Whole Person Recovery
Editor's Note - Sharon Rennhack:  This month edition covers Whole Person Recovery. 

In an earlier edition  of this  newsletter, the  March 2014 edition,  I  interviewed Bill Connors on  his thoughts on  Whole Person Recovery as part of aphasia rehabilitation.   This is the link to that newsletter and video. 

In this month's edition:  
- we discuss the updated elements of Whole Person Recovery, including: mindfulness; diet and exercise; sleep; spirituality; community and support. 
For information  on how we can help your recovery using Whole Person Recovery,  contact us at information@aphasiatoolbox.com   OR  schedule a free consultation with our therapists. 
Aphasiatoolbox┬«: Where Real, Aggressive   Aphasia Recovery Happens Everyday.     

 Current News and Studies on
Whole Person Recovery

  The news and studies in this month's edition focuses on the elements of  Whole Person Recovery.    

Mind-Body Connection:   
A Neural Basis For The Mind-Body Connection?
Neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh have identified the neural networks that connect the cerebral cortex to the adrenal medulla, which is responsible for the body's rapid response in stressful situations. These findings, reported in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), provide evidence for the neural basis of a mind-body connection.
A new study reports people who stick to a Mediterranean style diet have slower rates of cognitive decline, reduced conversion to Alzheimer's and improved cognitive function. 

Physical and Mental Exercise:
1.  Physical Activity Leaves Brain More Open to Change
Learning, memory, and brain repair depend on the ability of our neurons to change with experience.

2. Exercise Results in Larger Brain Size and Lowered Dementia Risk
A new study suggests regular physical activity may lead to greater hippocampal volume and could stave off dementia, especially in older people.  Source: UCLA.

3.  Exercising the Body and Brain can slow aging's cognitive decline.
Maintaining a healthy diet and following a regular regimen of physical and mental exercise can delay age-related cognitive decline, neuroscience experts said during a panel discussion 15 June at AAAS headquarters.

4.  10 Brain Exercises That Boost Memory
 Learning new things is one of the best ways to improve brain health.  We don't just lose muscle over time - our brains can atrophy, too. More specifically, your brain's cognitive reserve - its ability to withstand neurological damage due to aging and other factors without showing visible signs of slowing or memory loss - diminishes through the years.

This study in NeuroRehabilitation (2016 Apr 6;38) included one person with aphasia.   
Aphasia, a language disorder resulting from stroke, may be amenable to the benefits of MM because of the observed attention problems often underlying the language symptoms. The study notes  show: An adult with aphasia completed a five-day mindfulness training, and was assessed on measures of language, attention, and physiological measures of cortisol and heart rate variability. She completed four assessments: two baseline measures, immediately post training, and one week post training (maintenance). In terms of results: Overall, changes were observed in both psychophysiological measures (heart rate and heart rate variability) and behavioral measures (word productivity, phrase length, word generation, decreased impulsivity, and increased attention).

2.  Mindfulness can improve strategy
Meditation has migrated from Himalayan hilltops and Japanese Zendos to corporate boardrooms and corridors of power, including Google, Apple, Aetna, the Pentagon, and the U.S. House of Representatives. 
Mindfulness meditation-the practice of cultivating deliberate focused attention on the present moment-has caught on as a way to bring focus, authenticity, and intention to the practice of leadership. 

A new study reports sleep between study sessions may help people retain  learning and relearn things you have forgotten.
Conclusions:  Results of this study suggested that people who were depressed or fatalistic before their stroke, were more likely to have a second stroke than those who were more optimistic and/or spiritual.

1. Stroke Support Groups - Key to a Successful Recovery
Over and over we hear this message from survivors and caregivers. Stroke groups challenge people to get beyond their doctor-imposed, therapist-imposed, family-imposed, and self-imposed limitations. 
Community participation is of importance to people with aphasia, who are at risk of becoming socially isolated. This study investigates the content of measures of community and social participation for this population by crosswalking items to the ICF.


Bill presenting at UAB.
Bill Connors presented on: "Aphasia-Apraxia Therapy: Exploiting Neuroplasticity and Mindfulness", on August 27, 2016 at the UAB SPEECH AND HEARING SYMPOSIUM ON MEDICAL SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY.

This presentation will be offered again in Houston, TX on October 1, 2016.

This highly interactive presentation will share with SLPs innovative treatment protocols, materials and technology-based tools that enhance clinical skills and assist in the integration of existing scientific evidence and patient values into aphasia rehabilitation. The use of mindfulness techniques to mitigate aphasia stress will be introduced and practiced. The presentation format will include: lecture, discussion and active participation.

Time and Date:
Saturday, October 01, 2016  7:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Houston, TX

Fees:  $175  

L ocation for  the October 1 event:  
1333 Moursund Street
Houston, TX 77030
2nd Floor - Research Conference Center

 News on Aphasia
A new study reports adult brain cells in areas associated with memory and learning may be vulnerable to the Zika virus. These findings suggest  that risk may not be limited to fetuses of pregnant women.

2.  A Clear View of the Nervous System
A new and versatile imaging technique enables researchers to trace the trajectories of whole nerve cells and provides extensive insights into the structure of neuronal networks.

Speaking Up for Aphasia
Aphasia patients and members of Triangle Aphasia Project (TAP) did lots of communicating Wednesday at the General Assembly, where they advocated for the need for long-termtherapy and promoted new legislative policy on aphasia therapy. About TAP:  TAP, founded in 2003 by Maura Silverman, provides community support and training programs forpeople with aphasia and their families. For more information:  Email Maura Silverman: maura@aphasiaproject.org

a.  Being Responsible for Her Gift - About Singer Toni Hickman
b.  Singing in the Key of Aphasia - About Ellen Bernstein-Ellis, director of the Aphasia Treatment Program (ATP) at CSU-East Bay and the Aphasia Tones Choir
c.  Survivors Chime In - About the Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camps

Brock University researcher Richard Welland's recent study on aphasia in a courtroom context highlights the need for building understanding of communication disabilities, especially adult-onset conditions like aphasia.

6.  Making Telestroke the Norm
Telemedicine has not been widely adopted. Barriers exist, such as the initial cost of the machine. But the greater challenge is that it is not typically reimbursed by Medicare. Two politicians who are also stroke survivors, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk and Ohio Representative Joyce Beatty, are working on the
FAST (Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine) Act -- legislation to help make telemedicine the norm and not the exception.

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