Brain World & Dahn Yoga at MS Research Center NY’s Annual Symposium

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Brain World Magazine Team-Margaret Emory, editor (glasses), Mitria Di Giacomo, advtg. consultant (pink), Liz Belilovskaya, journalism intern (yellow) and Dahn Yoga’s Daniel Jung.

On October 21, 2012 from 9:30-2:30 pm, Brain World Magazine and Dahn Yoga/Tai Chi were invited to share an exhibitor’s table at the Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York’s (MSRCNY) 15th Annual Patient Symposium, held at New York’s Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

Brain World Magazine seeks to report the latest neuroscientific findings and their effect on all aspects of our existence. Dahn (meaning “Energy” in Korean) Yoga/Tai Chi is an energy yoga practice originating in Korea whose gentle movements and distinctive Brain Wave Vibration are known to stimulate certain body parts as well as the brain, having a positive effect on a person and leading to lesser stress. It is said that brain waves have an effect on the mental and physical state of a person, thereby ameliorating many of the symptoms of disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

At the Symposium, the 600 or so patients, caregivers, and family members were treated to a compelling and hearty banquet of the Research Center’s latest findings having to do with the cause, treatment and care of MS.

MS affects 2.5 million people worldwide, including 400,000 Americans. The NIH describes MS as a nervous system disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks messages between the brain and your body, leading to the symptoms of MS which include visual disturbances, muscle weakness, trouble with coordination and balance, sensations such as numbness, prickling, or “pins and needles,” thinking and memory problems. No one knows what causes MS and so far there is no cure but MSRCNY’s director Dr. Saud Sadiq and his team are tirelessly at work trying to track down answers.

MSRCNY, an independent, private not-for-profit research entity dedicated exclusively to research into the cause, treatment and remedy of MS grew out of the former MS Research and Treatment Center at New York’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Together with their clinical affiliate, the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice (IMSMP), the facility devotes approximately 35,000 square feet to the latest in research equipment and technology designed to accelerate the pace of MS research, treatment and care. The close relationship of the research center and the clinical practice speeds the translation of basic science into clinical practice and helps to test new treatments for MS. The Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York is supported entirely by grants and private philanthropy. MSRCNY is the only center of its kind in the world.

The enthusiastic and filled to capacity attendance at yesterday’s Symposium is a testament to a growing population of believers and supporters of Dr. Sadiq and his center. People came from all over, many traveling over 500 miles, some even for monthly treatments as was shared by the Symposium’s MC, Pamela Levin, RN, pointing to her big brother who, at the persistence of his little sister, now travels regularly from Boston to receive treatment.

To name a few of the talented and passionate speakers who shared their findings, there was Fozia Mir, PhD, who educated us on oxidative stress which can cause tissue injury, inflammation and cell death and has been implicated in MS. She and her team have located two bio-markers, isoprostane and neuroketal, which they feel might be attributing to oxidative stress.

Dr. Massimiliano Cristofanilli reported on his work with mice in proving his hypothesis that the agent(s) responsible for the loss of myelin and progressive neurodegeneration characteristic of progressive forms of MS is present in patients’ cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and is capable of replicating the disease’s pathophysiological phenotype in cell culture and in mice.

Deneb Bates, ND, spoke of nutrition and the value of certain spices and foods in reducing inflammation: turmeric, broccoli and onions, and just about anything laden with antioxidants.

After we heard firsthand the personal story of John Fitzgerald, who, in a particularly poignant and somewhat frightening clash of circumstances, along with his wife and sister, suffer from MS, Dr. Sadiq and associate Dr. Jerry Lin related their latest activities in finding the cause of MS. Dr. Lin and his team have been tracking antibodies (oligoclonal bands) found in the spinal fluid of a sampling of MS patients (John Fitzgerald being one). These antibodies are produced within the brain and spinal cord and are closely related to each other, suggesting that they have a common target (that is what oligoclonal means). These oligoclonal antibodies are important to study because in every condition other than MS in which similar antibodies are found, such as in measles, they are targeted toward the cause of the illness. Dr. Sadiq and Dr. Lin, when they are not comparing the wins/losses of their beloved Yankees and Mets, respectively, believe that if they can discover what these oligoclonal antibodies in MS are targeting, it will be the cause of MS or at the very least the key brain target protein (antigen).

At one point, Dr. Sadiq shared with us the words he has heard in a recurring dream that he has had at several low points in his career. They are Arabic and he intimated that he might reveal the meaning towards the end of his talk. He is a passionate man with a deep commitment to finding the cause and cure of MS. As the Research Center edges closer and closer to fulfilling this quest, the manifestation of the dream’s message is apparent: “Surely, with every difficulty there is relief.” 

For more information on the Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York, please visit http://www.msrcny.org.
For more information on Dahn Yoga please visit http://www.dahnyoga.com.

 

Tags: Balance, Brain, Exercise, Happiness, Health, Humanity, Learning, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Wellness

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