A woman experienced symptoms of a stroke: facial droop, dysarthria, arm weakness and reduced fine motor control.  She  recorded these symptoms in a real time video, which is now on YouTube.  Several days prior, she experienced similar symptoms that were dismissed by physicians.  After this episode, she was correctly diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack, and now on appropriate medications.  But I agree with Dr. Markku Kaste with the World Stroke ...

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One typically thinks of advances in medical science and technology as having unalloyed benefits. The ability to cure illness, the mitigation of pain and the possibility of making diagnoses that are more accurate are some of the uncontroversial results of medical progress. Yet as a new study of vegetative states demonstrates, such advances can raise ethical quandaries for physicians and the families of patients diagnosed as vegetative. The Read more...

The clock read 9:30pm and in front of me was dozens of notes, PowerPoint slides, and practice exams to review before 8am. The all-too-familiar finals week all-nighter beckoned, and though I’ve had my fair share of experiences with studying until the sun rose, I decided to forgo the typical mug of coffee and take some over-the-counter caffeine pills instead. My friend proclaimed that they would help more than any energy ...

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Another backboarded body rolls in. I slip from my perch at the computer and greet the emergency medical technician. “Seizure. Lasted a few minutes, done by the time we got there. Fell and cut his face.  Vitals stable. Sugar fine. Oriented but postictal.  Didn’t take his meds.” Approximately my age, the backboarded man’s chin bears a ribbon of red laces. “Dammit,” he says. A glance at the cardiorespiratory monitor shows me suitable hemodynamics, ...

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Concussion expert Dr. A. Chainey Umphrey has assessed the damage youth sports can inflict. He has seen it ruin lives. It happens in one form or another every day: A high school senior leaps to head a soccer ball. She takes an elbow from an opposing player going for the same ball. Woozy, she shakes it off and stays in the game. Six months later, her blistering headaches have subsided but she still experiences ...

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My family’s world changed instantly upon receiving Annie’s diagnosis of apraxia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a day before her second birthday. Hearing three words, "she has autism," we suddenly faced a lifetime of uncertainty. I knew that I had to embrace my role as a mother of a child with autism, and as an autism champion -- and more critically, find a physician that I could form a trusted ...

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The guy was a curmudgeon. That’s all you could say about him. His blood pressure and diabetes were dreadful, and he insisted there wasn’t anything he could do about it. The meds were too expensive; the diet was far too limiting; he had no pleasures in life other than food. He lived alone, hated his job, saw few people, had no friends -- so he told me at every visit. His visits ...

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Headlines soared recently with the CDC report that the number of children with autism diagnoses had increased by 30% in the past 2 years. “Reality is there are many children who are having serious struggles because they can’t communicate well and have a hard time being with people,” Dr. Chuck Cowan clearly stated to me this morning. Like a bell on a quiet night, I feel parents need to hear this most: ...

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If you are among the thousands of doctors who make their living as intensive care physicians, there is no normal work day with predefined hours or routine. Interruptions are the norm. Your day starts early in the morning, meeting with the ICU nursing staff and respiratory therapists long before morning rounds. Difficult clinical issues are reviewed as you and your team apply critical thinking on the challenging problems of the ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 24-year-old woman is evaluated for a 3-week history of painful muscle spasms and twisting movements in the neck and trunk. She says that her neck feels as if it is being pulled backward. She also reports general restlessness and an inability to keep still. Her medical history is notable for asthma, ...

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