Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jacksonville Woman Develops RSD after Dog Bite

Posted On:
December 30, 2008 by Thomas & Lawrence

A Jacksonville woman developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) after being attacked by a dog on her own property. The dog bit deeply in her arm, but the wound itself was not severe enough to require stitches. After being initially seen by doctors she was sent home.

Within days she developed a serious infection of the wound site. The infection was followed by the onset of severe burning pain, color changes, a cooler temperature in the arm, and abnormal hair growth on the arm. Unfortunately, all of these are classic symptoms of RSD.

RSD, previously known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is a serious, usually permanent neurological condition that is usually caused by an injury to an extremity.

This situation highlights the very serious nature of dog attacks. Every year, we hear of people seriously injured or killed by pet dogs in Jacksonville. Children are the most frequent victims of dog attacks, accounting for 70% of dog attack injuries. In the United States, there are almost 600,000 dog bite wounds that require medical care each year.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Putting pain into perspective - breakthroughs, tips and trends

Everything you need to know about the latest research, the newest discoveries and the strangest science.

By John Naish
Times Online

THROW out those painkillers: the secret to salving physical aches may lie in using a pair of binoculars the wrong way round, claims research performed at Oxford University.

The study, published in Current Biology, reveals how powerfully pain and even swelling can be a product of our mental attitude.

Researchers asked ten people who suffered chronic pain in one arm to move the limb around while looking at it through a pair of binoculars that were either the right or wrong way round.

When they saw their arm magnified to double its size, the patients reported that their levels of pain increased, but when they exercised the arm while watching a minimized image of it through inverted binoculars, their pain levels were cut significantly.

But it was not only their perceived pain levels that changed, says the lead researcher, G. Lorimer Moseley. Their levels of physical swelling in the affected areas were also reduced through using the backwards-binocular trick.

Moseley says he is not sure how this phenomenon works in terms of specific neurons firing, but he believes that the brain changes its protective responses according to its perception of danger levels. "If it looks bigger, it looks sorer, therefore the brain acts to protect it," he explains.

Moseley hopes that the optical-trick discovery will lead to a practical method for lowering pain and trauma levels in hospitals.

In effect, the binocular trick offers a much simpler and cheaper version of a pain-lowering brain-scan method pioneered by American researchers. Scientists at Omneuron, a California-based company, are using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine to treat chronic pain. Patients are placed in the scanner and asked to watch a computer-generated flame projected on the screen of virtual-reality goggles. The flame's intensity reflects the neural activity of regions of the brain involved in the perception of pain.

By concentrating on a variety of mental techniques - such as imagining that a painful area is being flooded with soothing chemicals or marching soldiers - most people can make the flame wane. As the image of the flame wanes, the patient starts to feel less pain.

A 2005 study of eight patients with recalcitrant pain felt their discomfort reduced by as much as 64 per cent by using Omneuron's technology. Christopher deCharms, the chief executive of Omneuron, says, "We believe that people will use real-time fMRI feedback to hone cognitive strategies that will increase activation of brain regions."

He adds that, with practice and repetition, this could lead to "long-term changes in the brain".

Alternatively, of course, pain patients could simply try playing around with an old pair of binoculars.

Wriggly gum

A SUPERGLUE secreted by sand worms may offer a rapid way to repair shattered bones in our faces and limbs, say investigators at Utah University.

They have created a synthetic version of the glue that sandcastle worms secrete in order to build sand and shell fragments into tube-shaped homes that can withstand strong tides.

The developers report, in Macromolecular Biosciences, that they hope the biological glue will be able to fix tricky bone breaks, such as those at the end of joints or in faces. that can't be wired or screwed together

The glue may also carry drugs such as antibiotics, growth enhancers and even stem cells to sites where bone fragments are glued.

Pip, pip, hooray

POMEGRANATE would be a far better superfood if it weren't for the pesky, offputting pith and pips. Now Spanish scientists have invented a high-tech computerised scanner system to separate all the seeds, pips and pulp.

A pomegranate holds 40per cent of our daily vitamin C requirement, and has three times the antioxidant power of red wine or green tea. A pilot study in the International Journal of Impotence Research even reports that pomegranate juice may have beneficial effects on erectile dysfunction.

Now a team of engineers from Valencia's Institute of Agrarian Research has made healthy living easier, using EU money to develop a special machine with computerised vision to distinguish and sort the different parts of this fruit, reports a study published online by the Journal of Food Engineering.

Pure thoughts

WASHING your hands over a problem may really make you less morally judgmental, says a Plymouth University study.

The study asked 40 students to watch a film, then to rate a series of moral dilemmas, such as eating a fellow plane-crash survivor or faking a CV. Half the students were asked to wash their hands after watching the film.

Simone Schnall, the lead researcher, says the students with clean hands made far less severe judgments. She reports in Psychological Science that being cleansed reduced their propensity to respond with disgust: "We think we're making conscious, rational decisions in moral judgments, but are influenced by how clean or pure we feel."

Herbal high

A BOUNTIFUL yet neglected source of MRSA-killing plants has been discovered in the Himalayan hills - fields of wild oregano that the locals call "useless grass".

Bristol-based researchers report that the Himalayan oregano plant is high in an essential compound called carvacol - a powerful antimicrobial that has proved more effective at killing MRSA than 18 antibiotics.

The scientists, from the University of the West of England, say the herb grows wild across Himachal Pradesh and can be harvested without damage. The locals don't eat it and nor do their cattle, but harvesting it could now be lucrative. The project, which has just won a United Nations award for sustainability, aims to use the oregano to make soaps and surface cleaners for use in British hospitals.

Radiator rage

DOES your car tell other road users if you are submissive or dominant? A Florida State University study of 40 drivers has found almost complete agreement over which cars look pushy or a pushover, based on whether their lights, radiators and bonnets are set in a smile or a frown.

The Human Nature report says the consensus reflects how our caveman brains see the road as a human jungle - and we may drive as if it is covered in roaming beasts.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Riddle Me This....

I am about to share something with you all that is somewhat embarrassing, but is something I also find down right hilarious!!

On Christmas day my son, daughter in-law and 4 month old grand-daughter were here. We were all talking when we kept hearing this beeping, it sounded like a cell phone when it warns you the battery needs charging. Well, we searched this house trying to find out where that noise was coming from and was not having any luck. We could tell the sound was coming from the area by the tv, but there was nothing over there that would be making any kind of noise.
Even though we completely perplexed by this, it was time for us to go to my in-laws for lunch.

Now there are 9 of us sitting in the sunroom at my in-laws chit chatting, (not including the baby), when all of a sudden we hear that noise again! ER?? It was coming from where my husband was sitting, so myself, son, and daughter in-law all point at him and say, pretty much at the same time, "It's coming from YOU!!" This completely startled everyone else in the room who had no clue what we were talking about. OOPS! hahahahahaha.

Then we explain it to them and as if on cue, that noise sounded off again. Each and everyone of us began searching for where it could possibly be coming from. We kept saying, "What was in our house that is now in this house?" and there was absolutely nothing except us, and we didn't have anything on us that was causing it.

We were like a crew on a scavenger hunt, searching for an invisible sound. I tell ya, it was hilarious! Every time we would hear it, we would peak our ears, cock our heads, and begin to look where we thought it could have come from. YAY, Party Games!! hahahahaha

Finally, my husband noticed that it was coming from the tv itself. We had the same football game on at our house as they had on there. So now all we had to do is figure out what was causing that noise? Well, every time they put a message up on the screen it would make that noise to get your attention so you would know to read that darn message. Read the message?? It did get our attention though...hahahahaha.

My question to all of you out there that watch football on ESPN is this:

Did you know what that noise was the first time your heard it, and if not, did you go on a scavenger hunt to find it too?

We all felt like a bunch of idiots! But we sure did have a hardy belly laugh over it!!

Hope your day was filled with hardy belly laughs as well!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

100 Illustrated Relaxation Exercises for Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Hello everyone!

With Christmas tomorrow and all the stress that day brings for many, I wanted to share with you all a website that offers 100 Illustrated Exercises for Your Mind, Body, and Soul so hopefully you will be able to take a few minutes for yourself and de-stress from all the activity of cooking that big dinner; having large amounts of people in your house; from running from one house to another to make sure you celebrate with all family members; from kids screaming, crying, running in and out, and being so full of never-ending energy! =)

There are links to all the illustrated relation exercises which makes it so nice for browsing through the list and finding that perfect one for you!

