March 1

Promising therapy for stroke patients

first_imgA noninvasive electric stimulation technique administered to both sides of the brain can help stroke patients who have lost motor skills in their hands and arms, according to a new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).Described in the Nov. 10 online issue of the journal Neurology, the findings showed that stroke patients who received bihemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), coupled with a regimen of physical and occupational therapy, had a threefold greater improvement in motor function compared with patients who received only physical/occupational rehabilitation and a placebo form of stimulation.“We think that the key to this therapy’s success in improving stroke patients’ motor function is based on its ability to affect the brain activity on both the stroke-affected side of the brain and the healthy side of the brain as patients work to relearn lost motor skills,” says senior author Gottfried Schlaug, the director of the Stroke Service in BIDMC’s Department of Neurology and associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS).In the brain of a healthy individual, the left and right sides of the motor cortex work in tandem, inhibiting one another as needed in order to successfully carry out such one-sided movements as writing or teeth-brushing. But, explains lead author Robert Lindenberg, an HMS instructor of neurology at BIDMC, when a person suffers a stroke (as might happen when an artery to the brain is blocked by a blood clot or atherosclerotic deposit) the interaction between the two sides of the brain involved in motor skills changes.“As a result,” he explains, “the motor region on the unaffected side of the brain begins to exert an unbalanced effect onto the motor region of the brain’s damaged side.” And, as Schlaug and Lindenberg further explain, this leads to an increased inhibition of the stroke-damaged motor region, as the remaining intact portions of this region try to increase activity in the motor pathways to facilitate recovery.tDCS is an experimental therapy in which a small electrical current is passed to the brain through the scalp and skull. Because previous studies had determined that tDCS could improve motor function if applied to either the damaged or undamaged side of the brain, Schlaug’s team hypothesized that applying tDCS to both sides — while simultaneously engaging the stroke patient in motor skill relearning activities — would further speed the recovery process.“tDCS works by modulating regional brain activity,” explains Schlaug. “In applying this therapy to both hemispheres of the brain, we used one direction of current to increase brain activity on the damaged side, and used the reverse current to inhibit brain activity on the healthy side, thereby rebalancing the interactions of both sides of the brain.”Schlaug and his collaborators studied 20 patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke at least five months prior to the onset of the study. Participants were separated into two groups: Half of the subjects received a 30-minute daily treatment session of electrical stimulation, while the other half received a “sham” placebo treatment designed to mimic electrical stimulation. Both groups of patients concurrently received 60 minutes of occupational and physical therapy. The treatment was repeated daily for five days.By using sophisticated MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) techniques, the researchers were able to “map” the positions of the stroke lesions in relation to the brain’s motor system. “This helped us to very closely match the two patient groups,” notes Schlaug. “Not only did the two groups of patients outwardly exhibit similar motor impairments, but we could tell from the MRIs that their lesions were positioned in similar areas of the brain. This novel approach strengthens the results, since no other between-group factor could explain the therapy’s effects.”The results showed that the patients treated with tDCS exhibited a threefold improvement in motor outcomes, such as an improved ability to grasp or perform wrist and finger movements, compared with patients who underwent physical and occupational therapy coupled with placebo stimulation. In addition, functional brain imaging showed that the therapy’s effect was correlated with increased activity of the brain’s nondamaged motor parts on the side of the stroke hemisphere.“This is the first time that stimulation therapy has been administered simultaneously to both brain hemispheres and coupled with physical/occupational therapy,” explains Schlaug. “Both sides of the brain play a role in recovery of function [following a stroke], and the combination of peripheral sensorimotor activities and central brain stimulation increases the brain’s ability to strengthen existing connections and form new connections. It is a testament of just how plastic the brain can be if novel and innovative therapies are applied using our current knowledge of brain function.”This study was supported, in part, by grants from the National Institutes of Health.last_img read more

