Wayne officials blast state, ask for $150 million to address juvenile jail crisis

By Dave Boucher and Christine MacDonald: Complete Post through this link…

Wayne County officials worked hard during a legislative hearing Wednesday to tell state lawmakers that state health officials are at fault in the long-standing crisis at the county’s juvenile detention center rife with violence and staffing issues.

“We are a substitute teacher, not the long-term classroom teacher. If you think about it from a health care metaphor, we are the triage, the emergency room, not the long-term stay bed. And yet we are finding that our children are stuck here for, in one case, several years before they are offered the type of treatment that they deserve,” said Abdul El-Sayed, Wayne County’s director of the Department of Health, Human & Veterans Services.

“And so we realized that the circumstances became unsafe, and for that reason we are going to step up and do the work that we understand to be both our responsibility, and then also do the work that we understand to be the state’s responsibility.”

Schizophrenia pinpointed as a key factor in heat deaths

From Science”: Complete Post through this link…

The mental illness tripled the risk of death during a searing 2021 heat wave, researchers find.

On 25 June 2021, as a blanket of hot air descended on the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia’s provincial government issued a news release warning about the approaching heat wave’s dangers. The announcement drew attention to the elderly, children, people working or exercising outdoors, pets, and “people with emotional or mental health issues whose judgment may be impaired.”

Even so, more than 600 people died from the heat in British Columbia, as temperatures topped 40°C for days, shattering records in a region better known for temperatures usually half as high.

Now, new research has zeroed in on one of the hardest hit groups: people with schizophrenia. Epidemiologists combing through provincial health records found that, overall, those with mental health conditions seemed to have an elevated risk of a heat-related death. That was most severe for people with schizophrenia—a 200% increase compared with typical summers. “Those are really large numbers and … alarming,” says Peter Crank, a geographer at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. 

“We didn’t protect them,” laments Sarah Henderson, an environmental epidemiologist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control who oversaw the research, published on 15 March in the journal GeoHealth. “These results show that people with schizophrenia need extra protection, extra support, and extra care.”

Earlier research had shown schizophrenia can make people more vulnerable to heat. Crank, for instance, recently reported a link between higher temperatures and hospitalization of people with schizophrenia in Phoenix. But the connection “just hasn’t made it to the mainstream,” Henderson says.

Overall, more than 8% of the people who died during the hot week had a history of schizophrenia, compared with 2.7% in the same week during a typical year. The results were even more striking for a subset of the total deaths—the 280 that the provincial coroner’s service certified as being heat related. Thirty-seven people who died—more than 13%—had schizophrenia. 

The death toll isn’t a surprise to George Keepers, a psychiatrist and schizophrenia specialist at Oregon Health and Science University who wasn’t involved in the study. “There’s a whole host of things that people with this very unfortunate illness are vulnerable to,” Keepers says. 

For instance, schizophrenia can affect the brain’s hypothalamus, which helps regulate temperature through sweating and shivering. Some antipsychotic medications can raise body temperature, which can have deadly effects when coupled with extreme heat. The disease affects people’s ability to make reasoned decisions or sense when they are ill. People with schizophrenia tend to have other conditions tied to heat-related illness, such as diabetes. Finally, schizophrenia is associated with isolation and homelessness, which puts people at risk when temperatures rise. 

FDA Breakthrough Device Designation granted to Sooma for Its Innovative At-Home Depression Treatment Device

From SOOMA: Complete Post through this link…

Sooma Depression Therapy could become available as a new treatment option sooner for people affected by Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in the United States under this expedited process.

We are proud to announce the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Sooma Breakthrough Device Designation for our portable, patient-administered neuromodulation device to treat depression.

The FDA’s breakthrough designation is reserved for novel therapies that show significant potential to provide a substantial improvement over existing options for severe or life-threatening conditions. 

Sooma Medical’s device utilises a mild electrical current to stimulate targeted brain areas resulting in a significant improvement in depressive symptoms. With this Breakthrough Device Designation, the device could become available as a new treatment option sooner for people affected by Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in the United States. 

“We are thrilled to receive this breakthrough designation from the FDA,” said Tuomas Neuvonen, CEO of Sooma. “Annually, 21 million people in the U.S. are estimated to suffer at least one major depressive episode. This designation recognises that our device is a perfect solution, enabling a fast, effective and affordable treatment on a greater scale. We are committed to making this innovative treatment accessible to patients in U.S. as quickly as possible,” he concluded. 

