Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – ALS):

Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) is a nervous disease that weakens the muscles and impacts the entire body’s physical functioning. Lou Gehrig’s Disease is considered a very rare condition with less than 20,000 cases being diagnosed in the US each year. Lou Gehrig’s cannot be cured, but treatment may slow progress of symptoms. Lou Gehrig’s does require a medical diagnosis and lab testing or imaging is also required to confirm the diagnosis. Lou Gehrig’s is a chronic condition that lasts for the rest of someone’s life.

Lou Gehrig’s is generally quite rapid in nature, and decline in a person’s physical ability will happen rather quickly. Every case of Lou Gehrig’s is different, but it is generally progressive enough to be invariably fatal. The fatality comes from the death of a massive neurological disease that causes mass kill offs of nerve cells and neurons. These are the muscles that are responsible for voluntary muscle movement that is performed consciously. The cause of the breakdowns in this muscle tissue is not known.

The main symptom of Lou Gehrig’s disease is muscle weakness. Additional symptoms include stiffness and a lack of coordination are often also present. Medications and therapies can help slow the symptoms and help lessen the discomfort of Lou Gehrig’s. Researchers are currently looking for a cure for Lou Gehrig’s as a cure is not presently known. Lou Gehrig’s disease can affect people as young as 19 years of age, but is usually diagnosed in people between the ages 40-50 years of age, and before age 60. Some people do not get diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease till after age 60. This makes Lou Gehrig’s a disease that can strike at virtually any point in someone’s life, which makes it even more unpredictable.

The later phases of Lou Gehrig’s disease present themselves with additional, more severe symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, drooling, mild cognitive impairment, severe constipation, unintentional weight loss, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are due to the muscles in the body failing to work properly. Devices like tracheotomies (breathing tubes) and gastrostomies (feeding tubes) are often needed to help perform even the most basic bodily functions vital to survival in the later stages of the disease.

Lou Gehrig’s is treated by a team of specialists that include a neurologist, personal care professional (PCP), and team of therapists to assist in providing the highest quality of life to the patient for as long as is possible. Additionally, many patients will seek additional therapies. Such therapies include speech, occupational, and physical therapies can help the person to retain many of their bodily functions and as much independence as possible as Lou Gehrig’s progresses. Until a definitive cure is found focusing on quality of life and preservation of the patient’s bodily functions is the best treatment or management plan that is available.

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Everything You Need to Know About Epilepsy

Epilepsy also known as Seizure Disorder is common with over 200,000 cases being diagnosed in the US each year. Epilepsy cannot be cured, but treatment oftentimes does help. Epilepsy requires a diagnosis, and also often requires lab tests and imaging to confirm the results of the diagnosis. Epilepsy can be caused by several different factors including excessive and abnormal brain cell activity. Epilepsy may occur as a result from a genetic disorder, or an acquired brain injury from a traumatic injury or stroke. During a seizure, a person experiences abnormal behavior, symptoms, and sensations sometimes including a loss of consciousness. There are generally very few if any symptoms between seizures, but seizures can come on suddenly and unexpectedly at any time. Sometimes seizures only occur rarely or occasionally, but sometimes often as every few hours.

Epilepsy is usually treated by medications, and in some cases surgeries and medical devices or even dietary changes can help control symptoms. This helps people recover from the common fainting spells, and sometimes muscle convulsions and spasms that are common for people suffering from epilepsy. Many people suffering from epilepsy also experience anxiety, depression, headaches, sleepiness, staring spells, and temporary paralysis as part of their condition.

Neurologists, neurosurgeons, primary care providers (PCPs), and emergency doctor. Seizures are believed to be due to electrical abnormalities in the brain which have a profound effect on the person’s daily functioning due to the seizures they caused a person to suffer from. It is estimated that about 65 million people worldwide suffer from epileptic disorders, with over 3,000,000 of those people are in the US. About 1 in 26 Americans will endure some type of epilepsy in their lifetime. Between 4 and 10 of every 1,000 people in the US will suffer from chronic epileptic-type seizures at some point in their lifetimes. This comes out to about 150,000 new cases of epilepsy being diagnosed in the US annually. In the end, about 6 out of every 10 Americans don’t know where their epilepsy comes from.

Sometimes medications like sedatives or anticonvulsants help treat some cases of epilepsy. Others suffering from epilepsy have a brain procedure that requires them to have their corpus collosum clipped to help stop seizures from occurring. The corpus collosum is the bridge of nerve that connect the two hemispheres of the brain, but when that collosum is clipped it keeps messages from traveling from one side of the brain to the other, thus stopping the seizures. People generally can recover quite well from this procedure, and the younger the patient when this is done generally the better they are able to adapt. While they essentially have two separate halves to their brain, their body learns to compensate for one side acting on the part of the other, and it works out very well allowing many patients to live a more normal life.

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What’s Your Risk of a Heart Attack?

Heart attacks are known as a Myocardial Infarction, and are very common with over 3,000,000 being diagnosed in the US alone each year. Heart attacks require a medical diagnosis, and oftentimes lab tests or imaging are what confirms that someone had a heart attack. Heart attacks are generally treatable within days to weeks by a healthcare professional. A heart attack is considered a severe medical emergency.

