5 Neurological Complications Of Lyme Disease To Be Aware Of

Lyme disease, left untreated, may cause a number of debilitating neurological conditions that attack the body and mind.

People get Lyme disease from the bites of infected ticks. The early signs of Lyme disease are inclusive of a characteristic rash which appears around the part of the body where the bite occurred, fever, chills, headaches, muscle and joint pains, and swollen lymph nodes. Lyme disease shares symptoms with more common illnesses and as a result people that have contracted it end up using inappropriate treatments or miss getting treatment entirely. Unfortunately, when left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to severe complications. In the second stage of Lyme disease, neurological complications like numbness, severe headaches, and visual disturbances may occur. Lyme disease is associated with the following neurological complications:


A very painful radiculitis is among the first neurological complications that are experienced by people with Lyme disease. A radiating pain along the dermatome of a nerve often characterizes radiculitis. This condition generally occurs within the first few weeks to months of the infection. Patients usually experience sensory, motor and mixed symptoms and conditions like weakness and sudden reflex and sensory changes. Unfortunately, these symptoms are sometimes mistaken as indicators of nerve-impingement.

Cranial neuropathies, or head symtoms

As well as the patient’s cranial nerve, cranial neuropathies can affect the nerves involved in sensory processing, in other words sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. As Lyme disease progresses the multiple cranial nerves of can all be affected at the same time in someone infected with the disease. An estimated 50%-70% of total patients that suffer from neurological symptoms experience this complication.

Intracranial hypertension

A rare neurological complication of Lyme disease is intracranial hypertension. It is more commonly experienced by children and adolescents. Headaches and papilledema are common side effects associated with intracranial hypertension. Papilledema, the swelling of a patient’s optic disc, develops over a span of a few hours to a few weeks. In some cases, abnormalities in Cerebrospinal Fluid may also occur.

Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord

Sometimes resembling ischemic patterns, encephalomyelitis usually includes brainstem abnormalities. It can be medically proofed that the parenchyma is involved. Cerebellar syndromes, motion disorders, hemiparesis, and spastic paraparesis are all indicators of this complication. This complication is more common in European nations than in North America.


Encephalopathy is one of the most common complications that occurs in the later stages of Lyme disease. Those with this problem experience minor or even major cognitive changes and polyradiculoneuropathy. Encephalopathy as well as other late stage infections may be accompanied by severe fatigue, sleeping problems, extreme irritability, mood swings, photophobia, difficulty finding words, and problems in writing or speaking. There have been reports of sensory issues as well. The severity of these symptoms may differ and are considered to be somewhat inconsistent.

Early identification of the symptoms of Lyme disease and administration of immediate treatment are the best ways to prevent it from developing into worse neurological complications.

To learn more about various URL, go to http://www.lymediseaseblog.com/lyme-disease-symptoms/.

10 Lyme Disease’s Alarming Neurological Symptoms That One Should Look Out For

Some neurological symptoms of Lyme disease which you should look out for are numbness, abnormal feelings in the limbs, Bell’s palsy, meningitis, vision problems, difficulty in concentrating, memory loss, encephalopathy, sleep disturbances, and also cognitive impairment.

Lyme disease is an infection that results from the bite of an infected tick. The illness is caused by bacterium borrelia burgdorferi. People who live in grassy and wooded locations should be cautious of ticks, which are usually common in those areas, and take every possible precaution when going outside. Symptoms of Lyme disease include a rash in the bite area which spreads over time and many flu-like symptoms, such as fever, body pains, fatigue and chills. Besides the usual symptoms that manifest in the early stages of Lyme’s disease, there are certain neurological symptoms that one has to look out for which show up a few weeks or even many years later.


Numbness is an indication of diseased or damaged nerves. Several people describe the feeling as something similar to pins and needles on their skin, and people suffering from Lyme disease will often feel a prickling or burning pain in the affected area. Numbness causes patients to experience a loss of sensation unlike paralysis where patients are unable to move.

