Health Calendar for April 14

WHAT: Baton Rouge Area Parkinson’s Disease Group meeting. WHEN: 1 p.m. Thursday, April 17. WHERE: Bluebonnet Regional Library, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd. INFORMATION: Call Sharilyn at (225) 933-0542 or Sally at (225) 756-2645. DETAILS: Jerry White, of Medtronic Inc., will speak on “Deep Brain Stimulation.” WHAT: A program to … Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A for April 14

Is Lewy body dementia similar to Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a general term for the global malfunction of the brain. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50-80 percent of all diagnosed cases of dementia. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include short term memory loss, problems with communication and language, abstract thinking … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A for April 14

What is vaginal cancer? Vaginal cancer is cancer of the vagina or birth canal. It is uncommon and makes up only 1-2 percent of gynecological cancers. Most vaginal cancers occur in the upper third of the vagina. The most common type of vaginal cancer is squamous carcinoma and it accounts for 85 percent of vaginal … Continue reading →

Minority cancer awareness event set

Free cancer screenings, entertainment and food are all on tap for Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s seventh annual Fest for Life, a minority cancer awareness event set for Saturday, April 12. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bon Carre Business Center, 7173 Florida Boulevard. Fest … Continue reading →

Pennington looking at natural approach to future of medicine

Future miracle drugs may be hidden in a jungle or on a mountaintop. Or they may be in your supermarket. Researchers at Baton Rouge’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center are looking at traditional fruits and vegetables for cures to some of America’s most serious diseases. Dr. Frank Greenway, who specialializes in obesity research, … Continue reading →

Health Calendar for April 7

WHAT: Diabetes Education & Awareness Group. WHEN: 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8. WHERE: Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, 5000 Hennessy Blvd., first-floor auditorium. INFORMATION: (225) 765-8020. No registration required. Free. DETAILS: Registered dietitian Jill Ballard, of the OLOL Diabetes & Nutrition Center, will speak on “Eat Your Way to a Healthy … Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A for April 7

What is sundowning and how can it be managed? Sundowning is a state of increased agitation, confusion and anxiety that typically occurs in the late afternoon or evening in some individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Sundowning produces restlessness and insecurity, and the affected individual becomes more suspicious, demanding, upset and disoriented. Usually during this … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A for April 7

What is leukemia? Leukemia is a type of blood cancer. The bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells that are called leukemia cells and leukemic blast cells. Leukemia cells divide to produce copies of themselves, again and again, producing more and more leukemia cells. Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don’t … Continue reading →

Maestro develops noteworthy exercise routine for seniors

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Baton in hand, maestro David Dworkin, foreground, conducts his Conductorcise fitness workout.

Having studied at Juilliard, then performed in and conducted orchestras for almost 60 years, David Dworkin’s life has revolved around music. It still does, though Dworkin keeps trying to get others to do the revolving. And kicking. And jumping. And swinging their arms. Just about any kind of movement at all will do. … Continue reading →

Mental health conference planned this week in BR

The National Alliance on Mental Illness will hold its annual state conference April 4-5 in Baton Rouge. Conference hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, and from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5. It will be held at the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators, 5550 Florida Blvd. Visit … Continue reading →

Alzheimers Q&A for March 31

Is it worthwhile to continue taking my dad, who has Alzheimer’s, to church? Lately, he gets fidgety and loud with his talking, and I get embarrassed that he’s the cause of some congregation distraction. The Rev. Donald Koepke, director of the Center for Spirituality and Aging says, “If we don’t address the spirit, … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A for March 31

When should a cancer patient consider taking part in a clinical trial? Ultimately, only the individual can decide whether or not to take part in a clinical trial. That said, there are many reasons why cancer patients do decide to take part in clinical trials. For some, they feel that they have exhausted their options with … Continue reading →

Health Briefs for March 31

WHAT: Zumba in the Park. WHEN: 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 1 though May 22. WHERE: North Boulevard Town Square Park, downtown Baton Rouge. INFORMATION: DETAILS: The Zumba classes are for all ages, free and open to the public. Offered by the Charles W. Lamar Jr. YMCA, Zumba is a … Continue reading →

At nearly 80, Larry Cumbo still finds boxing great exercise

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Larry Cumbo turned to boxing as a workout when his high school football coaches told him not to lift weights. It's been 64 years, and he's still doing it.

