Friday, July 30, 2010

New Treatment for Hyperactivity in Children: Thought-Operated Computer System

photo of a bike helmet

ScienceDaily (Jan. 11, 2010) — A new thought-operated computer system which can reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children will be rolled out across the UK this month.

Professor Karen Pine at the University of Hertfordshire's School of Psychology and assistant Farjana Nasrin investigated the effects of EEG (Electroencephalography) biofeedback, a learning strategy that detects brain waves, on ten children with an attention deficit from Hertfordshire schools.

They used a system called Play Attention, supplied by not-for-profit community interest company, Games for Life, three times a week for 12 weeks.

The system involves the child playing a fun educational computer game whilst wearing a helmet similar to a bicycle helmet. The helmet picks up their brain activity in the form of EEG waves related to attention. As long as the child concentrates they control the games, but as soon as their attention waivers the game stops.

The researchers found at the end of the study that the children's impulsive behaviour was reduced, compared to a control group who had not used the system.

To read the full article, click the link in this post's title.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Invention Enables People With Disabilities to Communicate and Steer a Wheelchair by Sniffing

photo of a nose

ScienceDaily (July 26, 2010) — A unique device based on sniffing -- inhaling and exhaling through the nose -- might enable numerous disabled people to navigate wheelchairs or communicate with their loved ones. Sniffing technology might even be used in the future to create a sort of 'third hand,' to assist healthy surgeons or pilots.

Developed by Prof. Noam Sobel, electronics engineers Dr. Anton Plotkin and Aharon Weissbrod and research student Lee Sela in the Weizmann Institute's Neurobiology Department, the new system identifies changes in air pressure inside the nostrils and translates these into electrical signals. The device was tested on healthy volunteers as well as quadriplegics, and the results showed that the method is easily mastered. Users were able to navigate a wheelchair around a complex path or play a computer game with nearly the speed and accuracy of a mouse or joystick.

Sobel explains: "The most stirring tests were those we did with locked-in syndrome patients. These are people with unimpaired cognitive function who are completely paralyzed -- 'locked into' their bodies. With the new system, they were able to communicate with family members, and even initiate communication with the outside. Some wrote poignant messages to their loved ones, sharing with them, for the first time in a very long time, their thoughts and feelings." Four of those who participated in the experiments are already using the new writing system, and Yeda Research and Development Company, Ltd. -- the technology transfer arm of the Weizmann Institute -- is investigating the possibilities for developing and distributing the technology.

To view the full article, click the link in this post's title.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HealthSouth Columbia Event: Splash Bash on August 21, 2010

photo of a water splash
Splash Bash on August 21, 2010, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM at Shaw Air Force Base-Lake Wateree Recreation Area

Adults and young adults (14 years and older) with disabilities are invited to a day of swimming, play, and leisure sponsored by HealthSouth Columbia. The outdoor activities and equipment have been modified to be accessible for people with disabilities. Adapted equipment will include electronic trigger pulls, hunting chairs, electric reels, racing chairs, and carts for hunting. Adapted activities will include tubing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing, boating, fishing, hunting, archery and other wheelchair sports. Mobi-Mat and the assistant dogs from P.A.A.L.S. will also be there.

A variety of organizations, vendors and staff from the SC Assistive Technology Program will be present to talk with attendees about services and assistive technology products.

Join the Splash Bash festivities on August 21, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Shaw Air Force Base, Lake Wateree Recreation Area, 2030 Baron DeKalb Road, Camden, SC. A picnic lunch in the recreational hall at noon will recognize all those involved in this year’s event.

Free registration: Contact Michelle Azarigian-Rogers or call 803-401-1347 to complete the Participant Application Form.
To view the Splash Bash brochure, click the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Langevin Gavels in House Session, Honors ADA Anniversary

WASHINGTON, DC - "Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), who is quadriplegic, presided over the US House of Representatives for the first time today. The Speaker’s rostrum on the House Floor has just been made wheelchair-accessible. This historic event coincided with the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“I have long said that I may be the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress, but I won’t be the last,” said Langevin, a five-term representative from Rhode Island and co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus. “Today, we celebrated another major step in continuing efforts to make the Capitol Complex accessible when I presided over the US House of Representatives. This was an extremely proud moment for me and helped to renew my spirit as we continue to remove barriers and strengthen the ADA for millions of Americans with disabilities in the decades to come.”