Abnormal feelings in the limbs

Patients often say that their arms and legs will feel weak. Tingling sensations in the extremities, bruising, burning and swelling may be experienced.

Bell’s palsy

Bell’s palsy is another symptom of having a Lyme diseases. Bell’s palsy is characterized by a sudden paralysis of the facial muscles caused by complications in the patient’s facial nerves. There is often a partial or whole paralysis of the face of the patients.


Meningitis is one serious complication of Lyme disease. This condition can lead to a very rapid death as the membranes around the brain and spinal cord swell. This condition is referred as meningitis and patients can experience stiff necks and headaches which are not cured by typical over-the-counter medicines. In addition, they experience a heightened sensitivity to light.

Problems with vision

Patients may notice problems with their eyesight as well. Vision troubles may arise ranging from trouble seeing at night to total blindness or impaired vision.

Problems in terms of concentration

Lyme disease is a physical condition that is known to affect a patient’s concentration. These patients may find it difficult to concentrate on a single task at a time.

Memory loss

Memory problems are another symptom of Lyme disease. They can have difficulty recalling details and may feel disoriented when trying to remember something.


Lyme encephalopathy may result when Lyme disease is left untreated in its early stages. Some symptoms of encephalopathy are dramatic mood swings, depression and a tingling sensation in the limbs.

Disturbed sleep

The sleeping habits are changed in the people who are infected with Lyme disease. These people may suffer from apnea, insomnia and other sleep disorders and disturbances.

Cognitive impairment

Cognitive impairment can occur when a person has a Lyme disease. Thinking and making decisions may be difficult for the patients. Poor concentration and memory loss are byproducts of cognitive impairment.

It is important to be aware of the different symptoms of Lyme disease so proper treatment can be administered before the disease worsens. It is said that prevention is better than cure so it is always good to take proper precautions to avoid the illness.

To get additional information on Lyme disease symptoms, you can go to http://www.lymediseaseblog.com/lyme-disease-symptoms/.

West Nile Neurological Disease – Part 1 – Our Battle Begins

Are you intimate with one or more of life’s multitudinous pirates? Catastrophe. Illness. Accident. Sudden disability. Financial ruin. Severed relationships.

They specialize in surprise. They often attack when the little boats of our lives are in full sail, when the day is fine and the sky clear. When we least expect trouble. Suddenly, without warning, the life we knew is no more. Gone. Flipped upside down as easily as a donut in hot oil.

We’ve lived with a few pirates, my husband and I. The last batch entered our lives quietly a few years ago. It happened in an instant. We didn’t even notice their invasion at first. They arrived in the form of an unseen, unfelt, common summer occurrence. My husband got bit by a mosquito.

The mosquito, we know now, imported a virus onto the little boat of our lives. In the space of a few short days, my husband, Rick, then an active fifty-four year old clergyman, became cognitively disoriented and paralyzed in both legs and his left arm.

Doctors diagnosed him with a severe case of West Nile Neurological Disease (also called West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease). How ironic that the pirate that led the attack was no bigger than his baby fingernail.

After eleven days in ICU, and another almost three weeks on a regular ward, only moments of which he actually remembers, doctors transferred Rick to a rehab center two hours from home.

On a blue and gold September afternoon, I locked our front door behind me and followed the ambulance down the silver stream of highway, past ripening fields of wheat and barley, past herds of grazing cattle to a rehab centre in a nearby city. We stayed there for the next five months, my husband in a double ward room, and I in a rented hostel room right in the centre.

Though he’d already been in hospital for almost a month, it was in that rehab centre that we began learning about what it really means to do battle with the pirates of West Nile Neurological Disease.

We also learned something else: many of the strategies and tools we found helpful are common to all life’s difficulties, no matter the stripe of pirates-or monsters, or madmen, or beasts.

If you’re fighting pirates, be sure to read this entire article series–this is the first. If you’re not fighting pirates, read be sure to read this entire article series. Life can change with the suddenness of a summer squall. One day you’ll need the information you’ll find in one or more of them.

