Tag Archives: family
The more people you know who use marijuana, the harder it becomes to say that they should be arrested for possessing it. After all, the vast majority of marijuana users are productive and otherwise law-abiding members of society. This fact has become increasingly evident as more and more people come out of the “cannabis closet” and become open about their experiences with the substance.
Last Friday, House Speaker John Boehner’s daughter Lindsay married Dominic Lakhan, a Jamaican-born construction worker. Lakhan was arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana in 2006.
Is it possible that Boehner, who has consistently opposed marijuana policy reform, will start to come around now that he has a convicted marijuana user for a son-in-law? Does he think Lakhan is better off with an arrest record or that Lakhan deserves to be arrested again for using marijuana? Would he care about how it affects his daughter? Only time will tell.
Let’s hope his experience is similar to that of Republican Senator Rob Portman, who changed his stance on gay marriage after learning that his son is gay. While this position initially caused a slight loss in approval among Republicans in his state, the growing acceptance of gay marriage (which has been nearly mirrored by the increasing support for marijuana policy reform) could actually help him in the long run.
Politicians’ thinking traditionally lags far behind the general public on social issues, but it gets a little harder to ignore when that thinking hurts your own family.
The brand name Optimus and two temperature knobs appear on the portable electric heaters.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (L-R) reads the children’s book ”Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” as her daughters Malia and Sasha look on, during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, April 1, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Jan. 8, 2013 — People with epilepsy have a higher risk for migraines, and now new research offers evidence of a genetic link between the two conditions.
The study confirmed that having a strong family history of epilepsy is a strong risk factor for migraine headaches.
Epilepsy, Migraines, and Genes
When researchers studied about 500 families that included two or more members with epilepsy, they found that people with the largest number of close relatives with seizures also had the highest migraine risk.
Those with three or more close relatives with seizure disorder had more than double the risk for migraine with aura — headaches with additional symptoms such as nausea or sensitivity to sound or light.
By following families, the researchers were able to show that the link between epilepsy and migraine was due to shared biology and not some other cause, says researcher Melodie R. Winawer, MD. She is an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University in New York City.
“There are many reasons two diseases occur together, but it has not really been clear until now that these two diseases are genetically linked,” she says.
Not All Seizures Have Genetic Cause
Winawer and colleagues at Columbia University analyzed data from an ongoing genetic study of epilepsy families in the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand.
The study represents the largest collection of families with multiple members with epilepsy ever assembled, and a main goal is to determine how genes contribute to epilepsy risk.
Winawer explains that there are many kinds of epilepsy, and many people with the condition do not have family members who are afflicted.
Some people begin to have seizures after experiencing a blow to the head, for example.
But she says that studying families at strong genetic risk for seizure disorders could lead to a better understanding of epilepsy, and risk for migraine.
The analysis, which appears in the journal Epilepsia, included 730 epilepsy patients in the study from 501 families.
Epilepsy Drugs Prevent Migraines
Neurologist Nathan B. Fountain, MD, says the study makes a good case that shared genes help explain the higher incidence of migraines in people with epilepsy.
Fountain directs the epilepsy program at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and he serves on the advisory board of the Epilepsy Foundation.
He adds that the search for common genes that link epilepsy and migraines could lead to better strategies to treat or even prevent both disorders.
“Family-based population studies like this one represent a whole new way of doing research,” he says. “There is no telling what we can learn from them in the future.”
MONDAY Dec. 31, 2012 — Angela Morales-Patterson first knew something was wrong when she heard a nurse gasp just after delivery of her baby.
Her son, Elijah Patterson, now 13, was born with a cleft lip and palate.
“I had expected everything to be fine,” she said. “Then I heard a gasp from one of the nurses, but no one told us anything. Finally, they told us he’d been born with a cleft lip and palate and explained everything to us. As a new mom, you don’t expect anything to happen to your child. It was a lot to take in.”
What Patterson hadn’t realized was that the surgery she had while in college, to fix what her mother referred to as a hairlip, was actually done to repair a very slight cleft lip — something that an aunt had also had. Morales-Patterson, who lives in Clay, N.Y., has since had a second son, who was not born with either a cleft lip or palate.
Elijah had his first surgery when he was about 3 months old, his mother said. His cleft palate wasn’t repaired until he was about 2 years old. He’s also had to have tubes surgically placed in his ears numerous times.
“I’ve lost count of how many surgeries he’s had,” she said. “The ear tubes really help the ears drain so they’re not in pain.”
Morales-Patterson said that when the doctors were first telling her about the birth defects, they ran down a “scary list” of other things her child might have, such as hearing problems or heart conditions, but fortunately, she said, he’s had none of them.
He did have a bone graft surgery in third grade, and he’ll soon be going for another procedure on his lip to try to improve the way it looks. Once he reaches high school, she said, he’ll need another surgery to realign his jaw. He’s also needed to wear braces and have speech therapy.
At first, she said, it was tough. “Feeding was very difficult,” she recalled. “We had a special bottle, and we had to hold it a certain way. When he started eating solids, I had to put them in the corner of his mouth so they wouldn’t go in the hole. It was a little frustrating.”
But what’s been more frustrating at times, she said, is that the insurance companies have not always understood that her son isn’t undergoing any of his treatments for purely cosmetic reasons. She’s had trouble getting reimbursement for braces, she said, even though they’re medically indicated.
“It’s not cosmetic, it’s medical,” she said.
“My advice to other parents is to push,” Morales-Patterson said. “Be very pushy if you need to be.”
She also noted the information and support groups available through the Cleft Palate Foundation.
“It’s good to have someone to talk to so you know you’re not there by yourself,” she said. “And, they even have support groups for the kids.”
Find out more about the causes and treatment of oral birth defects here.
Posted: December 2012