Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Neuro Film Festival

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), a professional organization for neurologists, is hosting the Neuro Film Festival at the 2010 Annual Meeting next week:
The Neuro Film Festival is a contest held by the American Academy of Neurology Foundation to help raise awareness through video about brain disorders and the need to support research into preventions, treatments and cures. The entries highlight compelling videos from patients and their families and caregivers about living with a neurologic condition.
The contest YouTube channel features 65 entries. Videos cover well-known neurological disorders such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Other entries feature lesser-known disorders including ataxia telangiectasia, Batten disease, Niemann-Pick disease type C, and even an ovarian teratoma that triggered encephalitis and psychotic hallucinations (see A New Kind of Encephalitis.mp4 and Nightmarish tumor took her to brink1):
"She was totally insane when she came in, to the point where she would lunge at you, thinking she had to defend herself against you," [Dr. Ed] Richards said. "And a few days after the surgery, she was pretty much back to normal."

[Kiera] Echols was lucky. Her form of encephalitis - called anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis - was identified only in 2007, though it's probably always been around. A doctor in Pennsylvania developed a way to test for the antibodies that trigger the disorder.

AAN has a Twitter feed, which you can follow for updates on the film fest. The latest from @AANPublic:
Winners of the Neuro Film Festival to be announced Sunday at the AAN Annual Meeting in Toronto!


1 Despite the sensationalistic headline, the article is actually very informative. Link via @anibalmastobiza and Neuroethics & Law Blog.

Tom Chomont was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the age of 52. He
exhibits severe dyskinesia as a side effect of L-DOPA, the dopaminergic medication taken to ameliorate the PD symptoms. In Fluctuations, Tom describes how he transforms these wild uncontrollable movements into dance:
When I hit the right song, I feel it and I stick with it. I try to forget everything else. I even try to forget what my body is doing. I just try to feel the music.

Come on, vogue
Let your body move to the music
Hey, hey, hey
Come on, vogue
Let your body go with the flow
You know you can do it


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