March 1

Reischauer Institute funds student research and travel in Japan

first_imgFounded in 1973, the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RI) promotes research on Japan and brings together Harvard faculty, students, leading scholars from other institutions, and visitors to create one of the world’s leading communities for the study of Japan.For graduate students with a Japan interest, RI has provided dissertation completion grants, language study grants, and other travel and research awards. In the case of undergrads, RI has provided support for research, Japanese language study, internships, Harvard Summer School in Kyoto, volunteer relief efforts in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, and other activities across Japan. RI seeks to enable students to go to Japan to study, to work, to learn, and to grow as scholars and as human beings.In the 2013-14 academic year and summer of 2014, RI awarded 43 grants to undergraduates and 75 grants to graduate students.  To see the full list of students supported by RI during the 2013-14 academic year and summer of 2014, visit read more

January 26

Saint Mary’s Career and Internship Fair connects students, employers

first_imgOn Tuesday, Saint Mary’s will host its third-annual Career and Internship Fair, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center. It is open to all Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross students, Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings Office (CCO), said. “We pretty much start planning from the time that the Career Fair gets over with,” Jeffirs said. “Usually within a couple of days to maybe a week after the Career Fair ends we set the date for the next year’s Career Fair.”This planning has paid off, as the Saint Mary’s Career Fair has seen steady growth, Jeffirs said. “The first year that we had it, we had 25 employers,” Jeffirs said. “Last year, we had 35. And then this year, we have almost 50 that are coming. So each year we are kind of growing it. … We outgrew our space in Rice Commons so we’ve had to add some tables upstairs in the Student Center.”Jeffirs said the Career Fair offers a variety of opportunities to students. “We have a pretty good list of employers, post-grad service programs, graduate programs that we reach out to to participate in the fair,” she said. In order to continue drawing new organizations and employers to the fair, Jeffirs said the CCO looks to implement new strategies to increase student attendance. “We have done a lot more marketing and promoting for the event this year as well,” she said. “We are always looking for new ways to get more students to come to it, because the more students that we can get to come to it the more employers and organizations we can get to come to it as well.”For students looking to attend, much of their success depends on putting in work both beforehand and afterwards, Jeffirs said. “A lot of the success of a career fair depends on preparation beforehand and then follow through after the career fair is over with,” she said. “So, the successful student is actually going to spend more time on the both of those than actually at the Career Fair itself.”Jeffirs said students must also know what to do during the fair itself in order to reap its benefits.“When you get there make sure you ask questions, get contact information, so that way you can follow up after the career fair,” she said. “Find out what the next steps in the process will be, find out if they’re planning to do interviews in the near future. It’s not too pushy to ask about those because it is a career fair, so they’re coming here to recruit students. You need to ask questions to find out what the next step will be so that way when you leave the career fair you will have a strategy.”Jeffirs said although some first years and sophomores may feel too young to attend career fairs, there are benefits for them as well. “You don’t want to necessarily just show up to the Career Fair and you do want to prepare in advance,” she said. “So what first years and sophomores can do is to research the employers and have some ideas about employers they may be interested in now for internships or summer opportunities, but also employers that they may be interested in the future to build a relationship or connection with them.”This connection is what makes a student’s experience at a career fair successful, Jeffirs said. “Building the rapport, regardless of your major regardless of your class year and what you’re looking for, that’s the biggest objective coming out of a career fair,” she said.In today’s digital age, showing up to the Career Fair and getting face-to-face interaction with employers is especially important, Jeffirs said.“It’s hard to [network] when everything is done electronically, because to them you are a number or you are a page on the screen that they are looking at, so it’s hard for you to stand out and differentiate yourself,” Jeffirs said “But when you go to a career fair, it’s an opportunity to connect with a person and build that rapport.”Tags: Career and Internship Fair, networking, Saint Mary’s student centerlast_img read more

