Vitamin C can cut time spent in intensive care units

By Catharine Paddock Ph.D.: For More Info, Go Here…

Vitamin C could be a cost-effective way to reduce the time that patients spend in intensive care. This was the conclusion of a recent analysis of evidence from published trials.

Dr. Harri Hemilä of the University of Helsinki in Finland and Dr. Elizabeth Chalker of the University of Sydney in Australia have written a study paper that features in the journal Nutrients in which they explain how they found the “statistically highly significant evidence” that led to their conclusion.

A pooled analysis of data from a dozen trials found that giving patients vitamin C reduced time spent in the intensive care unit (ICU) by an average of 8 percent.

This is a Real Crisis!

By David Leonhardt: For More Info, Go Here…

Some Americans suffering from chronic pain have recently lost access to medicines that helped them live normal lives. Other patients have had to turn to invasive and dangerous treatments, like spinal injections.

“Consequently, patients have endured not only unnecessary suffering, but some have turned to suicide or illicit substance use,” more than 300 medical experts, including three former White House drug czars, wrote in a letter this month. “Others have experienced preventable hospitalizations or medical deterioration.” The experts sent the letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urging officials there to take action.

What’s going on? The C.D.C.’s crackdown on the overuse of opioids — though overdue and necessary — is also too uniform. It has ignored the fact that many people receive huge benefits from opioids and use them safely. The crackdown, which began with new guidelines for doctors issued in 2016, is denying medications to people who need them.

Is this a better way to deliver drugs to the brain?

By Maria Cohut: For More Info, Go Here…

The blood-brain barrier is a protective layer that surrounds the brain. Its main function is to prevent potentially harmful agents from leaking into this organ. However, it can also stop certain therapeutic drugs from reaching their target.

Scientists can address this issue by temporarily bypassing the blood-brain barrier by using low-frequency ultrasound pulses.

So far, they have only experimented with long-wave ultrasound pulses.

However, these can bring on side effects, such as brain tissue damage and prolonged exposure to harmful molecules penetrating the blood-brain barrier alongside the drugs.

Now, research conducted at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom suggests that a new approach to ultrasound disruption of the blood-brain barrier may work better and cause fewer problems.

The team — led by James Choi, Ph.D. — is focusing on the use of shorter-wave ultrasound pulses, which the scientists have recently tested in mouse models.

Following the new research, the results of which appear in the journal Radiology, Choi notes that he and his colleagues “have now found a seemingly effective way of getting potentially effective drugs to where they need to be.”

Why the Court Once Again Struck Down Federal Approval of Medicaid Work Experiments

By Sara Rosenbaum: For More Info, Go Here…

The two new decisions handed down by a federal court this week (Stewart v. Azar and Gresham v. Azar) are the latest developments in the ongoing debate over whether employment should be a basic condition of eligibility of Medicaid for most working-age adults. The new decisions vacate U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approval of Section 1115 Medicaid demonstrations that allow both Kentucky and Arkansas to impose work as a requirement of coverage. Notably, the court halted the Arkansas experiment midstream, before any more people lose coverage.

Despite this legal development, on Friday the administration announced approval of Utah’s partial Medicaid expansion coupled with a work requirement.

The basic premise of work requirements is questionable, since most Medicaid enrollees are already working. Nearly eight in 10 nondisabled working-age adults with Medicaid live in working families, and the majority work full-time. Those who are not working report that they are caring for family members, struggling with their own health issues, or have been unsuccessful in finding employment.

peer support: Evidence and experience

Prepared by Rebecca Miller and Laura Van Tosh, 2019: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd-This is a 3 panel, two page PDF file….

Defined by Shery Mead (2003) as “…a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful,” peer support in mental health is a growing profession with a unique value for supporting others in moving forward.

Peer support has been called “a disruptive innovation” (Deegan, 2009) through showing that recovery is real, blurring the “us-them” false dichotomy, pushing for rights, and challenging the role of “patient” or “consumer”.

Veterans harmed at VA nursing homes in 25 states, inspections find

By Donovan Slack, USA TODAY, and Andrea Estes, The Boston Globe: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd-If you have the stomach for it, read the entire article. Appalling treatment…

Inspection Results Page at the VA site

At the Veterans Affairs nursing home in Brockton, Massachusetts, a severely impaired veteran with dementia sat trapped in his wheelchair for hours, his right foot stuck between the foot rests. Inspectors watched as staff walked past the struggling man without helping.

Veterans moaned in pain without adequate medication at VA nursing homes in Dayton, Ohio, and Augusta, Maine. A unit at the VA nursing home in Lyons, New Jersey, had no functional call system for residents to summon caregivers.

