Chief neurologist visits Salisbury Middle School
Dr. John E. Castaldo, chief of the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s neurology division visited Salisbury Middle School June 3 to speak to students as part of a career day event set up by English teacher Beth Prokecsh.
Prokesch, who has been teaching at the school since 1991, credits Castaldo with saving her life after an intractable migraine forced her to miss teaching June 2015 to February.
Following Castaldo’s treatment plan, which included following a strict low tyramine diet from the National Headache Foundation along with regular exercise, yoga and months of medication trials, her migraine finally broke after eight long months.
Castaldo, who revealed he got his own passion for medicine from a career day visitor when he was in middle school, was happy to come in and talk to the students.
Over the course of two 50-minute sessions, Castaldo answered a variety of pre-submitted student questions, from the function of the brain to what it takes to succeed.
Castaldo emphasized the importance of good study habits and told the students to “be curious and enjoy the power of wonderment.” He referenced Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hour study in which one must put in that much time to become a master of a particular skill.
Castaldo also covered the topic of migraine headaches. He revealed migraines are caused when too much serotonin is dumped into the blood stream, causing the blood vessels to constrict. Migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to years on end in extreme cases and can severely debilitate those afflicted.
Castaldo explained, however, people who suffer from migraines also tend to be smarter, are able to read faces, can multitask efficiently and have heightened senses than those who do not.
The students enjoyed the presentation and many came up after it ended with further questions.