Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis- ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease

What Is Lou Gehrig's Disease?
Lou Gehrig's disease is a disorder that's also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (say: ah-my-uh-TRO-fik LA-tuh-rul skluh-RO-sis), or ALS. The official name comes from these Greek words:
  • "a" for without
  • "myo" for muscle
  • "trophic" for nourishment
  • "lateral" for side (of the spinal cord)
  • "sclerosis" for hardening or scarring
So, amyotrophic means that the muscles have lost their nourishment. When this happens, they become smaller and weaker. Lateral means that the disease affects the sides of the spinal cord, where the nerves that nourish the muscles are located; and sclerosis means that the diseased part of the spinal cord develops hardened or scarred tissue in place of healthy nerves.
ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease after Lou Gehrig, a hall-of-fame baseball player for the New York Yankees who was diagnosed with ALS in the 1930s. People in England and Australia call ALS motor neurone disease (MND). The French refer to it as maladie de Charcot, after the French doctor Jean-Martin Charcot, who first wrote about ALS in 1869.
Lou Gehrig's disease damages motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons are nerve cells that control muscle movement. Upper motor neurons send messages from the brain to the spinal cord, and lower motor neurons send messages from the spinal cord to the muscles. Motor neurons are an important part of the body's neuromuscular system.
The neuromuscular system enables our bodies to move and is made up of the brain, many nerves, and muscles. Things that we do every day — like breathing, walking, running, lifting stuff, and even reaching for a glass of water — are all controlled by the neuromuscular system.
Here's how the neuromuscular system works: If you want to make a fist, your brain first sends signals through upper motor neurons to the area in your spinal cord that controls your hand muscles. Then lower motor neurons in your spinal cord signal the muscles in your hand to move and make a fist.
Over time, Lou Gehrig's disease causes these motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord to shrink and disappear, so that the muscles no longer receive signals to move. As a result, the muscles become smaller and weaker. Gradually the body becomes paralyzed, which means that the muscles no longer work.
However, someone with ALS, even at an advanced stage, can still see, hear, smell, and feel touch. The nerves that carry feelings of hot, cold, pain, pressure, or even being tickled, are not affected by Lou Gehrig's disease. In some people with ALS, the parts of the brain that allow us to think, remember, and learn also are affected by the disease.

photo: http://emedicine.medscape.com


photo: http://emedicine.medscape.com


Rare Among Kids

Although this disease can strike anyone, it is extremely rare in kids. According to the ALS Association, most people who develop Lou Gehrig's disease are adults between 40 and 70. Only 2 out of every 100,000 people will get the disease each year. Because it is not contagious, you can't catch ALS from someone who has the disease.
Among ALS cases in the United States, 5% to 10% are hereditary, which means the disease runs in certain families. This is called familial (say: fuh-MEE-lee-ul) ALS. At least 90% of cases are not inherited; this is called sporadic (say: spuh-RAH-dik) ALS.

How Is the Disease Diagnosed?

Lou Gehrig's disease doesn't always begin or become worse in the same way. The disease is different for every person who has it. In general, muscle weakness, especially in the arms and legs, is an early symptom for more than half of people with ALS. Other early signs are tripping or falling a lot, dropping things, having difficulty speaking, and cramping or twitching of the muscles. As the disease gets worse over time, eating, swallowing, and even breathing may become difficult.
It may take several months to know for sure that someone has Lou Gehrig's disease. The illness can cause symptoms similar to other diseases that affect nerves and muscles, including Parkinson's disease and stroke. A doctor will examine the patient and do special tests to see if it might be one of those other disorders. (It's like using the process of elimination to figure out the answer to a multiple-choice question on a test.)
One of the tests, an electromyogram (say: eh-lek-tro-MY-uh-gram), or EMG, can show that muscles are not working because of damaged nerves. Other tests include X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a spinal tap, and blood and urine evaluations.
Sometimes a muscle or nerve biopsy is needed. A biopsy is when a doctor takes a tiny sample of tissue from the body to study under a microscope. Examining this tissue can help the doctor figure out what's making someone sick.

