Sunday, December 27, 2009

Study blames two genes for aggressive brain cancer

Scientists have discovered two genes that appear responsible for one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer.

Glioblastoma multiforme rapidly invades the normal brain, ...More

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What are dreams and why do we have them...and Stroke

Lectures curated around NOVA: What Are Dreams? about how leading dream researchers are using extraordinary experiments to investigate the world of sleep.
What are dreams and why do we have them? Are they a window into a hidden realm within us? Science is only just beginning to understand. NOVA joins the leading dream researchers and witnesses the extraordinary experiments they use to investigate the world of sleep. From human narcoleptics to sleepwalking cats, from recurrent nightmares to those who can’t dream, each sequence contains a vital clue to the question these scientists are pursuing: why do we dream?

GHAJAR: Probably the key part is monitoring the brain pressure—the key part in treating patients with severe-head injury and trying to prevent the second injury—the first injury is the accident. You're trying to prevent the second big injury. You've got a small piece of brain that's been bruised and now this is being propagating. It's going throughout the whole brain. You're trying to prevent that from occurring. And the way to do that is diagnosis, which is monitoring the brain pressure, putting a tube in the brain and monitoring the pressure. Once you do that you get a number. Once you get that number you know how swollen the brain is, and then you do other things to try and prevent the brain from swelling even more. more....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spreading the message

"Then, Tuesday afternoon, she was dressed for Sunday School," she said. "We realized she wandered when 'Pop' was in the shower. That was a familiar place to search for him." Van Cleave discussed what are called the four A's of Alzheimer's namely, amnesia, aphasia, apraxia and agnosia. Amnesia is, of course, memory loss, with aphasia being the loss of the ability to communicate. Apraxia is the loss of the ability to execute or carry out learned purposeful movements, such as walking. Agnosia is the loss of ability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, etc.
A key part of the study dealt with the acronym, C.O.P.E., which is: --Communicate, not only with the patient but also with the doctor, other helpers, and supporters.

--Organize and simplify the details of your own life and the patient's

--Prioritize your time.

--Energize your body and your brain.

Singalong the right prescription for patients

THERAPEUTIC SINGALONG: Parkinsons sufferer Iris Matheson is finding the CeleBRation Choir is helping her to walk more confidently.

Relevant offers

The CeleBRation Choir is not your average choir.
Set up in September by Auckland University's Centre for Brain Research, it uses music as therapy to help people with neurological conditions such as huntington's or motor neurone disease.
The weekly sessions at the Tamaki Campus in Glen Innes provide an opportunity for patients and their caregivers to get together and enjoy a sing-along.
Music therapist Alison Cooper says it is the first choir of its type in New Zealand...NEXT........

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stroke and infections (video): Some infections increase the risk of stroke.Little Rock, AR - FOX16 Health Report --

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Audeo devices decodes speech for the speechless

Speech requires a few things: an electro-chemical signal rocketing from the brain, a release of air from the lungs, the vibration of your vocal cords and the phonemic mouth movements of your lips to shape the words. But what if you have a tracheotomy, and are physically hindered from speech? How do you speak then?

You’re probably familiar with the existing technology to measure the vibration of vocal cords and turn it into speech: a little box pressed up against the throat. You’ve probably seen a character on television use it, such as South Park. But the sounds it generates are grating and inhuman.

Michael Callahan invented the Audeo as an alternative to such devices, after an accident left him wondering how life would be lived without speech. The Audeo is a system of devices that enable speech, thanks to three pill-sized electrodes that pick up electrical signals between the brain and vocal cords. These electrodes then pipe the data into the processor in the device, which filters and amplifies them, then shoots them off to an adjacent PC for decoding, which turns it all into spoken words through the PC’s speakers in a more natural voice than can be used by the famous tracheomatic vocal box.

That’s quite the boon of an invention for people who can’t physically speak, but the Audeo technology has other uses… amongst them, the ability to physically speak without ever opening your mouth, which could have interesting uses in future smartphone headsets. NEXT....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Donny Winn - My Second Chance

Reflecting on my Cognitive Development
Posted by Donny Winn • October 18th, 2009 • Printer-friendly

Reflecting on my Cognitive Progress. Thanks to Dr. Schutz, Rachel and Sarah

Hey to all of my readers and followers out there. I’m sorry that I haven’t been keeping everyone updated on how everything has been going here at Casa Colina TLC. “Transitional Living Center”.

