Digital puzzle games could be good for memory in older adults, study shows

From University of York: Complete Post through this link…

Older adults who play digital puzzle games have the same memory abilities as people in their 20s, a new study has shown.

The study, from the University of York, also found that adults aged 60 and over who play digital puzzle games had a greater ability to ignore irrelevant distractions, but older adults who played strategy games did not show the same improvements in memory or concentration. It is known that as humans age, their mental abilities tend to decrease, particularly the ability to remember a number of things at a single time – known as working memory.  Working memory is thought to peak between the ages of 20 and 30 before slowly declining as a person gets older.

Previous research, however, has shown that the way we hold information in the brain changes as we get older, and so the York team looked at whether the impacts of particular types of mental stimulation, such as gaming, also had altered effects depending on age.

How to defuse catastrophic thoughts

by Lucia Tecuta: Complete Post through this link…

Do you often fear the worst is going to happen? Use these therapeutic techniques to think more rationally and calmly.

You are getting into your car one morning, about to embark on a long drive, and you hear on the radio that there’s heavy traffic along your route. Suddenly, you’re preoccupied by the thought that you are going to get into a terrible car crash.

At work, you’re about to give a presentation to your colleagues. As they quiet down and you prepare to speak, thoughts about how you’re likely to go completely blank, fumble or stutter – and how awful that would feel – start to bubble up in your head.

After a week in which your significant other has been keeping to themselves more than usual, paying you little attention, you start to think: Is there something wrong with our relationship? Our relationship must be ending… This is a disaster… In this situation, as in the others, the negative thoughts might be accompanied by physical sensations such as sweating, a racing heartbeat, feeling light-headed and dizzy, or feeling a pit in the stomach.What do these scenarios have in common? They all illustrate a widespread way of thinking that we can call ‘thinking the worst’. These are just a few possible examples; there are countless other situations in which this sort of thinking could appear. Can you recognise it in some of your own, real-life experiences?

We all engage in thinking the worst now and then, especially when going through a particularly stressful time.

In more technical terms, this kind of thinking involves what the psychologist Albert Ellis and later the psychiatrist Aaron Beck called catastrophising: that is, imagining the worst-case scenario, jumping to the conclusion that the most catastrophic outcome is surely the one that is most likely to happen or is already happening. A closely related term, awfulising, is commonly used by therapists who practise Ellis’s rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT). While catastrophising refers to unrealistically assuming the worst-case scenario, awfulising refers to believing that a possible negative event is absolutely awful or terrible.

Key Update

From The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse: Complete Post through this link…

Could Depression Be Considered a “Helpful Warning Sign”? And a Manual Offers Other Strategies to Fight Prejudice and Discrimination 

“A shift in perspective from seeing depression as a disease to recognizing it as a helpful warning sign can promote a healthier understanding and lessen self-stigma, researchers find,” according to Mad In America. For the article, click here. And prominent psychologists Eleanor Longden and John Read theorize that “framing individuals as ‘people with problems’ as opposed to ‘patients with illnesses’ is a more promising and robustly evidence-based strategy [than biomedical explanations] for reducing stigma and prejudice.” To read Tackling Mental Health Prejudice and Discrimination (2019), published by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, click here.

“Peer-Operated Respites: Is It Time for National Standards?”

On August 30, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. ET, the Café TA Center will present “Peer-Operated Respites: Is It Time for National Standards?” “We will dispel myths, dig into controversial topics, answer some of the most frequently asked questions, and debate about defining peer respite and associated standards.” For details and to register, click here.

And More…

CSHCS Expanding Eligibility to Age 26 Frequently Asked Questions

From MDHHS: Complete Post through this link…

Q: When will the eligibility expansion go into effect?

A: Eligibility expansion is approved to begin October 1, 2023. However, we anticipate that it will take up to six months to make the necessary computer system updates for this expansion. Whenever possible, CSHCS enrollment will be backdated to 10/01/2023 for anyone determined to be eligible as of 10/01/2023.

2. Q: Will eligibility for all conditions be expanded to age 26?

A: Yes, eligibility for all CSHCS covered conditions will be expanded to age 26.

3. Q: Will CSHCS benefits such as Transportation/Lodging assistance and Insurance Premium Payment be available for clients up to age 26?

A: Yes, these benefits are available for clients up to age 26 meeting the eligibility criteria for these benefits. Not all CSHCS clients are eligible for these benefits.

4. Q: Will members who aged out at 21 prior to October 1, 2023, be reenrolled?

A: Clients that have a current medical report on file, and have not reached their financial review date, will be automatically re-enrolled. Coverage will begin 10/01/2023. Clients that do not have a current medical report on file and are beyond their financial review date, will need to submit additional documentation and will not be automatically re-enrolled.

And more…

Join the team – Become a poll worker in Michigan!