I encourage you all to go over and take a look at all the options offered, and give at least one a never know, it just might be the answer you have been looking for!!

Wishing each and every one of you a VERY Special Christmas. One that will be remembered for years to come by all!!

~~God Bless!!~~

Click HERE

Friday, December 19, 2008

FDA: Antiepileptics Linked to Increased Risk of Suicidal Thoughts, Behaviour

ROCKVILLE, Maryland --
The US Food and Drug Administration has announced today that it will require the manufacturers of anti epileptic drugs to add to these products' prescribing information, or labeling, a warning that their use increases risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The action includes all anti epileptic drugs including those used to treat psychiatric disorders, migraine headaches, and other conditions, as well as epilepsy.

The FDA is also requiring that the manufacturers submit for each of these products a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, including a Medication Guide for patients. The guides will contain FDA-approved information about the risks of suicidal thoughts and behaviors associated with the class of anti epileptic medications.

"Patients being treated with anti epileptic drugs for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior," said Russell Katz, MD, Division of Neurology Products, FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Rockville, Maryland. "Patients who are currently taking an anti epileptic medicine should not make any treatment changes without talking to their health care professional."

Healthcare professionals should notify patients, their families, and caregivers of the potential for an increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors so that patients may be closely observed.

The FDA's actions are based on the agency's review of 199 clinical trials of 11 anti epileptic drugs which showed that patients receiving anti epileptic drugs had almost twice the risk of suicidal behavior or thoughts (0.43%) compared with patients receiving a placebo (0.24%). This difference was about 1 additional case of suicidal thoughts or behaviors for every 500 patients treated with anti epileptic drugs instead of placebo.

Of the patients who were randomized to receive one of the anti epileptic drugs, 4 committed suicide, whereas none of the patients in the placebo group did.
Results were insufficient for any conclusion to be drawn about the drugs' effects on completed suicides.
The biological reasons for the increase in the risk for suicidal thoughts and behavior observed in patients being treated with anti epileptic drugs are unknown.

Acting under the authorities of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA), the FDA is requiring manufacturers of anti epileptic drugs to submit to the agency new labeling within 30 days, or provide a reason why they do not believe such labeling changes are necessary. In cases of non-compliance, FDAAA provides strict time lines for resolving the issue and allows the agency to initiate an enforcement action if necessary.

The following anti epileptic drugs are required to add warnings about the risk of suicidality:

carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol XR); clonazepam (Klonopin); clorazepate (Tranxene); divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene); ethosuximide (Zarontin); ethotoin (Peganone); felbamate (Felbatol); gabapentin (Neurontin); lamotrigine (Lamictal); lacosamide (Vimpat); levetiracetam (Keppra); mephenytoin (Mesantoin); methosuximide (Celontin); oxcarbazepine (Trileptal); phenytoin (Dilantin Suspension); pregabalin (Lyrica); primidone (Mysoline); tiagabine (Gabitril); topiramate (Topamax); trimethadione (Tridione); and zonisamide (Zonegran).
Some of these medications are also available as generics.

Health care professionals and consumers may report serious adverse events or product quality problems with the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail, fax or phone.

-- Online :

-- Regular Mail : use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
-- Fax: (800) FDA-0178
-- Phone: (800) FDA-1088

SOURCE: US Food and Drug Administration

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Suicide Prevention on my Rado Show Today!!

My guest today was Amy Kiel who shared her incredible story of Depression, Fibromyalgia and her own suicide attempt.

Amy still lives with Depression, Fibromyalgia, but she no longer wants to take her own life.
Instead, she is now an Advocate for Suicide Prevention!!

Are You Depressed? Do You Suffer with Chronic Pain or Illness? Have YOU thought about making it all go away..permanently?
Did you know, people with Depression and/or Chronic Pain or Illness are at more risk for suicide attempts and death by suicide?

Did you know:

In the United States alone;

*A person dies by suicide about every 16 minutes. An attempt is estimated to be made once every minute.

*Every day approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 more attempt to do so.

*Over 32, 000 people in the US die by suicide every year.

*Over 60% of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression.

*About 15% of the population will suffer from clinical depression at some time during their lifetime. 30% of all them will attempt suicide, and half of them will ultimately die by suicide.

I invite you all to listen to this inspirational and encouraging show with Important information for anyone who may be thinking there is nothing worth living for!!

Also, please make note of the following phone number and website either for yourself or someone you know and care about.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 800-273-TALK that's 800-273-8255.

Please share this show with everyone you know and care about, because you never know what they may be going through and need to hear about someone else who has traveled the path they are thinking about traveling.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meet -- "Team RSD" - Racing For Awareness And Research!

Not long ago I came across "Team RSD" because of a comment left on one of my posts. I have to tell you, as soon as I arrived at their website: , I was completely impressed!! Not just because of a person being diagnosed with RSD, but because of what that person is doing "DESPITE" of being diagnosed with RSD.

Meet this incredible man; His name is Brian Mehrbrodt and is Owner of "Team RSD".
Since his diagnosis in September 2008 he put together "Team RSD" from Corbin/Dean Racing. The "TEAM RSD" Mustang will be running in the April 2009 Drag Racing Season. "Team RSD" was formed to create awareness of 'RSD' or otherwise known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

With the support of his wife, family, friends and generous sponsors, "Team RSD" will be competing in NHRA, NMRA, and in the local drag racing events in 2009.
RSD awareness will be heightened by highly visible graphics on both the Dragsters and Race Trailers.
In addition, Informational Brochures will be distributed at each event. Magnetic Car Ribbons, and Red Bracelets will be available from any Corbin / Dean Racing Crew Member for a small donation. All donations will benefit RSD awareness and research.

At this time due to RSD, Brian will not be involved in the racing activities, but his son, Corbin Mehrbrodt, will be the driver.
Brian will be his son's #1 fan and attending as many races as possible.

As for myself, I know when "Team RSD" comes closer to my area, I will be there and would be so very honored to meet everyone.
I am so very proud of each and every member of this team, and wish them Many of God's Blessings!!

Please visit and show your support for all they are doing!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Status of Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

About Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis, with an incidence of 100 in 100000 in the US and Europe, is by far the most frequent neurodegenerative disease (1). MS is a chronic, demyelinating disease of the brain and spinal cord -collectively the central nervous system (CNS). Demyelination is a process of gradual destruction of the myelin sheath, that surrounds many of the axons of nerve cells (neurons), leading to axonal injury or loss and consequently severely impaired nerve signals. The disease is named for the multiple scleroses (scars or plaques) that are created on the myelinated axons. A repair mechanism - remyelination of the axons by cells known as oligodendrocytes - takes place in the early phases of disease but the reformed myelin sheaths are thinner and less effective. Repeated attacks lead to fewer effective remyelinations until a scar is built up on the damaged axon. The central nervous system should be able to recruit oligodendrocyte stem cells but something would seem to inhibit stem cells in the affected areas.

Electronmicrograph showing branched oligodendrocytes with processes extending to several underlying axons

One oligodendrocyte wraps myelin around axons of several neurons

It is generally accepted that MS is an inflammatory autoimmune disease- whereby an individual’s own immune response attacks the nervous system. Certain viruses, bacteria, stress and genetics have been implicated in disease manifestations. MS causes a variety of symptoms depending on where in the CNS the multiple lesions occur. Also,neurological deficits are progressively accumulated. In any individual there may be several complicating factors affecting the unpredictable course of the disease - there may be times of dormancy or times when there is steady progression.

The disease is categorized by several subtypes:

Relapsing remitting MS: unpredictable relapses (attacks) followed by months to years of remission. Effects of attacks may either resolve or may be permanent.

Secondary progressive MS: characterized by neurologic decline between attacks without periods of remission. Most common type of MS and causes most disability.

Primary progressive MS: decline occurs continuously without clear attacks, no remission.

Progressive relapsing MS: steady neurologic decline from onset,patients suffer superimposed attacks. Least common.

While MS does not currently have a cure, there are several treatments available for moderating the symptoms and for managing the various consequences of attacks. The currently approved treatments are aimed at returning function after an attack and preventing disability.

