Monday, August 31, 2009

SCATP Announces Dr. Carol Page as new Director

SCATP logo
The SC Assistive Technology Program (SCATP) is pleased to announce
the appointment of Carol A. Page, Ph.D. as our new Director. She has
been on staff with SCATP for over five years and during this time has
also worked for the Carolina Autism Resource and Evaluation Center
(CARE) and the ABC Special Needs Program. As the staff
speech-language pathologist for SCATP, she has been active in
conducting assistive technology trainings at the state and national
level, performing consultations and supervising the equipment loan
program to serve individuals with disabilities in SC and those who serve them.

A graduate of USC, Dr. Page holds the certificate for clinical
competence in speech-language pathology in addition to being a
RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Professional. She was
co-recipient of the 2008 SCSHA Award for Professional Program of the
Year for the SC Assistive Technology Program for outstanding service
to the speech-language pathologists of South Carolina.

Prior to her work at SCATP, Dr. Page was a speech-language
pathologist serving individuals of various ages and disabilities
across SC in the areas of severe communication and swallowing disorders.

The SC Assistive Technology Program is a federally funded program
concerned with getting technology into the hands of people with
disabilities so that they might live, work, learn and be a more
independent part of the community. As part of a national network of
technology-related assistance programs, our goal is to enhance
independence, productivity and quality of life for all South
Carolinians through access to assistive technology devices and services.

To view the SCATP website, please click on the link above.

The Disabled Are On Google's Side In Books Settlement

clip art of a book

Media Post News (August 10, 2009) -- Advocates for the disabled have asked a federal court to approve a controversial settlement of a lawsuit filed by book authors and publishers against Google.

"The settlement's benefits for readers with disabilities are extraordinary," the American Association of People with Disabilities said in a letter filed last week with the court.

"People for whom transportation to a library or bookstore is difficult, unavailable or expensive would have access to these books through their computer," the organization wrote in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan. "People with vision loss will be able to search for books through the Google Books interface and purchase, borrow, or read at a public library any of the books that are available to the general public in accessible formats."

by Wendy Davis

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Free Webinar series on Integrating Assistive Technology Tools for Writing

Atomic Learning is proud to announce a free webinar series presented by Gayl Bowser. Gayl will speak on integrating assistive technology forwriting into general education environments. She will address questions like:

* How do teachers successfully support students who use AT for writingin the general education environment?

* How does AT fit into initiatives like Differentiated Instruction,RTI, and UDL?

* How can districts encourage successful AT integration?

* How can AT Teams support the need for training and professionaldevelopment?

This webinar series is intended for general and special education teachers,assistive technology specialists, technology coordinators, andadministrators. Customize your training by registering for any or all of thesessions below.

"Integrating Assistive Technology Tools for Writing into General Education"

September 10, 2009 12- 1:00 PM Central

This webinar will kick off the series with an overview of general educationinitiatives like RTI, UDL, and differentiated instruction, and how AssistiveTechnology fits into them. It will answer the question, "How can AT be usedto make these initiatives more successful?" There will also be discussionaround the basic principles of classroom integration of technology and whatkind of professional development is needed to see successful integration.

"Assistive Technology Integration for Teachers"

September 30, 2009 12-12:30 PM Central

This session will focus on how to integrate Assistive Technology in yourclassroom management routines, how to think about it in your anticipatoryset and levels of participation, and in your rules, procedures, and goals.

"Assistive Technology Integration for A.T. Teams"

November 5, 2009, 12-12:30 PM Central

This session will focus on how AT teams can provide professional developmentand collaborative consultation to support successful integration of AT forwriting in the classroom.

"District Level Action To Encourage Assistive Technology Integration"

December 3, 2009, 12-12:30 PM Central

The final session in the Integrating AT Tools for Writing series will focuson the actions that school districts can take to encourage and support theintegration of AT tools for writing into the classroom. The session willdiscuss the actions school administrators can take to support AT use and theways that traditional AT tools can enhance general education initiativessuch as Response to Intervention and Positive Behavioral Supports.

