A new drug could improve dermatitis after a single dose

By Maria Cohut, Ph.D.: For More Info, Go Here…

Atopic dermatitis is a common form of eczema that affects millions of people in the United States. Now, a new proof-of-concept study suggests that a novel drug could relieve symptoms after just one dose.

Atopic dermatitis is a common form of eczema that affects millions of people in the United States. Now, a new proof-of-concept study suggests that a novel drug could relieve symptoms after just one dose.

person scratching their arm
A new treatment for atopic dermatitis shows promise in proof-of-concept trial.

Researchers estimate that about 16.5 million adults in the United States have atopic dermatitis.

This is a chronic condition that causes skin to become sore, dry, cracked, and irritated.

There is currently no cure for this skin condition, but doctors can help people find a treatment plan that helps reduce the severity of symptoms when they occur.

Such treatment plans include adjusting diet and lifestyle, using topical creams, and taking other forms of medication, such as immunosuppressants.

Immunosuppressants — which doctors often prescribe to people with severe forms of this condition — include ciclosporin and methotrexate, which work by dampening the body’s immune response to allergens that trigger symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

However, these medications can have side effects, including high blood pressure, liver problems, headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

Researchers are therefore on the lookout for alternative drugs that could also efficiently improve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

A new proof-of-concept study — led by researchers from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom — suggests that a new drug, called “etokimab,” could be an effective alternative.

Significant symptom improvements

For their new study, the researchers recruited 12 participants with atopic dermatitis. Their findings appear in the journal Science Translational Medicine, and the researchers thank AnaptysBio, a clinical stage antibody development company, for funding the small trial.

All participants received a dose of etokimab. This drug targets a signaling molecule called interleukin 33 (IL-33), which has a role in targeting immune responses.

After 29 days, 83% of those who received the treatment displayed significant improvements in physical symptoms of dermatitis, reducing their scores of disease severity by at least half.

At the end of the study period, the participants also showed a 40% reduction in the levels of a particular type of immune cell in the bloodstream. This cell is called eosinophil, and it is linked to how sensitive a person is to different allergens.

“This clinical trial is the first time we’ve looked at how blocking IL-33 can help [people] with atopic dermatitis, and we have found they experienced significant improvement in their symptoms after a single dose,” says lead researcher Prof. Graham Ogg.

Deaf teen tased by deputy because he couldn’t hear command

From ABC News: For More Info, Go Here…

A deaf teenager was tased by a sheriff’s deputy because he couldn’t hear the officer’s command to stop.

Brett Elkins was tased, fell to the ground and lost his expensive cochlear implant.

He was at his friend’s house when it happened.

As he was leaving, police arrived to respond to a domestic dispute between his friends.

His mom says after his implant fell out, they couldn’t find it anywhere.

Police say they didn’t know Brett was deaf when he failed to respond to their commands.

They are getting him a new device, which runs about $8,000.

Disaster planning is essential for people with disabilities

BY LINDA MASTANDREA: For More Info, Go Here…https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/466982-disaster-planning-is-essential-for-people-with-disabilities

Imagine there’s a hurricane swirling violently in warm ocean waters with a forecasted track that will send it barreling toward your city within the next five to seven days. What would you do? Would you be ready to leave at a moment’s notice if your local officials ordered a mandatory evacuation? Would you be prepared to live in a shelter, hotel, or with friends and family — for days, possibly weeks at a time — if your house became uninhabitable due to severe wind damage or flooding?  

As the director of FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, I work closely with our state, local, tribal and territorial partners every day, supporting their efforts to help people with disabilities is prepared for disasters and emergencies. 

Every individual who has a disability has his or her life-sustaining plan just in case a disaster strikes. However, this simply cannot wait until just hours before, it must take place well in advance.  ADVERTISEMENT

People with disabilities often plan out their days in great detail. Arranging transit days in advance, scheduling personal care assistants, dealing with malfunctioning assistive technology and preparing meals made to specifications are just a few examples.