MS Treatment Objectives - the way forward: A Role for Stem Cells

During multiple relapses in the course of MS, oligodendrocytes and their progenitors are lost(2) and the nervous system has only limited capacity to recover from this extensive neuronal or glial damage. This is partly due to the formation of barriers, known as "glial" scars,which are triggered by the body to protect the injured nerve tissue from further injury. This dense scar tissue throws up a blockade to foreign cells, including transplants meant to heal and regenerate(group at Harvard medical school). There is evidence, however, that the adult CNS retains populations of cells with stem cell-like properties that have extensive proliferative capacity (3).

The challenge for current medical therapies appears to be remyelinating chronically demyelinated axons. Two distinct approaches can be considered to promote myelin repair; in one the endogenous myelin repair processes are stimulated through the delivery of growth factors,and in the second the repair process are augmented through the delivery of exogenous cells with myelination potential. Also, the effective treatment of MS requires modulation of the immune system, since demyelination is associated with specific immunological activation (4).

Karussis and kassis (Sept 2007) described how different stem cells migrate to areas of white matter lesions (plaques) and have the potential to support local neurogenesis and rebuilding of the affected myelin – believed to be achieved by support of the resident CNS stem cells and by differentiation of the transplanted cells into neurons and myelin-producing oligodendrocytes. These stem cells were also shown to possess immunomodulating properties.

Several types of stem cells (discussed later in this article) having the capacity for promoting myelin repair, as well as modulating the immune response, are potential candidates for MS therapy.

Stem cell transplantation for treating MS: current developments (as at 2007)

Many inflammatory diseases are diffuse and widespread. However,intravenous injection has been demonstrated as an appropriate means of diffuse delivery of stem cells with the possibility of targeting; the problem for distribution to other tissues or organs still need sevaluation (1,5).

Neural stem cells: Many different cell types, including neural stem cells and precursors,have been suggested as candidate cells for therapy. There are however complexities in obtaining neural stem cells from the adult CNS. A group from the University of California, San Francisco published their findings in The Scientist (July 2007) cautioning against the notion that neural stem cells can generate any type of neuron. This group predict difficulties in using adult neural stem cells to treat neurological disease, although it remains possible that scientists could manipulate neural stem cells in vitro to make them more flexible.

Bone marrow stem cells: As early as the year 2000 adult bone marrow cells were shown to have the capacity to differentiate to oligodendroglial cells indicating their potential for treating demyelinating diseases (6). At the same time, a phase II trial using auto logous bone marrow stem cell transplantation to treat 85 patients for progressive MS was conducted in 20 European centers. Neurological improvement was seen in 21% of patients; confirmed progression-free survival was seen in 74% of patients at 3 years; disease progression occurred in 20%.

Additionally,it was reported that auto logous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation can regenerate a tolerant immune system and is a potentially effective rescue therapy in a subset of patients with aggressive forms of MS refractory to approved immunomodulatory and immuno suppressive agents (7). Cassiani-Ingoni and fellow investigators,suggest that bone marrow transplantation can suppress inflammatory disease in a majority of MS patients, but retards clinical progression only in patients treated in the early stages of the disease (8).

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs):[Mesenchymal cells are non-haematopoieic stem cells derived from marrow or umbilical cord, the more appropriate terminology is multipotentstromal cell yet MSC still persists in the literature] Emerging evidence suggests that mesenchymal stem cells may have the capacity to generate cells with the characteristics of neurons and glia and consequently promote repair in the injured CNS. How mesenchymal stem cells affect functional recovery in the damaged adult CNS is not well understood. Possibly the transplanted multipotent cells migrate to the injury sites, proliferate, and then differentiate into the appropriate neural cells that then effect repair. Although mesenchymal stem cell shave a high survival and migration potential, the proportion that can be directed towards a neural fate appears to be relatively small. It may be that MSCs, through the release of soluble signals in areas of injury, have a direct influence on the endogenous neural stem cells to promote repair through neuro- and oligodendrogenesis (3).

Mesenchymal cells can also exert immunomodulatory effects by inducing suppression of the autoimmune myelin-targeting lymphocytes. MSCs harvested from bone marrow can be obtained from the donor patient him/herself, thereby reducing the risk for developing malignancies. It has been mooted that these cells offer significant practical advantages over other types of stem cells(5,9).

CD34+ cells:CD34+ cells are multipotent haematopoietic stem cell found in bone marrow and umbilical cord blood. These stem cells are reportedly capable of transforming into neuro protective glia and myelin-producing oligodendrocytes (10). A proposed advantage of umbilical cord CD34+stem cell transplantation is that, when administered without additional medications and powerful immune suppressants, virtually no side effects are evident

(10). Stem Cell Therapy – cause for optimism:
Significant advances have been made in researching the therapeutic potential of stem cells for neuro degenerative diseases and there are already several facilities offering stem cell treatments! Transplanting cells into focal MS lesions may be the ultimate therapeutic approach,and clinical trials may be the way to determine whether exogenous stem cells are able to survive, differentiate and myelinate axons in plaques (2). While the current number of stem cell-based clinical trials for demyelinating diseases is limited, this is likely to increase significantly in the next few years (4).


1. Magnus, Rao et al. Neural stem cells in inflammatory CNS diseases:mechanisms and therapy J. Cell. Mol. Med. (2005) 9:2 303-319
2. Duncan I Replacing cells in multiple sclerosis J.Neurol.Sci. Jun 2007 (epub ahead of print)
3. Bai, Caplan, Lennon & Miller Human Mesenchymal Stem CellsSignals Regulate Neural Stem Cell Fate Neurochem Res (2007) 32:353–362
4. Miller & Bai. Cellular approaches for stimulating CNSremyelination Regenerative medicine 2007 Sept 2 (5) 817-829
5. Karussis, Kassis, Basan, Slavin. Immunomodulation andneuroprotection with mesenchymal bone marrow stem cells: a proposedtreatment for MS J.Neurol.Sci 2007 July (epub ahead of print)
6. Bonilla, Alarcon, Villaverde et al Eur J Neurosci 2002 15(3) 575-582.
7. Muraro, Bielekova Emerging therapies for MS,. Neurotherapeutics 2007 Oct 4(4) 676-692
8. Cassiani-Ingoni, Muraro, Magnus et al. Disease progression in amodel of MS J.Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2007 Jul 66(7);637-49
9. Karussis & Kassis. Use of stem cells for the treatment of MSExpert Review of eurotherapeutics 2007Sept: 7(9) 1189-1201
10. Steenblock, D - electron micrograph from

Monday, December 8, 2008

Stop and Remember

When you are tempted to stray off track, stop and take a moment to consider where you're going. Remember why you originally began traveling the path you're on.

When the many distractions of life put you in danger of losing focus, stop and give yourself an opportunity to regain clarity. Remember the depth of passion with which you first started your journey.

When it seems that nothing is going your way, stop and make some time to adjust your perspective. Recall how far you've already come, and remind yourself that positive actions will indeed have positive, valuable results.

When you find that you've grown weary, stop and give yourself a real, refreshing, well-deserved break. Then you can jump back into the effort with a renewed vigor and sense of purpose.

When you feel that you've lost faith in the goodness of life, stop and look around you. Offer your genuine help to someone in need, and you'll find that your heart is soon being healed.

When you find yourself too caught up in the frustrations that surround you, stop and remember the treasures you value most deeply. And you'll reconnect to the incredible abundance that is your life.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Are YOU Staying In Control??

Compared to most endeavors, controlling yourself is relatively simple and easy. And when you're able to control your own thoughts, words and actions, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.

To control yourself requires no other person's permission, cooperation or assistance.
To control yourself requires no special knowledge, skill or equipment.

What it does require is a compelling reason. When the reason why is meaningful enough, you will have no trouble finding the will and the means to control your own life.

That's why it is so important to have a clear sense of where you intend to go and why. Connecting with your purpose will keep you in control, and staying in control will carry you to achievement.

There is a purpose within you that is stronger than the temptations and distractions. There is a solid, meaningful reason that will compel you to carefully and effectively control all that you do.

The more fully you know and express that purpose, the more surely and reliably you'll be in control. And the more completely you exercise control over yourself, the higher your life will rise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This Powerful Moment....

There is enormous power in this moment. The more fully you experience what is here right now, the more that power is available to you.

Are you angry or bitter, disappointed or resentful about what has happened in the past? Then much of the power of this moment will be out of your reach.

