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Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 27, 2015

My sister’s friends seemed to have stopped visiting as often as they were before she developed Alzheimer’s. Should I take the initiative and take my sister to visit them? It is not uncommon for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia to experience social isolation because of withdrawal from friends and other important people in their lives. Well-meaning… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 27, 2015

What can you tell me about multiple myeloma? Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood that specifically affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight off disease. If a plasma cell becomes abnormal and begins to replicate, it becomes a myeloma cell. When these myeloma… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, April 27, 2015

WHAT: Meeting of HopeKeepers of Baton Rouge, a support group for those affected by chronic illness or pain, mental or physical WHEN: 11 a.m. to noon, Saturday May 2 WHERE: St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 12663 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge INFORMATION: Jan at (225) 337-1633 or… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 20, 2015

My father is in end-stage Alzheimer’s and we would like to start the process to donate his brain for pathology studies. How do we get started in Louisiana? According to some Gallup studies, as much as 96 percent of Americans support organ and tissue donation, but do not understand the process. There is no brain… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 20, 2015

What can you tell me about kidney cancer? Kidney cancer forms in the tiny tubes inside of the kidneys. These tubes, when functioning properly, filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. While there are different types of kidney cancer, around 85 percent of cases are renal cell carcinomas. Symptoms… Continue reading →

LSU AgCenter Garden News: Henna coleus named Louisiana Super Plant

Photo by ALLEN OWINGS  Henna coleus, a Louisiana Super Plant for this spring, has leaves in shades of gold and chartreuse brushed with burgundy.

Coleuses are generating a lot of interest these days. The National Gardening Bureau has declared 2015 as the Year of the Coleus, and the LSU AgCenter has named the Henna coleus a Louisiana Super Plant for this spring. Henna has been a proven performer in trials at the Hammond Research Station and at the LSU AgCenter… Continue reading →

Asthma kills 9 in U.S. every day: Louisiana teen’s death drives mother to organize walk for awareness

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Dianne Stallings holds a photograph of her late son, Marvin Stallings Jr., who died from an asthma attack in 2013. Since his death, Dianne Stallings has started TUFF, Turn Up For Fat, Marvin Jr.'s nickname, to raise awareness about the condition.

Marvin Stallings Jr. struggled with asthma all his life. It prevented “Fat” — his nickname after weighing 9 pounds at birth — from playing football, and he carried his inhaler everywhere. But his family never thought an asthma attack would be fatal. “This particular time he was fine,” said his mother, Dianne… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 13, 2015

How does hospitalization affect someone with Alzheimer’s disease? Any change from a familiar and/or structured environment can cause added stress in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Hospitalization can exacerbate the disease, in that it causes more anxiety, confusion and disorientation. A 2012 study in the online issue of Annals of Internal Medicine stated that hospitalization… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 13, 2015

What can you tell me about thyroid cancer? Thyroid cancer is a slow-growing cancer that is highly treatable and usually curable. Thyroid cancer occurs when a lump, or nodule, in the thyroid gland is cancerous. The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and located in the front of the neck, just above the top… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, April 13, 2015

WHAT: COPD overview WHEN: Noon Tuesday, April 14. Registration starts at 11 a.m. WHERE: Baton Rouge General Physicians-Family Health Center, second floor Conference Rooms A & B, 3801 North Blvd., Baton Rouge RESERVATIONS: Free, but reservation required by calling 1-866-220-0418 or visit Deadline to register is April 13. DETAILS: Dr. Derek J.… Continue reading →

Istrouma collecting sports gear

A Wilson baseball glove and a Louisville slugger bat sit on the field prior to a spring training baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants on Monday, March 23, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the company that made bats for a who's who of baseball greats, including Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, announced a deal Monday to sell its Louisville Slugger brand to rival Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for $70 million. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Istrouma Sports Organization’s Baton Rouge Sports Initiative will collect new and gently used athletic equipment — such as gloves, bats, footballs, basketballs and baseballs — to give to children in disadvantaged neighborhoods of the city. From 2-6 p.m. Sunday, parents and children can attend clinics at locations around the city to play sports and get free… Continue reading →