NOTE: To read the entire article, click on the title above.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Free rally celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)!

7/26/2010 - Today is the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Dramatic progress has occurred since the passage of the ADA 20 years ago and assistive technologies have revolutionized the lives of people with disabilities.

Today at 11am, the Mayors Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (MCEPD) will hold a rally to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at the South Carolina State House. The public is invited to attend.
Mayor Steve Benjamin stated, “The City of Columbia is proud to be a state leader in the effort to end all forms of discrimination. The MCEPD is a prime example of our commitment to ensure that all of our citizens have the opportunity to live out the American dream.”

The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services.

For more information on the ADA or to view a copy of the Act click the title above or visit:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Study Points to Molecular Origins of Celiac Disease

WEDNESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- "Scientists believe they've identified the molecular triggers of celiac disease, a finding they say could lead to the first drugs to tame the chronic, painful gut disorder.

People with celiac disease are intolerant to the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Consuming these foods triggers an immune reaction that damages the lining of the small intestine, which can prevent the body from absorbing essential vitamins and nutrients.

Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is adoption of a gluten-free diet, which means avoiding many types of bread, pasta, cereal and other foods. But gluten contamination in many foods makes it difficult to avoid and leads to long-lasting intestinal damage in some patients, said study senior author Robert Anderson, head of the celiac disease research laboratory at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Parkville, Australia.

Regulating the aberrant immune response to gluten with a drug "would be a much more efficient way of dealing with celiac disease," Anderson said, but an incomplete understanding of how the immune system responds to gluten has prevented researchers from developing such therapies."

NOTE: To read the entire article, click on the title above.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How Technology May Improve Treatment for Children With Brain Cancer

brain clipartScienceDaily (July 18, 2010) — A study presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) shows that children with brain tumors who undergo radiation therapy (the application of X-rays to kill cancerous cells and shrink tumors) may benefit from a technique known as "intensity modulated arc therapy" or IMAT.
This technique relies upon new features on the latest generation of X-ray therapy equipment that allow X-ray sources to be continuously rotated in any direction around a patient during treatment, potentially increasing the number of directions that the beams come from.
The study, which was conducted by medical physicists at St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN, compared different treatment strategies including IMAT for nine children treated with radiation therapy for brain tumors. It showed that IMAT could irradiate these tumors effectively while overall reducing the exposure to the surrounding tissue.
To view the entire article, click the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Webinar: Understanding Causes of Common Developmental Disabilties and Birth Defects

webinar clipart
Presented by Vicki Vincet, Asst. Director of Genetic Counseling Services, University of South Carolina Division of Clinical Genetics and Molecular Medicine

For Siblings, parents and friends of individuals w/ special needs

July 28, 2010, 12:00pm -1:30pm

To register call 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688

Internet access and a telephone will be needed to participate via the internet. (You may also access the audio portion only via telephone)

To view the pro-parents website, click the link in this post's title.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pacemaker for Your Brain: Brain-to-Computer Chip Revolutionizes Neurological Therapy

photo of a computer chipScienceDaily (June 29, 2010) — By stimulating certain areas of the brain, scientists can alleviate the effects of disorders such as depression or Parkinson's disease. That's the good news. But because controlling that stimulation currently lacks precision, over-stimulation is a serious concern -- losing some of its therapeutic benefits for the patient over time.

Now a Tel Aviv University team, part of a European consortium, is delving deep into human behavior, neurophysiology and engineering to create a chip that can help doctors wire computer applications and sensors to the brain. The chip will provide deep brain stimulation precisely where and when it's needed.

Prof. Matti Mintz of Tel Aviv University's Psychobiology Research Unit in its Department of Psychology is focusing on the behavioral-physiological aspects of the research. He and the rest of the international research team are working toward a chip that could help treat some diseases of the mind in just a few years. The platform, says Prof. Mintz, is flexible enough to provide a basis for a variety of clinical experiments, and tools which can be programmed for specific disorders. For example, the chip could restore lost functions of the brain after a traumatic brain injury from a car accident or stroke.