How Is the Disease Treated?

Currently, there's no way to prevent or cure Lou Gehrig's disease, but a number of treatments are available to people with the disease. Medicines can control symptoms, such as muscle cramping and difficulty swallowing, and other drugs can slow the development of the disease.
Physical therapy can help people with ALS cope with muscle loss and breathing problems. Special equipment is also provided when it becomes necessary. For instance, a power wheelchair can enable a paralyzed person with ALS to get around. A machine called a ventilator (say: VEN-ti-lay-ter) can help a someone breathe.
In addition, a nurse or other health assistant may come to the person's home to provide care that the family cannot handle alone. It's normal for family members to feel upset, overwhelmed, and sad if a loved one has ALS. Counseling, as well as support from other family members and friends, can make it easier to deal with the challenges they face.

Living With Lou Gehrig's Disease

According to the ALS Association, about half of all people with ALS live at least 3 years after they find out they have the disease, and 20% (or 1 in 5) live 5 years or more. As many as 10% will survive more than 10 years.
Stephen Hawking has been living with Lou Gehrig's disease for about 50 years — ever since his diagnosis at age 21. He is the most famous long-term survivor of the disease. Born in England, Hawking is a famous physicist who furthered our understanding of the universe. He has written a lot of books, including the bestseller A Brief History of Time. He has done these things despite being confined to a wheelchair for many years, being able to move only a few fingers, and needing a voice synthesizer and special computer to speak and write.
Hawking, who has a wife and three children, once said, "The prospect of a short life made me want to do more. I realized life was good, and there was a great deal I wanted to do."
Living with Lou Gehrig's disease is physically difficult, but it is reassuring to know that the mind is not affected. People with the disease can think as clearly as ever, are able to maintain relationships with friends and family, and should be treated respectfully and normally.
Communication can be difficult because the disease affects the person's breathing and the muscles needed for speech and arm movement. With patience, the families of patients with ALS can learn to communicate effectively with their loved one.
Researchers continue to study ALS as they try to understand why it happens, and how the disease damages the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. As they learn more about the disease, researchers can continue to develop new and better treatments.
Professor Hawking said, "[ALS] has not prevented me from having a very attractive family, and being successful in my work . . . I have been lucky that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case. But it shows that one need not lose hope."
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: January 2013

What Causes ALS?
Although the cause of ALS is unknown, heredity plays a role in 5% to 10% of cases. A fraction of all cases of familial ALS (that is, inherited ALS) is believed to be caused by a defective gene that prevents the body from producing a normal amount of an enzyme called superoxide dismutase. This enzyme helps neutralize free radicals -- highly reactive oxygen molecules produced during metabolism and capable of damaging body tissues. Researchers speculate that defects in protective enzymes may also account for non-inherited ALS and that environmental toxins may be a factor.
Some evidence suggests that the disease may be triggered by exposure to heavy metals, animal hides, or fertilizers, although this is by no means proven. In addition, viral infection and severe physical trauma have been implicated as possible contributors. Other theories link ALS to a phenomenon called excitotoxicity, in which the nerve cells that control movement are overstimulated by a neurotransmitter called glutamate to the point where they eventually die.

What Are the Symptoms of ALS?

In the early stages, the symptoms of ALS -- also called Lou Gehrig's disease -- include:
  • Increasing weakness in one limb, especially in a hand
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Clumsiness of the hands.
  • Fasciculations, which are subtle, light twitches under the skin
  • Impaired speech
  • Difficulty swallowing
As the ALS progresses, symptoms may include:
  • Weakening of other limbs, perhaps accompanied by twitching, muscle cramping, and exaggerated, faster reflexes
  • Problems with chewing, swallowing, and breathing; drooling may occur.
  • Eventual paralysis
credit/source: http://www.webmd.com/brain/understanding-als-basics
credit/source: http://www.webmd.com/brain/understanding-als-symptoms