Are you anxious and worried about something that may or may not happen in the future? Then you will miss out on the opportunity to create real and lasting value from this powerful moment you are in.

Imagine that everything you are, everything you know, everything you care about, is focused into this very moment. And feel the enormous power of what you can, right here and now, do with it all.

Rise above the murky fog of what could have been and what someday might or might not come to pass. Focus the whole of your being on what is, and on the overflowing abundant opportunities this moment presents to you.

There is great and wonderful power in this very moment, in who you are, in where you are right now. See it, be it, and let yourself live it fully.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sorry I haven't posted in so long, but....

Hello everyone,

I have been so busy with moving to the country that I haven't had much time to post anything on here and I wanted to let you all know that I will be posting things again starting on Monday....things should be somewhat back to normal by then...hahahahaha.

Who knew moving could be such a hassle?? It totally wears you out...mind, body and spirit!! Especially when you are doing around a holiday (Thanksgiving) and family wanting to coming by to see the new house. Love the company, but wish they would wait a bit longer to come by....selfish isn't it?

Oh well, I better get back to putting things up so it will look a bit more presentable for when the family comes by again this evening. hahahahaha.

I wish you all a very Splendid day and I will chat with you later.

Much Love,
Coach Marla

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Real Magic for us with RSD!

When disaster strikes, there are no magic words that will make everything all right. For if there were, life would necessarily have to be unbearably empty and shallow in order to accommodate them.

What there is, is the opportunity and the obligation to love as you never have before. What there is, is the stimulus to take life to a higher level.

In your moments of most profound challenge, you are left with only what truly matters. And that is a powerful place to be.

When you are forced to experience life at its worst, it compels you to be your best. You must call upon a level of strength you never before knew was there.

And then, you begin to work through it. As you choose to move forward, life takes on greater, more profound meaning.

Choose to love, and choose to live. That is what you can do, and that is where the real magic will happen.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

RSD Sunday Encouragement

Having It Good!

Do you fully realize how good you have it?
Or do you take all the good and valuable things for granted,focusing on the troubles and disappointments?

Sure,you have problems,and of course there are challenges and difficulties by staying connected to the real, enduring goodness in your life.

Stop for a moment and think of five things in your life for which you can be truly thankful. Then consider what you could do to build and nurture those things, to make them more influential in your thoughts and your actions.

It's easy for the pressing problems of the moment to overwhelm your thinking.
So it's up to you to provide a powerful, positive alternative.

When you have something to be thankful for, you have something real and valuable to go on. You have a solid foundation from which to build.

And no matter where you may be or what may have happened,you do indeed have many things for which you can be truly thankful. The more completely you stay connected to them,the more surely life will move in the direction you desire.

Things To Remember About RSD

RSD DOES spread!

RSD is NOT rare!

RSD WILL NOT burn itself out!

RSD can be caused by even a MINOR injury!


RSD CAN return after you are in remission!

Aggressive Physical Therapy or Activity is NOT in you best interest!

Treatment is NOT the same for each patient!

You CAN have RSD even with a Negative Bone Scan!

You CAN have RSD even if you don't look sick!

Friends and Family WILL have a hard time understanding our pain.

You CAN'T be forced to undergo any treatment you do not want!

There IS HOPE!!

Life might not be what it used to be for us but we can still enjoy it in other ways!

Now, go out there and have yourself the MOST Positive Scavenger Hunt EVER!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another RSD Tip of The Day!

If You Have Had, You Now Have!!

If you have the ability to complain about something, you also have the ability to take the positive action that will make it better. And taking the positive action is infinitely more effective than merely complaining!

If you have cause to get angry, you also can turn the energy of that anger in a positive direction. You can then resolve it better for all concerned.

If you have reason to be frustrated, you also have the motivation necessary to get beyond it. No frustration ever has to continue troubling you!!

If you have experienced disappointment, you also have learned valuable lessons. Look ahead, apply what you have learned, and transform your disappointment into a positive turning point.

If you have known loss and sadness, you also have gained a profound understanding of how very precious life is. Take the opportunity, for which you've paid so dearly, to raise yourself to a whole new level of meaning and fulfillment.

If you face a difficult challenge, you also have the opportunity to grow stronger, more capable, wiser, experienced, and resilient. Embrace those opportunities, for in them you will find the sweet substance of life!!

Courage is not limited to the battlefield or the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody's looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you're misunderstood.

~Charles Swindoll

Friday, November 7, 2008

RSD Tip Of The Day!

Help 'YOU' Feel Better!

When you are feeling down, focus your thoughts on this question:

"What can I do that would help me feel better?"

Instead of filling your mind with doubt, self-pity, resentment, regret, and despair, fill it with thoughts and plans for moving positively forward. There is something that will take your focus off of whatever has already happened and direct your thoughts firmly towards the best of what can be.

Pay no attention to how you are suppose to feel or how you expected to feel. Decide for yourself how good you would like to feel, and then take the steps that will get you there.

It will likely be much easier than you think. Then once you choose to feel better, it quickly begins to happen. It sounds too simple to be true, I know, but it works with surprising and delightful effectiveness. When you decide to help yourself feel will!!

So, What can you do that will help you feel better? You are just moments away from making it happen!

"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under it's roof!"
~Barbara Kingsolver

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

When your pain has no name

Origins of chronic and debilitating pain remain unclear for many sufferers
ABCNews in Chicago By DAN CHILDS

-- Cynthia Toussaint was a ballerina. She was no stranger to the aches, pains and occasional injuries that came with the trade.

So when the pain from an injury to a right hamstring wouldn't subside, Toussaint, then 21, did what she could to endure it. After all, she had auditions to attend -- in particular, a promising role in the musical Fame.

When the burning, unrelenting pain was too much to bear, however, she sought a doctor's opinion.

"I was told that I wouldn't dance for eight weeks and I thought, 'No, they're wrong,'" she recalls.

But the pain would last for much longer than eight weeks. For months it persisted. A year and a half after the pain in her right leg started, she began to experience a similar pain in her left leg. Six and a half years after that, the pain had spread to both arms.

The spread of her condition was not always so gradual. One morning, she woke up to find that her left arm had bent itself into a state of permanent contracture.

"It was so shocking to wake up to find that one of my arms would not unfold anymore," she says.

Today the pain is everywhere. Toussaint describes it as a feeling as if she has "been doused with gasoline and lit on fire... burning from the inside out... It's pain like I never imagined."

The condition which ushered Toussaint into a life of chronic agony also gradually robbed her of her ability to dance, her ability to walk -- and, as it spread to her vocal cords, her ability to talk.

"Here I am 26 years later in a wheelchair," she says. "I had everything; my life was just starting. Suddenly I had this injury that never goes away."

Her voice would eventually return. But for years, Toussaint's battle with chronic pain and loss of function came spiked with the bitter reality that no matter how many doctors she saw, none could give her an accurate diagnosis of her condition.

Worse, without a solid diagnosis, she says many physicians refused to take her case seriously.

"I was told that I was crazy for 13 and a half years," Toussaint says. Once, one of her doctors told her to take a truth serum so she would admit that she was not truly in pain. Another suggested that she was fabricating her pain condition due to stage fright.

And a visit to yet another doctor was met with even greater insensitivity, she recalls.

"I said, 'What should I do?' and he said, 'Shoot yourself in the head.' He thought it was funny."

It was not until a year and a half ago that Toussaint found that she suffered from a mysterious condition known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), alternatively known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD). The nature of the condition continues to baffle doctors, as does its exact cause.

But finally, her pain had a name.

"When I got my diagnosis, it couldn't have been worse," Toussaint says. "But it was the happiest day of my life. They could never say I was crazy again."

Patients Battle Pain, Stigma

Toussaint's struggle with her condition turned her into an activist against pain. She launched the nonprofit site For Grace, devoted to helping women find answers about their chronic pain. More recently, she has channeled her crusade against chronic pain conditions into the political realm, making it a centerpiece of her run for a California state congressional seat in 2006 and in other political efforts to bring more attention to these conditions.

It is a success story that stands in stark relief against the lives of those who are still searching for answers to their agony. Michael Smith, associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, says that there are a number of pain conditions for which the origins and exact causes are still unknown.

"We're supposed to be this wonderful medical system that can do anything, that can save lives," Smith says. "But we really don't know enough about pain."

