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Brain Health Center
Using Virtual Reality as Therapy for PTSD
Jun 17, 2019 By Emory Brain Health Center

virtual reality exposure therapy for ptsdJune is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month and Emory Healthcare Veterans Program would like to share how it uses Prolonged Exposure therapy and Virtual Reality Exposure therapy to heal invisible wounds. Our highly skilled team of professionals is led by world-renowned Emory clinical psychologist Barbara Rothbaum, Ph.D., who has been working in the PTSD field since 1986 and pioneered Virtual Reality Exposure therapy as a treatment for PTSD in veterans and service members. In exposure therapy, we help people confront reminders of the traumatic event, but in a therapeutic manner so that their distress decreases.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

There are many approaches to treating PTSD, and after several decades of research, our program has determined Prolonged Exposure therapy to be the most successful in healing invisible wounds. This process treats PTSD by asking [...]

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Brain Health Center
Dementia Resources We Trust
Jun 14, 2019 By Emory Brain Health Center

Dementia patient and physicianAt Emory’s Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC), we often field questions from family members and caregivers who've been doing their own research. While we encourage you to educate yourself, it can be difficult to separate facts from theories and to make sure your resources are reputable. We've set out to provide a list of reliable and trustworthy resources. This isn't intended to be an all-encompassing list, but these are almost always our first recommendations.

Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer's Association offers information about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, including Lewy Body and Vascular dementias. You'll find information on everything from legislation related to dementia and Alzheimer's disease to local resources, such as caregiver training and support groups, programs such as SafeReturn®, and stage-specific information. View Alzheimer's

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Brain Health Center
Marijuana: Is it Safe for Adolescents?
Apr 29, 2019 By Emory Brain Health Center

medical marijuanaThere is no doubt that marijuana holds a special place in American pop culture. It frequently appears in Billboard chart-topping songs, in high-profile celebrity Instagram posts, and is even celebrated in yearly festivals. In fact, the movement to legalize marijuana has largely been driven by the public. California was the first to decriminalize marijuana use for medical purposes, followed by Oregon, Alaska and Washington in the late 1990s. The next 20 years witnessed rapid changes in the marijuana legal landscape. Nowadays, legal marijuana is a booming industry estimated to be worth over 10 billion dollars. Marijuana’s active ingredients are a class of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes a sensation of euphoria or [...]

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Brain Health Center
Getting Help for Substance Use in Your 20s
Apr 26, 2019 By Emory Brain Health Center

young adults and alcoholIt’s Friday night, and everyone in the dorm is getting ready to go out. Your roommates are pregaming before heading out to the bar. They hand the liquor bottle to you. As the night goes on, you keep getting more and more drinks. The next thing you remember you are waking up in the dorm hallway. This is the fourth time you blacked out this month. At brunch, your friends joke about you being a “lightweight,” and nobody seems bothered by your binge drinking. However, you know something is not right. Young adults are at particularly high risk for using substances in dangerous ways. More than one-third of college students have engaged in binge drinking (five or more drinks on one occasion) just in the past month. In addition, nearly 1 in 7 U.S. young adults qualifies as having a substance use disorder. Drinking may be viewed as a natural phase of their lives. However, the [...]

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Brain Health Center
Caregiver Stress and Depression: A Silent Health Crisis
Apr 25, 2019 By Emory Brain Health Center

Caregiver StressWith April comes warmer weather and sunnier days, but there also comes a time to shine a light on one of America's biggest issues: stress. April marks National Stress Awareness Month, and as our society becomes more fast-paced, it's important to step back and take a deep breath.

Stress management has become the focal point for many health and wellness professionals. From meditation, frequent exercise and a good night's rest, most of us know how to handle the stressors of daily life. Knowing how to handle stress can be helpful in maintaining overall well-being.