About the Presenter

Gayl Bowser's work as an independent consultant focuses on the integrationof technology into the educational programs of students with disabilities.Former Coordinator of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) and aspecial education teacher by training, Ms. Bowser has also worked as aschool administrator and holds an Oregon School Superintendent's credential. She works, regularly, with school districts to develop effective, legal andhigh quality assistive technology services. Ms Bowser provides assistivetechnology consultation, training and technical assistance throughout theUnited States and internationally.

Gayl Bowser has been the recipient of Oregon CEC's Teacher of the Year Awardand the Service Award of the National Technology and Medial Division of theCouncil for Exceptional Children (CEC TAM). In 1993, Ms Bowser was namedone of Oregon's Distinguished Educators by the Milken Family Foundation. MsBowser is a founding member of the Quality Indicators for AssistiveTechnology Services (QIAT) consortium and a member of the QIAT LeadershipTeam.

Ms Bowser has authored numerous publications. The list includes:

* The Assistive Technology Trainer's Handbook (2009)

* A School Administrator's Desktop Guide to Assistive Technology(2004)

* How Do You Know It? How Can You Show It?: Making AssistiveTechnology Decisions (2002 Also with Jane Korsten)

* Hey! Can I try that?: A Student Handbook for Choosing and UsingAssistive Technology (2001)* Assistive Technology Pointers for Parents (2000)

* Education Tech Points: A Framework for Assistive TechnologyPlanning (1998)

Gayl believes that the most important contribution an educator can make tochildren with disabilities is to believe in their potential and to insist onthe very best each child has to offer. For their potential to be realized,children and the educators who serve them must have access to the bestavailable information about assistive technology devices and services.

Hello Wearable Kidney, Goodbye Dialysis Machine

ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2009)Researchers are developing a Wearable Artificial Kidney for dialysis patients, reports an upcoming paper in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). "Our vision of a technological breakthrough has materialized in the form of a Wearable Artificial Kidney, which provides continuous dialysis 24 hours a day, seven days a week," comments Victor Gura, MD (David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA).

The device—essentially a miniaturized dialysis machine, worn as a belt—weighs about 10 pounds and is powered by two nine-volt batteries. Because patients don't need to be hooked up to a full-size dialysis machine, they are free to walk, work, or sleep while undergoing continuous, gentle dialysis that more closely approximates normal kidney function.

To view the entire article, please click on the title above.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Discovery Of Genetic Mutation In Leigh Syndrome

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2009)Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), McGill University have discovered a genetic mutation underlying late-onset Leigh syndrome, a rare inherited metabolic disorder characterized by the degeneration of the central nervous system. The study published in Nature Genetics, provides vital insights into the cell biology of this neurological disorder and will lead to the development of diagnostic and predictive tests allowing for family and genetic counseling.

Leigh syndrome usually begins in early childhood and is caused by genetic mutations which result in mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria are compartments in the cell which have their own DNA and function to supply energy to the body. Damage and dysfunction to mitochondrial DNA is a factor in more than 40 types of metabolic diseases and disorders, including Leigh syndrome.

To view the entire article, please click on the title above.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


ICDL logo
2009 Annual Conference
November 6 to 8, 2009 (Early bird rates are available!)
Hyatt Regency, Bethesda, Maryland (Washington, DC metro area)

Renowned Speakers Including:
Stanley Greenspan, M.D., Sally Rogers, Ph.D., Amy Wetherby, Ph.D., Susan Swedo, M.D., Nancy Minshew, M.D., Morton Gernsbacher, Ph.D., Anil Darbari, M.D., Diane Williams, Ph.D., Stuart Shanker, Ph.D., Serena Wieder, Ph.D., Harry Wachs, O.D., Ricki Robinson, M.D., and many others.

