3 Survival Tips For Adults Without a Drivers License

As originally seen in livingwellwithepilepsy.com

No license, no problem. Here are 3 easy ways to help you take back your independence.

Life with no driver’s license

Has epilepsy ever prevented you from doing the things you love? Or prevented you from doing the simple everyday tasks that all human beings are expected to do? It sure has for me! There were a few years that I didn’t have a drivers license. I felt helpless and confined to my home. Even worse, I was totally dependent on others to do anything that required leaving the house.  Thankfully these days there are companies that can help.


Uber has not only changed the lives of people in the tech industry, it has changed the lives for people that can’t drive and need an on-demand, reliable service. Remember those days when you called a taxi and an hour later they showed up!? Or sometimes they didn’t show up at all despite you calling 50 times! People of certain age (anyone over 30) remember those days and thank goodness they are behind us! With the Uber app, I can order my “taxi” through my phone and be connected with a driver. I can even see the drivers location on my phone. Uber is one not the only company in this industry, but being a global company it has been the best for me.

One night my flight was delayed and I arrived to Lyon, France very late. The taxi line was empty, all shuttle services were closed, and the airport was deserted. I opened my uber app and within 10 minutes a person was there to take me to my hotel. He didn’t speak English and I don’t speak French, but all I had to do was enter my hotel address in the app and it showed him where to go. Uber officially broke the language barrier and brought me safely to my hotel.

Food Shopping

Instacart is a grocery delivery service. You can search your favorites grocery stores inventory and add items to your virtual shopping cart. Once you place your order you have the ability to chat with your shopper – a live human being that is handpicking your order! You can add those last minute items you forgot (ice cream!) and provide more details on the items you are ordering, such as wanting overripe bananas. Instacart is partnered with Costco, Whole Foods, Safeway, Sprouts, Bevmo, Petco, and other local shops in your neighborhood.

My instacart story. Family Thanksgiving was moved last minute to my home. I literally had nothing to prepare a meal. There was no way I was going to push my way through a frenzy of last minute shoppers without my anxiety kicking in. I signed into Instacart and simply added everything I would need. Being a popular shopping week, there were many items that were sold out. My shopper was so patient and helpful by suggesting alternative replacements. My groceries arrived that afternoon and I pulled off my family Thanksgiving!

As originally seen in livingwellwithepilepsy.com

Genetic Study of Epilepsy Points to Potential New Therapies

As seen in http://www.sciencedaily.com

The largest study of its kind, led by international researchers including scientists at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), has discovered 11 new genes associated with epilepsy.

The research is published in today’s issue of Nature Communications. It greatly advances knowledge of the underlying biological causes of epilepsy and may inform the development of new treatments for the condition.

Researchers compared the DNA of more than 15,000 people with epilepsy to the DNA of 30,000 people without epilepsy. This has created a better understanding of genetic factors that contribute to the most common forms of this condition, and the results tripled the number of known genetic associations for epilepsy and implicated 11 new genes.

The researchers found that the majority of current anti-epileptic drugs directly target one or more of the associated genes and identified an additional 166 drugs that do the same. These drugs are promising new candidates for epilepsy therapy as they directly target the genetic basis of the disease.

“This work illustrates the power of scientists collaborating across countries and continents. Discovering these new genes for epilepsy provides important information towards novel treatments for the condition. This is another important step on the road towards curing the epilepsies,” said Gianpiero Cavalleri, Associate Professor at the RCSI Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics and Deputy Director of the FutureNeuro SFI Research Centre.

“In addition to the biological insights provided by the findings, this study will encourage researchers to develop personalized and precision therapies for patients with difficult and complex epilepsy. This will provide better seizure control and will enable improved quality of life for patients and families,” said consultant neurologist Norman Delanty, Associate Professor at RCSI, FutureNeuro and Beaumont Hospital.

“We have appreciated for some time that genetics plays an important role in epilepsy, however, until now, relatively little was known about the specific genes responsible for the most common forms of the disorder. Identifying the genes that cause epilepsy is particularly important when we consider that a third of the 65 million patients worldwide will not become seizure free using current treatment options,” said Dr Colin Doherty, National Clinical Lead for Epilepsy and a Principal Investigator at the FutureNeuro Centre.

Over 150 researchers, based across Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and North America, carried out the research. They worked together as part of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Consortium on Complex Epilepsies. The ILAE Consortium was formed by researchers in 2010, recognising that the complexity of genetic and environmental factors underlying epilepsy would require research across massive datasets, and therefore unprecedented collaboration on an international scale. Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) part-funded the study.

“Conducting a study of this size and scope is an incredible accomplishment that RCSI and FutureNeuro were delighted to help lead. We look forward to building on the results of this study and strengthening international collaborations,” said Professor Cavalleri.

