New treatment for brain swelling

Being treated for a brain tumor is scary enough, but if patients survive the surgery, radiation and chemo, they often have to take daily steroids to reduce swelling that can occur in the brain.These drugs have the potential to cause a number of unwanted side effects, but now there is a new option that is much safer.

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‘);When Paul Glover was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he never thought he would still be alive ten years later, and doing so much.

“What everybody told me is, ‘Yeah, life is over, pretty much,’” said Glover.

After surgery and chemo, Paul’s outlook was good, but the swelling in his brain took a toll on his body and caused neurological damage. Paul had to take steroids to fight it, but the side effects were harsh.

“… I didn’t feel like living. I couldn’t walk and half the time I would fall,” explained Glover.

Steroids caused him to gain nearly 80 pounds, and even forced the avid hunter into a wheelchair. The drugs can also cause bone loss, muscle weakness and anxiety.

So Paul was thrilled when he heard about a clinical trial that was testing a new therapy to replace steroids.

HCRF is the first agent in 40 years that was developed for brain tumor swelling.

“We are getting good, good results with some astonishing results in certain patients,” said Dr. Nicholas Avgeropoulus, from the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute.

When injected, HCRF works by stopping fluids in the brain tissue and reducing pressure in the skull. It even helps the body naturally produce its own steroids to reduce the swelling, without the side effects.

“The quality of life is such an important and understated factor in patients going through cancer treatment,” explained Avgeropoulus.

Something Paul knows all too well, now that he is off steroids and on the new drug.

Glover said, “Getting off steroids was wonderful. I cannot describe it … a big deal!”

Patients in the clinical trial inject the drug two times a day, and side effects may include redness.

Right now, researchers are enrolling patients for phase three of the clinical trial at about 35 centers around the country.

As reported in


New software to create an interactive 3-D map of the brain

As reported in Technology Review today.



Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in Philadelphia, have developed software that integrates data from multiple imaging technologies to create an interactive 3-D map of the brain. The enhanced visualization gives neurosurgeons a much clearer picture of the spatial relationship of a patient’s brain structures than is possible with any single imaging methods. In doing so, it could serve as an advanced guide for surgical procedures, such as brain-tumor removal and epilepsy surgery.

The new imaging software collates data from different types of brain-imaging methods, including conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (fMRI), and diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI). The MRI gives details on the anatomy, fMRI provides information on the activated areas of the brain, and DTI provides images of the network of nerve fibers connecting different brain areas. The fusion of these different images produces a 3-D display that surgeons can manipulate: they can navigate through the images at different orientations, virtually slice the brain in different sections, and zoom in on specific sections.

Currently, physicians typically view the images produced by MRI technologies individually, and they conceptually visualize what the images might look like combined. “Before this type of software package, I would put up an fMRI image and put up a regular MRI of the brain and try to match the two in my brain to try to get a 3-D sense of the right spot to make an incision,” says Ashwini Sharan, a neurosurgeon at the Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.


Beautiful message from a sister

I received this message via email today and I think its very beautiful and meaningful.


Assalamualaikum to both the very special parents,

Indeed you are very special in the Eyes of Allah SWT, because only the selected few will be tested in their faith and believe in Allah SWT.

As we all know, and believe, our time on this earthly world is very limited. In your case, Allah SWT allows you to enjoy the time and prepare both you and your other children about the limited time that Nurul Islah has. As Allah SWT wants us to do our very best to find the most possible cure for any illness, it is also another indication that we will need to prepare Nurul Islah about the need to cross over to the other life.

In our remaining time to motivate Nurul Islah to fight her disease, may I also suggest that both of you also prepare her about the life that is much better than now, to prepare her that she and you both will meet again in Jannah soon, and for everyone in the family to be ready to say good bye to this short world. May Allah SWT have mercy on both of you and her family, and most blessings will be the time and day when she will tell you that she is ready to leave this world, and look forward to meet you in the Hereafter. She has a role to play, too, that she will be the protector for her parents against Hellfire. And you both are letting go of her because you are grateful to Allah SWT for lending Nurul Islah into your lives.

May we visit you soon? May Allah SWT showers you both and your family patience and blessings, and happiness for knowing the good news from Allah SWT who bestows His promise to the believers who are acceptance of His trials.


Family Caregiver Alliance

Ini adalah sebuah organisasi/ website yang penting untuk kita semua. Tak kiralah samada sebagai orang yang menjaga pesakit secara langsung atau ahli keluarga yang lain.Dalam kesibukan harian, kita selalu terlupa tentang penderitaan mereka yang dipanggil sebagai ‘caregiver’ ini.Di Malaysia ni ada ke organisasi yang sebegini? Kalau ada tolong beritau ye.Laman webnya ialah di    


Who We Are

Founded in 1977, Family Caregiver Alliance was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country (USA) to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. FCA now offers programs at national, state and local levels to support and sustain caregivers.

More than 25 years ago, a small task force of families and community leaders in San Francisco came together to create support services for those struggling to provide long term care for a loved one who did not “fit” into traditional health systems: adults with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injuries and other debilitating disorders. The diagnoses were different, but the families shared common challenges: isolation, lack of information, few community resources, and drastic changes in family roles.

The task force’s early efforts had three lasting results: the formation of Family Caregiver Alliance; the genesis of a statewide network of Caregiver Resource Centers; and the beginnings of a national movement to recognize the immense contribution of family caregivers to the long-term health care of the ill and elderly in our country.

National, State and Local Programs
In 2001, FCA established the National Center on Caregiving to advance the development of high-quality, cost effective programs and policies for caregivers in every state in the country. FCA serves as the lead agency in California’s statewide system of Caregiver Resource Centers and operates the Bay Area Caregiver Resource Center, in the six-county San Francisco Bay Area.

FCA is a public voice for caregivers, illuminating the daily challenges they face, offering them the assistance they so desperately need and deserve, and championing their cause through education, services, research and advocacy.


Alhamdulillah, segala pujian bagi Allah SWT. Minggu lepas Kak Cik kelihatan semakin stabil. Sakit kepalanya sudah jauh berkurangan dan tidur malam semakin lena. In fact, kami dapat bawa dia bersama ke majlis makan malam tahunan MERCY Malaysia di Hotel Istana pada 29 Julai 2007.

Namun bagi pemantauan secara objektif, kami bercadang untuk membawanya ke HUKM pada minggu depan untuk bertemu dengan DrAzizi, Neurosurgeon.

Doakanlah semoga beliau semakin pulih. Amin.