Saturday, October 23, 2010

Post 29 - If I Only Had A Brain

Anyone familiar with classic movie trivia recognizes the title of this post as a take-off on the request of the Scarecrow for the Wizard of Oz to grant him a brain. Like him, I’d sure welcome the opportunity to swap my somewhat defective model for a new or gently used one. Then again, with my luck I’d probably get the executed criminal’s brain from the movie Young Frankenstein (remember Abby Normal?) so I’d better be careful what I wish for.

The reason this blog entry mentions the brain is because this past week I set into motion the donation of my brain to the Brain Endowment Bank at the University of Miami. I did this because it seems that a definite diagnosis of MSA can only be reached after a microscopic examination of brain tissue. Such an examination will hopefully answer two important questions. First, was the original diagnosis of MSA accurate or was my condition due to one of the several diseases that share some of the same symptoms as MSA? And second, if the disease wasn’t MSA, was it a genetic condition that my daughters or granddaughter should know about for future treatment options, if necessary?

I suppose something else prompted me to make this decision. I’d really like to think that there’s a part of me that may actually help medical researchers develop an effective treatment or even cure for MSA or related conditions. What a great legacy that would be.

For more information about the Brain Endowment Bank go to:


  1. Steve,

    You have always thought of others before yourself. Event thinking how you could help others at a time like this.


  2. This is an amazing thing. I just recently found your blog and started reading it. My grandmother has MSA and, unfortunately, no body is the Fresno area seems to have any clue how to treat her. She's been put on medication that has caused seizures, tmedication to prevent seizures that did nothing, chronic pain medication that seemed to induce dementia, anti - anxiety, etc. I don't know where to start. We're at such a loss for what to do. Thank you for your blog. I don't know what else to write but thank you.

    1. It would seem your grandmother needs to see a doctor who specializes in movement disorders (perhaps like Parkinsons Disease) A correct diagnosis is critical to determine the right type of treatment.