“The next steps would be expanding these results in an even larger sample, which is underway, and then drilling down on specific groups of patients and the genes that influence their type of epilepsy to trial new therapies,” Professor Sam Berkovic, University of Melbourne.

As seen in http://www.sciencedaily.com

8 Most Valuable (and Brutal) Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn

As originally seen in livingwellwithepilepsy.com


Life Lessons

Life has taught me a lot–I know I’m only 23, but I’ve grown and every month I feel like I learn something new about life. I have learned a few new things since I was first diagnosed at age 10. Here are my favourite life lessons for you.

1) Acceptance

I was okay with my initial diagnosis-mainly because I didn’t know what it was, and for me, I didn’t have anything to lose. I was no where near the age of being able to drive, I didn’t drink alcohol and I was still living at home, not working and starting senior school. But as I got older, that is where the diagnosis led me to suddenly live in fear and somewhat denial. My physical and emotional well-being took a turn. It was only once I began to truly accept my life the way it is, that I was able to focus on not just living but learning to thrive despite my diagnosis. To be the change I want to see in this world.

2) You are not defined by your conditions

A friend of mine who I met at The Young Epilepsy Champions Awards in May 2016, named Scott Barclay, spoke out and quoted ‘I may have Epilepsy, but it does not have me’ and I have never heard anything so true. We are much more than the conditions we have. We are not defined by our circumstances. I may have seizures but, I am much more than a person with Epilepsy. I haven’t allowed it to stop me from getting the job I worked hard for, I don’t let it keep me indoors with the fear of having a seizure on my outings. I am who I am.

3) Don’t take anything for granted

My family member’s lives changed forever when they were told I had Epilepsy, their lives also stopped every time they got a call to say I was in an ambulance from work, or every time they heard a thud at home. I went from being a healthy young girl, sister, daughter, granddaughter, you know- to someone with an uncertain future. My life changed but I didn’t quite realise it. Now, instead, I try my best to treasure each and every moment as the gift it truly is, because you just never know. It’s hard, some days you can’t really see anything bright, but there is always something there.

4) You have to let go of your fear of the future

A BIG one for me. In order to begin living your present, you have to let go of the fear of what might come. Fear is debilitating. But why worry about something that has not happened yet, something that might not ever happen? Because it will only stop you from enjoying what is happening here and now.

5) Live Life

I may not have control over how many seizures I have had over the years, or when my next one might strike, but how I face this challenge is in my control. A colleague of mine took me aside a few days ago and told me, if you look at the limitations that Epilepsy can give you, your quality of life will suffer. She told me to focus on my abilities , my ability to smile, to laugh, to make others laugh and to work hard, my life will brighten up. Focus on what your condition has given you the opportunities of-for example, I have met hundreds of amazing individuals through my Epilepsy. I was able to create my Epilepsy support group with my friend Gurvinder, which I never could’ve done if it wasn’t for having Epilepsy myself.

6) Always maintain hope for the future

Having hope is one of the strongest things you can have. It brightens the dullest of days, and it allows you to power forward to what great things will come. Hope of a cure, of better research, of understanding, a hope of starting my own family, future holidays, our wedding day being the best day of our lives (February 24th 2019!)

7) The lesson of life purpose

We all have a life purpose , sometimes it takes a while to discover it! I found a few years ago that writing, speaking and working within health is what I am here for-for now! When we act on our talents, we notice that success comes more easily. I never knew writing was what I am here for until my first piece of poetry ever got published. I never knew Piano was my thing until I learned a song by ear. When you find your purpose you will know it-because you will LOVE what you do. You will no longer regard work as a job.

8) Everything happens for a reason

Find meaning in your challenge. I believe that there are life lessons in every circumstance joyous or otherwise. Obstacles present themselves for a reason and the experiences that these difficulties bring, allow us to evolve.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ―C. S. Lewis

As originally seen in livingwellwithepilepsy.com

Girl Scout Hopes To Educate, Calm Fears Surrounding Epilepsy

As seen in https://denver.cbslocal.com

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A teenager in Golden is calling on her personal experience with epilepsy to support other kids through the same journey. Emma Conroy created a video project to prepare them for the road ahead.

“I got a bunch of paperwork and it explained kind of what was going on, and then I had what my parents told me about my first EEG but I was five I didn’t know what they were doing,” she said.

Conroy had her first seizure at 3 years old, leading to her Epilepsy diagnosis. Now at 17 she has had at least a half a dozen EEGs.

“It stands for electroencephalogram, it monitors your brainwaves while they to the flashing light test and the hyper ventilation test,” she said.

Emma used her last visit as an opportunity to educate others, while also earning her Gold Award as a Girl Scout. She asked her parents to film the entire process, leading to a 10-minute informational video titled “EEGs made easy.”

