Alone And Aging: Creating A Safety Net for Isolated Seniors

Phyllis Krantzman knows what she should do, but like many of her peers, the 71-year-old doesn’t know how to approach a casual acquaintance to ask who will take care of her when she needs it most.

Krantzman, of Austin, Texas, is among a growing number of seniors who find themselves alone just when aging and end-of-life care becomes real.

Unmarried, with no children, her younger sister, by seven years, died in 2014. Krantzman’s social network is limited to a handful of work colleagues and a few acquaintances.

No Immediate Changes To Your Obamacare Coverage

To the millions of Californians who obtained health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act, know this: Despite the election of Donald Trump, who has promised to repeal the health law, nothing is going to happen to your coverage immediately.

In fact, open enrollment for Covered California plans continues through January 31 despite the election outcome.

“Don’t panic. The open enrollment period is set,” says Myles Pappadato, an insurance agent based in Valencia whose firm, QuoteBroker, has about 600 clients with Covered California policies. He fielded about a dozen calls the morning after the election from worried consumers.

France finds H5N8 bird flu in wild ducks

A severe strain of H5N8 bird flu that has hit several countries in Europe leading to the culling of thousands of poultry was detected in wild ducks in Northern France, the farm ministry said on Monday.

“A first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 was confirmed on Nov. 26 in the commune of Marck (Pas-de-Calais), on 20 wild ducks used as callers for waterfowl hunting,” it said in a statement.

Local authorities increased surveillance in the area, the ministry said.

New anti-inflammatory drug reduces death of existing brain cells then repairs damage after stroke

Researchers at The University of Manchester have discovered that a potential new drug reduces the number of brain cells destroyed by stroke and then helps to repair the damage.

A reduction in blood flow to the brain caused by stroke is a major cause of death and disability, and there are few effective treatments.

A team of scientists at The University of Manchester has now found that a potential new stroke drug not only works in rodents by limiting the death of existing brain cells but also by promoting the birth of new neurones (so-called neurogenesis).  

Chronic gum disease tied to risk of erectile dysfunction

By Kathryn Doyle

(Reuters Health) – Erectile dysfunction is more common in men with gum disease, according to a new review of existing studies.

Chronic bacterial infection of the gums, or periodontitis, is common and a major cause of tooth loss for adults, the authors write. The condition has been tied to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and general inflammation, which in turn have been tied stroke and hardening of the arteries.

Stroke and hardening of the arteries are also associated with erectile dysfunction (ED).

Research shows mechanism that induces heart arrhythmias in diabetic mice

One of the most serious complications of diabetes, heart arrhythmias, is now on its way to be prevented and combated. Researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in partnership with investigators from University of Bonn, Universidad del Pais Vasco, Universidad de La Plata, FIOCRUZ and UNICAMP, show how the disease affects the heart and how the process can be reversed with two promising drugs. The findings have just been published in the October issue of the journal Nature Communications.

Fibroblasts could provide new target for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

A new study reveals the key role of different types of fibroblast cells in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), opening up a new avenue for research into treatment of the disease. Synovial Fibroblasts (SFs) are cells that make up part of the connective tissue, or synovium, around human joints. In RA patients, SF cells cause damage by invading and attacking the cartilage and bone around the joint.
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Counseling Helps Patients Decide on Lung Ca Screening

Action Points

  • Note that this cohort study suggested that a shared decision-making session increased patients’ knowledge of the harms and benefits of CT screening for lung cancer.
  • While most patients had knowledge of the potential benefits of screening, far fewer understood the potential risks.

Smokers and former smokers eligible for lung cancer screening better understood the benefits and potential harms of screening following a single counseling and shared-decision-making visit to a screening center, researchers reported.