimination based on gender and age.   The
President’s plan will end insurers’ practice of charging different premiums
or denying coverage based on gender, and will limit premium variation based
on age.

*Prevents insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are
sick and need it most.  *The* *President’s plan prohibits insurance
companies from rescinding coverage that has already been purchased except in
cases of fraud.  In most states, insurance companies can cancel a policy if
any medical condition was not listed on the application – even one not
related to a current illness or one the patient didn’t even know about. A
recent Congressional investigation found that over five years, three large
insurance companies cancelled coverage for 20,000 people, saving them from
paying $300 million in medical claims – $300 million that became either an
obligation for the patient’s family or bad debt for doctors and hospitals.

*Caps out-of pocket expenses so people don’t go broke when they get
sick.  *The President’s plan will cap out-of-pocket expenses and will
prohibit insurance companies from imposing annual or lifetime caps on
benefit payments. A middle-class family purchasing health insurance directly
from the individual insurance market today could spend up to 50 percent of
household income on health care costs because there is no limit on
out-of-pocket expenses.

*Eliminates extra charges for preventive care like mammograms, flu
shots and diabetes tests to improve health and save money.  The
President’s plan ensures that all Americans have access to free preventive
services under their health insurance plans. Too many Americans forgo needed
preventive care, in part because of the cost of check-ups and screenings
that can identify health problems early when they can be most effectively
treated. For example, 24 percent of women age 40 and* *over have not
received a mammogram in the past two years, and 38 percent of adults age 50
and over have never had a colon cancer screening.

*Protects Medicare for seniors. The President’s plan will extend new
protections for Medicare beneficiaries that improve quality, coordinate care
and reduce beneficiary and program costs.  These protections will extend the
life of the Medicare Trust Fund to pay for care for future generations.

*Eliminates the “donut-hole” gap in coverage for prescription drugs.  The
President’s plan begins immediately to close the Medicare “donut hole” – a
current gap in its drug benefit – by providing a 50 percent discount on*
*brand-name prescription drugs for seniors who fall into it.  In 2007,
over 8 million seniors hit this coverage gap in the standard Medicare
drug benefit.  By 2019, the President’s plan will completely close the
“donut hole”.  The average out-of-pocket spending for such beneficiaries who
lack another source of insurance is $4,080.

If You Don’t Have Insurance

Quality, Affordable Choices for All Americans

*Creates a new insurance marketplace – the Exchange – that allows
people without insurance and small businesses to compare plans and buy
insurance at competitive prices.*  The President’s plan allows Americans
who have health insurance and like it to keep it.  But for those who lose
their jobs, change jobs or move, new high quality, affordable options will
be available in the exchange.  Beginning in 2013, the Exchange will give
Americans without access to affordable insurance on the job, and small
businesses one-stop shopping for insurance where they can easily compare
options based on price, benefits, and quality.

*Provides new tax credits to help people buy insurance. *The
President’s plan will provide new tax credits on a sliding scale to
individuals and families that will limit how much of their income can be
spent on premiums.  There will also be greater protection for cost-sharing
for out-of-pocket expenses.

*Provides small businesses tax credits and affordable options for
covering employees.* The President’s plan will also provide small
businesses with tax credits to offset costs of providing coverage for their
workers.  Small businesses who for too long have faced higher prices than
larger businesses, will now be eligible to enter the exchange so that they
have lower costs and more choices for covering their workers.

*Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and
those who can’t find affordable coverage with a real choice.  The
President believes this option will promote competition, hold insurance
companies accountable and assure affordable choices. It is completely
voluntary. The President believes the public option must operate like any
private insurance company – it must be self-sufficient and rely on the
premiums it collects.

*Immediately offers new, low-cost coverage through a national “high
risk” pool to protect people with preexisting conditions from financial ruin
until the new Exchange is created.  For those Americans who cannot get
insurance coverage today because of a pre-existing condition, the
President’s plan will immediately make available coverage without a mark-up
due to their health condition. This policy will offer protection against
financial ruin until a wider array of choices become available in the new
exchange in 2013.

For All Americans

Reins In the Cost of Health Care for Our Families, Our Businesses, and Our

*Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.  The
President’s plan will not add one dime to the deficit today or in the future
and is paid for in a fiscally responsible way.  It begins the process of
reforming the health care system so that we can further curb health care
cost growth over the long term, and invests in quality improvements,
consumer protections, prevention, and premium assistance.  The plan fully
pays for this investment through health system savings and new revenue
including a fee on insurance companies that sell very expensive plans.

*Requires additional cuts if savings are not realized. Under the plan,
if the savings promised at the time of enactment don’t materialize, the
President will be required to put forth additional savings to ensure that
the plan does not add to the deficit.

*Implements a number of delivery system reforms that begin to rein in
health care costs and align incentives for hospitals, physicians, and others
to improve quality.  The President’s plan includes proposals that will
improve the way care is delivered to emphasize quality over quantity,
including:  incentives for hospitals to prevent avoidable readmissions,
pilots for new “bundled” payments in Medicare, and support for new models of
delivering care through medical homes and accountable care organizations
that focus on a coordinated approach to care and outcomes.

*Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to
identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.  The
President’s plan will create an independent Commission, made up of doctors
and medical experts, to make recommendations to Congress each year on how to
promote greater efficiency and higher quality in Medicare.  The Commission
will *not* be authorized to propose or implement Medicare changes that
ration care or affect benefits, eligibility or beneficiary access to care.
It will ensure that your tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors.

*Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help
doctors focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive
medicine.  The President’s plan instructs the Secretary of Health and
Human Services to move forward on awarding medical malpractice demonstration
grants to states funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as
soon as possible.

*Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who
can afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of
reform.  Under the President’s plan, large businesses – those with more
than 50 workers – will be required to offer their workers coverage or pay a
fee to help cover the cost of making coverage affordable in the exchange.
This will ensure that workers in firms not offering coverage will have
affordable coverage options for themselves and their families.  Individuals
who can afford it will have a responsibility to purchase coverage – but
there will be a “hardship exemption” for those who cannot.

Ari Ne’eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Disability Leadership Meet With White House Staff on Health Reform
From the Disability Representatives Present at the White House (8/31/09):

On August 27, as a follow-up to the meeting that President Obama had with
disability community representatives on July 24, a group of advocates for
home and community-based long-term services and supports met with Nancy-Ann
DeParle and other senior staff at the White House to discuss the Community
First Choice – Option<http://jfactivist. typepad.com/ files/community- first-choice- –option- proposal- 8-31-09-1. doc>

The disability representatives *thanked the President’s staff for his strong
leadership on enacting comprehensive health reform* that will help advance
the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act by eliminating
disability-based discrimination in health care coverage and barring
pre-existing condition exclusions.

The meeting participants had a frank and productive discussion concerning
the possible opportunities and barriers of *including a Community First
Choice Medicaid State option (CFC Option) in the final health reform
legislation* . The CFC Option is an idea that emerged from discussions with
Senator Harkin’s office and Representative Davis’s office as a way to make
progress on home and community-based services and supports under Medicaid
and a way to lay the foundation for later enactment of the Community Choice
Act. It is *a proposal that has support from the cross-disability community
*, including leaders from the NCIL, ADAPT, the Consortium for Citizens with
Disabilities (CCD), AAPD, the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer
Survivor Organizations, Autistic Self Advocacy Network and Self Advocates
Becoming Empowered (see below fact sheet on the CFC option)

The disability representatives thanked the White House Staff for their time
and support for expanding choices in long-term services and supports, and
all agreed to keep open the lines of communication as health care reform
heats up again when Congress returns from the August recess.

Attending the meeting from the White House were Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director
of the White House Office of Health Care Reform; Tina Tchen, Director of the
White House Office of Public Engagement; Jeff Crowley, Director of the White
House Office on National AIDS Policy and Senior Advisor on Disability Policy
within the Domestic Policy Council; Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the
President for Disability Policy; and Keith Fontenot from the Office of
Management and Budget. Mr. Fontenot’s responsibilities for OMB include
long-term services and supports policy.

Attending the meeting from the disability community were Mike Oxford and
Cassie James from ADAPT, Kelly Buckland and Lou Ann Kibbee from the National
Council on Independent Living, Marty Ford of The Arc/UCP Disability Policy
Collaboration and CCD, Chester Finn of Self Advocates Becoming Empowered,
Daniel Fisher of the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer Survivor
Organizations, Ari Ne’eman of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Suellen
Galbraith of ANCOR, Lee Page of Paralyzed Veterans of America, Andy Imparato
of the American Association of People with Disabilities, and Bob Williams,
President Clinton’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Disability and Long-term
Care Policy who attended as a private citizen.

Ari Ne’eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
http://www.autistic advocacy. org
info@autisticadvoca cy.org

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Diane Van Deren running on a mountain
Diane says running in the mountains gives her a feeling of security

By Steven Lynch
BBC News

In 1997, Diane Van Deren decided to have brain surgery in a bid to stop the epileptic seizures that were dominating her life.

Twelve years on, Diane, from Sedalia in the US state of Colorado, is a champion long-distance runner – an ultra-runner – and free from seizures.

In February, she was the first woman to complete 430 miles (690km) on the Yukon Quest Trail.

The race is known as the coldest, most difficult and extreme race in the world.

She pulled a sled with over 20kgs of food, clothing and equipment and slept just two or three hours a night.

Given her medical history, her achievement was even more staggering.

At the age of 16 months, Diane had a very high fever and was taken to hospital, where she was packed in ice for three days in an attempt to reduce the fever.

During that time she had a seizure that lasted more than 50 minutes.

She was released from hospital days later, seemingly recovered.

However, 24 years later Diane began to have regular seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy.

The seizures grew worse and over time she felt her role as a mother was suffering.

“It got to the point where my children were starting to care for me and worrying about me,” she told the BBC World Service.

“Every time I took a bath I would have to tell my kids or husband to come check on me, because people do die of seizures in bathtubs,” she says.

Diane even had to teach her children how to drive, so that if she did have a seizure they would know how to turn the car off and how to get help.

Tingling sensation

Diane Van Deren

Diane trains four to eight hours a day

Diane would always have a premonition before the onset of a seizure.

“Before my seizures I would get this tingling sensation in my body, and the feeling of this rising in my stomach,” she says.

“Basically what happens when a seizure occurs, your brain is just fried.

“And when I had come out of the seizure then I’d have this horrendous headache and my body would be aching and sometimes I actually had blood coming out of the side of my mouth from biting on my tongue.

“Sometimes it would take hours to recover from a seizure and sometimes even days.”

Diane eventually developed a way to cope.

Whenever she felt a seizure coming on she would run to the front door, put on her shoes and go running in the nearby Pike National Forest.

Read Article in Full:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8238048.stm