Thursday, June 28, 2007


VoiSec is a tiny button for recording, storing and playing short spoken messages with unique design and qualities. The buttons can easily be attached to other objects, e.g. to tell the contents of a package. VoiSec runs on batteries, requires no other devices and can be re-used time after time.

Designed for all – Multiple applications

At times, every person will be in an environment or situation where reading or writing is difficult. All individuals may appreciate VoiSec, one way or another, sooner or later.
A lot of people prefer spoken information to written. For some individuals, VoiSec may be of particular value due to personal conditions.

Safer Medical Information

The ability to distinguish and identify medication and to get information about the content and the prescribed usage can reduce the risk of harmful errors. For many patients,personalized spoken information is a valuable complement to the commonly provided texts. VoiSec can keep it available at one touch.

Independent Everyday Living

VoiSec is easily attached to different surfaces and objects. A variety of attachment means, including double-sided adhesives, magnets and Velcro, allow for a variety of applications at home. The marking of food packages, drawers or potentially harmful objects are but a few examples.

“Take Away” Communication

VoiSec can be handy as a personal memory and communication tool. Carried in a pocket, pinned to a jacket, hung in a neck-loop, strapped to a wrist…. Prepared phrases, buying lists, memos, etc. can easily be taken along when going out.

Caring for care-takers

VoiSec can communicate emotions as well as facts. The voices of those near and dear can be readily available e.g. for children and elderly in hospital care. Care givers instructions or patient feed-back can be recorded to improve the quality of communication.

Special Education and Training

VoiSecs size and attachability make for an excellent multi-purpose tool for cognitive training, memory support and multi-modal information. Permanent or removable means may attach a VoiSec to books, images and calendars. Use the surface for personalized marking by stickers or pens.

Workplace Adaption and Info Sharing

The qualities of VoiSec allow for quick and easy spoken notes and memos, speech labeling of magazine files, marking of rooms and objects, etc. Casual usage is easy since VoiSec runs on batteries and messages can be re-recorded time after time.

"Talking Signs” for clear information

Not all visible signage is clearly understood by all. Particularly in environmental or personal circumstances where visibility is of limited value. The quickest way from a given spot, the type of room behind a door, the floor number… VoiSec can add spoken information by a simple press, placed within reach for most individuals.

Pressing the lid is easier than writing

VoiSec will play the message when pressed. The construction is very robust and the entire lid activates the play-out. A forehead, a foot or an elbow may trigger the message, making VoiSec usable for many motorically impaired, e.g. mounted on an armrest.

Social Groups and Family Billboards

The ease-of-use and marking possibilities make VoiSec ideal for casual and personal voice messaging. Adhesive magnets are available, making VoiSec perfect for the common family billboard: the fridge door.

Recognition of Depression in Aphasic Stroke Patients

A.C. Laskaa, B. MÃ¥rtenssonc, T. Kahanb, M. von Arbina, V. Murraya

Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Danderyd Hospital,
aDivision of Internal Medicine,
bDivision of Cardiology, and
cDepartment of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Address of Corresponding Author

Cerebrovascular Diseases 2007;24:74-79 (DOI: 10.1159/000103119)

goto top of page Key Words

  • Aphasia, depression
  • Acute stroke
  • Validity, assessment of depression

goto top of page Abstract

Background: Data on post-stroke depression in aphasia are scarce. Methods: Eighty-nine acute stroke patients with aphasia of all types were followed for 6 months to investigate if depression can be reliably diagnosed (DSM-IV criteria) and validly assessed by the verbal Montgomery-Ã…sberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and a global technique (Clinical Global Impressions Rating Scale for Severity). A standard aphasia test was performed. Results: In 60 patients (67%) at baseline and in 100% at 6 months, comprehension allowed a reliable DSM-IV diagnosis. Among these patients MADRS was feasible in 95% at baseline and in 100% at 6 months. The assistance of relatives and staff increases the feasibility and decreases the validity. Depression was identified in 24% during the 6 months. Conclusion: Depression diagnosis and severity rating can reliably be made in the acute phase in at least two thirds of aphasic patients, and feasibility increases over time.

Copyright © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

goto top of page Author Contacts

Ann Charlotte Laska, MD
Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Danderyd Hospital
Division of Internal Medicine
SE-182 88 Stockholm (Sweden)
Tel. +46 8 655 6409, Fax +46 8 622 6810, E-Mail

goto top of page Article Information

Received: August 22, 2006
Accepted: January 3, 2007
Published online: May 23, 2007
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 23

Monday, June 4, 2007

Help for Dyslexics

None of my own kids are dyslexic, although I believe that one of them suffers from a mild case of visual aphasia.

Free Help for Dyslexia

Dyslexia? Now there is Free Help

Now there is free online help for people who have dyslexia or simply did not learn to read well while going to school. It is a click-‘n-learn program. Students and adults may learn decoding, basic reading skills, and advanced reading skills all with the click of a mouse.

The program is called ReadingBySix. It provides a systematic approach to helping people defeat dyslexia and related reading problems. You will notice measurable progress from week to week provided participants are active in their studies and do their assignments. The online courses are virtually free when you give a small donation. If you choose not to donate, they are completely free.

Dyslexia is a distinct learning disability characterized by difficulties in decoding individual words. These difficulties may not show up in other cognitive and academic abilities. Dyslexia results from the confusion caused by the brain’s inability to associate abstract symbols with abstract ideas. This includes associating letters and words with the sounds they represent. The key to defeating dyslexia is learning to decode English sounds.


We are blessed for help with hearing

Kathryn Byrd, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dear Editor: May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, during which the services and accomplishments of speech-language pathologists and audiologists are recognized. As a speech-language pathologist, I am proud of those in our profession who serve children with communication impairments in schools, and, for preschoolers, in their natural environment, as well as those who serve the adult population who experience communication deficits because of strokes, accidents, disease, etc. Through their services, these individuals can lead more productive lives. Audiologists, of course, deal with hearing impairment, whose services, with our graying population, will be needed more and more.

I am a fan of the comic strip “For Better or Worse" by Lynn Patterson. How appropriate it is that in May, Better Hearing and Speech Month, there is a series on treating the grandfather Jim’s aphasia by a speech-language pathologist, and the frustrations Jim and his wife Iris experience when Jim wants to say one thing and something entirely different comes out. Patterson presents an excellent and compassionate depiction.

I hope those who experience hearing or speech/language difficulties seek help. So much can be done. We are blessed to have many excellent resources in West Alabama, with the public schools, the University of Alabama Speech and Hearing Center, Early Intervention, Easter Seals, the VA, the hospitals, etc. The phone book lists all these resources.

Saturday, June 2, 2007 .

Please visit our website and let us know what you think. We are eager for feedback so we can continue traveling that pathway of improvement. Thanks to all of you who have helped us to develop the innovative and effective treatment and self-help protocols and materials. I have had the wonderful experience of working with the best patients and caregivers ever. Thanks you all so much. What a great beginning.