Saturday, April 16, 2011

Happy Easter Everyone

Easter is almost here with its promise of rebirth and new beginnings. Buds are appearing on the trees and change is in the air. It's the time of year to celebrate big.
Enjoy this special time of renewal with your family and friends

Have a good day, be well and take care      Sieg

a simple natural lifestyle and a chuckle a day keeps the doctor away'


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blood Test for Brain Trauma

There are days when I especially love this job -- because I have the chance to tell you something positive that can benefit all of us. And that is this -- Army doctors have made a tremendous breakthrough developing a simple blood test that can detect mild brain injury and concussion. This has been a dream of our armed forces doctors -- especially in recent years, as they work with such a high percentage of soldiers injured in bomb blasts during combat operations. If a concussion is misdiagnosed -- even a mild one -- and then a second concussion occurs soon after the first, permanent brain damage is more likely to result. And this breakthrough test is going to help anyone who might one day receive a mild concussion -- not just soldiers on a battlefield, but teen athletes, car accident victims or any of us.

A little background: Certainly a first concussion can cause brain damage, but doctors tend to worry about a second concussion as most likely to do significant harm. Until now, brain injury could be accurately detected only with X-rays, CT scans and/or MRI scans... and even then, only moderate to severe brain trauma was revealed. Mild brain injuries could easily be missed. Doctors have had to depend on a patient's medical history and neurologic exams -- from simple in-office visits to EEGs, MRIs and brain scans, to attempt a diagnosis.

But now the Army has identified unique proteins that spill into the blood when brain cells are damaged. Earlier on, scientists had assumed proteins did not cross the blood-brain barrier, but through laboratory tests on rats, Army researchers found proteins normally present only in the brain that were clearly measurable in the body afterward. Next, they found the same thing held true in humans.

A New Field of Study

Army Colonel Dallas Hack, MD, MPH, Combat Casualty Care Research Program director, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, told me that the study of proteins in the body -- called "proteinomics" -- has advanced greatly in the past decade. The search for a brain trauma protein was inspired by the momentous 1970s' discovery of a protein released into the blood by damaged cardiac tissue, which changed the way doctors identify heart disease. After years of rigorous trials, that test was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1980s, became available to the whole medical field -- and is now run routinely to diagnose cardiac injury.

To win FDA approval for the new brain trauma blood test, the Army will have to conduct three successive phases of testing on humans. Phase I was concluded in early 2010, and Phase II in late 2010. Phase III will take another 18 months and will include about 1,200 subjects at civilian trauma centers around the country.

Dr. Hack told me that the new blood test for the brain trauma protein is "very accurate, very sensitive and very specific." Tests for other biomarker proteins have been discovered that may be able to screen for subacute and chronic brain injury and will enable military doctors to make early diagnoses and monitor brain injury over time. Dr. Hack eventually wants to see test results sent directly from the lab to the battlefield.

This Will Change the Whole Field

It isn't hard to imagine the tremendous effect this test may have on civilian health, too. In fact, we don't have to just imagine -- Dr. Hack's team is already working with the National Football League to define requirements for concussion screenings in its players. School athletes will also benefit tremendously from such a clear-cut diagnosis. All too often symptoms such as dizziness, headache and disorientation are downplayed by athletes who risk serious injury when they continue playing. The test will be equally useful for people who have been in vehicle accidents... children who bang their heads on playgrounds... elders who fall... and even people who simply have persistent, unexplained headaches, which can be a symptom of a mild blow to the head -- one that actually is a concussion -- that someone might not even remember sustaining. And finally, there will be safety measures that can be taken, whether it's giving someone on the bomb squad a desk job, taking a soldier out of combat -- or an athlete off the field.

So there you go: A piece of good news for all of us that is, in fact, a game changer.

Army Colonel Dallas Hack, MD, MPH, director, Combat Casualty Care Research Program, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland.