You’ve just read article one in the E-Zine series: West Nile Neurological Disease–Fighting Life’s Pirates.

Read the complete story of our West Nile journey in West Nile Diary, One Couple’s Triumph Over a Deadly Disease available on Amazon.

P.S. Wear repellent.

copyright 2010, by Kathleen Gibson.

If you copy, copy right, and for non-profit use only. Please include author credit, and a link to my website, below.

Kathleen Gibson is a Canadian author and newspaper columnist whose work has been published in global print and online media. Through articles, interviews and her book, West Nile Diary–One Couple’s Triumph Over a Deadly Disease, she and her husband, Rick, have raised the level of West Nile Disease awareness across North America. Together, they point others to the beautiful strength that comes from cultivating a solid faith in God. Kathleen’s latest book is Practice by Practice, The Art of Everyday Faith. More info at http://www.kathleengibson.ca

Birth-Related Neurological Injures

Although we are now in the 21st Century and modern medicine is improving and extending the lives of millions of people, mistakes during childbirth lead to a number of birth related neurological injuries. In most cases, these injuries resulted in careless or even negligent behavior by the attending medical staff. These birth injuries affect the child and his or her family for the rest of their lives, in many cases costing the family hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical, rehabilitative, and equipment costs.

Types of Birth Injury

There are varying degrees of birth injury, some are minor and heal over time. Others however last a lifetime and may severely retard the development of the child. Minor birth injuries include:

• Lacerations
• Fractures
• Temporary paralysis

Fortunately, these injuries will heal over time and the child will not experience long-term deficiencies.

Other more severe birth injuries include:

• Cerebral palsy is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, which adversely affects basic motor skills. It also causes seizures, lack of smooth muscle control, and difficulty breathing. Cerebral palsy is a permanent disability.
• Erb’s palsy is paralysis caused by damage to the brachial plexus nerve near the shoulder. This may be a temporary, but is often a permanent birth injury.
• Hypoxia is the lack of oxygen to the brain to a varying degree. Brain damage may be evident right away, but may also present itself years later when development is seen to be lacking.

Neurological Injury Compensation Association

The state of Florida created the Neurological Injury Compensation Association, NICA, to assist families with children when neurological birth injuries. It helps pay for the care of infants born with neurological defects. The association was made to eliminate the costs of litigation and get compensation to the family as quickly as possible. The family must apply for the program, with eligibility determined by a federal law judge. Here are some criteria for enrollment:

• Spinal cord injury
• Brain injury
• Infant must be born alive
• Injury caused by mechanical injury or hypoxia
• The child must have permanent disability
Compensation from NICA may help with actual expenses for reasonable care, including:
• Medical expenses
• Hospital bills
• Medications
• Equipment

When enrolling with NICA, the family waives the option to bring a civil lawsuit against those responsible, but not all birth injuries are covered, so litigation may still be an option. The child must be enrolled by age five to be eligible.

Birth Injury Litigation

Compensation for birth injuries may be possible in the event that the injury was caused by medial negligence or medical malpractice. In order to collect damages in a birth injury case, the plaintiff must prove that the obstetrician, hospital, or staff was liable for damages. When seeking legal counsel, it is a good idea to retain an experienced birth injury attorney who is familiar with all the legal options to make a strong case.

To find out more about birth related neurological injuries, please visit the Florida personal injury attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter today.

West Nile Neurological Disease – Therapy Remains Essential

A month after the body pirates, as I call the mosquito-borne West Nile neurological disease, ravaged my 54 year-old husband, paralyzing him in three limbs, an ambulance transported him from hospital to a rehab centre. He stayed there for five months, relearning the skills of basic mobility through intensive therapy.

At night I slept at the other end of the centre, in a roughly 10 by 12 foot cement hostel room. During the day I helped where I could, encouraging and assisting as God, the doctor, and the therapists put my husband back together again.