"It is often difficult to come up with a diagnosis for a patient with chronic pain in particular," agrees Dr. Paul Christo, director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. "Sometimes these types of pain do have names, but we still don't understand the exact mechanisms of the pain."

And because chronic pain is often misunderstood, many patients go without the treatment they need. This, in itself is a problem; untreated, chronic pain conditions can actually worsen, recruiting more nerves until the pain spreads throughout the body.

Dr. Doris Cope, director of the Pain Medicine Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says that this spread is often ignored -- particularly in the absence of a proper diagnosis.

"Some doctors say, 'Oh, there's nothing wrong with you,'" she says. "Meanwhile there is pain."

Still, patients may find themselves swept into dismissing their conditions as well.

"First of all they begin to doubt it themselves," Cope says. "Secondly, they get the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. They don't know what's happening."

Worse, for these sufferers chronic pain has not only a physical component but an emotional one as well. As the pain spreads, the same chemical signals involved in depression, anxiety and stress also come into play, commencing a symphony of physical and emotional misery for the chronic pain patient.

"For many people, their pain takes over their entire life. It affects their work life, their family life, their social life," Cope says.

It is a personal tragedy to which Toussaint can attest.

"It destroyed every relationship in my life except for my relationship with my partner, John," she says. "He stood by me, but my entire family left me behind.

"The emotional pain becomes more serious than the physical pain."

Chronic Pain, Depression Closely Linked

Little surprise, then, that chronic pain is regularly tied to depression.

"Imagine that you develop chronic pain and in time you are no longer able to work," Christo says. "That can be very disruptive and lead to a loss of self-esteem and self-worth. At the same time, it can change the nature of your relationship with your family and friends.

"If the patient has lost their sense of self-worth and become depressed, that in turn can lead to social isolation."

Smith agrees. "[Patients] get the feeling that they really can't control the pain; they feel helpless about it... In some cases these patients can go to full-blown clinical depression."

The roots of this depression even appear to transcend emotions alone. On Monday, scientists revealed additional biological clues as to why pain and depression may be so closely linked. A team of researchers led by Irina Strigo of the University of California San Diego compared brain scans of people with depression to those of 15 people who were not depressed while these subjects anticipated or experienced a painful sensation.

What the researchers found was that those with depression showed a higher level of activity in the areas of their brain that processed emotions. Moreover, the regions of the brain that are normally involved in mitigating pain were less active in the depressed subjects -- a hint that chronic pain may have a propensity to feedback on itself.

Toussaint says the depression that accompanied her chronic pain was nearly too much for her to bear.

"I suffered very, very extreme depression," she says. "All of us with pain do. We're being tortured 24/7, we're not believed, and our lives are upside-down.

"I had a plan of suicide -- not because of the physical pain but because everyone I knew had abandoned me."

Fighting the Pain

Fortunately, pain experts say, the majority of those battling mysterious chronic pain can find answers if they search long enough.

"Most pain does have a label," Cope says. "If you can find some general idea of what's causing your pain, you can tailor treatment toward that."

"A lot of people don't realize that there are treatments available," Christo says. "We do have some pretty reasonable treatments for people that can help control the pain and increase quality of life."

As for the best way to access these resources, Christo says pain sufferers can start with a simple Internet search, using their symptoms as search terms.

"What will usually come up is a description of the condition, and sometimes a directory of self-help groups," he says, adding that some support Web sites even have suggestions for doctor referrals.

For those who have found themselves being pinballed from one doctor to the next, finding a multidisciplinary pain management center may be the best step. Here, patients can afford themselves an entire spectrum of care services -- from pain physicians and physical therapists, to psychiatrists trained in helping those with chronic pain come to deal with their conditions.

"Medication, injections, physical therapy and pain psychology all can come together to significantly improve quality of life," Christo says.

For Toussaint, the medicine that worked best was the anti-seizure drug Neurontin. Today, this medication, combined with a physical therapy regimen that incorporates Eastern and Western healing techniques, allows her to control the pain brought about by her condition.

As is the case with some who face chronic pain, Toussaint may live with her condition for the rest of her life. But she says that those who face a similar struggle must take heart that an answer exists for their mysterious pain.

"Know that you're not alone," she says. "Know that you're pain is real. And know that you deserve the dignity of proper diagnosis and treatment."

To visit the For Grace website, click here.

(Copyright ©2008 ABC News Internet Ventures.)
11-05-08 Chicago News

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award

I was given this award by a Megan from "Free My Brain From Migraine Pain" Megan coaches migraineurs and people with chronic illness in living purposeful lives, as well as working with small business owners to grow their businesses. Everyone suffering with migraines would be missing an amazing lady if you didn't check out her website!

Now, according to the rules of accepting the Kreativ Blogger Award I am to list six things that make me happy and pass this award on to six others.

So with no further are six things that make me happy:

1. Spending time with God!
2. My loving husband and family!
3. Helping others find the beauty in life!
4. My Radio Show!
5. My Grandchildren ALWAYS makes me smile!
6. All those I get to connect online!!

Now, who am I passing this award onto?
Let me tell you:

1. Coach A. of Life Trekking Coach
2. Jeisea of CRPS/RSD A Better Life
3. Bonnie Mechelle of Healthy Living and Weight Loss
4. Marguerite of Mother Knows Best
5. Laura and Kate of Teach Me To Talk
6. Crystal of Laugh At Cancer

I wish each and every one of you the best of luck and continued success in your life! I appreciate you ALL!! I hope you all check out their websites....You'll be glad you did!!

Oh...I almost forgot to post the award, silly me.
Drum Roll Please......

Thank You Megan!!

RSD Awareness Month!!

Tomorrow I will start posting bits of information for those of us who are living with RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) and for those who are our caregivers to better understand some of what we go through every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day!! Hopefully I won't scare too many people away, but if I do, I do apologize, is our daily life and needs to be heard!! We all have different stories to tell and we all deserve our VOICES TO BE HEARD!!

Speaking of being heard....I invite each and everyone of you every Tuesday at 1:00pm CST this month to my Live Radio Show where we will be sharing stories, tips, information, and our VOICES!! So, if you are a person living with RSD, please join us!! If you are a caregiver of someone living with RSD, please join us as well, because this is also National Caregivers Month!! How much better could it get?

I encourage each and every one of you to take some time out of your day on Tuesday's and let YOUR Voice be heard!!

Link to Show:
If you register for free, you will be able to chat with others in the chat room that is going on at the same time the show is live. There is also a call in number listed that you will be able to put YOUR Voice to the cause of RSD Awareness!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

November is RSD Awareness Month

Join us at
Every Tuesday at 1:00pm CST in November and Give YOUR Voice to RSD.

Social Security Announces Nationwide Launch of Compassionate Allowances

Monday, October 27, 2008 Mark Lassiter, Press Officer 410-965-8904

For Immediate Release

News Release

Social Security Announces Nationwide Launch of Compassionate Allowances
Process Will Fast Track Applications For People with Cancers and Rare Diseases

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced the national rollout of the agency’s Compassionate Allowances initiative, a way to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security’s standards.

“Getting benefits quickly to people with the most severe medical conditions is both the right and the compassionate thing to do,” Commissioner Astrue said. “This initiative will allow us to make decisions on these cases in a matter of days, rather than months or years.”

Social Security is launching this expedited decision process with a total of 50 conditions. Over time, more diseases and conditions will be added. A list of the first 50 impairments -- 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers -- can be found at

Before announcing this initiative, Social Security held public hearings to receive information from experts on rare diseases and cancers. The agency also enlisted the assistance of the National Institutes of Health.

Compassionate Allowances is the second piece of the agency’s two-track, fast-track system for certain disability claims. When combined with the agency’s Quick Disability Determination process, and once fully implemented, this two-track system could result in six to nine percent of disability claims, the cases for as much as a quarter million people, being decided in an average of six to eight days.

"This is an outstanding achievement for the Social Security Administration," said Peter Saltonstall, President of the National Organization for Rare Disorders. "It has taken Social Security less than a year to develop this much-needed program that will benefit those whose claims merit expedited consideration based on the nature of their disease. Disability backlogs cause a hardship for patients and their families. Commissioner Astrue and his staff deserve our thanks for a job well done.”