January 1

Lyndonville Savings Bank Increases Dividend

first_imgLyndonville Savings Bank Increases Dividend,Achieves 26% Increase in Net Income in 2004LYNDONVILLE, VT– Lyndonville Savings Bank has announced that the Bank will pay a dividend of $0.14 per share on January 11, 2005 to stockholders of record December 22, 2004. This represents a 7.6% increase in the quarterly dividend reflecting continued strength in the banks earnings, and the sixth increase in the quarterly dividend in the past two years. Net income for the full year ended December 31, 2004 was $1,372,599 (un-audited) compared to $1,085,335 for 2003, a 26% increase. The annualized return on average assets was 0.92 in 2004 compared to 0.76 in 2003. Total assets were $154,176,429 as of December 31, 2004 compared to $146,981,491 as of December 31, 2003. According to Bucknam, the significant year-to-year improvement in earnings is a direct result of the strength of the banks loan portfolio, a solid investment portfolio, higher levels of non-interest income and the bank employees commitment to success and exceptional customer service. Lyndonville Savings Banks stock has recently traded in the $16.50 – $17.50 per share range. The current annual dividend yield is 3.3% based upon a $17.00 per share price.Lyndonville Savings Bank services its customers from offices in Lyndonville, St. Johnsbury, Derby, Vergennes, and Enosburg Falls.* * * *END * * * *last_img read more

January 1

Vermont recognized for Websites and Web portals for second year in row

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas celebrated the State’s ranking as one of the ten best government portals and websites in the nation by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government. This is the second year in a row that the Vermont Information Consortium (VIC), the State’s web portal vendor, has received this recognition. The Digital Government Achievement Awards (DGAA) go to outstanding websites and web portals at the state, county and city levels.‘In the coming years, it is important that we continue improving how state government interacts with Vermonters and visitors over the web. Through Challenges for Change and other efforts across state government we are looking to increase web utilization to both save taxpayer money and deliver services more effectively.’‘It is great news that the State’s e-resources are being recognized as among the best in the nation,’ Governor Douglas said. ‘In the coming years, it is important that we continue improving how state government interacts with Vermonters and visitors over the web. Through Challenges for Change and other efforts across state government we are looking to increase web utilization to both save taxpayer money and deliver services more effectively.’e.Republic judged websites and web portals from across the country on their functionality, efficiency and innovation. VIC ranked as a finalist in the 2010 Best of the Web State Portal Category. According to Cathilea Robinett, executive director of the Center for Digital Government, ‘The winners’ innovative use of the Internet to continue delivering citizen services despite tight fiscal constraints is inspiring. This skilled use of the Web embodies the spirit of the Best of the Web awards and provides examples to state and local government leaders around the country on how to bring quality services to their citizens while containing costs. We applaud all of you for your creativity and your dedication.’David Tucker, the Commissioner of the Department of Information and Innovation and the Chief Information Officer for the State, said: ‘Winning recognition once is notable, but winning two years in a row is remarkable. With the number of exciting initiatives currently underway, we hope to see VIC continue to be recognized for their outstanding work on behalf of the State of Vermont.’According to its website, the Center for Digital Government ( is external)) is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The Center is a division of e.Republic, Inc., ( is external)) the nation’s leading publishing, research, event, and new media company focused on information technology for the state/local government and education sectors.For more information about the awards visit is external)About ( is external)) is the official Web portal of the State of Vermont. is managed through a public-private partnership between the State of Vermont and Vermont Information Consortium, the Montpelier-based official eGovernment partner for the State of Vermont. The company builds and manages interactive government services on behalf of the state and is a wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV).About NICNIC manages more eGovernment services than any provider in the world. The company helps government communicate more effectively with citizens and businesses by putting essential services online. NIC provides eGovernment solutions for 3,000 state and local agencies that serve more than 97 million people in the United States. Additional information is available at is external). Source: MONTPELIER, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)-9.15.2010last_img read more