When Larry Cumbo was playing football at Catholic High School in the early 1950s, his coaches thought lifting weights made athletes muscle-bound — common but erroneous wisdom of the time. So, he and a teammate started using boxing workouts to get in shape. “We started working out with the bags to get our cardio and hand-eye … Continue reading →

Health briefs for March 24

WHAT: Top 10 Tips for Dementia Caregivers program. WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. WHERE: Ory Parish Hall, First United Methodist Church, 930 North Blvd. INFORMATION: Contact Rev. Susie Thomas at, or call 225-383-4777, ext. 228. DETAILS: A question-and-answer session and refreshments will follow. WHAT: Free talk on … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A for March 24

My father’s doctor keeps mentioning tumor markers. What are they? Tumor markers are substances that can often be detected in higher-than-normal amounts in the blood, urine or body tissues of some patients with certain types of cancer. The National Cancer Institute says that “tumor markers are produced either by the tumor itself or by the body … Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A for March 24

How do I obtain a power of attorney to represent my dad, who has Alzheimer’s? A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease does not mean that a person no longer has the capacity to make rational decisions. As long as the individual with Alzheimer’s has legal capacity — the ability to understand and appreciate the consequences of his/her … Continue reading →

Health briefs for March 17

WHAT: Baton Rouge Area Parkinson’s Disease Group meeting. WHEN: 1 p.m. Thursday, March 20. WHERE: Bluebonnet Regional Library, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd. INFORMATION: (225) 933-0542 or (225) 756-2645. DETAILS: Neila J. Donovan, an assistant professor of communication science and disorders, will speak on swallowing disorders. WHAT: Free vascular health … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A for March 17

Why do I have to have so many different doctors to treat my cancer? It’s true that the sheer number of people on a cancer patient’s healthcare team can be overwhelming at times. However, they all play an important role. Medical oncologist: May give chemotherapy or other drugs and works with … Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A for March 17

What are the stages of Alzheimer’s disease? An individual’s abilities and capabilities change during the course of the disease. Alzheimer’s symptoms vary, and the disease attacks each individual very uniquely. A seven-stage framework was developed by Dr. Barry Reisberg, clinical director of the New York University School of Medicine’s Silberstein Aging and Dementia Research … Continue reading →

Pro mountain bike racer changes gears to extend his career

Photo by Todd Weselake of Raven Eye Photography  --  Jason Sager races in the 2012 BC Bike Race, a seven-day stage race in British Columbia. Sager, a Baton Rouge native, excels in the toughest mountain bike races in the world.

Jason Sager’s first mountain bike race was kind of a disaster. Sager, then an LSU student, took off from a “standstill to a maximum effort” like everyone else lined up for the start. “And 10 minutes later there I was, hunched over my bike, dry-heaving in the woods,” said Sager. “I knew nothing about pacing … Continue reading →

Health Calendar

WHAT: Fill-A-Prescription for the Needy fundraising campaign. WHEN: Now through April 7. WHERE: 250 bins are at 214 various area locations, including Albertons, Winn Dixie, Fred’s Pharmacy and Rite Aid. For the entire list of locations, visit DETAILS: Campaign to raise money for prescription medication for Baton Rouge’s St. Vincent de Paul Community … Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A

What is the first thing an individual should do when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is life-changing for both diagnosed individuals and their families. The individual who has just been diagnosed should ask his/her physician to explain clearly the specific diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, the stage of the disease and … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A

I am thinking about getting tested to evaluate my genetic risk for colon cancer. What should I know? Genetic testing looks for alterations of inherited genes that might increase your cancer risk and requires no more than a blood sample. There are several things to ask yourself when considering genetic testing. … Continue reading →

Healthy eating offered during National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month and to make sure you’re eating right, the Y is offering nutritional classes providing information on making informative food choices and developing sound eating habits. Classes will be provided on: 5:30 p.m. March 12, Paula G. Manship YMCA, 8100 YMCA Plaza Drive, (225) 767-9622. … Continue reading →