Presentations on Critical Issues for Children with ASD:
-Developmental Interventions for Children with ASD and Evidence of Their Success
-Medical and Neurological Concerns that Interfere with Learning
-Transforming our Educational Institutions
-Saturday Afternoon Seminars Demonstrating Practical Applications of Theory and Research

Pre- and Post Conference Workshops taught by DIR Faculty:
The Development of Visual-Spatial Knowledge with Harry Wachs, O.D. and Serena Wieder, Ph.D.
DIR/Floortime with Barbara Kalmanson, Ph.D.
Sensory Integration, with Rosemary White, OTR/L
Bipolar Disorders with Ira Glovinsky, Ph.D.
The Affect-Based Language Curriculum (ABLC) with Diane Lewis, MA/CCC-SLP
DIR-Based IEP Curriculum Goals with Monica Osgood
Language Comprehension with Sima Gerber, Ph.D. CCC

To view the ICDL website, please click on the link above.

15th International DCDT (Division of Career Development and Transition) Conference

DCDT logo
"From Cobblestones to Cornerstones: Revitalizing Transition Outcomes"

Savannah, Georgia
October 29-31, 2009

Conference Strands for the 15th Semi-Annual DCDT International Conference Savannah, GA:

• Assessment
• Student Diversity & Multicultural Approaches
• Transition Approaches for Specific Student Disability Groups
• Postsecondary Education Services
• Employment Focused Education and Business Strategies
• Legislation & Policy
• Family Partnerships
• Program Evaluation Models and Data-based Decision Making
• Personnel Preparation and Professional Development
• Self-Determination & Student Involvement
• Vendor/Exhibitor Presentations
• Community Partnerships
• Aligning Transition with Standards and School Reform
• Transition Education in Elementary & Middle Schools

A preconference will be held on Wednesday, October 28 on the Summary of Performance. This workshop is being conducted by Drs. Audrey Trainor, Jim Patton and Gary Clark. The cost is $75.00 and all participants must have a laptop for the SOP software (donated by Pro-Ed) to be loaded on your computer.

To view the conference webpage, please click on the link above.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is Prevalent In Adults With Down Syndrome

ScienceDaily (Aug. 17, 2009) A study in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicineshows that adults with Down syndrome also frequently suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, complications of untreated OSA such as cardiovascular disease, daytime sleepiness and impaired cognitive functioning overlap with the manifestations of Down syndrome; therefore, OSA may not be detected.

Results indicate that 94 percent of subjects with Down syndrome had OSA; 88 percent had at least moderate OSA with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of more than 15 breathing pauses per hour of sleep; and 69 percent had severe OSA with an AHI of more than 30. Twelve of the 16 subjects with Down syndrome were obese, and there was a significant correlation between body mass index (BMI) and AHI. Total sleep time in subjects with Down syndrome (307 minutes) was more than an hour less than in controls (380 minutes). Despite the severity of OSA in the study group, medical evaluation had been sought in only one case.

To view the entire article, please click on the title above.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Temp Work Strains Employee Mental Health, Study Finds

employee clip art
ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2009) — Workers hired for temporary, contract, casual or fixed-term positions are at risk for increased mental health problems, according to research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

"Temporary workers—those lacking long-term, stable employment—seem to be susceptible to declining mental health for as long as they continue to work in these so-called 'disposable' or 'second class' jobs," said Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, a medical sociologist at McGill University and the study's primary investigator. "This research shows that temporary work strains employee mental health, as contingent workers report more symptoms of depression and psychological distress than similarly employed workers who are not in these fixed-term positions."

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Attention Deficit Disorder Workshop (ADD & ADHD)

Pro-Parents logo
For Parents & Other of Children with Special needs

Facility By: Lexington County Public Library

Presented By: PRO-Parents of SC

Parents Reaching Out to Parents of South Carolina

Tanya M. Inabinet
Regional Education Coordinator


Lexington County Public Library
(Downstairs- Conference Room #2)
5440 Augusta Road
Lexington SC 29702


*Understanding ADD/ADHD
*Functional Behavior Assessments
*Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIP)
*Teaching Strategies
*And much more


Call to register 1-800-759-4776 or

This is a free Workshop

Open to the public

This meeting is open to the public and is neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Lexington County Public Library. Views expressed are those of the program sponsors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinion of the library.

PRO-Parents of SC
652 Bush River Road Ste 203
Columbia SC 29210 803.772-5688 or
800 759 4776 (email) (website)

To view the Pro-Parents website, please click on the link above.

Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders in the Classroom

Pro Parents logo
Workshop for Educators, Allied Professionals and Parents

August 25, 2009
8:30 - 3:00pm


South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201

$20.00 – Registration Fee

8:30 - 9:00 AM Registration
9:00 - 9:15 AM Welcome/Introduction
9:15 - 11:45 PM Presentation
11:45 - 12:45 PM Lunch (On your Own)
12:45 - 2:45 PM Presentations continued
2:45 - 3:00 PM Questions/Answers/Evaluations

Children with Tourette syndrome present unique challenges
in the classroom. Participants will learn how the condition is
diagnosed and how it can be managed at school.

Topics include:

• Criteria for diagnosing Tourette syndrome
• Disorders often associated with Tourette syndrome (ADHD, OCD, and Learning Disabilities)
• Impact of these disorders in the classroom
• Classroom strategies and techniques
• The need for positive behavioral accommodations

About the presenter:

Susan Conners is president and founder of the TSA of Greater New York State. A teacher for 33 years, Sue served on the Board of Directors of National TSA for 12 years and chaired TSA’s Education Committee. An international workshop presenter, Sue is the author of numerous publications on the education of children with20TS and has won many awards for her work.

PRO-Parents of SC
652 Bush River Road Ste 203
Columbia SC 29210
800.759.4776 toll free

To view information about the conference on the Pro-Parents webpage, please click on the link above.

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Webinar Series

SCATP logo
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Webinar Series
provides a collection of topics for educators, rehab professionals, assistive technology specialists, individuals with disabilities and their families, and others who are looking to broaden their knowledge of assistive technology and the evaluation skills needed to assess the products. These topics include a general overview of AT, augmentative communications, technology for the blind or visually impaired, and topics to assist those providing support to students with special needs.

Each webinar is being presented by national leaders in their field.

Note: there is a fee for some (if not all) of these webinars:

-Selecting Software for Students with Learning Disabilities: An Instructional Resource:
Tuesday, September 1: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern time
This webinar will discuss how selecting appropriate educational software for students with learning disabilities can often be a difficult and complicated process. This online resource helps people to better understand the nature of different learning disabilities as well as identify appropriate and effective educational software to deal with specific cognitive and achievement deficits- as identified through common learning disability testing instruments. Learn how this resource came to be created, and how you can use it to better help your students with learning disabilities.
Jayme Johnson is the Web Accessibility Instructor at the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) for the California Community Colleges. Jayme conducts workshops and trainings in the areas of assistive computer technology and web accessibility, including instructional design and technology, assistive computer technology applications, emerging technologies and media, distance education, and related access issues.

-Technology for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Presenter: William Bielawski, Director of Adaptive Technology Center, The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Thursday, September 3: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Eastern time
This webinar is a complete examination of the current technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired to access information on paper or electronic information. It will trace the recent evolution of this technology and the implications for today's young students, college students, working adults, and seniors.

After a career at Bell Laboratories, William Bielawski joined The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired as Director of the Adaptive Technology Center and Office Skills Training. Bill was co-founder of the Illinois Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (IPVI) in 1986 and is its President. Bill is also the Blindness Strand Advisor for the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2009 Chicago Conference in October.

-Stirring the Alphabet Soup: Blending AT, UDL, RTI, and AIM to Increase Achievement
Presenters: Joy Zabala, Ed.D., ATP, CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology): Diana Carl, Independent Consultant, Vicki Hershman, PATINS State Project Director (Indiana), Indiana Department of Education/Division of Student Learning/Office of Differentiated Learners
Wednesday, September 9: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Eastern time

-AIMing for Achievement!: What YOU Need to Know about the Selection, Acquisition, and Use of Accessible Instructional Materials
Presenters: Jeff Diedrich, Michigan Integrated Technology Services; Skip Stahl, CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology); Jenna Wasson Gravel, CAST; Joy Zabala, Ed.D., ATP, CAST
Thursday, September 10: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Eastern time

-Overview of Assistive Technology
Presenter: Russ Holland, Program Director, Alliance for Technology Access
Wednesday, September 16: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Eastern time

Go to our website for session abstracts, learning outcomes, and speaker biographies

To view the SCATP website, please click on the link above.