I’ll never forget Rick’s first meeting with his physiotherapist, Errin. Immobilized by poliomyelitis, struggling with encephalitis, and beleaguered by constant nausea–all consequences of the virus–he lay on his back on the therapy couch, kidney basin firmly in place, eyes clenched shut, brow furrowed in pain.

Errin said, “Well, Rick, what are your goals for your time with us?”

He thought for a moment. “Well,” he said finally, slowly…”my left arm is weak.”

Errin waited a while. When it seemed clear he wasn’t about to continue, she gave an encouraging “Mmm hmm?”

“I need it…” he said, “I need it to drive my scooter.”

He’d only gotten that scooter the previous summer. He’d wanted one most of his life. It was his escape hatch, the thing that helped him flee the pressures of his busy professional life as a spiritual caregiver.

Errin, a true professional, didn’t laugh, and she didn’t point out his almost total-body paralysis. She just said, “Well, I can tell your scooter is pretty important to you. How about we work first on getting you to be able to sit up?”

He’d already been getting some therapy at the local hospital–minor, compared to the paces they put him through at the rehab centre. For the next five months I watched as he and both his therapists–physio and occupational–and their assistants worked together, through terrible pain at first, then as it lessened, more eagerly.

I watched him, with their encouragement and patient, cheerful help, learn to roll over, to sit up, feed himself, dress himself, propel his wheelchair with his own feet, stand up, take tiny steps, then larger ones, then to walk with a walker, until finally those therapists felt it safe to let him leave the security of the rehab centre.

After his release, Rick continued with local therapy, both with professional therapists, and on his own. Almost three years later, he continues therapy on his own–regular exercise–walking, primarily. Though his body will not likely progress past the point it reached after two years post-infection, exercise is necessary to keep his muscles from atrophying.

Rarely (if ever) has Rick ever said, after therapy, “That felt so great! I’d love to do that again.” The therapy, several hours a day, pains him greatly. Nevertheless, he has learned to value it. Why? Simply because of the benefits it brings to both body and mind.

Pain is an inevitible side-affect of any type of therapy. But achieving maximum possible recovery is another. In Rick’s case “maximum” is still far less than what constituted his normal for the first fifty-three plus years of his life. We have learned to accept that, and be grateful for it. Yet he continues to work to maintain his recovery.

Along our West Nile journey, we’ve met numerous people who should be employing therapy to assist them in their battles with the circumstances that have flipped their lives over. Yet they refuse it. Whether they need physical, occupational, cognitive, emotional, or spiritual therapy, their excuse is that it’s too slow, too painful, too inconvenient.

Too bad. Along with faith and hope, therapy, from trained, reliable practitioners, helps get your boat upright when you’ve been capsized by life’s pirates.

We’ve found another blessing through the many hours Rick has spent in therapy. We’ve gained friends, both the therapists, and people we’ve met in the therapy rooms. We are richer for their healing presence in our lives.

Therapy…seek it. Accept it, no matter the name of your pirates.

You’ve just read article five in the E-Zine series: West Nile Neurological Disease–Fighting Life’s Pirates.

Read the complete story of our West Nile journey in West Nile Diary, One Couple’s Triumph Over a Deadly Disease available on Amazon.

P.S. Wear repellent.


copyright 2010, by Kathleen Gibson. If you copy, copy right, and for non-profit use only. Please include author credit, and a link to my website, below.

Kathleen Gibson is a Canadian author and newspaper columnist whose work has been published in global print and online media. Through articles, interviews and her book, West Nile Diary–One Couple’s Triumph Over a Deadly Disease, she and her husband, Rick, have raised the level of West Nile Disease awareness across North America. Together, they point others to the beautiful strength that comes from cultivating a solid faith in God. Kathleen’s latest book is Practice by Practice, The Art of Everyday Faith. More info at http://www.kathleengibson.ca

Using one’s neurological system to “program” — Why not?