Alright lets starts with my cognition “cognitive processes” which is “the way that you would process your thoughts” in which I will have to admit when I first got to TLC it wasn’t the best and trust me I’m not saying my cognition is all the way there now but I would probably have to say that I’m about 50 % there. All thanks to Dr. Schutz, Rachel and Sarah they are my cognitive therapists and also the best thing with cognition therapy is that they are getting me prepared for the real world and also work!! NEXT..............

Monday, September 21, 2009

Garrison Keillor suffers minor stroke

(CNN) -- Garrison Keillor, author and host of the folksy radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," was being treated Wednesday for a minor stroke he suffered over the weekend, a hospital spokesman said.

Author Garrison Keillor attends an event in New York on November 18, 2008.

Author Garrison Keillor attends an event in New York on November 18, 2008.

Keillor, who turned 67 last month, was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, on Sunday night, spokesman Karl Oestreich said in a news release.

"He is up and moving around, speaking sensibly, working at a laptop, and it's expected he'll be released on Friday," Oestreich said.

"He plans to resume a normal schedule next week."

The live variety show "A Prairie Home Companion" is aired on Minnesota Public Radio.

Keillor launched the program on July 6, 1974, in a St. Paul, Minnesota, college theater before an audience of 12 people.

According to a "Backstage Chat" on the show, Keillor got the idea for it from watching the Grand Ole Opry.

Keillor, also a storyteller and satirist, has written 11 books, including three for children. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1994

Friday, July 17, 2009

Music a 'mega-vitamin' for the brain

LONDON, England (CNN) -- When Nina Temple was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000, then aged 44, she quickly became depressed, barely venturing out of her house as she struggled to come to terms with living with the chronic condition. "I was thinking of all the things which I wished I'd done with my life and I wouldn't be able to do. And then I started thinking about all the things that I still actually could do and singing was one of those," Temple told CNN.

Along with a fellow Parkinson's sufferer, Temple decided, on a whim, to form a choir. The pair placed notices in doctor's surgeries inviting others to join them and advertised for a singing teacher.

By 2003, with the help of funding from the Parkinson's Disease Society, the resulting ensemble "Sing For Joy" was up and running, rehearsing weekly and soon graduating to public performances.

The group now consists of around two dozen singers, including sufferers of Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, others recovering from conditions including stroke or cancer, plus their carers, family and friends. Led by acclaimed jazz performer Carol Grimes, the group's genre-defying repertoire ranges from Cole Porter classics to ethnic punk. Video Watch Sing for Joy perform Next....

Friends promote debut novel of writer who has post-stroke aphasia

When Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae meet online after each attempts suicide and fails, the four teens mak e a deadly pact: they will escape together on a summer road trip to visit the sites of celebrity suicides...and at their final destination, they will all end their lives. As they drive cross-country, bonding over their dark impulses, sharing their deepest secrets and desires, living it up, hooking up, and becoming true friends, each must decide whether life is worth living--or if there's no turning back.
Greg sez, "Albert Borris' debut novel, a YA book called Crash Into Me, comes out today... but back in December, Albert suffered a massive stroke that left him unable to get words out on paper or verbally in the proper order. He's a writer unable to write... and currently unable to help promote his own book. Fellow young adult and middle grade debut authors in the Class of 2K9 of which Albert had been co-president, are working together along with others to help spread the word so that Albert's novel gets the attention it deserves... and which he is unable to help generate." Next...

Lost in the Cosmos

Night Sky, a new off-Broadway play, concerns a world renowned astronomer named Anna who suffers an injury to her brain during a car accident and loses her abilities of language and communication – a condition known as aphasia. I was recently invited by the play’s producer to see its final rehearsal at Baruch City College in midtown Manhattan.

I arrived at the practice space, a small classroom three stories below ground in the bowels of the city college, rather early and was asked to wait outside in the hallway until the players were ready. Sitting down in a chair, I began to converse with several big men in tuxedos, sweaty in the Next...


A condition, caused by neurological damage or disease, in which a person’s previous capacity to understand or express language is impaired. The ability to speak, listen, read, or write may be affected
depending on the type of aphasia involved. Next...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spain Celebrates Stroke Awareness

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Written by Heidi Wardman
Friday, 24 April 2009


Spain will recognize Stroke Awareness Day for the first time this year, thanks to the efforts of the Torrevieja Stroke Support Group, founded by Costa Blanca resident Louie Killeen during January 2007, shortly after her husband suffered a stroke, which immediately turned her life upside down.
Louie made it her mission to establish a support network and the Torrevieja Stroke Support Group has gone from strength to strength, now providing a professional therapy and rehabilitation programme to stroke survivors and their loved ones located throughout the area. Its success has seen it relocating to a fully equipped, spacious centre, located in the Annex to the rear of the Age Concern building in Urbanization La Siesta, where the group convenes every third Friday, whilst additional Speech Therapy and Social group sessions are held in the interim.