Formal Education Lessens Impact Of Alzheimer’s Disease -- Even If Brain Volume Is Already Reduced

ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2009) — Researchers at the Department of Psychiatry, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, investigated the effects of formal education on the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. They were able to show that education diminishes the impact of Alzheimer's disease on cognition even if a manifest brain volume loss has already occurred.

The results are published in the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Dr. Robert Perneczky, Department of Psychiatry at Klinikum rechts der Isar explains: "We know that there is not always a close association between brain damage due to Alzheimer's disease and the resulting symptoms of dementia. In fact, there are individuals with severe brain pathology with almost no signs of dementia, whereas others with only minor brain lesions exhibit a considerable degree of clinical symptoms."

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The NADD 26th Annual Conference & Exhibit Show for 2009

Advancing Mental Wellnesss Through Excellence in Mental Health Care(ID/MH)

October 21-23, 2009

Royal Sonesta Hotel
300 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Phone: 504-586-0300 * 800-766-3782

For more information, please click on the title above.

Children With Positive Outlooks Are Better Learners

children playing clip art
ScienceDaily (Aug. 9, 2009) — Teaching children how to be more resilient along with regular classroom instruction can improve children's outlook on life, curb depression and boost grades, according to a researcher who spoke at the American Psychological Association's convention August 8.

"In the last 50 years, the U.S. population has seen an increase in their standard of living, such as having more money, owning more homes and cars and living longer. But our sense of meaning, purpose and satisfaction with life have not gone up, they have gone down," said psychologist Martin Seligman, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania. "This has been especially detrimental to children. Nearly 20 percent of young people experience depression."

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Light Shed On Brain's Mechanism Responsible For Processing Of Speech

ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2009) — Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have succeeded for the first time in devising a model that describes and identifies a basic cellular mechanism that enables networks of neurons to efficiently decode speech in changing conditions.

The research may lead to the upgrading of computer algorithms for faster and more precise speech recognition as well as to the development of innovative treatments for auditory problems among adults and young people.

Our brain has the capability to process speech and other complex auditory stimuli and to make sense of them, even when the sound signals reach our ears in a slowed, accelerated or distorted manner.

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Window Into The Brain: Diffusion Imaging MRI Tracks Memories And May Detect Alzheimer's At Early Stage

brain clip art
ScienceDaily (Aug. 17, 2009) — When we absorb new information, the human brain reshapes itself to store this newfound knowledge. But where exactly is the new knowledge kept, and how does that capacity to adapt reflect our risk for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of senile dementia later in our lives?

Dr. Yaniv Assaf of Tel Aviv University's Department of Neurobiology is pioneering a new way to track the effect of memory on brain structure. "With a specific MRI methodology called 'Diffusion Imaging MRI,' we can investigate the microstructure of the tissue without actually cutting into it," he explains. "We can measure how much capacity our brain has to change structurally, what our memory reserve is and where that happens."

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Elementary Students Held Back In Early Grades Often Do Not Get Special Education Plan

school clip art
ScienceDaily (June 1, 2009) — Many children who are retained in kindergarten, first or third grade for academic reasons do not subsequently receive a document outlining the individualized special education services they should receive, according to a new report.

Each year, 5 percent to 10 percent of American students are retained at the same grade level, according to background information in the article. One in 10 students age 16 to 19 have repeated a grade. "Some of these students may require special education services at the time they are retained, in subsequent years or both," the authors write. "One approach to supporting a child with low academic achievement is the provision of special education services, as indicated in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). An IEP is a legally binding document describing a child's special education services and is developed after the child has undergone a special evaluation and has been determined eligible for services."

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Epilepsy Halted In Mice

DNA clip art
ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2009) — Scientists at Leeds have prevented epilepsy caused by a gene defect from being passed on to mice offspring – an achievement which may herald new therapies for people suffering from the condition.

The study is published August 3 in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). It offers, for the first time, irrefutable proof that a faulty version of a gene known as Atp1a3 is responsible for causing epileptic seizures in mice.