Health Calendar

WHAT: The Power of the Purse luncheon fundraiser for the American Red Cross. WHEN: 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 11. WHERE: Renaissance Hotel, 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd. TICKETS/REGISTRATION: $50; register at or by calling (225) 291-4533. DETAILS: The luncheon includes an auction of bags for men and women. The program will focus on Red … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A

When should I consider being screened for colon cancer? March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, so your question is timely. According to the National Cancer Institute, screening is very important because many cancers in the treatable stage do not cause symptoms. Only when the cancer progresses do symptoms emerge. Found early, … Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A

My mom does not have much activity all day long. She sits in her favorite chair and watches television, yet shows no expression. How can I motivate her to become more active and engaged? It’s very important to keep an individual with Alzheimer’s active and engaged. A structured, purposeful day can ease anxieties and depression … Continue reading →

Down Syndrome Conference set in BR

The Down Syndrome Awareness Group of Baton Rouge will hold its inaugural Down Syndrome Conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the Renaissance Hotel, 7700 Bluebonnet Blvd. in Baton Rouge. Craig Blackburn, national self-advocate and motivational speaker from the Down Syndrome Association of Greater New Orleans, will speak at the evening welcome reception … Continue reading →

Pennington to conduct new physical activity study

Pennington Biomedical Research Center is conducting a new clinical trial to compare the effects of physical activity and lifestyle changes on energy balance and how these changes may impact an individual’s body composition. This study, called E-MECHANIC: Examination of Mechanisms of Exercise-Induced Weight Compensation, is open to adults age 18-65 who are not in a structured … Continue reading →

Woman’s Hospital Foundation gets $10,000 grant

Woman’s Hospital Foundation has received a $10,000 grant for its Human Donor Milk Program from the William Edwin Montan Charitable Trust. Woman’s began its Human Donor Milk Program in 2011 to accept human donor milk from two licensed human milk banks, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas and Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin. … Continue reading →

Health Calendar

WHAT: A free botanicals education program, “Backyard Remedies,” on how plants from Louisiana help maintain health. WHEN: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday. WHERE: The Botanical Research Center at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road. REGISTRATION: DETAILS: Doors open at 5 p.m. for free blood pressure screenings and exhibit viewing. Programs are: … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A

Is palliative care the same as hospice? No, palliative care is not the same as hospice, although this type of care is usually incorporated into hospice. Palliative care is therapy that focuses on managing pain and symptoms that often accompany a diagnosis of a chronic illness, such as cancer. … Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A

What can I do to prevent developing Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s is the only disease of the top 10 diseases that has no cause, prevention or cure. Currently, no medications or treatments are known to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but studies are being done to explore the possibilities. Scientists have found … Continue reading →

Keep that heart happy

February is American Heart Month, so here’s five tips from the YMCA of the Capital Area to keep you and your family heart healthy: 1 Get physical: Being physically active every day is fun and can improve the function of your heart. Plan and schedule opportunities for active play. For example, include a brisk 10-minute … Continue reading →

Pennington set to host Wellness Day for Women

Women are the caretakers for lots of families and often put their own health needs second. The annual Irene W. Pennington Wellness Day for Women, in its 14th year, gives women a chance for a little healthy “me time.” The event includes free health screenings, health talks and an exhibit venue, all with information on women’s … Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A

What is some general information about liver cancer? Primary liver cancer or cancer that originates in the liver is not common in the United States. In most cases, liver cancer is a secondary cancer site. This means the cancer did not begin in the liver, but instead spread to the liver from … Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A

I worry sometimes when I misplace my keys or forget where I am going that I may be developing Alzheimer’s disease. What are the specific symptoms of this disease? Making a wrong decision. Missing a monthly payment. Forgetting a person’s name. Losing things from time to time. These are all typical changes related to aging. … Continue reading →

Health Calendar

WHAT: The Sarcoidosis Awareness Support Group of Greater Baton Rouge group meeting. WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday. WHERE: Ochsner Health Center, 9001 Summa Ave., 4th floor conference room. REGISTRATION & INFO: (225) 773-0985. DETAILS: Speakers will be Dr. Claude Tellis and Dr. Alexander Mulamula. … Continue reading →