This essay has been prepared in consultation with Evander Lomke, president and executive director of The American Mental Health Foundation. It is posted in memory of Elizabeth Leah Lomke, September 19, 1986 – June 4, 2018. The medical community and the general public are fully cognizant of the unexpected death of otherwise apparently healthy infants, […]By: Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr.
Category: Seizure Disorders and Epilepsy
Michelle Harrison, MD, has joined The American Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) directors’ board as of July 1, 2018. She is the only director also serving on the AMHF professional-advisory board. Dr. Harrison is a U.S. physician of family medicine, psychiatry, and obstetrics with international stature. From 2006 to the present, Dr. Harrison directs Childlife Preserve Shishur Sevay, which […]By: Evander Lomke
Michelle Harrison, MD, joins The American Mental Health Foundation professional-advisory board as of June 1, 2018. She is also nominated for its board of directors. Dr. Harrison is a U.S. physician of family medicine, psychiatry, and obstetrics with international stature. From 2006 to the present, Dr. Harrison directs Childlife Preserve Shishur Sevay, which she founded. […]By: Evander Lomke
Does psychology undermine morality? The question is broad. The book on the subject is short. Pundit Mona Charen reviews it in National Review (April 20, 2015). She says, Yes. As a reflection of the research and outreach conducted by this foundation, since 1924, my different view follows…. Regarding Mona Charen’s review of Admirable Evasions: How Psychology […]By: Evander Lomke
The idea of equal and quality medical treatment for all Americans was promoted by Hillary Clinton in her efforts to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system in 1992-93. Many believe this goal has now been brought to fruition via the Affordable Care Act. But as it is impossible to ascertain every special medical need through legislation, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I do not typically “get personal” in posting News Items and Blogs on the AMHF Web site. This one is an exception. I was inspired by a July 21, 2014, article in The New Yorker from reporter Seth Mnookin entitled “One of a Kind”. Several letters to the editor, appearing in the August 11 & […]By: Evander Lomke
AMHF Professional Advisory Board member Dr. William Van Ornum is quoted by CNN Health on the subjects of obsessive-compulsive disorder and scrupulosity. Considerable controversy also exists among the professional community regarding issues such as worship itself and OCD or addiction, as well as whether certain seizure disorders manifest, or perhaps mask, themselves as hyper-religiosity.By: Evander Lomke
Today, March 26, 2014, is International Purple Day. AMHF joins all families, foundations, and health-care providers on the front lines in raising the flag of Epilepsy Awareness. Epilepsy, which derives from the ancient Greek meaning “to seize,” is a condition of the brain and nervous system. It is caused by lesions in the brain and […]By: Evander Lomke
Today’s Washington Post offers yet another article on the effect of (often) well-meaning privacy laws when they are applied to potentially violent persons who are not following treatment guidelines or showing premonitory signs of becoming psychotic along with a chance of potential violence. Wide-ranging privacy laws came into effect under the Health Insurance Privacy and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
For three days last week American Mental Health Foundation Books shared a booth with its distributor, Lantern, at the annual BookExpo America—which is held at the Jacob Javits Center on New York City’s West Side. (New York remains the publishing capital of North America, even with the multitude of changes the industry has seen.) The […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Newly minted pastor Ed Stetzer, writing in CNN.beliefnet, writes of his dealings with a man in his congregation. This person would often disappear for days at a time, and later Stetzer would hear that the fellow had spent hours praying the psalms. Later the man killed himself, leading Stetzer to reflect of aproaches churches could […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Most of us, unless we have the personalities of saintliness, find ourselves in an irritable mood once in a while. Parents may be particularly prone to these episodes. One hopes that they pass without even a cranky word; although it’s difficult to stifle one’s facial expression. Justin Meyer, writing in the Washington Post, brings refreshing […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
As Edward R. Murrow said, there are two sides to every story. Our previous probing into an increase and acceleration in funding for research into the brain waxed positively. A different viewpoint—now taken by major pharmaceutical industries—suggests that their interest in brain research is waning. Reuters reports the following: “Many pharmaceutical companies harbor deep doubts […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
President Barack Obama made headlines with his proposal to encourage American scientists to work toward understanding the great mysteries of the brain. Done as a massive project, this could rival past collective enterprises such as Getting a Man to the Moon; when President Kennedy suggested this, it took everyone’s breath away. It looked unattainable in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Several months ago the Cuomo administration announced that budgets for nonprofit agencies serving the developmentally disabled would be cut. This had led to an outcry from parents, community members, and those who work at these agencies. Recently it was announced that the cuts would be changed. Although this is helpful, it still leaves most organizations […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The Mid-Hudson Valley in New York State may be atypical from many other localities: it has the highest proportion of developmentally disabled persons in the country. Over 10,000 developmentally disabled residents from Willowbrook, Letchworth Village, and Wassaic Developmental Center have been re-integrated into the community. A large number of jobs—private and nonprofit—are part of the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
After physicists split the atom, unanticipated positive effects emerged—such as medical isotopes—and many negative ones as well. Where do we store the waste? How do we understand fallout and its deadly effect? What happens when there are nuclear plant accidents? Biologists work in a similar environment as they work to split the genome. Once again, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
For Epilepsy Awareness Month, do check out the great Dr. Oliver Sacks, Hallucinations. Sacks discusses the more unusual aspects of this condition (and others) as it affects behavior, and as neurology rubs against the field of psychiatry and even that of theology. You will not be disappointed. Sacks delves into the desperately misunderstood and stigmatized […]By: Evander Lomke
We hope all our readers will take note of this important meeting, of the American Epilepsy Society in San Diego, November 30 to December 4. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. There are 65 million people diagnosed with epilepsy throughout the world. Due to the stigma attached to the condition, it largely remains a so-called […]By: Evander Lomke
An article in the March 23, 2012 Chicago Sun Times reported that 19-year-old Allison C. Zak, a student at Illinois State University, was found dead in her dorm room. Preliminary autopsy reports “showed that Zak may have died from a seizure or stroke caused by a previously undiagnosed seizure condition or a known condition that […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The Merck Manual provides helpful and detailed information about these conditions. In seizure disorders, the normal electrical activity of the brain is periodically disturbed, resulting in some degree of temporary brain dysfunction. In many persons, there are premonitory cues or auras which alert the person to an impending seizure. Some seizures (grand mal) result in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. I want to take a few words to reflect on this baffling, often-misunderstood condition, especially within the mental-health profession. Epilepsy has been known since ancient times. In the New Testament, Jesus cures an epileptic, recommending fasting and prayer. Such might be the genesis of the ketogenic diet, developed since […]By: Evander Lomke