“Unfortunately, many hardworking people with cancer may not only face intensive treatment to save their lives, but they may also find themselves truly unable to perform their daily work-related activities and as result, may face serious financial concerns, such as the loss of income and the cost of treatment,” said Daniel E. Smith, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “The Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances program will help streamline the disability benefits application process so that benefits are quickly provided to those who need them most.”

“This is America, and it simply is not acceptable for people to wait years for a final decision on a disability claim,” Commissioner Astrue said. “I am committed to a process that is as fair and speedy as possible. The launch of Compassionate Allowances is another step to ensuring Americans with disabilities, especially those with certain cancers and rare diseases, get the benefits they need quickly.”

# # # #

SSA Press Office 440 Altmeyer Building 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Friday, October 24, 2008

Medical science has just discovered the nasal cycle, known to yogis for thousands of years. The first mention in the western hemisphere of a lateralized periodic process was in the work by Dr. R.German rhinologist, in 1895. Dr Kayser found what resembled a periodic rhythm of nostril passage. Dr Kayser suggested that laterality of nostril dominance was part of a larger schema where one lateral side of the body was somehow innervated or de-innervated. Prior to 1895, the Aryan descendants in the Indus valley studied the nasal cycle (Hatha Yoga Pradipika, trans. 1893; Iyengar, 1988). They not only took note of the process, but also had enlarged upon Dr Kayser's theory of lateral innervation.

The doctrine of collateral activation was taken a bit farther by the ancient sages, to include arousal of the brain hemispheres. Yogic sages thought that forced lateralized breathing through one nostril, would effect a selective activation of one brain hemisphere over another. It would appear that nostril dominance originates from the brain itself.$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

The nasal cycle is an ultradian rhythm involving alternating breathing of the left and right nostrils,. It is known to have a cycle of two to eight hours (Keuning, 1968; Shannahoff-Khalsa, 1991). The nasal cycle is controlled by sympathetic/parasympathetic innervation of the nasal mucosa. When sympathetic activity to one side dominates, the result is vaso-constriction and thus decongestion on that side, while the enhanced parasympathetic activity on the other side simultaneously results in congestion (Keuning, 1968; Stocksted, 1953). Hence while the nasal cycle is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, it in turn influences the autonomic nervous system mechanism

Researchers at Nepal Medical College in Kathmandu measured the physiological effects of alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Sodhana ). They found significant increases in peak expiratory flow rate (exhale) and pulse pressure and decreases in heart rate, respiratory rate, and diastolic blood pressure.

There is no doubt that alternate nostril breathing can be a powerful way to quickly relax the nervous system, shifting the balance from sympathetic side to the more restorative parasympathetic. By slowing the breath, lengthening the exhalation, and pausing briefly after the exhalation, all tend to shift the balance towards the parasympathetic side.

In other words regular practice of alternate nostril breathing increases parasympathetic activity.
Yoga Journal's medical Editor, Dr Timothy McCall talks about this in Part two of a three part series on "Yoga for chronic Pain"

This is something I have been doing since first being diagnosed with RSD back in 2003. At first when I was diagnosed with full body RSD I wasn't all that thrilled about this exercise, but knew it was absolutely the best thing I could do to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system into communicating with my brain. See, what happens is one nostril works on the sympathetic nervous system and the other the parasympathetic nervous system. There is a cycle of about 3 hours or so where they switch sides so that the side that was sympathetic became parasympathetic and so on. This style of breathing is very helpful for those of us who have a disturbance of the sympathetic nervous. WHY? Because this style of breathing helps to bring about balance. In so doing, it's calming and calming reduces stress which lessens the perception of pain.

So I persevered and I continue to use this method today. I also recommend it to my Coaching Clients so they can get the benefits of how it calms and reduces pain as early as possible, but it's never too late!

If you are in need of my Coaching services or just curious about me, click link to discover why I am a Coach: "A Winning Life With RSD"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gene Therapy for Chronic Pain enters First Human Trial....

Gene therapy for chronic pain enters first human trial

U-M Phase 1 trial will test therapy in cancer patients with intractable pain

Media contact: Katie Vloet
Tel: 734-764-2220

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -This week, University of Michigan scientists will begin a phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of cancer-related pain, using a novel gene transfer vector injected into the skin to deliver a pain-relieving gene to the nervous system.

A gene transfer vector is an agent used to carry genes into cells. In this groundbreaking clinical trial, the investigators will use a vector created from herpes simplex virus (HSV) - the virus that causes cold sores - to deliver the gene for enkephalin, one of the body's own natural pain relievers.

"In pre-clinical studies, we have found that HSV-mediated transfer of enkephalin can reduce chronic pain," says David Fink, M.D., Robert Brear Professor and chair of the department of neurology at the U-M Medical School. Fink developed the vector with collaborators and will direct the study.

"After almost two decades of development and more than eight years of studies in animal models of pain, we have reached the point where we are ready to find out whether this approach will be effective in treating patients," Fink says. The investigators are recruiting 12 patients with intractable pain from cancer to examine whether the vector can be used safely to deliver its cargo to sensory nerves.

The trial represents two firsts, says Fink: It is the first human trial of gene therapy for pain, and the first study to test a nonreplicating HSV-based vector to deliver a therapeutic gene to humans. Fink says the technique may hold promise for treating other types of chronic pain, including pain from nerve damage that occurs in many people with diabetes.

The HSV vector, genetically altered so it cannot reproduce, has a distinct advantage, Fink says: "Because HSV naturally travels to nerve cells from the skin, the HSV-based vector can be injected in the skin to target pain pathways in the nervous system."

Gene therapy for pain

Chronic pain is an important clinical problem that, despite a wide array of therapeutic options, cannot be effectively treated in a substantial number of patients. Fink notes that one key problem in treating pain is that the targets of conventional pain-relieving medications tend to be widely distributed in the nervous system, so that "off target" side effects of the drugs often preclude the use of those drugs at fully effective doses.

"This provides the rationale for using gene transfer to treat pain," Fink says. "We use the vector to deliver and express a chemical that breaks down very quickly in the body. The targeted delivery allows us to selectively interrupt the transmission of pain-related signals and thus reduce the perception of pain."

Enkephalin is one member of the family of opioid peptides that are naturally produced in the body. Opioid peptides exert their pain-relieving effects by acting at the same receptor through which morphine and related opiate drugs achieve their pain-relieving effects. In this trial the enkephalin peptide, produced as a result of the gene transfer, will be released selectively in the spinal cord at a site involved in transmitting pain from the affected body part to the brain.
"We hope that this selective targeting will result in pain-relieving effects that cannot be achieved by systemic administration of opiate drugs," Fink says. "This trial is the first step in bringing the therapy into clinical use. A treatment is at least several years off."

Preclinical studies led to human trial

The phase I clinical trial represents the culmination of studies performed by investigators working in the U-M laboratory co-directed by Fink and his wife, Marina Mata, M.D., also a professor of neurology at U-M, along with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh led by Joseph Glorioso, Ph.D. In published studies, the researchers have demonstrated that HSV-mediated gene transfer is effective in rats with pain resulting from inflammation, nerve damage or spinal cord injury, and in mice with pain caused by cancer. The extensive preclinical data in animal models were reviewed by the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee at the National Institutes of Health. The Food and Drug Administration approved an investigational new drug application for the therapy in February.

Funding for the preclinical studies was provided by the NIH, and related studies of the vector were funded by grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The human trial is supported by a research grant from Diamyd, Inc., a subsidiary of Diamyd Medical (DIAMB.ST), a publicly traded Swedish biotechnology company. Fink has no financial interest in or consulting relationship with Diamyd. He is an inventor on patents related to this work that are owned by the University of Pittsburgh and licensed to Diamyd. Susan Urba, M.D. and Frank Worden, M.D., medical oncologists at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center will serve as principal clinicians for the study, assisted by Suzette Walker, N.P., who will serve as study coordinator, and Heidi L'Esperance, who will serve as data manager.

Trial details

The investigators are seeking patients with intractable pain related to cancer that is unresponsive to maximally tolerated doses of conventional analgesic drugs. The vector will be delivered in 10 small injections into the skin, and will require an overnight stay in the Michigan Clinical Research Unit at U-M Hospital. For more information, contact the U-M Cancer AnswerLine, 800-865-1125, or visit:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Coincidences....Do You Believe In Them?

