Category: Blog

Reduce depression symptoms with Provigil in combination with anti-depressants

In a recent research, it was found that taking Provigil, which is commonly used to treat sleep disorders, along with anti-depressants can help a person to fight against depression. It is unfortunate that one of the three patients who take anti-depressants to treat this medical illness get literally no effect even though they combine with psychological training.

People who respond very well to the anti-depressants also suffer from certain ill effects like fatigue or difficulty in sleeping. This is when the researchers believed that taking Provigil in addition to the anti-depressants can provide great help to the patients.

Study results based on Provigil with anti-depressants

In this study, 568 patients who suffered from unipolar depression and 342 patients who suffered from bipolar depression were taken. Provigil and the anti-depressant medications were given to the patients and the experience they had was noted. During the analysis, it was understood that Provigil medication actually improved the severity of the depression. The best part is that the major ill effects that the patients suffer from like fatigue and sleeplessness were reduced to a greater extent.

Provigil medication would have the great effect on the central nervous system and this is the same case for anti-depressants too. Now, the picture would be clear enough for you on why Provigil with anti-depressants works the best on people.

The patients who suffer from depression would struggle to manage at work. But during the study, it was found that Provigil also produces symptomatic benefits to the patients. Through this, it is possible to increase the productivity at work.

Due to the positive results that it provides to the people, the researchers have decided to do longer trials. This would be very much helpful for them to understand the potential benefits that Provigil along with anti-depressants can provide on patients.

Depression is seriously a huge health issue that a person is suffering from. It has a negative impact on the relationships and at work. People spend so much for getting anti-depressant medications in a year. Even after taking the drug not all are able to get positive effects.

But, the result of this research is definitely great news for those who are fighting with depression. There are chances that people would be able to receive the best therapy in the near future.

Can you take Provigil if you suffer from depression?

No, you are not supposed to take Provigil along with anti-depressants now. It is because this topic has reached only the trial stage. There is still a long way to go. The researchers have to identify the appropriate dosage strength and to check whether this combination would trigger any ill effects in a person or not. Only if it is approved, you can take it to treat depression.

Provigil works well in the treatment of excessive sleepiness

Provigil is a med that promotes wakefulness and it works extremely effective in the treatment of excessive sleepiness which is a complaint mostly from people who are on shift works. There are myriad drugs that work to treat various sleep associated conditions. Drugs like Provigil and its generic variant Modafinil can treat excessive sleepiness conditions that are possibly known to be caused by narcolepsy, sleep apnea and also shift work disorder. Modafinil is believed to be well tolerated in treating excessive sleepiness and also does not affect cardiovascular or other sleep parameters.  If you are someone who is affected by excessive daytime sleepiness and do not know a way out, then reading this blog will be a good choice.

Study on Provigil

A study was conducted among outpatients who received Modafinil in the dosage strengths of 200mg, 300mg, and 400mg or even a placebo once daily for up to twelve weeks. Around 900 patients were receiving treatment with Modafinil while about 50 patients were on placebo. These patients were assessed for adverse events and effects of Modafinil on various health aspects like blood pressure/ heart rates, polysomnography, electrocardiogram intervals and also for clinical laboratory parameters.

Study outcome on Provigil for treating excessive sleepiness

The results that were thus obtained estimated that Modafinil was well tolerated against placebo, though some side effects like a headache, nausea, and infection were noticed. The overall incidence of side effects was known to be similar to that of the three dosage groups of Modafinil. Adverse events that occurred more frequently in the Modafinil group included dry mouth, insomnia, headache, nausea, hypertension, anorexia, nervousness, anxiety, hypertension, and pharyngitis. Among the patients who took Modafinil, around nineteen serious and adverse effects were noticed wherein those in the placebo group, there were about ten serious and adverse events.