It may be difficult for some people to believe at first, but yes, we can totally use our own neurological system i.e.  our thoughts, belief, or attitudes to pre-program events that happen in the future. The key to this issue is a model named Neuro- Linguistic Programming–NLP, which puts much of its attention  and has great influence on the way human being thinks as well as structure our thoughts. It is hoped that scientists will carry out researches and then, can model those who have critical thinking.


When studying them, you don’t ask them how they did it-just what they were thinking when they did it. For example, if you asked Michael Jordan how to play basketball, he could give you a big list of dos and don’ts. He might outline a series of necessary drills, but that is not what NLP is about. Instead, you would find out how Michael Jordan perceives basketball in his mind. What are his beliefs and attitudes about basketball? When he makes a decision on the court, what is he thinking?


NLP is made up of several different models, each then having different techniques associated with it. Let’s break NLP down further and take a basic look at some of its major models.



Sub-modalities: The Five Senses

Perhaps the foundation is, simply enough, our five senses. Each of us takes in the world around us through our five senses: seeing, hearing, feeling (both tangible and emotional), tasting and smelling. Everything and anything we think about in life, and the resulting beliefs and attitudes we form, can be based on what we receive and then interpret through these sub-modalities. Taking it a step further, with the entirety of our life experiences encapsulated in our memories as we experienced them through our senses, we can recreate those experiences in our minds, alter them if need be and thus gain tremendous power over our thought patterns, beliefs and ultimately the outward manifestation of such through our capabilities and achievements. The way you structure these representations in your mind determines how you will respond.


Try a basic experiment. Picture someone in your mind you hold very dear to your heart. Now, in your mind’s eye, enhance and intensify the colors of the image and observe how you respond. What happens when you turn up the volume of what has been said? What about if you visualize the image in shades of gray instead of color? For most people, “turning up” the colors or sounds also intensifies feelings, while turning them down diminishes those feelings. Cultivating your ability to fine-tune the way you perceive things, or the way your mind represents things, can be used to make powerful changes in your life. Once you realize that you can, in essence, create your world, you also realize that you also have the power to change it. 



A meta-model is a set of questions that are developed for the specific purpose of finding the exact meaning in a person’s communication. For example, often when we communicate, we generalize, or we may even distort information or leave it out altogether-intentionally or unintentionally, consciously or subconsciously. Individuals who use meta-models are able to systematically verify and clarify both verbal and written communication in order to communicate even more clearly and precisely.

Sensory Acuity

Our thought processes are very closely tied to our physiology. For example, people can sense that you’re happy, scared or angry without you even saying anything. Body language sends out strong cues about how we’re feeling. That is, our posture, our eyes, our head position, etc. all say a lot about us. Most body language is fairly obvious, but sensory acuity takes these observations beyond the obvious and uses physical feedback in addition to verbal communication to be as discerning as possible. Verbal cues even give some suggestion of which sensory modality a person operates from most strongly. For example, if someone says, “I hear what you’re saying” versus “I see what you mean,” it suggests that his or her auditory sense is more dominant than his or her visual one. It is helpful to give this concept consideration since miscommunication can often simply result from two people trying to talk about the exact same thing, only in different ways. Some experts argue that if certain thought processes are reinforced enough, over a long enough period of time, they can actually alter a person’s physiological state.


The Milton-Model, named after Milton Erickson, the father of modern hypnotherapy, is a set of linguistic patterns that are designed to guide an individual without actually disrupting the way s/he is experiencing the particular activity internally. For example, the command “Recall a time when you were crying” doesn’t dictate whether the person was sobbing uncontrollably or weeping softly in the memory. This skill of describing feelings, places, events and activities in a manner that is specific and yet still universal allows the user to develop rapport with his or her subject. It also helps move the subject into a trancelike state. As a result, the Milton-Model is commonly used to induce hypnosis.


Meta-programs are essentially the “looking glasses” through which we view the world. The classic “Is the glass half full or half empty?” is a perfect meta-program example. Meta-programs control our personality and therefore how we behave. For instance, do you tend to be more of an active or passive person? Do you focus more internally or externally on the world around you? Is your orientation more focused on the past, the future or the here and now? Two people may regard the exact same thing from totally different angles, to the extent that that “exact same thing” may actually become a very different thing altogether. For example, do you move towards your goals, or do you move away from the things that are not your goals? One may simply seem like an inverted restatement of the other, but each has its own distinct nuance.


Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you’ve seen some success, but think of the times you couldn’t get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.


Kurt Mortensen’s trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! His message and program has helped thousands and will help you achieve unprecedented success in both your business and personal life.

Serotonin’s Role in Neurological Conditions Like Fibromyalgia and Anxiety Disorders

Though a tryptophan-rich diet may not necessarily translate into increased serotonin levels in the brain unless backed by adequate Vitamin B3, B6 and complex carbohydrates, it however, does place one a better chance at getting a serotonin boost.

Studies have established some links to a deficient state of brain serotonin with other neurological afflictions besides migraines, such as alcoholism, depression, suicidal tendencies, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorders, generalized anxiety disorders and social phobia to name a few.

We may experience low brain serotonin levels due to a variety of reasons:

1. Low levels of production of brain serotonin.

2. Less number of serotonin receptors in our brain region

3. High reuptake rate of serotonin back from the synapse into the presynaptic neurons, and

4. Deficiency in tryptophan levels in our body.

There is a new and fifth interesting dimension that has cropped up – that of the serotonin transporter gene (SERT). To relay a message, a neuron releases serotonin into the synapse or the gap between two neurons from where their dendrites begin. Once the message is relayed to the next neuron, the released serotonin in the synapse is collected and transported back to the pre-synaptic neuron by the SERT. SERTS are monoamine proteins. It has been found that when there are changes in the SERT metabolism, neurological afflictions begin.

It is also now being thought that the gene (called SLC6A4 – Solute Carrier family 6, member 4) that encodes the SERT can be mutated and result in changing the functions of SERT.

The area (aka promotor) in the gene SLC6A4 which synthesises RNA under the instructions from DNA, contains polymorphism – some long repeats (16 repeats of a sequence) and some short repeats (14 repeats of a sequence). Shorter repeats obviously enable lesser coding in them and thus when we have a pair of short repeats we get an increase in the risks of developing disorder states.

So though SSRIs and beta blockers may help migraines as well as those suffering from insomnia, depression, PTSD and other anxiety disorders, their efficacy will not be the same between 2 persons with the same condition. Those predisposed to neurological and psychological conditions due to the presence of 2 short versions of the gene will be less benefited than those with other variations (2 long or 1 long and 1 short).

Mamta A Singh is a certified aerobics instructor, personal trainer and also a certified sports nutritionist through the International Fitness Association (Fla.). She is also the author of the book MIGRAINES FOR THE INFORMED WOMAN – TIPS FROM A SUFFERER. Mamta is the lead writer in many popular health and nutrition sites and has been a freelance writer with more than 10 years of writing experience writing health, fitness, business and academic content. She holds a double Masters degree in Commerce and Business Management. Versatility is her motto as she is actively involved in philanthropic activities of the UN recognized Art of Living Foundation, making her an ideal life coach. It is available for preview/purchase at http://www.lulu.com/content/5121820

West Nile Neurological Disease – Part 2 – Weapons For the Battle

After what I call the pirates–the mosquito-borne virus that precipitated my husband’s case of West Nile Neurological Disease–invaded his body, assaulting his brain with encephalitis and paralyzing him in three limbs, our lives changed dramatically.

After a month in our local hospital, fighting for his life at first, doctors transferred Rick to a rehab centre two hours from our home. There his brain continued its slow road to recovery, and there he began in-depth therapy to relearn all his basic mobility skills.

Most patients, we knew, improve faster if a family member remains with them to help and encourage along the way. The centre had a hostel attached for relatives of the patients. For the duration of his five-month stay I made that my home.