Nine months after USA TODAY and The Boston Globe reported veterans received substandard care at many Department of Veterans Affairs nursing homes, newly released inspection reports paint a discouraging picture of the care that veterans have received.

From April through December 2018, inspectors from a private contractor cited 52 out of 99 VA nursing homes for deficiencies that caused “actual harm” to veterans. In three facilities, they found veterans’ health and safety in “immediate jeopardy,” and in eight, inspectors found both veteran “harm” and “jeopardy.”

The facilities cited for shortfalls that caused harm are in 25 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Harm and jeopardy are standard categories of severity in the industry, but non-VA nursing homes are rarely cited for them.

“That is really bad. It’s really bad,” said Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, a New York City-based nonprofit advocate of nursing home care improvement.

Elder abuse group expected to address guardianships, financial fraud, family rights

By Beth LeBlanc: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd-This is a follow-up on the interview with Alison Hirschel yesterday…

A statewide task force will address the legal, social and judicial shortfalls that have in some part allowed for the abuse of roughly 73,000 older adults in Michigan.

The Elder Abuse Task Force announced Monday by Attorney General Dana Nessel has support from prosecutors and law enforcement, probate courts, health care associations, and elder law groups. The task force will include members of the Michigan Supreme Court, the governor’s office, county prosecutors, state and federal lawmakers, advocacy groups and 13 people from the Attorney General’s office.

Other task forces in 1998 and 2007 studied the issue, Nessel said, but gaps remain prevalent throughout a social and legal system that is supposed to protect vulnerable and elderly adults.

Nessel promised the task force would produce real results and launched the group with nine initiatives that would tighten guardianship rules, require more training for law enforcement and adult protective services personnel, establish basic rights for families, mandate reporting by banks of suspected exploitation and create multi-disciplinary teams at the local level. When the group attains those goals, it will move on to other initiatives, she said.

“This has been studied to death,” Nessel said. “To me, it was time for some action.”


From Dangerous Minds: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd-Dale died a few weeks ago…

In an interview with the Pittsburgh City Paper last week, Dick Dale made a seemingly hyperbolic statement: “I can’t stop touring because I will die.” It’s the sort of thing you hear often from an active man disregarding his suggested retirement age, but Dale followed it up with, “Physically and literally, I will die”: the 78-year-old is literally playing shows to stay alive.

Dale has extreme health problems—painfully damaged vertebrae, diabetes, renal failure, and rectal cancer that has left him with a colostomy bag. Dale has insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything, and little luxuries like changing a colostomy bag more frequently require him to work through the pain and discomfort. The hospital has advised him to stay thrifty, despite the risk of infection that has left him incredibly ill in the past:

Make it stop: New frontiers in pain research offer hope

By Julie Greicius: For More Info, Go Here…

Stacey Morris didn’t mean to overdose. She’d been taking prescription pain medications following a surgery six months earlier to remove some calcium deposits from her right shoulder. Instead of subsiding as pain normally should after surgery, her pain had grown into a monster that tormented her all day, every day. Then, one night she happened to take her pain medication — gabapentin — along with a common sleep medication and a small glass of wine. The combination nearly ended her life.

In her story for the latest issue of Stanford Medicine magazine, Nicoletta Lanese recounts the decade-long struggle with pain experienced by Morris — whose name was changed for this story — and the work that her doctor at Stanford, Vivianne Tawfik, MD, PhD, is doing to understand and stop chronic pain.

The classic symptom of complex regional pain syndrome is long-lasting pain that is stronger than expected given the injury that triggered it. Other symptoms include muscle tremors and weakness, brittle nails, slow-growing hair, swelling, redness or unexplained warmth in the affected limb. Those with the syndrome may become hypersensitive: A minor cut or bruise might cause severe pain while normally painless sensations, such as feeling clothing against their skin, can become excruciating. For instance, when Morris walks on pebbles with bare feet, it can feel as if she’s walking on jagged shards of glass.

Report: Michigan shorts mental health industry by $150 million annually

By JAY GREENE:  For More Info, Go Here…


  • Report by mental health providers calls for increase in funding
  • Underfunding, increased demands have led to more homelessness, poverty, incarceration and unnecessary deaths
  • Pilot studies to test theory that integration of physical and mental health can save costs, expand care

Increased homelessness, poverty, incarceration and deaths are predicted in Michigan by a new report that concludes there is a $150 million gap between the cost of health care and the funding provided to the state’s $2.8 billion-plus public mental health system.

The study, which was commissioned by the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan, outlines several major changes in the population served since the current managed health care funding model was established in 1997.

Besides the opioid crisis — which resulted in more than 1,700 deaths in Michigan in 2016 alone and tens of thousands of addictions — the increased rates of incarceration of those with mental health needs and autism have caused many more problems within the system and society, the report says.