They know what they need to get through their day-to-day. Yet, when it comes to preparing for disaster, many of us are woefully uninformed and unprepared. Many may think, disasters will never impact them and may believe it costs too much to prepare. However, neither is true.  

The reality is, there are many things that people with disabilities can do to prepare for emergencies and disasters, and it does not have to be expensive. First and foremost, individual preparedness is the key.

After a disaster, help may not arrive for 48 to 72 hours, or even longer. That means you are personally accountable for your own well being those first few days, whether you stay at home or are ordered to evacuate by local officials. 

What School Shooters Have in Common

By Jillian Peterson & James Densley: For More Info, Go Here…

Data-driven pathways for preventing gun violence.

This month, Fruitport, Mich.—a village of just over 1,000 people—announced it was spending $48 million to redesign its high school campus to minimize casualties in the event of a mass shooting. The plan includes curved hallways to shorten a shooter’s line of sight, hidden wing walls to give students more places to hide, and an alarm and lockdown system to isolate a threat at the touch of a button.

In the United States, a $3 billion school safety industry trades in Kevlar backpack inserts for children, bulletproof whiteboards, impact-resistant film for classroom windows, “ballistic attack resistant” door shields, armored saferooms, surveillance cameras and facial-recognition systems, software to monitor potential threats, gunshot and “aggression detector” microphones, even smoke cannons to disrupt an active shooter in progress.

While the burgeoning school safety industry is trying to counter the threat of guns in schools, state lawmakers are considering whether to arm teachers. Teachers have signed up for trainings intended to help them overcome their natural instincts to run from a gunman. In one instance, law enforcement personnel shot teachers execution style with plastic pellets. (what could go wrong?)

There is no evidence that any of this stuff works. All we do know is that the search for school safety solutions is sending districts into more debt and hurting school climate. About 95 percent of America’s schools in 2015-16 conducted active shooter lockdown drills, which teachers and students both find traumatizing. Such drills also increase anxiety, something already rising among children and young people. A 2018 Pew Research survey discovered that, despite the low probability of such events (the likelihood of a student being killed by a gun in school is roughly 1 in 614 million), 57 percent of American teenagers worry about a shooting at their school, which presumably makes it hard for them to focus on their schoolwork.

For two years, we’ve been studying the life histories of mass shooters in the United States for a project funded by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. We’ve built a database dating back to 1966 of every shooter who killed four or more people in a public place, and analyzed every active shooter incident at a K-12 school since 1999—the year of the Columbine High School massacre, when 12 students and one teacher were killed. We’ve interviewed incarcerated perpetrators of school shootings and their families, students who planned a shooting but changed their minds, survivors and first responders, teachers and administrators. We’ve read media and social media, “manifestos,” suicide notes, trial transcripts, and medical records.

Our goal has been to find new, data-suggested pathways for preventing school shootings. Our study shows that there’s no one profile of a school shooter and no one predictor of a school shooting. However, school shooters are almost always a student at the school, and they typically have four things in common:

They suffered early-childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age. They were angry or despondent over a recent event, resulting in feelings of suicidality. They studied other school shootings, notably Columbine, often online, and found inspiration. And they possessed the means to carry out an attack.

An alternative to police: Mental health team responds to emergencies in Oregon

By OMAR VILLAFRANCA: For More Info, Go Here…

When a mental health-related 911 call comes in, a specialized team in Eugene, Oregon, rolls out.

“Pretty much everybody we see is for one reason or another is in a state of crisis,” said Manning Walker.

Walker is a medic and Laurel Lisovskis is a mental health crisis manager. The pair are members of a mobile mental health crisis intervention team called CAHOOTS, which stands for Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets. They answer calls like suicide interventions and overdoses. They’re unarmed and most of the time, without police backup.

“We always move as a team,” Lisovskis said.

They took CBS News on an exclusive ride along. Their first call was for a woman they’ve met before, who they believe is schizophrenic. She said her name was Kayla.