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ways to use Bread Clip

 Bread Clip Power Cord Labels

creative way to use bread bag clips...
photo: lucyblogs.com

photo: pintriedit.com/

photo: Shawn Pack

Sealing in the Future of Cool  Upcycled by editions on Etsy, $9.00, http://www.etsy.com/listing/34099641/sealing-in-the-future-of-cool-upcycled?ref=sr_gallery_6_search_query=upcycled+pendant+necklace_view_type=gallery_ship_to=US_spelling_corrected=upcycled+pendany+necklace_search_type=all  Made from upcycled bread clips, this is awesome, a new way to reuse unconventional items
photo: etsy.com

A fun way to use up those bread bag clips. Paint them up into little monsters!
photo: AmandaVazqauez

To Fix Flip Flops/slippers with split holes by putting adhesive or glue on Bread clips to make it permanent.
use a bread clasp to fix.
Photo: Abigail Blake

Monday, August 18, 2014

Avoid These Common Pizza Mistakes

Avoid These Common Pizza Mistakes So You Can Make and Eat the World's Most Perfect Food photo
We’ll say it: Pizza is one of the world’s most perfect foods. But some of the things we love best about a good pie—charred crust, chewy dough, and oh! the toppings!—are the hardest to nail in our home kitchens. We spoke with Bon Appétit senior food editor Dawn Perry and assistant food editor Claire Saffitz—two women who know a thing or two about a good pie (after all, they’ve made plenty in the BA test kitchen). Here’s the good news: You can bake a pizza parlor-worthy pie at home. But first, ask yourself this: Are you making thesecommon pizza mistakes?
1. When It Comes to Salt, a Pinch Is Plenty“Without salt, flour doesn’t taste like much,” Perry explains. And since pizza dough is made from, um, flour, it’s imperative you season the dough well; most home cooks err on the side of caution when it comes to seasoning, leaving the dough as little more than a vehicle for the toppings. That’s a mistake according to Saffitz, who insists that a good pizza is all about the crust. Most store-bought doughs are also lacking in sufficient salt, says Perry, so you should just make your own. (If you do go the store-bought route, Perry likes FreshDirect’s and Trader Joe’s doughs.) Of course, keep in mind the saltiness of your toppings. You can scale back the amount of salt in your dough—though not too much—if your pizza is about to get hit with anchovies, olives, and Parmesan.
2. At Last, a Chance to Break Out My Rolling Pin!Look, no one’s saying you have to become a master pizza twirler. Only the best of the best should let that dough fly high above their heads. But we do insist on one thing: Do not roll out your dough. The bubbles take a beating under a rolling pin, leaving the finished product dense and tough. Instead, think light and gentle, andwork with your hands to pull and stretch the dough out to your desired size. Worried your pizza won’t be a perfectly round circle? Free yourself from the stress: “Your pizza can be an oval. It can be a square. It can be any shape you want it to be,” says Perry. If the dough proves impossible to work with—snapping back when stretched, for instance—it’s either been overworked or is too cold. Let it sit at room temperature for a full 15 minutes to let the gluten relax and the temperature rise before trying again.
3. But My Mom Always Used Jarred Sauce!You’re not using store-bought dough (right?), so why bust out the jarred marinara? Premade tomato sauce is too sweet—it’s loaded with sugar—and has a distinctly “store-bought” taste that’s hard to ignore. But don’t take things to the opposite extreme either: Both Saffitz and Perry advise against fresh tomatoes on pizza. Placed on the pizza post-cooking, they’re too watery for a satisfying topping, but they won’t have time to cook down properly in the oven, either. (“It’ll just be a warm tomato,” says Perry.) Instead, make a simple sauce by cooking a can of crushed tomatoes with garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Or make things even easier and make a raw sauce: The BA test kitchen likes puréeing tomatoes, garlic, basil, and anchovy in a blender before spreading on pizza.
The same goes for cheese—pre-packaged, pre-shredded cheese has a lot more in it than, well, cheese. Saffitz says the point of making a pizza at home is that you have the opportunity to use quality ingredients. Embrace the chance to get the good stuff.
