National Cord Blood Awareness Month is July 2014. Would you bank your child’s cord blood?

Stem cell therapy -

Stem cell therapy -

As many readers will know this blogs a great interest in both new ways of treating medical conditions and the new types of medical technology which make these treatments possible.

In particular we have looked at the area of stem cells in particular as a treatment for multiple sclerosis. You can check out our recent blog here.

Interestingly cord blood ( ie from the newly born’s umbilical cord). I would strongly recommend you pop round to the Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation which gives , for my money, the best overview , of cord blood and cord blood banking. They say “The term “cord blood” is used to describe the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and the placenta after the birth of a baby. Up until recently this blood was discarded as medical waste. Cord blood contains stem cells that may be cryopreserved for later use in medical therapies, such as stem cell transplantation or new emerging therapies.”

The site useful gives a list of cord blood banks not just in America.

Indeed they mention that over 80 different medical conditions could be treated with stem cells from cord blood. These include types of Leukemia , some anemias, Lymphoma, Thrombocytopenia, Bone Marrow Cancers and some solid tumours. That being said it is currently under going clinical trials for such diverse conditions as autism, rheumatoid arthritis, Cerebral Palsy and some types of motor neurone disease.

So it all looks very promising.

As well as raising awareness of Cord Blood Awareness Month we are also interested in your views ion the subject. It would be great if you could share your responses to the following questions using the comment box below:-

a) Have you “banked” your childs cord blood? If so why and how did you go about the process of doing so?
b) Would you consider it in the future.

Any aspect of your cord cell story will be of great interest so feel free to tell us below.

World MS Trend Day 31st July 2014 – get involved in a social media campaign to raise awareness of the need for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis

World MS Trend Day

World MS Trend Day

So what is World MS Trend Day?

Simple the aim is to get the hashtag #curems to trend on Twitter on July 31st 2014.

That is it. You can use social media like Facebook or Twitter to raise awareness of the need for a cure for MS by just using the #curems in all your posts on that day.

You might also wish to post this page to help us with this important campaign.

Thanks very much in advance.

#worldmstrendday #curems

Military Families with a Child with Special Needs Survey: Please take part!

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University

We have reposted this on behalf of Jennifer M Davis of Pennsylvania State University. We thought it would be of great interest to the autism community. Davis is currently completing her doctoral research of which this survey is an important part. Please share with anyone who may be inerested.

She writes “We have developed a survey to investigate the experiences and needs of military families with a child with special needs. We hope to use these results to improve therapeutic services for military families and their children. Any military spouse of an active duty service member with a child with special needs 4-21 years of age is able to participate. The survey will take approximately 40 minutes to complete. To complete the survey, click on this link:

We really appreciate your assistance with our research! Please take the survey and share it with others who may be interested.

Thank you for your help and support!”

Please contact Jennifer Davis, Doctoral Candidate at with any questions or concerns.

*This Project has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects at The Pennsylvania State University.

Anxiety, Insomnia and Panic Attacks – What are your legal rights if you are under stress at work?

Claire Dawson from Slater & Gordon

Claire Dawson from Slater & Gordon

If you wake up on Monday with a smile on your face, you’re in the minority of Britons. At least that’s what a recent survey by pollsters Censuswide has found.

Anxiety, insomnia and panic attacks are increasingly common among the more than 90% of those that suffer from work stress – and one in seven say they’ve even turned to alcohol to cope with the intensity of work.

Having too much to do is the leading stressor for Britons, followed closely by attempting to meet unrealistic deadlines and having to work more hours than contracted.

But even when it negatively affects their health, only one in five workers said they would feel comfortable telling their boss they were suffering from stress. Over 70% said that they thought there was a stigma attached to admitting they couldn’t cope and that asking for help would negatively impact their careers.

Almost 60% of stressed Britons said that they do not believe there is adequate support for them at work when they are struggling with stress, and more than a third believe their employer could be doing more to reduce stress levels in the office.

We’ve got a short video below with some advice for both employers and employees on how to manage stress in the office – by making sure that everyone is aware of their rights and obligations when it comes to dealing with stress in the workplace, and by speaking only about feeling mental pressures.

To help you work out your rights employment lawyer Claire Dawson from Slater & Gordon outlines your rights and your employers’ obligations in the following video.

“Half of adults with autism ‘afraid to leave house’”. In your experience is this true? Take our poll.

Autism Spectrum Condition

Autism Spectrum Condition

I’m a bit tale in blogging about this but as they say “better late than never”!

A few weeks ago on the BBC Health new site an article appeared which claimed “Almost half of adults with autism are afraid to leave the house in fear of facing abuse or harassment, according to a charity.”