Patients who were treated with Modafinil, clinical significance increases in diastolic or systolic blood pressure were observed to be infrequent. Whereas, in the narcolepsy study one patient in the Modafinil group and one in the placebo group were noticed of having a clinically significant increase in heart rate. It was also found that new clinical electrocardiogram abnormalities were rare amongst the Modafinil and placebo group. Also, Modafinil did not interrupt the sleep architecture in any patient as per polysomnography. Yet, clinically significant abnormalities did happen in mean laboratory parameters in about less than one percent of patients who were treated for Modafinil.

Modafinil, therefore, is observed to be well-tolerated and further, it also appears as per research that administration of Modafinil on a daily basis confers a low risk of adverse events or even severe adverse events for that matter. These results make up for a positive ratio for risk-benefit of using Modafinil in the treatment of excessive sleepiness in patients who are on shift work sleep disorder.

Precautions with Provigil

Researchers emphasize that patients who suspect that they might be having a sleep disorder consult a physician immediately. Also, patients can discuss treatment options before treating with medications. Therapies like hypnotics in modern days are considered safe. People taking treatment with medications need to be aware that side effects do arise with any kind of treatment. Medications that are indicated for sleep disorders are also termed to be effective and are considered a safe treatment option, provided the patient is using them properly and under the supervision of a physician.

When the little things are never little….

Tonight Jack and I did something I thought we wouldn’t be able to do for a very long time. (or on my worse days,ever) We ate out at a restaurant. Together, at a table, no headphones,ate with no special food allergy issues!!!! Now to most people this may not seem like a big deal. BUT to us it is a VERY big deal!!! If we do attempt to go out and eat several things happen that make it not even worth the try or at least feel like it! (ill always try and never give up) 1. too loud can’t eat here (super awesome meltdown) 2. food allergies prevent us from even going in 3. “behavior issues” aka sensory processing disorder in the Autism world. 4. He wouldn’t eat anything in this place anyway!! 5. If someone goes with us to “help” it just causes a whole bunch of other problems.
I could go on but I won’t.

I learned a long time ago not to take things for granted, or so I thought. God apparently had other things in mind. Being a mother has definitely taught me that and more. Being a special needs mother well, that’s a whole other ballgame!!!
When I had my son I, like every other mother had dreams of what we would do when they were born. God , once again tapped me on the shoulder and let me know I’m not always in control. (and that’s not a bad thing)
Now, (not always) but I sure do try to not take these small enjoyable moments for granted. I really want to enjoy the “little things”.

New carrier— total hours back!

Just a quick update– We have had an extremely stressful few months– nothing really different for all of us with a loved one on the spectrum.  We lost all of our appeals— still doesn’t make any sense but we changed insurance carriers and now Evan can get the 40 hours a week he so desperately needs.  We couldn’t be happier.

We did take a cruise with Evan as well.  It was a Disney Cruise done through Autism on the Seas.  The cruise was incredible and all the cast members were fantastic.  In our group there were 11 families all with a child on the spectrum.  I will write more about it later.  If you want more information before that, let me know at jimm9811@gmail.com.

Hope the winter is being nice to you— way too much snow and cold here!

Relating to my “Grandma”

Ok…based on the title I’ve given this post and the picture I’ve attached, I’m sure a lot of you might be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute…I don’t see a ‘Grandma’ in this picture!  What does this picture have to do with a ‘Grandma’?”  That is indeed a legitimate point, but let me explain.  The picture I’ve attached to this post is a recent photo taken of my nieces and nephews (I believe it was from the first day of school for them this year).  The third kiddo from the left is my oldest niece, Nadia.  She turned the big 1-0 earlier this year, and ever since then I’ve told her that she’s really old (now that she’s double-digits in age)—and just recently I’ve been calling her “Grandma”.  At first, she didn’t really care all that much for being called a “Grandma”, but she has since warmed up to it and actually now fires back at me by calling me “Uncle Grandpa”!