I had to post this because I was reading a book and this is part of the Introduction. The book is titled "Small Miracles" But I found this Introduction very interesting as well as eye opening. Sometimes we do have these moments in life where we say things like, "It's was just a coincidence", "Wow, what a coincidence that was", or numerous other comments like that. But it's very seldom that we consider the possibility of it being Divine Presence. There are many times in my life where I can look back and say that those 'so called' coincidences where in fact a Divine Presence, can you?

You know, there are moments in life when we catch our breath and glimpse God's presence. Sometimes it is when we see the glowing face of a sleeping child, sometimes it is when we hear a song. These moments, which shine for an instant and then vanish in a flash, convey a sense of the Divine.

Every leaf, every blade of grass bears God's imprint. But these days most of us are urban dwellers leading hectic lives, and have lost the connection to the earth that enriched our forefathers and helped them see God. Obscured by skyscrapers and the haze of polluted skies, we can barely see the stars, let alone sense a Divine Presence.

Living as so many of us do, lives of alienation and despair, how can we help ourselves reconnect; to God, to one another, to our very selves?

Beyond nature, there are teachers, other experiences that can help us along our journey. These guides, beacons of light and signposts in the labyrinthine wilderness in which we wander, offer us gentle instruction and compassionate encouragement as they firmly propel us back to the path from which we may have strayed.

These experiences, common to us all, can help lead us to our unfulfilled destiny. They occur within the great universal flow of energy, and require nothing more that our sheer awareness of their presence. When consciousness is cultivated and perception is heightened, these experiences can serve as vital tokens of growth and transformation. To encounter these moments in their fullness and richness, to be aware of their message and hear their music, is truly to know God. And predominant among these experiences is the phenomenon we call coincidences.

Coincidences have been defined as luck, chance, a fluke, something our of the ordinary, or a random conjoining of inexplicable events that defies our sense of the reasonable. I firmly believe that coincidences are much more than simple accidents or quirks of fate. To me, coincidences are blessings, the spiritual manna that hosts of angels send down to illuminate our path. They are vivid, striking, awe-inspiring examples of Divine Providence. They are acts of God.

Thousands of years ago, God spoke to man through sublime miracles he preformed on massive scales. We are not so fortunate. Today we wrestle with a hidden God, a concealed God, a God who no longer parts seas, stops the sun, or turns people into pillars of salt. Instead we have coincidences. Smaller, more personal, everyday miracles. For when a coincidence does take place, it is nothing more and nothing less than God tapping us on the shoulder, whispering, or at times even shouting: "I'm here! I'm with you!" Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous.

Coincidences can also be seen as opportunities for change, vital keys towards expanding our consciousness. If we can learn to become more aware of and attuned to coincidences, more cognizant of their significance, that we will evolve to a higher state of being. When we integrate both the experience and the meaning of coincidences into our lives, we open ourselves to the enriching possibilities, the blessings, and the sense of harmony with the universe that they offer.
I heard a story once of a holy man who radiated an unusual aura of inner peace and joy. An unearthly, almost celestial glow shone from his body, and attracted vast crowds who pursued him everywhere. They would call to him, "Are you a God?" "No." he would answer. "Are you an angel?" "No." "Are you a prophet?" finally he said, "No, I am simply awake."

Coincidences are everywhere and can happen any time. When your soul is ready, they will come. All that is required is that you open your heart.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pharmaceutical Biotech Scientist Discovers New Molecule to Treat Chronic Pain


Northeastern University Pharmaceutical Sciences professor and Center for Drug Discovery director Alexandros Makriyannis and a team of researchers have created a synthetic molecule that could be used to treat chronic pain in patients with diseases such as diabetes or shingles.

The findings were published in a recent issue of Psychopharmacology in an article titled “Discriminative stimulus functions in rats of AM1346, a high-affinity CB1R selective anandamide analog.” The team of researchers involved in this study included Northeastern University Pharmaceutical Sciences researchUniversity of Connecticut. associate professor Torbjorn U.C. Jarbe, as well as Chen Li and Qian Liu, formerly of the

The new molecule, AM1346, mimics, though is more powerful than, anandamide an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter found prominently in the brains of humans and animals. Anandamide is a naturally occurring part of the endocannabinoid system that regulates pain, controls heart rate and blood pressure, and modulates mood and appetite.

In order to test anandamide against AM1346, the researchers studied discriminative behavior in rats and concluded that the animals act in a similar fashion when injected with the two agents. Makriyannis said the rats were trained to respond to an injection of AM1346 by pushing a lever that delivered food to the animals. When trained without exposure to AM1346, an alternate lever produced food. Thus, the presence or absence of the training drug controlled the choice behavior of the animals. Additionally, the cannabinoid antidote rimonabant blocked these drug effects. That is, the animals selected the nondrug associated lever in tests with rimonabant and the other drugs.

“AM1346 is a more potent and stable synthetic compound than anandamide,” Makriyannis said. “It will serve as a test compound to study and understand more completely the endocannabinoid system and could have potential therapeutic implications as a topically applied pain killer,” he said, adding that there is considerable interest from the pharmaceutical industry for researchers to discover new medications within the body’s biochemical system.

For more information on Professor Makriyannis’ research, please contact Jason Kornwitz at 617-373-5729 or

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Immunosyn Corporation Files 10-Q

Last update: 11:23 a.m. EDT Aug. 14, 2008
LA JOLLA, Calif., Aug 14, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Immunosyn Corporation (IMYN:
immunosyn corp com

Sponsored by:
IMYN 1.70, -0.10, -5.6%) , a biotechnology firm that has obtained exclusive worldwide marketing, sales and distribution rights to the biopharmaceutical SF-1019 from its affiliate Argyll Biotechnologies, LLC, has announced its results for the quarter ending June 30, 2008.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2008, the company incurred $629,884.00 in general and administrative expenses and $15,297.00 in interest expense which was funded from advances by affiliates of $26,527.00, accounts payable of $60,376.00, accrued expenses of ($1,498.00) and services rendered for stock of $529,250. As a result, the company had a Net Loss of $645,181.00 for the second quarter of 2008. During the same period in 2007, the company incurred $71,025.00 in general and administrative expenses, interest expense of $4,810.00 and had a Net Loss of $75,835.00. Immunosyn has had no revenue to date as Argyll Biotechnologies, LLC is still in the process of obtaining governmental and regulatory approval for SF-1019.

"We have continued to significantly control costs this quarter and appreciated the advances from affiliates," noted Stephen Ferrone, Immunosyn's CEO. "In 2008, Argyll Biotechnologies, LLC has reported positive research results for SF-1019 and Immunosyn hopes to add shareholder value by striving for financial efficiency in the execution of its marketing and distribution strategy when approvals for SF-1019 are obtained by Argyll Biotechnologies, LLC," added Ferrone.

Research suggests that SF-1019 has analgesic properties with a perceived ability to substantially reduce the inflammation present in a number of clinical conditions including Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, (RSD or RSDS) and other auto-immune and neurological disorders. A limited proof of concept trial for SF-1019 in Europe has shown positive results in effectively treating diabetic ulcers. Immunosyn went public in January 2007 and its stock began trading on October 26, 2007 on the OTCBB under the symbol "IMYN."

Sponsored by:
IMYN 1.70, -0.10, -5.6%) plans to market and distribute life enhancing therapeutics. Currently, the company has exclusive worldwide rights from its largest shareholder, Argyll Biotechnologies, LLC, to market, sell and distribute SF-1019, a compound that was developed from extensive research into Biological Response Modifiers (BRMs). Argyll Biotechnologies, LLC has initiated the process for regulatory approval of SF-1019 in several countries and preparations for clinical trials are underway in both the US and Europe. Research suggests that SF-1019 has the potential to affect a number of clinical conditions including complications from Diabetic Mellitus such as Diabetic Neuropathy (DN) and diabetic ulcers (DU), auto-immune disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and neurological disorders such as Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD or RSDS).

The above news release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on assumptions that management believes are reasonable based on currently available information, and include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and its management. Prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and are subject to a wide range of business risks, external factors and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements.

For additional information, please consult the Company's most recent public filings and Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for its most recent fiscal year. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE: Immunosyn Corporation

The Blaine Group
Lisa Baker/Devon Blaine
310-360-1498 (FAX)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Things To Ponder....

