Spring 2013 Update

OHSU Brain Institute

Living Brain Wellness: One Family's Story

Andy Tallian is a highly educated businessman who knew about the virtues of eating more fruits and vegetables. His wife Mihae could not convince Andy to eat any differently than he had his whole life. Last year, Andy’s neurologist Dennis Bourdette, M.D. invited the Tallians to consider participating in a pilot program designed to empower people with knowledge, skills and support with the goal of increased brain health and overall wellness.

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 Video: Watch Andy and Mihae speak about their experience participating in the Living Brain Wellness program.

The OHSU MS Center’s Living Brain Wellness program was an eight-week series that included expert presentations on the biological, social and emotional aspects of making positive lifestyle changes, coaching on grocery shopping and dining-out, and cooking classes to immediately put new knowledge into practice. MS Center’s clinical director Vijayshree Yadav, M.D., M.C.R. has been researching the effects of a plant based diet on multiple sclerosis where she saw firsthand the incredible results a wellness approach to the disease had on her study subjects.

The MS Center teamed up with physician and nutrition expert John A. McDougall, M.D. to create the first ever wellness program for MS available in an academic medical center. Support for this innovative program was provided by The McDougall Foundation, corporate sponsors, and the cost was further augmented by instructors working without compensation. The eight week series still carried a $1,500 fee. Support for the OHSU MS Center will help to continue this program as well as other vital education and outreach efforts of the Center.

BRAIN CENTRAL: Learn more about body-mind care at OHSU


The OHSU Sleep Disorders Program offers multidisciplinary care for adults and children who suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and other issues surrounding getting the rest required to live a full and active life. It is estimated that at least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems.

More research is needed to uncover the role of sleep and disease. For example, asthma attacks tend to occur more frequently during the night and early morning and this is believed to be related to changes in hormones, heart rate, and other characteristics associated with sleep.

Support for the Sleep Disorders Program will ensure that those suffering with chronic illness and head injury alike can improve their overall health and decrease the chance of a recurring episode.

Johnson, KyleConcerned about how much sleep you’re getting? Listen to Drs. Holger Link and Kyle Johnson of the OHSU Sleep Disorders Program talk about sleep on the OHSU Effect Radio Show.


The OHSU Stroke Center stroke intervention team treats more than 550 ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients annually. The risk of suffering another stroke and causing further neurological damage is a major concern. Department of Neurology clinical instructor Darren Larsen, RN, BS, CNRN heads up STEP, which he described as a nurse-led program that includes inpatient initiation and outpatient maintenance of pharmacologic and lifestyle goals for stroke patients.

Eligible patients have a non-disabling ischemic stroke or TIA and are without insurance restrictions and live within a distance allowing return to clinic for follow up. STEP is modeled after stroke prevention protocols and advocated for by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for secondary stroke prevention.


  1. Prior to discharge, the STEP nurse completes patient education, and reviews outpatient goals.
  2. The STEP nurse makes phone contact with the patient 7-10 days after discharge to review medication compliance and reinforce education.
  3. At 30 days post discharge patients are seen in clinic by the STEP nurse where a resting blood pressure (BP) is measured. If the patient does not meet targets (<140 SBP or <130 SBP for DM) medications are adjusted by a stroke neurologist. Cholesterol goals are also reviewed and if the patient is not at goal, adjustment of cholesterol medications are made.
  4. Patients return to our clinic until their blood pressure and cholesterol are controlled.

Lifestyle modification relating to smoking cessation, exercise, diet and stroke warning signs and symptoms are discussed with the patient at each contact. With your support the Stroke Center will be able to provide this level of outpatient care to everyone and expand its reach for follow up using telemedicine to those patients living outside the local area. Make a gift in support of the OHSU Stroke Center.

lutsepListen to this informative interview with neurologist Helmi Lutsep, M.D. on other advancements in stroke prevention and treatment.



Meet Carol Clupny. Carol has Parkinson's disease.

"I took my medicine, joined a Tai-Chi class, decided to learn to play blue grass music on the guitar, shot baskets on the my lunch break, kept my chin up and kept moving.”

Last summer she travelled to northern Spain to walk 400 of the 500 mile Camino de Santiago to raise money for the OHSU Parkinson Center of Oregon.

“… the most important thing is that I have a chance to give back to a fantastic institution that has provided wonderful care...and pay it forward by raising some money for research so maybe the next 50 year old woman will hear "Yes, you have Parkinson's Disease and we now HAVE A CURE".

Carol is going back this year to finish the final 100 miles. You can join her by donating in her honor.



Multiple sclerosis patient, Landon, had this to say about meeting with naturopath Lynne Shinto, N.D., M.P.H. at the Neurology Wellness Clinic.

“After my diagnosis I had a lot of questions about diet and was feeling a lot of anxiety about my future. I was pleasantly surprised to hear they had a naturopath on staff at OHSU. Dr. Shinto took a lot of time to answer all of my questions about diet and stress reduction. I had just gone through several life transitions – completion of graduate school, return to Oregon after six years away, the passing of my father, and the end of a long term relationship. Dr. Shinto really took the time to listen with a lot of warmth. She referred me to a counselor and a mindfulness stress reduction group, which help a lot.”

Annual donations ensure people with chronic issues have access to high quality integrated medical services including naturopathy and acupuncture, at the OHSU Neurology Wellness Clinic. Support brain wellness for multiple sclerosis patients by donating today.

Lynne Shinto, N.D., M.P.H.To learn more about integrated medicine at OHSU, listen to this interview with Dr. Lynne Shinto.


Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center clinical director Joseph Quinn, M.D. is the lead investigator of an NIA funded multi-center trial to test the impact of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, on the progression of Alzheimer's disease. As clinical researchers focused on developing strategies to treat and prevent dementia, Dr. Quinn heads the Layton Center’s Biomarkers Core, which develop blood tests and other disease markers for use in "proof of concept" clinical trials which are necessary to move treatment ideas from animal models to human subjects. Dr. Quinn is also a regular contributor to OBI blog On the Brain.

Dr. Joseph QuinnWatch this talk given by Dr. Quinn on how to dementia prevention is tied to vascular health and some of the steps you can take to improve your vascular health.

Support the work of brain experts driving toward treatments and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, donate today.