So, I would say for about the past year or so, my Mom and I have talks with Nadia every so often to talk about how her life is going…mostly with the backdrop of autism in mind, but not always necessarily directly on the topic.  For those who don’t know, my Mom and Nadia have autism too.  With that said, whenever the three of us get together to talk, we call it an “AAA” club meeting (three autistic people)…and no one else can be in on our private autistic conversations!  The three of us can share things that a lot of those who don’t have autism wouldn’t understand, so it’s a good thing for Nadia to have an outlet on this topic.  Hearing what she has to say about what is going on in her life (both the good and the bad) obviously resonates with me quite a bit at times.  She is indeed leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at her age from a social point of view, but I still completely understand where she’s coming from as I’ve also struggled with some of the same issues that she has at this time.  There was one recent “AAA” meeting in particular a couple weeks ago that really struck me—and is actually what is providing the impetus for me making this post…

According to an evaluation of Nadia at her school, it was noted that her social skills/development wasn’t where it was supposed to be.  The person who evaluated Nadia (which I assume would be her teacher…but I could be wrong) specifically pointed out that she had a hard time interacting with her classmates in small-group settings.  From what I understand, she was fine interacting one-on-one with classmates that she knew well, but once she was placed in a small group where she didn’t know everybody, she was very hesitant to participate in the activity.  Speaking in front of a large group (i.e., the entire class) wasn’t a main focus of this evaluation, as obviously a lot of neurotypical kids (not just autistic kids) struggle with it.  Another item of note was that she wasn’t participating all that much in class (i.e., raising her hand if she knew an answer to a particular question asked by her teacher).  So with all this in mind, the three of us had an “AAA” meeting to talk about it, and some of what she revealed really hit home with me…

My Mom and I were curious about her hesitancy to participate both in the small-group setting and in raising her hand in class.  So I asked her specifically why she feels the way she does in those situations.  She answered with something along the lines of “I don’t know.”  I then asked her if it was because she was afraid that she would be wrong.  She answered that question with something like “No, not really.”  It was after that question when she brought up a situation that happened in class when she was working together with a classmate on a particular assignment/question (I don’t recall the specifics).  Basically what happened was that there was a difference in opinion between her and her classmate as to what the answer to this question was.  I’m pretty sure there really wasn’t any outward conflict or anything, but Nadia ended up going with her classmate’s answer—an answer which turned out to be wrong, while Nadia’s answer was the correct one.  It was this revelation that struck a chord with me as I completely know how she feels in those types of situations…

When I was going through school while having autism, I RARELY ever raised my hand/participated in class and I would much more likely than not give in to others given similar situations to what Nadia has experienced.  I didn’t really have the confidence to speak up in those situations for whatever reason—and I don’t know why in hindsight, which is why Nadia’s response to my questions really resonated with me.  At her age, I probably would have answered those same questions in a very similar fashion—especially considering that intellectually we were roughly the same.  It’s not that I didn’t know the answer to a particular question (more often than not, I did know the answer to the question…exactly the same sentiment that Nadia has), but I just didn’t have the confidence in myself to say anything.  It’s honestly hard to put into words WHY that was (again, which is the exact same sentiment that Nadia has).  Why do we feel self-conscious in those situations?  It’s honestly something that I still battle with at times, even with my social development in recent years.  I’m taking classes at Ivy Tech right now, and I am STILL hesitant to raise my hand and participate in class.

With all of this said, Nadia and I have become pretty close over the past couple years as she is now more fully understanding that I know what she’s going through in her struggles with autism.  As she is getting older and maturing, I feel as if there will be more moments of clarity for me in these kinds of situations—and I hope to continue to be a guiding and supportive influence in her life as she grows up.  I hope to be a mentor—an example of what it’s like to struggle with autism, but yet become a better person from having gone through it.  Sure, she may be a lot better off now than what I was like at her age, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have some wisdom/life experiences to share with her over the coming years…as we are both “getting older”!

Awareness is the key— Are you listening large insurance carrier?

Evan does not deserve a form letter insurance reduction in therapy hours.