Turn Up Your Favorite Song to Improve Medication Efficacy

From Neuroscience News: Complete Post through this link…

Summary: Listening to music may help boost the beneficial effects of medicine while helping to reduce some of the side effects. Cancer patients who listened to their favorite music while experiencing chemotherapy-related nausea reported a decrease in nausea severity and stress.

Source: University of Michigan

While listening to a favorite song is a known mood booster, researchers at Michigan State University have discovered that music-listening interventions also can make medicines more effective. 

“Music-listening interventions are like over-the-counter medications,” said Jason Kiernan, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing. “You don’t need a doctor to prescribe them.” 

While previous research studies have used music-listening interventions as a tool to treat pain and anxiety, Kiernan took a novel approach by studying the effects of music-listening interventions on chemotherapy-induced nausea. 

“Pain and anxiety are both neurological phenomena and are interpreted in the brain as a state,” Kiernan said. “Chemotherapy-induced nausea is not a stomach condition; it is a neurological one.” 

The small pilot study included 12 patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment who agreed to listen to their favorite music for 30 minutes each time they needed to take their as-needed anti-nausea medication.

They repeated the music intervention anytime nausea occurred over the five days beyond their chemotherapy treatment. The patients in the study provided a total of 64 events.

Unwarranted MedicalReexaminations forDisability Benefits

From the VA IG: Complete Post through this link…

Why the OIG Did This Review

The OIG conducted this review to determine whether Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
employees required disabled veterans to submit to unwarranted medical reexaminations.

VBA employees have authority to request reexaminations for veterans “whenever VA
determines there is a need to verify either the continued existence or the current severity of a
disability,” and when there is no exclusion from reexamination. While reexaminations are
important in the appropriate situation to ensure taxpayer dollars are appropriately spent,
unwarranted reexaminations cause undue hardship for veterans. They also generate excessive
work, resulting in significant costs and the diversion of VA personnel from veteran care and

What the Review Found

VBA employees did not consistently follow policy to request reexaminations only when
necessary. The OIG team reviewed a statistical sample of 300 cases with reexaminations from
March through August 2017 (review period) and found that employees requested unwarranted
medical reexaminations in 111 cases. Based on this sample, the review team estimated that
employees requested unwarranted reexaminations in 19,800 of the 53,500 cases during the
review period (37 percent).

VBA employees requested reexaminations for veterans whose cases qualified for exclusion from reexamination for one or more of the following reasons:
· Over 55 years old at the time of the examination, and not otherwise warranted by unusual
circumstances or regulation
· Permanent disability and not likely to improve
· Disability without substantial improvement over five years
· Claims folders contained updated medical evidence sufficient to continue the current
disability evaluation without additional examination
· Overall combined evaluation of multiple disabilities would not change irrespective of the
outcome of reexamining the particular condition.

HOMEHEALTH NEWSTinnitus Takedown: Top Tips From a Hearing Specialist

By BRADLEY KESSER: Complete Post through this link…

Tinnitus is a common condition characterized by the perception of noise or ringing in the ears without an external sound source. Typically experienced as ringing, buzzing, hissing, or clicking, it can stem from various causes, such as age-related hearing loss, loud noise exposure, ear infections, or head injuries. Although tinnitus is often regarded as a symptom rather than a disease, it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.

As a neurotologist – that’s an ear specialist – I have seen approximately 2,500 tinnitus patients during my 20-year career. That might sound like a lot, but it shouldn’t be a surprise – up to 15% of the U.S. population experiences tinnitus. That’s more than 50 million Americans.

Roughly 20 million of those have burdensome, chronic tinnitus, and another 2 million struggle with extreme and debilitating tinnitus. The condition seems to strike middle-aged people the most, but I have seen younger patients and even teenagers with tinnitus.

Much about this condition remains a mystery, but clinicians and researchers do know that loud noise can trigger tinnitus. Firearms, power tools, heavy machinery, MRI scans and blaring music from even a single rock concert are often the culprits. Just one loud noise exposure – what doctors call acoustic trauma – can kick-start tinnitus, although in most of those cases it’s temporary.

This is why many people in the military have tinnitus, perhaps acquired after exposure to loud gunfire or vehicular and aircraft noise. Indeed, more than 2.5 million veterans receive disability benefits for tinnitus.

Other factors that can cause or contribute to tinnitus include sinus infections, fevers, flu, emotional stress, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and some medications, like aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. When people stop drinking these beverages or taking the medications, the tinnitus typically resolves itself or, at least, is reduced.