Wings for Autism event set for Metro Airport

The Arc will hold its first Wings for Autism event on Saturday, April 11, at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. Held in partnership with ExpressJet Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration, Baton Rouge Airport and The Arc Baton Rouge, the event is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families and aviation professionals.… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, April 6, 2015

WHAT: Fest for Life, free cancer screenings and other health services provided at no cost by Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11 WHERE: Bon Carré Business Center, 7359 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge INFORMATION: DETAILS: Basic… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 6, 2015

What is causing my mom to rummage through everything in my house while she is staying with me? If she just started staying with you, then she might be looking for something familiar, something that will offer her some security and sense of comfort. Rummaging is very common in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. They… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 6, 2015

What can you tell me about esophageal cancer? Esophageal cancer is malignant cancer of the esophagus, which is the long, hollow, muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. The primary function of the esophagus is to push food down into the stomach. Esophageal cancer is caused by an overgrowth of cells in the lining… Continue reading →

Zero calories might not equal no fat: Diet soda linked to weight gain in older people

A customer selects a Diet Pepsi from a cooler at Handi Foods in Walesboro, Ind., Monday, Dec. 20, 2004.  These days the carbonated drink battleground is diet vs. regular, and it's looking increasingly as though the lightweight could flatten its full-calorie cousin.  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)       Keyword Food Health

Some recent studies question whether diet sodas sweetened with artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet and Splenda actually help keep off the weight. This month’s Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published research from a long-term study of hundreds of people 65 years old and up in San Antonio, some who drank diet soft drinks regularly. The… Continue reading →

The Emperor of All Maladies: PBS, Ken Burns examine history of cancer research in new documentary

Rainbow/Science Faction/Corbis photo by DAN MCCOY -- In this scene from  A cancer researcher labels each protein in the radio nucleotide sequence of human genes to create a unique DNA profile.

For filmmaker Ken Burns, tackling the complete story of cancer was personal. “My mom died of cancer, breast cancer, when I was 11 years old, just a few months short of my 12th birthday,” Burns said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday. “There wasn’t a moment growing up that I wasn’t aware something was wrong with… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, March 30, 2015

What is meant by the term “mixed dementia?” Mixed dementia is a term used when someone has more than one type of dementia. Most commonly, mixed dementia is the terminology used when an someone has been diagnosed with both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. However, it can also refer to a combination of Alzheimer’s disease… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, March 30, 2015

Are certain foods related to cancer in a certain way? While there might be news stories on a regular basis claiming that individual food items can cause or prevent cancer, there is not significant research on the topic. One study took 50 common food items and looked at the results of cancer studies from the… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, March 23, 2015

Why is integrating music important in the daily care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? Music has often been described as a universal language, and studies have shown that music can affect brain waves, brain circulation and stress hormones. Though there are no claims that music can cure a disease, research has shown music benefits… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, March 23, 2015

Can drinking alcohol lead to cancer? According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol consumption increases the risk for many different types of cancer including cancer of the head and neck, esophagus, colon, liver and breast cancer in women. In general, these risks increase after about one daily drink for women and two daily… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, March 23, 2015

WHAT: A women’s health care forum WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 WHERE: Southern University Law Center Moot Court Room, SU campus, Baton Rouge ADMISSION: Free and open to the public; registration required. Email DETAILS: Sponsored by Southern University Law Students for Reproductive Justice and LSU Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Speakers include… Continue reading →

Colon Club’s Colondar works to raise awareness of colorectal cancer

Photo provided by the Colon Club-- Stephen Broussard, an elementary school administrator in Iota, poses for the Colondar 2.0, a calendar/magazine devoted to educating young people about colorectal cancer.