Says lead researcher Dr Steve Clapcote, of the University of Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences: "Atp1a3 makes an enzyme called a sodium-potassium pump that regulates levels of sodium and potassium in the brain's nerve cells. An imbalance of sodium and potassium levels has long been suspected to lead to epileptic seizures, but our study is the first to show beyond any doubt that a defect in this gene is responsible."

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Middle-aged smokers at higher risk of dementia

cigaretteThe Guardian (4 August 2009) -- Middle-aged people who smoke, are diabetic or have high blood pressure are far more likely to suffer from dementia, research reveals today.

Smokers aged between 46 and 70 have a 70% higher risk of developing chronic memory loss, according to a study reported in Britain's Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. The chance of people with diabetes getting dementia is more than doubled because of their condition, while in those with raised blood pressure it is increased by 60% compared with people without that problem.

A separate study today shows that people may be able to ward off the onset of dementia by stimulating their brain regularly through everyday activities such as reading, writing and playing card games. That research, in the American journal Neurology, offers further evidence that mental exercise can help delay cognitive impairment.

Denis Campbell, health correspondent

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Autism Study Finds Visual Processing 'Hinders Ability' To Read Body Language

crowd clip art
ScienceDaily (Aug. 5, 2009) — The way people with autism see and process the body language of others could be preventing them from gauging people's feelings, according to new research.

With around half a million people in the UK affected by autism, the Durham University study suggests visual processing problems could be contributing to their day-to-day difficulties with social interaction.

The research showed that adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) found it difficult to identify emotions, such as anger or happiness, from short video clips of body movements without seeing faces or hearing sound.

Those adults who struggled most with this task also performed poorly when asked to detect the direction in which a group of dots moved coherently on a screen, thought to be due to visual processing problems.

People with autism often have difficulty in attributing mental states to others and this is thought to be one of the main causes of their struggle to know how other people feel. The Durham study, published in the academic journal Neuropsychologia, suggests visual processing problems may also be a contributing factor.

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Treating depression can be hit or miss

pills clip artLos Angeles Times (August 3, 2009) --George Porter, a 47-year-old engineering librarian from La Cañada Flintridge, first became depressed after his father's heart attack nearly seven years ago. The married father of two was overcome with sadness that wouldn't go away and lost pleasure in activities he'd once enjoyed. "I'd been a voracious reader all my life, and I found it almost impossible to get through a book," he said. He often began sobbing uncontrollably.

Porter followed his doctor's advice to see a psychologist and take medication, cycling through at least half a dozen drugs. Many helped, but none worked completely.

Although doctors have more than 20 medications to choose from when prescribing a treatment for depression, there's still little way to know which drug will work for a particular person. Many people need to try two or three drugs or drug combinations before experiencing relief. Some go through six or more. "It's a hit-or-miss, trial-and-error kind of process," said Dr. Richard A. Friedman, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

By Devon Schuyler

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hearing Aids: New Software Makes It Easier To Hear The Words Beneath The Noise

hearing clip art
ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2009) — Hearing aids and cochlear implants act as tiny amplifiers so the deaf and hard-of-hearing can make sense of voices and music. Unfortunately, these devices also amplify background sound, so they're less effective in a noisy environment like a busy workplace or café.

But help is on the way. Prof. Miriam Furst-Yust of Tel Aviv University's School of Electrical Engineering has developed a new software application named "Clearcall" for cochlear implants and hearing aids which improves speech recognition for the hard-of-hearing by up to 50%.

"Hearing-impaired people have a real problem understanding speech," says Prof. Furst-Yust. "Their devices may be useful in a quiet room, but once the background noise levels ramp up, the devices become less useful. Our algorithm helps filter out irrelevant noise so they can better understand the voices of their friends and family."

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Midlife cholesterol levels linked to dementia

eggs and bacon clip artSan Francisco Chronicle (August 4, 2009) -- You might want to think twice about that plate of steak and eggs.

A new study that looked at Kaiser Permanente Northern California members over a four-decade period found that even borderline to moderately high cholesterol levels in your 40s can significantly raise the chances of developing dementia later in life.