To view the full article, click the link in this post's title.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Conference: Announcing MAC-MLA 2010: A New Vision for Health Sciences Libraries

MAC logoOctober 13 - 15, 2010
William and Ida Friday Center
Chapel Hill, NC
Conference highlights:
The 2010 Annual Meeting of the Mid Atlantic Chapter (MAC) of the Medical Library Association features:

Keynote speaker Lisa Sanders, MD, author of Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis

"Setting Our Sights on Research" panel discussion on conducting research

Paper and poster sessions detailing innovative strategies and services from your MAC colleagues

Round table lunch discussions on trends and special topics

Challenging continuing education courses, including courses on technology planning, managing e-resources, and health literacy

A thought-provoking luncheon and symposium on the role of libraries in E-Science featuring Neil Rambo

Special events at the conference will include a welcome reception at the Carolina Inn, dine-arounds, and a golf outing.
Read more online at
To register: Online Registration available at
The conference home page may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Workshop: Adapted Art for Students with Significant Disabilities

green earth clipartDate: Friday, August 6th, 1:00-3:30
Location: Collaborative Training Center, 8301 Farrow Rd., Columbia, SC
Workshop Fee: Free; pre-registration required
Target Audience: Art teachers and teachers of significantly disabled students

Description: Ted Mickens is a teacher in Greenville, South Carolina. He teaches adapted art at the Washington Center and has found numerous ways to adapt his art curriculum to teach students with profound disabilities. Ted will share products that can be easily adapted as well as items that can be made easily and inexpensively.

Contact Val Gioia, to register for this workshop. Space is limited to 60 attendees.

To view more information about SCATP's workshops, click the link in this post's title.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Workshop: Incorporating Assistive Technology & Sensory Integration into the Curriculum for Students with Significant Disabilities

photo of booksDate: Friday, August 6th, 9:30-12:00
Location: Collaborative Training Center, 8301 Farrow Rd., Columbia, SC
Workshop Fee: Free; pre-registration required
Target Audience: Teachers of significantly disabled students

Description: Sabrina Jenson, a teacher of significantly disabled students, will explain how she incorporates assistive technology and sensory integration into all parts of the PMD curriculum. Sabrina will show how she is able to keep her students on task while meeting their goals and objectives. The use of education technology in the PMD and TMD classrooms will also be addressed.

Registration: Contact Val Gioia, to register. Space is limited to 60 attendees.

To view more information on the SCATP workshops, click the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

CDR Library Featured in SCSCIA Newsletter

newspaper clipart The CDR Library has been featured in the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injurt Association's Summer 2010 newsletter!

"The CDR library is a collaborative effort between the University Of South Carolina School Of Medicine Library, Baby Net/South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Center for Disability Resources, and the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. Located on the USC School of Medicine campus in Columbia, the library makes books, videos, DVD’s, audiotapes, and brochures on a wide range of disability topics available nationwide."

To view the entire newsletter, click the link in this post's title.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Conference: Life With Brain Injury

biasc logoThe Brain Injury Alliance of South Carolina (BIASC) and the South Carolina Brain Injury Leadership Council will be having a Statewide Brain Injury Conference on July 15 and 16 at the Columbia Conference Center, located at: 169 Laurelhurst Ave. Columbia, SC 29210.

The conference objective is to provide a forum for the exchange of information on programs, resources, and best practices in brain injury rehabilitation and services. The conference targets individuals with brain injury, family members, caregivers, and professionals working in the field of brain injury.

To visit The Brain Injury Alliance of SC webpage, please click on the title above.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Experts Believe Many Birth Defects Are Preventable

stethoscope photoFRIDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- There are few things more chilling to expectant parents than the possibility that their child might come into the world with a birth defect that threatens the child's health or life.

But there's a lot that a woman can do before and during pregnancy to reduce the child's risk for developing a birth defect, doctors say. Most of these precautions are common-sense measures that apply to anyone who wants to lead a healthy life.

"Women of reproductive age should be cognizant of the fact they need to be healthy," said Dr. Michael Katz, senior vice president for research and global programs at the March of Dimes, a pediatrics professor emeritus at Columbia University and a consultant to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. "They should be living a healthy lifestyle anyway. It's not an extra chore. It's a good lifestyle."

About one in every 33 children born in the United States has some sort of birth defect, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most birth defects develop during the first three months of pregnancy and involve some structural, functional or biochemical abnormality that results in the child's disability or death.

