Tag Archives: ALS

Paraphrase Neurologic ALS

7 Dec

Anatomy 041I can’t remember if I once knew this skill and got out of practice and subsequently forgot, or if I never knew in the first place.  Paraphrasing.  It’s hard.  I feel like there should be some trick.  Or at least helpful tips or hints.  But if I knew them before, I sure don’t now.

It’s a scary thing too, because one honest citation/referencing mistake and it could be expulsion.  It makes me afraid.  And makes me think my blog teaches me bad habits.  I definitely plargarize on my blog ALL the time.  I figure people (like myself) put things on the internet knowing anyone and everyone can use them.  And certainly, some unscrupulous person could just copy and paste words from the web into their assignment.  Which I regularly use pics, without citing them, but I would never copy anything for a grade.  Or an essay.  Or for publication or anything like that.  Mostly, my blogging plagiarism stems from laziness.

Which is not the case for school.  Any plagiarized material is pure ignorance.  Or having to write a Fur Ball 2012 063paper with a partner who does not use reputable cites or know how to cite anything correctly.  Anyway, so that’s the story of why I can sleep as of late.  I’m lying awake wondering just how seriously my anatomy professor is going to take the (probable, inevitable) plagiarism in our paper. . .

But it’s too late now.  I ran out of time, had to focus on the exam in my other class where I was suddenly sitting on the A-B borderline (98% on that exam, PS) so the paper had to be turned it.  Finished to my standards or not.  So why fret?  I guess what’s done is done, so I just have to hope everything turns out.  But here’s some of the old preliminary work I had been doing.


-Kawai et al. (2003) decribes ALS as idiopathic progressive disease that affects both upper and lower motor neurons.  They go on to describe that the degradation of motor neurons stemming from the medulla, pons, and spinal cord can result in a wide variety of symptoms such as decreased muscle strength and muscle atrophy as well as bulbar palsy.


– Kasarskis et al., 1996, explains atrophy of motor neurons in the ventral gray matter of the spinal cord and motor cortex is what causes the symptoms evident in muscle impairment.


-Amazingly, as some motor neurons are degenerating, the remaining, yet-uncompromised motor neurons attempt to reinnervate the atrophied muscle fibers as described by Kasarskis et al., 1996.  This repair is successful at first, as the previously degenerated muscles do regain their previous normal size.  However, this mechanism is exhausted as the rate of motor neuron death exceeds potential of surviving motor neurons available to reinnervate their degenerated counterparts.

Mom's Camera day 2 071-According to Kawai et al. (2003), balbar palsy is the primary feature of dysphagia in ALS patients and it is caused by degeneration of the motor nuclei in cranial nerves IX, X, and XII.

-In their dietary study of ALS patients, Kasarskis et al., 1996 showed mineral levels in the blood were uncompromised, except for Calcium.  The data showed there was a significant increase in serum total Calcium in relation to death, which could be attributed to mobilization of the mineral from inactivity.

So Much So Fast–An ALS Film

11 Nov

I might make some comments on these movie notes after I’ve taken my big Language Development exam on Tuesday.


-destroys nerves then muscles

-most ppl die in 2-5 years.

-no txmt, no sx, no drug back then

-the Haywoods were well-off, beautiful, and never knew trouble

-called orphan dz

-a few thousand ppl have it, but it isn’t enough for drug co to research a txmt/cure

-Steven diagnosed with ALS @29 y.o.

-Jamie, his bro quit his job to start ALS research foundation.

-Jaime’s head is up in the clouds

-1st attempt was gene therapy–didn’t work.

-ppl with ALS have very little time.

-power wheelchair $26,000 and delivery in 5 months.

-R hand weakness was the start of dz

-Jaime and Melinda’s daughter Zoe.

-drugs, gene therapy, antibody therapy.

-mouse lab heart of program–>test drugs approved for other diseases to get them to P faster.

-interactions a real possibility.

-balance hope and reality.

-foundation is outside the norm.  Jaime claims he will find a solution faster then established sci.

-Jaime can SELL the science, but understands little about it–no bio background.

-30,000 scientists at neuroscience conference.

-P want neuroscientists to try things on ppl, not just mice/rats.

-after 9 month, Steven couldn’t lift Alex

-Motor neuron dz

-10% ALS P have genetic form that can be inherited.

-in 90 days, rodents can’t walk, in 4-5 months they die.

-P going to foreign countries/black market to obtain drugs faster.

-Jaime wants to be the center of the foundation.

-speech slurred as tongue muscles weaken.

-experiment on terminal P.

-drug of the month problem.

-some drugs have promise, bur then help little, and may hurt.