The study, published today in the journal Dementia & Geriatrics Cognitive Disorders, found the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease increased by as much as 66 percent among people with high cholesterol in midlife, a level defined as 240 or higher milligrams per deciliter (1.75 pints) of blood.

For those with just moderately high cholesterol - between 200 and 239 milligrams per deciliter - the risk of developing vascular dementia, the second-most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's, increased by 52 percent.

Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Depressed Nation?

depression clip art

Los Angeles Times (August 3, 2009) -- Many Americans are clinically depressed, but are we undertreated or overtreated? Reality might not match the headlines.

Some 16% of adults in the United States have met the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Such rates have not really changed over the last few decades, according to studies -- but rates of treatment have risen dramatically.

Doctors say the wider recognition of depression as a chronic, recurring disease has helped people in need get necessary and helpful treatment. Better insurance coverage of mental health services and the explosion of new medications for depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987 have helped fuel the rise in treatment rates.

And yet a wave of concern persists about overdiagnosis and overtreatment of depression. Has easy treatment in the form of a pill led to frivolous prescribing habits?

By Jill U. Adams

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Epilepsy Halted In Mice

ETV documentary "Through Deaf Eyes"

projector clip artETV will air "Through Deaf Eyes," a new two-hour documentary on
Sunday, August 9 at 9 p.m.:

THROUGH DEAF EYES is a two-hour HDTV documentary that explores 200
years of Deaf life in America. The film includes interviews with
prominent members of the Deaf community, including actress Marlee
Matlin and Gallaudet University president emeritus I. King Jordan.

Interwoven throughout the film are six short documentaries produced
by Deaf media artists and filmmakers. Poignant, sometimes humorous,
these commissioned stories bring a personalized sense of Deaf life in
America to the film. Through first person accounts and the film as a
whole, THROUGH DEAF EYES tells the story of conflicts, prejudice and
affirmation that ultimately reaches the heart of what it means to be human.

For more information, visit, or click on the link above.

Antidepressant Use Increasing In The United States

pills clip art
ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2009) — A marked and broad expansion in antidepressant treatment occurred among Americans older than 6 years between 1996 and 2005, although treatment rates remain low among racial and ethnic minorities, according to a report in the August issue of

Archives of General Psychiatry.
Treatment for mental health conditions is becoming more common in the United States, according to background information in the article. "Several factors may have contributed to this trend, including a broadening in concepts of need for mental health treatment, campaigns to promote mental health care and growing public acceptance of mental health treatments," the authors write. "In parallel with growth in mental health service usage, psychotropic medications have become increasingly prominent in treatment." Antidepressants are now the most commonly prescribed class of medications in the United States.

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Regimens: Restrictive Diets May Not Be Appropriate for Children With Autism

The New york Times (July 27, 2009) -- Many parents of autistic children have put their children on strict gluten-free or dairy-free diets, convinced that gastrointestinal problems are an underlying cause of the disorder. But a new study suggests the complicated food regimens may not be warranted.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic reviewed the medical records of over 100 autistic children over an 18-year period and compared them to more than 200 children without the disorder. The scientists found no differences in the overall frequency of gastrointestinal problems reported by the two groups, though the autistic children suffered more frequently from bouts of constipation and were more likely to be picky eaters who had difficulty gaining weight.

The study, published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first to look at the incidence of gastrointestinal problems in an autistic population, according to the paper’s first author, Dr. Samar H. Ibrahim, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic. She suggested that autistic children should only be put on restrictive wheat-free or dairy-free diets after having appropriate diagnostic tests done.

“There is actually no trial that has proven so far that a gluten-free and casein-free diet improves autism,” she said. “The diets are not easy to follow and can sometimes cause nutritional deficiencies.”


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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

STAR Network - AT Reutilization for SC

SCATP logo
SCATP is working with the STAR network to help facilitate equipment reutilization in South Carolina. STAR has three outreach centers throughout the state where an individual with a disability can access used equipment and assistive technology.