From MSOS: Complete Post through this link…

Michigan needs more election inspectors (i.e. poll workers )for the early voting period and Election Day.Democracy MVP is the state of Michigan’s award-winning, non-partisan poll worker recruitment program. Sign up with Democracy MVP today to get trained, get paid, and help your community run smooth and secure elections!

Complete the interest form to serve as an election inspector (i.e. poll worker) in Michigan!

Learn more and sign up

Less Burdensome PTSD Therapy Proves Viable

by Kristen Monaco: Complete Post through this link…

A shorter type of exposure therapy worked just as well as a more involved one for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a non-inferiority trial involving military veterans.

Written exposure therapy, given over five to seven sessions, was non-inferior to eight to 15 sessions of prolonged exposure therapy for reducing PTSD symptoms, as measured by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5), reported researchers led by Denise Sloan, PhD, of the National Center for PTSD and VA Boston Health Care System.

While both programs seemed equally effective for treating PTSD, patients were significantly more likely to stick with written exposure therapy, with premature dropout rates of only 12.5% versus 35.6% in the prolonged exposure group, likely owing to the fewer but also shorter sessions (45 to 60 minutes rather than 90 minutes), according to the researchers.

Unlocking Sound: Common Supplement Might Combat Age-Related Hearing Loss

From Neuroscience News: Complete Post through this link…

Summary: Researchers discovered a link between age-related hearing loss and decreased cholesterol in the inner ear. This cholesterol reduction affects the outer hair cells (OHCs), which are essential for amplifying sounds.

Experiments on mice indicated that phytosterol supplements, compounds similar to cholesterol, can replace the lost cholesterol and prevent sensory dysfunction. If applicable to humans, over-the-counter phytosterol supplements may offer a potential solution to combat age-related hearing loss.

Key Facts:

  1. Age-related hearing loss may be connected to a decrease of cholesterol in the inner ear’s sensory cells.
  2. Cholesterol is vital for the stretch response of OHCs, which amplify sounds.
  3. In mice, plant-based compounds called phytosterols were effective in compensating for the lost cholesterol and maintaining OHC function.

‘Silent killer’ sepsis is linked to one in THREE deaths in US hospitals

By EMILY JOSHU: Complete Post through this link…

A new program will help address the growing threat of sepsis, a life-threatening infection that causes one in three hospital deaths in the US, health officials announced Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have launched a new effort dubbed the Hospital Sepsis Program Core Elements, meant to prevent sepsis and sepsis deaths by providing hospitals with teams and resources.

Dr Mandy Cohen, director of the CDC, said: ‘Sepsis is taking too many lives.’

‘Rapid diagnosis and immediate appropriate treatment, including antibiotics, are essential to saving lives, yet the challenges of awareness about and recognition of sepsis are enormous.’

Sepsis is a medical emergency health experts call a ‘silent killer.’ It’s caused by the body’s extreme reaction to an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the body. This triggers a chain reaction, causing organs to fail. Infections that lead to sepsis most commonly start in the lungs, urinary tract, skin, or gastrointestinal tract, but almost any infection can lead to sepsis. The complication has been linked to one in three hospital deaths, according to the CDC.  Symptoms can closely resemble the flu and include a very high or low body temperature, sweating, extreme pain, clammy skin, dizziness, nausea, high heart rate, slurred speech, and confusion.

Sepsis can progress to septic shock, which is characterized by a severe drop in blood pressure. Signs of septic shock, according to the Mayo Clinic, include not being able to stand up, extreme fatigue or not being able to stay awake, and a major change in mental status. The CDC recommends seeking help immediately if you have signs of sepsis. If left untreated, sepsis and septic shock are fatal.

Audit: Michigan civil rights agency slow to investigate discrimination

By Lauren Gibbons: Complete Post through this link…

  • State agency reviewing discrimination claims took an average of 19 months to resolve complaints, well over its 6-month goal
  • The department ‘needs to significantly improve’ timeliness to boost public faith in the process 
  • Department officials say a $10 million boost in its budget will provide staffing support needed to address backlog

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights took 19 months on average to resolve complaints of alleged discrimination, far exceeding the department’s 6-month turnaround goal and resulting in delays in 62 percent of cases, a state audit released Thursday concluded.

A report from the Office of the Auditor General found that the department — which is tasked with handling discrimination complaints and determining whether they amount to a violation of Michigan’s civil rights law — was “not effective” at completing investigations in a timely manner. Agency officials said they agreed with the audit’s findings and blamed delays on staffing shortages.

Interview: Victory for People with Disabilities and Older Persons in Mexico

From Carlos Ríos Espinosa: Complete Post through this link…

In a landmark victory for people with disabilities and older people, Mexican President Manuel López Obrador signed into law the National Civil and Family Procedure Code this summer, establishing full legal capacity and the right to supported decision making for everyone 18 years and older. This is an essential win for people with disabilities and older people in Mexico, who are often stripped of their legal capacity. At the forefront of this success was Deciding Is My Right, a coalition of organizations of people with disabilities, organizations of older persons, other human rights organizations, and academia.