Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Hijacking the Brain How Drug and Alcohol Addiction Hijacks Our Brains PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 10 August 2012 13:57

When Bill W. and Dr. Bob created Alcoholics Anonymous 77 years ago, they borrowed principles learned from a Christian fellowship called the Oxford Group to create their 12-step recovery program.

“They knew that their spiritual program was effective where other ‘cures’ had failed, and over the years, there have been many theories as to why,” says Dr. Harry Haroutunian, physician director of the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs, and collaborator with Dr. Louis Teresi on the book, Hijacking the Brain: How Drug and Alcohol Addiction Hijacks our Brains – The Science Behind Twelve-Step Recovery (

“Now we know that stress is the fuel that feeds addiction, and that stress and drug and alcohol use cause neurological and physiological changes,” Haroutunian says. “The changes are primarily in the deep brain reward centers, the limbic brain, responsible for decisions, memory and emotion. These centers are ‘hijacked’ by substance abuse, so that the addicted person wants the booze or drug over anything else. ”

As a scientist and physician applying the 12-step program to his own life, Teresi studied the physiological changes triggered by this seemingly non-scientific treatment.

“One response is that elements of 12-step programs reduce stress and increase feelings of comfort and reward through chemical changes in the brain and body. These changes allow for neuronogenesis – the birth of neurons in the brain,” Teresi says.

“As substances of abuse affect the limbic brain, so do 12-step recovery practices."

Teresi says the 11th step in the program, which emphasizes spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation, works for the following reasons:

Chilling out: Addiction is a cycle of bad habits. When something bad happens, an alcoholic drinks to feel better. When something good occurs, he drinks to celebrate. After years of this behavior, a person needs a way to step outside of himself to maintain sobriety. Regular prayer or meditation achieves that and becomes “that other habitual option” for responding to emotions, he says.

• “Mindfulness” meditation: While certain forms of prayer are effective, meditation may be a more direct way to achieve the kind of beneficial self-regulation that makes the 11th step so crucial, Teresi says. Mindfulness meditation incorporates active Focused Attention and the more passive Open Monitoring to raise a person’s awareness of his impulses, leading to better self-control.

The three-fold manner: A successful 11th step tends to have the following benefits: First, stress is relieved in both cognitive and emotional reactivity, as evidenced by reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels and other biological indicators. Second, some forms of meditation are shown to stimulate the brain’s reward centers, releasing dopamine – a mood elevator -- while improving attention and memory. Third, an increased sense of connectivity and empathy to others is achieved, satisfying our natural need for social connection and reducing stress.

Sobriety is not so much about not drinking or drugging, Teresi says.

“It’s about developing an attitude and lifestyle that brings sufficient serenity and personal reward that drinking, or taking any mood-altering drug, is simply unnecessary.”

About Dr. Teresi & Dr. Haroutunian

Louis Teresi earned his medical degree from Harvard, where he completed honors concentration courses in neuroscience. In more than 24 years of practice, Teresi has authored numerous peer-reviewed papers, winning 14 national and international awards for his research, and is a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology. He is a grateful recovering alcoholic.

Dr. Harry L. Haroutunian, known as "Dr. Harry," is an internationally known speaker on addiction who has created the "Recovery 101" lecture series. As physician director of the Betty Ford Center, Dr. Haroutunian has contributed to the development of a variety of programs. He is the author of the soon-to-be-published book "Staying Sober When Nothing Goes Right" and collaborated with Dr. Louis Teresi, author of "Hijacking the Brain: How Drug and Alcohol Addiction Hijacks our Brains – The Science Behind Twelve-Step Recovery."

Davenport Nursing Home Welcomed U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack; He Discussed Value of Quality Care in Iowa’s and Nation’s Healthcare Delivery System PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Emily White   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:49

Davenport, IA – In thanking U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) for touring ManorCare Health Services – Utica Ridge today, Davenport’s local skilled nursing facility (SNF) care community demonstrated why facilities like this across Iowa are vital to Iowa seniors, the Davenport-area’s local economy and workforce, and a key piece of the policy puzzle in terms of helping to improve care quality and reduce healthcare costs.