The full article may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Too Much Screen Time Can Threaten Attention Span

photo of static TV screen
MONDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Too much time spent watching television and playing video games can double the risk of attention problems in children and young adults, new research finds.

The study is the latest of many to point out the ill effects of excessive screen time, whether at the computer or the television.

Researcher Edward Swing, a graduate student at Iowa State University, compared participants who watched TV or played video games less than two hours a day -- the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics for children aged 2 and older -- to those who watched more.

"Those who exceeded the AAP recommendation were about 1.6 times to 2.2 times more likely to have greater than average attention problems," he said.

To view the full article, click the link in this post's title.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Scientists find blood protein link to Alzheimer's

image of a blood cell

LONDON (Reuters) - High levels of a blood protein called clusterin are linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease, scientists said on Monday -- a finding which could pave the way for doctors to detect the disease before it takes hold.

Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London said that while doctors are around 5 years away from being able to use the discovery for a test to identify future Alzheimer's sufferers, it was a big step along the way.

This research team used a technique called proteomics, which analyses proteins, to conduct two "discovery phase" studies in 95 patients and found that clusterin appeared to be linked with the early signs of Alzheimer's. The findings were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal.

"We found that this clusterin protein was increased in blood as much as 10 years before people had the signs of Alzheimer's disease in their brains," said Simon Lovestone, who led the study. "And even when they had signs of disease in their brains, they still had no clinical signs of the disorder -- so this suggests that this is a really, really early change that occurs in people who are going to get the disease."

The full article may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Insufficient vitamin D tied to severe asthma attacks

photo of a sunset

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Asthmatic children with relatively low vitamin D levels in their blood may have a greater risk of suffering severe asthma attacks than those with higher levels of the vitamin, a new study suggests.

The study, which followed more than 1,000 children with asthma for four years, found those with vitamin-D "insufficiency" at the outset were more likely to have an asthma attack that required a trip to the hospital.

Over the four-year study, 38 percent of children with insufficient vitamin D levels went to the emergency room or were hospitalized for an asthma exacerbation. The same was true of 32 percent of children with sufficient levels of the vitamin.

When the researchers considered other factors -- including the severity of the children's asthma at the study's start, their weight and their family income -- vitamin D insufficiency itself was linked to a 50 percent increase in the risk of severe asthma attacks.

The full article may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Combo Vaccine Raises Risk of Fever-Related Seizures in Kids

photo of a medical syringe

MONDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Toddlers who receive the combination MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella) vaccine are at higher risk of having a febrile seizure a week to 10 days after receiving the shot than children who get the MMR and varicella (chicken pox) vaccines separately at the same visit, a new study confirms.

Although the combination shot doubles the risk of febrile seizure, the odds are still quite small, experts noted.

"What's important for parents to understand is that even though there's a doubling of the risk for the combination vaccine, the overall risk of seizure to any one child with any measles-containing vaccine is still less than one in 1,000 doses," said Dr. Nicola Klein, co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, Calif., and lead investigator of the study, published online June 28 and in the July print issue of Pediatrics.

The study, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involved the health records of more than 459,000 children who received their first dose of measles-containing vaccine between 2000 and 2008. The data came the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a vaccine safety surveillance system sponsored by the CDC and comprised of health records from eight managed care organizations across the country.

The full article may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

ADHD drugs have no long-term growth effects: study

drawing of pill bottles

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Neither attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) nor medications used to treat it have a long-term impact on kids' growth, a new study published online in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests.

Previous studies have shown that medication may make kids with ADHD eat less and grow slower than their peers without the condition - at least at first. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 10 percent of boys and 6 percent of girls have been diagnosed with ADHD.

"There have been concerns in the literature about the use of ADHD medications and their effect on growth," Dr. Stephen Faraone, a psychiatrist at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, and one of the study's authors, told Reuters Health. "We found that that (growth) delay tends to be most prominent in the first year or so, and tends to attenuate over time."

Dr. Faraone and his colleagues measured and weighed 261 kids with and without ADHD that they had been following for at least ten years. Most of the kids with ADHD had spent at least some of that time on stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall.

At the end of the study, there was no difference in the height or weight of the kids - now mostly adults - who had ADHD and those that didn't. There was also no relationship between their height and weight and how long they had been on medication, if at all.

To view the full article, click the link in this post's title.