Brain Activity Reveals Chronic Pain Signatures

From Neuroscience News: Complete Post through this link…

Summary: Researchers successfully recorded data directly from the brains of individuals suffering from chronic pain caused by stroke or amputation. This milestone, accomplished using machine learning tools, identified specific brain regions and biomarkers associated with chronic pain.

The findings mark a significant stride towards devising novel methods for monitoring and treating chronic pain. This research is expected to inform future deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies and guide the search for non-addictive chronic pain treatments.

Key Facts:

  1. This is the first study to record chronic pain-related data directly from the brain, identifying an area of the brain associated with chronic pain.
  2. The researchers utilized machine learning tools to analyze the recorded data, offering new insights into the brain’s representation of pain.
  3. The findings are expected to guide future therapies, particularly deep brain stimulation (DBS), and contribute to the development of non-addictive treatments for chronic pain.

1 in 10 People Suffer From Autoimmune Diseases

From Neuroscience News: Complete Post through this link…

Summary: A study of 22 million people found autoimmune disorders now affect around one in 10 individuals, with women more affected than men.

The research also revealed socioeconomic, seasonal, and regional disparities among several autoimmune disorders. The researchers suggest such variations are unlikely to be attributable to genetic differences alone, and may point to the involvement of potentially modifiable risk factors such as smoking, obesity, or stress that contribute to the development of some autoimmune diseases.

The study also confirmed that in some cases, a person with one autoimmune disease is more likely to develop a second, indicating that some autoimmune diseases share common risk factors, such as genetic predispositions or environmental triggers.

Key Facts:

  1. Autoimmune diseases affect around 10% of the global population, with 13% of women and 7% of men being affected.
  2. The study used a large dataset of anonymized electronic health records from the UK, covering 22 million people, to investigate 19 of the most common autoimmune diseases.
  3. The research found that there are socioeconomic, seasonal, and regional disparities among several autoimmune disorders and that some autoimmune diseases share common risk factors, such as genetic predispositions or environmental triggers.

Interactive Art Exhibitions Can Improve Mood and Reduce Anxiety

From ASAN: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Summary: Viewing interactive art online can improve our mood and reduce anxiety. People reported significant improvements in mood and anxiety after just a few minutes of viewing an interactive Monet Water Lily art exhibition from Google Arts and Culture.

The study also found that individuals with high levels of aesthetic responsiveness benefit more from online art viewing.

Key Findings:

  1. The study involved 240 participants who viewed an interactive Monet Water Lily art exhibition from Google Arts and Culture and filled out a questionnaire about their state of mind, pleasure, and meaningfulness of the experience.
  2. The study found that even a few minutes of online art viewing can significantly improve mood and anxiety.
  3. The researchers also found that individuals with high levels of aesthetic responsiveness benefit more from online art viewing, which expands insight into the benefits and limitations of art in digital media.

Michigan automatic expungement: What convictions qualify, how to check

By Lauren Gibbons: Complete Post through this link…

  • In the first eight days of automatic expungement in Michigan, nearly 1.2 million convictions were set aside 
  • Automatic system will check daily for newly-eligible convictions to expunge
  • 2020 law that created automatic expungement process also expanded eligibility for wiping criminal records

This month, Michigan became the latest state in the nation to automatically wipe past eligible criminal convictions from public records.

More than 1 million felonies and misdemeanors have been erased from residents’ records since the automatic program took effect on April 11, and state officials say the process is designed to run a daily check for newly-eligible convictions to expunge. 

The automatic expungements are limited primarily to low-level, nonviolent crimes committed by residents who haven’t had another conviction in years. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said about 400,000 Michigan residents were “completely conviction free” once automatic expungement went into effect. 

Certain crimes not included in the automatic expungement process, including first-time drunk driving offenses, can still be expunged after a certain period of time through the traditional process of petitioning a judge.

Press Release: Not Dead Yet Joins Anti-Discrimination Lawsuit To Oppose Assisted Suicide Law

From Not Dead Yet: Complete Post through this link…

Los Angeles, CA — April 26, 2023 – Yesterday, the United Spinal Association (“United Spinal”), Not Dead Yet (“NDY”), Institute for Patients’ Rights (“IPR”), Communities Actively Living Independent & Free “CALIF”, and individual plaintiffs, Lonnie VanHook and Ingrid Tischer, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, asking that California’s End of Life Option Act (EOLOA) be declared unlawful and unconstitutional.

“This lawsuit is a long-held dream come true for Not Dead Yet,” said Diane Coleman, president and CEO of NDY, a national disability organization. “We’re honored to join our fellow plaintiffs and attorneys to bring this fundamental disability rights challenge to the discrimination inherent in assisted suicide laws.”

NDY’s assistant director/policy analyst Jules Good says, “At a time where our rights are being stripped away, hateful laws are being enacted against LGBTQ+ members of our community, and disabled people of color are facing continued systemic violence, policies that make it easier for disabled people to die with help from their doctors are especially dangerous. Assisted suicide policies are inherently discriminatory, full stop.” 

NDY’s director of minority outreach, Anita Cameron, says, “As a Black disabled woman, I have experienced both racial and disability discrimination in healthcare. Although few Blacks and people of color request assisted suicide, as it becomes normalized across the country, racial disparities and the devaluing of the lives of disabled people will lead to people being forced, or ‘convinced’ to ask for assisted suicide.”

The Hidden Impact: Lingering Brain Injury Symptoms Haunt Concussion Patients

By UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE: Complete Post through this link…

Mild traumatic brain injury – concussion – results from a blow or jolt to the head. It can occur as a result of a fall, a sports injury or from a cycling accident or car crash, for example. But despite being labelled ‘mild’, it is commonly linked with persistent symptoms and incomplete recovery. Such symptoms include depression, cognitive impairment, headaches, and fatigue.