4. More Is MoreThis is not the place for a meat lover’s dream pizza, or whatever other combination of 10 different sausage and cured pork products you can order at a chain restaurant. For those hefty pies to work, they need an ultra-sturdy crust and a really, really, really, really hot oven. Leave it to the pros and go simple. “You don’t need seven ingredients,” says Saffitz. Instead, choose a handful of complementary flavors and use restraint (remember, it’s all about the crust). No to black and green olives, peppers, mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, chicken wings, pepperoni, mushrooms, and broccoli. Yes to mozzarella, a simple tomato sauce, and a loose fennel sausage. A drizzle of olive oil once the pizza comes out of the oven is a very good thing.
5. It Ain’t Pizza Without a Pizza StoneThat’s not true. You don’t need to use a pizza stone. Sure, preheating the stone in a hot oven (more on that in a minute) will help achieve the crispy, just-charred crust of your dreams, but it’s not necessary. You can make pizza on a regular old baking sheet just fine. Either preheat it in the oven as you would a stone, or else rub it down with oil and build the pizza directly on the sheet; the oil will help the crust fry; it’s ultimately just another brilliant way to achieve a crunchy, charred crust.
If you are using that stone, great! But make sure to really give it some love in the oven: It should preheat for at least 45 minutes, says Saffitz. A baking tray doesn’t need as much time, but whichever one you choose to bake on, both Saffitz and Perry say fuggedaboutit when it comes to pizza peels for transferring the pizza from your cutting board to the oven. Do you have a pizza peel? Because we don’t. They’re not really commonplace in most kitchens; instead, you can build your pizza on a sheet of parchment paper, then carefully (carefully!) transfer it to your hot stone or baking sheet.
And not to harp on this whole pizza stone thing, but it must be properly taken care of after the pie is done, too. Turn the oven off and leave it there until it has cooled down completely. It’s screaming hot and dangerous to handle, and besides, an extreme temperature change—like from 500 degrees to your kitchen’s breezy 68—can cause the stone to crack and break.
6. One Shot Is All You Got
Far too many of us forget about the art of the par-bake, but it’s a handy trick that keeps crust from getting soggy. If you’re topping your pizza with something that’s moist or wet (like fresh mozzarella), you want topartially bake the crust before proceeding with the add-ons. Bake it until it’s just firm enough to stand up to the extra weight, then make your pizza pretty. Saffitz and Perry offer a genius tip for how to tell when the crust is perfectly cooked: Use tongs to carefully lift the pizza and peek underneath it—in the center of the pie, not the quicker-cooking edges. Oh, and P.S.: If it’s a thin, crispy crust you’re going for, you will definitely want to par-bake, every time.
7. Slow and Steady Wins the RaceIs your home oven as hot as the wood-fired one at your favorite pizza place? No. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it your best effort. High-heat cooking can be intimidating, so many people bump down the temperature and go for a slow bake. But 350 degrees will get you nowhere on your quest for pizza nirvana—you’ll wind up with a limp crust and overcooked toppings. Go hot and fast: Crank that oven temperature to 500, or as high as you can go without broiling, and keep your eye on the pie. Don’t be boxed in by recipes and predetermined cooking times that can be affected by altitude, weather, and a variety of other factors. “If your cheese is melty and bubbly, and your crust is golden brown, that’s when it’s done,” explains Saffitz. “Pizza is a wild animal. Give it time to do its thing,” adds Perry.
Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/common-pizza-mistakes

Friday, August 1, 2014

Everyone is my Teacher


Everyone is my teacher. Some I seek. Some I subconsciously attract.
Often, I learn simply by observing others. 

Some may be completely unaware that i'm learning from them, 
yet I bow deeply in gratitude.
by: Nature's Eye  naomispenny.blogspot.com