Help Line

Epilepsy Talk

The secret here is the numbers 211.

Go to the website: Where available, 211 allows people to give help and to get help. 

211 can also give people who live in rural areas better access to health and human service information.

Simply dial 211 from any telephone and you will reach the Information and Referral service or the United Way for your state.

The 211 center’s referral specialists question callers, access databases of resources available from private and public health and human service agencies, match the callers’ needs to available resources, and link or refer them directly to an agency or organization that can help.

Types of Referrals Offered by 211 — Provides callers with information about and referrals to social services for every-day needs and in times of crisis. For example, 211 can offer access to the following types of services:

Basic Human Needs Resources – including food and…

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Taking a Knee?


Institute of American Indian Arts (Photo compliments of Moni)

Not everyone really appreciates just how powerful the ritual of standing for the National Anthem really can be. I got a real sense of this when I was 14. My Jr. rifle team won the Wyoming-state BB-Gun finals, which earned our way to the International BB-Gun Championship in Bowling Green, Kentucky. …on July 4th. As the child of a career military officer, I was always happy to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner or to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but standing there during the final ceremonies, the whole thing took on a whole new layer of meaning for me. That time, I had my heart in my throat. That time, the whole ritual moved me nearly to tears. I loved my country so much, and at that moment, putting my hand over my heart for that beautiful song was absolutely the…

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Health gains after 65 mostly go to certain groups


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This 19th century lady doctor helped usher Indian women into medicine

via This 19th century lady doctor helped usher Indian women into medicine

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Rewiring the Brain with Cell Transplantation

Epilepsy Talk

Cell transplantation is an emerging approach for treating drug-resistant epilepsy.

Regenerative medicine such as this, is a relatively “simple” process in that stem cells are often cultured from the patient’s own tissue, then processed and transfused back into the body.

Cells used for transplant are sometimes genetically engineered to produce substances to reduce seizures, or protect neurons from damage.

For people with epilepsy, stem cell transplantation offers the prospect of someday preventing seizures.

In addition to treating multiple diseases, the ability to “guide” stem cells to develop into specific tissue types may ultimately benefit patients suffering from severe burns, traumatic injuries and congenital defects.

That being said, cell transplantation therapies for epilepsy are still in preliminary stages of development.

However, the encouraging results of animal studies suggest that this type of therapy may eventually be used to treat drug-resistant human epilepsy.

In about 50 percent to 70 percent of epilepsy…

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The Perils of Discontinuing Your Meds

Epilepsy Talk

One of the most common questions is “when can I stop taking my meds?”

Especially for those whose seizures have been under good control.

It makes sense. Because if you’re doing well, you start to wonder “why do I need these meds anymore”?

This review is organized around four issues: Does the duration of seizure-freedom influence the risk of recurrence?

Should the epilepsy syndrome influence the decision to stop or continue AEDs?

If daily AEDs are stopped, could intractable epilepsy ensue?

And what’s the risk that someone discontinuing AEDs will die during a recurrence?

Some of the reasons for stopping daily meds include concerns about side-effects…a feeling of well-being…relief from the chore of remembering daily medication…and freedom from the staggering financial burdens.

Most important of all is, an improved quality of life.

Others are seizure-free but choose to continue medication.

They’re happy with stability, concerned about the impact of another…

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Epilepsy and Melatonin – Yes? No? Or Maybe So?

Epilepsy Talk

Most of us are familiar with melatonin and it’s purpose: To help you sleep. Or at least to help you get to sleep. In fact, melatonin is one of the most commonly used supplements in the United States. (Lots of sleepless people out there!)

Scientifically speaking, melatonin is a hormone synthesized from serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. It’s secreted from the pineal gland (a pea-sized gland, near the center of your brain) over an exact 24-hour cycle.

This cycle is an important part of our circadian rhythm, the system that regulates numerous body functions over a twenty-four hour cycle, the most obvious of which is the sleep / wake cycle.

Around bedtime, melatonin rises, so you feel sleepy. Then the secretion of melatonin falls during the night, and by morning, levels are low.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

But we haven’t introduced the epilepsy wild card. That’s where the yes…no…and…

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