Stephen Broussard doesn’t look like the typical colon cancer patient or calendar model for that matter. But in the Colondar 2.0 calendar/magazine out this month, the 35-year-old former athlete and Iota Elementary School administrator shows off his physique and his surgical scars along with other colon cancer survivors. Diagnosed in 2012 with stage IV colon… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, March 16, 2015

WHAT: Kidney health screening WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21 WHERE: Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 9700 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge DETAILS: Blood pressure and glucose measurements, urine testing and educational information will be available. Experts suggest getting screened if you are 18 years or older and have one or more of… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, March 16, 2015

What are some facts about hospice care? Hospice care provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease, including cancer, so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. The goal of hospice is to enable patients to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, March 16, 2015

What is meant by the term “social isolation” in Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? The individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia slowly loses his/her memory. Subtle personality changes are observed by friends and family. Depression looms. The affected individual forgets names of longtime friends and no longer feels comfortable in engaging in social situations.… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, March 9, 2015

WHAT: Diabetes Education & Awareness Group WHERE: Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Auditorium (first floor) main hospital, Baton Rouge ADMISSION: Free. No registration required. INFORMATION: (225) 765-8020 DETAILS: Registered dietician Emily Thevis, of the OLOL Diabetes & Nutrition Center, will speak… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, March 9, 2015

Is it common in Alzheimer’s disease for people (my mom) to talk to mirrors? As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you will witness many of these altered perceptions from your mom. She is losing her judgment and ability to reason. A mirror presents an unknown person to her, someone from an earlier period of her… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, March 9, 2015

What are some tips for dealing with fatigue during cancer treatment? According to the National Cancer Institute, fatigue is one of the most common side effects which will effect up to 96 percent of patients during cancer treatments. It is important to consult a doctor to make sure the cause of fatigue is cancer-related and… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, March 2, 2015

WHAT: Capital Area Human Services is seeking input from citizens, community leaders, elected officials, parents, educators, human services providers, youth and health professionals on how to prevent and treat drug and alcohol abuse in the seven-parish area served by the agency. WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 10 WHERE: CAHS Community Room, Building 2, 4615… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, March 2, 2015

How do I manage my husband’s dental care when he is so resistant about going to a dentist? The absence of good oral care can lead to gum disease, sores, difficulty in eating, oral cancer, systemic disease, including heart disease, diabetes and gastric distress. Most individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, March 2, 2015

What are ways a person can reduce their risk of colon cancer? For most people colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, particularly if they follow their doctor’s recommended screening guidelines. According to the National Cancer Institute, if found early, colon cancer is almost 90 percent curable because… Continue reading →

Testing young hearts: Student-athlete deaths have doctors urging cardiac evaluations

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Harris McKey, a Dunham High School sophomore who plays on the basketball and football teams, gets an ultrasound Wednesday at the Our Lady of the Lake Medical Plaza.

Chad Falgout’s heart pounds when he sprints down the basketball court, but the 14-year-old doesn’t pay much attention to his most important muscle. Even when he hears stories about student-athletes collapsing on the court or dying in a locker room, he never considers his heart. “You should, but I haven’t really thought about it,” said… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Feb. 23, 2015

What is meant by the term “person-centered care” when used as an amenity for a long-term care setting? Person-centered care is centered around the individual’s personal choices; developing and assessing care to make sure it is appropriate to his/her needs and involves putting the individual and his/her family at the heart of all decisions. It… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Feb. 23, 2015

What side effects can chemotherapy treatment for cancer cause? Chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells that multiply rapidly, but these drugs can also harm healthy cells, causing side effects. During chemotherapy you may have no side effects or just a few. The kinds of side effects you have depend… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Feb. 23, 2015

WHAT: 3 Lives Blood Drive WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26 WHERE: Remington College, 10551 Coursey Blvd., Baton Rouge INFORMATION: DETAILS: The blood drive is being conducted with LifeShare Blood Centers. 3 Lives blood drive is a national effort to recruit minority blood donors and help supply… Continue reading →

Giving your heart a break: American Heart Month is a great time to evaluate risks and how to avoid them

While it’s always a good time to think about your heart, February is officially American Heart Month. One out of every four deaths — about 600,000 — in the United States is related to heart disease, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. Louisiana is part of what researchers have called the “heart… Continue reading →