Any room with a view of the sky is a room with a view as far as I’m concerned. My room had that, and more. It had a tree. A HUGE maple that filled my window and touched that sky. It also had a view of a courtyard playground which featured as its main attraction, a play-structure. A play structure built like a ship, complete with portholes, a ship’s wheel, a telescope–and a black flag that unfurled in the wind like an ominous specter.

“God,” I prayed, “I’ve always appreciated your sense of humor, but did you have to let the pirates park their ship right outside my window?”

I didn’t spend much time there. I slept in that room. I showered in that room. I wrote in that room until I flopped exhausted over the keyboard. But I spent most of my days at Rick’s side, helping where I could as God and the therapists put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Almost three years later, the pirates haven’t totally dis-boarded. We’ve lost much–a way of life, among other things. But though he hasn’t regained enough health to return to consistent work, Rick is walking, usually with a walker, and able to enjoy life again.

We’ve gained plenty too. We now live an edited life with a great many changes–plenty of them very good.

We’ve learned much about pirates on our journey down West Nile. How to fight them, how to make friends with them, even how to discover the hidden treasure they bring. Three things have proved monumental in finding our way about in our new normal.

In the rehab centre’s physiotherapy room hung three words, linked vertically with chains. Each word was deeply carved–and would become as deeply etched into both our souls: Faith. Hope. Therapy.

Like a musical motif, the reminder to keep faith, hold onto hope, and employ therapy, repeated itself many times after we first saw that sign. The motif is ongoing–and it has kept our little boat afloat, even in pirate-infested waters.

Why? Because faith, hope, and therapy are not just words. They’re crucial weapons in the business of pirate-fighting.

In the first few days after my husband was admitted to hospital, as I read from the book of Psalms in the Bible, one verse seemed to stand out from the rest–a prayer that God would strengthen hands for battle and fingers for war. At that point I expected to take a healthy husband back home in a week or two. I recall wondering why those verses, but felt I should pray that way, anyway.

I know why now. Our almost three year journey has been a long series of battles. We have needed extra measures of strength every step of the way.

If your life has been flipped upside down by pirates of whatever stripe, remember those words. In a battle one needs strong, reliable weapons. Don’t refuse therapy, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Never stop hoping. Most important of all, clutch onto faith.

Kathleen Gibson is a Canadian author and newspaper columnist whose work has been published in global print and online media. Through articles, interviews and her book, West Nile Diary–One Couple’s Triumph Over a Deadly Disease, she and her husband, Rick, have raised the level of West Nile Disease awareness across North America. Together, they point others to the beautiful strength that comes from cultivating a solid faith in God. Kathleen’s latest book is Practice by Practice, The Art of Everyday Faith. More info at http://www.kathleengibson.ca

You’ve just read article two in the E-Zine series: West Nile Neurological Disease–Fighting Life’s Pirates. Read the complete story of our West Nile journey in West Nile Diary, One Couple’s Triumph Over a Deadly Disease available on Amazon.

P.S. Wear repellant.

copyright 2010, by Kathleen Gibson. If you copy, copy right, and for non-profit use only. Please include author credit, and a link to my website, below.

Neurology Coding: Know which nerve conduction study code is proper for you

Selecting the right code to describe your nerve conduction test can prove to be a challenging proposition – until you learn three important areas to study. Here are some steps to make the right choice every time:

Differentiate between code choices

Doctors use nerve conduction studies (NCS) to evaluate the function and electrical conduction of motor and sensory nerves in the body. When you face NCS coding, CPT provides you three options:

95900 — Nerve conduction, amplitude and latency/velocity study, each nerve; motor, without F-wave study

95903 — motor, with F-wave study

95904 — sensory.

First step

Review carefully the physician’s documentation for the individual nerves stimulated. Remember you can report only one unit of service of the corresponding NCS code when the neurologist carries out a diagnostic study on the same nerve at multiple sites.

According to CPT descriptors, report codes 95900, 95903, and 95904 by “each nerve. See to it that you follow this guide and are not reporting multiple units of services for NCS testing at multiple sites on the same nerve as ‘separate nerves’.