Have a good day, be well and take care

a simple natural lifestyle and a chuckle a day keeps the doctor away'

- additional interactive resources are at our Back to Eden site-

Monday, April 11, 2011

wind -positve

Manitoba wind farm comes online

ST. JOSEPH, Manitoba (UPI) -- Manitoba's largest energy wind farm has been completed and is in operation to deliver enough energy for 50,000 homes in the province, officials said.

Located in southern Manitoba community of St. Joseph, the facility is capable of generating 138 megawatts of power, a release by Pattern Energy, builder of the project, said Tuesday.

Manitoba Minister of Innovation, Energy and Mines, David Chomiak spoke at the opening ceremony to mark the start of operations.

"This wind farm is one of the largest in the country and will produce enough energy to power 50,000 homes," Chomiak said. "It showcases our province's dedication to creating renewable energy and continuing to build Manitoba Hydro. This project has also provided a solid boost to the local economy creating new opportunities and jobs."

The first group of turbines in the project was set in motion by Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger in January. Now fully operational, the wind farm will contribute to a regional reduction of more than 350,000 tons of greenhouse gases, Pattern said.

Pattern Energy will pay an estimated $38 million to landholders and an additional $44 million in local municipal taxes over the life of the project.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

Sunday, April 10, 2011

good thinking

How to Overcome Life's Disappointments

Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

Most of us must face the disappointment of not having all of our dreams come true. The fact that we experience failure does not make us failures -- although the way in which we respond to our failures could do exactly that. Here's what to do when you have trouble getting past life's disappointments...

Remember for whom you are working -- you. The promotion you had hoped for went to someone else... your family doesn't appreciate the many things you do for them. It is natural to feel disappointment when things like this occur, but our mistake is to rely on others for validation. We should work hard because to do any less would be letting ourselves down. We should work hard for the sake of our own sense of integrity and knowing we have done our best.

Understand that those who have never been disappointed are the real failures. People who achieve everything they set out to achieve in life obviously have set their bars too low. We achieve more if we aim high -- though this also means that we will be disappointed more often, because lofty goals are difficult to reach. Understand that disappointments are inevitable when we strive for greatness, and consider your life successful if you accomplish just a fraction of your goals.

Escape the isolation of disappointment. We feel alone when we lose a loved one... suffer a life-threatening illness... or experience a major financial setback. Our loneliness then drives us further into despair. Example: My wife and I saw only happy families around us when one of our children was seriously ill. Not until after our child had died did we discover that other families we knew had gone through similar ordeals.

A tragedy does not separate us from everyone else. Sharing our grief brings us closer to the brotherhood of the afflicted, a huge club consisting of everyone who has ever endured pain or inequity. Our misfortune even makes us qualified to help other grieving people. Assisting others can get us past the sense of helplessness that often comes with major disappointments.

Keep disappointments in perspective. Try to remember what was worrying you two weeks ago. Many people cannot. Most disappointments are less consequential than we feel they are at the time. Psychiatrist George Vaillant, MD, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which followed 800 men for five decades, found that it is not the bad things that happen to us that stay with us in life -- it is the good people we meet along the way. People who handle misfortune best are the ones who focus not on what happened to them but on all the people who rallied around them when it happened.

Fashion a new dream. There's no reason that you have to let the failure of one dream stop you from dreaming -- and trying. The experience you have gained can help you create a new, more realistic and achievable dream. Example: When Al Gore lost the presidential election, he recast his dream. He moved from politics to environmentalism, producing a highly acclaimed documentary on global warming called An Inconvenient Truth. His success and impact have been tremendous since his "failure."

Get angry with God. Some people consider it wrong to get angry with God. I believe that if we cannot get angry with God, then we have a constrained, artificial relationship with God.

When the world disappoints you, go ahead and blame God. Vent your anger, and bemoan the inequity. Voicing unhappiness with life's disappointments brings you closer to moving beyond them. God does not mind. He will continue to stand by you no matter how angry you become. God understands that you really are getting mad at your misfortune, not at Him.