“I like CAHOOTS. They help you in your time of need. When you are hungry and certain things like that,” she said.
CAHOOTS was founded in 1989. Last year, they responded to nearly 23,000 calls in Eugene and Springfield, Oregon. Denver is starting its own version of CAHOOTS. City leaders from Oakland, Olympia, Washington and even New York City are all considering similar pilot programs. 

“We handle almost 20% of the entire public safety call volume for our area,” said Tim Black, Eugene’s CAHOOTS program manager. “But there was such a dramatic need coming in through the 911 and non-emergency lines that there was a need for there to be this kind of behavioral health first response.”

Analysis Finds Record 3,148 Medicare Advantage Plans Will be Available in 2020

From KFF: For More Info, Go Here…

Most Offer Additional Benefits, Including Some Fitness, Dental and Vision, though Few Offer Telemonitoring, In-Home and Caregiver Support.

A record 3,148 Medicare Advantage plans will be available across the country as alternatives to traditional Medicare, a new KFF analysis finds. That’s up 15% from last year’s 2,734 plans and results in a typical beneficiary having 28 plans available to them in their local market for the 2020 Medicare open enrollment period, which began Oct. 15 and runs until Dec. 7.

About 22 million Medicare beneficiaries – a third of all beneficiaries – are currently in Medicare Advantage plans, which are mostly HMOs and PPOs offered by private insurers that are paid to provide Medicare benefits to enrollees.

Most plans also offer benefits beyond what traditional Medicare covers, including fitness (93%), dental (88%), eye exams and glasses (87%), and hearing aids (83%). Nearly half (46%) provide a meal benefit, such as a cooking class, nutrition education or meal delivery, and one-third (33%) provide some transportation benefit. Far fewer offer other benefits related to social and residential needs that can affect health, such as bathroom safety devices, handrails (6%), telemonitoring (4%), in-home support (4%), and support for caregivers (2%).

The number of 2020 plans available varies greatly across the country, with 31 plans, on average, in metropolitan counties and 16 plans, on average, in non-metropolitan counties. Six counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania have more than 60 plans, while no plans will be available in 77 mostly rural counties nationwide.

Most Medicare Advantage plans (90%) include prescription drug coverage. Similar to last year, about 49% of these plans do not charge any additional premium beyond Medicare’s standard Part B premium.

KFF has also updated its collection of frequently asked questions about Medicare Open Enrollment to help beneficiaries understand their options during the annual open enrollment period, including the private stand-alone Part D plans that provide Medicare’s drug benefit and Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans, in addition to Medicare Advantage plans.

JK Rowling urges students not to volunteer at orphanages

By Kate Hodal: For More Info, Go Here…

Author highlights evidence suggesting that ‘orphanage tourism’ drives families apart and makes children vulnerable to abuse.

JK Rowling has called on students around the world not to volunteer at orphanages, pointing to emerging evidence that “orphanage tourism” drives family separation and child trafficking.

Speaking at the One Young World summit in London, the global forum for young leaders, the Harry Potter author and founder and president of children’s charity Lumos, said orphanages do “irreparable harm” and “perpetuate the abuse” of children and communities.

“Despite the best of intentions, the sad truth is that visiting and volunteering in orphanages drives an industry that separates children from their families and puts them at risk of neglect and abuse,” she said.

“Institutionalism is one of the worst things you can do to children in the world. It has huge effects on their normal development, it renders children vulnerable to abuse and trafficking, and it massively impacts their life chances. And these dire statistics apply even to what we would see as well-run orphanages … The effect on children is universally poor.”


From Community Housing Network: For More Info, Go Here…

The Livonia Housing Commission will be accepting applications on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 9:00 am and will close at 4:00 pm Monday, November 4, 2019.
Applications for the waiting list are available ON-LINE ONLY at:

Only one application per family will be accepted.  Duplicate applications will be rejected.  Paper applications WILL NOT be distributed or accepted.  An email address will be required to submit an application.  If you do not have one, the application process will allow you to create one.  Applications can be submitted ON-LINE with the use of a personal computer, laptop, tablet and smart phone. Submission of an application does not guarantee placement on the waiting list, eligibility or an offer of a Housing Choice Voucher. 