Indeed “The National Autistic Society spoke to 1,300 adults on the autistic spectrum and found 37% of those asked had been manipulated to do something they did not want to do”!” You can read all about it here.

Do be honest i found the article a bit confusing and if this is read by anyone in the the National Autistic Society I’d be keen for more detail. That being said i was wondering to what extent these finds reflect the experiences of our readers.

So we would be very grateful if you would consider taking the short poll below.

Many thanks in advance!

Multiple Sclerosis Heat Intolerance or Uthoff’s Phenomenon. Find out more!

Multiple Sclerosis heat intolerance

Multiple Sclerosis heat intolerance

Donnee Spencer has produced this brilliant infographic introducing multiple sclerosis heat intolerance or Uthoff’s Phenomenon as it is also called. Donne says “I didn’t write this one, I just took the write up and designed a background for it, but it’s great info for how the heat affects us!” Do you know where the text comes from? If so please let us know in the comments section so we can put up and acknowledgement and link.

It is worth mentioning that Donnee that Donnee has started her own Facebook page called My Life with MS. Please do consider joining here.

Finally you might be interested in what we think is a genius idea for keeping cool in this heat.

World Hepatitis Day 28th July 2014 – Hepatitis: Think Again – #WorldHepatitisday

World Hepatitis Day 2014

World Hepatitis Day 2014

World Hepatitis Day 2014[/caption]Monday 28th July sees the 5th annual commemoration of World Hepatitis Day.

The theme this year is Hepatitis: Think Again and events are going on throughout the globe.

This year focuses on a set of key messages regarding hepatitis which we would like to share with our readers and ask them to pass on to family and friends:-

* Viral hepatitis kills 1.5 million people worldwide each year. That’s as many people as HIV/AIDS.

* Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer. Liver cancer is the second biggest cancer killer.

* Feeling fine? Are you sure? Symptoms of viral hepatitis often go unnoticed. Get tested.

* Safe? At Risk? Viral hepatitis can be avoided.

* Treated? Treatable? Viral hepatitis can be treated. Everybody deserves the chance.

* Viral hepatitis can be prevented. Vaccinate your children.

* Stigma kills. Don’t discriminate.

Why not have a look at the World Hepatitis Day website here.

A cure for all illness

To my mind Donnee Spencer’s new butterfly says it all

A cure for all illness

A cure for all illness

July is National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month – Find out how you can help here!

National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month

National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month

The Cleft Palate Foundation have very kindly given permission to use their press release as a way of raising awareness of National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month.

They say “In the United States, approximately one of every 600 newborn babies is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. This July, over 20 organizations committed to craniofacial care will engage in activities promoting National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month.

“Clefts of the lip and palate are the number one birth defect worldwide according to the World Health Organization,” said Marilyn Cohen, President of the Cleft Palate Foundation, “And other craniofacial conditions often affect children throughout the world. This national month of awareness provides an opportunity to discuss facial differences, the treatment options available to individuals, and the prevention of craniofacial defects.”

Occurring in about 7,000 infants per year in the U.S., a cleft lip or palate is created when the tissue that makes up the upper lip or the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy, leaving an opening. Although clefts are usually repaired surgically in the first year of life, many children need additional surgeries and treatments as they get older to improve problems with breathing, hearing, or speech and language development. Those born with cleft lip or palate also tend to require special dental or orthodontic care throughout their lives.

The causes of orofacial clefts are mostly unknown, resulting from changes in the child’s genes before birth. Recently, CDC found that women who smoke during pregnancy or are diagnosed with diabetes before pregnancy have an increased risk of having a child with a cleft. CDC also found that women who use certain medicines to treat epilepsy, such as topiramate or valproic acid, during the first trimester (the first 3 months) of pregnancy also have an increased risk. Craniofacial birth defects range in severity and affect the head and face in a variety of ways. Specific information about causes and treatment for clefts and other craniofacial birth defects in the U.S. is available through the Cleft Palate Foundation. ”

You can read more about Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month here.

Wiltshire Police Officer is running to raise money for the MS Society – please like and share to show your support for her.

Lisette HARVEY

Lisette HARVEY

Lisette Harvey, an officer with Wiltshire Police, has started a series of runs to raise money to raise money for the UK’s MS Society.

She says ” I have been touched by the devastating effects of MS after losing my brother-in-law, Daren Davies, aged 39.

I have decided to start this challenge to support those suffering from this disease and to contribute to the fundraising for medical advancements to find a cure.

I commit to spending the next 14 months challenging myself by way of running, walking and other activities that push me out of my comfort zone.

Please support in any way you can to fight this life changing illness that impacts on all involved with MS.

Thank you!!”

Ms Harvey has set up a Just Giving Page here. Please do give generously to this important cause!

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