While some clinicians in recent studies predict that nine out of 10 individuals who experience concussion will have a full recovery after six months, evidence is emerging that only half achieve a full recovery. This means that a significant proportion of patients may not receive adequate post-injury care.

Predicting which patients will have a fast recovery and who will take longer to recover is challenging, however. At present, patients with suspected concussion will typically receive a brain scan – either a CT scan or an MRI scan, both of which look for structural problems, such as inflammation or bruising – yet even if these scans show no obvious structural damage, a patient’s symptoms may still persist.

Dr Emmanuel Stamatakis from the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Division of Anaesthesia at the University of Cambridge said: “Worldwide, we’re seeing an increase in the number of cases of mild traumatic brain injury, particularly from falls in our ageing population and rising numbers of road traffic collisions in low- and middle-income countries.

Opinion | Direct care workers need better pay to help our most vulnerable

By Todd Culver & Robert Stein: Complete Post through this link…

For years, those of us working in Michigan’s behavioral health sector have been warning of an imminent systemic collapse. Now, it’s reached our doorstep.

The cause? Our system only works when direct care workers are available to care for people in need of services. These individuals provide hands-on care and support for people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, helping with everything from training and counseling to daily bathing and food preparation.

Since Medicaid is the funding source for families and private providers, they can’t simply increase the pay of their DCWs. As a result, the pool of available DCWs is dwindling, due to poor compensation and benefits. This leaves many Michigan families in a state of crisis as they try to ensure their loved ones are safe and well cared for.

The hard truth is that inflation is pushing the cost of living higher than ever. And for the most part, salaries across Michigan have kept pace, with one notable exception: DCW pay remains low, with a starting wage of $15.20 per hour, according to recent survey findings. 

This level of compensation is just too low to keep DCWs on the job, leading to a 42-percent turnover rate in the field.  As you might imagine, turnover adds its own costs and risks to the care Michiganders need. These pressures are unsustainable and require urgent legislative action.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Reminds Healthcare Providers of ADA’s Effective Communication Requirements

From Eastern District of Virginia: Complete Post through this link…

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today that it has sent a Dear Colleagues Letter reminding healthcare providers of the effective communication requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To strengthen awareness and understanding of these requirements, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is inviting the public, including personnel at healthcare providers, to an informational meeting that will be held on June 6, 2023, at 1 p.m.

When Congress passed the ADA, it recognized that discrimination against individuals with disabilities persists in critical areas, including health services, which often involve high stakes communication. Through the ADA, Congress established a national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities by providing strong and enforceable standards. In support of these goals, the ADA and its implementing regulations require covered entities, including healthcare providers, to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services to individuals with communication disabilities without imposing a surcharge on the individual, including qualified sign language interpreters, computer-aided transcription services, and effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals who are blind or have low vision.

The ADA requirements apply to a variety of healthcare providers, including those operated by either private entities or state and local governments, such as hospitals, nursing facilities, urgent care providers, physicians, dentists, optometrists, durable medical equipment retailers, infirmaries located at institutions of higher learning and correctional facilities, and local mental health agencies. Further, the ADA applies to all services that covered entities provide, including in-person medical services, telehealth appointments, electronic kiosks, and websites.

The Dear Colleagues Letter explains that “[p]ursuant to the ADA, healthcare providers are required to ensure that communication with people with disabilities is as effective as communication with people without disabilities.” Further, “healthcare providers may not decline to provide treatment to an individual solely because they have a disability and may need auxiliary aids and services.”

Edward Enninful says Vogue disability issue is ‘one of my proudest moments’

By Annabel Rackham: Complete Post through this link…

British Vogue editor Edward Enninful has said working on May’s issue, which has five disabled cover stars, was “one of the proudest moments of my career”.

Titled Reframing Fashion, the edition focuses on 19 disabled people in total from fashion, sport and the arts.

The magazine’s cover stars include actress Selma Blair, who has multiple sclerosis, and model Ellie Goldstein, who has Down’s syndrome.

Enninful, 51, said he had “learned so much” from producing the issue.

“My tenure here at Vogue has always been about inclusivity and diversity, and people forget how hard it is for the disabled community,” Enninful told the BBC.

He revealed last year in his memoir that he had visual and hearing impairments and a blood disorder, which he said present “challenges” in his role as editor-in-chief at British Vogue.

“It was so important I could relate – I felt real pride that people can actually speak up about disabilities and not have to hide it and how it impacts them.

“I think this is one of the most incredible issues I’ve had the privilege of editing in my tenure.”

The gut microbiota contributes to the pathogenesis of anorexia nervosa in humans and mice

By Yong Fan, et al.: Complete Post through this link…

ngd- Not only interesting in itself, but as a potential model for investigaing the microbiome and a variety of humn diseases and conditions…

In conclusion, the present multi-omics study uncovers profound and complex disruptions of the gut microbiota in individuals with AN, with functional implications and altered serum metabolites. These compounds may act via the blood circulation or via gut-microbiota-brain neuronal signalling pathways affecting brain regulation of appetite, emotions and behaviour.

FMT from human AN donors to GF mice under energy-restricted feeding resulted in lower body weight gain and a number of changes in expression of hypothalamic and adipose tissue genes involved in controlling behaviour and energy homoeostasis. The combination of multi-omics and in vivo experiments complement our causal inference analyses to allow the identification of specific bacterial metabolites that potentially mediate human host AN traits.

Our findings lend support to the hypothesis that a severely disrupted intestinal microbiota contributes to some of the stages in the pathogenesis of AN.