Sessions are structured to include a welcome friendship circle and separate therapy groups, according to individual need, with access to the expertise of a fully qualified team, including two Primary Care Nurses, one of whom was commissioned to establish a Stroke Support Centre in the UK, an Occupational Therapist and Group Councillor.

The Torrevieja Stroke Support Group’s most recent challenge is in promoting the FAST initiative to both international and Spanish communities, to enable people to identify the critical signs and symptoms of an attack. Over 150,000 people in the UK suffer from stroke, a sudden attack on the brain when the blood supply is disrupted, every year. The long-term result and severity of symptoms varies in accordance with which part of the brain has suffered the attack, although there are a number of common signs which reveal themselves when stroke hits, which the UK Stroke Association has identified in its FAST initiative.

The Face Arm Speech Test (FAST) is the procedure applied by Paramedics when they are called to a potential stroke situation. FAST examines three specific symptoms: Facial weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped? Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms? Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? If any or a combination of these symptoms present themselves, then this is where the ‘T’ comes into play- Time to call 112. Delay can result in death or major long-term disabilities, such as paralysis, severe memory loss and communication problems (aphasia).


The FAST initiative will be among items on the agenda on Stroke Awareness Day, celebrated annually on 12th May in countries throughout Europe. The Torrevieja Stroke Support Group is pleased to announce that the anniversary will also be acknowledged in Spain for the first time in 2009. The group has been supplied with a wealth of materials from the Stroke Association printed in English, whilst Public Relations Officer, Anna Blaun of ‘Clinica Centro’ in Torrevieja has devised an alternative slogan and had materials translated for the benefit of the Spanish audience. The Clinic’s Director, Julio Monje, revealed that it receives many stroke survivors through its doors, many of whom he feels may have responded more positively to rehabilitation had they or loved ones responded swiftly to the symptoms. He said, “The clinic is delighted to work alongside the Stroke Support Group during this project, which we hope will be the first of many.”

Subject to approval from the Town Hall, representatives from the two parties are hoping to distribute the materials in the Plaza de la Constitución, Torrevieja, on Stroke Awareness Day, and will be on-hand throughout the morning to answer any questions which residents may have in relation to the issues raised.
For further details please email