-mice expensive, hard to get, and take 6 months to try something out on.

-Dapsone–delay of onset symptoms in rats.

-sex is awkward b/c Steven needs a person helping him.

-Discovery kept secret to protect patents, profits, publishing rights.

-Putting info online makes it widely and quickly available to anyone–but isn’t peer reviewed.

-go directly for drug, skipping theoretical parts.

-1995 1st ALS drug approved, Rilutec–extends life about 3 months.

-$400,000 for 1st year, 4x that 2nd year, 4 mil.

-t588 has some promise for ALS.

-depression is a key factor

-Jaime didn’t listen–2 big donors gave 1/2 mil and he lost it.

-relatives feel they can’t be grumpy.  Ever.

-ALS P seem to love talking/driving.

-is there a correlation between attitude and dz progression?

-sphincter control of wheel chair.

-naive to start a foundation to save the forgotten.

-Melinda left Jaime after 10 years of marriage.

-As abilities reduce, expectations decrease too.

-Dr. Kavorkian helped ALS P.

-Kids, family, technology make ppl want to live.

-$45,000 every other week for foundation’s payroll.

-can only pay minimum wage ($270/wk).

-push ppl til they break for foundation work.

-the film is over 4 years.

-foundation convinced drug co to dev. things for ALS.

-eventual decision is respirator.

-July 2004 Ben gets married

-Nov 2006, Steven’s respirator accidently detached in the night and he died.

-Braingate is a technology he helped pioneer that controls computer w/thoughts.

-100,000 electrodes implanted in brain.

-P thinks about moving and it moves the computer.

-foundation is now ALS Therapy Dev Institute and is expanding its research.

Legit Journal Sources for ALS

1 Nov

Sorry about the gap, people.  And ending it with school-work.  My mofo Anatomy prof scheduled an exam on November 1 at 8AM.  Who DOES that?!  Oh, AND tacked on an entire chapter the class before the exam.  All pathologies–forcing me to cram that info into my short-term memory only to regurgitate (dysphagia pun intended) it for the exam and forget it later.  Why does academia HATE Halloween?  I hated having to study on one of the best holidays. . .  I hhave a mind to watch a horror movie tonight to make up for it.

Anyway, on with my homework:  I found three suitable (and fully available) peer-reviewed journal articles.  And boy, was I glad I had done some of the leg work over the summer.  I just took the references I had typed up into the library and looked until I found 3 live copies that were on my list.

But now, I hold pages and pages of dry and confusing info–only some of it helpful for my anatomy paper.  The hard part–other then understanding what I’m reading–is figuring out which parts to keep and which to discard.  What info is important?  This is what I need to parse out of these jargon-y research articles.

I have a hankering to highlight upon the copies.  BUT these journals were relatively hard to get my hands on and tedious to copy (and later scan into the computer) so I don’t want to mar them in any way.  Instead, I’ll try to start by typing the main points in a sort of outline form.  Then I can see all in one place what I have, and sort of shape MY paper from there.

A:  New England Journal of Medicine

1.  Contains good background info and definitions:

-progressive degeneration of both upper and lower motor nerons.

2.  Talks about how it’s difficult to diagnose and differentiate ALS from other motor neuron syndromes.

3.  Discuss possible causation


-gene mutations

-chromosomal location (bunch of letters and #) tied to Parkinsons?


–high incidence in Guam

–heavy metals


–prion dz


4.  Features of ALS:

(lots of jargon, language, tests, and sci I don’t understand)

5.  Therapy:


-ventilation considerations (*ties to resp section of anatomy)

-tx depression

-gene and stem cell therapy–>

-advances in genetics has accelerated ALS research looking for a cure.

6.  End of life issues


B:  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

1.  More specific dz defining info w/symptoms

2.  Gives info on sample for study on nutrition in ALS patients.

3.  Tells what is measured and how.

3.5 each patient kept food journal for 3 days of regular diet.

4.  Tells how energy expenditure was measured.

5.  Blood panel was taken–says what components looked at.

6.  Tells how pulmonary function evaluated

7.  Results (full of stat and jargon, but *highly related to our anatomy systems.)

8.  Discussion (still full of jargon, but less stats and puts together experiement and the results, that would be useful for our paper/presentation.


C:  Dysphagia

1.  Tells they studied early dysphagia in their experiment.

-who was in sample

-how measured


2.  Very specific methods used to study dysphagia.  (jargony and boring, but mentions a *ton of anatomy and structures relevant to us).



3.  Results (very technical, but includes good graphs and pics)

4.  Discussion

-interesting ALS stats

Tells specifically how ALS impacts swallowing.