Background noise often drowns out tinnitus, and many external sources will work. YouTube has many sound-generating videos that can help cancel out the uncomfortable sound, and some of these have black screens that will run all night. Free smartphone apps are available; for some people, air conditioners, fans, sound machines, television and radio can be effective at masking the tinnitus.

There are also sound-producing devices that fit in the ear to help counteract tinnitus. Programmed by an audiologist, these sound maskers emit a tone at the same pitch as the user’s tinnitus, helping to neutralize the internal sound. These devices are typically not covered by insurance carriers or Medicare.

For those with hearing loss, regular hearing aids may camouflage the tinnitus by bringing in background noise while at the same time helping patients hear.

Some types of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications work.

Another approach is cognitive behavioral therapy – that is, talk therapy. This particularly helps those with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, a history of concussion or other traumatic brain injury. By reducing this underlying stress, people can learn to live with it rather than fight against it.

Christina Applegate denounces Candace Owens for mocking disability-inclusive Skims ad

BY CHRISTI CARRAS: Complete Post through this link…

Christina Applegate, who has been vocal about living with multiple sclerosis, criticized Candace Owens this week for mocking an underwear ad featuring a model in a wheelchair.

In the wee hours of Thursday morning, the “Dead to Me” star posted a series of tweets denouncing the conservative pundit’s dismissive remarks and advocating for more accessibility in the clothing industry. Applegate’s tweets come a few weeks after Owens deemed the disability-friendly Skims campaign unnecessary and “ridiculous” on her eponymous podcast.

“Yes late tweet. But woke to see the most horrifying thing,” Applegate wrote Thursday.

“This Candace person making comments about companies who see we need help. It’s f— gross. I thank skims and Tommy [Hilfiger] and Guide beauty and @neowalksticks for seeing … us. To [Owens] #youshouldknowbetter.”

#TechTuesday: AT For Pet Care

From MATP: Complete Post through this link…

We hope you will join us for our third #TechTuesday Training Series this year.Session 3 of the training series will be aboutAT For Pet CareYou will learn how to use various Assistive Technology (AT) products and devices. We will be highlighting assistive technology devices, products, and adaptation tips to assist with Caring for Pets.Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 12 to 1:00 PMThis training is free.
CART captioning and ASL Interpreting will be provided.Register in advance for access to the live session and the recording for future viewing:
Click Here to Register

Revolutionary Twin-Bioengine Nanorobots for Gastrointestinal Inflammation Therapy

By CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES: Complete Post through this link…

Micro/nanorobots with self-propelling and -navigating capabilities have attracted extensive attention in drug delivery and therapy owing to their controllable locomotion in hard-to-reach body tissues.

However, developing self-adaptive micro/nanorobots that can adjust their driving mechanisms across multiple biological barriers to reach distant lesions is still a challenge.

Recently, a research team led by Prof. Lintao Cai from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a twin-bioengine yeast micro/nanorobot (TBY-robot) with self-propelling and self-adaptive capabilities that can autonomously navigate to inflamed sites to provide gastrointestinal inflammation therapy via enzyme-macrophage switching (EMS).

This study was published on February 22 in the journal Science Advances.

Special education clash: Supreme Court sides unanimously for student with disability

By John Fritze: Complete Post through this link…

The Supreme Court sided unanimously Tuesday with a student who is deaf and who sought to sue his school for damages over profound lapses in his education, a case that experts say could give parents of students with disabilities more leverage as they negotiate for the education of their children.

Central to the case was the story of Miguel Perez, who enrolled in the Sturgis Public School District in Michigan at age 9 and brought home As and Bs on report cards for more than a decade. Months before graduation, Perez’s parents learned that he would not receive a diploma and that aides the school assigned to him did not know sign language. 

Though the legal question raised by the case is technical, its outcome “holds consequences not just for Mr. Perez but for a great many children with disabilities and their parents,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the unanimous court.

What to know about the Supreme Court’s special education decision 

  • The case, Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools, involved the interplay between two federal laws, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. At issue was whether students may sue a school for damages under the ADA when they haven’t exhausted the administrative process required by the IDEA.
  • In the unanimous decision Tuesday, the high court ruled that Perez didn’t need to exhaust the requirements of the IDEA process before filing a lawsuit for damages under the ADA. 
  • The decision may help parents and schools clarify one piece of a byzantine puzzle of laws that govern the nation’s 7.2 million special education students. Experts have predicted it may give parents more leverage in their negotiation with schools.