kutzx020: October 2011 Archives

Early Onset Dementia

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The world of women's basketball took a large blow late this summer. It had nothing to do with lockouts or injured players, but that of the diagnosis of one of the games most influential figures. The Tennessee Lady Volunteers head basketball coach, Pat Summitt , was diagnosed with early onset dementia. Summitt went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she underwent a series of tests and received the stunning answer of what disease she had. Many people know anything related with Alzheimer's is not good but what really is dementia?

Dementia is defined as a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. Most types of dementia are nonreversible. Nonreversible means the changes in the brain that are causing the dementia cannot be stopped or turned back. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Lewy body disease is a leading cause of dementia in elderly adults. People with this condition have abnormal protein structures in certain areas of the brain. Dementia also can be due to many small strokes. This is called vascular dementia. Dementia symptoms include many areas of mental functioning such as language, memory, perception, personality, and many cognitive skills.

Pat strongly believes that she can continue coaching, "I feel better just knowing what I'm dealing with. And as far as I'm concerned it's not going to keep me from living my life, not going to keep me from coaching." said Summitt. Although Summitt maintains her positive attitude, she now knows her time as a coach, over three decades, is nearing its end. If the symptoms worsen, she simply will not be in a position to be under the national spotlight of women's basketball. Her highly intelligent mind for basketball is now under duress and sadly, the decrease her cognitive skills will affect every aspect of her life, including coaching the game she loves.


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Hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy, is a trance-like state in which one have heightened focus, concentration and inner absorption. When one is under hypnosis, they usually feel calm and relaxed, and you can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions. Under hypnosis, one is more open than usual to suggestions, and this can be used to modify one's perceptions, behavior, sensations and emotions. Therapeutic hypnosis is used to improve one's health and well-being and is different from so-called stage hypnosis used by entertainers. Although one more open to suggestion during therapeutic hypnosis, their free will remains intact and they don't lose control over your behavior.

What is hypnosis used for if not only entertainment? Hypnosis is intended to help one gain more control over undesired behaviors or emotions or to help them cope better with a wide range of medical conditions. Hypnosis can be used to help treat things such as pain control, allergies, asthma, skin conditions and also gastrointestinal problems to name a few. Hypnosis isn't considered a treatment or a type of psychotherapy. Rather, it's a procedure typically used along with certain treatments and therapies to help a wide variety of conditions. However there are some risks to hypnosis. Hypnosis that's conducted under the care of a trained therapist or health care professional is considered a safe complementary and alternative medicine treatment. One should use special caution before using hypnosis for age regression to help you relive earlier events in your life. This practice remains controversial and has limited scientific evidence to support its use. It may cause strong emotions and can alter your memories or lead to creation of false memories. Overall, hypnosis can be beneficial if used under the correct circumstances by a trained professional. It may be helpful for some things, but certainly isn't going to cure cancer anytime soon.

Placebo Effect?

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The Placebo Effect is defined as improvement resulting from the mere expectation of improvement. In psychology, it is seen mostly has a participant or patient receiving a placebo and because they expect to get better, they do. The only way this works is that the patients must remain blind to the condition to which they have been assigned, experimental or control. Most people associate placebos with a little sugar pill, but the most effective placebos are actually injected. A patient sees something injected into them and they believe since its being put directly into the blood stream it will have the biggest effect. Placebos, however, work better on things like depression and pain, but not as good on other things like cancer or heart disease. the effects of placebos may be more short-lived than those of actual medications. Placebos are not only used at institutions but also in everyday life. It doesn't even have to be a pill, the power balance bracelets that are supposed to improve balance. A piece of rubber and a shinny piece of plastic isn't going to change anyone's balance, but just fact that is supposed to, makes a person believe they have better balance, so they might show signs of better balance. The human mind has the biggest impact on a single person. As a personal example, whenever I start feeling sick I take medicine just so I think that I should be healthy and not sick. It is incredible how a person's thoughts control their life. This brings up questions about the human brain. What allows just simple thoughts to control pain, disease, and other physical aspects of one's life? Why do placebos work for some people but not others? Placebos can make even the largest of things diminish, or even go away.

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