Monday, April 27, 2009


  • Piracetam ; i looked into this drug and tried it out, it did increase all of the stated benefits, so i thought i would share. Google the name for personal research and companies that sell by mail.* Piracetam (brand name: Nootropil, Qropi, Myocalm, Dinagen, Synaptine) is a nootropic. It is a dietary supplement which is claimed to enhance
  • cognition and memory, slow down brain aging, increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, aid stroke recovery, and improve Alzheimer's, Down syndrome, dementia, and dyslexia, among others._ _Piracetam's chemical name is 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide; it shares the same 2-oxo-pyrrolidone base structure with 2-oxo-pyrrolidine carboxylic acid (pyroglutamate). Piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA. It is one of the racetams. Piracetam is prescribed by doctors for some conditions, mainly myoclonus,but is used off-label for a much wider range of applications. However, some treat it as a food supplement rather than a drug Piracetam (brand name: Nootropil, Qropi, Myocalm, Dinagen, Synaptine) is a nootropic. It is a dietary supplement which is claimed to enhance cognition and memory, slow down brain aging, increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, aid stroke recovery, and improve Alzheimer's, Down syndrome, dementia, and dyslexia, among others.Piracetam's chemical name is 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide; it shares the same 2-oxo-pyrrolidone base structure with 2-oxo-pyrrolidine carboxylic acid (pyroglutamate). Piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA. It is one of the racetams. Piracetam is prescribed by doctors for some conditions, mainly myoclonus,but is used off-label for a much wider range of applications. However, some treat it as a food supplement rather than a drug Piracetam was first synthesized in 1964 by scientists at the Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB led by Dr Corneliu E. Giurgea. The drug was the first of the so-called +nootropics+ ("smart drugs" or "cognitive enhancers"), that is, substances which purportedly enhance mental performance. The term nootropic was coined by Giurgea. Nootropil was launched clinically by UCB in the early 1970s and remains an important product of that company in Europe. Piracetam is primarily used in Europe, Asia, South America and the US. Piracetam is legal to import into the United Kingdom and the United States for personal use with or without prescription. As of June 2006, piracetam is sold in the United States as a dietary supplement. It has become popular as a cognitive enhancement drug among students, who often buy it in bulk as a powder and then consume it with orange or grapefruit juice to mask the strong, bitter taste. A two week regimen of piracetam was found to enhance verbal memory in healthy college students in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.It is used by parents as a treatment for childhood autism, though no study has yet produced results which would support such a use. A couple of vendors offering Piracetam in pill form in the USA include American Nutrition ( and Cognitive Nutrition ( Aging Piracetam appears to reverse the effects of aging in the brains of mice. Piracetam appears to reduce levels of lipofuscin in the rat brain.(Lipofuscin accumulation is a common symptom of aging and alcoholism). Alcoholism Piracetam appears to be effective in treating alcoholism or its symptoms. Alzheimer's and senile dementia Piracetam appears to be effective for improving cognition in Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia patients Stroke, ischemia and symptoms Piracetam has been found to improve cognition after stroke, and reduce symptoms, such as aphasia.It also improves cognition in cases of chronic ischemia. Dyspraxia and Dysgraphia Due to its supposed effect on nerves and muscles it is sometimes prescribed as an aid to muscle or dexterity training, particularly in cases of dysgraphia and dyspraxia. There has not been a specific study as to whether it is beneficial in this aspect. Vinpocetine, another purported nootropic with which piracetam is indirectly synergesic, is confirmed to help with these conditions to a certain degree. Schizophrenia Piracetam improves cognitive performance of schizophrenics as it does with non-schizophrenics, but does not improve or worsen the chronic schizophrenia disease state. Brand names Nootropil, Qropi, Myocalm, Dinagen, Oikamid, Synaptine Due to the effect of piracetam on platelet aggregation, caution is recommended in patients with underlying disorders of hemostasis, major surgery or severe hemorrhage. Abrupt discontinuation of treatment should be avoided as this may induce myoclonic or generalised seizures in some myoclonic patients. As piracetam is almost exclusively excreted by the kidneys caution should be exercised in treating patients with known renal impairment. In renally impaired and elderly patients, an increase in terminal half-life is directly related to renal function as measured by creatinine clearance. Dosage adjustment is therefore required in those with mild to moderate renal impairment and elderly patients with diminished renal function.

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    Fred Berry

    Berry died on October 21, 2003, at his Los Angeles home where he was recovering from a stroke.

    SmallTalk for Aphasia SmallTalk for Aphasia

    SmallTalk for Aphasia

    SmallTalk for Aphasia Download on iTunes
    Published 2 days ago
    View profile

    Designed for people with aphasiaan impairment of the ability to speak SmallTalk provides a vocabulary of pictures and videos that talk in a natural human voice.

    SmallTalk contains a starter set of icons to introduce you to the Lingraphica system of aphasia communication. When used together with the Lingraphica speech-generating device, it allows you to personalize and expand the vocabulary to thousands of words.

    This aphasia software lets you take along a set of words and phrases to use in everyday situations such as shopping, doctor's appointments, phone conversations, or emergencies. It's an easy way to make your wishes known or simply practice frequently used words.

    SmallTalk also contains mouth-position videos for practice and self-cuing, great for stroke rehabilitation and recovery of speech.

    Mike Harden: City native finds love, life's work in woods

    Sunday, April 5, 2009 3:35 AM
    By Mike Harden

    Ed Fassig, 82, has lived in the Hocking Hills for 40 years, writing about the area and making furniture. The Columbus native's life has taken big turns recently.

    The Fassig family

    Ed Fassig, 82, has lived in the Hocking Hills for 40 years, writing about the area and making furniture. The Columbus native's life has taken big turns recently.
    ATHENS, Ohio -- Dusk had descended on the early summer day when Mimi Fassig entered the unlighted house in the Hocking Hills and called Ed's name.

    "I'm glad you're here," she heard him respond. "I didn't want to die alone."

    "You're not going to die," she said. "I won't let you."

    Flown to Columbus, Ed Fassig spent eight hours in surgery to repair damage from an aortic aneurysm that had given way.

    Mimi, cautioned by cardiovascular specialists that he might not survive his first 24 hours out of the operating room, was heartened only after the ventilator tube was removed and Ed squeezed her hand, assuring her, "I won't leave you."