It is said that “if you’ve seen one child with autism, you have seen one child with autism.”  You know that, I know that but apparently a very large insurance carrier doesn’t believe that is the case.  We are in the midst of an appeal process to try and reinstate the therapy hours that Evan needs.  His hours were cut to 15 from 40 since he is “school age”.  I guess that individual decisions are not needed anymore when determining what is appropriate since we can now use an age based criteria.  Evan is 7 but is not ready for mainstream school.  His primary doctors have also stated that the ABA is a medical necessity for Evan to continue on his path.

It would make sense that the insurance carrier would approve the recommendation of the observing physicians but instead we received a form letter, which others have received as well.  The letter states that the hours would be decreased since he “has not made the amount of progress that would be expected”.  So logic would dictate that a less one-on-one classroom environment would be even better.  At least that is the logic of the insurance carrier.

This issue is not just an autism issue.  One part of the denial states, “He may have achieved a plateau where his skill level and behaviors may not significantly improve”.  Insurance logic then dictates less therapy should be used.  I am 58 years old so what if I get ill and need services.  Would I have “achieved a plateau” as well so treatment would be eliminated?  I am very glad they didn’t feel my wife had plateaued when she had thyroid cancer so she was able to get the medically necessary treatment.

Any difference between the medically necessary treatment Evan needs and Mindy’s scenario.  I don’t think so!

I know many other families that are going through the same issue and I know I can speak for all of us—

I will not give up.  I will not go away!  Evan’s life is far too important to a lot of people to justify this “form letter” treatment.  We are just beginning to fight but will not stop until changes are made for all of us!  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers— we may need them!

Awareness is the key!  (Are you listening large insurance carrier????)

Are you gluten intolerant ?

If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

How to test for gluten intolerance?

I have found the single best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.

The best advice that I share with my patients is that if they feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for them. In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must elimination 100% of the gluten from your diet.

How to treat gluten intolerance?

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.

Grandparents: The Do’s & Don’ts of Planning for Your Grandchild(ren) with Special Needs

Grandparents want the best for their children and grandchildren, often making gifts while alive, or provisions for their loved ones through estate planning. Grandparents who are in a position to leave money to grandchildren often want to do something for their grandchild(ren) with special needs. They worry that they may need additional resources or assistance for a quality life. Grandparents are often told not to leave their grandchild(ren) with special needs any assets because they may lose government benefits. People are unsure about what to do or not to do.

Grandparents can leave money to their grandchild(ren) with special needs. There are very special ways to do it!  Money has to be left in such a way so that government benefits are not lost.  Assets in excess of $1,500 will cause the loss of certain government benefits for the person with special needs.

Money should not be left to the grandchild directly, but should be left to a special needs trust. The special needs trust was developed to manage resources while maintaining the individual’s eligibility for government benefits. The trust is maintained by a trustee on behalf of the person with special needs. The trustee has discretion to manage the money in the trust and decides how the money is to be used. The money must be used for supplemental purposes only. It should only supplement, or add to benefits (food, shelter or clothing) that the government already provides through Supplementary Security Income (SSI). It must not supplant or replace government benefits. If properly structured by a knowledgeable special needs attorney, the special needs trust assets will not count towards the $1,500 limit for an individual.

Brief Summary of Do’s and Don’ts!

Do’s:

1)      Make provisions for your grandchild(ren) with special needsLeave money to the child’s special needs trust. The special needs trust is the only way to leave money without losing government benefits.

2)      Coordinate all planning with the child’s parents or other relatives.  Notify the parents when you plan for grandchild(ren).

3)      Leave life insurance, survivorship life, and annuities to the child’s special needs trust. The special needs trust can be named as the beneficiary. When the insured or annuitant dies, the death benefit is paid to the special needs trust. The special needs trust then has a lump sum of money to be used in caring for the grandchild(ren) with special needs.

4)      Consult with trained financial and legal professionals who have experience in special needs estate planning.

5)      Review your existing estate plans.  Assets left to your children per stripes may unintentionally go to your grandchild(ren) with special needs.

Don’ts:

1)      Do not disinherit your grandchild(ren) with special needs. Money can now be left to a properly drawn special needs trust.

