#2 Surviving Wonderland: Epilepsy’s stigma with Sharon Powell

This is our premiere show, episode #2.  The first one (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/johndavidpowell/2011/03/03/test-show) we did last week was a test of the big blogcast featuring Sharon Powell who talked about her diagnosis of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, which affects about 35 million people around the world and more than 1.5 million in the United States, or roughly the population of Philadelphia. The actual number may be much higher, because TLE shares many of the symptoms of migraines, anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, bi-polar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Sharon talked today about the stigma connected to epilepsy that is so bad that some countries treat epileptics as witches, even today. She’s written a book and has a Web page, both titled: Surviving Wonderland, My life with temporal lobe epilepsy (http://survivingwonderland.webplus.net).

Tomorrow, March 8, 2011, on the big blogcast we’re delighted to have as our guest Fr. Serge Veselinovich of Sts. Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church (http://orthodoxhistory.org/category/american-south) in Galveston, Texas, the oldest Orthodox parish in the state.  He’ll be here to talk about Lent and what it means to 21st century Christians.

As you probably know, Lent begins this week for the entire Christian world, something that doesn’t happen very often because of differences in the church calendars: Julian versus Gregorian, old calendar versus new calendar. These differences mean that in some years, the Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter, or Pascha, a month after everyone else.

Some topics for future shows include how to use (and how not to use) social media with Nelson Duffle of The Duffle Group (http://dufflegroup.com); the art scene in Dallas with Veletta Lill, executive director of the Dallas Arts District (www.thedallasartsdistrict.org); and how you can participate in the 175th birthday of Texas by touring some of the state’s parks.  We’ll have someone with Texas Parks & Wildlife to give us some ideas.

But today our topic is epilepsy, and, we have some latest news to share with you.

A Brown University study (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-03/bu-nrf030111.php) published in the journal Nature Neuroscience centers on a new role for an old molecule that may protect the brain from epileptic seizures.

This involves the molecule putrescine, which seems to be in the brain after a seizure.  But, researchers haven’t had a clear indication if it is there to exacerbate brain damage that follows a seizure or to protect the brain from that damage.  The Brown study suggests putrescine protects against follow-up seizures.

One of the researchers says more study may produce a drug that targets the process, which may help children with epilepsy.

And, we want to tell you about an online petition to turn the White House purple for epilepsy. You can see the petition by clicking here or by going to http://twitition.com/dp6eo.

The site says that epilepsy affects over three million Americans of all ages, more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease COMBINED.  Doctors diagnose almost 500 cases every day in the United States.  The purpose of this petition is to turn the White House purple every March 26 to raise awareness.

Now, a little about our guest, Sharon Powell.  I should say right here that she’s my bride of nearly 37 years.  Sharon  worked in health information management, hospital patient finance, and medical publications before Temporal Lobe Epilepsy forced her early retirement.  At the time, she was a national expert in ICD-10 coding and gave presentations at conferences around the country.

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About John David Powell

John David Powell - Gone To Texas is a daily blogcast from ShadeyHill Ranch carried exclusively on Blog Talk Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com/johndavidpowell. We feature discussion of events in Texas and the world hosted by multiple Lone Star Award-winning journalist and author with 5 decades of news and broadcasting experience.
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