Archive for October, 2011

Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

Posted on: October 31st, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

Do you remember your first fishing trip? Mine was at the end of the dock at our cottage in northern Michigan. I can still see the worms glistening and wriggling in the Styrofoam cup as the sun hit them. My dad showed me how to wind them on the hook and plop the line in the person in wheelchair on a fishing pierwater. I kept my eyes glued to the bobber, ready to jerk on the bamboo pole if it dipped below the surface, signaling a fish nibble. I think I caught a sunfish about as big as my palm. I was amazed that something that small wanted to eat a slimy worm and waved to the fish when we tossed it back into the lake. I rebaited the hook and waited for something bigger to come along. I was fishing!

The CORE Health Foundation, the arm of CORE that advocates for people with disabilities and works to eliminate biases and stereotypes, wants to give people of all abilities a chance to fish. So we’re working to raise $400,000 to build a wheelchair accessible fishing pier on Lady Bird Lake (you also may know it as Town Lake) in downtown Austin, Texas. (more…)

Children and concussion

Posted on: October 18th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

By the time they’re 6, most kids have seen a concussion play out at least a dozen times. For example, Foghorn Leghorn, in one of his many tangos with Barnyard Dawg, gets whomped on the head with a plank of wood. The impact leaves him staggering with a wreath of stars and moons orbiting around his pointy crown. He sputters some gibberish, not exactly sure where he is or what or whom clocked him.

What Mr. Leghorn is experiencing is a classic concussion: temporary disorientation, transient memory loss, dizziness, and an inability to think or speak clearly.

The word concussion derives from the Latin “concutere,” which means “shake violently,” and “concussus,” or “strike together.” As it happens, these ancient words are a fairly apt description of what goes on when one suffers a concussive blow. The initial impact – whether received on the head or another part of the body – causes the brain to crash against the inner wall of the skull. This shaking disrupts the brain’s normal chemical balance and causes the brain to bruise and swell. (more…)

The art inside an injured brain

Posted on: October 10th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

Painters who have injured brains, whether through stroke, car accident, blow to the head or other injury make different art after their brains are damaged.

In one study, neurologists assessed an artist’s entire body of work – painting done both before and after her brain was injured. They reported that the paintings done after the injury showed more artistic skill, but also seemed to have less emotional impact as well as appearing unfinished.

In 2005, Swiss scientists reported on two artists whose post-injury work was decidedly different from the pre-injury art. One artist had damage in the area of the brain that helps form mental images; he began painting more abstractly. The other artist’s brain was damaged in the area that affects creativity. He began to paint more realistically and with brighter colors. While the researchers saw a striking difference in the work, the artists saw no differences. To them, all the art, both before and after their brains were injured, looked the same.

The same changes in art have been seen in people with Pick’s disease, which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease except the dementia affects mainly the frontal and temporal areas of the brain. Some people with Pick’s disease suddenly have amazing music and art talents. Brain scans of these people show damage to the left temporal lobe and reduced blood flow to the area. These scans are similar to the brain scans of autistic savants. (more…)