Emma starts with how to prepare and then walks you through the test itself. Wednesday night, she debuted the project for the Epilepsy Foundation Colorado.

“One in 26 will develop epilepsy in their lifetime,“ spokesperson Chase Whisenhunt said, “Chances are you are going to be surrounded by epilepsy or someone livingwith it now or in the future.”

They are now teaming up with Emma, sharing her video with members preparing for a similar journey.

“Any chance we get to raise awareness especially in the hands of a young volunteer reaching out, taking matters into her own hands, we love the opportunity.”

Emma says it would be great to win the coveted Gold Award for her Girl Scout sash, affecting others will be far more rewarding.

“I wanted kids to not be scared of what I was scared of when I was younger it was just very important to me,” Conroy said.

To see her video, please click here.

As seen in https://denver.cbslocal.com

High Fat Ketogenic Diet Successful in Treating Disease, Adult Epilepsy, Brain Tumors, and Alzheimers

As originally seen in https://prepareforchange.net

new review published this month (August, 2018) in the Journal Brain Sciences looked at the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet to treat adult epilepsy, adult malignant glioma (brain tumors), and Alzheimer’s disease.

It was written by Tanya J. W. McDonald and Mackenzie C. Cervenka from the Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The high-fat low-carb ketogenic diet was first developed at Johns Hopkins back in the 1920s, but the authors state that the origin of the therapeutic diet dates back even further:

The ketogenic diet (KD) was formally introduced into practice in the 1920s although the origins of ketogenic medicine may date back to ancient Greece.

This high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet induces ketone body production in the liver through fat metabolism with the goal of mimicking a starvation state without depriving the body of necessary calories to sustain growth and development.

The authors describe the effects of the ketogenic diet, and then give a brief summary of some of the current variations of the diet:

The ketone bodies acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate then enter the bloodstream and are taken up by organs including the brain where they are further metabolized in mitochondria to generate energy for cells within the nervous system. The ketone body acetone, produced by spontaneous decarboxylation of acetoacetate, is rapidly eliminated through the lungs and urine.

The classic KD is typically composed of a macronutrient ratio of 4:1 (4 g of fat to every 1 g of protein plus carbohydrates combined), thus shifting the predominant caloric source from carbohydrate to fat.

Lower ratios of 3:1, 2:1, or 1:1 (referred to as a modified ketogenic diet) can be used depending on age, individual tolerability, level of ketosis and protein requirements.

To increase flexibility and palatability, more ‘relaxed’ variants have been developed, including the modified Atkins diet (MAD), the low glycemic index treatment (LGIT) and the ketogenic diet combined with medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT).

Introduced in 2003, the MAD typically employs a net 10–20 g/day carbohydrate limit which is roughly equivalent to a ratio of 1–2:1 of fat to protein plus carbohydrates.

The LGIT recommends 40–60 g daily of carbohydrates with the selection of foods with glycemic indices <50 and ~60% of dietary energy derived from fat and 20–30% from protein.

The MCT variant KD uses medium-chain fatty acids provided in coconut and/or palm kernel oil as a diet supplement and allows for greater carbohydrate and protein intake than even a lower-ratio classic KD, which can improve compliance.

They then state the purpose of their review, which is titled “The Expanding Role of Ketogenic Diets in Adult Neurological Disorders.”

The aim of the current review is to describe the evidence, preclinical and clinical, supporting KD use in the management of adult epilepsy, adult malignant gliomas and Alzheimer’s disease.

Several randomized controlled trials support the use of KDs for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy and there is emerging evidence that these diets may also be effective in treating refractory status epilepticus, malignant glioma and Alzheimer’s disease in adults.

The review is impressive, with 130 footnotes referencing peer-reviewed studies, some of which we have published previously here at Health Impact News.

With such impressive results from the long history of this diet that has been around at Johns Hopkins since the 1920s, why did the diet stop being utilized for so long until just recently?

The authors give one explanation:

Despite being first recognized as an effective tool in the treatment of epilepsy in the 1920s, interest in diet therapy subsequently waned following the introduction of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)…

But drugs are not always effective in treating epilepsy, and interest in the ketogenic diet was renewed in the 1990s for “drug-resistant” epilepsy.

The other reason the diet fell out of favor, as we have written about extensively over the years, was due to the demonization of saturated fats, a political decision made in the 1970s through the McGovern Report, and then adopted as official dietary policy by the USDA.

This has led to decades of promoting a low-fat diet around a failed theory of heart disease, the lipid theory, which has had disastrous results with Americans’ health.

It is good to see some researchers at Johns Hopkins giving attention to studying the ketogenic diet and summarizing the multitude of studies now published on its therapeutic effects.

Read the full study here.

Source: http://healthimpactnews.com/

As originally seen in https://prepareforchange.net