Usually heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks the flow of the blood to the heart muscle. If the heart does not have an adequate supply of blood, the tissue that makes up the heart loses oxygen and it dies. Massive heart attacks usually kill instantly or within a matter of a few hours, but if found in time most heart attacks can be treated. Symptoms of a heart attack include tightness in the chest/neck/back/arms, extra added anxiety, extreme sudden fatigue, and lightheadedness. These symptoms will come on very suddenly after being fine just a moment or two earlier. Women are more likely to have atypical symptoms than men are.  Treatments include anything from lifestyle changes and cardiac rehabilitation or even medications, stents, and bypass surgeries to restore normal function of the cardiac system to the person who suffered from the heart attack.

People can suffer from heart attacks at any age and stage of life, but the most common patients are aged 60+. Although one can experience a slightly increased risk of heart attacks between the ages of 19-40, and yet a more elevated risk between the ages of 41-60. After age 60 the changes are the greatest. For many patients who have had a heart attack using a daily aspirin regimen can help lower the risk of a future heart attack by 10-15%. However, a patient should talk to their doctors before beginning any medication regimen, even one that is simple as something like aspirin that are available over the counter as this may not be the best treatment for everyone.

ACE inhibitors can also help reduce the risk of someone having a future heart attack or stroke by about 20-25%. Statins treat high cholesterol and reduce risks of future heart attacks by 15-20%. Exercise can help increase heart function and make the chances of having a heart attack 21-34% less likely depending on how much activity one is getting in their daily life as the heart works more efficiently, and is less likely to get clogged with plaque and cholesterol that stops blood flow causing heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac conditions. It is vital to assume responsibility by doing these recommended steps after consulting with your doctor to avoid future cardiac problems. Remember that it is never known how big the next heart attack or stroke could be, and how it may affect an individual if they survive at all! You can help lower the chances of such future incidences from happening, but you must consult your doctor and take proactive steps to stay ahead of the threat!

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How to Get New Dental Patients

Here’s the scenario: You are just starting a dental practice and have absolutely no idea why you aren’t getting new patients or you are an established dentist looking for a new dental marketing strategy. Here are a few dental marketing ideas from our friends at DoctorHero.com.

Get New Dental Patients With an Internet Presence

The first step in trying to get more new dental patients is ensuring that your practice has a prominent Internet presence. The easiest way to establish a strong presence online is by getting your dental office listed in a prominent dentist directory like Findmydentist.com (more on dentist directories later). But a dentist directory isn’t enough – although it is a great start. What your practice needs is a home on the Internet – a dental website optimized with patient conversions in mind.

The next step is to bring on an expert Internet dental marketing consultant to handle your website’s search engine optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO) is really just a fancy way of explaining the process of getting more patients to your website. It’s important not to overlook this step as many dentists are of the idea that just because you have a website that patients will somehow find your website. That couldn’t be farther from the truth as patients very rarely click on the second page of search results when searching for a dentist. And with there being so much competition for being on page one, it’s more important than ever to hire a professional who can bring your website the visibility it needs to bring in new patients.

Dentist Directory

One of the easiest ways to get instant online visibility is to join online business directories. A listing in our dentist directory acts like a website in itself with a practice description, contact information including website, address, and a contact form, Google map, and most important of all, patient reviews.

Dental Mailers

Direct mail may be old school, but it still works. However, it is a rather expensive patient acquisition strategy as some dentists are spending well over $500 per new patient. But if you are just starting a new practice or have implemented all other dental marketing strategies and are hungry for more patients, then dental mailers are recommended. Learn more about dental mailers here.

Patient Referral Program

Another great way to bring new patients in to your dental practice is by starting a patient referral program. A very simple thing you can do is put together special offers that you give to your patients so that they may pass them along to their family and friends. The offer should be more compelling than a typical dental mailer so that the prospective patient has enough incentive to come to your office.

Take-a-way

What’s important to take away from here is that there is no one solution to get new dental patients into your practice. Building a successful practice involves a number of variables, including patience, internet visibility, great customer service, referrals, mailers, and a host of other dental marketing solutions available. But truly, of all of the dental marketing solutions we have analyzed, nothing compares to the ROI that Internet marketing can offer.

If you aren’t listed in our dentist directory, then sign up here to get more online visibility. And if you are looking for search engine optimization services so you can get to page one of Google and other leading search engines, then we can help with that too.

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Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms and Stages

Alzheimer’s Disease is also known as senile dementia which is a very common condition. There are over 3,000,000 cases of Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosed in the US alone each year. Alzheimer’s cannot currently but cured, but there are many ways that treatment can help depending on the individual case. There is currently no imaging or laboratory testing available to definitively determine if an individual is suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other similar condition. Alzheimer’s is chronic and lasts for the rest of a person’s life, typically getting progressively worse as time goes on.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition seen when the brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerate and die eventually destroying the memory and other key functions of the brain. While no cure yet exists for Alzheimer’s disease, there are a variety of therapies and medications that can help make the experience easier for the patient, their family, and their caregiver(s).