Hello Everyone,
I am going to share some of my favorite words to ponder on when I am feeling one way or another, but no way in particular....Hope you enjoy them.

Life is easier than you think --
All you have to do is:
Accept the impossible,
Do without the indispensable,
Bear the intolerable
Be able to smile at anything.


Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation --
Some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment,
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's wold by mistake.
Unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.


Only some of us learn by other people's mistakes; the rest of us have to be the other people.


True Understanding

We do not understand:
Joy......until we face sorrow
Faith....until it is tested
Peace....until faced with conflict
Trust....until we are betrayed
Love.....until it is lost
Hope.....until confronted with doubts.


Hope Makes A Difference

Hope looks for the good in people instead of harping on the worst in them.
Hope opens doors where despair closes them.
Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot be done.
Hope draws its power from a deep trust in God and the basic goodness of mankind.
Hope "lights a candle" instead of "cursing the darkness."
Hope regards problems, small or large, as opportunities.
Hope cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.


And last, but by no means least.....

Thank You, dear God
For all You have given me
For all You have taken away from me
For all You have left me.


I hope you were able to get a nugget or two out of these, I know I sure have.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is Pain All In The Mind??

Is pain all in the mind?
New research shows why some people are better at coping with pain than others
By Vivienne Parry
Times Online (UK)

Pain is a simple enough concept to grasp. You stub your toe, shout, perhaps utter a few expletives, rub it better and it eventually fades. But neuroscientists are realising that pain is much more complex than anyone thought possible, comprising not just physical sensations, but emotional ones too. Pioneering studies are providing insights into why some people experience debilitating chronic pain long after an injury has healed, as well as why some are more prone to pain than others, and why certain people never recover from bereavement.

"Pain is much more than mere sensation. The psychological component is at least as important as the physiological processes giving rise to it," says Dr Jonathan Brooks, a scientist at the Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, at Oxford University. His research centre scans the brains of people with chronic pain and compares them with those of healthy people.

While most pain goes away as an injury gets better, sometimes it remains for months or even years, long outlasting its original purpose. Chronic physical pain is debilitating and can cause disability, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also very common. A group from the University of Washington reported in the journal Archives of Surgery earlier this year that 63 per cent of patients who had sustained serious trauma still had injury-related pain a year later. It was most common in the 35-44 age group and in women, and least common in those with a college education.

Other chronic pain conditions include arthritis and lower back pain. In the latter, a physical source can be identified in only about 10 per cent of cases. No one really knows why some people experience chronic pain and others do not, but recent imaging studies at Northwestern University, Chicago, have found a series of abnormalities in the brains of chronic pain sufferers in which the part linked to decision-making (the prefrontal cortex) is reduced, while an area of the prefrontal cortex linked to emotion is hyperactive. What is known for certain is that the brain changes in those with chronic pain so that they experience pain differently from the way they did before.

We all have a system for suppressing pain when necessary so that we can flee attackers even when injured. Those who suffer from chronic pain appear unable to access this and cannot use distraction as a means of suppressing pain; their brains seem to amplify pain signals rather than inhibit them.

Treatment for the condition comprises both physical and psychological interventions, says Dr Michael Platt, the lead clinician for pain services at St Mary's Hospital, London, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where he holds weekly pain clinics. "Most physicians realise that you have to heal the mind as much as the body. For example, if you have pain, then depression is worse, and if you have depression, then pain is worse." He adds that gaining a better indication of which parts of the brain are involved in pain sensations may lead to better treatments for patients.

We all respond to pain differently

Scientists are increasingly realising that everyone responds to pain differently. "There are many physiological and psychological factors that determine how much pain you feel," says Dr Brooks. "Personality, how worried a person is, and, in the case of women, the time in the menstrual cycle, can all have an effect."

He adds that our genes can also influence our sensitivity to pain. This was first brought to the attention of scientists by the "ginger-whinger" syndrome. Anaesthetists reported that redheaded women complain of pain more than other patients, and consequently need more pain relief. Why? Not because redheads are wimps; it was later discovered that their genetic make-up makes them less sensitive to certain types of pain medication.

Neuroscience is also revealing a host of similarities between emotional and physical pain. In the same way that in some people injury can cause long-lasting chronic pain, science reveals why some will never get over heartbreak.

Professor David Alexander, the director of the Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research, has been involved in many disasters: the 2004 tsunami; Iraq; and the recent earthquake in Pakistan. He is not surprised about the link between physical and emotional pain. "If you listen to people who are damaged emotionally, they will often translate their pain into physical similes: 'my head is bursting, my guts are aching', and so on. The parallel is very strong."

It is only in the past few years, however, that scientists have begun to investigate what is going on in the brain during an episode of emotional pain. The neuroscientist Mary Frances O'Connor, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is one of the scientists who has propelled emotional pain up the research agenda. "We're at a very new time when we can use technologies to look at the brain and the heart." Naomi Eisenberger, one of her colleagues at UCLA, has shown which parts of the brain are active when we feel emotional pain. She devised a computer game in which participants were made to feel left out.

Simultaneous brain scanning revealed that the pain of being socially rejected was processed in much the same way in the brain as physical pain, and in the same area, the anterior cingulate cortex, which is located towards the front of the brain, roughly at the height of the temples.

Eisenberger theorises as to why this should be so. Pain is often interpreted as a warning, so that you take your hand away from a hot surface. Social relationships are crucial to our survival as a species. In dangerous situations, a lone human being is in peril, whereas a group may survive. "The social attachment system piggybacked on to the physical pain system to make sure that we stay connected to close others," Eisenberger says. Being wrenched from another or rejected by a group is painful, so we learn to avoid it.

A related issue is "complicated grief", which O'Connor estimates occurs in about 10 per cent of people, who fail to adapt to bereavement over time. Her imaging work shows that this sort of grief activates neurons in the reward centre of the brain, giving addictive-like properties to memories of the lost one. There is a strong suspicion, as yet unproven, that sufferers might also be among those who experience the greatest levels of chronic physical pain. This is an area that deserves urgent research because of its terrible emotional and physical toll.

How to deal with pain


Prolonged exercise lifts the spirits and reduces pain, as evidenced by the "runners' high", which is driven by the naturally produced painkillers, endorphins.

Don't bottle it up

Talking about your emotions helps - one reason why women are less at risk from illness after a bereavement.

Don't self-medicate

Dulling pain with alcohol, recreational drugs or too many prescription painkillers can turn recoverable trauma into lifelong dependency or addiction.

Don't get overtired

Tiredness exacerbates pain, especially in women. Fatigue is often reported with chronic pain, though less so in men, whose higher testosterone levels make their muscles more resistant to fatigue.

Try mindfulness meditation

By concentrating on your moment-to-moment experience, you can - through repeated practice - achieve a greater sense of control and enhanced emotional wellbeing.

Case study

For the chronic pain patients who arrive at the pain management centre at St Mary's Hospital, in Paddington, West London, this clinic is their last resort.

One such patient is Ursula Madden, who lives in London with her 12-year-old son. Madden works as a radiographer at St Mary's, but her chronic pain turned her from employee to patient. She initially dismissed her painful feet as a side-effect of her busy job. But when she to lie down every night after work because of an unbearable burning sensation across the tops of her feet, she decided it was time to see her doctor.

Getting a diagnosis was not easy. It took two years, with long spells off work because she couldn't walk, and Madden became very depressed.

"None of the doctors was accepting the fact that I was in agony," she says. Madden was eventually referred to the pain clinic where it was discovered that the pain in her feet was caused by a combination of arthritis and faulty nerves sending pain signals to the brain. The diagnosis made a big impact. "When you have something that people can't see, unlike, say, a broken arm, recognition is a very big part of it."

The doctors at the clinic use a variety of approaches, from psychological intervention such as counseling and life coaching, to more physical treatments, such as pain killers, acupuncture and super-hot chili pepper cream. The latter works to desensitize the nerves.
"The first time I used the cream I was jumping around with pain, but it worked brilliantly," says Madden, who believes that attending the clinic has helped her enormously, both physically and psychologically.

While visiting her sister in Ireland recently she managed to go on a four-mile walk along the coast that she wouldn't have been able to do two years ago. "I was thinking, 'Sod the pain; I'm going to put on my boots and do it'. Yes, it was painful. But I still really enjoyed it; it was wonderful."