2)      Don’t give money to your grandchild(ren) with special needs under UGMA or UTMA (Uniform Gift or Transfer to Minors Act). Money automatically belongs to the child(ren) upon reaching legal age, resulting in potential loss of benefits.

3)      Don’t leave money directly to a grandchild with special needs through a will. Money left will be a countable asset of the child and may cause the loss of government benefits.

4)      Don’t leave money to a poorly set up trust. Money left to an improperly drafted trust can result in the loss of government benefits.

5)      Do not leave money to relatives to “keep or hold” for the child with special needs. The money can be attached to a lawsuit, divorce, liability claim or other judgment against the relative.

Due to the complexity of federal and state laws, you may require specially trained professionals to help you plan for the future of your child(ren) with special needs. I will work with you and your tax and legal advisers to help you select the most appropriate product solutions to suit your specific needs and circumstances.

Contact Senior Financial Services Executive and Special Needs Financial Planner Gordon Homes, CFP®, ChFC, CLU, at (800) 903-6380 FREE ext. 5042, (317) 317-567-2005, or at ghomes@metlife.com for more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation.  Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), New York, NY 10166. Securities products and investment advisory services offered by MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI) (member FINRA/SIPC) and a registered investment adviser.  MLIC and MSI are MetLife companies. L0113301561[exp0214][IN]

Living With Autism and Turner’s Syndrome

Having Turner’s Syndrome and Asperger’s Syndrome can be difficult at some points, but I wouldn’t change anything about who I am. My name is Cassidy and I have Asperger’s Syndrome and Turner’s Syndrome. I’m 19 years old and live in a small town in Mississippi. When I was born, the doctors noticed some physical characteristics of a condition that they thought was Turner’s Syndrome. When I was a few days old, they performed a test called karotype. The test came back positive and confirmed I had classic Turner’s Syndrome. Turner’s Syndrome is a chromosome abnormality that occurs only in females. It cause heart defects, short stature, webbed neck, etc. My mom was scared because she didn’t know what Turner’s Syndrome was and whether I would live. I’m glad that wasn’t the case with me. I am lucky. I believe God kept me on this Earth for a reason. There is a reason why I’m short.

Most people never heard of Turner’s Syndrome, because it’s a very rare condition. When I was in school, I was picked on for being different and short for my age. My classmates did not understand my condition and why I was the way I was. As I grew older, my mom knew something else was going on with me, and it wasn’t Turner’s Syndrome. I was becoming depressed and cried all the time. I started to have anxiety and ticks such as hand clapping. I also developed an interest in celebrities. My mom knew this wasn’t normal behavior and something was wrong. I wasn’t socializing with my peers and had no social skills. We went to a psychiatrist and he confirmed I had Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is a developmental disorder. It is on the autism spectrum. It causes difficulty reading social cues and social interaction with peers. People with Asperger’s don’t know how to socialize with their peers like others do and connect with the real world. Some people with Asperger’s live in their ‘own world at times.

Even though we are different, we still want to be accepted by peers. Some people don’t understand what it’s like to be on the autism spectrum and how we think. I know that sometimes I want to be like everybody else, but I’m not. I’m just me. Nothing is going to change that. I feel blessed that I am the way I am. I have a strong support system and I know they’re behind me 100 percent. I graduated in May, 2012 with honors. I was fourth in class ranking and I am currently about to take online classes as of fall 2013. I still deal with my autism on a daily basis, but I’m not going to let it stop me from doing what I want to do. I am going to live my life and not let it affect me and who I am.

Cassidy Hooper, Mississippi

New Information Service – The Legal Network

The Arc of Indiana has launched a new service, The Legal Network, to provide information to attorneys, judges and other practitioners in the legal field who have a family member with a disability or direct interest in a person or individuals with disabilities.

To sign-up for this free information service, visit: http://www.arcind.org/index/legalnetworksignup.asp

The Legal Network is a project of The Arc of Indiana supported by the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission (IPAS).

To learn more about IPAS, visit: www.in.gov/ipas