    The saga of Mimi and Ed began 28 years ago. She was a commercial photographer in Athens. He was a woodsman and furniture maker, a man who -- born on the fringe of Downtown Columbus -- had long yearned to be away from the crush of the city.

    Ed's Logan friend Bud Simpson surmised, "Sometimes, you grow up in the city and you feel that you are missing something in life. Then, you get out in the woods and you know it. Even if you don't believe in a formal God, when you are out there in the woods -- even on a wet, cold and rainy day -- it brings peace to your life. I know it has to Ed's."

    Mimi read a feature story about Ed in the Athens Messenger before meeting him and said to herself, "My God! That man has my soul."

    "I stalked him," she teased.

    Her ardor was rewarded with his love and with what might be the longest marriage engagement ever: 28 years.

    "We're hoping it will be in the Guinness Book of World Records," Mimi joked.

    She taught women's retreats on the subject of connecting with the earth. He built furniture: brawny, utilitarian, primitive masterpieces designed to outlast everything short of a nuclear winter.

    "My DNA is in those woods," Mimi said Thursday, her gaze fixed on something out beyond Ed's shoulder as the two savored a pleasant lift in the April air from their screened-in porch.

    For many years, Ed shared his love of the Hocking Hills' backwoods niches in a weekly column he wrote for the Logan Daily News. Eloquent and simple, he didn't use 50-cent words -- just million-dollar ones.

    Having first come to the hills 40 years ago, Ed has seen his share of commercialization and gentrification. "I'm not crazy about it," he conceded last week, "but it's still better than Columbus."

    His recuperation from the medical calamity that almost claimed his life has been a protracted one. He is up to a mile on his walks, although sometimes he tires easily.

    His priorities are those of a man who realized early on that there is a reason a Brink's truck has never followed a hearse into a cemetery. He would be happy to enter the afterlife taking nothing from this one save the song of the wood thrush.

    Ed yet struggles with aphasia, but on Feb. 22, at Christ Lutheran Church in Athens, he was finally able to put together two words that had been 28 years in arriving.

    Retired columnist Mike Harden writes a Sunday Metro column.

    Vérité exposée – about memory

    Opening: Friday, 10 April 2009, 6 p.m.
    Opening speech by: József Mélyi art historian

    Ernst Museum Budapest is pleased to present the show Vérité exposée - about memory, as part of the festival FUTURSPEKTIV – New Flemish Masters

    In the past fifteen years or so, the theme of memory, and inseparably, that of oblivion, has come to the forefront of sociological discourse in Hungary. Different theories approach from different directions, but all of them agree that memory is selective. We remember what we want to, recreating events from our memories in ways we want to remember them. But what influences individual memory, without which the workings of collective memory cannot be explored? How fragmented it is, and how does it depend on the context? The works featured at the exhibition Vérité exposée – about memory connect along such themes as the fragmentedness of memory, difference and repetition, re-creation of situations and events, or the strategy of re-enactment in relation to history and memory. The exhibited works of Sven Augustijnen, David Claerbout, Ana Torfs and Els Vanden Meersch lay emphasis on the issues of individual and historical memory and oblivion, as well as the exploration of processes of perception, changing points of view, and time as an entity that fundamentally influences memory.

    The exhibition's title is referring to Ana Torfs' Vérité exposée (Truth Exposed, 2006) a series of 24 prints. Every print shows a distorted projection of a square-shaped light, each time from a different angle, with the word 'Vérité' (Truth), written by hand in the middle. ANATOMY (2006) is based on extensive research into a trial held in 1919 in Berlin: the 'Case of the Murder of Dr. Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg', a document that has never been fully published. Torfs pinpointed selected statements from this trial to compose 'A Tragedy in Two Acts,' the literary script for her installation with the ambiguous title ANATOMY. The installation consists of large black and white slide projections and images on two television monitors.

    In Sections of a Happy Moment David Claerbout records a single moment from a multitude of viewpoints, setting the truth of the multiplied image against single-perspective perception. His other work at the exhibition, Bordeaux Piece (2004), is a series of 69 twelve minute film sequences, each of which displays the same movie scene about love and betrayal. In this work, he examines what happens to a film scene if it is shot 69 times a day. How do the lights, the ambient sounds, the actors' performance, the emotions change? Are these really the same scene?

