Causes on Facebook is a tool that lets you easily fundraise and recruit supporters for your nonprofit on the popular social network Facebook. On this call Randall spoke about how Causes can supplement your fundraising and organizing efforts, how to join and navigate Facebook, and how to use Causes to build an online network of supporters. He covered the basics of joining Facebook and using the Causes tool, and then looked at specific cause campaigns started by actual nonprofits using Causes in order to help you get started.Facebook is a social network used by its members for a host of basic social activities, like communicating, sharing photos and keeping in touch with friends. One of its advantages is that an individual’s real-life social network-such as at a business, city, or school-is brought together in one online location. Causes takes advantage of this by giving Facebook members the tools to initiate and grow a campaign or “cause” by leveraging their own social network. Information can spread over time through your own network, your friends’ networks, their friends’ networks, etc. Thus with Causes you can build a long-term online community for your nonprofit that develops as your organization does.About Randall Winston: Randall is currently the Director of Nonprofit Relations for Causes as part of Project Agape. He earned a B.A. in government from Harvard. Before joining Causes, he spent two years in Beijing working for the urban development and architecture firm, SOHO China. He also co-founded an investment advisory firm, and worked as a consultant with Goldman Sachs.
Neurologists at NYU School of Medicine have devised an easy test that could enable earlier diagnosis of a group of degenerative brain diseases.As The Deccan Chronicle reports, a simple bedside test that matches a change in heart rate with a drop in blood pressure after a patient stands may help doctors diagnose certain degenerative brain diseases called synucleinopathies, which include Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, and multiple system atrophy.Arising from the abnormal buildup of a protein known as alpha-synuclein in the brain, such conditions damage the nerves that control blood pressure and heart rate.“For the first time, we have been able to systematically show that patients whose blood pressure drops after standing up without an accompanying increase in their heart rate may have a synucleinopathy,” says lead study author of the study Lucy Norcliffe-Kaufmann. “By taking a patient’s blood pressure lying flat, then looking at the change in heart rate after the patient stands up, we can provide healthcare providers with clues as to whether or not the patient has this neurodegenerative disease.”Falling blood pressure after standing, a condition known as orthostatic hypotension, can cause dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting. When orthostatic hypotension is due to impaired activation of nerves that squeeze the blood vessels, the condition is called “neurogenic orthostatic hypotension,” and is a hallmark feature of failure of the autonomic nervous system. This system regulates bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, and metabolism.Physicians typically distinguish neurogenic from non-neurogenic orthostatic hypotension by measuring a patient’s heart rate upon standing. People with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension usually have little or no increase in heart rate after standing, while patients with the non-neurogenic form typically have a marked increase in heart rate.The researchers identified 402 patients with orthostatic hypotension who had a normal heart rhythm. Of these, 378 were diagnosed with synucleinopathies. Orthostatic hypotension in the remaining 24 patients was determined to be due to non-neurological causes such as overmedication with blood pressure control drugs, anemia, or dehydration.The patients had their blood pressure measured while lying on a tilting table, which mimics standing up and exerts a strain on the blood pressure causing it to fall. The researchers found that patients with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension had twice the fall in blood pressure but only one-third of the increase in heart rate than patients with non-neurogenic orthostatic hypotension.Dr. Norcliffe-Kaufmann says the finding suggests that doctors should measure the blood pressure and heart rate of patients after they stand up rather than from a seated positions in patients who complain of fainting or dizziness when standing.The study has been published in the journal Annals of Neurology.