Meniere’s Disease Vs. A 17 Year Old – Who Is Winning?

(Image via Ventura County Star)

There are many of us with inner ear disorders. We know all too well that little is known about the various disorders. There is little research being done. And it quickly becomes frustratingly apparent that when we go to our doctors for help, we find that there is not that much help for us.

Everyone is affected differently, from mild to severe, but there are many consistencies. Vertigo, tinnitus, disequilibrium, nausea and hearing loss are only a few of the side effects.  It is a life-changing invisible chronic illness in so many ways. It affects many of us daily. It is so bad and unrelenting that some people have had to give up their jobs, their normal routines and their social life. The reduced mobility that comes with an inner ear disorder also has a domino effect on other areas of a person’s health – muscle weakness, a lower tolerance to colds and flues and the increased risk of other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

And this brings me back to the question in the blog post title “Meniere’s Disease Vs. A 17 Year Old – Who Is Winning?”.  It may be 17 year old Samir Malhotra who is helping to bring us one step closer to discovering what causes Meniere’s Disease. This article from the Ventura County Star explains how Samir, while working on a peer group project for his anatomy class as well as a science fair project, has possibly discovered a cause of Meniere’s Disease! In the article, Ivan Axel López, adjunct professor of surgery, division of head and neck, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says:

“His project was related to propose a model of how water movement is regulated in the human inner ear, and how a disbalance in water transport affects inner ear function,” López said. “He writes excellent abstracts and significantly contributes to the elaboration of research reports. In addition, he is a co-author of a manuscript recently submitted to the Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Journal. This manuscript is the first one to report the presence of cochlin (a protein unique to the inner ear) in vestibular endorgans (definition follows) obtained at surgery from patients diagnosed with a debilitating hearing disorder called Meniere’s disease.”

This definition of endorgan  (found at the bottom of the page) is from 

end organ,

n the expanded termination of a nerve fiber in muscle, skin, mucous membrane, or other structure.
end organ, proprioceptor, the sensory end organs, located mainly in the muscles, tendons, and labyrinth, that provide information on the movements and position of the body. Four specific end organs are the muscle spindles; Golgi corpuscles, stimulated by tension; Pacini’s corpuscles, stimulated by pressure; and bare nerve endings, stimulated by pain.
end organ, sensory,

n the sensory nerve fibers that end peripherally as either unmyelinated fibers or special structures called receptors. Receptors are situated in the skin, mucous membranes, muscles, tendons, joints, and other structures and also in such special sense organs as those for vision, hearing, smell, and taste. The receptors are organized into a system that relates them to the environment: exteroceptors, interoceptors, and proprioceptors.
Samir has applied to all the Ivy League schools as well as UCLA. He loves research and people so he may be combining medicine and research as a dual career. Here’s wishing him and his future colleagues much success in their research and maybe one of us may have Samir as our doctor one day.

Sunday Quotes – Anais Nin

(Image via

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.

(Image via

How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.

(Image via

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.

Happy Halloween – A Haunted Dollhouse You Have To See

(Image via

Jenny Lawson, who you may know in the web world as The Bloggess, has been making her own haunted dollhouse for the past 11 years that is filled with references to horror/fantasy books and movies. You will find witches and skeletons, dragons, a hidden passageway, the picture of Dorian Grey, Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, a ouija board and tarot cards. There are two links in her post that has pictures of her dollhouse. There is also her Flicker page if you would like to see a few more pictures in a slideshow. All the better to see more larger and more detailed pictures.

Jenny has done an amazing job taking her love of horror/fantasy books and movies and transformed it into a dollhouse wonderland. If you are a fan of horror and fantasy, take a look at the slide shows and see how many references to various books and movies you can find.


Food Porn Friday – It’s National Chocolate Day

The National Confectioners Association has declared October 28  as National Chocolate Day. If you check the candy holidays list on their site, you may notice that every month has some type of chocolate holiday and rightfully so. In fact, last year I did a post about National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day which included a slide show from  WebMD about the history of chocolate. Because WebMD is exactly where I go for my chocolate history. They do have some pictures of chocolate. I also added a few pictures of chocolate. You know, for visual appeal.

Here’s a reminder of one of the pictures.

And here’s another for the fashionistas in the crowd.

Now, before you run to the kitchen to start making your sinfully delicious concoctions, a wonderful site to visit is Along with all the great information and recipes, there is a cooking with chocolate 101 page  you can check out to learn some of the basics of cooking with chocolate.

(Image via

Now that you’ve  read some tips and techniques, let the drooling and planning begin.

Here’s a list of 101 chocolate recipes from that range from cakes, bars and brownies to puddings, ice cream and drinks.

Several companies that produce chocolate also include recipes on their websites. Hershey’s, Cadbury, Ghiradelli and Lindt are only a few that have recipes and tips on their websites.

And YouTube always has some helpful videos if you prefer watching how treats are made. This video for Chocolate Rum Balls uses rum flavouring as an option if you don’t want to use the real thing.

There are times when having a chocolate cake within reach isn’t the greatest of ideas. But, what do you do if all you want is a slice. How about chocolate cake in a mug.

I have given chocolate bark as Christmas gifts, it is so easy. Sometimes I only used the milk and white chocolate (as seen at the beginning of this video) to make marble bark or I’ve exchanged the milk chocolate with peppermint-flavour dark chocolate chips. My favourite is milk chocolate and macadamia nuts but you can have so much fun experimenting and it’s ridiculously easy to make.

If you want something different from the much-maligned fruit cake, try this white chocolate and dried fruit bark. This is a segment from a news show so you can skip the first 25 seconds or so to see how it’s made and the finished product.

I hope you find something you like – no, I can’t help you with the people in the pictures at top – and remember to pace yourselves. No need to overindulge. Or share if you don’t want to.