    Els Vanden Meersch considers her photographs, sculptures and installations to be psychological portraits, in which the memory of architecture plays a key role: for her, architecture is memory's practice ground. Not so much as a memory of something formed into an image, than as the stimulation of the faculty of remembering in general. She presents Prora – a complex originally built as a Nazi holiday camp and then used as Soviet army barracks until the early nineties - as a colossal monument of post political oblivion.

    Sven Augustijnen draws a delicate portrait of a patient with aphasia, suffering from chronic memory loss in his moving and unforgettable documentary films Johan (2001) and François (2003). The editing accentuates the unfocused and stammering line of thought of the aphasia patient.

    With the support of the Flemish Government, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Hungarian Culture Brussels, the National Cultural Fund and the Summa Artium.

    Nagymező u. 8.
    H-1065 Budapest
    Phone: (36 1) 413 1310
    Fax: (36 1) 321 6410


    Upside down is the way I live
    In this awful world
    To which I won't give
    A shit and hold

    You don't know
    How cool
    It is
    To be like this

    I'm upside down
    In a world going backwards
    Memories of my town
    Come towards
    My mind

    You don't know
    How cool
    It is
    To be like this

    Thinking Beyond Language: Intervention for Severe Aphasia

    Nina Simmons-Mackie

    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Southeastern Louisiana University
    Hammond, LA

    Purpose: This article addresses several intervention approaches that aim to improve life for individuals with severe aphasia. Because severe aphasia significantly compromises language, often for the long term, recommended approaches focus on additional domains that affect quality of life. Treatments are discussed that involve increasing participation in personally relevant life situations, enhancing environmental support for communication and participation, and improving communicative confidence.

    Methods: Interventions that have been suggested in the aphasia literature as particularly appropriate for people with severe aphasia include training in total communication, training of communication partners, and activity specific training.

    Conclusion: Several intervention approaches can be implemented to enhance life with severe aphasia.

    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    Life. Support. Music.

    Review: Life. Support. Music.
    December 29th, 2008 by David Johnson · No Comments · Reviews · Print This Post

    Life. Support. Music.

    Life. Support. Music.
    OPENING: 9/22/2008
    STUDIO: Merigold Moving Pictures, LLC
    TRAILER: Trailer
    ACCOMPLICES: Official Site

    The Charge
    “This cannot be true. I cannot go on without Jason.”

    Opening Statement
    Indie helmer Eric Metzgar presents a film that proves the strength of the human spirit. (Yeah, it’s a cliché, but trust me it applies.)

    Facts of the Case
    In 2004, popular underground musician Jason Crigler suffered a brain bleed on stage, collapsed, and was taken to the hospital, where his family would hear a non-stop stream of dire warnings from doctors. This is the story of Jason’s road to a stunning recovery and the incredible sacrifices his family–especially his pregnant wife–embraced to support him in his improbable comeback.

    The Evidence
    Life. Support. Music. may be an awkward title, but it’s a fantastic film. Setting aside the value to those struggling with brain injury–and that value is profound–this documentary offers a moving look into what it means to be a family, and how that bond is tested when a medical tragedy hits.

    Brain injury is an especially tough one. Victims are stripped of their very personality in an instant, and if they are to bounce back by some miracle, they face an arduous road to rehabilitation. But pity is not Metzgar’s game here. Yes, he makes you feel Jason’s struggle. The window into his loved ones’ emotions often reveals some gut-wrenching stuff, but Life. Support. Music. is a hopeful movie. Jason’s family and friends refuse to give up hope, willing to wager their own conveniences and status quos to be at his side while he attempts the impossible.

    I know I sort of blew the whistle on the trajectory of Jason’s rehab, but I don’t want anyone thinking they’re going to be faced with a brutal trek of pain and misery. You will be energized by this saga, by Jason’s amazing fortitude, and by the incredible finale, which shows the breadth of the doctors’ inadvertent miscues and the payoff of Jason’s family’s commitment to see him through to the other side–no matter which side it was. Bonus points to Metzgar’s non-intrusive film work.

    Note: I can’t recommend this film highly enough, for professionals in the human services field, specifically disabilities/ABD-focused organizations. It is both a wonderful teaching tool and heartening case study on the value of simple emotional support.

    Closing Statement
    A legitimately miraculous story told with reverence and simplicity, Life. Support. Music. is one of my favorite documentaries

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    International Aphasia Movement and Dr. Alizah Brozgold, Neuropsycologist

    Saint Vincent's Hospital Rehabilitation Department and I.A.M. 
    Monday Night Aphasia Group 
    January 12, 2009
    Guest Speaker Series