“Our patients and staff appreciate the time Congressman Loebsack took to visit our facility, and to see first-hand how nursing homes like ours are evolving to meet the needs of a more diverse patient population,” stated Kim Hufsey, administrator at ManorCare Health Services – Utica Ridge. “We welcome the opportunity to meet with lawmakers so that they can more fully understand why nursing homes of the 21st Century, like ours, are vital to helping more seniors return home more quickly, and why it has never been more important for our lawmakers to preserve, protect and defend the Medicare funding our patients depend upon for quality care.”

Hufsey pointed to a new study finding Iowa nursing homes and the patients under their care face a $30 million cumulative reduction in Medicare funding in 2013-14 as a result of several different federal budgetary actions and regulatory payment changes made by Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) since 2009. Nationally, nursing homes and their patients face nearly $4 billion in reductions in 2013-14, and a $65 billion reduction over 10 years, according to the independent health policy advisory firm, Avalere Health.

“It was great to meet with all of the patients, employees and administrators at ManorCare Utica Ridge and see all the wonderful work that is being done there.  Facilities like these are important pillars in our community, providing jobs as well as important services to local residents,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack.  “Having been raised in part by my grandmother, I know first-hand how critical Medicare is to our seniors, which is why I will always fight to preserve and protect it.  I also know how essential it is to help our seniors return home quickly to their families.  It is places like ManorCare that can serve as an example toother healthcare providers when it comes to providing the quality, affordable care that our seniors need.”

ManorCare Health Services – Utica Ridge treats primarily post-acute care patients in need of short-term rehabilitation or therapy care before returning home to independent living. Participants in today’s tour stressed the increasingly important role of nursing homes in the nation’s evolving healthcare system, particularly among high-acuity, short-stay patients.

“Unfortunately, our current post-acute care system relies on a siloed payment structure that does not achieve efficiency in spending, or do enough to help us sustain our quality improvement initiatives,” Hufsey continued.  “We encourage lawmakers to advance policies that improve patient care and foster stability in a healthsector already under stress due to recent Medicare funding cuts and regulatory payment changes — changes which directly impact our vulnerable nursing home patients, our fragile front-line care workforce, and economically-stressed facilities across Iowa.”

“It will be essential for our Washington leaders to help sustain Medicare funding levels in a manner that ensures the ongoing stability of our facility,” added Hufsey.  “We look forward to working with Congressman Loebsack to ensure his elderly constituents always have access to the quality long term and post-acute care they deserve, and can continue to return homeafter successful rehabilitation as soon as possible.”

The Avalere study projects the 2013-14 budgetary impact on Iowa based on the following major government actions since 2009: Affordable Care Act (ACA) productivity adjustment ($10.8 million cut in 2013); Case-Mix Adjustment in FY 2010 CMS Rule ($11.2 million regulatory reduction in 2013); Forecast Error Adjustment in FY 2011 CMS Rule ($2 million regulatoryreduction in 2013); Sequestration provision of Budget Control Act ($6.6 million cut on January 1, 2013); Bad Debt provision in March 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act ($3.1 million cut 2012-14 beginning October 1, 2012). Additional information and methodology notes available at


Research Shows PSA Test Saves Lives PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by ZeroHour   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 09:02

Newly published research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that the PSA test has life-saving benefits to men of all ages. Without routine PSA testing, the number of men diagnosed with an incurable form of advanced prostate cancer, also referred to as metastatic prostate cancer, would triple.

Many prostate cancer experts believe widespread availability and usage of the PSA test contributed to a prostate cancer death rate reduction by nearly half. Dr. David Samadi, a leading robotic prostatectomy surgeon from The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, points out the precision with which this data supports that claim.

"Today, roughly 8,000 men are diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. To triple that number would, in fact, double the number of men who succumb to the disease each year," he explains.