Report 95900, 95903, and/or 95904 only once when the provider stimulates or records multiple sites on the same nerve. Code 95903 includes both the F-wave study and the underlying motor nerve conduction study. As per National Correct Coding Initiative edits, you cannot bill both 95900 and 95903 for motor NCS testing on the same nerve. CCI considers the Column 2 code, 95900 as a component of the more comprehensive Column 1 code 95903.

Know when to append modifiers

Modifiers can come in handy when coding nerve conduction studies, especially when the doctor tests different nerves or nerve branches or carries out different diagnostic NCS.

Establish medical necessity

The patient’s signs and/or symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis support medical necessity when ordering a diagnostic procedure. The physician must document the information in the order and note for the procedure. Information supporting medical necessity should also be in the professional interpretation report for the diagnostic study.

For more neurology coding and medical coding updates, sign up for an audio conference.

Audioeducator offers healthcare audio conferences and provides advanced Learning Opportunities about pain management coding updates through audio conferences through all types of audio conferences and exceptional series of training CD’s, DVD’s & Tapes

Information About Neurological Rehabilitation Products

If you or anyone in your family has suffered from a stroke, you know by now that neuromuscular and neurological rehabilitation is a long-term proposition. When you lose the ability to move a hand or foot due to stroke or other brain injury, you are left feeling frustrated and sometimes hopeless. Many hours and many repetitions of movement and therapy exercises are necessary for regaining motion and improving your quality of life.

High quality neurological rehabilitation products can help. Designed with input from top researchers and clinicians, these products have gone through years of development and produced strong clinical evidence. For you, they create a fun, interactive training environment that keeps your attention focused on the repetitive training tasks – a welcome alternative to the tedium of traditional physical therapy.

These neurological rehabilitation devices provide instructions and assistance. They encourage and challenge the patient to achieve, surpass and increase their goals. They record and report progress during hand therapy and foot therapy. These neurological rehabilitation products will not do the work for you, but they will work with you to achieve your goals.

How do they work?
Some neurological rehabilitation devices immerse the patient in a game-like environment. For example, by interacting with hand therapy and foot therapy games, a patient is encouraged to move their hand or foot to play the game. If the patient is unsuccessful in completing a specific task, assistance is given so that the full range of motion is realized.

These neurological rehabilitation devices provide 3 types of visual feedback: force, position and EMG (electrical activity of the muscle). In some devices an “air muscle” assists the patient with desired movement when they are not able to move their wrist or fingers on their own.

What is an “air muscle”?
It is a soft and springy air driven actuator that pulls a linkage system that raises the hand and wrist or foot and ankle in a fluid motion. Because of the soft springy muscle-like properties of the “air muscle,” it is safer than a motor and gear driven apparatus.

Who can benefit from using these neurological rehabilitation devices?
Stroke and other brain-injured patients of varying degrees of ability can benefit from these neurological rehabilitation devices. A patient with high tone or spasticity can increase their passive range of motion using a spasticity reduction program. Patients with some movement capabilities can improve active range of motion with the motor control and active recruitment programs.

How long will patients be using these neurological rehabilitation devices?
Much like piano lessons, the more you practice the more progress you will see. A typical weekly regimen at home would consist of 2-3 hours per day, 4-5 days per week. (Additional practice is not discouraged). In-clinic use is usually limited to 15 or 30 minutes due to the rigorous schedule of in-clinic therapy programs.

Due to varying severity of strokes and ability levels of stroke survivors, patients may use these neurological rehabilitation devices for periods ranging from a few months to more than a year and continue to see progress.

Stroke survivors should consult their physician to see whether neurological rehabilitation devices are the right choice for them. These devices can greatly improve a patient’s range of motion and ultimately help a patient return to a more normal lifestyle.

Ed Koeneman is COO and co-founder of Kinetic Muscles (KMI). KMI is a leading provider of products for stroke recovery. For more information about The Hand Mentor(TM), The Foot Mentor (TM) or neurological rehabilitation, visit our website.