December 30

Birds Heading South

first_imgDear EarthTalk: What are the major issues with protecting migratory birds that groups like the Nature Conservancy are working on? — Lorinda Bennet, Alnuquerque, NMMigratory birds, like other animals, need suitable habitat and food sources to survive. But unlike other animals which stay primarily in one place, migratory birds depend on the availability of food and habitat all along their migration paths, which for some are thousands of miles long. Changing environmental conditions along routes can hinder birds’ ability to survive their often arduous long distance journeys.Some 1,800 of the world’s 10,000 bird species migrate long distances every year. Typically birds fly to the far north in the summer to feed and return south for the winter to breed, but many variations and exceptions exist. The long-distance record holders are Sooty Shearwaters, which migrate 9,000 miles between nesting sites in the Falkland Islands and feeding sites in the North Atlantic Ocean off of Norway.Chief among environmental threats to migratory birds is habitat destruction. Human development of wetlands areas leaves many birds without suitable habitat for stopovers and even wintering sites. Global warming only twists the knife by making usual stopover sites even less hospitable. Biologists see that widespread climate change is already starting to have a negative effect on the timing of migration cycles and breeding patterns, leading to population declines in species already considered threatened. Hunting is another threat to birds which pass over countries without the resources or will to enforce protections. Obstructions such as power lines, wind farms and offshore oil rigs also negatively affect migratory birds.A large number of international treaties and domestic laws provide protection for migratory birds. For example, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 affirms the U.S. government’s commitment to international conventions protecting migratory birds (and their eggs and nests) passing through Canada, Japan, Mexico and Russia at some point during their annual travels. Upwards of 1,000 different bird species, as listed on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program website, are protected under this Act. A similar treaty called the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement seeks to protect migratory birds along another of the world’s major migratory bird flyways.While governments only do so much to protect migratory birds, private non-profits are working hard—and devoting millions of dollars—to try to take up the slack. One of the leaders in this battle is the Nature Conservancy, which employs hundreds of ornithologists and planners who identify networks of habitats needed by bird species throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean and then work to protect these crucial areas for current and future generations of migratory birds. 1 2last_img read more

December 30

Trail Mix – Woody Pines

first_imgWoody Pines returns with a brand new collection of vintage ragtime Americana.I first came across Woody Pines a number of years ago when I had what I believed to be a killer idea for a story. Myspace had reached its popularity zenith and I had come to realize that this whole social networking thing was a fantastic way to discover new bands.My idea? A story on bands that I discovered by hopscotching across Myspace, checking out friends of bands that I got turned on to just by clicking on their profiles.Sadly, the story didn’t get picked up and I have forgotten virtually all of the bands I was going to write about, save one.Woody Pines.Since reaching out to Woody about that piece, I have been a big fan and have been fortunate to see him live many times and feature many of his tunes on Trail Mix. His jump blues/viper jazz is a throwback to sound of a bygone era, one of juke joints and speakeasies, and he and his band epitomize a sound representing the perfect blending of the best of American music.I recently chatted with Woody about his new record and the brand new tune, “Make It To The Woods,” that we are premiering right here on Trail Mix.BRO – Yours is definitely a vintage sound. What old school musicians do you look to for inspiration?WP – I love bands like the Memphis Jug Band, Charlie Feathers, Bob Wills, and jazz bands like the Washboard Rhythm Kings and the Harlem Hamfats.BRO – Are you into vinyl? If so, got a favorite record?WP – Yeah, I have a small but beloved vinyl collection. I have a lot of my dad’s old Bob Dylan and The Band records, as well as some short run illegally pressed blues collections that I love.BRO – I know you play a National Estrelita guitar. How is that guitar essential to your sound?WP – I originally got this guitar for busking, because it cuts through the sound of city buses. The guitar has a great banjoesque sound. Our touring band has two guitars, and the sound of this reso against the sound of the hollow body is just great.BRO – We are premiering “Make It To The Woods” today on Trail Mix. What is the story behind the song?WP – This song is a folk song that has taken many meanings over the years. Now, not only does it mean to head out to the old whiskey shack, but it also means to get out of the city and into the country for a good time barn dance.BRO – Every time I have seen you live, you look quite dapper in your vest, suit, and hat. But let’s be honest . . . wouldn’t you rather be up there in shorts and a tee shirt? Just once?WP – Hah! I play almost every day in my tee shirt, on my front porch with a cold beer. When we go out of town and perform, we like to put on a show.For more information on Woody Pines, when he and the band will be taking to a stage near you, or how you can grab a copy of that new record, make sure to point your browser towards his website. Also, be sure to check out “Black Rat” on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