Early onset for Alzheimer’s can begin as young as around 40 years of age. Most cases, however, are diagnosed in individuals older than age 60. Alzheimer’s can be managed by offering medications such as Aricept, Razadyne, Nameand, and Exelon to name a few. The goal of these medications along with a strict, regimented schedule can help Alzheimer’s patients become comfortable with their daily life and routine as they long for familiarity and consistency. This, in turn, can help many Alzheimer’s patients retain their ability to perform daily functions as the disease progresses further.

Furthermore, physical therapy can help keep the patient in good shape so they can bounce back from any physical injuries that many happen. This does not have to be a strenuous workout by any means, but the patient should enjoy ample time to be physically active and do something they enjoy (i.e. going on a walk, dancing, playing a recreational sport [younger patients]) daily or at least several times a week (i.e. 4-5x per week minimum).

There are 7 stages of Alzheimer’s but more serious symptoms usually begin being shown in Stage 3. Doctors and professionals ideally want to diagnose people between Stages 2-3 at the latest. The earlier Alzheimer’s is diagnosed the easier it is to treat the condition to help preserve the person’s independence and daily functioning long as possible. By Stage 4 the patient will usually see additional moodiness and temperament changes, and some people often around the individual notice profound declines from the functioning the person was capable of even at Stage 3. The patient can still feed, drink, shower/bathe, and toilet by themselves independently as well as reliably.

By Stage 5 common information like one’s telephone number, address, or the high school the patient attended is hard for them to recall, if at all possible. They can become confused as to what day of the week it is, or what certain holidays or special occasions mean. The ability to choose proper attire is beginning to show itself. For example, they might want to put a nightgown on to go to the mall, or a pant suit on to go to sleep. Providing some proper guidance helps keep the person making appropriate decisions for the occasion/activity at hand. Sometimes at this stage people have to be reminded to use the toilet, shower/bathe, or get dressed, however with reminders most patients will still perform these functions fairly reliably on their own.

By Stage 6 the person loses all general recollection of their personal past, and they may not recognize even close relatives (i.e. parents, siblings, children, etc.). Eating, drinking, showering/bathing, and toileting are usually possible, but some aid is needed. For example, they may use the restroom and forget to wash their hands or not flush the toilet. They may shower and leave the water running, or forget to use soap.

Stage 7 is the ending stage of Alzheimer’s when a person tends to lose their personality and emotion. Many people at this stage are nonverbal, and others never smile or laugh anymore. Many lose control of their bowel and bladder functions. Sometimes the ability to walk and move about are also impeded. Daily hygiene requires complete and total assistance. Many experience rigid muscles, and swallowing is severely impaired. Some rare cases require feeding tubes or breathing tubes to assist in vital functions.

In the end, Alzheimer’s itself cannot kill anyone, but generally speaking results of other conditions stemming from Alzheimer’s do. It can be anything from choking to a fall or something like a cold, flu, or pneumonia that are ultimately the end of the journey for a person experiencing something generative like Alzheimer’s Disease.

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All You Need to Know About Cancer

Cancer is a disease in which cells divide in an abnormal way that destroys and kills otherwise healthy cells and tissues. It is worth noting that not all tumors are cancerous as many are what is called “benign”. These tumors do not spread or break off in other parts of the body as cancer does although they can grow in size sometimes quite rapidly. There are over 100 types of cancer that effect the human body. Cancers can infect virtually any part of the body from the brain to the liver. People can even get cancer in their blood or bones.

Cancers are caused by a wide variety of various factors. 22% of cancers are caused by tobacco.  20% are due to a previous infection such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or Human Papillomavirus (HPV). 10% are due to a combination of obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and an overconsumption of alcohol. Many cancers today can be detected by various screen procedures of that part of the body to see if that area is infected. Biopsies can confirm a cancerous tumor over a benign growth.

Survival rates of cancers are also on the rise worldwide. For patients aged 15 and under the worldwide survival rate is around 80%. For the US, the average 5-year survival rate is up to 66%. As of 2012 about 14.1 million cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide. About 8.6 million people worldwide each year as a result of cancer or its complications. Cancer accounted for about 14.2% of all the deaths in the world as of 2012.

Cancer is generally treated by providing some mix and match of chemotherapy, radiation to the infected area, or a surgical procedure to remove the tumor from the patient’s body. While there is no surefire cure for cancer there are many combinations of the aforementioned treatments as well as a few drugs that can help greatly prolong the person’s life while reducing pain, and sometimes even rid the person’s body of cancer. Not all cases are the same, however, and a cure is never a complete guarantee. In a few rare cases where it is also worth noting that factors not related to the person’s individual choices and lifestyle may contribute to cancer. Rarely scientists believe that there may be some possible genetic mutations that are responsible for people getting a cancerous tumor. It is estimated that cancer costs the healthcare systems around the world about an estimated $1.13 trillion in US dollars annually as of 2010. That cost is sure to increase further as the world becomes more populated and more countries gain access to advanced medicine that can diagnose cancer in people that have died among their population.

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