Applications received on-line will be entered into a selection lottery. The Livonia Housing Commission will randomly select 1,300 applications to be placed on the Voucher waiting list.
Please do not call any of the Housing Commission offices regarding applications or application status information. 

The lottery will take place by November 30, 2019 at which time applicants may verify if they were selected on-line at the waitlist check website. 

5 more state Medicaid programs sign on with Lyft for non-emergency transport

by Paige Minemyer: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- Michigan has chosen this as an option considering the problems PWD have reported in getting and using non-emergency transporation. Has anyone used it?…

Lyft is growing its reach in Medicaid to five more states, the ride-sharing platform announced Thursday.

Medicaid programs in Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and Missouri will cover eligible nonemergency medical transport (NEMT) rides through Lyft’s platform, reaching 9 million additional people.

Lyft announced over the summer that Arizona’s Medicaid program would cover its services, marking the first such agreement between a state Medicaid program and a national ride-sharing program.

“With the support of both Medicaid programs and health plans to include rideshare as a transportation provider type, we now have the potential to positively impact the lives of millions more across the country—with an average of 17% of the population in these six states enrolled in Medicaid,” Lyft’s healthcare team wrote in a blog post.

In these arrangements, Lyft works with an NEMT broker to provide rides to qualified Medicaid enrollees. The ride-sharing platform collaborates with local Medicaid leaders to make their model fit the needs of the individual states.

In Tennessee, for example, state officials were concerned about access to doctors’ visits, so they joined forces with Lyft to design the pilot, according to the blog post.

“The entire healthcare community, especially Medicaid programs, are recognizing the outsized impact that social determinants of health have on impacting the well-being and health outcomes of individuals,” said Victor Wu, M.D., chief medical officer at TennCare, in the post.

Lyft and its main competitor, Uber, have both put a focus on Medicaid as a key market as they make significant moves into healthcare. The ride-share companies have made a strong push into the healthcare space, bolstered by data that suggest patients are already using these platforms regularly to get to doctors’ appointments and other nonemergency care. 

Genetic Testing and the Rush to Perfection

From NCIL: For More Info, Go Here…

Scientific, medical, and technological advances over the past decade have made genetic testing more commonly known and widely accepted among healthcare professionals and the public. Entrepreneurs offer direct- to- consumer genetic testing for individuals seeking knowledge on everything from their ancestry to their chances of developing breast cancer.

The potential for discrimination against people with genetic conditions by entities such as employers and health insurers was recognized with the passage of the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008, which provides protections from employer discrimination based on genetic factors. If and how prenatal genetic testing comprises discrimination against people with genetic conditions, however, has been more controversial and has had a much more limited federal and state response.

NCD is concerned that prenatal and adult genetic testing laboratories have exploded in terms of number in the United States, with very little regulation or oversight beyond the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ensuring that the laboratories function properly and the tests correctly measure the DNA components claimed. Additionally, providers involved in prenatal genetic screening and diagnosis have little time to provide in- depth counseling about the tests and the outcome of those tests. Genetic counselors, who would typically stand on the front lines of providing sufficient relevant information to facilitate informed reproductive choices for women, are subject to few requirements when it comes to disability cultural or social awareness and are increasingly being co- opted into the commercial genetic testing industry when they are directly hired by industry.

Genetic Testing and the Rush to Perfection examines the impact of genetic testing on people with disabilities and on disability communities, examines the range of scientific, commercial, medical/professional, and social factors that converge around prenatal genetic testing as it affects people with disabilities, and also provides an update on the interaction between genetic testing and employment discrimination. It concludes with recommendations aimed at greater federal and state oversight and quality control of genetic tests, and improving genetic counselor education on disability.