19 posts from June, 2011

Putting a Spotlight on Migraines

Posted June 24th, 2011 by

CBS Reporter Serene Branson, spokesperson for National Migraine Awareness Month

In February 2011, CBS Reporter Serene Branson was reporting live at the Grammy Awards when her speech became slurred and incoherent.  As the video soon went viral, many speculated that she’d suffered a stroke or worse.

In fact, Branson had suffered a complex migraine, a special type of migraine with aura where marked neurological symptoms can occur.  In many cases, including Branson’s well-publicized episode, the individual is unaware that anything unusual is happening.

If you didn’t know migraines could cause confused speech or auras, you’re not alone.  That’s why Branson has partnered with the National Headache Foundation to launch the “More Than Just a Headache” campaign during National Migraine Awareness Month this June.  The goal is to educate the public on the personal and societal costs of migraines, which affect approximately 30 million Americans and one out of four women.  In fact, women are disproportionately affected, with three times as many women sufferers.

Migraine Patients at PatientsLikeMe by Age and Gender

Here at PatientsLikeMe, our membership numbers help illustrate this statistic.  With 1,596 migraine patients as of today, 88% of them are women, and 12% are men.  What else can you learn from our migraine patients?  Here are a few quick facts.

What are the top treatments?

What are the major symptoms?

What’s the latest forum question?

Do you suffer from migraines as well?  Share your own “Migraine Moment” to help the Branson and the National Headache Foundation raise awareness about this chronic and debilitating condition.

PatientsLikeMe Announces Video Contest Winners

Posted June 23rd, 2011 by

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — June 23, 2011 — Today, the health website PatientsLikeMe reveals the winners of its first-ever “Express Yourself” video contest in which members were asked to answer the question – “How has PatientsLikeMe changed your life?”  Congratulations to these top winners chosen across three different categories:

Most Creative Presentation:
tiredoftired of New Jersey for Depression Feels Like

Most Inspiring Story:
tired old me of Delaware for Patients Like Me: Bonnie Tipton

Top Voted (by peers):
Roulette67 of New Jersey for I Am Not Alone

“We were wowed by all of the video entries for this contest.  You can’t watch these and not be inspired,” says Ben Heywood, Co-founder and President of PatientsLikeMe. “These videos not only capture what it’s like to live with a condition like depression or MS, but also encapsulate the true value of sharing your story and experiences with others.”

Chosen to win Most Creative Presentation, the video by tiredoftired uses a mix of powerful analogies (“Depression feels like…walking in an impenetrable fog on a path with no end”) and images to describe how “with all that PatientsLikeMe has offered me, I have come to feel less alone.”

Adds the 28-year old member, “Creating this video allowed me to portray what it means to be depressed and dissolve some of the social stigma of mental illness. Depression isolates even in the most social of settings and therefore a support system is an integral part of recovery, especially when provided by friends and family.”

Multiple sclerosis patient, tired old me (Most Inspiring Story), and bipolar patient, Roulette67 (Top Voted), come face-to-face with the camera to tell their stories.  In describing what she has learned on the site, 44-year oldRoulette67 says – “By sharing, I grow.  By sharing, I learn and experience and evolve…you can’t really do [that] on your own.”

Comments 48-year old tired old me, “I want to say that this contest has been the highlight of this month, which contained too many very deep lowlights! The entire experience was a blast.”

(Click here to view all 6 winning video submissions)

About PatientsLikeMe
PatientsLikeMe® (www.patientslikeme.com) is where people with every type of condition are coming together to share their health experiences, find patients like them and learn how to take control of their health. The result is improved care for patients as well as an acceleration of real-world medical research. (Follow us: www.twitter.com/PatientsLikeMehttps://blog.patientslikeme.com)