Caregiving, while rewarding in many ways, also brings significant stress, especially when the care receiver has a dementia diagnosis.  Many lives have been changed by transitioning into a new caregiver role. Within the United States, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that dementia affects around 5 million people, a

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Brain Health Center
When Your Young Adult is Using Drugs
Apr 24, 2019 By Emory Brain Health Center

Substance use treatment for young adultsSusan counts the pills in her oxycodone bottle again. It confirms her suspicion. She’s been running out faster than before, even though she is taking them precisely how her doctor instructed. Susan has noticed that her 19-year-old son has been using the master bathroom instead of the one next to his room. He becomes furious when she asks if he knows anything about the missing pills. A few days later, Susan finds a bag of unknown medications in his coat pocket. When asked, he says they are for some allergies he recently developed. Susan can tell he isn’t being truthful. She has read about the opioid crisis. The thought that her son might be caught up in it is deeply distressing. What can she do? Every year, thousands of parents are concerned about their child’s substance use. Young adults are at particularly high risk for using substances in dangerous and potentially lethal [...]

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Brain Health Center
How Emory Epilepsy Center Helped a Young Athlete Take Control of His Life
Nov 28, 2018 By Emory Brain Health Center

At 17 years old, Terna Ityokumbul was like most high school students: consumed with friends, graduation and the future. Terna was an athlete all his life, and from a young age, he had a dream to play college football. As he continued to pursue this dream into his senior year of high school, he had a chance to make that dream a reality, receiving offers to play college football from multiple schools. However, there was one thing stopping him: his history of epileptic seizures. Terna suffered from what he calls "absence spells" in which he would lose awareness for about a minute. These were found to be focal seizures with a change in awareness. While these never affected his day-to-day life, for the first time, he realized his recent diagnosis of epilepsy could limit his future. Despite these focal seizures, Terna was still able to play football. His episodes were infrequent, and [...]

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Brain Health Center
Epilepsy Surgery: Advancing Care with More Options
Nov 6, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

Advancing Epilepsy Care with More Options, Better Outcomes 

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, with 1 in 26 people diagnosed with epilepsy in their lifetime. Fortunately, patients today have more treatments options that deliver better outcomes than ever before. From new medications to less-invasive approaches to surgery, there are many options to discuss with your doctor. Many patients whose seizures aren’t controlled with medication are greatly benefiting from the latest advances in surgical treatments.

Get the Facts About Epilepsy Surgery Options

Epilepsy surgery is generally only considered an option after you have tried at least two anti-seizure medications and have not been able to gain control of your seizures. Your medical team will work closely with you to navigate the path through medicine and other treatment options [...]

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Brain Health Center
How to Support Veterans with PTSD During 4th of July
Jul 3, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

With summer here and the 4th of July around the corner, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program would like to remind you that fireworks can cause discomfort for our combat Veterans. Good times for you can be agonizing for them, so please be mindful, courteous, and take the time to educate yourself and your family about PTSD.   1. Learn: There are many resources available to learn about PTSD. Emory Healthcare Veterans Program would be happy to send one of our Veteran Outreach Coordinators to educate your organization about PTSD. If you are interested in this opportunity please contact us at 1-888-514-5345. 2. Be Aware: Find out if any of your neighbors are combat Veterans. If they are, inform them that you will be celebrating with fireworks so that they will not be surprised and can prepare themselves. They do not wish to ruin your fun, but providing a warning allows [...]

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Brain Health Center
Your Stroke Questions Answered by Dr. Fadi Nahab
May 29, 2018 By Emory Brain Health Center

During May, Emory Healthcare likes to promote awareness and education about National Stroke Month. Below are the most common stroke questions answered by Fadi Nahab, MD.

Your Stroke Questions Answered

Q: How does someone know when they are having a stroke? A: Strokes come on suddenly, and there are specific symptoms that show you are having a stroke. Know the acronym FAST:
  • Facial asymmetry – droop. If you are smiling, and one side is not rising.
  • Arms – If you put both arms in front of you, and one arm does not come up or one side is drifting down
  • Slurred speech – trouble getting your words out
  • Time- time to call 911
These three symptoms are present in 75% of strokes. Other symptoms include the worst headache of your life, trouble seeing (in one or both eyes), and confusion. Q: If you have one of the symptoms, can that vary the type of stroke you will [...]

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