ZERO has partnered with Dr. Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, to help educate and answer questions from our readers. Look for more content from him in future issues of ZEROHour!

Click Here to Read More from Dr. Samadi on PSA Testing

Prostate Cancer Among African American Men Reaches Epidemic Proportions

The U.S. Senate recently passed a resolution acknowledging that awareness and prevention of prostate cancer is as critical as it's ever been for African American men. The resolution, which was introduced by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), urges federal agencies to address what they're now calling an "epidemic" by supporting education, awareness outreach and research specifically focused on how prostate cancer affects black men.

African American men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world, with one in five men getting the disease during his lifetime. Want to know more about your risk? Read ZERO's fact sheet Ten Things African American Men Should Know About Prostate Cancer.

Click Here to Read the Full Story

Congressman DaveLoebsack to Visit Davenport Nursing Home to See First-Hand the Value of SNFCare in Aiding Seniors’ Rehabilitation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 11:29

Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) will visit a local Davenport skilled nursing facility (SNF) this Wednesday to meet with patients, residents, family members and staff to discuss how and why nursing home care is vital to local seniors’ rehabilitative care, important to the local jobs base, and an essential part of the equation to help bring about efficiencies in federal health care spending.

Representatives from the Iowa SNF community will detail how facilities across the state are evolving to meet the growing needs of an increasingly diverse, rehabilitation-oriented patient population and how Medicare and Medicaid payment policies are impacting post-acute and long term care for the state’s elderly and disabled.

WHO:                           Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA)

Kim Hufsey, Facility Administrator


WHERE:                         ManorCare Health Services –Utica Ridge

3800 Commerce Blvd.

Davenport, IA 52807



WHEN:                          Wednesday, August 8, 2012

10:15 – 11:00 a.m.

Genesis Is Building Physical Therapy And Sports Rehabilitation Facility PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 11:19
DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Aug. 7, 2012 -- Genesis Health System and development partner Build To Suit, Bettendorf, have broken ground for a 10,500-square foot building that will house the Genesis Center for Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation at Eastern Avenue and 53rd Street.

Treatment options new to the region will include underwater and anti-gravity treadmills to expedite recovery after surgery or injury.

"This facility will have features unlike any now available in the region for recovery from injury or surgery,'' said Doug Boleyn, outpatient rehabilitation services director, Genesis Health System. "We will also have an emphasis on recovery of athletes or anyone who has suffered an injury while participating in sports.''

The underwater treadmill allows individuals to maximize their recovery potential by returning to functional training, such as walking, running and swimming much earlier in their recovery process and, with significantly less pain. Having the ability to adjust water temperature will allow for muscle relaxation and reduction of joint stiffness with warm temperatures and swelling control with cooler temperatures.

The underwater treadmill will be equipped with video analysis. Swimmers will be able to swim against resistance and runners will be able to train while having mechanics videotaped to decrease the possibility of future injuries and maximize performance.

An anti-gravity treadmill, developed by NASA, uses air pressure in a chamber to gently lift the user and is used primarily for rehabilitation of lower extremity injuries and athletic training.

The facility will have higher ceiling height, a pitching mound, golf net, running lanes and a lounge called the Chill Zone for cool down after workouts. The features will allow athletes greater opportunity for a quicker return to competitive athletics. Sports-specific training will be available.

The Genesis Rehabilitation staff will continue to provide one-on-one individualized care for both acute and chronic pain. Services include treatment for muscle, bone and joint pain, return to work training, pre- and post-operative recovery, balance/dizziness dysfunctions and TMJ/headache pain. A certified hand specialist will continue to restore maximal upper extremity function regardless of the degree of the injury.

Paul Boffeli, vice president and project manager for Built To Suit, said he believes the Genesis facility could stimulate additional development in the area.

"There is a lot of opportunity for additional development on 53rd Street and Eastern Avenue. So far, commercial development has been limited, but we think this project may open the area to other projects,'' Boffeli said.

The building is scheduled to be completed by Jan. 1.


<< Start < Prev 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 Next > End >>

Page 141 of 219