The friends, coworkers and loved ones on whom we rely sometimes will disappoint us. Two ways to forgive them...

Don't focus on the mistake. Before ending a relationship based on a single failure -- however great -- consider this person in full. Think about who he/she has been in the past and who he can become in the future. Example: A husband cheats on his wife. The wife might choose to end the relationship, but she also might choose to view this as a single error from a loving but flawed partner.

Consider forgiveness a favor that you do for yourself. People often believe that if they forgive those who have wronged them, the transgressors "get away with" the misdeeds. But forgiveness benefits you more than the transgressor. Offering forgiveness removes a heavy burden that you have been carrying around. It cleanses your soul and eases your pain. The sooner you forgive, the sooner you can move on from your disappointment

Have a good day, be well and take care
a simple natural lifestyle and a chuckle a day keeps the doctor away'

- additional interactive resources are at our Back to Eden site-

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Take the pressure off Care system -more alternative resources needed

Report says more midwives needed worldwide

LONDON (UPI) -- A global shortage of midwives means one in three womenworldwide gives birth without the benefit of expert help, a report bya U.K. charity says.

Save the Children says more than 1 million babies could be savedannually if the shortage of trained midwives, estimated at 350,000,was eliminated, the BBC reported Friday.

Launching a campaign for more midwives, the charity said having experthelp during delivery could save both mothers and babies from easilypreventable birth complications.

"It doesn't have to be complicated: Someone who knows how to dry ababy properly and rub its back to help it breathe can make thedifference between life and death," said Justin Forsyth, chiefexecutive of Save the Children. "No child is born to die."

Women in the poorest countries suffered the most from lack of experthelp at delivery, the charity said, and were much more likely to losetheir baby or be at risk of death themselves during childbirth.


Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Raising the debate level from the taxpayers

Dear Supporter:

CTV, Global TV, and CBC are hosting the federal leaders' debate scheduled for Tuesday, April 12th and are inviting questions from the public. It's important they hear from taxpayers. Can you take a minute right now and send in a question or two? Here are some suggested topics:

1. Taxpayers pay $84.4-million a day on federal debt interest. Do you think this is a good use of tax dollars, and if not, why is there not more urgency around balancing the budget and paying down debt?

2. Will you commit to no tax increases during your term as prime minister?

3. Will you commit to not increasing your MP compensation in the next term or at least until the budget is balanced?

4. Will you commit to making the auditor general's audit public on how Parliament spends half-a-billion tax dollars when it comes out later this year?

5. The federal government hands out billions in direct subsidies and loans to business in Canada. Instead of high business taxes, why not lower them for everybody and end subsides for select businesses and industries?

6. Employment in the civil service has grown by 3,700 bureaucrats since 2005, a 13% increase. Do you think this is responsible or sustainable given the deficit?

7. What plan do you have to address the costs associated with an aging population whereby fewer taxpayers support higher costs associated with social security and health care?

8. The tax-funded compensation of all elected officials in Canada is subject to public disclosure except elected officials on native reserves. Will you support a law requiring the compensation of reserve politicians be posted online?

9. MP Pensions are wildly out-of-line with public expectations. For every $1 contributed by an MP, taxpayers contribute $4. Is that reasonable? Don't you think it's time to reform pensions to a dollar-for-dollar arrangement as many provincial legislatures have done?

10. Senator Raymond Lavigne recently quit his job in order to hold onto his pension after being convicted of fraud and breach of trust. If elected, would you put in place the necessary reforms so that convicted fraudsters such as Lavigne would not get access to the taxpayer-funded portion of their pension?

Questions posed in your own words will have a better chance of being considered. Submission deadline is this Thursday, April 7th. Please e-mail questions to, and be sure to include your name, address, and daytime telephone number.

Thanks for all you do,