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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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Brain Health Center
Caregiver Stress and Depression: A Silent Health Crisis
Apr 25, 2018 By Emory Brain Health Center

With 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
Dr. Rauch, Clinical Director of Emory Healthcare Veteran's Program, talks about Veterans reintegration and mental health.
Mar 27, 2018 By Emory Brain Health Center

Most servicemembers will have some type of adjustment period after returning home from deployment. For each person the process is different depending on different variables during and after deployment. Mental health issues, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma can make that even more difficult. The Emory Veterans Program is here to help them reclaim their lives. Question: How long does it usually take to adjust to normal life again? How long should I wait to see someone if I’m still not feeling like my normal self? sheila-rauch-avatar Dr. Rauch: That is a good question. If at any time you're having issues that you feel that you need or want help with, you should come see us. Readjustment often takes a year, and for some people longer, to feel like they're really back in their life. The readjustment process is different for every individual and often depends on life's [...]

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Brain Health Center
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) Explained
Mar 26, 2018 By Christopher Deibert, MD

Severe traumatic brain injuries affect people of all ages and are a leading cause of death and disability among young adults and adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries were involved in 2.5 million emergency room visits, as well as the death of nearly 50,000 people in 2013. Motor vehicle accidents account for the majority of these injuries, but they can also result from falls and violence. Regardless of the cause, treatment is divided into three stages: early management of life-threatening conditions, prevention of secondary injury and long-term rehabilitation.

Early Management of Life-Threatening Conditions

Immediately after a trauma, paramedics identify injuries and begin treatments to stabilize a patient’s breathing and blood pressure. The patient is then rapidly transported to a trauma center that quickly diagnoses [...]

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Brain Health Center
Sleep Apnea and the Gender Difference
Mar 7, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common disorder where one’s breathing involuntarily and repeatedly starts and stops during sleep. There are three different types of sleep apnea with separate root causes:
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)– the most common form that occurs when the throat muscles relax
  • Central Sleep Apnea – occurs when the brain does not send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea – occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea can have serious health consequences including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, pregnancy complications, metabolic disorders, and cognitive and behavior disorders, and higher risks for car crashes and work-related accidents. Central sleep apnea has health consequences associated with heart failure, opioid use, [...]

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Brain Health Center
The Impact of Brain Injury on Veterans
Mar 1, 2018 By Suzanne Penna, PhD, ABPP

Nearly 20% of deployed military personnel experience traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are any brain injury caused by an outside force. These injuries can be “closed,” such as from a fall or motor vehicle accident or “open,” like from a gunshot wound. Traumatic brain injuries range broadly from mild to severe. People with mild TBI (also called concussion) often fully recover within days to weeks, while those with severe TBI may have significant and sometimes permanent impairments. Fortunately, 70 – 90% of all TBIs in military personnel fall within the “mild” range.

Symptoms of Mild TBI

Traumatic brain injury can cause physical, cognitive and emotional difficulties. Typical symptoms of mild TBI/concussion include:
  • Looking and feeling dazed
  • Being uncertain of what is happening; feeling confused
  • Having difficulty thinking clearly or responding

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Brain Health Center
Dr. Rothbaum on How PTSD Affects Veterans
Feb 7, 2018 By Emory Brain Health Center

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can result from a traumatic or life-threatening event such as military combat. Thousands of servicemembers and Veterans struggle with PTSD. Often, they resist seeking help because of negative ideas about PTSD or the fear of what others might think. PTSD can affect personal relationships and even destroy families.

Question: Can you have PTSD even though you didn’t see combat? Rothbaum_BarbaraDr. Rothbaum: Absolutely. PTSD can result from any event in which someone felt that they or someone they care about could be seriously injured or killed. Sexual assault survivors, motor vehicle crash survivors, natural disaster survivors, and many others develop PTSD. Approximately 10% of the US population at any given time has PTSD, and most of this is not from combat.   Question: What treatment options do you offer besides talking [...]

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