The used items have been cleaned and sanitized through a Washing Mechanism known as the HubScrub. Items redistributed are typically donated items being gifted for availability to persons who can utilize the item(s). Individuals can access the equipment or devices they need for a modest contribution. Individuals from the community can bring their equipment (non electric/no battery) to an nearest outreach center to be cleaned/sanitized and returned to the outreach center at the next scheduled delivery.

Call your closest point of contact from the list below or call Walton Options. If you have a computer to donate, call Walton options directly.

Walton Options

Address: 948 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30901
Contact Person: Anita Howard, STAR Program Assistant
Phone: 803-279-9611
Fax: 706-724-6729

Disability Action Center

Address: 1115 Belleview St., Columbia, SC 29201
Contact Person: Stephen Maglione, Executive Director
Phone: 803-779-5121
Fax: 803-779-5114

DisAbility Resource Center

Address: 7944 Dorchester Rd., Suite 5, North Charleston, SC 29418
Contact Person: Gloria Maurer, Loan Closet Manager
Phone: 843-225-5080
Fax: 843-225-5082

Regained Mobility

Address: PO Box 8576, 9 Saluda Dam Rd, Greenville, SC 29604
Contact Person: Christina Edwards, Community Director
Phone: 864-498-8570
Cell: 864-350-0480
Fax: 864-455-6559

Call the center in your area if you have items to donate for these pickup dates:

8/6/09 – Walton Options, Aiken
8/11/09 – Disability Solutions, Hartsville
8/18/09 – Disability Action Center, Columbia
8/25/09 – Disability Resource Center, North Charleston
9/8//09 – Disability Solutions, Hartsville
9/15/09 – Disability Action Center, Columbia
9/22/09 – Disability Resource Center, North Charleston
9/29/09 – Regained Mobility, Greenville

HubScrub Events: Sponsor a HubScrub event at your business. The HubScrub cleans/sanitizes and disinfects equipment. It’s a wonderful way to support your community. For more information call Kathy Pelletier at 706-724-6262.

South Carolina Assistive Technology Program
USC School of Medicine • Center for Disability Resources
University Center for Excellence, Columbia SC 29208

located at Midlands Center, 8301 Farrow Road, Columbia SC 29203
(803) 935-5263 • (803) 935 5342 fax • (800) 915-4522 toll free

To view the webpage, please click on the link above.

Weight Loss Improves Mood In Depressed People, New Research Shows

weight loss clip art
ScienceDaily (July 29, 2009) — Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) finds that after a 6-month behavioral weight loss program, depressed patients not only lost 8% of their initial weight but also reported significant improvements in their symptoms of depression, as well as reductions in triglycerides, which are a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The results of this study highlight the need for further research into the effects of weight loss in individuals suffering from psychiatric disorders.

“This research is novel because clinically depressed individuals are not usually included in weight loss trials due to concerns that weight loss could worsen their depression,” said Dr. Lucy Faulconbridge, lead author of the study. “These concerns, however, are not based on empirical evidence, and the practice of excluding depressed individuals from clinical weight loss trials means that we are learning nothing about this high-risk population.” The latest findings suggest that depressed, obese individuals can indeed lose clinically significant amounts of weight, and that weight loss can actually reduce symptoms of depression.

To view the article, please click on the link above.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Under A Cloud: Darkness Linked To 'Brain Drain' In Depressed People

clouds clip artScienceDaily (July 29, 2009) — A lack of sunlight is associated with reduced cognitive function among depressed people. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health used weather data from NASA satellites to measure sunlight exposure across the United States and linked this information to the prevalence of cognitive impairment in depressed people.

Shia Kent, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, led a team of US researchers who used cross-sectional data from 14,474 people in the NIH-NINDS-funded REGARDS study, a longitudinal study investigating stroke incidence and risk factors, to study associations between depression, cognitive function and sunlight.

He said: "We found that among participants with depression, low exposure to sunlight was associated with a significantly higher predicted probability of cognitive impairment. This relationship remained significant after adjustment for season. This new finding that weather may not only affect mood, but also cognition, has significant implications for the treatment of depression, particularly seasonal affective disorder."

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.