First Choice Neurology

Brain & Life Magazine

Brain & Life Magazine is a free publication and website for patients and caregivers from the American Academy of Neurology. It covers a range of topics including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, concussion, Parkinson’s disease, movement disorders, neuropathy, sleep disorders, migraines, and much, much more.


August/September 2020 Issue

Brain & Life Magazine

Emilia Clarke, The Game of Thrones Actor Emerged Stronger After Two Brain Aneurysms
Clarke's first aneurysm occurred in February 2011. She experienced a headache so intense she could barely put on her sneakers. What followed was a blur: a siren, an ambulance, jumbled voices, a brain MRI. And then a diagnosis: She'd had a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke generally caused when an aneurysm—a balloon-like bulge in an artery—ruptures and spills blood into the space surrounding the brain.
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Why Does COVID-19 Affect Men More Severely Than Women?
Researchers try to tease out why fewer women are dying of COVID-19 than men and whether their advantage makes them more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases. Many aspects of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 still puzzle scientists and clinicians, especially as the data continue to evolve.
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June/July 2020 Issue

Brain and Life Magazine

How Does COVID-19 Cause a Loss of Smell and Taste?
Studies are underway to determine how COVID-19 causes a loss of smell. Some people with COVID-19 who have lost their sense of smell and taste have reported a return of function within a few weeks; many others, however, have not noticed such a return.
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Dealing with a Chronic Neurologic Condition is often Stressful during COVID-19
It's natural to feel anxious after a stroke or after a diagnosis of a chronic neurologic condition like multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson's disease, where the course can be uncertain and possibly debilitating. But when the whole world is experiencing a collective surge of anxiety about their health and the health of loved ones, it can add an emotional burden.
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April/May 2020 Issue

Brain & Life Magazine - April/May 2020

People with Neurologic Conditions may be Especially Vulnerable to COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions, like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, as at especially high risk of getting very sick. So too are people with chronic neurologic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, ALS, myasthenia gravis, and other disorders.
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Foods That May Protect Against Dementia
Older adults who munched, crunched, and sipped the most flavonols—beneficial compounds in the fruit, vegetables, tea, and wine—were 48 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than people who consumed the least, according to a January 2019 report in Neurology.
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February/March 2020 Issue

February March Issue Brain & Life Magazine

Lynda Carter Advocates for Those with Alzheimer’s Disease
Since her late mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease Carter has played her most important role in advocating for more awareness and research funding for the disease. She recently began lending her name and support to Maria Shriver's Women's Alzheimer's Movement. She also serves on an executive committee for the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 by the Lauder family to support Alzheimer's disease research worldwide.
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Scientists say we need shut-eye to keep the brain healthy and guard against cognitive decline.
Like many patients with neurologic conditions, Jaffe takes medication that can interfere with sleep. One such drug, ropinirole (Requip)—which is prescribed for restless legs syndrome and causes impulsive behavior in some people—leaves Jaffe feeling revved up and unwilling to put away a project, no matter how late it gets.
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December 2019/January 2020 Issue

Brain and Life Magazine - December/January Issue

Kristin Chenoweth Says Migraines Almost Ended Her Career
Identifying triggers and finding the right combination of medications help actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth manage her migraine attacks. Chenoweth says light, even from a smartphone's tiny camera, can bring on a migraine with aura—a temporary visual loss or disturbance—intense nausea, and crippling head pain, as well as room-spinning vertigo.
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Cooking Could Benefit Patients with Alzheimer's
After a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, a renowned cookbook author continues cooking with help from friends. Their tips may be useful for others with dementia.
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October/November 2019 Issue

Brain & Life Magazine

Actor Dash Mihok Explains How Tourette Syndrome Shaped His Career
Tourette syndrome typically is diagnosed in childhood. In the United States, one in 100 people may have milder symptoms and about 200,000 have a severe form of Tourette's, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
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Neurologic Conditions Can Lead to Depression
Depression is common with conditions like epilepsy, stroke, and Parkinson's disease. Learn how to identify and deal with this mood disorder.
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August/September 2019 Issue

Brain and Life August/September Issue

Journalist Ann Curry hopes Crowdsourcing can Solve Medical Mysteries
A live television series that uses crowdsourcing to connect people who have undiagnosed or misdiagnosed medical conditions with experts around the world sounded almost impossible to do in a responsible way.
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Why MS patients may Benefit from Aggressive Early Treatment
Research shows that treatment at the first sign of the disease may be best for most patients with multiple sclerosis. Disease severity and symptoms vary from person to person, but MS commonly causes problems with vision, walking, and balance, as well as unusual fatigue, pain, muscle weakness or spasms, numbness and tingling, bladder or bowel dysfunction, and cognitive and emotional changes such as depression and anxiety.
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June/July 2019 Issue


Singer Gloria Estefan talks about Surviving a Severe Spinal Injury
Nearly 30 years after fracturing her back in a bus accident, Gloria Estefan is standing tall. At 61, she's performing to adoring crowds, earning distinguished honors, taking her Broadway show to London's West End, and—perhaps most inspiring—championing new research that enables others who are paralyzed to move and walk again.
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Faces of Stroke
Anyone can experience a stroke, regardless of age, sex, or race. Brain and Life magazine interviews five survivors of a stroke. These five survivors attest, recovery is multifaceted too.
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April/May 2019 Issue


Actress Rita Wilson, Ambassador for the Alzheimer's Association
After her mother died of Alzheimer's disease, actress Rita Wilson volunteered to raise awareness and funds on behalf of others with the illness. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in 2010 was traumatic for Wilson and her siblings.
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Transitioning to Assisted Living
Moving to an assisted living facility can be stressful. These tips will help make the move as smooth as possible. When Carolyn Polchow and her siblings approached their mother with the idea of her moving into an assisted living facility, the matriarch's response was a firm no.
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February/March 2019 Issue


Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM)
Actress Marilu Henner has a highly superior autobiographical memory, a rare condition identified in only 100 people worldwide. This trait spurs her to advocate for more funding for brain research.
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How Improvisational Techniques Help Engage Dementia Patients
In the years after her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Karen Stobbe remembers listening to a Beatles song and hearing her mother tell her she had dated one of the musicians. Stobbe's initial urge was to dispute her mother's claim as impossible.
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