December 20

Peruvian Detained with Drugs Belongs to Shining Path

first_img One of the five Peruvians detained in Bolivia on 28 June on drug-trafficking charges is a member of the Shining Path armed group, Bolivian Interior Minister Sacha Llorenti affirmed on 1 July. “We can confirm that one of the individuals arrested in Pelechuco belongs to the Shining Path terrorist group; we are exchanging further information with the Peruvian authorities,” Llorenti said at a press conference. Pelechuco is a border town north of the binational Lake Titicaca, where five Peruvians and a Bolivian who were transporting cocaine were detained on 28 June. The minister did not specify the name of the supposed Shining Path member, although several local media outlets affirmed that it was believed to be Ulser Pillpa Paitán, “Comrade Jhony.” Three of the detained Peruvians were wearing the uniform of the Bolivian anti-narcotics police, according to the Bolivian anti-drug force, which indicated that they were surprised while trying to make an illegal seizure of forty-three kilograms of cocaine from the other three detainees, supplanting the authorities. The agency did not specify which detainees were the ones who were transporting the drugs and which were disguised as Bolivian police officers. The six individuals involved in the drug case are being detained in La Paz. Shining Path, a guerrilla group, emerged in Peru in 1980 and had its period of greatest activity up to 2000, when its chief leaders were taken prisoner or died in combat, following a ferocious confrontation with the state that left around seventy thousand dead. At present, a residual group of between two hundred and three hundred men operates in a coca-growing area in southern Peru. By Dialogo July 06, 2011last_img read more

December 19

Act now to designate an inventory attorney

first_img Act now to designate an inventory attorney Do it at Have you designated an inventory attorney, yet?If not, it is time to do so.To protect clients of an attorney who unexpectedly dies or otherwise becomes unable to practice, the Florida Supreme Court recently amended Bar rules — at the Bar’s request — to provide that members who practice in-state must designate an inventory attorney.The amendment to Rule 1-3.8 took effect January 1, and the best and easiest way to designate an inventory attorney is to do it online at attorneys take possession of the files of a member who dies, disappears, is disbarred or suspended, becomes delinquent, or suffers involuntary leave of absence due to military service, and no other responsible party capable of conducting the member’s affairs is known. The inventory attorney has the responsibility of notifying all clients that their lawyer is no longer able to represent them. The inventory attorney also may give the file to a client for finding substitute counsel; may make referrals to substitute counsel with the agreement of the client; or may accept representation of the client, but is not required to do so.Designated inventory attorneys will be contacted when the need arises and will be asked to serve. Because circumstances change, the designated inventory attorney is not obligated to serve. Inventory attorneys are not directly compensated but may receive reimbursement from The Florida Bar for actual costs incurred while carrying out the duties of an inventory attorney.Only those members who practice in Florida — regardless of where they live — must make a designation. Members who are eligible to practice in Florida, but who do not do so, are not required to designate an inventory attorney.Lawyers who practice in Florida — regardless of whether they reside in the state — even if they have only one client (such as in-house counsel or if they represent governmental entities) are required to designate an inventory attorney.For more information contact the Bar by e-mail at; by calling the Lawyer Regulation Department at 800-342-8060, ext. 5839; or by writing to Department of Lawyer Regulation, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300. Act now to designate an inventory attorney March 1, 2006 Regular Newslast_img read more

December 17

4 ways to make your credit union a great place to work

first_img 62SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: Details Treat your team with respectYour employees aren’t a box of printer paper. You can’t just head over to Office Max and buy a new one. Employees are an investment. You’ve probably spent a lot of time training and shaping your employees, so treat them like the amazing resource they are. If you give respect, you’ll get respect, and that makes both parties feel valued.Be quick to show praiseManagers are generally pretty quick to point out when work is less than stellar. Make sure your appreciation is free-flowing when there’s a job well done. Praise can go a long way to encourage an employee and turn them into the all-star you know they can be.Give freedomWhen a task is given, allow the team to figure out the best way to accomplish it. Be available to advise, but if you want innovation and creative thinking to occur, stay out of the way. Allowing your employees to make their own decisions will help them develop as professionals.Encourage cooperationIf you want your team to come together as one, you have to encourage collaboration. Lead by example and show your team what it looks like to have each other’s backs. Always stress the importance of helping each other out, and you’ll have a team that loves their workplace and the people in it.last_img read more